Blogs > HNN > Size Doesn't Matter

Aug 17, 2005 11:52 am


Size Doesn't Matter



Of all the activities of the nascent anti-Iraq War movement, Cindy Sheehan’s protest seems to have attracted the most serious (Summer) White House concern. How could one mother’s request to see the president have produced so many front-page newspaper stories and so much time on network and cable newscasts when marches, demonstrations and other antiwar events have attracted relatively little media, and consequently, public and administration attention?

Size does not matter! One of the most successful anti- Vietnam War protests, the telegenic Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) weeklong series of activities in Washington in April 1971 (the one where we first heard of John Kerry), involved fewer than 2,000 protestors. Like Ms. Sheehan, the antiwar vets had a good deal of credibility with Americans, so much so that like the Bush Administration, the Nixon Administration defamed and demonized them. And like the Bushies, Nixon’s people came close to forcefully evicting them from their encampment.

Ultimately, the VVAW protest did not hasten the end of the war. But we now know that it did have an immediate impact on Nixon and his operatives. They feared that the relative handful of veterans, engaged in often highly emotional and imaginative demonstrations, would influence far more Americans than the hundreds of thousands of media-created rag-tag “hippie-communists” who showed up for routine mass rallies.



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Jim B. Harris - 8/17/2005

Is there an anti-insurgent movement out there? You know, a potential group that opposes the folks who would load up a car full of bombs and drive into a gathering of Iraqi children getting some candy from US Soldiers.