White House Ignores Protesters

A grand anti-military demonstration is expected to take place in San Francisco

It is generally believed  that the vast majority of Americans support the army variant for the solution of the Iraqi problem. Judging by the results of opinion polls, the number of those people, who support the idea of the war in Iraq, fluctuates within 55-70%. However, news agencies report about anti-military actions that  take place in the United States sometimes. As a rule, those actions are not frequent, although they cause a commotion, attracting the attention of the press. The American press likes to draw an analogy with the period of the war in Vietnam. By the way, the last demonstration in Los Angeles ended up with the arrest of 17 protesters. Anti-military demonstrations in the beginning of the 1970s of the 20th century exerted considerable influence on Washington's solution to stop the war in Vietnam. However, there is no reason to believe that the incumbent American administration will listen to what the protesters have to say.

A demonstration of protest against the war in Iraq is to take place in San Francisco on January 18th. American newspapers publish articles about it on their front pages. As it is expected, it will be the most massive action of protest over the recent period of time. As organizers say, up to 80 thousand people might take part in the demonstration. About 20 thousand people took part in the anti-military protest action in New York last October. Anyway, the number of protesters is not the most important thing. The most important thing is the fact that the event was organized by trade unions. The American government did not really pay much attention to actions of protests before, for they were presumably organized by pacifist and student societies.

Trade unions have a simple explanation for their action. It is generally believed that the military operation in Iraq will cost not less than $200 billion. This might result in the reduction of unemployment and other social allowances. Every trade union member or his or her family  have either relatives, or someone they know in the army. Their children will have to go to Iraq.

A lot of observers both in America and abroad have strong doubts about the efficiency of the  coming demonstration. The protesters are democrats-oriented people, which gives the incumbent American administration a reason to ignore anti-military actions. There is always an opportunity to say that the opposition uses them for the sake of their own political goals. Then they will say that the nation has to be united against the background of the fight with the international terrorism and so on and  so forth.

On the whole, there can be one conclusion made: anti-military demonstrations are not going to succeed in the nearest future. The White House is absolutely not interested in the opinion of those, who do not want another war in Iraq to happen. It deems that the only way for protesters to attract attention is to organize their actions as often as possible. The more people they gather, the more reports the press will make. At the end of the day, that tactics was a successful one during the time of the Vietnamese war. Hopefully, it will work nowadays, although George W. Bush has a very strong desire to unleash the war.

Vasily Bubnov

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Olga Savka