The Antiwar Movement Needs A New Playbook
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.
To fuck your enemies you’ve first have got seduce your allies
Tired of having your faces rubbed in shit? The antiwar movement is spinning its wheels while being outflanked by the bipartisan, international war machine – a juggernaut with limitless financial resources, millions of shock troops, a corporate controlled pocket media and generations of successful propaganda already deeply imbedded within the national psyche. Despite repeated poll numbers showing the American public turning against Bush’s wars and the increasing pressure being applied to lawmakers up for reelection the current antiwar surge is doomed to failure because let’s face it, what has really changed? Much lip service is paid but the body count in Iraq mounts, our moral standing continues to deteriorate with the ever more frequently emerging accounts of the brutality of an occupying army, the nation heads towards bankruptcy and the neocons continue their instigation in order to escalate the conflagration by attacking Iran (or Pakistan for that matter if you listen to neocon ideologue and top media shill William Kristol) while the Armageddon choir shrieks in adulation and anticipation of their next mainline hit off of the Rapture crack pipe.
It is time for a reality check and a realization that in order to have any chance at fighting the authoritarianism of the militarist war machine the left-right paradigm and the my team vs. your team politics needs to be discarded for a movement that unites rather than divides, and one that is able to identify the true enemy which is the cancerous system itself – a system that has come to poison our national mind with the big lie that war itself is as American as apple pie. I don’t have the time to go into a rant on the longterm effects of the incessant barage of violent, pro war, nationalist propaganda that Americans are bombarded with from their earliest days of cognition through television, movies, video games and in a less technologically advanced time toy guns and miniature plastic soldiers but it is a good topic that I will address in the future, this post is about the ability of the antiwar movement to adapt to an increasingly hostile battlefield environment.
I recently read former Marine officer, UN weapons inspector and principled conservative Scott Ritter’s new book: Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement and I would strongly recommend that every American who is truly serious about saving this country take a look at what he has to say. I realize that many who read this post will not be down with it as Ritter recommends using military style tactics and the teachings of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz to in effect wage war against the war machine. This may fly in the face of certain aspects of modern liberalism but with the crisis rapidly worsening, our democracy sold to the highest bidder and the constitution in tatters it is now crunch time and dearly held principles need to be chucked in the name of the greater need which is that of survival and the only way that survival is possible is to take the battle right at the motherfuckers but more on the book in a little while.
With the complete betrayal of the Judas Democrats on bringing about an end to Bush’s war or to otherwise throw up adequate roadblocks towards an escalation into Iran that culminated in antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan’s arrest in the office of John Conyers ( a sad betrayal by a longtime fighter, a former lion turned lamb who is now in his old age kept on a short leash by party ‘leadership’) it is well past time for the antiwar movement to look for other alternatives to ending this madness before the entire world is aflame and Der Homeland is turned into a repressive police state due to Richard B. Cheney and his ultra slick legal eagle David Addington’s barrage of Executive Orders, the latest one arming the unitary executive/dictator/fuehrer with the power to seize property and to confiscate the assets of war protestors who dare to question the king’s divine providence to pillage, rape and plunder for the sake of expanding the empire. The complicity of the Democrats in the actions of the Bushreich to dismantle constitutional democracy are louder than bombs and exemplified by their silence and in their failure to halt the junta have ensured that their own fingerprints are on the dagger that has been planted in our backs.
In recently denouncing the Democrats as the collection of war addicts, abject failures, duplicitous backstabbers, bald-faced liars and pathological cheats that they truly are Sheehan has dealt a staggering blow to the DLC wing of the war party’s cloak of legitimacy and it is triggering an exposure and closing of ranks for the establishment with denunciations by fake left poseurs like the bastard snake Zuniga of the internet disinformation clearing house and vacuum cleaner operation Daily Kos (Sheehan was banned from posting there but hey, so were hundreds if not thousands of others who weren’t party hacks including myself twice) and a made into a mockery among the so-called anti-war progressives but it will soon reverberate, spread and with any luck at all go viral so that a chain reaction will be set off where a new awareness of the Democratic party complicity in this fucking bullshit war, the destruction of the middle class and the corruption of the system will deal a hopefully mortal blow to the entire rotten establishment. There is already a growing Hillary resistance movement on the ‘left’ along with a conservative backlash against the neocon invasion of the party snatchers that see the stars aligning for that rarest of things – common ground among Americans who have been pitted against each other over absolute bullshit wedge issues for far too long now and who are only now beginning to realize that they have been played for fools.
