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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:38 PM
Original message
Restarting The Anti-War Movement by Ralph Nader
CounterPunch
March 14, 2005

This War Has Left the US Poorer, More Despised and Less Safe
Restarting the Anti-War Movement
By RALPH NADER

Political movements require momentum, they need to consistently build and aggregate. When they take a lengthy break from organizing and stop the momentum it is difficult to re-start.

During the Vietnam War there was a consistent expansion of anti-war efforts. Every year the movement built and grew. Anti-war activists did not take breaks during election years. In fact, they targeted members of both political parties for their support for the war. Indeed, their work led to a sitting president, Lyndon Johnson; dropping out during the primaries as it became evident the Vietnam War would destroy his chances of re-election. This occurred even though Johnson was elected in what was the largest landslide ever in his previous 1964 campaign. And when that election year was over even Richard Nixon was pressured to announce a withdrawal plan.

If the peace movement had continued to advocate for an end to the war during the presidential election year, rather than remaining silent where would be today? We would have built on the successes of our beginnings rather than having to start anew. We'd be nearer the end of the war-occupation, not farther from it. President Bush would be on the defensive, not on the offensive. Iraqis would be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, when they would get their country and economy back, rather than the darkness of continued occupation.

How does the anti-war movement recover from this lost momentum? There is much work to do to respond to this question; but it can be done because the people can have the power to make it happen.

http://www.counterpunch.org/nader03142005.html
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AverageJoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. All well and good
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 12:41 PM by AverageJoe
But there would be no war if it weren't for RN....
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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. Sit down Ralph
You're done
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pauliedee Donating Member (383 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
32. Traitor Nader in bed with Bush
I hate him
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Snotcicles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. Another hater just what the world needs n/t
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. Would there be an anti-Iraq war movement if not for Nader?
Probably not, since that FUCKING RETARD is the reason Bush ever became President.

Probably should've thought about that before "making a point" in 2000 and 2004, eh Ralph?
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. Go Ralph!
Go away.
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Itchinjim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. Uh Ralph?
Ya wanna sit down and shut the fuck up already?
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Sectarianism Plays Into The Hands Of Our Enemies
Do you have an opinion on his statement? I don't think personal attacks and insults does much to help unite all those opposed to the occupation and war. That plays right into the hands of our enemies.

We need unity against Bush's war policy right now, not divisive and sectarian personal attacks. So please, if you disagree with his comments just say why!

The 2004 election is over. Time to move on.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Wrong Messenger...His Time Has Come & Gone
Ralph really wasn't around in the 60's...he was busy chasing GM, so what makes him a credible source now?

I, like the rest of the posters that I've seen, have no use for what Ralph says or does anymore. I recognize his contributions, but those are long in the past and far outweigh all the destruction his folly candidacies did to install and then keep this regime in power.

This war needs its own generation of voices...I haven't heard them yet.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
36. according to my score... we need all the messengers we can get
especially the one who can get the HEADLINES.

notice how upset the reTHUGs get ANYTIME one of our gets ANY time at the MIC.

more power to ALL the voices speaking out against this war... it's where we especially REACH OUT and NOT shutdown... there are many allies in this FIGHT lets NOT start shooting other messengers, though i know some will.

peace
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #36
56. His Voice Is Welcome If It Sings With Ours...
Until there's a coordinated anti-war, protest movement that motivates millions, not hundreds, any voices speaking out against the war are voices in the wilderness...easily ignored and bashed by the media,

Ralph's either turned into, or compromised himself, into a tool for the right wing and corporate media to bash, divide and confuse the left. His statements won't add to the volume of this issue, it will create more distractions.

If Ralph really wants to help our causes...an appology for helping this regime get selected would be a good start, then to use his great organizing skills and resources in helping fund and organize a true anti-war, protest organization. The time has come for unity, not grandstanding.
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Some Good Anti-War Websites
Here's some good anti-war websites.

United For Peace And Justice
http://iticwebarchives.ssrc.org/United%20for%20Peace/ww...

