As the Anti-war groups gear up, counter rallies make surprising showings!
What’s happening in the world of the anti-war protesters and anarchists? A great deal actually. First let me say that all the major groups supporting and promoting the anti-war movement DO NOT REPRESENT mainstream AMERICA! However, if we who are the majority remain ignorant of their activities and silent, then we are in effect, allowing these people to speak for us. We are abdicating our freedom and rights into the hands of anarchists and anti-American war protesters. These people are smart, organized, and on the defensive right now. That’s about to change.
As the Congress pretends to support our troops and President, these progressives [socialists] are gearing up for a summer campaign of protests, training for protesters, and an attempt to bridge differences in methods of attaining their goals so they can form a huge alliance for a gigantic protest of one million [1,000,000] of their supporters in D.C. in November or March 2008 at the latest under the single goal of “ending the war in Iraq!” Personally, I believe they want to have the march before the November elections so they can sway the elections at the last minute in an attempt to further their cause!
United for Peace and Justice has their UFPJ Iraq Campaign clearly laid out for their supporters on their website. They also have a Blog. Their blog tracks their progress and allows members to exchange ideas for each local chapter to improve their campaign effectiveness. They are really gearing up their summer campaign in D.C.:
One powerful way to make your voice heard is to spend your summer vacation in Washington! Peace activists are surging on the Capitol with Marine mom Tina Richards to keep the pressure on Congress throughout June and July. And UFPJ member group CODEPINK is hosting an activist house and trainings over the summer. Click on the links above for information on how to participate.
Over at CodePink on their site they have also posted their up coming events. They have a very organized scheme using a “phone-a-thon” at local levels to drum up support. They set up public places so people can make “free” cell phone calls to their Congressional officials. They also have a Blog. You can track events and progress or exchange ideas. CodePink has also managed to get a house in D.C. for a year:
CODEPINK is renting a beautiful house in DC for a year so we can support our ongoing peace presence in the halls of Congress. We are committed to ending the Iraq war and bringing our troops home by the end of the year, and having a home base in DC will help us do just that.
There is no cost to stay at the house -thanks to a generous donation to CODEPINK, we are able to offer this housing for free to dedicated activists who can give their time, energy, and creativity to our DC efforts.
As you can see, CodePink is really gearing up its efforts in the election draw down. They are also flooding Congress on a daily basis with their demands. Their training efforts at the house they just obtained in D.C. will add to their effectiveness as they step up their campaigns in D.C. and nationwide to end the war over the summer months and into the draw down months for the up coming elections.
In my opinion, the most daring effort in the anti-war effort is being conducted by A.N.S.W.E.R. , [Act Now to Stop the War and End Racism]. At one time A.N.S.W.E.R. and UFPJ worked together in their anti-war efforts and their blitz on Congress. However, a major rift developed because the two groups disagreed over methods of implementing their causes. One group is much more radical than the other. Now A.N.S.W.E.R. has come up with a plan to get around their differences. Here are excerpts:
What Should the Anti-War Movement Do Now?
A Proposal from the ANSWER Coalition
It is an absolute responsibility of the anti-war movement to make an honest and straightforward assessment of the current situation and to craft a strategy that can really make a difference……
It is clear that the anti-war movement is not sufficiently strong at the moment to bring this criminal and despised war to an end….
I found that statement encouraging. It further states:
The first question to ask and answer is: Can a people’s movement in the United States overcome the commitment of the White House, Congress and the Pentagon to authorize, extend and finance the war and occupation in Iraq?…..
Then A.N.S.W.E.R. gives their analysis of the political climate over Iraq and the anti-war effort. These were interesting assessments:
Assessment of the political situation as it regards the Iraq war
1) The people of the country have turned decisively against the continuation of the war. Most recognize that the war was based on lies and most no longer believe the president and the generals when they assure them that victory is still possible.
2) The military situation is worsening rather than improving in light of the so-called surge. The number of US war dead in May 2007 spiked to the third highest month since the initial invasion in 2003. The numbers of Iraqi dead is about 3,000 each month. Two million Iraqis have fled the country and another two million are internal refugees.
3) The US is unable to secure its political control over the region as is evident by what is happening in Lebanon, Iran and Syria and its intensified destabilization campaign towards the Palestinian people.
4) The Bush administration is increasingly isolated, at home and abroad, because of its failure in Iraq and its inability to regain the military initiative even with tens of thousands of more troops. The Pentagon anticipates occupying Iraq for decades, as it has Korea and other countries.
5) More and more U.S. soldiers, marines, veterans and the families of service members are either disillusioned or completely opposed to the continuation of the war and occupation.
6) The Democratic-controlled Congress voted overwhelmingly to extend and finance the war and occupation. The calculation of the Democratic Party leadership and the vast majority of its elected officials in Congress is based on avoiding at all costs taking responsibility for a pullout from Iraq which will be perceived as a defeat for the United States in this strategic oil-rich region. They believe that they can secure an electoral advantage in 2008 by having the war drag on and have the public hold the Republicans responsible for the war. Moreover, the Democratic Party is feeding from the same corporate financing trough as the Republicans and they share the Bush government’s broad objective of U.S. domination in the Middle East. Congress, under the current circumstances, is completely committed to not ending the war in Iraq in the next two years and probably for much longer than that.
Assessment of the weakness and strength of the antiwar movement
1) There have been a growing number of anti-war protests on the national, regional and local level during the past six months.
