War etc

Drawing distinctions

For more than a year now, we on the pro-war Left have been urging the more thoughtful of those on the antiwar Left to put some noticeable distance between themselves and the apologists for Islamofascism. The anti-war folks reply that the apologists and the pro-armed resistance elements of the Stop the War Coaliton (in the UK) and International ANSWER (in the US) do not speak for them. And in the end, nothing changes.

May I suggest some positive action for those on the antiwar Left who are genuinely uncomfortable being grouped with the likes of Tariq Ali, George Galloway and Ramsey Clark?

On March 20, as Harry has noted, STWC will hold a mass demonstration in London to mark the one-year anniversary of the Iraq war. International ANSWER will do the same in New York and other US cities. I’m not suggesting that the sensible antiwar folks try to organize their own actions for that day, or even stay away. I’m suggesting simply that they make their presence felt in ways that draw the distinction between themselves and the apologists.

It’s a given that Ali, Galloway and Clark will be leading speakers at the demonstrations. How about getting as close to the stage as possible with signs reading “Against the War, Against Dictators of ALL KINDS: [Ali, Galloway, Clark] Doesn’t Speak for Me”? How about handing out leaflets to fellow demonstrators explaining the disastrous consequences for the Iraqi people if the US and UK caved in to the march organizers’ demands and simply got “out now”?

Surely the organizers would welcome this airing of differences within the antiwar movement. Wouldn’t they?