US Labor Against The War
http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org /

Iraq Veterans Against The War
http://www.ivaw.net /

Military Families Speak Out
http://www.mfso.org /

Democracy Rising
http://democracyrising.us/
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. UM.......Excuse Me.....The peace movement has held protests
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 12:58 PM by KoKo01
all over the country in small vigils every week, in towns and cities all over the US. The large groups like United for Peace and A.N.S.W.E.R. held protests before and after the war began in major cities in the US where thousands marched in protest.

Our Democratic Party didn't want to listen to us. Few speakers from the Congress came to these protests and vigils. Everyone wanted to distance themselves from the Peace Movement including Kerry and Edwards.

I can't believe Nader is saying this. Because CNN/MSNBC/FOX and our local network affiliates refuse to cover or give minimal cover to all the groups still protesting is not the "Peace Movement's" fault but Naders for not being aware of us.

This really annoys the hell out of me... :-( Didn't see Nader running around the country supporting us last year or before the Invasion started when so many of us were standing out on street corners with signs being given "the finger" by loudmouths who also yelled "Get a Job." Maybe I missed Nader's huge involvement in this... :eyes:
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Small Not Good, Big Very Good!
"small vigils every week, in towns and cities all over the US."

The operative word is small. We need big, very big and bigger protests! And while we work together building massive united demonstrations, we can and should at the same time organize vigils and other local actions every week!

Mass protests. That's what we need. March 19th can be the beginning of building something truly massive. Just the start. However, we need to put aside whatever political differences we may have had and just agree to work together in building that new and bigger anti-war movement.

We can agree to disagree while we work together in a spirit of unity against the occupation of Iraq.
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cry baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
9. OK, I forgive Ralph cause he is a strong voice and this war needs
to end. I don't much care who I have to cozy up with - if we are on the same side when it comes to bringing the troops home, I hope he speaks loud and often.

P.S. I forgive, but I don't forget.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. ANSWER held a protest of the Inauguration about 7 weeks ago
Dumbass Ralph. How about that creep, publishing an article that the right wingers will rub in our faces? I could just hear Sean Hannity reading that on his show.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
11. I applaud Ralph...
...or anyone who can light a fire under the anti-war movement.

Frankly, it's all we have left.

I don't care if it's Ralph Reed or Bugs Bunny attempting to galvanize this country against the revolting pieces of sick, twisted scum who are running things right now. Someone has to do it.

There are many good, committed people who are protesting and trying to make a difference. However, we need a more cohesive, organized core that can help us grow a strong anti-war movement.

It's the only way to stop the destruction of this country, our freedoms and the PNAC agenda.

The politicians aren't going to stop it. Leaders in other countries can't stop it. The media is gone.

The anti-war movement--comprised of "we the people"--is the only way out of this--and I welcome anyone who wants to make a difference.

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Marnieworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. The "disorganized" movement...
somehow managed to get millions of people to protest around the world simulataneously before the war even started. Completely unprecedented.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. I agree that those who have been protesting the war...
...are trailblazing heroes.

In my opinion, the problem is the lack of bodies--not the organization of the people currently involved. They're great. We just need to build on the strong foundation that is the current anti-war movement.

I don't think the movement is currently "disorganized." I think the commitment of those protesting this war--is extraordinary. We just need to continue to build up that core--as a show of force.
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Marnieworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
12. The Anti-War movement hasn't been silent!
Protests were staged at each convention site and there was a protest in the October before the election. There is a scheduled protest at the anniversary of the occupation. There are songs, books and plays. Gee do you think he's heard of a lil movie called Fahrenheit 9-11?

What the hell is he expecting in the age of all branches of congress controlled by one party, the media completely driven by corporate interests and (except for the internet)investigative journalism is dead, free-speech zones, protesters being tasered, gassed and shot at with rubber bullets, and no draft? Perhaps he didn't hear about this in conversation and only looked to CNN to see if there have been protests. What an ignorant ridiculous piece that I can't believe was published!
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. You bring up some good points, Marnieworld.
There have been some impressive protests--NYC convention and the inauguration were strong.

However, my perception is that the anti-war movement isn't that strong and isn't large in numbers. Where am I getting this perception?

