War Protests: An Echo of the 1960s?

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Mr. Markowitz, an associate professor of history at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University, is a member of the editorial board of Political Affairs, the theoretical journal of the CPUSA.

 Whether its Military, History, War tactics and strategies or weaponry Military book club covers it all.

In response to the Bush administration's preparations for a second gulf war against Iraq major demonstrations were held in Washington and other major American cities last weekend. I participated in the Washington demonstration and was very impressed by the energy of the demonstrators as they marched in the cold through diverse neighborhoods to the Washington Navy Yard. Their spirit, their youth and their slogans reminded me the protestors of the 1960s.

In the late 1960s, peace activists sponsored university-based teach-ins and community-based forums on the war. They circulated petitions on the streets and went door to door in campaigns which brought an anti-war critique to tens of millions of people. Today's demonstrators were trying to do the same thing-educate as they agitate-only under dramatically different circumstances.
The Johnson administration's escalation of the war in 1965 ushered in years of anti-war protests. Those demonstrations mobilized hundreds of thousands of Americans and produced national coalitions that created a culture of protest, modeled after the Civil Rights movement of the time, uniting anti-war liberals and new left radicals.

Today there is no successful and morally compelling Civil Rights movement for peace activists to emulate. Nor is there anything like the war on poverty and the reforms of the Great Society to offer hope, as there was in the 1960s. However, demonstrators were not pessimistic in Washington as they shouted "Money for Jobs, not for War, money for Housing, not for War, money for Education, not for War." These slogans, which echo the 1960s, may be more compelling today when budget cuts for social services and budget increases for the military go hand in hand.

The demonstrations of the 1960s influenced the elimination of the draft, the lowering of the voting age to eighteen, the passage of the War Powers Act, the expose of CIA plots to overthrow governments abroad and FBI violations of civil liberties at home. They also helped to create widespread postwar opposition to U.S. military interventionism that conservative politicians and pundits later disparaged as the "Vietnam syndrome."
To repeat the achievements of the peace movement of the past, activists are beginning the difficult process of developing a serious critique of the Bush foreign policy and the war danger in the universities, communities, and legislative sessions of local, state, and federal governments. At the demonstration, speakers focused on the possibilities of a war against Iraq escalating into a large regional war and one poster, in the satirical spirit of the 1960s, had a picture of Osama Bin Laden and the caption, "Osama Bin Laden wants you to Invade Iraq." Also, January 21 was scheduled for a day in which local delegations would meet with congresspersons across the country to register their opposition to the Bush policies and support for United Nations arms inspections and diplomacy to prevent war. For the demonstrators, if not for the Bush administration, the United Nations is more important as an instrument for peace than it was for the anti-war movement in the 1960s.

Comparing events today to the 1960s, there are reasons to be optimistic about the peace movement winning over large numbers of people. While it was difficult for peace advocates after a generation of cold war conflict to argue in the 1960s that the conflict in Vietnam was a civil war in which Communist forces were indigenous, not the creatures of the Soviet Union and China, it is much easier for activists today to show that the Muslim fundamentalist perpetrators of the September 11 attacks have nothing to do with Saddam Hussein's brutal but secular dictatorship

When a small group of administration supporters jeered from the sidewalks that the protests were helping Al Quada, demonstrators turned as a group and shouted "Osama Bin Laden, CIA", evidence that they understood that both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had the support of the Reagan and Bush administration's in the 1980s in Iraq's war against Iran and the war in Afghanistan, where Muslim guerillas fighting Soviet and Communist forces were hailed as "freedom fighters." With such modern tools as the internet, such information can be brought rapidly to large numbers of people. Also, the Internet enables activists to more effectively inform people of demonstrations and other peace actions, circulate petitions, and coordinate activities in many areas.
The anti-war movement of the 1960s divided civil rights, labor, and women's rights activists, many of whom feared the domestic consequences of opposing Lyndon Johnson's Great Society administration, that is bringing Richard Nixon and the Republicans to power. At the Saturday demonstrations, African-American Congressmen John Conyers and Charles Rangel were prominent among the speakers and representatives of trade union and women's rights groups were also present. Both speakers and marchers repeated the contention that the Bush administration was using war threats in the Middle East as a "weapon of mass distraction" to cover up growing budget deficits, unemployment and continued tax cuts for the wealthy.

