Scott Ritter told it like it is, and it's not pretty.
He gave a soldier's assessment of the Anti-War Movement and it wasn't pretty. His work as a UN Inspector, his assessment of Colin Powell, and his advise to the ANTI-WAR community.
And he was brutally honest and correct. He lauded the concept of equality, but as applied to the "movement" the result is devastating.
He asked us to consider, how successful the anti-war movement has been, with our current tactics? We've been protesting even before the invasion. Did we stop the invasion no. We've marched to oppose Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, and Extraordinary Rendition. That didn't work either. Now they are "product testing"the language that will be used to SELL the Invasion of Iran.
He reminded us that one definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. That's the ANTI-WAR Movement. He described the ANTI-WAR movement as doing another grab-bag march and HOPING something nice would come from it??????????????????????????????????????????????
He said when he first spoke out against the RUSH to WAR, He was invited to speak at large rallies. But many of his comments were unwelcome. He's no longer invited.
He said, he came to this large mass action, and was confronted by signs for everything from FREE MUMIA, to PROTECT THE OWLS. STOP the War and on, and on, and on. When he reacted to this colorful, yet ineffective collage and suggested that these tactics were getting nowhere - He was told by International Answer, that "He hurt their feelings." He said we (the ANTI-WAR Movement) are laughed at by those in power.
He was told us we need to think of the Anti-War campaigns like a battle campaign. He suggested we need focus, and a message that will allow the Farmers of IOWA to buy in - as long as we're thought of as a bunch of intellectual elites, we will fail.
We need to find a message that appeals to a wide audience and martial our limited resources behind that unifying message. He recommended making the American Constitution our rallying point. He further suggested a leadership approach modeled after the firefighters logic.
"Incident Command" - no one group, no one leader is always the boss, but takes leadership at a particular action or incident. This permits leadership. There is then a point of leadership. a leadership triangle, then progress will be made.
Faced with an opponent that has essentially unlimited funding, controls congress and the media
as well as the military and law enforcement with very finite funds, resources and personnel, we can ill afford not to marshal our forces. Having been an activist in a wide range of coalitions since the 1970's, I can appreciate how difficult getting "buy-in" and the organizing an action with a coalition is not easy.
But what we oppose, the "Pre-emptive War" mentality, Torture, the loss of the Bill of Rights, Habeas Corpus, protections against Unreasonable Search and Seizure, Privacy protections and more will become completely lost. (German leadership was prosecuted in Nuremberg for "Pre-emptive War")
We can ill afford to ignore those we would deter.
"Pick a Goal, and organize, Pick A Message and marshal our resources" then face dangers we oppose. He was asked about Powell's testimony before the UN, he was asked had he contributed, or been consulted.
He explained that most of the "evidence" Powell used had been gathered by his team of UN Inspectors. He was in Japan, when Powell made his presentation, the problem was that the data was misinterpreted. But as he watched was it was conscientiously and intentionally MISINTERPRETED. He was asked if Powell knew that he was lying about the evidence. He said, there is no way, that Powell was an unwitting dupe. He knew exactly what he was doing. Powell knew that the slam dunk was FLAT WRONG.
He challenged us, the Anti-war activists to really organize, select a Goal and undertake a Campaign, that would engage regular folks to actually do more than WHINE that the BUSH ADMINISTRATION is destroying the Constitution. Maybe he said Constitutional Literacy might be a good first step.
Read the Constitution and Act on it!
My proposed Unification SLOGANS
"I PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION for my Grandchildren" &
"America Is Not a Bully"
a very sobering evening.
solidarity & peace
ACLU FL - TCC