Maybe the media has made anti-war efforts look smaller than they truly are.

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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #22
63. Don't forget
that the media doesn't ever show anything so some people might not know. Also they arrest people too and it's pretty dangerous.
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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
13. And you're just the man to lead it, right Ralph?
Sure. Just tell me where you want me to send the check. :eyes:
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. The Nader Hate Fest Is Behind Us
If you check the record you will see that Ralph Nader did something that John Kerry did not do in the 2004 election. He spoke out every week against the occupation of Iraq.

But, that's water over the dam. John Kerry is certainly welcomed to support the March 19th anti-war demonstrations. Dennis Kucinich probably will participate and Howard Dean might.

Again, if you're objective and check the actual record you will find out that this is not the first time Ralph Nader has called upon anti-war activists and organizations to hit the streets. He's hardly demanding they appoint him their "leader". I couldn't find anything like that at all.

He's suggested the anti-war movement do what it did prior to the invasion. And it's absolutely true that many, perhaps most, anti-war activists and organizations withdraw from the task of building a growing mass movement against the Iraq war and focused their attentions and energies on the 2004 election.

It's time to get back to work. I would have no trouble marching with Ralph Nader, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich or any other political figure in a anti-war protest.
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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. When he spoke every week
was that before or after his weekly condemnations of the Democratic Party as no different than the Republicans? Which he knew was patently false, but kept shouting anyway, which means, you know, he was a liar.

You know how he knew that the Dems and Repubs were different?

The Republicans gave him money. Which he happily took. The Dems didn't.

You're right that it's time to get back to work. But Nader's part of the problem, not part of the solution.
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Nader's Campaign Not The Subject Of This Post
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 02:04 PM by Itsthetruth
Well it's a proven fact that Republicans gave John Kerry a ton of money and Ralph Nader very little.

But, that and other questions raised regarding Nader's election campaign are the subject for another post. This string is about re-building the anti-war movement in a non-sectarian way.

If anyone would like to discuss Nader's past election campaign go ahead and start another post or you can message me and I'll point you in the right direction for factual information regarding the many false charges made about Nader in the heat of an election.

But, I won't do that here, not in this discussion. That would be a diversion and distraction from what this post is about.

Personally, I'm glad that Ralph Nader made that statement encouraging the anti-war movement to rebuild. Now let's just do it!
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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. You're the one that brought it up
And the facts are that Republican strategists directed huge donations to Nader's campaign, both in cash and in kind--like paying for signature gatherers.

If you didn't want to talk about 2004, then you shouldn't have brought it up. Regardless, it's germane to the discussion because Nader's advice is rooted in self-aggrandizement.
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CanSocDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. As it turned out....

....a lot of democratic voters apparently had no trouble re-selecting the Bush gang. This, suggests to me, that Democrats are indeed just like Republicans when it comes to casting a ballot.

I think the Anti-War movement of the 70's had a value system that was destroyed by the greed and self-interest of the 80's and 90's. In the 70's, there seemed to be a 'spiritual component' to peace activism. Nowadays, the "spiritual component" seems to be fueling the war....
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Nixon Had To Withdraw From Vietnam
I disagree. Nixon was forced to withdraw ALL U.S. troops from Vietnam. Once it was clearly established that Nixon was engaged in a total withdrawl from Vietnam the need for an anti-Vietnam war movement demanding "Bring The Troops Home" no longer existed.

It would have been impossible to build a "Bring the troops home now" movement once the troops were home! People might have thought we were a bit wacko!

If Nixon had been stubborn and continued the war against Vietnam the anti-Vietnam war movement would have continued to build.
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CanSocDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Anti-War activism was a focal point....

...for progressives. It was as much about corporatism and social justice as it was about ending the war. I think this is Nader's point.

Nader's status among the local 'progressives' is a good indication of how we've forgotten 'our roots'.






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Snotcicles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
41. There are about 14 Dems who took some republican money
and then voted for cloture on the Bankrupt you Bill in the Senate.
I guess he was right about some of them.
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
23. Ralph is a waste of time and energy

and so is this effort. It has no possibility of genuinely affecting the course of events, the analogy is wrong, and Nader is obsolete.