None of this is of course sufficient to insure the success of today's antiwar movement. But peace activists have a serious chance to build a liberal coalition based on what was called in the 1960s "new politics and new priorities" to defeat the Bush administration in 2004, by campaigning for a peace centered foreign policy and a shift of budgets away from military spending and toward domestic reform. At the Washington protests, those possibilities were raised by many speakers and by two signs the first reading "make Bush lose the election in 2004 like he did in 2000" and the second, "keep the trees and get rid of the Bushes."

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Joseph Caramello - 10/21/2003

Ah yes the wonderful activities of the Peace activists of the late 1960s. Besides their teach-ins and community based forums, petitions etc., it seems a group of them always had time to go the airports to spit on and call child murderers the enlisted men and junior officers of the armed forces who were ordered to Vietnam by a Democrat President and Democrat congress. That fervant anti-war activist Senator Barbara Boxer of California, the Joan of Arc of Marin County loathed us just like the rest of that rabble. From that day forward, I came to literally despise "peace activists". Anti-war protest against the government and I emphasize government, is just fine and no one with the least bit of common sense would be against it. I just despise the so-called peace activists who would go after people who were drafted and sent to fight a war that nobody including them understood.

Scott - 10/21/2003

Who started it?
America is not always the bad guy
but it is the biggest bad guy
WE are not to blame for all that is wrong
in the middle east....just most of what is wrong
America assassinated a democratic leader in Iran leading to
the shahh and therefor the revolution and armed and helped
Saddam come to power furnishing him with a list of names of
those that opposed him (alot turned up dead or were tortured)
weapons were sold to both countries by U.S. and the war between
the two arose out of the political conditions that we put into
motion. Afghan rebels fighting the soviet union rather indiginous
or not were working together. Any aid given to one is aid given
to another. Money given to support the dictatorship in Pakistan
inevitably helped the Taliban and therefore Bin Laden. Kuwait was annexed from Iraq after WWII by the west because of its oil
and strategic position. Iraq was cut out of the ottoman empire
by The not so Great britain. Ignoring the divisions of the tribes of that region. The chemical weapons Saddam used on "his own People" (what makes them His people..borders to his kingdom
that we created and still will not allow to change..are not all
people his people and our people...killing is killing no matter
if it is a neibor or a stranger) were supplied by Americans as was the location of the Iranians who where Saddams intended target...although i am sure he did not care about any "collateral damage" as Bush is not today. The timeline and spelling is not important. what is important is that 9-11 did not
happen to an innocent nation...those who died may have been innocent but the country they live in is not. 3,000 plus in New York...3,000 plus in Afghanistan....8,000 plus in Iraq....2,000 plus in Palistine.....and those are all innocent deaths. So a few
(*& holes planned and commited the crimes of 9-11 does not give
american @#@ holes the right to do the same to another people.
The "terrorists" justify their actions by the evil That american
"terrorists" have done. And the cycle continues....

Steve Brody - 1/29/2003

Gus, I certainly remember that the Iran/Iraq war started in 9/80. I pointed that out in the first place. What I object to is this constant drum beat from you that Rummy "collaberated, aided abetted and facilitated " without specifying how or providing any evidence. And without acknowledging, until now, that the war was already developed, underway, and ongoing for three years before Rummy ever went to Iraq.

Of course, You then bolster your credibility by bringing up that old canard about Reagan secretly negotiating with the Iranians to delay the release of the hostages. This despite the fact that a Democratically controlled Congress debunked this myth years ago. Is this an article of faith with you, Gus, which requires no proof? Or are you now going to share with the readers of this web site evidence overlooked by the Congress, Justice Department and world press? This sounds like another conspiracy theory.

Gus, the CIA has always stated that they helped indigenous Afghan resistance groups and not non-Afghan "freedom fighters". You claim otherwise and support this with vague references to "books and documentaries" you've seen. What books? What documentaries? You're fond of demanding proof of others. Let's see your proof on this.

