The complaint that the media hasn’t covered the so-called anti-war movement is unfounded. The NY Times has virtually beat the band for this cause. A review of today’s issue - Feb 1 - reveals frontpage coverage of several stories that betray an underlying opposition to the war. The lead article outlines a supposed rift between Great Britain and the US when hardly one exists. A second article covers plight of businesses w/ reservist employees. And a third covers the non-story of Iraqi ghetto dwellers paying lip service to their opposition to the war. These articles are from one issue. They reflect a consistent pattern in the Times, which is about as mainstream as news coverage can be.
Your criticism that mainstream media chose inappropriately to focus on “sectarian” groups as the principal organizers of the rally is also off base. I know several people who were in attendance at the SF rally. The anti-Israeli theme at the demonstration - and yes, the anti-semitic aspect - was hardly off point. For many it was the point itself, to the extent that the true significance of the attendance figures is difficult to gauge.
Finally, you do not have fair basis to assert in the least that your views represent the majority of Americans. You reference polls that indicate the majority oppose “unilateral” US action. I haven’t seen those, but I have seen the most recent ABC poll that shows the majority approve of Bush’s handling of Iraq (58%). In the same poll 63% endorse US military action against Iraq to remove Saddam from power; 32% oppose. What? Was that the noise of your balloon popping?
Posted by MB on Feb 1, 2003 at 1:12 PM
1. In his State of the Union address, Bush simply repeated unproven claims that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction which threaten the United States.
2. He did not explain how this could be so when his own experts admit that Iraq
Posted by Carl on Feb 2, 2003 at 6:11 AM
This - as so many of your other articles are so important and necessary as the mainstream press gets less and less helpful and more and more (dishonest?) certainly not helpful and a source of accurate information. Please keep writing
Posted by Mary on Feb 3, 2003 at 7:16 PM
To respond to Carl’s criticism of the relationship between the president’s questionable claims about Iraqi weaponry and the knowledge that Iraq possesses less than a third of its ‘91 arsenal: The argument, Carl, was not that any nation operating with only one third of the military stockpile it held 12 years ago is no longer potentially threatening. Rather, Mr. Weinstein stated that a nation (Iraq) which was virtually powerless to harm a mightier nation (United States) in the past, would be even less of a threat now that its offensive capabilities are only a fraction of what they were. I hope this clears up your confusion.
Posted by Zach K. on Feb 4, 2003 at 4:11 AM
MB (Charlotte, NC) and Carl (NYC) are couple of examples that American officials have referred to as people that “do not wish to be convinced can never be convinced”, regardless of the side they are speaking for.
Therefore, we should continue to fight on amongst ourselves. May be people like MB and Carl will survive longer than their ideological opponents, may be not. In the process though, Bush and his cohorts will definitely succeed in their imperialist endeavors. In fact, our bickering ensures their success.
For a historical perspective, please read article at the following link:
Posted by Naushad on Feb 5, 2003 at 2:06 AM
Whilst the perceived numbers attending demonstrations historically varies greatly, the fact that there are 50,000 or 250,000 (x many more across the country) is worthy of note. It was more extensively reported in the papers in the UK than in the US! I too was in San Francisco, however I was unable to interprete any anti-Israeli opinions expressed as equating to anti-semitism. Many attendees had been to the Occupied Territories, some are practicing Jews seeking answers to the very difficult questions this occupation and the policies of the Israeli government have posed. And some of these Jews are children of survivors of the Holocaust. When they say, “not in my name” it’s with a conviction that I could only dream of.
It is not so much the lack of “coverage” of such events, but the lack of depth in what IS said. There doesn’t seem to be enough intelligent argument in the mainstream media. It feels like there is a general dumbing down of events and a deliberate omission of facts - as if they don’t trust the intelligence of the people to come to the “right” conclusion on their own. I don’t see how we American people can trust a government which doesn’t trust us.
The censorship is somewhat less in the UK and even less in Europe where the demarcation of opinion is more divided according to what paper you read, what TV station you watch. (I notice that many of these articles are included in alternative and online journals rather than their counterpart in the mainstream US media) This may be why there is less “people” support for “backing” the US led war. Other reasons may be because the elected leaders feel they are answerable to the electorate. And then there is also the “make-up” of the population in Europe and the future relationship with their “neighbours” to consider. The “support” of the UK government in all this? THe Labour party does NOT have the consensus of it’s members, the Conservatives remain divided on most issues, and the Liberal Democrats use their position to hold public forum debates. Coverage is scant, but the objective of informing is being met and venue sizes are increasing! These are not just “the usual suspects” attending, many confess to it being their “first time”.