Sure, it would be nice if this weren't the case. It would be nice if Nader weren't so opportunistic, too, and even better if there weren't such a craven need by some people to be a moralizing faux elite.

Realistically, the way the present and violent occupation of Iraq is going to end is that the other countries in the Coalition Of Former Cold War Allies get over their colonialist/imperialist heritages and walk out on the Bushies, one by one. The key support propping the Bushies internationally is Britain's present government; the Blair people are in turn propped up within Europe by Berlusconi's participation.

But along comes Ralph Nader with more snake oil.
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Sorry To Hear You've Given Up The Fight
I'm sorry you have decided to abandon the struggle against the Iraq occupation. I heard simliar things during early days of the anti-Vietnam war movement. Stuff like "I'm tired of marching", "I demonstrated and the war is still going on" as if a few protests would force LBJ/Nixon to end the war!

Building a movement takes time, building a powerful movement that can force the government to make changes takes a lot of time and effort. Just check out the history of the labor, civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements and you'll understand.

Now if you think that calling upon progressive individuals and organizations to unite against the Iraq occupation is just "snake oil" what do you suggest as an alternative?
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pearl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Fuck Nader
:puke:
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #27
39. Shouldn't I get to know him first?
Perhaps he could take me to an inexpensive restaurant.
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #39
49. Hold out for dinner and a movie
You don't want to get a reputation!
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. What struggle?

There are lots of people who are against the Iraq occupation, including myself. It simply isn't a 'struggle', in the sense that people like you or me are not actually changing any significant number of minds out there. The change in popular opinion has to do with the failure of the endeavor, not objection to or acknowledgment of the actual problems to the ends or the means.

If you really analyze the problem closely, to American society Iraq represents something more radical than you conceive of it- it's not about the marginal merits of intricate issues of traditional colonial wars. It represents a test of the whole, big, package of political assumptions that could not be questioned by/during Vietnam- and that's why the critics are having so little impact. Nonpartisan Americans are letting the method prove itself via facts or demonstrate its inherent failure(s) and ignoring the verbal arguments and, by inaction, foiling attempts to interfere by the moralizers. The role of the critics is reduced to articulating things, to documenting and explaining the breakdowns there are and are forming. That may make the critics feel powerless, but in the larger picture that isn't important. Important is that the the nonpartisans, having given the Right every chance to make its case, determine that all of the claims, methods, and ends of this kind of endeavor are demonstrated to inherently fail. That is a historical change in the making.

Like Nader, you argue from analogy. Analogy is, as Eliphas Levi famously said, the last word of science and the first word of faith. This is not actually Vietnam, the present is not the 1960's- the society is different, it's less deeply and unifiedly colonialist in its beliefs and its political/socioeconomic castes are less strongly partitioned. Arguably the Republican part of the country lives in roughly that depth of the past, but the rest of us do not, so the rationales and excuses of that time are relevant and irrelevant to a similar degree. Living in the past is not "progressive"- well, maybe it is, to judge from Counterpunch and Nader and ANSWER and the like, including your assertions. It certainly is Left these days, but it is also why the Left is politically roughly as obsolete and lacking in credibility to people who live in the present as the Right is.

I don't disagree with you about political movements taking time and effort, and that the ones of the early parts of the present political era were quite admirable. They rightly aligned themselves according to the caste system of the country and group interests of their times. Your implicit problem is that you and the present Left don't see that these particular groups and castes and the ways they worked, internally as well as externally, no longer form the political units and interest blocs they did forty years ago, or even ten years ago. Look at the 2000, 2002, and 2004 election campaigns and their results closely and you'll see both Parties struggling with this problem- Republicans having an easier version of it to solve. The Left has to come to terms that Modernity is the central issue now and the Industrial Age social order is breaking up. Of course, that would be to admit its very limited relevance in solving economic issues and the problems of its social conservatism, which (to put it kindly) limits its ability to distinguish itself from the Right. The Left has to redefine itself in some substantial way to become a strong movement again.

