Hope Out of Quagmire: New Peace Movement Opportunities


| July 2003


In the glow of the Iraq war's initial military success, most American peace activists felt profoundly demoralized. Between the war's portrayal as a glamorous spectacle and Bush's seemingly overwhelming support, many who'd recently marched by the millions felt isolated, defensive, and powerless, fearing their voices no longer mattered.

Now, as Bush's occupation faces a deepening quagmire, shifting public sentiment opens up major new opportunities for activism. Just two months ago, the national mood felt so resistant that it was hard to raise the most cautious dissenting questions. But polls now suggest the beginning of a very different national mood, where large numbers of Americans are having significant doubts. This gives us a chance to challenge the core fallacies of Bush's foreign policy, revitalize peace movement activism, and perhaps change our national direction. We can do this by launching a grassroots campaign to replace the US control over Iraq with an international transitional authority under United Nations command -- an authority that would control not only military operations, but also Iraq's political and economic affairs, including its oil-fields. We can work to transform a beachhead for American empire into an interim government that would actually have a shot at bringing democracy.