Here We Go Again
On September 24, A.N.S.W.E.R is sponsoring what it hopes will be mass demonstrations in Washington and on the West Coast. Its agenda includes not just a call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq but a host of what will be perceived by most Americans as radical demands that assail U.S. imperialist policies in Haiti, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Venezuela, Cuba, Palestine, and North Korea. During the Vietnam War, such demonstrations, while thrilling to the participants, turned off many potentially sympathetic Americans who were concerned about practical ways to bring the boys home from Southeast Asia--and nothing more. When elements of the antiwar movement raised ancillary and not especially popular issues, the Johnson and Nixon administrations were able to marginalize them. More important, the media's concentration on the most radical protestors and placards led many of those skeptical about U.S. policy in Vietnam to conclude, "If those are the sorts of people against the war, then I must be for the war." Karl Rove must be licking his chops. When will they ever learn?