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Redirecting the mob

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 08, 2003

I love the last bit of this piece by Mark Cooper that I’m quoting it extensively:

The responsibilities of the peace movement are far too weighty to be squandered in sputtering and ultimately politically irrelevant feel-good acts of blocking traffic or ripping down fences at military bases. As war breaks out, the peace movement must engage even more deeply, not marginalize itself. It must exert what influence it can muster to limit and constrain the exercise of American military power and to do all possible to prevent this conflict from becoming a prelude to endless war. But even more immediately, it’s the peace movement that must actually hold the Bush administration to its promises of liberating Iraq. The peace movement should take an active role in debating and trying to shape the post-Saddam outcome by fighting, first of all, for a thorough roll-up of the Ba’ath regime, for indictment and prosecution of Hussein and his gang, for the fullest democracy possible, respect for the Shiahs and Kurds, for a postwar government that respects human rights. That formula includes an authentic U.S. and international commitment to fund reconstruction and development. And let’s not forget the Bush-Blair promise to finally get serious about the Palestinians.

At the time of the O.J. trial, I wrote that resentful white Westside Yuppies would have actually been disappointed if Simpson had been convicted, as that would rob them of their self-righteous indignation. Let’s do a reality check. If you’re in the peace movement and your secret hope is that an arrogant George W. Bush will get his comeuppance in Iraq, that the war will go awry and that it will sink into a bloody I-told-you-so quagmire, then you better have a long, soul-searching meeting with yourself. This is not Vietnam, where the U.S. intervened to support a tinpot dictatorship against an indigenous revolution. This time the U.S. is intervening — perhaps for all the wrong reasons — against a dictatorial regime a dozen times worse than that of Nguyen Thieu’s. As American tanks roll into southern Iraq, we should hope that they will, in fact, be met with rice and roses and then go right on to Baghdad to finish off Saddam. To the Iraqi people who must now cower under our bombs and missiles and pray to God to be spared, we owe them at least that perk — and much, much more.

via glfstrm