Your laundry list of our "meddling" in the Middle East is interesting:

President Clinton, who you have prevously described as an "honest broker" in these matters, brokers a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palistinians, Arafat turns it down, starts Intifada II, and now it's our fault for meddling.

The UN sanctions a multi-lateral peace keeping force in Lebanon, to which we contribute Marines, 242 of whom die, and it's another example of our meddling. This despite your numerous postings extolling the virtues of UN multilateral action.

We station troops in Saudi Arabia, at the invitation of the Saudi government and this becomes meddling. Now our mere invited presence constitutes "meddling".

We "tilt" towards Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war and our "meddling" becomes the reason for the Kuwait invasion by Iraq. This despite your own admission, IN THIS POSTING, that backing Iraq was the "plausible" thing to do.

All of which shows that no contortion of logic or consistency is to great in your quest to blame the US for all that is wrong in the middle east.

Derek Catsam - 1/26/2003

Who said anything about Rumsfeld being responsible for starting the war? I certainly did not. What Rumsfeld did was in small part to allow for normalization that in turn led to American support for a regime (including providing chemical technology and delivery apparatus) that is now our enemy. That the war started in September 1980 does not have anything to do with the topic at hand, which is US support for Saddam through 1990. But the US role in allowing for -- indeed having a hand in -- a weapons buildup that we are now prepared to go to war over is the issue.

Gus Moner - 1/26/2003

The pesky fact, Mr Brody, is that the record shows he was there, aiding, abetting and fomenting the continuation of the Iran-Iraq war. No one said he STARTED the war! Stop trying to hide behind that lie. I agree that the circumstances at the time may make it arguable that it was a plausible thing to do. That's another story off the point. Please read with more care.

The reality check now indicates that every time we have meddled in Middle Eastern affairs, we have got burnt. We promoted the Shah and got a revolution, we have backed Israel at the expense of Palestinians and have a bloody confrontation to show for it, we have gone into Lebanon and got murdered by the hundreds, we have put troops in Saudi Arabia and got 9-11 in response. We backed Saddam and helped him with the Iranian war and got our protectorate in Kuwait invaded.

We surely must have some competent people somewhere in government the NSA, CIA, etc. seeing this pattern. Yet the response we get from the Bush team is that we’ll do more of the same. Brilliant policy making, I bet they thought long and hard to come up with that gem.

Gus Moner - 1/26/2003

Mr Brody has made a point that the CIA trained only indigenous Afghan fighters. Others have joined the chorus without providing or citing evidence. All I can say is that it contradicts evidence provided in books and documentaries I have seen, although as usual with a secret service, the truth is always hidden. In any event, I refer you to Mr. Catsam’s comment. Would you, or anyone admit to having financed or assisted ObL after the 9-11 attacks? And OBL was well known before 1995, and to the secret services since the Afghan wars of 1979-89.

Now, Mr. Brody, I need to reprove you a bit. I have never BLAMED Rumsfeld for starting the Iran-Iraq war, so please read what I write more carefully before replying, or stop trying to distort or tergiversate my comments. The tendency of my comments has been and is that he and the entire Reagan group with Rummy, as you affectionately call him, as point man in Baghdad, was involved, collaborated, aided, abated and facilitated that war’s development, continuation and progress. It is likely they did this to disrupt the ‘advance’ of the dreaded Islamic Revolution, which both the USA and the USSR were freaking out about, even after secretly negotiating with the Iranian Revolutionaries to delay the release of the US hostages to suit Reagan’s election plans. Moreover, they then went behind Iraq’s back and negotiated the provision of spare parts for Iran during said war in exchange for Iran sending weapons to Nicaraguan rebel forces trained by the US, in violation of legislation in force at the time. These pals of yours are no clean fish.

By the way, the war can be said to have begun in earnest after numerous border skirmishes associated with the disputed Shatt al Arab waterways led to the implementation of an Iraqi invasion plan. The date the Iraqis attacked in force was 22-09-1980, starting with an unsuccessful effort to destroy the US equipped Iranian Air Force. Remember?

