Video: Brian Becker. Bush protest. New London CT

Brian Becker, national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, spoke at the antiwar rally yesterday outside the US Coast Guard Academy as Bush was speaking inside.

The neo-fascists he refers to were the Gathering of Geezers (or whatever it is they call themselves), aging white males across the street who distinguished themselves primarily by screaming sexual insults at antiwar women. “Today they don’t have their swastikas on, they don’t have their Klan robes on, but you can bet, that’s who they really are,” Becker said.

We had fifteen times their number, of all ages, multiple nationalities and religions too. Polls show the public strongly opposes the war now. The antiwar movement IS the majority. And only we can end the war. Just like we did with Vietnam.

Link to YouTube video.

  • Unfortunately the press coverage seems to be filled with the usual “he-said, she-said” “balance,” pro-war and anti-war treated either equally or with a preponderance of pro-war coverage, despite the preponderance of numbers on the antiwar side. For a particularly scurrilous video, see the video at the Hartford Courant.

  • Just checked, that video and story was from AP, and, yes, biased.

    The Courant’s coverage itself has been quite good. Bush’s speech and the protest were the lead story this morning on the front page, and not biased.

  • DJ

    Well, it’s a little different from Vietnam. But, like Vietnam, this is a mis-guided battle in a larger mis-undertsood “global struggle” against an enemy we helped create, that needs us to fight it as part of it’s raison d’etre.

    In Vietnam, when we pulled out, we allowed the nationalists to complete their takeover and unite a divided country (though because of more than a generation of war, at much higher cost and much lower level of democracy than would otherwise have been possible).

    In Iraq, there appears to be no nationalist movement we could defer to. Worse, the Bush administration started this mess not only without any nation-building plan, but with a clear belief that nation-building should not be part of the process. That bias, though inconsistent with policies of recent presidents from either party, now appears to have infected both parties. No one in American politics wants to talk about how to fix the mess we made (except perhaps Bill Richardson– and I’m not sure how far he’s thought this through).

    It may be that the leadership of our Democratic-Republican Party is so incompetent, they cannot imagine a way to bring this to a close– or so morally bankrupt that they find it unnecessary to set right what we have done wrong. Does this reflect the will of the American people? Sadly, it may.

    I remain unconvinced that a pullout of American troops, absent a major coordinated diplomatic and economic strategy to reverse the damage we have done, would result in anything that thinking Americans could stomach. In addition, by leaving behind a destroyed nation, we would have created a new enemy that we really don’t need (unless you’re an extremist politician looking for excuses to curb American freedoms). I opposed this war from its conception, but I also believe that if we just turn and walk away, without implementing an alternative plan to restore Iraq’s nationhood, we will have committed a morally reprehensible act that will ultimately come back to bite us by giving our leaders more excuses to destroy our own democracy.

    You’ve blogged often about Brave New War. This is one of the points at which a future outbreak of such a war can be prevented. But only if we take concrete action that goes far, far beyond conventional military (and political) thinking. THAT’S what we should be demanding of our leaders. And if they can’t handle that, well, we need new ones.

    BTW, there are voices in the Pentagon that have been pushing for several years for exactly this approach. How many generals have commented that “the answer to Iraq is not military”? What prevents us from implementing a non-military or extra-military strategy is not our military, but our political leaders who’d rather fight (or go home) than build. There’s less political risk.

  • One of Robb’s points in Brave New War was that 9/11 was a deliberate attempt to sucker the US into a war it could not win and which could bankrupt it, just like with the Russians in Afghanistan.

    As for what the US could do to clean up its mess, I suggest the answer is nothing. The rapist usually isn’t asked to tend to the victim, nor does anyone in the area trust the US, and for good reason. There’s nothing the US can do to help. Nor does the current ruling elite even want to. It’s all about saving face, not helping Iraq.

    The US will leave Iraq having suffered a huge defeat. I just hope it’s soon so more don’t die.

  • DJ

    You’re right– rapists are rarely asked to tend to the victim. They are usually imprisoned for great lengths of time, or, depending on local laws, executed (or worse). Perhaps America, as you suggest, should be subjected as a nation to such punishments.

    OTOH, I once met a man who was in a decades-long process of “making amends” for the people he had killed before he changed his ways. His amends process had nothing to do with incarceration or the justice system. There is nothing that one cannot make amends for in some way if one is willing, and willing to think outside the box. Likewise, if one is unwilling to make amends, one tends to be unable to change one’s behavior.

    I would prefer that we make the moral choice, rather than continue blundering forward like a drunken nation bouncing off whatever and whoever we hit. As a nation, we MUST take responsibility for our actions.

    Will they trust us for it? Of course not. An unfaithful man once asked his mentor when his wife would begin to trust him again. The mentor replied, “After you have lived for some time being trustworthy.”

  • Well, I guess that’s my point. There’s little if anything in the current power elite that leads me to believe they’d even think of trying to do the right thing.

    Perhaps events may force them too.

  • Abe

    Would you give 1 click to end the war?

    It is a group effort, would you help me by letting others no that we can stop the war with a petition and that we can do it from the comfort of our computers?

    This first link goes to a place for information on a petition to end the war, as well as a video.

    For reference the link to the signature form is:

    There is short explanation on you Tube, the same video is on Myspace.

    Could there be a more direct form of democracy?

    If every person tells everyone they know, and they tell everyone they know, and it continues before we know it we will have enough signatures to submit.

    If you can recommend any resources that I should post this on please let me know.

    We can end the war, we can do it for free, we can do it from the comfort of our living rooms. There were 500,000 people at Woodstock protesting the war. That was then. We can convene an unlimited number of people right now over the internet.

    Heck, just look at how many myspace profiles there are, 170 million or so? 70% of America is on-line, 50% at home, the rest at some other location. Technically because of free public libraries EVERY American now has access to the internet.

    It can be done.

    There is no truer form of democracy then the people petitioning the government directly in an effort to peaceably modify policy.

    Spread the word! Its free after all. We have freedom of speech, so lets use it.

    This is our right, the right to make it right.


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