Sunday, January 28, 2007

That Anti-War March Won't Change Anything- But Here's What Will

Huffington Post
Russell Shaw
That Anti-War March Won't Change Anything- But Here's What Will

Oh sure, it felt good to march, or/and watch the marchers.

Let's see who was there. Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, reviled-by-the-warmongering-right Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, John Conyers, some pissed-off current service members and vets who felt they were lied to about the reasons to attack Iraq.

Big deal. Not an attitude-changer in the month.

No one to make pro-war Senators quake in their booths.

Venting for a just cause always feels good, but it seems as though almost everyone who was trotted out yesterday is a regular target of the pro-surge neocon camp. The slurs are already coming: ultra-liberal Hollywood, very liberal Congresspeople, "disloyal" soldiers.

And the brave soldiers and vets who did march yesterday will be demonized, just like the anti-war vets (including Kerry) were during and after Vietnam. Most wars have their dissident soliders, and you can bet the pro-war types have already factored that in to their political calculus going forward.

But now that the march is over, the question is, what do we need to dramatically downshift this war?

First, we either need to get a veto-proof Congressional majority prepared to draw down this war, or Bush rethinking his position. Right now, we don't have the numbers to override a veto or to get Bush to reconsider this disaster.

One thing that might help: sensibly lobbying the GOP Senators who are up in 2008, as well as the pro-war Representatives from competitve districts. Don't send Robbins and Sarandon. Send those who are prepared with economic and other arguments that might turn some of these people around.

Second, let's work on Bush. When he said "global climate change" during the State of the Union, that was a big transformation for him to even utter the term. But how did he get there? Major corporations- a natural pro-Bush constituency- are raising their voices about the scientific certainty involved, and the changes that must be made. Even some evangelicals- also part of Bush's base- are speaking out about what they now see as a need to protect creation.

My point is that at least in the "global climate change" issue, evolved assumptions on the part of Bush's two key constituencies has convinced him to respond- at least rhetorically.

Now that we have a template for observing what forces can move this stubborn President even a bit- would it not be a good idea to try and convince at least some of Bush's corporate and evangelical fans that it's time we draw down our troops in Iraq? Form groups and alliances of these folks, and get them to speak out as well as speak to the powers that be.