|THERE IS A tendency for some to fret over moveon.org et al's attempts to
co-opt the antiwar movement. I myself don't worry about this that much
since I saw it all before in the early 1970s. This is simply a reaction to
changes taking place at the grass roots level with approval ratings on the
war in Iraq reaching LBJ type proportions. It is also a reaction to the
brute fact of insurgency power.
Last night I watched Bill Maher who was interviewing Paul Hackett, the
veteran of the war in Iraq who ran an unsuccessful campaign for congress in
Ohio. Although he only got 48 percent of the vote, his district had gone 65
percent for Bush. This is not much consolation to the Republicans. Hackett
got attacked on Counterpunch for using his veteran status in a demagogic
fashion. Like Kerry, he was trying to have it both ways. To be critical of
Bush but supportive of the war, which only required "better leadership" to
prevail. His website states:
"No matter what your position on the war, if we pull out now the entire
region will spiral into chaos and present our nation and military with a
far more difficult challenge than we currently face. I don't relish the
prospect of my two sons going over there in twenty years. We need to get it
right, and we need to do it now.
"The Iraqi people and government are grateful that we eliminated their
brutal dictator. They are capable of running their own government and
building a democracy. It won't look like ours; nor should it. But in order
for them to succeed, we must not withdraw our troops before the Iraqis are
ready to stand on their own."
Well, last night he told Maher that it is time to pull out. Now.
Another indication. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of John Edwards who was Kerry's
running mate, has come out strongly in support of Cindy Sheehan's right to
say whatever she wants. You can read it here:
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/24172/. You might quite rightly judge
this as an opportunist bid to appear against the war without actually
calling for immediate withdrawal, but it legitimizes our efforts nonetheless.
I believe that the unity between ANSWER and UfPJ is excellent news. Despite
articles by Frank Rich of the NY Times that the "war is over", we don't
know what will happen next. Although I don't think that the Bush
administration is "fascist", there is an element of the irrational at work
of the kind that led Hitler to invade the USSR. If the USA attacks Iran, we
are going to need a powerful movement and we are also going to have to
withstand a new McCarthyite attack on the right to protest the war. Last
night on the Maher show, they were discussing charges that Sheehan is
"treasonous", something that David Horowitz and Republican politicians are
In the face of a growing crisis around US foreign policy, militancy and
unity are required more than ever.