Why Is the Antiwar Movement So Weak?

Since the start of the Iraq war, antiwar sentiment has grown dramatically in the U.S. In 2003, 23 percent of the U.S. population thought the U.S. invasion was a mistake. Today, that figure stands at 58 percent.

Yet the antiwar movement had its largest mobilization before the war began, and more recent demonstrations have been smaller than those held several years previously, before public opinion had turned dramatically against the occupation.

On February 15, 2003, a few weeks before the invasion, as many as 1 million people marched through the streets of New York City–part of a weekend of protests worldwide that involved 10 million people in 600 cities.

Two and a half years later, on September 24, 2005, some 300,000 people marched in Washington at an event organized jointly by the two main national antiwar coalitions–United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER).

This fall, however, the antiwar movement has fragmented between competing calls for demonstrations. ANSWER’s Washington protest on September 15 drew just 10,000 people, and UFPJ didn’t even call a national demonstration, opting instead for regional mobilizations on October 27.

Why does the antiwar movement today seem weaker and more divided now, even though antiwar sentiment is stronger? And what can be done to take the struggle forward?

One reason has to do with the general political period in which today’s antiwar movement has developed.

Mainstream U.S. politics still bears the scars of a decades-long conservative dominance that began with the Reagan presidency in the 1980s. While opinion polls reflect a shift to the left in consciousness on key political questions, the level of social struggle has remained low, and the left is substantially weakened–both organizationally and in terms of its ideas–from the high points of the 1960s.

The movement against the Vietnam War grew up in a very different environment. It benefited enormously from the political atmosphere created by the 1960s civil rights movement.

Antiwar activists had the positive example to follow of building local grassroots organizing centers, which could feed into larger national efforts. The lunch counter sit-ins and integrated Freedom Rides showed the strength of combining civil disobedience tactics with mass action.

Also, civil rights activists found that they had to rely on their own strength as a movement instead of putting their hopes in politicians–because they were confronting a Jim Crow establishment in the South run by the Democratic Party, just as antiwar activists came up against a war run by the Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.

The civil rights struggle served as a model for how to organize and a setting for learning important political lessons. And above all, its success gave rise to the conviction that struggle did work.

Today’s antiwar movement needs to relearn those lessons, but doesn’t have anything like this kind of immediate experience to guide it.

Thus, when the U.S. government defied the massive protests of February 15, 2003 and launched the invasion of Iraq anyway, many of those who demonstrated drew the wrong conclusion that protest didn’t work–for the simple reason that there were no contemporary examples of a sustained, effective and grassroots movement to look to.

The process of rebuilding the antiwar movement has also been hampered by the weaknesses of the leading forces within it.

In its call for regional mobilizations on October 27, UFPJ stated: “To force a decisive change in government policy, we have to make the antiwar majority more active, more visible, more difficult to ignore. We have to stand up vigorously against the cynicism that says: there is nothing we can do.”

In reality, the sense that “there is nothing we can do” exists among UFPJ member organizations as a symptom of the coalition’s disorientation–to which leaders of UFPJ contributed by retreating from talk of a national mobilization this fall, and setting October 27 as a date for regional mobilizations, with Washington D.C. conspicuously absent from the list.

Meanwhile, the other main national antiwar group, ANSWER, has also found itself at a dead end. It has continued to make calls for national protests, but they are smaller and smaller.

ANSWER’s problems stem from its top-down methods that exclude other antiwar forces. Few individuals or organizations outside its core want to work with it–no more so now after ANSWER’s sponsoring organization Workers World split into competing groups.

The mood was very different after the Democrats took control of Congress in the November 2006 elections.

UFPJ had kept a low profile before the 2006 vote–as in 2004, when it rejected holding an explicitly antiwar mobilization, instead joining protests against the Republican National Convention in New York City, while tailoring its message to fit in with the pro-war campaign of John Kerry.

Nevertheless, the Democrats’ victory was seen by UFPJ as a vindication of its strategy of “[building] a bipartisan peace bloc in Congress that can set the date for troop withdrawal and force Bush and the Pentagon to end the occupation,” Judith Le Blanc, a UFPJ national co-chair and leader of the Communist Party USA, wrote in the People’s Weekly World.

But this strategy makes the movement a hostage to the politicians. Thus, when the “peace bloc in Congress” caved last May and voted for the Bush administration’s demand for $120 billion in war funding, the renewed confidence of UFPJ activists turned to demoralization. At the UFPJ national assembly in July, delegates expressed a sense of isolation, despite the reinvigoration of local activism following the November election.

Many activists felt betrayed by the Democrats’ failure to stand up to the Bush administration, but UFPJ’s failed strategic orientation–of tailoring its activities and mobilizations to a Democratic Congress it expects to at least limit, if not end, the Bush administration’s ability to prosecute the war–remained unexamined and unchanged.

