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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Peace Movement: Divided & Conquered

"With such strong and varied antiwar sentiment, is it not remarkable that the antiwar movement has come to nothing? Our country is now embroiled in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in countries on Russia's perimeter, in Iran, in many parts of Africa and elsewhere. And the war parties, Democrat and Republican, are itching for a fight with China. Altogether the situation is pretty miserable.

So why the great gap between popular sentiment and effective antiwar action? I submit that the war parties, Democrat and Republican, very effectively use a divide and conquer tactic--and the antiwar forces play into it, usually quite eagerly. So when some on the left have good things to say about Ron Paul, the sterile lefty ideologues quickly change the subject. If that does not work, those who speak favorably of Paul are excoriated for being right wingers in our innermost thoughts, which we ourselves cannot plumb, we are told, although the psychoanalysts of the left can. And if that does not work, the thought nannies tell us that Ron Paul is a Nazi, another Hitler, who is to be opposed at all costs. . . .

The same is true on the other side. The Paleos and to a lesser degree the Libertarians cannot put aside differences with Greens and other leftists long enough to make headway against war and empire. As soon as common cause begins to be made, then the specter of increased social spending is raised by the Libertarians and of creeping secularism by the Paleos. Because everyone wants only allies that are in complete agreement, no alliances are made. And presto, the ruling war parties have divided and conquered.

Such behavior on the part of the antiwar movement is childish in the extreme. For the sake of ideological purity, we give up on making common cause with others who agree with us only in part. For an impossibly long shot at gaining everything, we sacrifice gaining the most important thing at the moment--an end to war and empire."

--from "Shame On Us All / Antiwarriors: Divided and Conquered" By JOHN V. WALSH at
http://www.counterpunch.org/walsh02122008.html.

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