Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where is the Anti-War Movement Now?

by Debra Sweet

I was at the United for Peace & Justice National Assembly this weekend. I met some of you there who read this list; and others who were not familiar with World Can't Wait.

I worked with others -- mostly peace coalitions from the middle of the country, not in the larger cities -- to get UFPJ to support a united anti-war march in Washington DC on the sixth anniversary of the war, Saturday March 21. By 111-49, that proposal was defeated, in favor of what UFPJ's program "Yes We Can...End the War" for a Saturday, April 4 march on Wall Street, focusing on the recession.

Not to directly challenge Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan is shameful. On the anniversary of "Shock & Awe," and under a new president, the anti-war movement needs to be in Washington. And many of us WILL be there (see sidebar).

World Can't Wait wrote a letter to the anti-war movement. We posed:

"We in this country, and those of us in this movement, have a choice. We can side with our government, with the "good war" fought in our names, and act like American lives are more important than anyone else's lives.

Or we can show the people living in the Middle East, and the world, that in the U.S. there is a difference between the people and their government, and that the people are taking responsibility to end an unjust war and the war crimes that have been carried out in our name. We can act like we care about the whole planet."

To the Anti-War movement in the United States:

"That which you do not resist and mobilize to stop you will learn - or be forced - to accept."
From the Call to Drive out the Bush Regime, 2005

Barack Obama is sending a surge of 20,000 troops to Afghanistan.

An antiwar movement that does not move immediately to oppose the Obama doctrine of shifting the central front of the war on terror to Afghanistan, no longer deserves to be called an anti-war movement.

Millions of people voted for Obama because they thought he would end the war. Yet Obama filled his cabinet with Hillary "Obliterate Iran" Clinton, Robert Gates, James Jones and Susan Rice ("a kettle of hawks," said Jeremy Scahill).

He is not only continuing an unjust war by leaving 80,000 troops and 17 permanent bases in Iraq, and all over the region, including nuclear carrier-led task forces with enough firepower to "annihilate" any country in the region, but Obama is enlisting many progressive sections of society to support and be complicit in waging a spreading war for U.S. hegemony and imperialist expansion known as the "war on terror."

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