When it became obvious that the Democratic party as it exists today is more concerned with aligning itself with a foreign interest (AIPAC) operating within our borders than in doing what is right for America the deal was sealed. When you come right down to it the six-year reign of terror in Bush’s war on America wouldn’t have been possible. First they rolled over on the war by giving the emperor a blank check and they have been rolling over ever since. Nothing more exemplifies the unwillingness of the Judas Democrats than their shameless ability to pander to the lowest common denominators and ensure that they will never have to address any real issues than their appearances in fucking ridiculous farces like the recent faith forum and the upcoming gay rights forum which serve only to further cement and reinforce the right wing frames that have been so damaging to this country since the seizure of power by the Bushreich.
Note that the Pelosi-Reid-Hoyer triad has done absolutely fucking nothing to roll back the USA PATRIOT act, restore habeas corpus, ban torture, close the gulags, stop the illegal spying on American citizens or take a stand against the creeping fascism and are now using the trumped up “war on terror” for their own means. The establishment Dems are thoroughly corrupt, rotten to the core and have already accepted their thirty pieces of silver to shank the American people in the back in the name of perpetual war for perpetual peace. The failure of the Democrats should be a wake up call to any and all who had some faith, however naïve that the existing system can work as intended to maintain a system of checks and balances as envisioned by the founding fathers because it is all just too far gone. The pitter patter of the little cat feet that fascism creeps in on is getting more audible and the transformation of America into the Homeland becomes more obvious by the day. As Milton Meyer famously wrote in his study of Nazi Germany They Thought They Were Free:
What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.
“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it – please try to believe me – unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these “little measures” that no “patriotic German” could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.
The Democrats have even less interest in bringing about a halt to the wars of empire than they do in impeaching the criminals in the White House and the Pentagon who have done so much damage to America over the past six terrible years. AIPAC tool and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was the latest to unequivocally state that impeachment was “off the table” during a recent appearance on the syndicated Ed Schultz Show meaning that the jackass party are now co-equals with their more thuggish and overtly fascist counterparts in ensuring that the war machine keeps running at all costs and to hell with Sheehan or the law because they sense that they will inherit the keys to the kingdom along with the dictatorial powers that the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil have imbued the executive branch with very, very soon. Never mind that impeachment and removal is an absolute necessity to allow such a transfer of power to occur despite the false façade of legitimacy in the national dog and pony shows that our elections have become. In their short-sightedness and their lust for power the Democratic establishment perilously and repeatedly fails to understand exactly what they are dealing with.
What if the current junta has no intention of leaving and is only buying the necessary time until the next 9/11 takes place and the full provisions of NSPD-51 are implemented? Bush’s martial law master plan is so secretive, so onerous and so terrifying that Oregon Congressman and Homeland Security Committee member Peter DeFazio was denied the chance to examine it in a secure “bubbleroom” leaving him to say “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right”. In their raw lust for power, their insatiable greed and their pathological desire to control the money spigots of the spoils system the DLC Democrats are making a grave strategic blunder that could be the final dagger in the back of the American people, the demise of the republic itself and the last nail in the coffin holding the constitution. They are allowing the neocon hydra to fully regenerate and to bring down the entire fucking house to ensure that their crazed global agenda is fulfilled. Israel has the Samson Option and the Bushreich has NSPD-51, the bastard love child of the authoritarian fascist military industrial complex and the next generation of Colonel Oliver North’s REX 84.
Conservative columnist Paul Craig Roberts who has become one of the most outspoken critics of the fascist strain of Republicanism nails it dead on in his most recent column entitled My Wake-up Call: Watch For Another 9/11-WMD Experience where which he predicts such an event:
The Bush administration is preparing us for more terrorist attacks. The latest intelligence report says that Al Qaeda has regrouped, rebuilt, and has the ability to come after us again. “Al Qaeda will intensify its efforts to put operatives here,” says the report.
Security operatives, such as Michael Chertoff, and various instruments of administration propaganda have warned that we will be attacked before next year’s election. Chertoff is not a person who wants to be known as Chicken Little for telling us that the sky is falling.
Bush has the Republican Party in such a mess that it cannot survive without another 9/11. Whether authentic or orchestrated, an attack will activate Bush’s new executive orders, which create a dictatorial police state in event of “national emergency.” [See here. ]
And most chillingly –
The Democrats’ strategy of doing nothing except making sure Bush gets his way will produce the landslide that they expect.
However, this assumes that Cheney, Rove, and their neoconservative allies have lost their cunning and their manipulative skills. It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous assumption for Democrats and the American people to make.
Once the US experiences new attacks, Bush will be vindicated. His voice will be confident as he speaks to the nation:
“My administration knew that there would be more attacks from these terrorists who hate us and our way of life and are determined to destroy every one of us. If only more of you had believed me and supported my war on terror these new attacks would not have happened. Our security efforts were impaired by the Democrats’ determined attempts to surrender to the terrorists by forcing our withdrawal from Iraq and by civil libertarian assaults on our necessary security measures. If only more Americans had trusted their government, this would not have happened.”
