Sunday, January 18, 2004

One Year Later

A year ago, I joined with a few thousand fellow dissenters in Washington DC to stand against Bush and the rest of the "War Party".

Alas, our efforts seemed to be futile, as a little more than two months later, Bush defied international law (nothing new for the US according to Noam Chomsky's Hegemony Or Survival) and invaded Iraq based on intelligence that may have at best been faulty and at worst false. It's odd that lying about sex is worse than lies that have cost 500 American lives and may actually have given the terrorists we're supposed to be fighting an excellent recruiting tool.

But have they been, or was that chilly day in January the beginning of a movement. The fact that an anti-war candidate now is among the leaders in the race to oppose Bush may show that this group has strength.

Of course this strength also has many insiders scared. The Republicans fear this movement as it may create a new progressive grassroots that could pose a theat not only to them but to thier corporate masters. The Democrats fear these activists as they represent the kind of people that they've been trying to get away from, perhaps at the cost of losing this "cores" support. The losses the Democrats have suffered since abandoning thier core in a quest to try and gain a piece of the same corporate pie that the GOP feeds of is visible to anyone.

But what needs to happen to keep this momentum going. To begin with, I think this movement needs to expand beyond opposing the war in Iraq and into opposing American imperialism. As I read through Chomsky's book, I see that this war as being part of something bigger, and that this is what needs to be opposed.

Second, we need to continue to try and work to break a problem I've seen with many "Progressive" causes, especially since Seattle. We need to forge ourselves into a political force. The success of Howard Dean's campaign shows what power this movement possesses. Though for reasons stated above, elements of both party's are probably hoping to see Dean loose. The earlier this movement can be nipped in the bud, the less likely it is to take hold. We need to work to get candidates willing to listen to us into office and get warmongers out.

Should Bush be re-elected, then we can't make the same mistake made over 30 years ago and have this movement collapse into itself. I could see Dean "MeetUps", becoming "MoveOn", "Nation" or "Mother Jones MeetUps".