An Answer from ANSWER -- SNAFU!

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Wed Jul 9 19:00:03 MDT 2003


At 4:23 PM -0700 7/9/03, Eli Stephens wrote:
>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" -
>http://www.maxlyrics.com/songView/2130 - 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.

I just heard from Michael Letwin of NYCLAW, who is a member of the
UFPJ steering committee, that the committee will meet this weekend in
DC and that he will bring up the proposal of using "Bring the Troops
Home Now" as the overarching theme around which UFPJ work will be
organized, with sub-slogans of "End the Occupation!" "Money for Jobs,
Not for War!" and "Defend Immigrant Rights and Civil Liberties!"
Great!  If the proposal gets adopted, UFPJ will be able to do much
better than harping on the missing WMDs issue, on which the UFPJ
working group on Iraq is now being asked to focus.  The missing WMDs
issue has not and will not serve as a vehicle to mobilize
working-class folks in the USA.

You are quite right, however, that a fair number of anti-war
organizers -- especially of the type found in UFPJ -- would rather
call for replacing US/UK/Etc. troops by UN peace-keepers.  Advocating
the demand for US troop withdrawal forcefully at least has the virtue
of getting an important discussion going and gives us a chance of
debating the historical and current roles of the United Nations, UN
peace-keepers, etc. with good people who come to anti-war/anti-US
occupation positions from perspectives other than anti-imperialist
ones.
--
Yoshie

* Calendars of Events in Columbus:
<http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/calendar.html>,
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://solidarity.igc.org/>



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