Over at CounterPunch, Sharon Smith has (my opinion) an important commentary entitled"The Anti-War Movement After Kerry: Learning All the Wrong Lessons."
Here's the opening:
It is unfortunately a little-known fact that thousands of high school and college students across the country organized walkouts against the war on January 20, marching as organized contingents to counter-inaugural demonstrations in Boulder, Colo.; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Austin, Texas; and other cities.
At Seattle Central Community College (SCCC), students took a few minutes on their way out of the building to confront military recruiters--forcing them to flee under the protection of campus security officers. One of the recruiters, claiming student protesters flung newspapers and water bottles in his direction, told the Seattle Post Intelligencer, "They were all going by, making offhand comments and saying 'no war.' We just waved at them. Five minutes later, there was just a mob of 500 people surrounding the table."
There is a student rebellion in the making, coalescing around opposition to the war and its military recruiters--with students by the hundreds defying threats of disciplinary action.Despite their potential to transform the political landscape, however, the significance of these militant student actions has so far escaped the leaders of the nation's established antiwar organizations.
Indeed, after fostering the illusion that supporting pro-war, neoliberal John Kerry represented the only "realistic" strategy for those who oppose the war, these antiwar leaders now seem to have learned all the wrong lessons from Kerry's defeat in November.
Rather than seizing the opportunity in the months before the election to strengthen the antiwar movement as a clear alternative for the millions opposed to Bush, virtually the entire movement came to a standstill to support the Democratic Party's chosen candidate--leaving those against the war with no organized expression to the left of Kerry's "hunt down and kill the terrorists" mantra. Even as the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib surfaced, and the U.S. invaded Falluja and Najaf, finally flattening Falluja in November, the U.S. antiwar movement maintained its silence.