Steve Brody - 1/25/2003

Derek, when you refer to the "pesky facts", bear in mind that the Iran/Iraq war started in September of 1980 during the Carter administration and had therefore been underway for more than 3 years by the time Rumsfeld visited Iraq. The idea that he somehow had something to do with starting the war isn't just disingenuous-it's preposterous.

That US-Iraq relations improved during the 1980's is not news and neither I nor anyone else claims otherwise. Rumsfeld may have played a significant role in this improvement, but so what?
Does that somehow make him responsible for a war that started three years before?

Derek catsam - 1/25/2003

Steve Brody wrote:

Linking Rumsfeld to the Iran-Iraq war is only "disengenuous" and makes "little sense" if pesky facts don't get in the way. In December 1983 Rumsfeld, acting as special envoy for President Reagan, met with Saddam Hussein in order to bring about normalization of US-Iraq relations. Newly released declassified documents indicate the depth of support for Iraq from the United States in the 1980s. Whether this was justified at the time seems to me to be a fair question -- let's keep in mind what had happened with Iran in the years preceding this -- but to claim that Rumsfeld and others did not play an essential role in the US-Iraqi relations is to wash our hands of history.

Steve Brody - 1/24/2003

Gus, your implication that the CIA may have lied, post 9/11, about assisting UBL is really doesn't hold water. UBL has been well known to the American public as an anti-American terrorist since at least 1995. He has been well known to federal law enforcement since long before that. As others have posited, the CIA has always acknowledged assisting Afghan indigenous groups. No one has ever documented any link between UBL and the CIA.

Gus, you have tried to blame Rumsfeld for the Iran/Iraq war in the past. As I've said before, that war started during the Carter administration without any help whatsoever from Rummy. Your continuing references linking him to Iraq and the war with Iran are somewhat disengenuous and make about as much sense as blaming the CIA for UBL.

Derek Catsam - 1/24/2003

But it is equally poor analysis to say that our support for (some) in Afghanistan who would go on to become Taliban did not then indirectly aid Osama bin Laden. But for that it is hard to levy blame at any administration -- expecting them to predict future alliances is a bit tough.

Suetonius - 1/24/2003

Though I do not agree with some of his views, I commend Mr. Thornton on his thoughtful and well-versed posting.

Suetonius - 1/24/2003

To use the word 'eloquent' and then quote a former Congressional staffer as using the non-word "impactful" is risible.

Suetonius - 1/24/2003

To be clear:

(1) the CIA did arm and train indigenous Afghan resistance groups in the 1980s. This has not been refuted, denied, or 'covered up' by anyone subsequent to the end of the Cold War (if not before).

(2) At no time did the CIA provide, directly or indirectly, support or assistance to Osama bin Laden, his organization, or the people associated with him.

Bin Laden was a citizen of Saudi Arabia at the time. He was not an Afghan.

Failure to understand the distinction is a hallmark of poor analysis.

Mark Newgent - 1/24/2003

I have stated before that I am against a war in Iraq. However, I can't bring myself to March lockstep with any movemnet sponsored by ANSWER or the WWP. Those defending them on this board have also failed to condemn their support for Stalin, Mao and Kim.

They have every right to protest and make their views heard, but let's call a spade a spade here, just because someone calls a communist a communist, that's not McCarthyism. Dissent from a rush to war don't dissent from America.

Gus Moner - 1/24/2003

Thanks Mr. Brody. I am uncertain what to believe regarding this now. I have read and seen information over the past 5 years that contradicts the assertion the CIA didn't do anything with the non-indigenous Afghan FF. I'll look into it further.

It would anyway be part of the CIA's natural survival instuinct that after 9-11 they would distance themselves from that connection, as they, Rumsfeld, Schultz, etc. have tried to do with Iraq now.

James Thornton - 1/24/2003

I find it interesting that the major concern that the movement has is that “a war against Iraq” will escalate “into a large regional war”. A valid concern, the protesters should have made their concerns known when Congress debated the issue, and then voted to authorize the use of force to disarm Iraq. However, a majority of the Senators and Representatives demonstrated agreement with the President on Iraq when they passed the resolution that is tantamount to a declaration of war. Now that the decision has been made to wage war it is my opinion that the protestors are causing more harm than good. The notion that America is not united stiffens the policy of obfuscation adopted by the Iraqi regime and our opponents on the UN Security Council, which thus increases the probability of war. This is ironic because their noble actions may factor in bringing about the conflict they wish to prevent, and the evisceration of the UN, which they so admire, as a credible and effective organization.

