The Road Ahead After 2004: Building a Broad Nonpartisan Alliance Against Bush and the Far Right
By Carl Davidson & Marilyn Katz

The 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 itself.

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 change.

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.

On the 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:

“One, 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.

“Two, 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.

“Three, 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.

“Four, 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.

“Five, 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."

“Six, 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.

“In 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 >>


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