The anti-war movement and Congress

To believe that Congress, or particularly the Democrats in Congress, will rise up, take on the Pentagon and the White House, and vote an end to the funding of the war, is to believe in an illusion. To peddle the idea that the funding vote in Congress is now the “decisive battle” for the anti-war movement, is to propagate both defeatism and a false understanding of what it will take to stop the war and get the U.S. out of the Middle East.

But what about that proposed 2008 withdrawal that Democrats are yapping about? Read the small print. It mandates the withdrawal only if Bush “can not verify any progress in Iraq,” a loohole big enough to drive a herd of Hummers through. Thus, it’s not a plan for withdrawal at all, just PR spin to make the public think Congressional Dems are antiwar when in actuality their ‘protest’ is so muted as to be non-existent. But that’s what you get when both parties enthusiastically voted for and continue to support the war.

There is no easy path to victory in a struggle of great importance. Iraq and the Gulf region is far more vital to the U.S. empire than was Vietnam. In the end, though, imperialism will be defeated, not only in the Middle East, but around the world, including here in its heartland.

What will defeat it, as in Vietnam, is a powerful and independent people’s movement.

Forget about petitioning Congress to do the right thing as the wannabe Democrats in some antiwar groups propose. Like Hillary cares what the anti-war movement thinks. Instead, focus on building mass protest.

The Vietnam War ended when the U.S. ruling establishment—elected and unelected—concluded that the political cost was too great to continue. If they did continue, they concluded, there was a looming threat of even greater defeat.

That happened because the Vietnamese people fought back and because there was a huge and ever-growing anti-war movement at home. Such resistance finally forced the ruling class to act.

The ruling class here was deeply fearful that defeat in Vietnam would shatter the myth of U.S. invincibility and encourage others to fight for liberation. They were right to worry about that.

Regardless of party affiliation, the leaders of today are just as fearful about a similar result if they are forced to accept defeat in Iraq.

That’s the truly sickening and despicable part. The ruling class knows the war is lost, but continues to sacrifice the lives of thousands in their doomed attempt to save face and somehow continue imperialist domination in the Middle East. But it’s not their children who are coming back in body bags or maimed or psychologically damaged, now is it?

See you in the streets on March 17.

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