Therefore, not only is the ill-timing and strategic purpose of the protests flawed, the tactics are as well. Mr. Markowitz states, ”Today there is no successful and morally compelling Civil Rights movement for peace activists to emulate.” Previous to that he writes, “Today's demonstrators were trying to do the same thing [as the 1960’s demonstrators]-educate as they agitate-only under dramatically different circumstances.”

The anti-war movement would be much more successful if it focused on the philosophical issue of the sanctity of human life rather than differences over foreign policy and domestic issues. A coalition of Pro-Life and anti-Death Penalty activists organized under the umbrella of the Catholic Church, progressive Protestants, American Muslims, and pro-peace Jewish Rabbis would be extremely powerful and provide the moral authority and credibility sought by the anti-war movement. Furthermore, the basic premise of persuasion through argumentation is to provide sound Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Education through agitation will not accomplish this goal. The anti-war movement must connect with mainstream America by establishing credibility as well as basing their argument on sound logic. Currently they are only “preaching to the choir” by energizing the radical left and anti-American groups already in their camp, and tolerating the presence and leadership of the WWP is self-defeating. The movement must be broad and inclusive of more socially conservative groups that philosophically disagree with war. A liberal based coalition advocated by Mr. Markowitz will fail to change policy. The successful protest campaign is confrontational yet non-violent, and must be based upon moral authority. The situation in the Israeli occupied territories would be profoundly altered if there were a peaceful resistance led by the Palestinian equivalent of a Ghandi or Martin Luther King, Jr.

Finally, as much as I have come to distaste Gus Moner’s cynicism and sarcastic tone encountered in debates throughout HNN, I agree with him that Mr. Markowitz has every right as an educator to participate in anti-war activities and provide his opinion to his students. However, he should provide access to or objectively present the opposing point of view. Thus the ultimate decision on issues rests with his students without undue influence, and is based upon education rather than political indoctrination.

Steve Brody - 1/24/2003

Gus, what has long been established is that the CIA helped only indigenous Afghan resistance groups. This did not included non Afghan "freedom fighters" such as UBL.

Your characterization of Stinger missles being provided "all over the Muslim world" is also exagerated. Stingers were only provided to select Afghan resistance groups.

Gus Moner - 1/23/2003

>>First, the fact that you "participated in the Washington demonstration" speaks volumes about academia today. Yes I'm completely convinced that instructors in higher education are completely objective in what they teach. Activists are known for the objectivity. Nope--no bias here!

Come, Mr. Kayne. Are we to understand that people teaching ought not opine, hold political beliefs or exercise political rights? Or that those that do cannot teach? Or is it that conservatives don’t teach? Or if they do they are the only ones who remain ‘objective’. Or are the liberals who teach the only ones who cannot have views or remain objective? The notion you put up is not even arguable!

Well! How many of these protests were organised, as you say, by the WWP? Where? In the event that some were, does that obviate the remaining protests, then? Once again we have people who disagree with US policy being labelled, this time through the use of the charade about the WWP, anti-American. Dissent remains the heart and soul of free choice, good debate and better policy. If the stakes were not so great, people would not bother to march.

To continue these senseless comparisons to the 60’s is to avoid looking at the immediate future, a nice way to close your eyes and say it is not happening, it’s those darn commies again. But look around. Who were these people marching? There were many families and other normal people who are not communists. Face it.

People are NOT opposed to Bush per se, at least the ones I speak to, so much as his vitriolic militarism and mad dash to invade Iraq, with cause or not, with the UN or without, hijacking the goodwill the nation earned for the war on terror on this adventure.

Since you brought Bush up, his militarism is indeed quite an turnabout from a man who ducked the Vietnam war through enrolment in the NG using daddy’s connections! If the 60’s demonstrators were so wrong, why did he go and hide instead of fight? He probably agreed they were right and it was not worth his hide to fight in Vietnam. Needless to say, he’s not going to this war either.

