Thursday, March 09, 2006

Iraq, Iran, Palestine and War

Once again we'll be marchin' on March 18th - doing the protest thing against the war: Year 3 of the United States' invasion of Iraq. Probably a few tens of thousands will show up again in New York City, and San Francisco, including myself.

A majority of US people say that they want the troops out, and/or that the war was/is not worth it... etc. Most readers of this blog have probably heard of those polls. That all is nice - but unless the anti-war "movement" finds a way to tap into the discontent, and channel it into a force that holds the so-called "elected officials" accountable - the US may well be heading into yet another war - and another, and another... Until either the US goes bankrupt, or there is no more planet left to blow up.

Click here to listen to an anti-war teachin on Iraq, Iran and Palestine. (web streaming)

or click here to listen/subscribe to the ihsan podcast.

Umar Lee has an interesting critique of the anti-war movement and activists.

Most of the people that I ran into at these gatherings not only were not religious; but had an extreme hostility to anyone and anything religious. Now I am not setting myself as some pious Muslim because I am not; but to be in a crowd that loves to laugh and joke and poke fun of everything religious as the Muslim that I am made me feel uncomfortable.

The anti-war movement will be real when it is madde up of people who are plumbers, laborers, warehouse orkers and truck drivers. It will be real when the meetings are full of people drinking American beer or soda and not latte and they are eating burgers and chicken wings and not tofu and really bad hummus. That is when you know that you will be having a movement that can shake the nation.

Also check out The Dark Side of Liberal Imperialism.

Islamophobia has been rampant in the U.S. since September 11, even within the antiwar movement. In this regard, the October 2005 Progressive magazine marked a new low. Promoting Sasha Abramsky's story, "Our Al Qaeda problem," the magazine's cover featured a cartoon of a sinister, dark figure in a turban, waving a scimitar over the head of a tiny white figure who is trying desperately to defend itself with two little knives.

Abramsky describes his liberal credentials and then proceeds to regurgitate every racist scrap of Bush administration rhetoric about how Muslims "hate our freedoms"

It's the job of the Left to speak out against racism, to fight Islamophobia at every step, and unmask the real imperialist interests hiding behind the war on terror. Anti-racism is necessary for building the largest and most multiracial movement. You can't fight against war while actively promoting the government's main ideological justification for war.

And Dr. Jess Ghannam's article on the Hamas victory in Palestine.

Clearly the biggest loser was US foreign policy in the Middle East and Arab World, specifically the current incarnation in the Bush Agenda (there is no significant difference between Democrats and Republicans in this area). This was
a huge affront to American interference and dominance in Palestine and the
region. The entire Arab World and Middle East are now looking to Palestine as an
indication of what can happen if genuine democratic elections are held.

After the elections politicians, like Senator Diane Feinstein, are saying that maybe certain people (aka “Arabs”) may not yet be ready for democracy. This form of virulent racism is just a cover for US policy makers who are anxious about what will happen in the Arab World and Middle East if genuine democratic elections are promoted. What will happen, and this is almost a certainty, is that governments will be elected that will reject American neo-liberal intervention and policies. What will emerge will be a new formation of Pan-Arab Nationalism and cohesion and this is one of the biggest threats to US foreign policy in the region.

And a 2004 interview of Elias Rashmawi on Palestine and the anti-war movement. Although a couple of years old - the issues and points raised are still very relevant.

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