The problem has emerged in an even more extreme form locally in Chicago. To plan the October 27 protest, the UFPJ affiliate Chicagoans Against War and Injustice (CAWI) held invitation-only organizing meetings that excluded other antiwar organizations.

The movement was presented with an already decided plan for a demonstration that included a speaking invitation for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley–an insult to the hundreds of antiwar marchers illegally arrested by Daley’s police on the first night of the war in 2003, and anyone who faced the intimidation tactics of riot cops at protests since.

CAWI leader Carl Davidson, a former figure in Students for a Democratic Society in the 1960s, not only defended the invitation to Daley, but argued that the antiwar movement in general, and the left in particular, needed to “set certain things aside” in order to build alliances with Democrats and even Republicans willing to go against the Bush White House.

What is the antiwar movement expected to set aside? Essentially, anything that the politicians might object to–even if that means conceding on basic demands for an immediate and complete U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

This is the exact wrong way to go about trying to end the war. The key is building a strong grassroots movement, independent of both the Democrats and Republicans, with the power to force the politicians of both parties to abandon their support for the war.

This understanding is especially important now as leaders of the Democratic Party prepare not to end the war but “take it over” from the Bush administration after the 2008 election. At a recent debate, all three of the party’s top presidential contenders–Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards–refused to say they would have withdrawn U.S. troops from Iraq after a full four years in office.

The emphasis of the antiwar movement shouldn’t be on alliances made at the top of the political system in “building a bipartisan peace bloc in Congress,” in LeBlanc’s words–but on building a struggle from below.

That, after all, is the lesson of the 1960s and ’70s struggles–that mass action at the grassroots compelled both Democrats like Lyndon Johnson and Republicans like Richard Nixon to answer to the demands of the social struggle.

What’s needed now is a focus on building local bases of antiwar activism around basic points of unity. These local formations–at colleges and high schools, in neighborhoods and cities, on military bases and in workplaces–provide the best way to help people overcome their sense of isolation, in activities like teach-ins, speakouts and pickets, that bring opponents of the war together. And these local bases in turn can serve as the building blocks for larger national events.

The guiding principles for the movement can be simple and straightforward–like the three demands of Iraq Veterans Against the War: immediate withdrawal; a commitment to health care and other services for returning veterans; and payment of reparations to the Iraqi people for the damage inflicted by the U.S. occupation.

Strategically, the movement needs to understand that three inter-related ingredients are required to end the war–the resistance of Iraqis to the occupation, a domestic antiwar movement stepping up the pressure at home, and a revolt of U.S. soldiers that can undermine the ability of the U.S. to continue the war effort.

The interplay of these elements ended the U.S. war in Vietnam. Today, there is no shortcut to building an antiwar movement that again helps bring these different dimensions together.

Eric Ruder writes for Socialist Worker where this article first appeared. Thanks to Alan Maass. Read other articles by Eric, or visit Eric's website.

26 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. corylus said on October 10th, 2007 at 10:18am #

    Ruder’s ideas make sense for long-term political organizing in communities, among neighbors, activist groups, but no one’s even going to get that far so long as the 58% opposed to the U. S. wars against sovereign nations continue to support corporations and their subsidiary American government. If you wait for the implementation of martial law or a nuclear war, organizing may be much more difficult. Abstract ideas about organizing around ideas is fine for philosophers, but having read about these for at least the 700th time, my political will has been sufficiently numbed.

    Instead, I suggest starting with a few difficult, but personally responsible, steps – if even half of the 58% supposedly opposed to war participated in these actions, the current wars could end in weeks, and then we could start thinking about how to transform our culture into one that takes care of people, not one that abides by corporate-sponsored military imperialism that is killing us and the earth.
    1. Boycott corporations, which means no more Coke, no more bottled water, no more household cleaning products, no more video games, no more browsing at Macy’s, no new cars, no new homes — stop buying anything other than necessities.
    2. Purchase food from local growers and producers, as much as possible.
    3. Stop eating meat.
    4. Buy used goods, including clothing.
    5. Don’t drive unless you really have to do so; bicycles, public transportation, and walking are all healthier alternatives.
    6. Spend time with family, friends, neighbors instead of spending money.
    7. Have investments? Take your money out of the stock market, out of the U. S. Treasury, out of any institution that supports the corporate war machine.
    8. Plan now so that you can prepare to work for a socially and environmentally sustainable future – a lot of us will need to quit our jobs sooner or later – choose to do so on your own terms, not someone else’s.
    9. If you owe the IRS money, don’t file a tax return. Make the government come to you begging for money.
    10. Get on the road, on your feet: plan a long walk to demonstrate you’re fed up with a culture that continues to victimize all of us so that a few can enrich themselves. People in this country are good, and those who can’t walk will take care of those of us who do.

