Some American bloggers have made the valid point that reporting of the anti-war movement has tended to take the individuals and groups involved on face value and describe them as ‘peace activists’ etc rather than reveal their real political affiliations.
The same has happened in the UK with the Stop the War Coalition seen as a collection of various pacifists when in fact it is largely made up of the usual suspects.
Hidden well away on their website is this list of the recently elected steering committee and their affiliations – bear in mind that most of the trade unionists (in a personal capacity of course) are also members of ultra-left groups.
So the Times journalist Ann Treneman who recently interviewed a friendly picknicking ‘anti-war’ leader Lindsey German could discover that she is the editor of the Socialist Review, the ‘theoretical journal’ of the Socialist Workers Party – who of course are very much in favour of some wars.
In fact the SWP are quite supportive of terror attacks against Israel and ironically once in fact supported war against Iraq – but that was when it was fundamentalist Iran who were doing the attacking – so that was different.
More recently when the SWP were asked to put their name to a left anti-war document which also condemned the September 11 attacks they refused “that is what the imperialists want us to do” they reasoned. Cynics suggested they didn’t want to ‘put off’ the Islamic youth they have targetted for recruitment.
Don’t get me wrong though, I want to hear the voice of a reasoned opposition to war on Iraq – such opinions need to be heard. But lets not pretend that the SWP run Stop the War Coalition – which as the list of their leaders shows is largely an alliance of Muslims and ultra-lefts is some sort of new movement of ordinary concerned citizens.
Rather it is old Trots in new clothing.