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The Corporate Mofo guide to protest signs


Freezing for Peace


by Mistress Rowena



. . .no, not a new sexual position. Get yer minds out of the gutter. We went to Midtown Manhattan to demonstrate against the war, along with 100,000 to 400,000 other shivering folk, depending on whose tally you believe. If you want to read an account of the protest, click through the ads here: The writer must have been standing not twenty feet from us.

The day in signage:


"Let UN Inspectors Do Their Job"

Anyone who thinks that continuing UN inspections are an alternative to military action is naively missing the point. The only difference finding actual living, breathing weapons makes to the WAR (Warmongering Administrative Rightwingers) is that it would secure support, or at least mute resistance, to U.S. military action. It's a smokescreen of multilateralism. What the WAR want is regime change.

Twelve years ago, they wanted to nip Saddam's imperialistic tendencies in the bud; they wanted him out of Kuwait, accompanied by a firm enough kick up the arse to say, "don't even think about doing this again". They didn't want to destabilize the region by ousting Saddam's regime. His was a nominally secular dictatorship in a region uncomfortably rife with theocracies. Megalomaniacal nutjobs we can understand; Islamic fanatics are much harder to deal with. True, our former ally was getting out of hand but the WAR considered that to be a teach-a-lesson stage, not the depose stage.

Now, they want Saddam out. This desire is completely independent of any weapons that may currently be lurking in Iraq; therefore, the alternative to war, from the WARs point of view, is not continuing inspections but some other way to bring about regime change.

The favored method so far has been to train, fund and arm the extant domestic revolutionaries of the country whose government we want to makeover. I think it's a safe bet that route has been explored and rejected. Apparently, Saddam has been so good at crushing insurgents that there's no cohesive movement that would suit our purposes. The Kurds would be a possibility, but that would antagonize Turkey too much. And there is the little matter of how we recently got paid back for our support of Afghan rebels.


"I need a job, not a war"

War-is-good-for-the-economy is an adage based upon the domestic economic booms that followed World Wars Uno y Dos. The logistics of modern warfare render this assumption obsolete. What war still is, though, is a distraction from economic woes at home. ("You don't have a job? Sorry about--hey, look, we're dropping bombs on Iraq! Wave the flag! We're making the world safe for democracy! You don't have a job but you live in the Greatest Nation On Earth. Go on, swell with pride. It'll make your belly feel full.")

The only way in which this potential military action could benefit the economy would be to remove the uncertainly currently plaguing it. The economy abhors instability like Tristan's carpet abhors a vacuum. It's currently holding its breath, as if hiring another sysadmin is somehow dependent upon dropping bombs in Baghdad. Unfortunately, there is as good a chance that the post-war fallout will lead to more instability, not less. Anti-American sentiment will rise, in the short term, leading to increased fears of and, perhaps, occurrences of, terrorist attacks. Billions of dollars will be spent on regime building and stabilizing of the Persian Gulf region. I'd like to say the job situation will improve but there are too many logical counterarguments to make that a safe bet.


"Like father, like son, after 4 years, you're done"
"I voted for Gore"

"Both want war; both unelected" (Pix of Bush and Bin Laden)

A large-scale protest has been building ever since the 2000 Florida ballot debacle. Herding liberals and cats being somewhat similar endeavors, it took a gradual plaque-like build-up of resentment before the plastic pail drums came out. But make no mistake: protesters in America were angry about virtually every move the WAR has made since their takeover. The war in Iraq was merely the straw that broke the liberal's back. And that anger was evident in numerous placards that highlighted other sins of the administration. "Reproductive Rights" leaps to mind; pick your cause, from free speech to tax cuts for the wealthy, someone was out there, finally getting an outlet for their rage.


"Don't forget the Iraqi-American disappeared"

The WAR's egregious record on civil liberties was trotted out for show and tell


"I will not let my government scare me into supporting war"

When did Bin Laden morph into Saddam? A carefully constructed campaign to replace Bin Laden (whom we can't seem to kill) with Saddam (whom we're pretty confident we can kill) and actual Saudi Arabian government involvement with terrorism (whom it is not economically desirable to kill) with alleged Iraqi government involvement in terrorism (whom we know would aid and abet terrorists in a heartbeat) has been astoundingly successful. A recent poll asking the bozo-on-the-street how many of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi put the number at 11. Yes, 11.

While we're here, what about North Korea? The WAR aren't trying to scare us about them. On the contrary, they are downplaying the actual nuclear weapons that North Korea has openly threatened to use because that's not the war they want now, thank you very much.

Even Tom Brokaw suggested that the ratcheting up of alerts was a ploy to discourage large gatherings (i.e. anti-war protests).


"Between Iraq and a hard place"



"Another homeless person for peace"

The luxury of worrying about others is the purview of the comfortable classes, according to Maslow and his hierarchy of needs. And movements protesting atrocities have had a decidedly white face. Not yesterday. Black, Hispanic, Asian voices were chanting "1-2-3-4 we don't want your daddy's war". At the other end of the spectrum, there were nearly as many fur coats as Birkenstocks. All testament to the theory that the rally was as much an outpouring of resentment for the other policies of the WAR as it was specifically about Iraq. The origami peace cranes were nice, too.



"No war for SUVs"

"No blood for oil"

"Go solar not ballistic"

This war is about oil and this protest was about rejection of oil (in defiance of Anne Coulter) as a good cause. But, just as this war is about more than oil, the protest was as much about the WAR's anti-environmental policies and our continuing dependence on oil, foreign or domestic.


"Bush is Saddamizing the economy—Over a Barrel of Oil"

"Colin is spreading the cancer"

We just liked these.


"This is the face of war" (Infamous photo of immolated Vietnamese girl)

The Boomers grew up in the shadow of the Greatest Generation. Never were they called upon to defend their world with their lives. But they had the horror of Vietnam to rally against, and a host of civil liberties to secure for future generations. Generation X (the children of Boomers) never had anything to fight for. (Betamax over VHS, anyone?) They were the slacker generation. Now it's their turn. Reverence and nostalgia for the 60s permeated this protest like the scent of patchouli. The Boomers, now that they are beginning to retire, are missing the sense of purpose, the belief they could make a difference, or at least get laid, from their hippie days. Balding Boomer into his mobile phone: "This is great. It's just like the 60s, man, except no-one's smoking any weed."


"Make love not war"

Good slogans never die.


"Here's one Texan for peace"

Unfortunately, probably the only one.


"Empty warhead found in White House"

Self explanatory.


"Somewhere in Texas a village is missing an idiot"


"Give sanity a chance"

Too late.


"We the people believe that regime change begins at home"

In the font of the Dec of Ind. Heh. Good one. Check out Robert Kaplan on the necessity for democratic revolutions to foment internally if they are to succeed.

Some of the rest:


"My daddy had his war and I want mine NOW"

"Violence is the problem, not the answer"

"You can bomb the world to pieces but you can't bomb the world to peace"

"$ for schools, not for war"

Of course, the day would not have been complete without Tristan singing an egregiously off-key but rousing rendition of, "Stop, in the name of love, before you invade Iraq."



War! Hunh! What is it good for? E-mail

Posted February 16, 2003 3:12 AM






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