March's March - Americans Spring Up Against War
March on the White House - March 15
I'll be surprised if you haven't gotten word of the upcoming anti-war march. The new anti-war movement that has built itself in opposition to George W. Bush's strange zeal for fighting is the best organized political movement in history. People from all across the world are coming together as never before, and it doesn't take long for notice of a national march for peace to reach even the most quiet corners of America.
The anti-war marches that have taken place so far have been thrilling in the scope and in their focus. Just last week, the first Virtual March on Washington ever took place, with one million phone calls, and untold emails and letters flooding Washington, D.C., Americans asking their representatives to pay attention to the growing national consensus for peace. The 250,000 faxes that were queued up that day are still being sent to Congressional offices, one by one.
Given the tremendous demonstrations of strength that the American anti-war movement has already mustered, what's so important about the upcoming March on Washington on March 15? Why should you bother to journey to the nation's capital one more time to march for peace?>
Thousands of years ago, it was on the Ides of March (that's March 15, to those of you unfamiliar with Shakespeare) that Julius Caesar's attempts to convert the Roman Republic into a dictatorial empire were thwarted. Now, we're not suggesting that anyone stab George W. Bush in the back. We'd like to think that political activism has matured since the days of the Roman Empire. The March 15 March on Washington is to be a purely nonviolent protest.
Nonetheless, there is a curious kind of power to the linking of a nonviolent protest against war to the downfall of Julius Caesar in ancient times. In our society, we don't depose leaders by killing them. Rather, we vote them out of office, assembling popular discontent with their actions into a peaceful, yet powerful democratic force. If it works well within our own country, why couldn't the same strategy work with Iraq? It takes hard work, and patience, says the Bush Administration...
Debunk the Myths
A few months ago, conservative commentators were saying that "no one opposes this war". Then there were peace marches in October, and the print media gave the marches grudging recognition. It could no longer be said that no one opposes Bush's war.
Next, conservative commentators were saying that only a few extremist malcontents opposed Bush's plans to start a war against Iraq. Then, in January, hundreds of thousands of Americans took part in national marches against the war. The conservative commentators were no longer able to say that opposition to Bush's war was restricted to a tiny minority of Americans.
Still, the same conservative commentators retreated to the claim that the huge crowds of anti-war protesters that were amassing all around the country were out of touch with the political mainstream of Americans. Then, in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and hundreds of others of communities around the country, even greater numbers of ordinary people took to the streets to express their desire for a peaceful resolution to disagreements with Iraq. These weren't just excitable college students or the "usual protesters". These crowds were filled with people from all cultural, ethnic, and political backgrounds. Delegations of "Veterans for Peace" marched next to congregations from African-American churches. Grandmothers held the hands of their young grandchildren. Folks from the Midwest and the South mixed with big city folks. What's more, protests took place in small towns as well as in big cities. Little more than a week later, a million telephone calls protesting Bush's plans for war came from every district in every state in the nation. Now, the conservative commentators could no longer claim that the American desire for peace was the reflection of some kind of zany fringe element. Everyday people were against the war too.
Through all of our efforts, we've backed the angry hawkish pundits into a tiny, fatalistic, anti-democratic corner. Now they're saying that the American people can protest all that they want, but it won't make any difference. They're saying that the Bush Administration will take America to war no matter how much popular opposition exists. They're saying war is a done deal.
Are they right? Will America start a war, invading another country without provocation, no matter how many Americans take to the street in protest? If you take what the White House says at face value, things do look grim. Consider the odd persistence shown by the Bush Administration so far:
Iraq begins disarming without a U.S. invasion, and the weapons inspectors characterize the disarmarment as an example of substantive cooperation with UN resolutions. Nonetheless, Bush says we're still going to go to war.
Turkey votes to deny U.S. troops the right to invade Iraq from its territory. U.S. military leaders acknowledge that this decision will make any invasion of Iraq much more lengthy, bloody, and costly. Nonetheless, Bush says that America is going to attack Iraq as soon as possible.
The United Nations Security Council is more strongly opposed to war than ever before, as the Bush Administration's diplomatic maneuvers to bribe and coerce support for its war. Nonetheless, Bush says we're still going to invade Iraq.
How are we to interpret Bush's stubborn resistance to the overwhelming and persistent demonstrations of opposition to an invasion of Iraq? The key to unlocking what's really going on in Bush's White House is to look at the practical effects of the anti-war demonstrations.
Bush can say that he is going to war no matter what anyone else says, but the fact is that his ability to go to war has been quite effectively weakened by the immense anti-war protests of recent months. A few months ago, self-proclaimed experts were declaring that the United States would certainly be at war before the end of 2002. Then, they declared that war would definitely take place before the end of January, no matter what anyone said or did. Then, the great Washington experts insisted that Bush would invade Iraq by the end of February, in spite of the gigantic anti-war protests. Now, it's March, and although it seems that war is rapidly approaching, many factors suggest that opposition is growing more powerful with every passing day.
Millions of Americans have taken to the streets to demand peace, and we have made a huge difference. No matter what the White House spin is, it's obvious that the Bush Administration has had to listen to the voice of the anti-war majority. When the leaders of other nations see so many Americans opposing the plans of George W. Bush, it becomes easier for them to stand firm to their own principles and respect the anti-war sentiments of their own people. Bush's plans for war have already been delayed by many months, and now the anti-war movement is on the verge of stopping Bush's insane crusade against Iraq for good.
Now is not the time to stop for a breather. We must maintain our momentum for one final push to prevent a bloody, tragic war before it starts. On March 15, another immense national protest against war will take place in Washington D.C. All the staff from Irregular Times will be there.
We urge you to make this vital journey to the nation's capital as well. Ignore what the Fox News talking heads tell you: We can make a difference. We'll meet you at the Washington Monunment on the morning of March 15, and from there, we will march to stop this war.
Visit our Irregular Action Center to find out what you can do.
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