There is no such thing as politics as usual in post 9/11 Amerika and time is running out. The longer that the Democrats continue to fuck around and the antiwar movement is stuck in neutral the more emboldened that the cornered animals that are the neocon coup plotters will become and our worst fears will become reality as the final pieces of the fascist master plan lock into place with another attack. With a lawless administration and several influential Republicans now on record as eagerly awaiting the next ‘terrorist’ attack and Israeli mole Joe Lieberman uniting with the equally maniacal Reverend John Hagee to openly lead the cheers at the recent Christians United For Israel freak show for hitting Iran and therefore trigger Bush’s martial law enabling acts it is imperative that Americans begin to unite behind a rallying cause against the empire and it’s wars. This is where Scott Ritter’s little playbook for fighting back comes in and in the author’s own words:
This book is not for everyone. There will be those among the antiwar movement who will, out of misguided sense of principle, be repulsed by the notion of their movement embracing something as noxious as the Art of War.
In short, the antiwar movement has come face-to-face with the reality that in the ongoing war of ideologies that is being waged in America today, their cause is not just losing, but in fact ins on the verge of complete collapse.
It is high time for the antiwar movement to take a collective look in the mirror, and be honest about what they see: a poorly organized, chaotic, and indeed often anarchic conglomeration of egos, pet projects, and idealism that barely constitutes a “movement,” let alone a winning cause. I have yet to observe an antiwar demonstration that has a focus on antiwar. It often seemed that every left-wing cause took advantage of the event to promote it’s own particular agenda, so that “No War In Iraq” shared the stage with the environment, ecology, animal rights, pro-choice and numerous other causes that not only diluted the antiwar message that was supposed to be sent, but also guaranteed that the demonstration itself would be seen as something hijacked by the left, inclusive of only progressive ideologues, and exclusive of the vast majority of moderate (and even conservative) Americans who might have wanted to share the stage with their fellow Americans from the left when it comes to opposing war with Iraq (or even Iran), but do not want to be associated with any other theme.
The antiwar movement, first and foremost, needs to develop a laser-like focus on being nothing more or less than antiwar.
On a common cause – upholding the constitution.
It is now time to begin to look at things from a different perspective, to reach out to those who at one time were on the other side but who now have common cause in defeating a shared enemy. The fact that the one great rallying cause that should unite Americans is purely one of class and economic fairness has been essentially nullified by the concerted effort by the establishment that stretched from what Harry Truman referred to as the “slave labor” bill in the Taft-Hartley Act to the organized pogroms of McCarthyism to the Powell Memorandum to Reagan’s war against the middle class is other than the Israeli issue the one place that Congress will absolutely not go so as to not jeopardize the rigged game is at this point not feasible any efforts to attack the system as it is will have to be on those that utilize the anti-war, reinstate the constitution ideals as those that will be the most effective in halting the looting spree and ending the lopsided class war.
While not explicitly stating it Ritter references elements that the mainstream of America may have problems with when accepting a progressive agenda. He uses what he calls “the firefighter standard” and as he states “if you are trying to market something to mainstream America, if you can sell it to firefighters, whose profession is ranked number one in terms of jobs that garner the respect of the general public, then you can sell it to the majority of Americans as well”. In correctly identifying the major problem that plagues the current antiwar movement “While never shy when it comes to criticizing politicians who fail to do their jobs, firefighters bristle when the criticism crosses the line into what they feel to be an attack on their own values, which tend to revolve around love of country and community.” Ritter also assails the bullshit that is the impenetrable force field of the extreme right “Guns, God, and Gays” and while acknowledging its effectiveness as a rallying cry for the worst and most intolerant elements of society he offers up what is potentially the silver bullet to use against this ungodly monstrosity – the Constitution (which is included in a appendix along with the United Nations Charter) because what could possibly be more patriotic and American than honoring it.
Rtter is absolutely right on this point and my moment of clarity occurred when a local antiwar activism group who I frequently interact with called to recruit me to hold up signs at a gay rights parade where our local version of the reverend Fred Phelps had organized a flock of the usual sort of phony ‘Christian’ haters to harass and harangue the participants. While I personally find the scapegoating of gays to be reprehensible and on a par with the same sort of hate mongering that allowed Adolf Hitler to rise to power, the inconvenient truth is that much of the American mainstream is still at best wary of gay issues and often revolted by such parades. The local news media outlets always pick the most over the top characters to feature on television and in the morning papers in an effort to deliberately offend as many people as possible and one of our Tampa Bay area nespapers, the St. Petersburg Times took the dark art of yellow journalism to a new low with their dispicably biased coverage of transexual Largo City Commissioner Steve Stanton and the ensuing witch hunt that culminated with his firing (the local rag also inflamed readers with their Mother’s Day front page story on Susan Stanton – his new identity. The other problem with such parades is that as they face increasing persecution from the theocratic dead-enders and hateful lemmings is that the participants who are the most exhibitionist justifiably choose to dress to the nines and really put on a show to rub the faces of the haters in it all but this ultimately results in providing fuel for the fire the fascist right, it is like the saying cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. There are still reverberations that Susan Stanton was the Grand Marshall of our local parade and the hateful lemmings are keening at the top of their lungs while ignoring more important issues like the poor local bastards coming back from Iraq with their limbs blown off or in body bags. Such is life in a rotting empire.
