How the Peace Movement Has Made a Difference
How the Peace Movement Has Made a Difference in the World Despite Being Marginalized by the US Press
By Jay Shaft
Coalition For Free Thought In Media
30th September 2003
The peace movement and world wide activist community has made a difference, at least to the over 80 million world wide who organized against war, if to no one else.
Our combined voices have been heard around the world by many nations and widely separate and diverse cultures. We have all raised our voices against war in a chorus of many languages and tongues. We have cried out in one unified voice against the governments massing the greed filled, profit driven war machine of corporate enrichment.
While the US and selected allies like Great Britain beat the drums of war and terror, we sang a louder song of peace and defiance of the so-called rightness of the recent wars and conflicts. While they set about to keep the people scared with the imminent danger of an attack from a nation without the capabilities, we tried to bring the soothing calm of rational thought and examination of all the facts.
We have established a global movement of the type never seen before on this earth. Tens of millions gathered, till they could not be accurately counted. United as one we denounced the recent bloody, unnecessary carnage with a presence that was literally felt around the entire world.
Our voices were heard loud and clear by the world leaders, including George Bush. There is no mistaking the fact that with the volume of the anti-war chant as loud as it was they could not help but hear us.
There is also no mistaking the fact that all those united and desperate voices were soundly rebuffed and described as misguided and uninformed. That is the greatest disservice I can recall being committed against a well informed, educated movement in recent history.
The very fact that the voice of an estimated 50-100 million people was callously downplayed and made out as a lunatic fringe is one of the greatest signs that the people no longer have any will or say in world affairs.
To be marginalized so easily and with so little effort in the mainstream media is a slap in the face of everyone that made a sacrifice or effort to be stand up and be heard. There was ample opportunity for the media to give us as great if no greater voice than the US leaders pushing and driving to war, but it was clearly not done.
But the "great" leaders ignoring you and the part you play trying to bring about global peace should discourage no one. We have showed the world that we are trying to stop war and all acts of terrorism, be they state sponsored or random acts by individual groups.
Many people around the world have heard us and took the time to reexamine their beliefs and the issues with a new perspective. I have had many people write to me after reading my articles or articles of others I try to spread around the world, and tell me they never thought about an issue in that manner and they had changed some idea they had about war.
I have had countless others in the movement tell me of people who started out yelling at them during protests and rallies and after long, rational discussion, walk away with a new outlook or even having joined the peace movement. This is how we are making difference around the world even though the US press refuses to give us a real voice or identity.
The fact that we have helped changed the minds of millions in the direction of peace and non-violence shows that we won a great victory with our plea for peace. We have had a positive impact on the worldview when many of the oppressed in war torn countries realized that there were millions who would rally to try to protect them and make them safe.
The fact that we have exposed issues, facts, and truths that are making more and more people change their outlook on war towards a peaceful direction should make us struggle on no matter how minor and insignificant the press and US leaders try to make us appear. Ignoring us has been a weapon that the press is realizing will not make us disappear.
Eve though Bush and the war drummers keep pointing out the "great victory" in Iraq and that it is supposedly the first step in the march against terrorism, a growing rank of people are refusing to buy it. We heard the same thing during the bombing campaign and ground war against Afghanistan and now there is even wide US support for anti-war sentiments, where as then we were called cowards and supporters of terrorism.
We are now seeing that the war in Iraq and also Afghanistan is likely to be the biggest humanitarian disaster of modern history, dwarfing even the debacle of Vietnam. Many family members of US and occupying troops have joined our protests as the war has progressed and there were large groups of family members right from the beginning.
I had one of the most edifying experiences of anti-war protests the other night. I was with a few people passing out flyers that stated "Bush Said Bring ‘em On, We say Bring the Troops Home". On the back of the flyer was a list of all soldiers lost to combat since Bush made that oh so bold and reckless statement.
I was being seriously threatened and harassed by a man and his three sons. The father was supposedly a veteran who fought in a never named war and was pushing me and trying to get me to fight him and his irate sons. I heard a Marine Corp battle cry and looked up to see two Marines, one in dress blues and the other dessert camouflage, charging in my direction with hate and anger in their eyes.
I thought that I was about to attacked by what were obviously freshly returned front line troops. I was shocked when the duo pushed the father and sons away from me and walked me away to a quiet spot. As we were walking away from what was to be a sure fire fight, the marines told the father that in no uncertain terms I was a real American and a hero in their eyes.
The Marine wearing dress blues had tears in his eyes and bear hugged me for several minutes. His friend was a little more aloof but nevertheless had tears in his eyes as well. They said they had just returned home from Iraq the day before, and had not had an opportunity to thank one of the ant-war protesters until then. I was in a bit of shock because I had had some very mixed response from soldiers who had seen me protesting before.
I was told that they knew that many of the ant-war protestors wanted them to return home safe and did not want them to die as they had been told by their unit commanders. The said that thy had received hundreds of letters from war protestors wishing them a safe return to the US and trying to explain to them why US citizens were against them being in Iraq.
Anyone who has any doubts about their anti-war convictions should take this example and think about how we are having a huge positive impact, especially on our serving troops. They see no end in sight to the war and their buddies dying every day and they realize that the very movement that they were told was un-American and unpatriotic just wants to see them come home and everyone in Iraq to stop dying.
The neo-con job warmongering military-industrial complex of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, is leading George Bush by the nose ring, into this quagmire of a bloody massacre send these soldiers to die for profits and the fattening of the corporate slobocracy.
