Comparing two movements - and another thing...

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Wed Jan 22 16:49:16 MST 2003


Outside the US it seems to me one key factor in the size of anti-war sentiment
is nationalism. Sections of many ruling classes, importantly including France
and Germany, feel seriously threatened by the idea of US unilateralism. They
are resisting giving the Americans a UN mandate, or any other "collective security"
mandate which would only be a fig leaf.  This in turn creates space for general
public opposition to the war.

In Australia, we are seeing a series of anti-war arguments along these lines
(the Labor Party is taking them up fairly seriously, and Greens leader Bob Brown
is not immune):

*After the Bali bombing we should focus on combating terrorism in our region
and forget Iraq;
*If we fight Iraq that will only invite the terrorists in our region to attack
us'
*We should wait for UN approval/not be pawns of America;
*Our future lies in Asia, we should engage with the local Asian states (and
their oppressive rulers) and not just align with the Americans (who are loudmouthed
tourists and have crap TV shows and invented Macdonalds);
*Why send our boys to Iraq when we can't defend our own national capital from
bushfires?

Apart from the last one, (maybe -- anyway it's kind of quaint), there is a reactionary
side to all this, but still it opens up an important space. A large chunk of
any truly mass movement will start out from arguments like these.

I would be interested in what comrades think about the American aspect: are
sections of the US establishment worried because of the international resistance
to Bush's unilateralism, and if so does that have an impact on wider public
opinion?

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