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It's easy to depress oneself and maybe even become disillusioned as a result of current events. Here's a recent interview Cynthia Peters had with Noam Chomsky. The main trend running through it is that, bad though things are, we can influence events by intensifying the struggle. And that our goals should be long term. Sections 3 and 4 should be of particular interest to us in these difficult times: 3. Assuming that war comes, should the anti-war movement be depressed about its ineffectuality? That's like suggesting that abolitionists, or advocates of rights of working people or women, or others concerned with freedom and justice, should have been depressed about their inability to attain their goals, or even make progress towards them, over very long periods. The right reaction is to intensify the struggle. In this case, we should recognize that the anti-war movement was unprecedented in scale, so that there is a better base for proceeding further. And that the goals should be far more long-term. A large part of the opposition to Bush's war is based on recognition that Iraq is only a special case of the "imperial ambition" that is widely condemned and rightly feared; that's the source of a good part of the unprecedented opposition to Bush's war right at the heart of the establishment here, and elsewhere as well. Even the mainstream press now reports the "urgent and disturbing" messages sent to Washington from US embassies around the world, warning that "many people in the world increasingly think President Bush is a greater threat to world peace" than Saddam Hussein (Washington Post lead story). That actually goes back to the Clinton years, but it has become far more significant today. With good reasons. The threat is real, and the right place to counter it is here. Whatever happens in Iraq, the popular movements here should be invigorated to confront this far larger and continuing threat, which is sure to take new forms, and is quite literally raising issues of the fate of the human species. That aside, the popular movements should be mobilized to support the best outcomes for the people of Iraq, and not only there of course. There's plenty of work to do. 4. Does the US agenda include democracy in Iraq and beyond? If it's left to Washington, the best that can realistically be hoped is the kind of "democracy" that the current political leadership -- mainly, recycled Reaganites -- and others in power have instituted elsewhere in their domains: Central America and the Caribbean, to take the region that provides the richest evidence the last time they controlled the government, through the 1980s, and in fact over a century. But under popular influence, other outcomes are possible. We don't live in a a military dictatorship, after all. We are highly privileged, by comparative standards. There are plenty of opportunities to shape "the US agenda." http://zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=51&ItemID=3206 rgds Dermot _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk