Arguing against the Iraq War/SP4 verdict in

posted by Mike on September 26th, 2005

The St. Patrick’s Four were acquitted of conspiracy to impede a federal officer in connection with a nonviolent 2003 demonstration against the Iraq War. (The jury found them guilty of misdemeanor charges of property damage and trespassing.)

This means it’s still OK to demonstrate against the war.

100,000+ demonstrated against the Iraq War in DC this weekend.

I was one of 30 in Worcester demonstrating against it.

For every person demonstrating against it, probably 10 people are blogging against it.

The best “US out of Iraq NOW” posts of the weekend are from Billmon and Juan Cole. Running Scared has a good summary of the latest arguments.

I recommend these posts because they might help you articulate these “out NOW” arguments to others. Especially those who prefer: “US Out of Iraq, But Not Yet.” (Several P&C contributors are leaning that way.)

Every week in Worcester we have a demonstration against the war–it’s been going on for years. (I recall demonstrating with a “No War On Iraq” sign in May 2002; I can’t recall what news item prompted this.)

Most drivers encourage us, but people still flip us off, too. I wish I had a way to reach out to these folks. Maybe you need a 500-word essay to articulate the argument, and not a 5-word sign.

I went to jury duty today. In our state there is a “one day or one trial” policy, and since they had more than enough juries for the day, my group was sent home without ever entering a courtroom.

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5 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On September 26, 2005 at 13:55 Adam (Southern California) said:

    I think the operative question to ask is on the effect in Iraq on the different policy options. More specifically, what would be the effect on the insurgency from pulling out now vs. pulling out later. Is it a lose-lose situation? I don’t know. Perhaps if the US troops aren’t helping to suppress the insurgency by their presence, maybe they should stop taking a direct role in things and concentrate just on training the Iraqi troops.

    But of course, many of the bad policy decisions were made years ago and can’t be undone now. I, for one, don’t think that sending troops to Iraq to oust Saddam was in itself a bad decision. But so many decisions surrounding it were bad. Not allowing UN weapons inspections to take their course — bad. Alienating our allies — bad. Not having any coherent plan of action for dealing with post-Saddam Iraq — very bad. Encouraging torture and then covering it up — very very bad. Etc. Of course, the ultimate bad policy decision was electing Bush in the first place.

  2. On September 27, 2005 at 11:56 Adam (Southern California) said:

    So, why are all of the large antiwar protests being organized by ANSWER? They seem like a pretty unsavory bunch.

  3. On September 27, 2005 at 12:06 Mike (Worcester) said:

    They probably are an unsavory bunch. Personally, I don’t care about the politics of the guys who apply for the demonstration permit any more than I care about the politics of the guy who sells me a car.

    In opposing this war, I adopt a “zombie movie” sense of ethics. When the living dead rise from their graves, in search of the flesh of the living, I’ll proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Christopher Hitchens, politics be damned.

    It’s telling that, the wake of a huge anti-war protest, folks like Mr. Hitchens focus on the politics of some paper-pushers, instead of on why the anti-war movement is growing. ANSWER and Michael Moore don’t represent the anti-war movement, but they’re a convenient distraction for pundits who’d rather not discuss the ongoing tragedy in Iraq.

  4. On September 27, 2005 at 13:44 Adam (Southern California) said:

    I guess this speaks to the broader question of alliances. On a geopolitical scale, the country allies itself with pretty odious regimes like Saudi Arabia’s because they further our goals in other ways. On a personal political scale, I generally vote Democratic because, on the balance, I feel the country’s better off with them in power than the Republicans. But while I vote for them, I would hesitate to, say, stick a campaign bumper sticker on my car, since there is a lot in their program I disagree with. And by participating in the economy, of course, you’re supporting a long chain of businesses and everything THEY support. I think with everything there, we have to weigh the benefits vs. the consequences, and also see if there are any alternatives.

    I guess some of it depends on whether they stay on topic— since they publicized the event as an antiwar rally, one could hardly argue that marching with them implies any sort of support for them beyond being antiwar. But that’s a slippery slope—- it’s an extreme example, but if the Ku Klux Klan organized an antiwar march (bear with me here, it’s an example), I sure wouldn’t march with them. I think a lot of people had these sort of debates, at least internally, when Louis Farrakhan organized the Million Man March, which was by all accounts a very positive event.

    Did they pull any bait-and-switch and start asking for, say, the US out of Puerto Rico, or in any way demonstrate support for the insurgency at your location?

  5. On September 28, 2005 at 16:17 Adam (Southern California) said:

    Here’s a Washington Post story that indicates that the military’s view of its role in Iraq is actually pretty close to my own, namely, that having U.S. soldiers play an active role in maintaining order is in itself creating disorder, but that they’re still needed to train the Iraqis:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/25/AR2005092501298.html

    Or you can go here instead to be redirected:
    http://tinyurl.com/9u2nm

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