Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Renewing the Anti-War Coalition?

Could be.

Given the ridiculous disparities in casualties in the current round of bloodletting in Israel-Palestine, the ludicrous propaganda from the hasbaraniks, the truly vile and disgusting support of the Gazan slaughter by nearly every western power, and the grotesque arc of suffering and bloodletting throughout the Middle East these days, it's as close as it's been in more than a decade for the many domestic and global anti-war outfits to coalesce once again and say "No more" to war.

Our governments have long behaved as if the People and the public interest don't matter. They certainly seem to get a thrill at governing contrary to the public interest and will, quite openly and actively supporting the interests and will of an oligarchy that simply cares nothing for anything that is not immediately profitable to their bottom lines. The multitudinous wars and police actions they engage in to force neo-liberal policies on resistant local populations, whether in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Africa or southeastern Europe, merely serve to reinforce the notion that "there is no alternative," and all must fall into the orbit and follow the directives of the international bankers and financiers and the governments they sponsor -- or else. Misery, death and destruction are guaranteed.

Can a revival of the anti-war coalition of the past reverse this trend?

Not immediately, no. But if people see their common interest is to be found in thwarting the warring mentality of their Betters, refusing to go along with it, countering it with peace, dignity, justice and community, we can see a time in the not too distant future (probably after my lifetime, though) when war will once more be seen as the abomination it is.

I've noticed that in Albuquerque, the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition is far and away the most active and reliable community group organizing against police abuse. A.N.S.W.E.R. was also the in the lead of the anti-Iraq War protests more than a decade ago, and at the time, no one really knew who they were. Many people still have no idea. It didn't matter at the time, because they were organized and they were the energy behind protest marches that involved hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people domestically, millions overseas. Those protests did not stop the Iraq War of course.

What may have had a more profound effect was the simple shaming action taken by Cindy Sheehan and others on the roadside near the entrance to the Bush's Crawford ranch (known as the "Pig Farm.") Though Cindy has since been denounced and dismissed as a Communist and a crank -- oh my! -- her efforts brought enormous shame to the Bush - Cheney regime, and it has had a cumulative effect over time.

By combining the efforts of a highly organized outfit like A.N.S.W.E.R. with the individual shaming efforts of those who have suffered irreparable loss, it's conceivable that a new global Anti-War Coalition can be generated.

Bloodshed and destruction seem boundless at the moment. It's past time to reverse the trend.

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