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February 20, 2003

Peace Progress

Retrorocket has some great thoughts on the growing global movement against war. Specifically, he's angered and mystified by how easily many pundits have been able to dismiss the importance of the millions of people who oppose war. I'd agree with him, but I haven't been paying a lot of attention to that dark side. I've been tyring to remain optimistic, hoping that the dismissals are just the last gasp of a march toward war that's really struggling for legitimacy. To that end, I offer the following links about the protests and current events more generally. First, has compiled a list of demonstrations around the world. It's long, diverse, impressive, and pretty impossible to ignore. A few hundred here, a few thousand there, a million or more over there… Has anything like this happened before? Second, although I'm not sure how seriously to take this, the British anti-war movement is apparently planning to shut down Britian if Blair goes to war. As Retrorocket notes, about one-sixtieth of the British population marched against war. If all those marchers refuse to go to work one day, the impact would not be negligible. The article also notes the connections between opposition to war and opposition to the kind of "globalization" that has prompted protests against the World Bank and WTO all over the world in recent years. Although the press likes to dub it an "anti-globalization" movement, it's really a social justice movement, and it's been growing steadily for several years now. I imagine the pundits who are dismissing the anti-war demonstrations are at least vaguelly aware of the close connections between the social justice and anti-war people, and those pundits are really hoping this isn't what it looks like: A huge, powerful, steadily growing global movement that is ready to challenge much of the agenda that these dismissive pundits stand for. Third, the Guardian also reports that Bush's War Timetable is Unravelling, thanks most recently to the resistance of Turkey. Fourth, the media are beginning to cover the anti-war perspective and they are getting called on it when they fail to do so. For example, Take Back the Media reports that CNN left 750 words out of its transcript from Hans Blix's last U.N. presentation. Now why would CNN want to do that? I imagine (hope) reports like this will make at least a few people a bit more critical of what they see in the mainstream media. Fifth, and mostly for fun, cartoonist Mark Fiore is doing his part to explain the case for war. And to end on yet another bit from The Onion: Bill of Rights Pared Down To A Manageable Six. Is laughing still good medicine when the humor is so dark? Written to the tune of: Where's Your Head At from the album "Rooty (Advance)" by Basement Jaxx

Posted February 20, 2003 09:44 AM | general politics

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