  2. Binh said on October 10th, 2007 at 10:26am #

    Boycott corporations, which means no more Coke, no more bottled water, no more household cleaning products, no more video games, no more browsing at Macy’s, no new cars, no new homes — stop buying anything other than necessities.

    How did you get on the internet to post this? Did you use a non-corporate internet service provider? This is just laughable.

  3. Michael Kenny said on October 10th, 2007 at 10:35am #

    It’s just a thought off the top of my head, but could it be that precisely because people see that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are already lost, they don’t see much point in getting excited about them. In fact, the longer they go on, the bigger will be the defeat of the warmongers and the less likely that there will be further wars.

  4. Chris Crass said on October 10th, 2007 at 11:52am #

    How did you get on the internet to post this? Did you use a non-corporate internet service provider? This is just laughable.

    Ever been to a library? Used a computer at work?

  5. Gary Lapon said on October 10th, 2007 at 2:10pm #

    Well, tax money pays for libraries, so no taxes means no libraries. And if you manage #8, then no more work.

    Still, I don’t see how lifestyle choices can be posed as an alternative to political organization, or how one might propose that they could be implemented on a mass scale before a political movement would be successful in ending the war. Most people are being squeezed more and more these days, and cannot afford to take the steps above and continue to support their families or themselves. Markets are defined by the drive for profit, not by demand. Demand is created by capital; for example, the auto industry bought up and tore up public transportation systems to create a demand (a need) for cars. We don’t “support” corporations by buying goods. We (most people anyway) buy goods to survive and have some small measure of leisure, and our shrinking budgets force us to turn to those with the lowest prices (corporations)…it’s not an option for working class folks. I shop at Wal-Mart and I am a revolutionary. If I could afford local food I’d buy it because it tastes better, but not because I see small businesses under capitalism as much better, only a different part of the same system. I’ve worked for enough of them (and know many others who have/do) to know most treat their workers with about the same level of disregard as do the large corporations.

    In short, I agree with Ruder: we need to focus on building a political movement that gets at the heart of the matter.

  6. Gary Lapon said on October 10th, 2007 at 2:13pm #

    Real power lies at the point of production, not at the point of consumption. Buying corporate goods does not preclude organizing against those who own corporations. The key is to seize the means of production and use the vast productive potential of society for the good of the overwhelming majority. This requires organizing, and that can be done while shopping at Target or wherever else.

  7. Jim Cronin said on October 10th, 2007 at 2:56pm #

    There are two issues so-called progressive forces have refused to deal with. One is that the US is a characteristically imperialist nation , and the other is genocide. In both cases, the progressives have ignored history.

    Only recently have we been able to read that the Bush II phase of the war has accounted for 1.2 million “surplus deaths.”

    For most progressives the death toll of the Bush I and Clinton phases of military actions against Iraq, which actually began in 1991 with the Bush I destruction of Iraq and its infrastructure, does not exist. Yet the 1991-2003 period saw constant bombing through both Republican and Democratic administrations, plus the sanctions, which with the infrastructure destroyed is variously estimated to have caused 2 million deaths by the time Bush II took over. In other words, it is not Bush II’s war, but a war with three phases, of which his is merely the latest.

    Add it up: approximately 3 million deaths out of a population of 27 million between 1991 and today. And don’t forget the refugees, and the future deaths. This is, by any definition of the word, a genocide.

    Moreover, the earlier figures were documented some time ago, with ex-attorney general Ramsey Clark calling it genocide in the Nineties. This in itself should have caused at least some “progressive” writers and w ebsites to take note, but almost no one did. The much-maligned Ward Churchill also providing documentation in his “little Eichmanns” book, The Justice of Roosting Chickens. It’s so easy to find. How so many “progressive” writers could so studiously ignore recent history is an interesting question, but the actual death toll would have gone a long way toward ending the war, had anyone the courage to bring the genocide to the attention of the American people.

    Perhaps because the Democrats would have caught some of the blame, the major progressive websites, who seem to me to be progressive only up to the point of Democratic Party politics and the electoral process, were not able to risk their careers? To me, the word “progressive” is a synonym for “sellout.” Progressives in general and the peace movement are complicit in the Iraqi genocide.

  8. Barbara said on October 10th, 2007 at 7:29pm #

    Genocidal US war crimes date even earlier than 1991, and are even more extensive than Jim Cronin’s daunting list. They include deliberate and wide dispersal of radioactive contamination from exploded uranium 238; destruction of local seed, crops, strains of livestock, and natural resources (e.g., c. 90% of Afghanistan’s pistachio forests), and compelled imposition of degraded (or worse) substitutes; and wholesale destruction of cultural institutions. The proxy war the US conducted in the 1980s killed a great many among a generation of Iraqi and Iranian youth.

