By Gabriele Zamparini
After the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington — and in spite of nationalist propaganda of unprecedented levels coming from the warmongers and their bowing and scraping servants in the media — the hopes for a global, really internationalist anti-war movement for peace and justice were very promising. Many objective factors contributed to those hopes: the most despicable American citizen was co-opted to be the White House’s resident by his father’s friends sitting at the Supreme Court; a well known gang of bloodthirsty psychopaths formed his infamous Junta; important parts of the American establishment were critical or very critical of the Bush Junta’s criminal plans and many governments voiced their opposition to those plans, which would bring to the unprecedented 2003 UN tsunami.
Even though the brainwashing for the war of aggression against Afghanistan worked very well, there was a very high and organized opposition in the US and in the UK for the coming war of aggression against Iraq. That opposition was much higher in the rest of the world and possibly for the first time in history, thanks also to the Internet, we experienced a real internationalist movement connected and mobilized against the World’s warlords. On 15 February 2003 millions of people took the streets of the world to denounce their opposition to the mass murderers’ plans; where the United Nations failed, the United Nations’ Peoples claimed their democratic sovereignty: DON’T ATTACK IRAQ — NOT IN OUR NAME.
Four and half years later, the anti-war movement is just a shadow of itself while in Iraq the genocide of a whole People and the annihilation of the whole country is business as usual; the banality of evil in XXI Century flavour.
Of course, everybody agrees with Howard Zinn, “there is no magical panacea, only persistence.” But in these past few years the anti-war movement’s establishment has taken all the wrong decisions and the worst directions.
In the US especially, the anti-war planners wanted to go mainstream.
The oldest, most experienced and committed segments of the movements have been isolated because too “old fashioned” and not presentable to the “new friends”, the generous foundations linked to the Democratic Party. Socialism and Marx can’t really be welcomed at fundraising dinners and cocktail parties.
In spite of the many anti-war planners’ claims that the Israel Lobby has no real power to influence the US government’s policies, that Lobby is so very powerful to influence even the anti-war movement from within. The Palestine issue needed to be downplayed and many Palestine’s supporters and campaigners have been marginalized.
That part of the movement who would keep asking questions about the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington (please, note: questions doesn’t mean conspiracy theories) have also been isolated and now whoever dares to question the official truth of those events is labeled as conspiracy nut.
We all rightly criticized that most of the mainstream media journalists have been embedded to the US Army, but at the same time the anti-war movement’s establishment has been in bed with the Democratic Party. In both cases, the show hasn’t been pretty.
Continuously lecturing about democracy, the anti-war movement’s planners have taken the most important decisions in name of the anti-war movement without consulting with anybody, let alone a real democratic process where those guidelines were discussed and chosen or rejected.
While Iraq was being consciously brought into a civil war by the occupation, who decided the support given by the anti-war movement to the infamous political process and the outrageous Welcome given to Maliki?
Who decided the shameful, complete silence of the anti-war movement when the legitimate president of Iraq was being illegally lynched by that scandalous trial and then finally brutally assassinated by those sectarian collaborationists who were also carrying out mass murdering and ethnic cleansing against innocent people? Who decided the almost unanimous support for Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement while its militia, the Mahdi Army, has been carrying out atrocious crimes against humanity? Why has there been such a complicit silence, when not an active defense, toward the notorious Iraq Body Count. Who decided that the anti-war movement couldn’t express sympathy to the Iraqi resistance?
All these and many other important decisions, important also for the anti-war movement’s directions, were taken by a very tiny minority of intellectuals and planners, in the solitude of their Ivory Tower. No open debate was allowed. The result has been a complete catastrophe, when not associating the anti-war movement with ethnic cleansing in Iraq, as in the case of the shocking support to Moqtada al-Sadr and the silence around his murderous Mahdi Army, a support and a silence that still persist, in spite of tons of documents, reports, testimonies, denounces, articles and an ocean of blood. (Just read one of the latest of those documents, the recently published Amnesty International’s report, Iraq: human rights abuses against Palestinian refugees).
The anti-war movement’s elites have barred any open debate on many fundamental questions, imposing to the anti-war movement a direction decided in other quarters and leaving the millions of people with the only choice to take it or to leave it. Millions have left.