However, the 60’s demonstrators were apparently right. Yet, for many it remains a difficult thing to accept it seems. Perhaps what is really behind the peace movement now is the might of being right, just as it turned out to be then. For, as we have all clearly seen, the Commies from the WWP and their brethren did not take over these US when the war was over. They remained the few, the beleaguered and the irrelevant groups they were prior to the war. I am not losing any sleep about the second coming of Stalinism from the left just today. It may be coming from the conservatives.

Gus Moner - 1/23/2003

I thought the public record showed that the CIA did arm, train and otherwise assist the freedom fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviets. When did this change? What about, for example, the Stingers shoulder missiles provided the Muslim warriors from all over the Muslim world and the efforts to buy them back after the war?
I'd like to know more.....if it's a myth, how did it start? Who did it and why? What sources confirm your assertion?

Editor - 1/23/2003

HNN received the following email, which was sent to MoveOn members:

Dear MoveOn member,

Thank you. This week exceeded our wildest dreams.

Our plan was to launch an anti-war television ad campaign, hold 12
local press conferences, grow our "Let the Inspections Work" petition,
and have meetings in Congressional offices around the country. We knew
it would be big. But we never thought it would be this big.

That we were able to reach so far and do so much is because of you.

You made it all possible.

We didn't expect, frankly, to have 100,000 new members join our
organization this week. We didn't expect to be able to deliver a
petition with over 310,000 American signers -- the largest since
MoveOn's inception. (We're told that when Senator Diane Feinstein's
aide saw the petition, his eyes opened wide. He said that this was
the biggest petition he recalled them receiving. Feinstein's
segment was over 8,000 pages long.)

We never thought that our ad -- carrying the "Let the Inspections
Work" message -- would be aired on virtually every major TV news show.
We never thought George Stephanopoulos would show it to Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld and grill him on the dangers of war. We never
imagined it would be broadcast and discussed on news programs in
Australia, Pakistan, Russia, and Japan.

We didn't anticipate that a new national poll, taken on the very days
our story was playing everywhere, would show public support for war
plummeting, or that this poll would be the top story in today's
Washington Post.

We didn't anticipate that local press conferences, staffed by MoveOn
members in 12 cities, would generate front-page stories on the new
breadth and tactics of the anti-war movement.

And then there are the Congressional meetings.

We had high hopes for the meetings that occurred yesterday in
Congressional districts across the country. After all, 9,000 folks
had signed up to participate, and we had an incredible team of over
800 local volunteers and 12 tireless volunteer regional coordinators
who were working to set everything up. But, after a week of continual
surprises, our expectations yesterday were once again exceeded.

One comment sums up the experience of many:

"It was fantastic! Probably the best meeting I've ever been at - ever.
18 regular people who came together as strangers, were in agreement
with one another, speaking eloquently, passionately, respectfully and
from the heart." The member went on to say, "As a former Congressional
staff person, I know this was truly impactful and meaningful."

The impact was pretty clear. Yesterday alone, over 30 members of
Congress signed onto a Dear Colleague letter to the President, asking
him to let the inspectors do their jobs and abide by the UN process.
It's pretty remarkable -- Congress is taking up our petition. And
more signers keep coming in. In one of our most exciting moments, a
pro-war-resolution Representative took a look at the letter, listened
to our members, and then signed on the spot. Now that's democracy in

The Dear Colleague letter is just the beginning. One Representative
from Maryland is taking our petition to the floor of the House of
Representatives. Another offered us space in his offices to do more
anti-war organizing. One enthusiastic Representative is even going to
join MoveOn.

From Maine to Florida to Arkansas to Washington State, from Grand
Rapids, MI to Huntington, AL, diverse, articulate groups of MoveOn
members got together to talk to the offices of their Senators and
Representatives. Local newspapers, TV and radio stations covered the
events, from the Denver Post to Pacifica Radio.

