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international day of anti-American protests

This image is from Cox and Forkum's cartoon from yesterday. Read the whole thing, as it's quite similar to what I say below.



As I pointed out yesterday, the real problem is not that there are anti-war protesters, its that all the protesters have melded together into one angry force. While they may call their activist stunts and mass gatherings "anti-war," the fact remains that the war in Iraq has become just one small mark in the myriad of anti-American causes that they are protesting.

Today, for instance, thousands will gather in Washington, D.C., in what is being billed as an anti-war protest.

Unlike the loose, almost spontaneous gatherings of the 60's, this event is well thought out and meticulously planned. There are times scheduled for certain actions, meeting places plotted out, media kits for journalists, buses and lodging arranged for out-of-town protesters and plenty of monetary backing from organizations like ANSWER and MoveOn.

They don't just protest in one place; they converge on a city and spread out in pre-defined patterns called feeder marches. These feeder marches often are supporting causes that have nothing to do with the war: Palestine, globalization, captilasim, perceived facism.

If, for instance, you were going to the march in D.C. today and you want to show your anti-Israel colors, you would look at your schedule and note: "Peace for Palestine" Feeder March - Farragut Square (K & Connecticut, NW). From there, you can switch from you "Free Palestine!" garb into your "Smash the Capitalist" wear and head here: 11:30am: Anti-Capitalist Call to Action! - 7th & P st, NW. Note that with anti-capitalist actions, you should wear a helmet of some kind, as there is usually smashing of windows involved.

While the tone of this march is much different than the rally in D.C. held earlier this year, that is only because the organizers have learned from their mistakes. They are promoting this one strictly as a "Bring Our Troops Home" rally, without all the other baggage that came with the previous march. But don't let that fool you. I'm sure if you look upon the crowd, you will see all the familiar signs: Bush is Hitler, Impeach Bush, etc. Mark my words, at some point this will resemble a horror movie where the seemingly kind and gentle folk of a pleasant, small town all turn out to be devils in disguise. As the day wears on in D.C., you will hear less of the "Out of Iraq" chants and more of the anti-American sentiments we've come to expect. The speakers will start off pleading for the safe return of our soldiers and about half an hour into the progressive march of guest stars across the platform, the speeches will degenerate quickly and they will all be punctuated with cries about Israel, captalism, facism, nazis Mumia.

The main theme of today's march is one of the desire of protesters to bring the troops home from Iraq now.

So I ask this of anyone out there who may be attending these protests or showing solidarity with them in some way: Wouldn't leaving Iraq now be a crime against humanity? Somehow, pulling the troops out and leaving a country that is in the starting stages of rebuilding seems somehow inhumane. I imagine that if our troops did leave now, in no time at all Iraq would revert back to its previous form, with the torturers and rapists and radical Muslims taking over the land.

How does this help Iraq? Or are these activists so caught up in having a movement, having a unifying cause, that they aren't looking beyond their own faces? If they truly cared about the people of Iraq, they would never ask for our troops to be pulled out now.

My thoughts? The anti-war cries are just a front for the real thing. These people have other agendas, other things on their mind. Today is just a test for organizations like ANSWER and MoveOn and RNC Not Welcome to see how their masses respond to a call for action. They are gearing up for 2004 and this is just a test of their emergency protesting system. The plans are already underway.

Today is just a fire drill and the cause is just an available means to an end. I can almost guarantee that tomorrow there will be meetings upon meetings of organizers of the biggest anti-Bush, anti-capitalsim movements around and they will chart and compare and crunch numbers as they work out their mission for August. Watch as the speakers, signs and stickers give away some of their underlying causes.

I stand by what I said yesterday. This is an angry crowd with a mission and the necessary money to make their anger heard. This is the most dangerous kind of anger, too; a jumble of too many causes, too many slogans, too many chances for it all to go awry.

If today's march ends up a failure (by the protester's terms, meaning low turnout, no feeder marches, lackluster crowd), then my predictions for New York City in August of 2004 will probably be wrong. And I will be happy for that.


For more information on today's protests:

ANSWER
United For Peace and Justice
Indymedia DC

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» Peace Creeps from TacJammer
The anti-American peace creeps are at it again. They call themselves "anti-war." Nothing could be further from the truth. It cannot be said loudly enough or often enough:      they are not against the war - they are on the othe... [Read More]

» L-I-N-K-A-G-E, Find Out What It Means to Me from blogoSFERICS
Take care, TCB (sock-it-to-me sock-it-to-me sock-it-to-me sock-it-to-me...) (ahem) And just who the heck is TCB anyway? Never mind. On to... [Read More]

» ANSWER is at It Again from The American Mind
For anti-war/Bush bashing coverage, visit Michele. [Read More]

» Inside The Belly Of The Beast from dcthornton.com
I didn't pay much attention to today's "anti-war" protests in Washington D.C. and elsewhere. however, Anna braved the crowds and... [Read More]

Comments

Woody Allen has had some good ideas. "We should get some bricks and ball bats and go down there".

Michele, I can understand your point about the combination protests that now all somehow come together under an anti-war banner. Having a hundred different causes coming at you at once is confusing.

The problem I have with your argument is that you basically are saying all protesting is unnecessary and that you don't understand what the point of protesting is these days. Now, I'm not sure if you ever protested yourself growing up, but protests are a protected form of free speech and they are effective, at least to the extent of getting people to listen to a certain point-of-view.

That POV may or may not be the majority's POV, but if enough people get together to protest, it shows that enough people care about that issue or situation to take notice.

And I really think you are off by labeling the multitude of these causes as "anti-american." What is that all about? If you're talking about the socialist-leaning causes, then I can see why you might label that as anti-american, but certainly political causes like RNC Not Welcome aren't anti-american. Same thing with MoveOn.org.