2) The antiwar protests are being joined and, in some cases, initiated by the people who have not been involved in past demonstrations.
3) A growing sentiment of opposition and disgust to the war, occupation (and the politicians) is building among rank and file service members and some officers.
4) A large amount of energy and activity was directed at Congress with the hope that the Congress would heed their constituents’ desire to end the war. When the Congress instead voted against its constituents and with Bush to extend the war there was a huge wave of anger, frustration and desperation but with few available or recognized channels for effective action.
5) Although the antiwar sentiment is growing among the general population, the size and intensity of the demonstrations, protests and acts of resistance does not at all measure up to the vast magnitude of feelings against the Iraq war among the general population.
6) The single biggest reason for this dichotomy is the fact that the anti-war movement is badly splintered rather than working together or in a united fashion so as to marshal, stimulate and mobilize a truly massive outpouring of the people. …..
I found their assessment of the Democratic Congressional efforts regarding the war interesting. They obviously prefer a more radical approach. The article then gets down to their proposal over organizing a huge one million people march in D.C.:
we recommend holding it sometime in November of 2007, or on March 22, 2008–the fifth anniversary of the war…….
between now and the demonstration would not be a period of quiet, it would be a time of intensifying anti-war activity and education at the local and regional level culminating in this mass action……
The aim is not just one more demonstration but the largest antiwar demonstration in US history.
A mobilization of one million people marching on Washington DC would be the best possible trigger for an avalanche of grassroots organizing throughout the country and among service members and their families and veterans.
This is quite an ambitious under taking. As they are removing the question over ideology and methodology and simply appealing to a single sentiment, “Out of Iraq now,” they just might succeed.
It is imperative that those of us who support the war effort, our troops, and the President become more vocal and organized. It is not enough to ensure that the “Fallen” are buried in dignity, the “memorials” of the “Fallen” are protected, and the “Wounded” are sheltered from these anarchists and antiwar protesters. We cannot counter their efforts by saying we do not want our group to become political. We are “political” already in the sense that we are opposed to their efforts and they are opposed to ours.
We must band together, veterans, non-veterans, and active duty personnel and make sure our combined voices ring out loudly across the entire nation. It is time we took back our country. It is time we stopped allowing everyone else to exercise their rights while we, the majority, sit back on our laurels and watch these people erode our rights and means to protect those rights one by one.
We do a lot of talking about how we serve to protect our rights abroad. But, isn’t there an equal responsibility to protect and serve those rights and our nation here at home too? For those of us not in the military, are we not equally responsible for safeguarding the “home front?”
A petition was presented to Congress, Appeal for Redress, which was a DoD approved petition for Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard Military personnel to petition Congress for their support of the war effort. It also called for political leaders “to oppose media efforts which embolden the enemy and demoralize our troops.” When the petition was presented to Congress on May 9, 2007, only about 2,000 people had signed the petition. Since then, another 1,200+ have signed the petition.
According to Wikipedia:
Approximately 1,426,713 personnel are currently on active duty in the military with an additional 1,259,000 personnel in the seven reserve components. I couldn’t get a decent estimate of how many veterans we have; but, I know we could have done better than “3200+” signatures.
We simply must become more organized. We also must accept, regardless how distasteful the task, that politics can not be avoided. I am not referring to we must be a Democrat or a Republican, etc.. But, we must become politically active or we will never thwart the anarchists or the anti-war crowd.
We must be willing to do as they are doing. Call, write letters, and send emails on a mass scale to let Congress know we will not allow these people to speak for us. They do not have the security of our nation at heart.
A good example of how successful a petition, letter, email, phone call can be is to take a look at the Porkbusters and how they are managing to force Congress to deal directly with “earmark requests” added to bills at the last minute in a manner that kept them from being reviewed.
There several other things we can do. For example, the Gathering of Eagles and the Patriot Guard Riders managed to draw in over thirty thousand people in about six weeks to protect the “Wall” and counter the A.N.S.W.E.R. protests and walk from the “Wall” to the Pentagon about three to one back in March. A.N.S.W.E.R. spent over a year planning this event. “Hanoi/Iraqi Jane” was a no show. I can’t remember if Cindy Sheehan showed up or not but I believe she did. As a member of both the Patriot Guard Riders and Gathering of Eagles, I stood along side of veterans from as far back as WWII and current active duty troops and we protected our monuments to those Vietnam Veterans who gave their lives defending our great Nation! In May there was GOE II, the invited guest of Rolling Thunder’s 20th Anniversary “Ride to the Wall!”
GOE /Free Republic also also hold counter rallies every Friday night at Walter Reed to offset the Code Pink rallies. Code Pink supposedly supports our troops. That’s why many veterans, myself included, can’t understand their justification for the rallies they hold on Friday nights outside Walter Reed. Their rallies are anything but supportive and peaceful at times!
But, that is not enough. We need to meet every protest or march with an opposing march. We need to show that numbers are many. We need to present a united front. If we can’t amass the numbers we need when we will raise our voices louder o we must be heard. We will speak out, send emails and letters, and make phone calls. We will not be silenced. And, maybe one we will look back on this time and repeat an altered version of a familiar phrase from the past, “*Never was so much owed by so many to so few!”
*”The Never was so much owed by so many to so few speech was a speech made by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on August 20, 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain.”[Wikipedia]