They are the ones who use our soldiers to carry the massed weapons of destruction, devastation, and death to the innocents of the ravaged Arab and third world. Above the march of the footsteps of the so called "liberation" and "freedom" come the cries of the wounded, maimed, starved, and killed.
Above the frantic chattering of the talking heads you hear the wail of children injured or left orphaned by the war. On the desert wind you hear the lamenting, mourning cry of mothers and fathers who have buried their children in the recent months.
The war drums cannot be beaten loud enough to drown out the voices of all those who have suffered and are still suffering from being left as homeless refuges, starving with no relief, or somehow devastated by this pestilence of war.
The American people and the world was sold a war the was "urgent" and supposedly a "humanitarian necessity to stop the innocent civilians from dying at evil hand of Saddam Hussein. Instead of dying at Saddam’s hand we watched them die at the hands of the US and the "Coalition of the willing (shilling and killing)" forces with the supposedly precise and as Rumsfeld claimed "humanitarian" bombing campaigns or artillery blasts. Millions still left in shock and awe and with no resources to recover.
The peace/ anti-war movement was able to bring the voices of the victims and the tragic images to the worlds conscience. The fact that we have helped change the minds literally of millions in the direction of peace and non violence shows us we have won the greatest victory in the pleas for peace and an end to this war and carnage.
Even though Bush and the war drummers keep pointing out the great victory in Iraq and the first stage in the war on terrorism, it comes to light daily that with the war on Iraq, and going back to the Afghanistan retaliation bombings and warfare, that the US has committed the greatest enabling of a humanitarian disaster in modern history.
George Bush, Rumsfeld, Powell, Cheney, and the entire Bush junta/regime told us how the liberation of Iraq was going to be carried out in a humanitarian manner with as little unnecessary deaths as possible from the ultra modern US war machine.
I guess that over 10,000 dead Iraqi civilians and 20,000 wounded and crippled for life was humanitarian in their minds. The way they portrayed Saddam, he had butchered thousands of his own people. The Bush regime acts like it is okay if the US becomes the butcher and slaughters the civilians in the name of democracy and freedom.
Here is a true record of the civilian deaths and maimings in Iraq and Afghanistan:
I guess that in the Bush regime’s dictionary humanitarian liberation means that as long as there is no real body count it is an acceptable price to pay. The fact that over 300 American servicemen have died and hundreds more will die at the rate this guerrilla war is progressing is also acceptable.
George Bush has been more than willing to accept the US losses and continues to do so. If we all remember Bush said for the Iraqi’s to bring it on. They have brought it on in a most bloody and effectively spectacular manner, with retaliation attacks increasing by the day.
Bush and company crowed about the link between 9/11, Ossama Bin Laden, and Al-Qaeda and claimed that if we did not attack Iraq the terrorists would continue to mass weapons and carry out attacks against the US and "peaceful" nations. One of the biggest lies and reasons for attacking was the 9/11 connections and the harboring of Al-Qaeda.
In the last week Bush, Rumsfeld and many of the DOD war drummers have retracted the claims of the links to Al-Qaeda and 9/11. Even as it was beginning to be being denied Dick Cheney went on Meet the Press and still repeated the same outright lies and claimed Iraq was the frontline battle in the war on terrorism.
The following articles and links detail the 9/11 lies and then the Bush administration’s retractions.
MSNBC Struggles To Report Ossama’s Views Of
Quaeda Links Denied
Administration retracts assertions about Saddam's threat to
the USA. Bush Administration miscalculation in Iraq leads to
calls for accountability///... The administration sold the
connection (between Iraq and al ... Update (7/25): UPI
retracts the story on which this was based. ... Bush says
intelligence is "darn good ...
The anti-war movement kept hammering away at the regime for these false claims and even though up to 68% of Americans have swallowed the lies of the 9/11 connection, there is a change coming as more information is slowly revealed. All the concerned journalists who believe in the truth, and the ordinary citizens who can’t stomach a lying and murdering administration driving us to kill and destroy for profits and oil have brought about the changing of the tide of the lies and manipulations.
The power of all the groups of like minded people have won even though we are told we are insignificant and meaningless. We have proved the fact that the war was wrong. I have been told not to use the "I told you so" statement and I have resisted till now, but we all told the world it would be so.
In the large scale scope of world issues the peace and anti-war movement has done huge things and made the message of stopping the US and lapdogs from going to any more wars known to many that would never have heard it otherwise.
Even though the US mainstream media outlets have tried to ignore or diminish our voices, the world press has covered and spread the message to the far corners of the earth. The consensus from world has been that our time ad efforts were not wasted.
We have made, and will continue to make a real difference. The US troops are even saying that they appreciate us, and they have thanked many of us upon returning home.
We cannot afford to stop fighting to stop the US mass bid for domination and support of other oppressive, occupying regimes. We will win our battle or peace, it will only be a matter of time.
For some further readings I have written about all these issues quite extensively. Here is a list of the articles and where to find them.
Scoop: Jay Shaft: US And Terrorists Both
Scoop: Homeless And Starving In The Land Of The
Scoop: Some Lives Seem More Important In War on
Not Just A Failure, An Outright Humanitarian
Iraq: the Children are Dying - More Now Than Ever
Scoop: US Colonel Admits 500 Tons of DU Were Used In
- Jay Shaft, Editor, Coalition For Free Thought
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