An Answer from ANSWER -- SNAFU!

Eli Stephens elishastephens at
Wed Jul 9 17:23:49 MDT 2003

Yoshie wrote:

>What I want to make happen is a national campaign (supported by most major
>anti-war coalitions) that is, in theme, a bit like the following new
>campaign by Citizen Soldier, preferably without the call for "the
>participation of all our allies in an international peacekeeping effort
>controlled by the United Nations" and "trained in civil police operations
>and riot control" (see the bottom of the Citizen Soldier announcement
>copied below) and definitely with concrete action ideas:

I certainly agree that "Troops Out Now" is an excellent slogan and one that
was featured prominently in the recent ANSWER-sponsored anti-Bush rally at
the SF Airport a couple weeks ago (Alas, Freda Payne's great antiwar song
"Bring the boys home now" - - has a
little language problem, otherwise it would be perfect as a rallying cry and
as an anthem). Unfortunately, though, and trying not to be pessimistic, I
really think the chances of building a mass movement anywhere near the
pre-war size, based around this slogan alone, is slim at this time. A lot of
"ordinary", non-political people were drawn to those demos hoping they could
stop a senseless war. But for most, if not the vast majority of those
people, the idea of simply withdrawing American troops without replacing
them with UN troops is simply "not practical."

The situation is not like Vietnam, which had a government in both South and
North, and an army in both as well, so pulling US troops out was something
people could understand - the country would be left in some sort of civil
war status, but not in chaos. Clearly, Iraq is different, and I simply don't
thing that anyone beyond the "hard-core left" is going to rally around a
"Troops Out Now" slogan. That doesn't mean I don't support trying to build
the movement around that demand, just that I think one shouldn't have false
expectations of how far it might go.

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