No War: The movement that has dissolved itself

left-wing buttons

Although in the last several years there has been scarce any mobilization against the war to speak of, a majority of the North American and European citizens are still in favor of the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq: however, their voices are not being heard by the political establishment. There is a growing crisis of political representation in the West. Democracy is becoming hollow.

Well, there have been a few sizable mobilizations but none have approached the massive millions in the streets of 2003. Maybe people got discouraged, or got turned off by hard Left speeches at the marches, or didn’t feel directly affected because there’s no draft. Hard to know just what happened, but it certainly appears that people in the streets (unless they number in the tens of millions) can’t force political solutions.

Yes, such protests and demonstrations were successful and effective during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War protests. But that was a different era. Things are much more media-driven now, with rapid response teams and spin doctors instantly ready to diffuse or counter antiwar sentiment. Most of all though, maybe it’s because mass antiwar protests simply aren’t compelling or even newsworthy any more. “Been there, done that” seems to be the view, for both those opposed to the wars and for the mass media.

Also, if the populace generally opposes the wars but clearly is not interested in joining in mass protests, then we are not reaching them and need to listen to what they are saying, then devise new tactics and approaches.