Thoughts on the movement now was Re: Comparing two movements

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Wed Jan 22 16:22:40 MST 2003

I agree of course about the power of the internet. The anti-war protests in
the USA have had an enormous impact across the world.  I think that they
help to explain why France and Germany which were about to clamber aboard
the war machine have now backed off.

In Britain Blair now occupies the same position as the Australian Labor
Party Prime Minister of WW1 Billy Hughes.  Hughes wanted to follow the
imperative that Australia always supported British Colonial adventures in
return for a guarantee of protection against the Asiatic hoards. However he
could not take his party nor ultimately the country with him and so he
split the party and joined the conservatives.

The opposition to Blair within Labour might be strong enough to force him
to take tat option.  We shall see.  IN any case the little scum bag is
looking very stressed.

Now specifically on the movement.  There have been many comments on how the
rhythmic of this movement is very different from that of the Vietnam era.
Agreed of course but I think that we ought to contemplate that the fact
that we have a large movement now is in part an unconscious response to the
Powell Doctrine.  It is hard to use the word 'doctirne' about such a
simple, not to mention base, set of ideas.  But Powell formed the argument
that what went wrong for the USA in Vietnam was that the slow build up of
troops allowed the media and the public to get sickened by the war.  The
alternative was a rapid initial deployment using maximum firepower and
strict control over the media.  This was trialed successfully in Grenada,
the first Gulf War, and recently in Afghanistan.  So the Powell doctrine
banks on the assumption that any war can be over before the peace movement
can radicalise and pose a real threat.

However what Powell and his ilk could not foresee is that in response to
these lightning wars, the peace movement with the aid of the internet would
mobilise in advance. the war will go ahead of course, but the political
price to be paid is now going to be considerable.



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