The lamentable fact that the antiwar movement has so often chosen to take their focus off of what should be their sole defining reason for existence – halting the forces that have created the empire and will be increasingly upping the repressive tactics necessary to ensure that it continues to exist and to bring death to brown people while turning ‘the homeland’ into a police state confirms Ritter’s ideas on organizing against them and why the progressives have failed. I realize that this is anathema to those liberals who have come to represent the left now that the real left, organized labor has been eradicated but it is what it is and a new game plan is badly needed. And there must be a movement that arises without the insurmountable burdens of the twin millstones: abortion and gay rights and is able to counter the mantra of “Guns, God and Gays”.
And the new left (since labor was shanked in the back and tossed away by the DLC) is too pacifist, let’s face it the majority of the people involved abhor conflict, do not own guns and are so idealistic about ensuring that their own preferences are included in the anti-war movement that they have absolutely no chance whatsoever in fighting the entrenched culture of war, greed and death that have brought this country to the brink of destruction from within. I couldn’t possibly put it more succinctly than Mr. Ritter does:
Bear in mind that in conflict you are in almost all occasions confronting an opponent who is determined to win as you should be. This opponent is looking for any sign of weakness on your part, and will be certain to exploit this weakness with as much decisiveness and ferocity that can be brought to bear. If you are not prepared to confront such an opponent, then don’t enter the field of battle. Conflict is not for the faint of heart. In conflict you must be prepared to knock your opponent down, and then, instead of offering a helping hand, hold your opponent down with the heel of your foot while you plunge a bayonet into his or her heart. You can be assured that your opponent would do the same to you.
This golden advice is absolutely when it comes to first slowing and then with any luck and a lot of hard work, eradicating the warmongering neocon cabal along with anti-American special interest groups that support it and the most extreme elements of the Christian right and without using economic inequality as a base with organized labor as footsoldiers then other methods need to be taken into consideration in forming that broad based coalition against the blood barters, looters, fascists, neocons, theocrats and imperialists. Again I refer to Ritter:
The American progressive movement has not always been this devoid of leadership and structure. One only need to study the life and achievements of Saul Alinsky, a Chicago-based former criminologist who revolutionized the grassroots movements of the 1950s and 1960s into genuine political movements possessing real political power.
Simply put, if the antiwar/peace and justice movement can attract more people to its cause than their opponents can to theirs, then the antiwar/peace and justice movement will emerge victorious. Therefore, a governing principle when waging peace is to creadt an ideological foundation that is capable of appealing to the broadest possible segment of a given democratic society.
If his advice is taken then what will emerge will be a diverse coalition of interests who now finally understand that the system as it exists is run by global criminals who have no loyalty to America and actively have attacked everything that was great about her while usurping our democracy and undermining our freedoms and economic prowess. Wall Street looters and industrialists have always hated America because there was a system of governance here that afforded rights to all people and not only those with money. It has been a long time coming and the time to act is yesterday.
Essentially I am fucking sick of all of the fake left all-inclusive bullshit, not that these people don’t have valid reasons but they are an impediment to the mass movement that is so sorely needed to drive these rapacious, fascist motherfuckers from power. I challenge anybody who disagrees with this to put aside their ego, swallow their pride – as Bob Dylan once sang “it’s not poison” and grab a ride on the riverboat because it’s time for some fucking unity and these bullshit wedge issues and pet projects have got to go because let’s face it – America has been under assault for far too long and the old girl is ready to buckle without a renewed focus on a unified attack on the bastards who have put us in this position.
Hey, I’m not asking you to love those who you have differences with but this is a far bigger threat and it demands unity – we can bicker about all of the other bullshit after we can unite against the common enemy that is the globalist corporate hostile takeover and the neocon militarist push for world domination. They work hand in hand, a bastard fuck of an unholy alliance and make no mistake, IF we are smart enough to unite it is going to take every goddamned bit of our efforts to beat it back – or at least slow it enough so that saner elements can use the political process to marginalize it until it can be eradicated once and for all. Our very survival depends upon it.
Posted on 2007/08/29, in Addicted to War, Anti-War, Antiwar Movement, Cruise Missile Liberals, Democrat Lies, Democratic Party Warmongers, Military Industrial Complex, Scott Ritter Waging Peace, Warfare State. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.