Sonntag, März 11, 2007

The Gallstone the Stomach of Power?

In case you doubt that what I posted just a few minutes ago has some validity, then take a look at this post here and try and tell me that the ex-Mr. Jane Fonda isn't a useful idiot that thinks he's a revolutionary elite. Ok, progressive. Whatever.

To quote:

It is in the nature of truly mass movements that people choose the paths that seem to promise effective results, even victories. So it should surprise no one that much of the energy of the peace and justice movement flowed into presidential campaigns for Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich and ultimately John Kerry (the UnBush).

As a result millions of people become engaged politically on grassroots levels, many for the first time. The peace and justice message was heard more widely than before.

and this:

There is a lesson here for progressives. Since the anti-war sentiment was a factor of public opinion during the presidential race that made Bush defer tough decisions, the movement needs to create an even greater force of opposition that will become indigestible, a kind of gallstone in the stomach of power.

and this:

The first step is to build pressure at congressional district levels to oppose any further funding or additional troops for war. If members of Congress balk at cutting off all assistance and want to propose "conditions" for further aid, it is a small step toward threatening funding. If only 75 members of Congress go on record against any further funding, that's a step in the right direction – towards the exit.

The important thing is for anti-war activists to become more grounded in the everyday political life of their districts, organizing anti-war coalitions including clergy, labor and inner city representatives to knock loudly on congressional doors and demand that the $200 billion squandered on Iraq go to infrastructure and schools at home. When trapped between imperial elites and their own insistent constituents, members of Congress will tend to side with their voters. That is how the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia were ended in 1975.

Two, we need to build a Progressive Democratic movement which will pressure the Democrats to become an anti-war opposition party. The anti-war movement has done enough for the Democratic Party this year. It is time for the Democratic leadership to end its collaboration with the Bush administration – with its endorsement of the offensive on Fallujah, the talk of "victory" and "killing the terrorists" – and now play the role of the opposition. The progressive activists of the party should refuse to contribute any more resources – volunteers, money, etc. – to candidates or incumbents who act as collaborators.


Three, we need to build alliances with Republican anti-war conservatives. Non-partisan anti-war groups (such as Win Without War) should reach out to conservatives who, according to the New York Times, are "ready to rumble" against Iraq. Pillars of the American right, including Paul Weyrich, Pat Buchanan and William F. Buckley, are seriously questioning the quagmire created by the neoconservatives. Strategists like Grover Norquist call the war "a drag on votes" and "threatening to the Bush coalition" that cost Bush six percentage points in the election. The left cannot create a left majority, but it can foster a left-right majority that threatens the hawks in both parties.

Four, we must build solidarity with dissenting combat veterans, reservists, their families and those who suffered in 9/11. Just as wars cannot be fought without taxpayer funding, wars cannot be fought without soldiers willing to die, even for a mistake. Every person who cares about peace should start their daily e-mail messages with the current body count, including a question mark after the category "Iraqi civilians."


Five, we need to defeat the U.S. strategy of "Iraqization." "Clearly, it's better for us if they're in the front-line," Paul Wolfowitz explained last February. This cynical strategy is based on putting an Iraqi "face" on the U.S. occupation in order to reduce the number of American casualties, neutralize opposition in other Arab countries, and slowly legitimize the puppet regime. In truth, it means changing the color of the body count.


Six, we should work to dismantle the U.S. war "Coalition" by building a "Peace Coalition" by the means of the global anti-war movement. Groups with international links (such as Global Exchange or other solidarity groups) could organize conferences and exchanges aimed at uniting public opinion against any regimes with troops supporting the U.S. in Iraq. Every time an American official shows up in Europe demanding support, there should be speakers from the American anti-war movement offering a rebuttal to the official line.


In short: pinch the funding arteries, push the Democrats to become an opposition party, ally with anti-war Republicans, support dissenting soldiers, make "Iraqization" more difficult, and build a peace coalition against the war coalition. If the politicians are too frightened or ideologically incapable of implementing an exit strategy, the only alternative is for the people to pull the plug.

Remember, Hayden was a visiting professor at Harvard recently and is a professor at Occidental College in LA.

We have all the attributes here: a willingness to subvert everything to the gaining of political power, radicalization for the sake of radicalization, unthinking and uncritical rejection of democratically legitimized government decisions.

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