Sunday, October 31, 2004


A sin, unfortunately, committed by most sides.

The warhawks on Iraq saw the war as them vs. Saddam, and many liberal suckers who bought into Blair's theme swallowed the 'the world is better off without Saddam' line. Thus elevating the fate of one individual over that of millions more affected by the decisions taken (100,000 of these dead, many more injured, sick, still more facing daily chaos and poverty), ignoring the sins of underlings, and ignoring the fact that the operation didn't remove Saddam but replaced him - with murderous groups from the US military through militias and terrorists to unchecked criminal gangs.

Similarly, many opponents of the current administration just focus on Bush. In Robert Suskind's much talked-about NYT article Without a Doubt, many people focused on the faith-based nature of Bush's decision-making. However, I think a greater problem is the similarly reality-removed 'thinking' of the majority of his supporters. Of the 45-50% Bush voters, most (maybe 35-40% of voters) is the mostly fundamentalist Christian faction of the population that is stone-deaf to facts and reason. Thanks to an education destroyed by budget cuts and creationist subversion (which exerts much more influence through schoolboards and thus through market pressure on schoolbook publishers than through legal challenges as in Kansas), and a media destroyed by corporatism and its own superficialism and elitism, this section of the US population is growing. Kicking Bush won't stop this - they will find a new leader to follow until 2008. Grass-roots movements could act against it, but much less effectively when 'their side' is in government, its these powers in government that should try to dismantle the structures behind.

Finally, Kerry. ON one hand I'll do some self-criticism, maybe I shouldn't focus on Kerry personally that much. While I don't like Kerry and reject ABB arguments, I still have sympathy for the millions of ABB activists. I do wish a victory for them. On the other hand, what could soundly kill the US anti-war movement, or indeed in a longer progression the positive nature of the entire ABB grass-roots movement, is the personification of the leftist/anti-war/etc. cause(s). When it is all about defending Kerry, people will lose all consistency, especially if they will start to defend Kerry's Iraq record, as they did with his Vietnam record. When people complain about unenthusiastic endorsements for Kerry, this danger is not at all far off.


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