I really don't know why you overgeneralize and personalize a statement I make about Ralph Nader to yourself- if you are Ralph, you can tell me via PM, I promise you confidentiality- unless, possibly, there's some larger truth about you or your cause I'm inadvertently touching upon.
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. I'm Not Ralph!
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 04:20 PM by Itsthetruth
I'm not Ralph! I have to wonder if Ralph Nader would be permitted to make a statement on the Iraq war or some other important issue here without a volly of personal attacks.

In any case, I'm glad he made that statement and it should help overcome the harmful and divisive conflicts among anti-war activists.

Just put the old 2004 election propaganda aside and work together. If Ralph Nader and his progressive supporters want to help rebuild the anti-war movement, that's very good, not bad at all.

And responding "fuck Ralph" does nothing to help anti-war forces unite against a common enemy.
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #31
45. Sure he can

It's just that his arguments are beside the point and he doesn't realize it. Or, maybe he does. I suggest his next article should be about reconciling Luddites and the Flat Earth Society with the Society of Creative Anachronism. It will do about as much good.

If anyone's really working to end the Iraq business, you may want to look into what Clare Short is getting done in Britain in undermining the last Blair rationales. There's a hero compared to Ralph Zero.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
64. what a sad view of citizen activism
first of all, it's not at all clear to me that the "coalition of former cold war allies" means a damned thing to the neo-cons ... do you really believe bush will be influenced by the actions of other governments?

and more importantly, what remarkable cynicism your post embodies for the ability of citizens to join together to change the direction of their government ... not one word, not an iota of respect, did you show in your post for the "possibility of genuinely affecting the course of events" ...

why, then, did Johnson decide not to run again? i saw him make that announcement ... he was a hated man for the war he waged in Vietnam ...

perhaps it is true that "the empire" cannot be defeated by mere citizens ... perhaps it has grown too powerful ... and i certainly think movement building in the absence of a draft will be much more difficult ... but to show disdain for even making the effort, and an ad hominem (anti-Nader) disdain at that, is truly a very sad business ... the only path open to us is to do all we can as often as we can to educate the American people on the wrongness of American foreign policy ... and some of that education should absolutely take the form of energizing a new anti-war movement ... building a movement energizes people to take action ... it organizes people to take increasingly useful actions ... this goes way beyond mere demonstrations ... demonstrations are only one aspect of a movement ... simultaneously, there needs to be more traditional involvement in the more structured political process ... and that's already happening ... groups like MoveOn, DFA, PDA and others are calling on their supporters to take a more active role ...

but no ... nothing can be done about the war by us little people ... nothing will change until our former allies "get over their colonialist/imperialist heritages" ... in the meantime, we might as well just sit back and watch Fox news until that happens ...
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #64
65. Oh, please....
first of all, it's not at all clear to me that the "coalition of former cold war allies" means a damned thing to the neo-cons ... do you really believe bush will be influenced by the actions of other governments?

Have you ever looked at a list of who's in the Coalition, or compared that list to the one assembled for the Kuwait war, or kept an eye on why the other countries are really along? Did you watch what kind of excuses and vouchers and 'cover' by other countries Bush needed to get the 'resolutions through Congress and the U.N. two years ago? There are real political nuts and bolts to this contraption called the Coalition, it's not magic. And yes, I've tried to figure the basic ones out. Prove me wrong, show me the ones that really make the thing work as it does- nothing would make me happier.

and more importantly, what remarkable cynicism your post embodies for the ability of citizens to join together to change the direction of their government ... not one word, not an iota of respect, did you show in your post for the "possibility of genuinely affecting the course of events"

-involving the concrete events and decisions on which matters in Iraq turn. You omit that specific qualifier. Yes, you and I and Democrats are frozen out on all levels of that particular decision process. And the Bush people did everything they possibly could to achieve that. That's the way I understand it, and I said so because it is historically exceptional. It's not 'cynicism' aka disbelief- I'm more of a believer in Margaret Meade's dictum than you are and have taken part in small groups that have achieved surprisingly large changes. Again, show me where I'm wrong.

