The time has come
The invaluable Michael Krieger wrote about this yesterday, and he is absolutely right - the weak spot in the establishment's march to war is the strong popular mood against it on the left and right, and the transparently absurd lying coming from the war-happy crowd. This provides an opening for a broad-based, massive anti-war movement uniting an otherwise fractured and feuding public.
After reading and republishing his article, I started asking: is this in any way realistic?
I think it is.
The 2016 elections were an emphatic rejection of these ridiculous wars. Combine the MAGA crowd with Bernie Bros, and you have a good 70% of the country saying quite emphatically - No!
The kindling of a major anti-war movement is very dry and could well burst into flames.
1) the memory of the Iraq war and the wide belief by most people that we were lied to, 2) the grinding economic difficulties of most Americans who will see the war as another stupid distraction from more urgent and pressing economic problems, 3) the likelihood that the war will send the economy into a nose-dive, 4) wide-spread anti-migrant sentiment, 5) the veterans out there furious about the last wars - going back to Vietnam, 6) the historically low trust in the media - down in the 30% area.
What would happen if a committed group of activists from across the political spectrum were to take to the streets now?
Which individuals and groups would initially support this? Who would eventually join in? (This is hardly my area of expertise so I am probably leaving out key figures - please chime in the comments)
Media on the left: Counterpunch, the Nation, Democracy Now, Glenn Greenwald, Consortium News, Antimedia, Truthdig, the Intercept, and literally hundreds more smaller ones.
Politicians on the left: Jill Stein, Tulsi Gabbard, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich.
Media on the right: Tucker Carlson (He's been fantastic on this), Hannity (he's been bad on this, but could easily flip - he's good on a lot of other things like Russiagate), Ann Coulter, Alex Jones, American Conservative, the Unz Review, Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Paul Joseph Watson, Ben Swann, Michael Savage, Limbaugh? (He's been very chickenhawky lately), Drudge, James O'Keefe, Laura Ingraham (same boat as Hannity) - plus hundreds of smaller voices, people like Mike Krieger.
Politicians on right: Rand Paul, Dana Rohrabacher, Ross Perot, Bannon, Roy Moore, Gingrich?
Other factors on the right: Paleocons, large chunks of the Christian right (sadly, not the Christian Zionists), Franklin Graham, Jesse Ventura, James Woods, the Alt-Right and Alt-Lite.
African American: They have traditionally been anti-war because it is the black community which suffers disproportionately from America's wars, because of their over-representation in the military, and the fact that social services from which they benefit most, are compromised. I don't know this landscape, but Farrakhan, the Black Caucus? Help me out here.
When you add up all the media fire-power listed above, and consider that its focus is now diffused over a jumble of different issues, with much of it directed at opponents in the alternative scene. Now imagine all that firepower directed at one thing - exposing this war fraud. I think the American people would figure out pretty quickly who the good guys are.
Remember that the reason Obama backed off from a similar effort to hustle America into a Syrian war was because of a strong negative popular reaction. That was in 2012!, a political eternity ago. Since then the public mood has only gotten stronger against, and better informed about, the neocon, deep state agenda, and how subservient the media is to it, and the alternative and social media have become much more robust.
Look what a huge effect the meme shock troops had in the 2016 elections. Imagine 10s of 1000s of them destroying the establishment's next regime change war. Like this one:
Think of the power of the chans. There are forces that can be called into play of which the neocon beltway types have little understanding, or ability to suppress.
Italy just experienced a political, Brexit-style earthquake. Hungary just voted unanimously for the Russia sympathetic, anti-globalist Orban, France has a potent protest movement in the Le Pens and the National Front. Britain has the Brexiteers and Nigel Farage. The Greek public are profoundly sympathetic to Russia and furious at the EU. Likewise Serbia.
The plain truth is that the majority in the US and Europe are against these wars, and a large percentage of the politically engaged population, (20 - 30%) understands very well what a massive fraud is being perpetrated, and was perpetrated in Iraq, and could bring their more politically ambivalent neighbors and friends up to speed in short order.
If you put millions of people into the streets and organize strikes and boycotts, it is game-over. There isn't a potent political force willing to demonstrate for the other side - just a crowd of callow psychopaths in America's newsrooms, who will get cold feet very quickly if they see a large crowd materializing.
I haven't even begun to discuss what major celebrities might do. What if Oprah got on board? Or Clint Eastwood? Or Roseanne Barr? Or Lebron James? Or Roger Federer? Again, not something I understand well, but you could see how a handful of big names could make a big difference.I suggest a perfect group to start the protests: Ray McGovern and his Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). They have the credibility, the experience of fighting against the Iraq war, and the respect and the relationships to bring in many of the above-mentioned factors. Ray, if you are reading this, please consider it! I'll be there in a heartbeat.
Americans voted emphatically at the ballot box (Trump or Bernie) against these wars, but it turns out there are strong forces in American politics not beholden to elections (the media, the deep state, etc). Well there are other ways to make a point in politics - one way is with your feet, another is by participating in a strike or a boycott.
I just don't think that the world is going to get snookered into a potentially world-ending major war this easily. 15 years ago?, yes quite probably. But the today's landscape is completely different. I, and hundreds of thousands of Americans will speak out, and millions will march.
Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinsky, and Andrea Mitchell screeching for war on the morning shows and Rachel Maddow frothing at the mouth in the evening, are nothing in comparison.