Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The Power-Serving Myth That Anti-War Protests Make No Difference

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Thousands of people from across the political spectrum gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to protest US militarism, proxy warfare and nuclear brinkmanship in Ukraine on Sunday.

I’ve been seeing some people try to downplay the numbers on social media, but footage from the Rage Against the War Machine rally makes it clear that attendance was in the thousands; people who were there place the number at around three thousand.

This is significantly better attendance than any other American anti-war demonstration in recent years that I’m aware of. It’s nowhere remotely close to the historic numbers people demonstrated in to protest the war in Iraq, and it’s nowhere remotely close to what it should be for an issue of such existential importance.

But it’s a start. Maybe the start of something good. The ANSWER Coalition has a March on Washington scheduled for March 18th for the 20th anniversary of the Iraq invasion demanding “Negotiations not escalation” in Ukraine and an end to US militarism abroad. We shall see if this thing continues to pick up steam.

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Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal
#RageAgainstWar is out here

One criticism I hear of anti-war demonstrations is that they don’t make a difference. “Millions of us marched in opposition to the Iraq invasion, and they did it anyway!” is a common sentiment.

While it’s true that demonstrations failed to stop the invasion of Iraq, if you look at the US war machine’s actual behavior following that war, it has clearly been reacting defensively to public opposition.

If anti-war protests made no difference, the US empire wouldn’t have completely abandoned full-scale ground invasions after 2003 and switched to sneakier, less effective means of warfare while launching unprecedented narrative management systems to suppress anti-war sentiments. They abandoned Bush-era Hulk Smash ground invasions in favor of drones, proxy warfare, covert ops and sanctions because enough people rose up and said “NO” to make them afraid of the masses beginning to wake up and begin turning against them and their institutions.


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