The meetings themselves were simply incredible. But you don't need to
take our word for it. Here are a few short samples from the hundreds
of reports that have been pouring in:

"The voices of several veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars, of a
VA doctor, a pediatrician, other doctors, nurses, retirees, teachers,
grandparents, a law student, one after another, built a strong case
for encouraging Kolbe to urge Bush to give stronger support for the
Inspections Process. It was a bit uncanny. Not practiced, nor planned,
but one by one, each person integrated his/her contributions into what
had been said before. This was a very intelligent, well-informed,
professionally-diverse, group of people, speaking in one voice for
winning the peace, without war."
--Martha Warner, Congressman Kolbe meeting, AZ

"I was so proud to be associated with the group that showed up to
Congressman Tancredo's office! They were an eclectic group of
housewives with children, high-powered businessmen, grandmas, artists,
executives, PhD's -- and each spoke with such grace and eloquence. It
was just amazing."
--Carol Grant, Congressman Tancredo meeting, CO

"An interesting and exciting outcome of the event is that the
Congressman agreed to lead a rally on Feb. 17th of many different
coalitions. His feeling is that it's up to the public to voice their
opposition--that's the only thing that will make legislators oppose
the President. I/we will be working with him to make this next event a
--Sheryl Barajas, Congressman Davis meeting, IL

"I was glad I made the drive, it was quite an honor to join with these
good folks. A varied group--three women, four guys...a retired Quaker
(though Quakers never retire thank god), a Methodist minister & active
lay person, a retired fighter pilot who is a Republican, a social
scientist, a person who had lived in Kuwait and an anthraxed postal
worker. We were together for just an hour but it was a good gathering
to share & express our concerns."
--Mike DeGregory, Congressman Smith, NJ

"This was my first time ever taking any initiative in political
action, and although it was a little scary, I'm really glad I did it,
as I received nothing but positive feedback and support from everyone.
People really wanted to come out and do this."
--Rachel Smith, Congressman Neal meeting, MA

"Rep. Cummings pledged to sign the Dear Colleague letter and also said
he would speak about the MoveOn statement and visit on the house
floor. He also said he would read comments from the summary of our
petition. "
--Kimberly Nolan, Congressman Cummings meeting, MD

"[Congressman Holt] quoted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's address at
Riverside Church: We are building a political myth and shoring it up
with new violence. (Dr. King's reference to Vietnam still rings true
-- Mara Isaacs, Congressman Holt meeting, NJ

"[Congresswoman] Stephanie Tubbs Jones made a last- minute decision to
meet with us personally, and proceeded to sit and speak for an hour. .
. She was very pleased to receive a copy of the petition with names
and address . . . and VERY excited to hear that ours was one of many
coordinated events nationwide."
--John Sinclair, Congresswoman Jones meeting, OH

"[Rep. Bartlett's aide Mr.] Otis was clearly impressed by the number
of signatories from the Congressman's District, and promised that he
would see the petition and the "Dear Colleague letter." He also
commented "You have represented your cause very well." "
--Gladys Cojocari, Congressman Bartlett meeting, MD

We hope to have a full report on the media coverage for the last week
and these lobbying visits up on our website soon. We'll let you know
when it's there.


As you can see, we are a force to be reckoned with. So what are our
next steps?

Over the next few weeks, we'll be offering you all sorts of ways to
continue to engage on this issue. One way to plug in is coming up
pretty soon. Win Without War, the coalition of mainstream civic
organizations against the war that we helped to found, is calling for
a day of local action on January 29th. Members of the coalition
include American Friends Service Commitee, Business Leaders for
Sensible Priorities, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Global
Exchange, Greenpeace, Leadership Conference of Women Religious,
NAACP, National Council of Churches, National Organization for Women,
NETWORK, New England Health Care Employees Union (part of SEIU),
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club, Sojourners, Tikkun
Community, TrueMajority, United Methodist Church General Board of
Church & Society, Us Foundation, Veterans for Common Sense, Women's
Action for New Directions, and Working Assets. Look for events
organized by some of these groups in your community on the 29th.
You may find local events listed at http://www.unitedforpeace.org .


