Our bedraggled antiwar movement

It wasn’t that long ago that antiwar street corner protests used as buildups to mass marches and to judge sentiment would draw well over a thousand people. But judging from the ANSWER LA website, a recent round of such protests in LA, SF, and Chicago just drew a couple hundred people each.

Yeah, the Iraq War seems to have simmered down and far fewer people are getting killed now. This is a good thing. But Afghanistan seems a quagmire, and I’m not sure what we’re fighting for or how we get out when we want to. But the populace doesn’t have the same fervor about this as they did about the Iraq War.

Plus, at least some of the antiwar passion seems to have been primarily anti-Bush passion. With Bush gone, the protests got smaller.

So, mass marches are planned for LA, SF, and DC this coming March. I wonder how many will come or how it will help end the war if they do.

The only thing they’re going to be putting pressure on is the grass.”

— Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), quoted by the AP, saying he’d rather see gay rights supporters lobbying their elected officials than marching in Washington this weekend.

Perhaps the same is true now of antiwar marches too. Unless the numbers are truly massive, the media and Congress ignores them. We need new ideas and methods.

There’s no possible light at the end of any tunnel. The robot war via Predator missiles and other instruments in the arsenal infuriates all Afghans, as wedding parties are blown to bits every weekend. With more troops and mercenaries now in Afghanistan than during the Russian military presence at its peak, there’s zero chance for America playing a long-term constructive role in Afghanistan. The US presence is just a recruiting poster for the Taliban.


  1. The war in Afghanistan never did get the same pubilicity– perhaps because it wasn’t started with a lie. Its premise– that Taliban assisted Al Queda and must be forcibly removed– was arguably as flawed, but it was based in truth.

    Looking at the history of the Taliban and its interaction with the West, it’s very likely an accomodation could have been negotiated. Taliban wanted above all recognition, and the EU had successfully used that as a carrot before.

    I’m not saying the Taliban are nice guys. But have 8 years of war done anything to change that? It was a flawed approach with (once again) unrealistic expectations by the Bush administration.

    Unlike Iraq, where we created a power vacuum that invited chaos and therefore had to see it through, we have a locally-powerful enemy in Afghanistan. We COULD walk away. The possibility of negotiation is gone, any leverage we once had is history, and a bloody purge would likely follow as the winner (presumably the Taliban) eliminates those who cooperated with its enemies. We also risk Taliban joining up with terrorists to attack us on our own soil for what we’ve done to them. But unless we decisively win the war (and kill all the Taliban in the process), that was a given when we fired the first shot. I don’t see us reducing the threat, except perhaps by perpetual war.

    Thus, ironically, anti-war folks have more to offer here than in Iraq– and less to say.

  2. I scrolled through the socialist sites I frequent (though not as frequently as past) this am – they seem to be as aghast, and juvenile, as their rightwing fascist counterparts over our African American President’s Nobel Prize for Peace. Nobel Prize for War, indeed. Goebbels is cackling in his grave.

    I mentioned yesterday at a couple of decidedly “lefty”, albeit self-described progressive, sites my growing disappointment with the progressive, the so-called liberal, response to the award. Now I am aghast. The loony left is as desirous of our failure as the rightards. W.T.F.!?

    I’m a big fan of John Robb’s work with failed states, hollow states, though I’m not sure he factors in the hollowness, the empty-headedness of the population. As to this communal will to fail, common as it appears to both “left” and “right”… physics is everything, everything is physis. “Wheels Coming Off” implies motion, or momentum; motion, or momentum, implies a degree of anticipation where the wheels will go. We reached a point of statistical implosion, the population has grown sufficiently large enough to anticipate its behavior. As with a perpetual motion machine, we have grown to large, to diverse, to divisive, to continue.

    Oregon was a Republic, before it was a “state”.

    • I think a lot of the left-right divide may be breaking down and something new is forming. That’s why politicos on all sides of teh political spectrum seem a bit baffled by our times.

      Hard core left and right tend to be ideologues. So, some on both sides want the US to fail because this proves their ideological points.

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