    And the inescapable violence of narcotics production and trafficking, also sex-trafficking, and the corrupt pursuit of those caught up in both, has been forcibly re-imposed in Afghanistan, perhaps regionally: the Medellin cartel which Charles Bowden has documented as, together with all W. hemisphere narcotrafficking, now to be controlled by the CIA (see Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Family, and Murder) was reported present in the region around the time of the 2003 invasion.

    But it should not surprise anyone that v. little appears or is discussed about these things — because yet more war crimes are being committed, in the form of executions of uncorrupted humanitarian workers, and independent reporters, photographers, and editors who try to tell in timely and unequivocating ways, and especially those who manage to depict, some of the horror our taxes are visiting on defenseless fellow beings.

  9. Mike McNiven said on October 11th, 2007 at 1:55am #

    Being anti-war has the following meanings:
    anti-poverty, anti-discrimination, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-lying,
    anti-xenophobia, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism,
    anti-oppression, anti-consumerism, anti-violence, anti-environmental derstruction, anti-illiteracy, anti-homelessness, anti-bigotry!
    The participants in an “anti-war movement” MUST believe , at least, in the above incomplete list to make it a non-weak movement! Short of this, the rulers can play the game of war- peace- war-peace-war…again and again!

  10. Binh said on October 11th, 2007 at 9:01am #

    Chris Crass: Ever been to a library? Used a computer at work?

    I don’t know of any workplaces or libraries that use non-corporate internet service providers. If you do, please enlighten us. I promise I won’t resort to name-calling.

  11. Chris Crass said on October 11th, 2007 at 9:52am #

    If I sound like an asshole, you’re free to describe me as such.
    My point was simply that you were deriding someone’s plea for people to take direct action based on faulty premises. Libraries exist. Whether or not you pay taxes and whether or not you work, libraries will exist. They will not magically disappear. Using the internet at a library is not supporting corporate power – it’s taking advantage of something that exists. If I walk down the street, am I supporting the companies that build and repair streets? If I steal a cop’s gun and shoot him with it, am I supporting handgun manufacturers? I believe Corylus’s point was to maximize your own self-sufficiency in order to minimize the level at which you pay into the system that enslaves the entire world. Money is how the people that own the world derive their power. If you disapprove of how they use that power, then you should seek to minimize how much power/money you give them.
    If you want to eat food and have a distaste for dumpster diving or mugging people, going to work is necessary. If there are computers there and you are free to use them, please explain to me why you should not use them or how using them would increase corporate power. Absolutism is not necessary and will only tie your hands in terms of what you can accomplish.
    If you really want to change the way that things are, then it’s necessary to use every weapon available to accomplish that change. Economics is the tool the powerful use to maintain their power. Why not turn it around?

  12. Walt said on October 11th, 2007 at 9:55am #

    Excellent summary of the problems facing the movement. Some thoughts:

    I recently relocated to the DC area from the Pittsburgh. I’ve been struck by the complete lack here of anything resembling a grassroots antiwar group. There are nonprofits with paid staff and some volunteer opportunities, and there are a few multi-issue groups that devote some small portion of their resources to antiwar work; but the movement-from-below is now basically dead. Pittsburgh, it has to be said, was trending in this direction at the time I left, but hadn’t yet quite arrived there. This seems to be the case in many places.

    This sad state of affairs has unfortunately encouraged the growth of a weird kind of pseudo-adventurism in some quarters. Exemplified by David Solnit’s “People Power” strategy, this approach seeks to skip over the busy work of building a mass movement, substituting for it a motley assortment of superficially militant tactics aimed vaguely at disabling some mechanically conceived “pillars of war”.

    As a movement, we face the Catch-22 of organizing a movement of building a movement among working and oppressed people at a time when the organizations of working and oppressed people are themselves struggling to survive. It seems to me that some sort of network of locally-based antiwar committees might be in order, but it this can only be an eventual goal right now. The vets movement, I think, shows the most promise for the present.

  13. Shabnam said on October 11th, 2007 at 10:22am #

    Being anti-war has the following meanings:
    anti-poverty, anti-discrimination, anti racism………………………”

    Dear friends: Do you see anti-ZIONISM in this person’s list?
    After so many articles and opinions where have been posted here yet those who hide themselves behind MONARCHIST FLAG, The former regime of the Shah, refused to list their friends, the ZIONISTS, whom we should regard as enemies and anti war movement must make a stand against them. In fact Zionism, the enemy of humanity, the most important enemy of our time is absent from this person’s list. How strange!!!!. Look at the videos which are provided here for us. You see the monarchies flag waving everywhere in these videos. In fact you can not see one word on Zionism because these people as I wrote earlier consider anything Islamic as “backward” which should be destroyed and anything secular as “progressive” where should be preserved. The Shah of Iran, puppet of the West and friend of the Zionist state was SECULAR. Some members of the “Iranian Left” are closely cooperating and working with the CIA and institutions related to that such as the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, Open Society … and appear on programs such as “Voice of America”, CIA platform and related platforms regularly. It is shameful to praise people like Hassan Daioleslam*, a Charlatan and PRO AMERICAN POSITION AGAINST IRAN WHO GOES TO “VOICE OF AMERICA” AND TRIES TO SELL HIS LIES AS FACTS to both ignorant American and Iranian people.