I think I'll start rating some of your posts for fun on a scale of 1-10, since I feel the need to comment on them so often. I'd say this one is a bit misguided, but thought-provoking, with a reasonable amount of external links. 5/10 for message & 7/10 overall.

amn, I'm headed into DC with my daughter today. Hmm, maybe spending a few bucks to park in a garage is not such a bad idea today.

Anthony,

We're in the early stages of a war, and you don't think that RNC Not Welcome is anti-American? Maybe they're just disgusting maggots, but patriotic non-the-less? I don't buy that however, and I doubt many other Americans will either.

I don't think MoveOn has anything at all to do with the protests this weekend. They are being put on by ANSWER and UFPJ, not MoveOn.

All the causes boil down to the same thing: bored rich white kids. It was true of Johnny Walker Lindh, and I'll bet it's true for at least 90% of the turnout of these "protests".

With respect to potential protests at the Republican convention (putting aside the anti-war protests):

Would it be un-American for a 9/11 family members connected with the independent commission to protest inadequate funding and stonewalling of that commission, while the RNC is using New York as a staging ground for a three-day campaign commercial?

Think carefully.

The Anti-American crowd has fallen completely for baby-boomer propaganda: "We accomplished things, we stood for something, we changed history..."

Well, sure, you cheapened political discourse in America, lengthened the war in Vietnam, and showed our enemies that by sowing dissent and assisting "protest" groups they could weaken our leaders' political resolve.

They'll cry "Protest is an American right!" Read your Constitution: it says "peaceably (to) assemble." It does not say "...and we shall have the right to block traffic, break windows, start fires, and feast on lamb, and pork, and sausage, and cakes ..." (Whoops...a little Holy Grail slipped in there).

If they had any ideas, wouldn't they share them with Dean, Gephardt, Kerry (The haughty, French-looking Democrat from Massachusetts who, by the way, served in Vietnam), et. al? Because those guys could use some ideas, other than "Bush bad; me good."

P.S. Robin: From that same WA quote, I loved "It's hard to satirize a guy in leather boots." Wonder what the footwear of choice at today's protests will be?

I'm thinking, or maybe just hoping, that a lot of these protesters are victims of the sponsoring groups, that a lot of people show up thinking "anti-war, alright," and then find themselves embarrased when a few idiots start using the crowd to lobby for a different cause like everyone agrees with them.

Though really, anti-war seems pointless now -- I was against this war, but now that we're there, we should at least try to do it right, not leave the place worse than we found it. Anti-Bush's policies, maybe, but not anti-war anymore unless you're pushing a good plan to get us out and leave the place stable, too.

The character of this occupation is what it is because of the US insistence that it wants the traditional 'to the victor go the spoils' position, even though Bush himself claimed that the United States acts in an altruistic way, has no interest in empire or Iraqi resources, and only wants what is best for Iraq.

If the decisions for a post-war Iraq were allowed to pass to the UN, the US's companies' economic interests would be harmed as they would have nothing assured to them, but would be forced to have competitors bidding against them from the EU. That is, no more no-bid awards of contracts to favored US firms, and strong competitors in the bidding.

Yes, we have an obligation to help repair what our internationally opposed and internationally illegal war broke throughout that country. However, that does not require that we run an occupation there, that we arrogate to ourselves the final disposition of matters there, and in fact, doing so unnecessarily harms the US, by loss of blood and treasure, and harms Iraq, by preventing the flow of needed capital from other countries.

Once in a hole, it is best to stop digging it deeper. The sooner the Bush administration realizes its policy is a recipe for prolonging the Iraqi chaos, and at great harm to the US, and ends it, in favor of an internationalized effort, the better. For that is the likely end in any case, and the only question is whether it happens in the short term, or only after another couple of years of the daily loss of our soldiers, and the repeated spending of scores of billions of dollars.

"Internationally illegal war?" Really. I suppose we could have said 17 resolutions and over a decade of dithering weren't enough, but GW Bush is president--he expects results, not more hot air. We all know how well the UN Oil For Kickbacks...er, I mean, Food...program was going. Someone made billions off it, but it wasn't an American. Naturally those people preferred the status quo.

And, considering the UN's stellar record in Bosnia, Rwanda, and other places where they were so careful about keeping the peace that they never let anybody have any (peace), what could you expect of UN administration there but mass corruption, human rights abuses on a grand scale, and a nation slipping into anarchy? In other words, pre-liberation Iraq.

What if today's UN and press existed in 1942? Would we hear that the Pacific war was a quagmire, because Japan hadn't been vanquished after six whole months? Would UN Blue Helmets be assigned to stand around while Japanese forces slaughtered Chinese, Filipinos, etc? And would Kofi Annan's grandfather assign himself the authority to manage the harvest of the oil and rubber of the South East Asian Greater Co-Prosperity nations?

The "Iraqi resistance" are terrorists imported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syra, etc., as well as home-grown. Their war is not with the US--it is with civilization and modernity. It is one they are destined to lose but, without the US involved, they will lose it slowly and at great cost of innocent lives. Thank God we have a president who doesn't lob cruise missiles at an empty camp and an aspirin factory and then say, "Well, that's that."

One low pass by an A-10 dropping FASCAM (FAMily of SCAtterable Mines, a very nifty antipersonnel weapon) would do wonders for the world. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

Hey, Belize...

"... and sloths and breakfast cereals ..."

"One, two, Five..." "Three, sir." "Three!"

The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch would be a useful counter-protest, like my above suggestion for FASCAM-ing them. If there is a God, surely they are naughty in his sight.

Michael,
Who obviously watched Holy Grail today.