I really don't want to disparage your beliefs and hopes. But your essential response to what I have said in earlier posts in this thread is a refusal to acknowledge any of it to be right or wrong. You don't like what I say, but you simply keep falling back on the bad central premise Nader does, as if you could make it true by simply repeating it: that it really still is 1967. I get this kind of behavior from Republicans and people on the Right all the time, so it's not new to me, but it bugs me far more when I get it from people on the Left. As you can see, it's sadly all over this thread.

And for the Chicken Little rhetorical point, yes, there is an evident role for anti-war people to play in keeping score of the rationales and failures, which is to say keeping the pro-war people from the cheapest trick, asserting stuff that has already been refuted. (Say, that WMDs were actually found, as the other side has occasionally done.)

You seem not to like the idea that the amount of personal empowerment involved is close to zero. Well, that's how it is. There's not going to be any reward for being right or being righteous. But true service is to do the work that is right without hope of a reward. I hope that's enough for you.

If you have better ideas, I wouldn't mind hearing them. Until then, I'll persist in my belief that Clare Short is doing far more to end the Iraq occupation by exposing the international illegality of it all, and Blair's equivocation and prevarication, than any set of American organizations with acronyms found in alphabet soup bowls.
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CindyDale Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
29. We won in 2000 (and I'd be happy to see an end to the two-party system)
We won in 2000 (if the Florida votes had been counted correctly and not corruptly), and Nader made no difference in 2004.

I'd be very happy to see more political parties because we might get more good candidates.
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humanriteswritlarge Donating Member (52 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. I have been protesting since September 2002
And that was just the beginning. There have been millions of us, not only in the U.S., but around the world. There is a protest EVERY weekend here in Kansas City in the Plaza shopping district, a very upscale place. EVERY weekend. As for myself, I have been to DC three times and NYC on the first anniversary of the invasion and to the counter-inaugural. I understand that people have jobs and weekends are precious time. But when no one has a job, protesting will be all you can do. The economy is sucking wind, this administration is gearing up for another attack and this time there will be a draft. What happened to our wonderful country? The thugs are in charge.
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. I think things will really start to cook in that regard if there's a draft
That is what would really wake up the uninformed and apathetic.

And I predict Bush Co. wouldn't dare until after the 2006 elections, so as not to cause the Repubs to lose seats in Congress. That is if they have a choice.

We shall see.
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Snotcicles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #29
42. Wow a reasonable thinker n/t
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
34. That was the problem with ABB
I'm not sure which way was better. There are already too many on the left that help us lose by sitting on the sidelines during elections. The movement did lose a lot of momentum because we were busy trying to defeat Bush. We need to regroup and come back stronger.
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DerekG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
35. Wow, you guys are still going after Nader!
I hoped that with the spectacular failure of the ABB coalition to install their pro-war candidate, Ralph Nader would cease to be the bogeyman for moderates and tacit liberals.

I wonder if Eugene Debs ever drew this much ire...
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Snotcicles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #35
43. LOL n/t
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
38. Ralph and Buchanan should go bowling some time
Sorry guys. You can't have it both ways. Pat, you can't be against the war and then vote for Bush. Ralph, you can't accept GOP help and Smear Vet money and then talk about how wrong this administration is.

And that goes for the Ivory-Towered, purist-to-the-point-of-nausea Counterpunch as well. I don't like the anti-Dem bias of that publication. They are not our friends. The only candidate they could even tolerate was Kusinich. The rest they smeared.

The last person we need leading the way for protest would be Ralph Nader. And that's sad, because I used to admire him. Now he can kiss my shiny metal ass.
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DerekG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
46. Say what you will about Counterpunch
But Cockburn was right about the ABB coalition, and how their capitulation to the Democratic Party would only move Kerry to the right. We should have turned our backs on those bastards after our anti-war brethren were caged in Boston.
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Were they right about Dean as well?
And I could have done without the ABB coalition, frankly. Either support the candidate or don't. If you don't, then your negativity is likely to drive the other side to show up just to stop you from attacking "their guy."