    This link was provided earlier for the readers of this site and was
    removed after I exposed him.

  14. Thomas Victor said on October 12th, 2007 at 1:49am #

    Reading Shabnam’s post I realised that that was what was strangely missing from the article and the discussion – the role of Zionists and the huge influnce of the Israel Lobby.

    When the Democrats won midterm elections mostly on anti-Iraqwar sentiment and Pelosi became Speaker I was optimistic for a while even though an article warned that the Democrats were less likely to end this war since they were almost 100% dependent on Jewish money while the Republicans had other sources of funds.

    Sure enough Nancy Pelosi soon capitulated to AIPAC pressure and agreed “to strip out of the $100 billion funding bill for Iraq a provision that would have required President Bush to seek congressional approval before launching any new war on Iran. ” Whoa forget about ending the Iraq War, she’s now OK with nuking Iran!

    It is my impression (which may be wrong) that normal ‘non-Zionist’ Jews who usually form a large part of the antiwar movement have had their antiwar commitment weakened and some have turned pro-Iraq war and pro-Nuke-Iran because of concern for dear Israel.

    This concern for Israel may be justified, actually. Say Israel maintains it’s aggressive stance against Palestinians and keeps doing horrible actions such as the aerial bombing of Beirut. Then it will continue to be surrounded by hostile neighbors who despise it and who are daily becoming more powerful. And who have the support of powerful China and Russia, both of whom are on a long term boom, economically and militarily . While poor Israel, even with it’s stash of nuclear weapons and it’s US advanced jets, struggles to just maintain it’s current population level and is uable to defeat third-world Hezbollah.

    The even bigger factor that no one mentions is that we who in the US middle class or thereabouts are relatively affluent compared to most other countries. Why is that? Sure there are other factors but like it or not, the most important one is the huge US military superiority and it’s willingness to bomb any country that doesn’t listen to it ‘back into the Stone Ages’.

    If the US suddenly became a friendly pacifist type country it wouldn’t be able to extract wealth from other countries as it has been used to doing for ages. We would all become poorer. That’s OK with me, I think, but let’s see what happens when I actually become poor, ha ha!

    I think that’s at the back of people’s minds. They want everything else to stay the same but for the US to stop attacking and occupying other countries. And they don’t want to risk losing their well paying jobs and risk being unable to keep up mortgage payments. So things will not change .

    Following corylus’ suggestions re. boycotting corporation, buying locally, leading a simpler life in general is great for improving our own live’s even if it won’t end the war.

    It’s a complicated situation.

  15. gerald spezio said on October 12th, 2007 at 3:25am #

    Shabnam, your link to the L. A. Chronicle “piece” is a classic study in

    “Learn to read, my children.”

    “And read this; right here.”

  16. Shabnam said on October 12th, 2007 at 10:57am #

    Dear Friends
    Thomas Victor and Gerald Spezio:

    I am sorry to confuse you both but my post was directed at Mike McNiven and not the author of this article who has good reasons to be worried about the “Anti-war movement” in this country and frankly around the globe. Gerald my link is Mike McNiven’s link who used to place it at the end of almost each articles, especially at the end of those articles where I post something, in the past to sell the lies of this Charlatan in name of Hassan Daioleslam, who beats on war drum by spreading lies based on his wrong “analysis” of information and sells it to the “Vocie of America”. Daioleslam who has not written even one paragraph on atrocities committed by the empire or the Zionists around the globe, had ties with the Islamist movement himself, those Islamist like “Freedom Movement Party” whose leader is an American citizen in name of Yazdi who became Iran foreign minister shortly after the revolution but was pushed out of power due to internal politics. Daioleslam has manufactured “Iran Lobby” vs. “Israel Lobby” to fool the ignorant audience of both Iranian and American community to help the imperialist/Zionist agenda against the Iranian government. He includes people such as Bob Ney, Gary Sick, Brezinski and Trita Parsi is an Iranian from Zoroastrian background who has close ties to the Neocon such as Francis Fokuyama.
    For the past few months Mike McNiven, started to post Daioleslam’s article at the end of the majorities of article. There is another link by him which reads “No Imperialist war, No theocracy in Iran” which is odd to me. Iran is under attack and we have to do anything to prevent another disastrous Zionist war yet Mike McNiven put these articles repeatedly, most of the time is not related to the issues either. When I looked at some of the videos that are posted here by Mike McNiven, I noticed that majorities are made by the monarchist, pro SHAH regime, with their flag (three stripes Red, Green and White with Sun and the Lion in the center) waving in the background. McNiven apparently does not know Iranian History otherwise he would not have preached that he is anti imperialist and act otherwise. The above quote in my post is from McNiven:

