Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector, says the antiwar movement is losing it because, golly, it’s been three years and the war is still raging, and besides, the US has a culture of war and that hasn’t changed yet.
Lately I have noticed a growing despondency among many of those who call themselves the anti-war movement.
Huh? Not in the antiwar movement that I’m in. The Vietnam War protests took many years to build. This movement has built much faster than that. My fellow antiwar activists are hardly ‘despondent.’
The anti-war movement lacks any notion of strategic thinking, operational planning, or sense of sound tactics. So much energy is wasted because of this failure to centrally plan and organize.
Ritter should read Networks and Netwars by the rightish Rand Corp. It discusses how hierarchical organizations like the US military have a difficult time dealing with, or even understanding, networked organizations. The antiwar Left is networked not hierarchical, something the book quite rightfully describes as having major organizational strengths, not weaknesses. Sounds like Ritter doesn’t understand this at all. Has he had actual contact with antiwar groups? I doubt it.
It needs to start thinking like a warrior would, in full recognition that we as a nation are engaged in a life-or-death struggle of competing ideologies with those who promote war as an American value and virtue.
Again, the antiwar movement already knows this.
He says the movement needs to be totally focused on antiwar, and stop having speeches at rallies about other causes. Well, in networked organizations like the antiwar movement, you build a big antiwar demo by forming coalitions. Groups that help build the event get to speak.
More importantly, all the causes are linked. Ritter says the US has a culture of war. Precisely. But he leaves it at that, not examining the obvious conclusion, which is that the US culture of war is part of an imperialist system that thrives on, and indeed needs, war to survive.
That’s why there are speeches on multiple causes. Focusing just on antiwar would miss the point entirely on why the wars exist in the first place. It’s a predatory economic system that needs changing, that’s the root cause of the wars. Ritter says the US has a culture of war, but never examines why.