Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Left-Right Antiwar Meeting, Part 4

Kevin Zeese of Voters for Peace sent this additional update over the Google Groups Peace Movement on February 26, concerning the Left-Right Antiwar Meeting:

Here are some more views of the right-left antiwar conference, these from people on the right side of the spectrum. Daniel McCarthy, a senior editor of the American Conservative, wrote his views here. As you can see, a side benefit of the conference was discussion of corporate personhood, the role of corporations in politics and campaign finance. He did an addendum focused on the corporate personhood issue.

One of the youth who attended from Young Americans for Liberty, Matt Cockerill, published his views of the conference.

More will be coming out of the conference and I will share it as it does.

My goal is not to turn people out for demonstrations. We've had mass demonstrations before and during the Iraq War -- large, excellent ones -- but they did not stop the war or prevent it. I'm not convinced that is the strategy we need to pursue. I'm not against such demonstrations, but they are not sufficient and probably not the critical ingredient to our success.

I also don't expect a lot of change to show in Congress immediately from this effort. The Republicans and Democrats in Congress are not prepared to end the current wars and our goals are not limited to the current wars. There is no peace movement to speak of to get them to change their views.

I see the peace movement as quite tiny at this point, with confused leadership, needing a longterm building strategy. Finding ways to heighten traditional conservatives and libertarians on the right side of the spectrum so they draw more conservatives away from the neocons and other war-supporters is only part of the strategy of building. We also need to outreach to many groups -- academics, unions, enviros, women... the list goes on and on. For all these groups, no matter where they are on the political spectrum, a clear message against war and the negative consequences of Empire is needed.

And we need to organize on a congressional district level so that people can work locally and have a national impact. This is a longterm, not short-term effort that should be measured in years, not in months. Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex in 1961 and Smedley Butler described the beginnings of American Empire during his service from 1890s to the 1930s.

This will not be undone quickly. It is going to take ongoing persistence. That is what I am building for.

-- Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace

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