    “Being anti-war has the following meanings:
    anti-poverty, anti-discrimination, anti racism………………………”

    I have taken this quote to remind the importance of fighting against Zionism which is absent from his list.
    Those who are familiar with the Iranian history know that the monarchists have close relationship with Israel and the influential Zionist members of Israel lobby such as Kenneth Timmerman and Michael Leeden and others who are trying to bring the corrupt PAHLAVI family back to Iran by toppling the current government.
    I want to ask when there was a war against Fascism, did they have slogan such as:
    “No to the fascist, no to Stalin” or “No to the fascist, No to British Imperialism”
    The answer is NO.
    Today, many Iranians from the “Left” openly are working with the imperialist/Zionist agenda in the Middle East which is known as “The Greater Middle East”. Therefore, we have every single right to expose these people and isolate them before they bring more damages to our fragile movement against the war criminals of our time.
    I am very sorry that I confused you both.

    Eric Ruder writes:
    “In reality, the sense that “there is nothing we can do” exists among UFPJ member organizations as a symptom of the coalition’s disorientation…… and setting October 27 as a date for regional mobilizations, with Washington D.C. conspicuously absent from the list.”
    Mr. Ruder has good reasons to have doubt about UFPJ
    Frankly UFPJ has alienated a lot of Iranians since these anti-war movement eliminates Israel and Zionism from discussion and cleverly protects Israel interests by fixing attention on “No Blood for Oil” and diverting attention away from Israel and Zionism and cleverly beating on war drum by a slogan that they use to circulate around “No to intervention in Iran, No to theocracy”. I have talked with them and brought this issue that Imperialism and Zionism are on both sides of the same coin but they disagree and insist that Israel and Zionism have nothing to do with the “Anti-war movement”.
    They are still working on CONCRESS AND the UN SECURITY COUNCIL and do not ask or take actions to bring the war machine down through national strike by not working at least one day a weak or something similar.
    UFPJ in their campaign against the war are asking people:
    “Take the Voters for Peace Pledge Today!” and this reads:
    “I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign.”
    You tell CONGRESS representatives if you don’t do this I will not vote for you. We know how people are elected. So why should these people who want to be elected listen to UFPJ?
    Joe Lieberman was kicked out of the Senate by voters but he entered from the back door! Hillary Clinton has just helped Bush to launch another war by voting YES to the proposal that makes the Iranian army TERRORIST which was brought to the floor by the Zionist lobby, Joe Lieberman who has publicly demanded “bomb Iran”. Do you see any critics of Clinton by UFPJ? American people are asked, by UFPJ, to go and beg from congress where is engaged in planning for another aggression against an Islamic country to eliminate Israel’s enemy from the list through genocide against people of Iran.
    Thomas Victor writes:

    “It is my impression (which may be wrong) that normal ‘non-Zionist’ Jews who usually form a large part of the antiwar movement have had their antiwar commitment weakened and some have turned pro-Iraq war and pro-Nuke-Iran because of concern for dear Israel.”

    I strongly agree with you Thomas.
    In fact the myth that Jews are “liberal” and are working against the war is exaggerated. The percentage of Jews who voted for Bush increased last election, at the same time the youth percentage vote diminished.
    Please read this book by MURRAY FRIEDMAN “Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish intellectuals and the shaping of public policy which claim”
    “In the United States, Jewish political conservatism was evident from the founding of the republic until well into the 20th Century… In the 19thCentury, many Jewish leaders were also conservative on the issue of slavery; relatively few joined the abolitionists, and many, in fact, opposed them. What the foregoing suggests is that despite the popular image of pervasive Jewish liberalism, there has always been a significant conservative Jewish tradition in this country.”
    Which is contrary to the common belief since people associate Jews with liberal leanings, which might be why the rise of the neocons has so many people scratching their heads? For this powerful collective of public intellectuals, ostensibly comprised mostly of members of the Jewish intelligentsia has managed to set both American domestic and foreign policy, the author claims.
    I recommend this book to everyone.


  17. Shabnam said on October 12th, 2007 at 12:26pm #

    gerald spezio :
    You are absolutely right when you wrote:

    “…link to the L. A. Chronicle “piece” is a classic study in

    You are absolutely right, but this is not a piece that I read. This is a piece that Mike McNiven reads and for the past few months he has posted it at the end of each article related to Iran or Middle East. That’s why I had to expose the author and since then McNiven stopped. I have provided you a link that shows McNiven was the person who
    gave to this link and I am very pleased that you noticed his propaganda talk. The author of this link is a Charlatan.
    Sorry for not being very clear.