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DerekG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. We'll have to see what Dean accomplishes in the DNC
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 05:44 PM by DerekG
I do agree with many of the writers on Counterpunch that Dean was a superficial anti-war candidate (as opposed to Kucinich, whose aversion to this bloodbath was unmistakably genuine). Dean didn't articulate a cogent critique until late 2003; I have the suspicion that he, like many Democrats, merely yearn for a kinder, gentler empire.

However, Dean might surprise me yet, and prove the far left wrong. Stranger things have happened. (Look at the evolution of Bobby Kennedy, who cast off his Cold War liberalism after the death of his brother and transmogrified into one of our most tortured humanists.)
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
44. What an original approach
"This War Has Left the US Poorer, More Despised and Less Safe"

Gee, where have I heard that before.

Kind of like Ralph's so-called anti-war message. Elections, reconstruction, security, international involvement. Heard that before too.

When Ralph stops pretending his anti-war message is any different than Kerry's solutions to the war, maybe I'll listen to him.
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. Kerry Supports The Anti-War Movement?
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 05:38 PM by Itsthetruth
John Kerry supports the antiwar movement and is against the occupation of Iraq?

Now that would be big news! That's a huge change from his previous position that the United States government should "win" the war against Iraq and can't "cut and run" from Iraq. That being the case, Kerry should be invited to address one of the major anti-war demonstrations on March 19th. Think he would show up?

Please post your link to that story.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. Nader has no anti-war plan
His so-called anti-war plan is and always has been exactly the same as Kerry's Iraq plan.

Getting out of Iraq requires more than yelling "end the occupation".

When anti-war people figure that out, maybe we'll get some movement on a peace centered foreign policy, which Kerry has ALWAYS supported.
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. I Can't Disagree With That. You Are Right!
"Getting out of Iraq requires more than yelling "end the occupation".

You are certainly correct. It requires building a mass united movement demanding U.S. withdrawl from Iraq. Of course, in any mass demonstration people might chant "Bring Our Troops Home" and I hope you don't find such yelling objectionable.

It would be nice if John Kerry said he favored ending the occupation and rejected his former(?) we "can't cut and run" position. If he does, that would be a positive and important development. Any sign that has happened yet?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. Can't Cut and Run IS NOT the same as support the occuptaion
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 06:42 PM by karynnj
He is opposed to having permanent bases or a long term occupation. When he was running for President his 4 point plan was designed to stabalize the country and get out. The 4 points were security, restoration, international involvement and elections. It was designed to end the violence as fast as possible, take the American face off of it, get Iraq on its feet and leave. Unfortunately, he isn't President and can't force Bush to do anything.

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #52
58. It would be nice if Ralph did
If you read the post below, you'd see he doesn't demand immediate US withdrawal at all. It's sad so many who claim to be intellectually superior respond to 3 word sound bytes, just like those they look down their noses at.
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Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. Huh?
"Immediate" withdrawl is impossible. It would take a few months to actually withdraw all the troops. Kerry didn't join Kennedy in proposing a withdrawl from Iraq.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. The date, not the intention
He said he generally supported what Kennedy said, he just didn't think a date-certain timeline was the right way to go.

Nader's proposal has noting to do with the logistics of immediate troop withdrawal. He laid out milestones, the exact same ones Kerry laid out.

Kerry could have pretended his plan was an "end the occupation" plan, just like Nader and others pretend. He has chosen to be honest and responsible about Iraq, telling the truth about the potential dangers of a failed state. He has also hammered Bush on his failures in Iraq, he just did again on the 28th. If the left wanted to get our troops out of Iraq and give Iraq to the Iraqis, they'd start pressuring Bush to spend the money for Iraqis to rebuild their country, develop Iraqi NGO's, and expand troop training. Doing Iraq right, the way people like Kerry said it should be done, wouldn't have had to be a loss for the left if they'd accepted the reality of the importance of successful governments in the first place.

All this time he's been pressuring Bush on various Iraq issues, Bush eventually does what Kerry suggested, then Bush gets the credit because the far left helps the right lump it all in the same "stay the course" mantra.

You guys made it a black/white choice between "end the occupation" and "warmonger"; when the real solution has always been true sovereignity for Iraq which is what Kerry has always supported and is quite the opposite of Bush's imperialism.


