Where Did the Anti-War Movement Go?
by Stan Moore
July 24, 2003
During the build-up to the War of Aggression and Colonization of Iraq, the parallel build up of the anti-war movement was evident. In San Francisco, posters were pasted onto streetside poles advising the public to gather at a certain place at such and such a time if the bombs started falling. And that is exactly what happened. San Francisco was virtually shut down by masses of furious citizens who opposed the war.
And then the major combat operations ended and so did the protests.
But the war in Iraq goes on. Like a basketball game in which one coach uses a slow-down tactic to give his team a chance to win, the Iraqi resistance has adopted tactics to give themselves the best chance to win. There is no time clock in a war of this nature. In the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese patriots were willing to fight as long as it took to win, ignoring their own high casualties, but minimizing them as much as possible by dispersing forces to avoid American firepower. The Iraqis seem to have learned from the Vietnamese victory.
Iraqi patriots knew from the beginning that they could not withstand full frontal assaults by American forces with unlimited air superiority from jet fighter/bombers, combined with helicopter gunships and subsonic aircraft like A-10 Warthog aircraft spewing thousands of rounds of munitions per minute. Iraqis knew from the start that they could not face American M-1 tanks in tank-to-tank combat. So, the Iraqis bluffed and they blustered and played psychological games and then they did the sensible thing -- they dispersed and reverted to guerilla tactics, to exploit American weaknesses and minimize their own casualties and give themselves a chance to win. And Iraqis are killing more Americans now on a weekly basis than they did during major combat operations.
So, more Americans are dying now, but the anti-war movement seems to have packed its bags and gone on to bigger and better things. Is it due to a short American attention span? Can Americans sustain anything that is not financially profitable or titillating? The American military troops would surely get the hell out of Iraq right now if their superiors did not force them to be there. They now know the dangers they face, and they do not like it. "We are like sitting ducks", one soldier said. And every day or so, another home-made bomb or rocket-propelled grenade hits a convoy and erases the life of another American soldier, sent to die so that George W. Bush and his cronies can line their pocketbooks with power and petroleum revenues.
Again, where o' where have the protesters gone? What is the threshold of violence that causes you to rise up and take action? Will the impending national Presidential election wake you up and cause you to take to the streets? Will the losses of American lives be totally wasted, or will they become meaningful because they cost George W. Bush the presidency in the next election?
One street preacher was heard to say recently, in a paraphrasing of Holy Scripture, "No man hath greater love of his country, than that he layeth down his life so that George W. Bush could be removed from office."
Perhaps the protesters are gearing up again for major protests in conjunction with the next election. Maybe they are organizing at their local internet and coffee cafes and recharging with energy and spiritual munitions.
Meanwhile three soldiers got killed in Iraq yesterday.
Stan Moore lives in San Geronimo, CA., and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org