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Aug 24, 2005 8:26 pm

Here We Go Again

On September 24, A.N.S.W.E.R is sponsoring what it hopes will be mass demonstrations in Washington and on the West Coast. Its agenda includes not just a call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq but a host of what will be perceived by most Americans as radical demands that assail U.S. imperialist policies in Haiti, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Venezuela, Cuba, Palestine, and North Korea. During the Vietnam War, such demonstrations, while thrilling to the participants, turned off many potentially sympathetic Americans who were concerned about practical ways to bring the boys home from Southeast Asia--and nothing more. When elements of the antiwar movement raised ancillary and not especially popular issues, the Johnson and Nixon administrations were able to marginalize them. More important, the media's concentration on the most radical protestors and placards led many of those skeptical about U.S. policy in Vietnam to conclude, "If those are the sorts of people against the war, then I must be for the war." Karl Rove must be licking his chops. When will they ever learn?

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S R - 9/6/2005

any current anti-war demonstrations will only serve as an automatic mental association to the demonstrations. as mr. small has pointed out, the media chooses to only profile the radicals to satisfy their ratings. I say this...the days of fruitful anti-war demonstrations are indeed over. it'll be several generations before society will not associate the words "anti-war" with the images and actions the of the vietnam demonstrations. my answer is term limits for ALL elected officials...but that's a conversation for another time.

Melvin Small - 8/25/2005

Maybe the time has already passed for mass demonstrations demanding immediate withdrawal, an option that that currently does not enjoy widespread support. Perhaps antiwarriors should concentrate on the Senate and Russ Feingold's recent call for the determination of a date certain for American withdrawal a la the successful Cooper-Church amendment following the 1970 Cambodian invasion. Of course, that came from a Senate controlled by Democrats. But the 2006 congressional elections are fast approaching and Republicans have every reason to feel nervous about running for office while the war continues at its present rate of death, destruction, and despair.

HNN - 8/24/2005

ANSWER is clearly making a mistake. But ANSWER isn't the problem, is it? It's merely taking advantage of a political vacuum. As long as the Democrats remain quiet about the war radicals will take the lead in opposing it.

I admit that the other night I reassured a friend at dinner that the Democrats are just letting Bush melt like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. Why not let him?

But you bring up a great reason not to remain on the sidelines.

Leaving the anti-war movement to radicals is politically dangerous.

Of course, the problem of many Democrats is that for political reasons they voted for this misguided war. That, too, is stopping them from saying what needs to be said.