“Iraq Moratorium” Promises Meek and Ineffectual Direct Action

Yesterday I got an email from “Peace Action West” announcing a “historic call” that will “mobilize the majority of Americans who are opposed to this war.”

It’s something called the Iraq Moratorium and it’s the most depressing thing I’ve seen in a long time.

The theory of the Iraq Moratorium is that you will “[j]oin with actors, celebrities, writers, trade union leaders, Iraq veterans, Gold Star Families, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans” who want U.S. troops out of Iraq — “on , and every third Friday thereafter” to do “something to stop the war.”

What something, exactly? “What you do is up to you or to the group of people you are working with. Labor unions in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere have called on their members to wear armbands and hold lunch hour rallies.” The Iraq Moratorium web site recommends the following actions:

  • Wear and distribute black ribbons and armbands
  • Buy no gas on Moratorium days
  • Pressure politicians and the media
  • Hold vigils, pickets, rallies, and teach-ins
  • Hold special religious services
  • Coordinate events in music, art, and culture
  • Host film showings, talks, and educational events
  • Organize student actions: Teach-ins, school closings, etc.

(This isn’t radical enough for some of the participants, who have advocated something they call “Non-Violent Action,” — “proposed in the spirit of Ghandi [sic]” — to wit: “On the third Friday of each month, designated as Moratorium Day, organize all Peace supporters across the country to drive exactly 10 miles below the posted speed limit on whatever road they are driving, whenever they drive, for the entire day.”)

In this way, because “the political process is moving glacially at best,” we can finally “force the media and the politicians to recognize just how angry and how massive anti-war sentiment in this country has grown.”

The Iraq Moratorium crowd is the political activism equivalent of the people who recommend prayer and crystals to patients with malignant tumors. Shun them, run from them, do not turn around until they are far from sight.