The outrage that greeted the run-up to the Bush-Blair Iraq war debacle generated what must have been the largest antiwar rallies and demonstrations in the history of the world. Sometimes in subzero temperatures, millions of marchers in New York, London and elsewhere took to the streets to interrupt the roar of self-righteous crypto-imperial bravado, to barge through George Bush's strutters' ball and its fevers of fantastical, deceptive and self-deceptive claims about Saddam Hussein's danger to the United States and Washington's promise to parachute democracy into Saddam's stricken land. In the well-chosen words of one London sign, the marchers were "Shocked, Not Awed."
Then the marches stopped.
They stopped partly because the antiwar leadership was barely cobbled together, with some conspicuous quarters reluctant to speak harshly of the multi-murderous Saddam Hussein. The movement's drawing power was limited from the start, and then, once the war was on in earnest, it felt -- realistically -- that it had run smack against the brick wall of George Bush's manic pigheadedness. Demonstrators are unlikely to invest their energies in what look from the start like very lost causes. And the demonstrations also tailed off because the mainstream media didn't pay attention -- refused to pay attention. The story line they were promoting was: America kicks ass, new era begins!
Is there anything more embarrassing than an elderly Socialist still trying to pass for a Democrat to the masses? Toad Gitlin. When he dies, a lot of the lying will die with him.
In the excerpt above and in his entire b.s. article, Toad rewrites history. Bush not caring about the wars didn't really end the protests. Nor did Nixon not caring end them at an earlier time. What killed the national protests?
The 'leaders.' Toad should be familiar with that.
See, in 2004, the GOP held their convention in NYC. And many of us protested. Toad didn't. Not only did Toad not protest, he took to the airwaves (minor radio) to insist that there should be no protest. He debated the issue on Democracy Now! with Naomi Klein, for example. He was one of the idiots running around like Chicken Little. Does he think we forget that?
Does he think he can rewrite history and not be called on it? Joan Walsh is a damn idiot so of course she'll get on board with his crap. But there's a reason Salon's stock keeps sinking and it's because of crap like this.
What Toad tried to do in 2004, kill the peace movement to pimp the Democratic Party, many more would begin doing in 2007. By 2008, Naomi Klein was part of that disaster. The same Klein who had not only debated Toad in 2004 but had declared at the start of 2005 that the peace movement must never allow itself to be co-opted by the Democratic Party.
The whores for Barack killed the national identity of the peace movement. Trash like Leslie Cagan posting her Barack-just-got-elected-I'm-done-protesting b.s. at United for Peace & Justice. They all went home.
The biggest fallacy in Toad's piece, the one that reveals it to be crap, is when he claims the corporate media lost interest such as in this sentence: "And the demonstrations also tailed off because the mainstream media didn't pay attention -- refused to pay attention. The story line they were promoting was: America kicks ass, new era begins!" But it was the corporate media -- not beggar media (so-called independent) -- that covered A.N.S.W.E.R.'s protests after Barack was in the White House. It was the corporate media that covered Cindy Sheehan more than Panhandle Media which really didn't want her around anymore and treated her like a house guest that was just supposed to be staying for the weekend.
As long as Jane Fonda and Sean Penn were showing up at a protest and it was while Bush was in the White House, Democracy Now! was devoting a full hour to protesting. Barack gets into office and a national protest gets a headline and nothing else.
Toad Gitlin has been lying for decades. He really needs to leave the stage. It is his lies that have promoted the illegal war. He does it again today with the supposed what-if-we-leave argument.
He knows better than that. I've known Toad for decades, he knows better. Here's the reality of that what-if: The alternative is to stay forever.
The alternative is to see other countries as children and yourself as bountiful benefactor instead of the invaders.
What will happen? Countries will stand on their own or they won't. That's how it always is. Toad's not really raised children so he doesn't understand that even if other countries were children (they're not), you can't keep them in the nest forever.
His garbage is a promotion of war (most obvious and transparent when he discusses the Libyan War). That's because when you're a broke ass piece of trash, you'll do anything to find just a moment of respectability from the mainstream in the final moments of your sad and pathetic life.
They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)
Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4472. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4475.
Reuters notes a Mosul shooting which claimed the lives of 2 police officers and 1 bystander (another police officer was left injured), a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 man and 1 woman, Iraqi soliders shot dead a civilian in Mosul at a checkpoint, a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed 2 lives and left a third person injured, a Mahmudiya roadside bombing left two people injured and a Shirqat attack injured three guards of Brigadier Ahmed Bdaiwi (reports differ as to whether Bdaiwi was hurt).
New content at Third.
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statment of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Projection and distraction
- TV: Visible to the naked eye?
- Movement Mama aka Moving On Up preface
- Aunt Tess
- North Korea's secret weapon
- ETAN on West Papua
- The Libyan War
Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes "We can't trust the capitalist media to hold power to account" (Great Britian's Socialist Worker):
The News International scandal has exposed the general corruption of the mainstream media.
Many will wonder if investigative journalism is possible at all.
Yet some outstanding investigative journalists have written for capitalist newspapers. Paul Foot and John Pilger wrote for the Daily Mirror, for example.
Socialists want more of this. It’s better if millions of working class people read the truth about the exploits of the powerful instead of celebrity tittle-tattle.
But the capitalist press will always be constrained. Owners and editors, drawn from the elite, have a big impact on content.
That’s always been true—from Lord Beaverbrook in the 1930s to Robert Maxwell in the 1980s.
Cost-cutting has led to what some dub “churnalism”—journalists rewriting press releases instead of producing real news.
Foot and Pilger stand out as exceptions, rather than the norm.
A genuine alternative to the bosses’ media will come from outside the mainstream. That’s why socialists put such emphasis on producing our own media.
Socialist Worker stands in a long tradition of revolutionary newspapers. We counter the lies of the bosses and the rich which are so often parroted in the mainstream media.
But we also produce a paper to help organise resistance to their system—and bring about a world where the majority are in charge, not a handful of rich bastards.
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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and the war drags on
the third estate sunday review
the world today just nuts