April 20, 2003


Antiwar Movement Tries to Find a Meaningful Message (KATE ZERNIKE, April 20, 2003, NY Times)
On Tuesday, the leaders of the antiwar coalition Win Without War will gather for a two-day retreat outside New York City to discuss their group's future now that the war has ended. One of the items on the agenda: Should it change its name to Win Without Wars?

The question of whether to go plural reflects how the antiwar movement is trying to move forward now that the conflict it so passionately wanted to avert - and for a time, thought it might avert - has ended.

Leaders in the movement do not like to focus on the notion that they lost. Yes, they failed to stop the war. Yes, the public has overwhelmingly supported President Bush's actions. With a swift United States victory over a brutal dictator and fewer casualties than most experts predicted, it is particularly hard for antiwar organizers to argue that their dire forecasts were right.

They focus instead on how much strength the movement gained so quickly - it was largely invisible just six months ago - and on their next moves, even if they are not quite certain what those might be.

Throughout the war, these organizers worked hard to stay in harmony - if not quite in tune - with the American public, emphasizing that this peace movement is patriotic and mainstream. After violent protests at the beginning of the war angered officials in several cities, they emphasized the civil in civil disobedience.

Now again, the challenge is to find a message that resonates.

Here are four causes they might adopt:
Posted by Orrin Judd at April 20, 2003 10:10 AM

Don't forget Congo!

Posted by: Steve Martinovich at April 20, 2003 1:25 PM

In order to communicate a thoughtful message, one must first be thoughtful, no? Who, after all, is not anti-war? The question is really pro or anti-American and why?

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at April 20, 2003 6:32 PM

They're not antiwar, just on the other side.

I haven't seen any marches for peace in Sudan.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 21, 2003 1:14 AM

And unfortunately for the Zimbabwean opposition, all those activiste American proferssors were so anxiously concerned about Israel's "planned expulsion" of Palestinians under cover of the Iraq war, that they somehow didn't get around to considering Mugabe's plans (though then again, he was legitimized by Chirac).

In their defense, I guess one could say, who really does care about Zimbabwe? etc.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at April 21, 2003 3:57 AM