The national meetings project and our work for the last week was made
possible by the exceedingly hard work of hundreds of volunteers and
scores of local and national organizations. We deeply appreciate the
assistance that we have received -- we couldn't have pulled this off
without help.

Very special thanks goes to the tireless team of volunteer regional
coordinators, who worked around the clock to make the meetings happen.
They are: Caitlin Fitzgerald, Judy Froman, Diane Jones, June Muller,
Jennifer Oatfield, Jesse Rhodes, Henry Snow, and Hedy Trevino.

Thanks also to:
Sarah Allen, Ira Arlook, Parker Blackman, Sarah Buecher, David
Cortright, Lynn Erskine, Philip Fryers, David Fenton, Trevor
Fitzgibbon, Patrick Kane, Elinore Klein, Kalee Kreider, Dwight Langham,
Pacy Markman, Brendan McCarthy, Segundo Mercado-Llorens, Christy
Meiring, Alistair Millar, Nathan Naylor, Lindsay Reinhardt, Dora Rose,
Noah T. Winer, and Bill Zimmerman.

It's usually our practice to credit by name the local leaders whose
incredibly hard work made this all possible. But in this case, the
list of leaders would double the length of this email. All the folks
who helped put together local meetings and press conferences have our
gratitude and appreciation -- they're heroes and true patriots.

We also appreciate support for the meetings project from the following
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Friends Service Committee, the National Council of Churches,
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The stakes are high, folks. This war is a menace to our country and
our world. But the last week has shown that an enormous group of
Americans are going to do everything in their power to ensure that a
peaceful resolution is reached. So we really mean this: Thank you.

--Carrie, Eli, Joan, Peter, Randall, Wes, and Zack
The MoveOn Team
January 22, 2002

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Evan Kayne - 1/23/2003

Mr. Markowitz,

First, the fact that you "participated in the Washington demonstration" speaks volumes about academia today. Yes I'm completely convinced that instructors in higher education are completely objective in what they teach. Activists are known for the objectivity. Nope--no bias here!

Second, indeed you are correct about the "echo of the 1960's" in Saturday's protests. Many of the "anti-war" protests of the '60's and those from this past weekend were organized by same organization, the Stalinist Workers World Party (WWP). The WWP is the same organization which supported the Soviet invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan. They supported the Chinese crushing the rebel youths (and killing them) in Tiananmen Square. They have lent a hand in the past to Slobodan Milosevic, and they continue to assist him today in his war crimes trial. And of course, they are also happy to lend their support to the leaders of Cuba, North Korea, and Iraq.

It's clear from its aforementioned list of acheivements, that the WWP is not anti-war--it is anti-American. It is a Stalinist group dedicated to the weakening of the United States through war and other means. But it certainly isn't anti-war.

Yes, there are plenty of people who are legitimately opposed to war. Most of those demonstrating are probably just opposed to Bush. But the real echo that we're hearing from the 1960's is who's behind the latest "peace" movement. Message received--loud and clear.

Suetonius - 1/23/2003

Either be a historian, or be a social activist, but be very very careful if you attempt to blend the two.

Case in point:
"When a small group of administration supporters jeered from the sidewalks that the protests were helping Al Quada, demonstrators turned as a group and shouted "Osama Bin Laden, CIA", evidence that they understood that both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had the support of the Reagan and Bush administration's in the 1980s in Iraq's war against Iran and the war in Afghanistan, where Muslim guerillas fighting Soviet and Communist forces were hailed as "freedom fighters."

It is a matter of public record that the CIA did -NOT- assist OBL during the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The clear undertone here is that the support of the Afghanis against the Soviet invaders was a bad thing--not an unexpected position from a member of the editorial journal of the CPUSA's main journal.

Hussein had the assistance of the U.S. during his war against Iran, a country which had recently seized our embassy and held hostage many of our citizens without provocation for more than a year. Hussein also had the assistance of a great many companies from France, Germany, and other European countries. That assistance ended years ago; in the meantime the U.S. and most of the countries in the world, including the Soviet Union, stood against Hussein after his invasion of Kuwait.

In short, either represent the past correctly in all areas that you chose to speak about--professional ethics demand that--or don't speak at all about things you don't understand.