  18. Mike McNiven said on October 15th, 2007 at 1:26am #

    prejudice and bigotry are not “peace and justice” values!

  19. Shabnam said on October 15th, 2007 at 7:03am #

    Mike McNiven is bringing the monarchist propaganda to DV and has repeatedly placed a Charlatan’s article “Congressman Kucinich must find a better role model…” on this site whose name is Hassan Daioleslam who is pro Imperialist/Zionist and has presented his rubbish on CIA platform, The Voice of America, at least twice.
    This is published by LOSANGELESCHRONICLE, a propagandist. He removed this
    Link only after he was exposed. Now instead he links videos with Monarchist flag waving in the background and when he has listed areas of concern to fight against (on this page) he leaves ZIONISM out, the enemy of our time because the monarchists are working closely with the Zionists, Michael Leaden and Kenneth Timmerman to bring back the dictatorship of the Pahlavi family, the Shah, back to establish the influence of Israel, in Iran. Monarchists = Zionists

    Please look at the above link to see the Charlatan’s article.

  20. Shabnam said on October 16th, 2007 at 5:13am #

    Mike McNiven wrote:
    “prejudice and bigotry are not “peace and justice” values!”

    This shows that Mike McNiven actually is a ZIONIST!

  21. gerald spezio said on October 17th, 2007 at 6:30am #

    Shabnam, spooks everywhere …

    Hassan Daioleslam advertises himself as an “independent writer” who does “political scholarly analysis.”

  22. Shabnam said on October 17th, 2007 at 12:51pm #

    Gerald spezio:

    I think you spooks because you do not know this person. I know him from many interviews he has given and from his rubbish that has published at the Iranian opposition sites.
    He is a Charlatan who thinks is “exposing” Iran Lobby. Ahmadinejad’s government has nothing to do with these people who he lists as “Iran Lobby”. Trita Parsi is one of the neocon and close to Francis Fukuyama. He has been elected to NIAC, National Iranian American Council, it is a place where has been occupied by those Iranians who are seeking to empower themselves not the Iranian government or for god’s sake Iranian people back home. It is like the Cuban Lobby. It is a political platform to advance themselves. That’s why NIAC has not been able to attract that many Iranians. NIAC’s policy is to help Hillary Clinton to come to power, an AIPAC girl who preaches the Zionists’ desire to “prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear and she is willing to use military power.” Now, think who wants to associate’s himself/herself with this group of people whose leader is Trita Parsi and according to Charlatan Hassan Daioleslam is the head of Iran Lobby. Although he says t is against the war but all his actions say opposite to what he preaches. Look at what he says about Israel that I took from the article provided by Mike Mcmilan:

    “Anti-Israeli positions
    Trita Parsi along with many other Tehran proxies in the US have always had a strong anti- Israeli undertone ………………….. to pursue the god-given right of nuclear technology.11-13”
    He sympathizes with the Zionists and call Parsi anti-Israeli position. Parsi who is coming from Zoroastrian background is ambitious and smart enough to realize that if he wants to be someone definitely should not have an anti Israeli position in politics in the United States.
    Who is a spook?

  23. corylus said on October 20th, 2007 at 9:55pm #

    With the minimal respect due your initial response (clearly a case where you couldn’t respond with any substance), what’s laughable about aspiring to a culture free from the influence of corporations? I never claimed I was perfect, nor that I didn’t rely on corporations to some extent, as we all do, to communicate, inform, feed, clothe, house, or transport ourselves, among other human necessities. Your disrespectful dismissal of (however remotely attainable) goals demonstrates that you’re more interested in egocentric cynicism than exploring solutions to the problems at hand. Eureka! You must be a neo-conservative corporate war-mongering capitalist whore! Thanks, by the way, for the name-calling, too.

  24. Mike McNiven said on October 21st, 2007 at 4:53am #

    One major reason for the weakness of the anti-war movement is that a lot of people make big money when there is a war and/or the threat of a war! The big money makers are the members of the ruling classes of the war loving governments! The big money makers also control the media, the elections and the legislations!