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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. Here's his plan
Not all that much different, really:

http://votenader.org/why_ralph/index.php?cid=55

"Nader: US Should Withdraw From Iraq
US Should Underwrite an Appropriate International Peacekeeping Force, Encourage Iraqi Self Rule and Continue Humanitarian Aid to Rebuild Iraq

Washington, DC: Today, Independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader put forward a three-step approach to rapidly remove US military forces, civilian military contractors and US corporate interests from Iraq. "Every day the US military remains in Iraq we imperil US security, drain our economy, ignore our nation's domestic needs and prevent democratic self-rule from developing in Iraq, nor does the belligerent rhetoric of the Bush regime help the cause of moderates in Iraq." Nader said.

Nader made his statement amid calls by President Bush and Senator Kerry to "stay the course" despite increasing violence against US soldiers and US military contractors. "As has been demonstrated in recent weeks, US soldiers and civilians have become magnets for an expanding insurgency against US occupation of Iraq," Nader said. "The way to save US and Iraqi lives and reverse the escalating spiral of violence is for the United States to go back home. US presence serves as fuel for the insurrection, kidnapping, terrorism and anarchy. Since the occupation is increasingly turning mainstream Iraqis against the US; announcing a withdrawal and ending the corporate takeover of the Iraqi economy and oil resources will attract their support away from the insurgents."

Nader put forward a three-step process for removal of US troops.

1. Development of an appropriate international peace-keeping force: Under the auspices of the United Nations an international peace keeping force, from neutral nations with such experience and from Islamic countries, should be assembled immediately to replace all US troops and civilian military contractors doing many jobs the Army used to do more efficiently. "Former General Wesley Clark described the Bush administration's foreign policy as 'cowboy unilateralism that goes against everything the United States is supposed to represent to the world,' noted Nader. "It is time for the US to return to the family of nations. The US will have to underwrite a significant portion of this less expensive short-term peacekeeping force since it was George W. Bush's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq that has led to this quagmire."
2. Support Iraqi self rule and free and fair elections: Free and fair elections should be held as soon as possible under international supervision so democratic self-rule can be put in place in Iraq. This will allow Iraq to develop legitimate self-government that will be able to provide for its own security. Nader recognized: "It is a challenge to bring democracy to Iraq, a country controlled by a brutal dictator, devastated by economic sanctions and torn apart by war. The complicated culture of Iraq, the split between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds makes consensus on a new government a challenge. A suitable framework of unity with allowance for reasonable autonomy would be a proper balance. But Iraq should be able to sort out these issues more easily without the military presence of a US occupying force and the projected 14 US military bases that Iraqis see as installing a puppet government fronting for an indefinite military and oil industry occupation."
3. The US should provide humanitarian aid to Iraq to rebuild its infrastructure: The US invasion of Iraq and the long-term US-led economic sanctions against Iraqi civilians resulted in tremendous damage to people, their children and the Iraqi infrastructure. The US has a history of supporting Saddam Hussein. "Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government's anti-communist ally in the Middle East. Washington also supported him to keep Iran at bay with his army. In so doing, during the 1980s under Reagan and the first George Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush later accused him of having," said Nader. "Therefore, the US has a responsibility to the Iraqi people so Iraq can become a functioning nation again. However, we should not allow US oil and other corporations to profit from the illegal invasion and occupation of their country." Control over Iraqi oil and other assets should be exercised by Iraqis."

John Kerry also called for an international force. To call Kerry's plan "staying the course" and imply that there is no difference is overly simplistic. For one thing, Kerry wouldn't have been there in the first place.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
54. Excellent article.
Ralph comes thru!
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
57. Recommended
:thumbsup:
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
60. wow.
Remind me to post a link to this thread the next time the DU left isn't quick enough to sing Lieberman's praises when he does something right. :eyes:
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
62. Good for you Ralph! Now, walk the walk!
Your words will mean more to me after I see you marching out in front on March 19th. When you lay down in front of an Army tank in Washington D.C., I'll start to believe you again.
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