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Re: [casi] Anti-war tactics/strategy (formerly Blair's speech -- keep the momentum going)

At 03:08 19/02/03, Julie wrote:

>I don't think we are actually disagreeing on that much here. I still take
>issue with your initial point that people marched on Saturday out of a
>sense of fear rather than because they care about the Iraqis. I certainly
>wasn't marching to save my own skin, since I don't believe it's in any
>danger, and I suspect many people would find it insulting to have their
>motives questioned in that way.

I'm not *questioning* their motives. I'm fairly convinced of them.
Incidentally, what's insulting about wanting to put your own children's
lives before those of other people's? At the end of the day none of us
really practice *equality*. We put those we care for ahead of everybody else.

>Incidentally, I did march in 1991, for all
>the good that it did. I agree that most of the marchers were probably not
>long-term members of the peace movement (whether you define that as a
>concrete organisation or not), and that most probably are making a
>distinction between this war and war in general. But I don't think they are
>doing so because they worry that someone will fly a plane into London's
>tallest building if they don't.

No, but they may well fear something nasty happening on the underground or
to their kids somewhere when they're not around to protect them.

>Things have changed since 1991, but not in the way that you argue. In 1991
>and in Yugoslavia, some justification, however little you may agree with
>it, could be made for intervention,

I see no argument for military intervention in either of those two examples.

>now there is none, and it is blatantly clear to many people that there is
>I agree terrorism should be combated by addressing why it exists in the
>first place. But I still remain to be convinced that terrorism in its
>current form is a threat. I'm not arguing with Chomsky and Kolko as to
>numbers in training camps etc., I'm saying that terrorism to my mind is as
>much of a threat as we choose to make it. We can succumb to propaganda,
>refuse to get on planes and look suspiciously at our Arab and Muslim
>neighbours, or we can realise that we're much more likely to die crossing
>the road than in a terrorist attack, carry on as normal and resist having
>our civil liberties stripped from us in the name of protection. I realise
>that you are differentiating between recognising terrorism as a threat and
>using that threat as a justification for war and restriction of civil
>liberties. Nevertheless, in arguing with people about war on Iraq, I would
>rather appeal to something other than the instinct for self preservation,
>since I don't see it as a particularly solid basis for an opposition

So we should appeal to their sense of morality? As a tactic so we can have
a "solid basis for an opposition movement".

>If we appeal to fear of terrorism, we risk losing support the minute
>anything does happen.

I don't see how that follows.

I'm suggesting when dealing with somebody who "has very real fears of
terrorist attacks" as the original post mentioned, that we might inform
them how what they fear is more likely to occur if Iraq is actually attacked.

I would *rather* appeal to people's sense of morality. However, If they are
protesting against the war because of a sense of self-preservation, i.e. as
a tactic, appealing to their sense of morality is likely to be a waste of
time. But worth trying none the less.

This begs the question, how important at the end of the day is *why* they
marched. Surely all that matters is that they marched. If people's lives
are saved as a result of people acting out of self-interest what difference
does it make? If Iraqis live a little longer as a result of some other
people also trying to ensure that they live a while longer, so what? What
matters is the life that's been saved.

*Why* they marched becomes important only because we are trying to build a
vast movement to prevent future wars. And because we want them to march
again. And again.

Kind regards

>Best wishes,


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