  25. Shabnam said on October 21st, 2007 at 8:31pm #

    A message for readers of this site:

    Mike McNiven is a pro Israel, Pro Zionist and Anti Iran Propagandist who uses this site to link to the same article “Congressman Kucinich Must Find a Better Role Model than Bob Ney” that has posted many times in the past few months. Mike McNiven is a propagandist who Jamie, the rabbit Zionist, thanks him many times for his rubbish opinion.
    This article is written by an Iranian charlatan who spreads lies about “Iran Lobby” and portraits those who criticizing Bush administration for his fascist policy on Iran which is a Zionist policy, part of “Iran Lobby”. Please read a few lines from the article that McNiven gives a link to:

    “An alarming resemblance exists between Ney’s advocacy of Tehran over the past decade and Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s (D-Ohio) advocacy of Tehran now. On August 1, 2007, Baztab, the Farsi language web site controlled by the former commander of the revolutionary guards, wrote an article about Kucinich’s “lonely battle” in opposition to sanction efforts against the Iranian regime.4
    Kucinich and Ney’s support of Tehran’s ayatollahs is quite similar in method and substance. They both call for engagement with mullahs; They both vehemently fight against any type of sanction against the mullahs; They both oppose human right statements against Iran by the congress; They both associate with the same known mullahs’ proxies in the US; And they both side with Iran when it comes to Iran’s anti Israeli rhetoric.”

    Mike McNiven, A Zionist pro Israel who has disguised himself as pro Iranian people brings videos made by the monarchists, puppet of the Zionists who are cooperating with the fifth columnists, the Zionists, to help them to take power in Iran. People like Michael Ledeen and Kenneth Timmerman are part of Zionists who are working towards this goal, to bring the Shah’s family back who serves Israel.
    Hassan Daioleslam, the writer of this article which is given by Mike McNiven, the Zionist, attacking both Bob Ney and Kucinich as “Iran Lobby” and saying that both Kucinich and Ney do not want sanction against Iranian people to strangulate their economy and kill more children so they may be forced to transfer the power to puppet of the Zionist that Mike McNiven represents.

    Please expose the Zionists who are sent to progressive sites to preach and spread anti Iranian people propaganda and harm the fragile movement of Anti Zionist so they can kill more Iranian children like Iraqi children to smoothen the path for further action.
    Shame on the disguised Zionist. We will not going to be silent and will expose them every time the smell is too strong to be tolerated.

  26. Mike McNiven said on October 24th, 2007 at 1:19am #

    A message for Shabnam,

    “reza said on October 22nd, 2007

    People with little logic require a lot of noise, baseless accusations and outright shameless lies to push aside reason.

    You can sholooqhesh koni all you want, Shabnam, but you’re making yourself dizzy, without persuading anyone. But, then again, maybe you are paid to storm the barn; so, if it’s paying your bills, keep rocking, sister!

    Intelligent socialists don’t find it necessary to remind everybody that they are anti-imperialists/anti-Zionists with every thing they utter, nor with every dump they take. It’s taken for granted. But, since I have affection for disabled people, for those who like to act blind and willfully deaf, my anti-imperialist stance was clearly stated.

    The noise-makers, however, don’t like to learn that Iranian people’s fight for democracy is, and must be, as has always been, and will be, for the foreseeable future, simultaneously a fight against imperialism. We, the people of the Third World, are in the same position as are African Americans; their fight too is simultaneously against colonialism/racism and for justice and true democracy, in the belly of the beast. One fight cannot be separated from the other. It is the same for us, and it is an ongoing struggle. Imperialism/colonialism don’t take breaks.

    As to the question of imperialists using the nuclear issue as an excuse to attack Iran … If imperialists want to attack, they’ll attack us. It has NOTHING to do with the nukes (that too is stated clearly in the article). They didn’t attack us in 1953 (when they overthrew our democratically elected government) because we had nukes; they attacked us for different reasons (and NOT because Mossadegh was a commie-lover). They didn’t attack Vietnam because they had nukes. They don’t attack and savage the Palestinians daily for the past sixty years because they have nukes. WAKE UP!!

    So, when they attack us in Iran, what are they going to hit first? WAKE UP!!
    Believe me, when the enemy has TEN THOUSAND nuclear warheads, having a few is no deterrent. Like Chirac said, even if a few are launched, within minutes Tehran’d be bombed back to the Stone Age. And nobody’s that stupid; least of all the mullahs. But, if there’s a live nuclear power plant (way down south, mind you, away from the seat of power), all the enemy has to do is drop a mini-nuke and let all hell loose.

    What we DON’T want, under any conditions __ just as the government in Iran should not want this either __ is a glowing radioactive zone stretching for hundreds of miles.

    Those who prefer to make believe (that imperialists need legitimate excuses to attack us lesser peoples) forget that imperialism NEVER LEAVES. We are ALWAYS under attack. Imperialism, when we are friendly to it and welcoming, attacks our livelihoods through its beloved corporations; something, I believe, the proponents of a ‘normalization’ actually wish for; meaning, they like it if imperialists should ‘normalize’ relations and allow ‘investments’ for ‘development’; nothing to do with looting the national goods of the Iranians; but, the ‘nice way’!
    Now, who’s the pro-imperialist?
    Make all the noise you want. Noise doesn’t change reality.”