Antiwar movement. TNG

Anti-War protesters at Bush’s 2nd inauguration, Washington DC. Jonathan McIntosh

Garett Reppenhagen, board member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, left this comment yesterday to our post on the antiwar movement.

Thank you to all the organizations that are assisting the Iraq Veterans and GI Resistance who are opposing this war. All of our mentors and friends from the peace movement will be needed to help educate and guide the next generation as we step into the role as leaders of the movement. We at IVAW feel we have a unique role and a link to the majority of Americans who are against this war, but thus far have been silent in their opposition. Hopefully by granting us this opportunity we can experiment with new strategies and focus on specific messages. IVAW does not wish to divide the movement, we still would love your support and cooperation. Help hold a spot light to the truth of the occupation of Iraq and help us hold our government accountable.

A more broadly-based antiwar movement is the next big step. If we want to attract and bring into the movement people of all politics, then the focus needs to change. An antiwar rally with 90 minutes of speeches denouncing imperialism plus ten speakers talking about unrelated causes ain’t gonna cut it if you want to attract Middle America. But someone talking about how they served in Iraq and why the war needs to end might well get their attention.

Some of them might define themselves as right wing patriots who are appalled by the war. Great, bring them into the movement. Remember Scott Ritter, the UN weapons inspector turned war critic? He defines himself as a conservative ex-Marine who was proud to serve and bases much of his criticism of the war on the egregious violations of the Constitution. Someone like him can reach and convince people that lefties couldn’t get in the door with. And vice versa, of course.

So, let’s take the antiwar movement to the next level.

  • DJ

    Ah, the next level. It would include analysis of the roots of conflict, and strategy that goes beyond mere power politics. Just as the anti-Vietnam-War movement represented far more than just the war in Vietnam, every war and every (successful) peace movement is far more complex than the public rhetoric suggests.

    I’ve offered my services as an analyst to a number of prople and groups that supposedly want to end wars. They aren’t interested in complexity– it seems to challenge their idea of what an anti-war movement should be. Yet peace is impossible without addressing thwe roots of a conflict– and that means we need to know what the roots are.

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