Why I'm NOT signing the Moveon.org UN Petition

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Thu Mar 6 18:32:15 MST 2003

The "tactic"of online petitions to the UN has something of a checkered
history, for UN pro-peace petitions have been a staple of the urban legend
spam mill since 9/11 on the web.

What is going on here Life imitates "art," at least if, in true
post-modernist fashion, you
consider spam to be an art form. Or art to be a spam form.

That the *original* post-9/11 petition to the U.N. "against World War III,"
which became a petition around Iraq later, was a HOAX is unquestionable.

You can find it on the netlore archive,
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl-un-petition.htm the urban legends
reference pages, http://www.snopes2.com/rumors/un.htm and various other
authoritative sources.

Now moveon.org, the folks that bring us "win without war" ("We are patriotic
Americans who share the belief that Saddam Hussein cannot be allowed to
possess weapons of mass destruction. We support rigorous UN weapons
inspections to assure Iraq's effective disarmament.") and sponsred the
"virtual march on Washington" are sponsoring a *real* petition to the United
Nations, as can be seen below.

I think it is *typical*  of this wing of the antiwar movement that neither
in their letter, nor on their website (if you follow the links) are you
going to find one word about the March 5 student strike, the Code Pink and
other women's actions on March 8, the March 12 day of labor protests, or the
March 15 convergence protest at the White House.

If you visit their red-white-and-blue bedecked website,
http://www.winwithoutwarus.org/html/action.html under current "actions" you
will see an ultra-urgent "Emergency Appeal to the UN Security Council. Join
citizens around the world and send an emergency appeal to UN Security
Council members. The message: Back tough inspections, not war."

That the road to war has been paved precisely by inspections, and the
Imperialist diktats they have been built around, is something that seems not
to have occurred to these folks.

The plead to the UN to strengthen inspections is immediate followed by --
get this -- "Ad Campaigns. Win Without War coalition members have launched
innovative TV ad campaigns to voice their opposition to war in Iraq."

These guys REALLY know how to hurt a ruling class. Throw another few tens of
thousands of dollars in ad buys to the likes of AOL Time Warner (HBO/CNN/WB
etc.)  or GE (NBC/MSNBC/CNBC) or Disney (ABC). That'll really learn 'em.

And that's the end of their "actions."

Now, *in principle* I've got nothing against petitions or advertising. But
at a time of unprecedented, world-wide mass mobilizations, projecting the
petitions this way, without even a mumbling mention of the real antiwar
movement --the one in the streets-- is a tactic transparently designed to
demobilize people, to get them to stay home. And the political line of
supporting "tough inspections" means supporting imperialism's right to
dictate to the Iraqi people. It fundamentally confuses and miseducates
people about the basic issue involved: the right of the people of Iraq to
control their own country and their own destiny.

I think we should give this one a  miss.


----- Original Message -----
From: "M. Junaid Alam" <redjaguar at attbi.com>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 2:42 PM
Subject: Sign the Moveon.org UN Petition

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