The War’s liberal enablers

Rummy’s not the only one who should go

Michael Donnelly, “a Vietnam-era Conscientious Objector and veteran of many (far too many) anti-war efforts” says United for Justice and Peace has enabled war with the best of them, pretending all the while to be a peace movement.

After producing an Open Letter to Sen. John Kerry prior to the 2004 election that laid out all the relevant issues, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ – the paymaster cartel of Peace groups) quickly took his No for an answer and endorsed the disastrous ABB [Anyone But Bush] gambit. {Perhaps a factor was that over 100 of the groups under the UFPJ umbrella received money from the foundations controlled by Teresa Heinz (Kerry)? Money from Heinz and George Soros led to Global Exchange’s role in starting both UFPJ and Code Pink.}

Ignore for a moment that UFPJ has always been woeful at addressing the Elephant in the Living Room — the Mother of All Issues; the Israeli occupation of Palestine (a condition of the funders?) and how that puts the larger movement on the sidelines before the game is ever begun.

Three major rallies against the Iraq insanity have been pulled off, despite UFPJ’s best efforts to derail them: October 25, 2003 saw 100,000 in Washington; March 20, 2004 100,000 in New York City and a September 24 demonstration saw more than 300,000 march in Washington. In each case, the call was issued by A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to End War and Stop Racism).

In each case, UFPJ first refused to go along with a united front, even threatening parallel demos. UFPJ’s dedication to the Israeli Elephant in the Living Room was and still is the main cause of its balking. A.N.S.W.E.R. sought to link the Palestinian occupation issue with greater US Middle East policy and UFPJ’s political strategy relies solely on the fantasy of their pro-Israel Democrats eventual coming around.

During Bush the Elder’s Iraq war of 1990-1991, the UFPJ leadership broke with the larger movement and actually held rallies calling for sanctions — again at the behest of their Democrat allies; even hoisting banners that read “Economic Sanctions Not War.” UFPJ got the war and its wish. The resulting sanctions have been cited as responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children under age five and some million Iraqis overall. Way too late, the UFPJ leaders came around and opposed the deadly sanctions. Though, as with the Bush lack of accepting responsibility they decry, they saw no need to resign over the deadly policy they promoted.

The predecessor organizations to ANSWER were utterly opposed to the sanctions. Death in slow motion by starvation is still death. The reason Palestine has become a major cause in the antiwar movement is almost certainly due in large part to ANSWER. And how could it not be an issue? How can you pretend to oppose US insanity and invasions yet never mention Palestine, where a brutal invasion enforced by violence (with the support of the US) has been ongoing for decades?

Yet that’s precisely what UFJP does. Ignore Palestine. They want to get cozy with the Democratic Party and suffer from the delusion they can somehow jack the progressive wing of the party. Plus, much of their funding comes from Democratic insiders, with Palestine being anathema to them too. Beltway Democrats trip over themselves as fast, if not faster, than Republicans to support Zionism and smash Palestine.

In the real world, especially in the Middle East, Palestine is seen as inseparable from the Iraq invasion. People view it as the same issue – US imperialism invading countries, backing thug governments, enforcing their rule with violence while mouthing empty platitudes about democracy.

All the causes are linked. The Iraq War, the occupation of Palestine, the increasingly possible invasion of Iran, these are all part of a decades long US ruling class attempt to control the Middle East and its resources.

That’s what must be opposed – US imperialism. A Peace Movement Lite with no teeth that will quickly morph in a few months into Let’s-Elect-Democrats-in-November is no solution. A principled antiwar movement is. The antiwar movement is alive, well, and thriving, even as Peace Lite is ailing.

One comment

  1. The zionist policies of the Israeli governments openly aided and abetted by the US has gobled up 98% of Palestine and pursued a policy of genocide on the Palestinian people. This would not be possible if it was not for the total funding and military support from the US. It is not a matter of America being complicit in this, it is the driving force. There will never be peace in the Middle East as long as this policy is pursued. It is only the American people that can stop this brutal land grab and genocide. It is not for nothing that Israel is called “America’s policeman in the Middle East.”

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