Road Ahead After 2004: Building a Broad Nonpartisan Alliance Against
Bush and the Far Right
By Carl Davidson
& Marilyn Katz
Shape of Future Battles
What would this
organization – locally, and together with others, nationally,
do? It would address the issues at hand – from the particulars
of the War in Iraq and other new follies of Empire, to the consolidation
of power of the far right, and even to changing the electoral system
Bush and the
far right believe they have a mandate. They believe it even though
the GOP margin of victory was slim and their support is disproportionately
based on an unstable insecurity among white male voters. They are
not likely to stop with Iraq. They have their eyes on Iran and a
lot of other places. They have this incredible delusion that they
are going to bring democracy throughout the Islamic world by using
the Special Forces and the 82nd Airborne as instruments of social
In the real
world, American GIs are finding themselves fighting urban guerilla
war against people who claim to “love death more than life”
when it comes to fighting "the infidel". This is not going
to be a cake walk. This is not going to be Grenada. Bush and his
Neocons are not going to get their victory on the cheap. This is
going to be a horrible, drawn-out and unjust struggle. The longer
it goes on, the worse it will get. What is more, the hard right
will be pushing its “culture war” on the home front,
trying to repeal the 1960s, taking aim at civil rights, women’s
rights, gay rights and many other progressive programs.
Fight against War and Occupation
In regard to
the war, Tom Hayden recently summed up our tasks as well as anyone.
In a piece published on Alternet.org, “How to End the War
in Iraq,” he prescribes a focused ‘Plan of Action’
for us. Here is a shortened version:
the first step is to build pressure at congressional district
levels to oppose any further funding or additional troops for
war. If members of Congress balk at cutting off all assistance
and want to propose "conditions" for further aid, it
is a small step toward threatening funding. If only 75 members
of Congress go on record against any further funding, that's a
step in the right direction - towards the exit.
we need to build a Progressive Democratic movement which will
pressure the Democrats to become an anti-war opposition party.
The anti-war movement has done enough for the Democratic Party
this year. It is time for the Democratic leadership to end its
collaboration with the Bush administration - with its endorsement
of the offensive on Fallujah, the talk of "victory"
and "killing the terrorists" - and now play the role
of the opposition. The progressive activists of the party should
refuse to contribute any more resources - volunteers, money, etc.
- to candidates or incumbents who act as collaborators.
we need to build alliances with Republican anti-war conservatives.
Non-partisan anti-war groups (such as Win Without War) should
reach out to conservatives who, according to the New York Times,
are "ready to rumble" against Iraq. Pillars of the American
right, including Paul Weyrich, Pat Buchanan and William F. Buckley,
are seriously questioning the quagmire created by the neoconservatives.
we must build solidarity with dissenting combat veterans, reservists,
their families and those who suffered in 9/11. Just as wars cannot
be fought without taxpayer funding, wars cannot be fought without
soldiers willing to die, even for a mistake….Groups like
Iraqi Veterans Against the War deserve all the support the rest
of the peace movement can give. This approach opens the door to
much-needed organizing in both the so-called "red" states
and inner cities, which give disproportionate levels of the lives
lost in Iraq.
we need to defeat the U.S. strategy of ‘Iraqization.’
"Clearly, it's better for us if they're in the front-line,"
Paul Wolfowitz explained last February. This cynical strategy
is based on putting an Iraqi "face" on the U.S. occupation
in order to reduce the number of American casualties, neutralize
opposition in other Arab countries, and slowly legitimize the
puppet regime. In truth, it means changing the color of the body
count…There is no sign, aside from Pentagon spin, that an
Iraqi force can replace the American occupation in the foreseeable
future. Pressure for funding cuts and for an early American troop
withdrawal will expose the emptiness of the promise of "Iraqization."
we should work to dismantle the U.S. war "Coalition"
by building a "Peace Coalition" by means of the global
anti-war movement. Groups with international links (such as Global
Exchange or other solidarity groups) could organize conferences
and exchanges aimed at uniting public opinion against any regimes
with troops supporting the U.S. in Iraq. Every time an American
official shows up in Europe demanding support, there should be
speakers from the American anti-war movement offering a rebuttal
to the official line.
short: pinch the funding arteries, push the Democrats to become
an opposition party, ally with anti-war Republicans, support dissenting
soldiers, make "Iraqization" more difficult, and build
a peace coalition against the war coalition. If the politicians
are too frightened or ideologically incapable of implementing
an exit strategy, the only alternative is for the people to pull
the plug.” More