Sunday, January 28, 2007

Peace News

Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched in Washington DC yesterday, and thousands more in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities, calling for an immediate end to U.S. military action in Iraq. But the real news is, the story made it to the front of the Sunday Los Angeles Times (registration required), albeit with a picture of the Washington march, not the one in Los Angeles. The online edition now includes pix from Los Angeles, like the one above.

The Times reports:
In Los Angeles, about 3,000 marchers wound through downtown on a cold, rainy afternoon, demanding in often angry speeches an immediate military withdrawal from Iraq.

They staged the first of two rallies outside the Democratic Party headquarters at 9th and Figueroa streets, intending to send a message to those now in control of Congress.

"The Democrats, like the Republicans, voted for this war because they, like the Republicans, believe that the oil in Iraq belongs to us," said Jim Lafferty, executive director of the Los Angeles National Lawyers Guild.

One man, dressed as Jesus, carried a sign saying, "Even I can only forgive so much, George." Dozens of signs declared "Impeach Bush."

I didn't make it to this march, but I have been in attendance, as a National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer, at half a dozen or so similar events--many of them better attended than yesterday's--in Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles since the war began. Those marches were largely ignored by the Main Stream Media. Why were they "news" today but not last year or the year before or the year before that?

CNN hints at the answer:
Convinced this is their moment, tens of thousands marched Saturday in an anti-war demonstration linking military families, ordinary people and an icon of the Vietnam protest movement in a spirited call to get out of Iraq.

Celebrities, a half-dozen lawmakers and protesters from distant states rallied in the capital under a sunny sky, seizing an opportunity to press their cause with a Congress restive on the war and a country that has turned against the conflict.

Reading this, one would think the protesters had opportunistically rushed into the streets to climb on the anti-war bandwagon as it rushed by them. In fact, the marchers have been marching (on at least two occasions in Los Angeles, at the foot of the CNN building), and the vigilers have been vigiling, since before the war began, almost completely ignored by the MSM.
Thank god for the First Amendment, keeping the press free to tell us only what their focus groups tell us we want to hear!


studentX said...

What is the meaning of peace in this context?

KC said...

I use "peace" only in the subject line of this post as shorthand for the aims of the anti-war protesters, and to vaguely echo the call for "Peace Now". I wish I knew what "peace" might mean in the context of Iraq or the mid-east generally, but I am convinced that our recent actions in that region bring no one closer to it.

StudentX said...

Interesting, that a genius of political science morphs into a squid when presented with a request for a simple definition.

So I'll be frank:

Perhaps those who cry peace are really shouting 'death to the American Empire' in a most vile expression of political masochism.

Or, perhaps, the peace activists are mirroring this sentiment:
O thirty million English that babble of England's might

Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;

Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made__"

And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade! "


Student X said...

very well,

"I wish I knew what "peace" might mean in the context of Iraq or the mid-east generally, but I am convinced that our recent actions in that region bring no one closer to it. "

How can one understand a proximity to an object that by their own admission is undefined?