And finally, bizarrely, the London Metropolitan police are expecting “large” numbers attending the March on Feb. 15th - in the region of 400,000. And that’s their estimate!
Posted by Emilia on Feb 5, 2003 at 4:53 AM
Yes. Little doubt that coverage and exposure to protest is given little exposure. Pol results in Australia and U.S. are showing overwhelming disatisfaction with pre-emptive strike plans for Iraq and proposed invasion. Leaders in both countries are not listening to their electorates. Makes on wonder who the real despots are!
Posted by Alph Williams on Feb 6, 2003 at 9:27 AM
I agree with Weinstein completely that coverage of anti-war protests have not been 100% on target. One of the largest questions is who is the media polling? I know a lot of people who do not support this war! No blood for oil! But it seems to me, in a country where the president condemns protestors as “joining the terroists efforts,” fewer and fewer of us are actually getting heard. I’ve been at protests with thousands of people, and I’ve written my congressman and nothing seems to work. Until we manage to get this dictator out of the office, we are heading straight towards war, no matter how hard we protest and no matter what the media does.
Posted by Lauren on Feb 6, 2003 at 11:25 AM
I do know that many people are against the possible coming war on Iraq. This is not why I am against it, although I am glad many people have stood up against something which is so clearly an immoral agenda. I am against a war on Iraq because it is wrong to make the poor and weak suffer because of their leader’s tyranny. I hope the American public continues the growing opposition against Bush and his administration’s impatience with peace and their questionable evidence. A war will not improve international security but make us all less secure, not to mention killing thousands of innocent people in the process. Then again previous administration’s have done it and been proud of it. Let’s act like human beings and realize another war in Iraq will not bring peace but death and suffering.
Posted by NF on Feb 10, 2003 at 9:00 PM
“Stopping the Drive to War” hits the nail on the head. It points out what is crucial to those concerned about preventing the likely and imminent war against Iraq, the need to pressure fearful politicians to give voice to the enormous and growing opposition to this war. It also points out what is largely irrelevant to this objective, a corporate media that studiously disregards this opposition, and the sectarian attachments of many of the anti-war organizers.
I have been reading ITT for 25-years, because of this sort of incisiveness. Nice work Mr. Weinstein!
Posted by Randy Baker on Feb 10, 2003 at 9:35 PM
george bush has got to find weapons of mass destruction even if iraq does not have any. he will look like a big idiot killing all the people nessesary to win the war with iraq if he does not find any’ i think all bush wants is the oil in irac and he does not care how many people[ ours and theirs] he kills to get it
Posted by SUKYSAM YOSEMITY on Feb 11, 2003 at 10:54 AM
Well I can see you’re a big fan of the Nazis, as you have taken the “Big Lie” theory completely to heart. This and many other “Progressive” AKA “repressive” publications constantly quote the percentages of people who are opposed to a “unilateral” war by the United States. Talk about red herrings. There will be no “unilateral” war. There won’t even be a bilateral or trilateral war. There will be a minimum of 9 countries joining us, and possibly as many as 20 or 30. Hardly a “unilateral” war on Iraq. The actual shooting will probably last less than a week and Bush’s approval ratings will go back to the stratosphere. Hope you enjoy it. I can’t wait for those Supreme Court nominees in his next term.
Posted by Nathan Fisher on Feb 12, 2003 at 1:05 PM
Nathan, which countries will support us is the question, more than how many will? We have allies, such as France,Germany, even Canada who said they would not back a war with Iraq. Going into this war without a strong allie base and without UN support would be an extreme blow to the international system of law. Basically the US would be asserting their opinion that their the best and they won’t stop until they have everyone thinking that they rule the world. Naive ideas like yours are the reason that so many people still support this war, even though we don’t have the international backings among our allies that we need.
Posted by Lauren on Feb 13, 2003 at 11:13 AM
Well, my “naive” thinking was produced by a BS in International Relations from a major American university. I guess I must have missed something along the way. The “International system” is all well and good, but when push comes to shove there is only one number one, and for me (and the vast majority of Americans) that will always be MY country. Our interests supercede the interests of ANY other country. I would expect the residents of another country to feel the same about their country. As far as the who, what makes Belgium any more important than Israel, what makes Canada any more important than Bulgaria? I’ll tell you, NOTHING. Canada’s not even a second rate power and Germany is so tied in knots over their facist past they have more personalities than Sybil. We won’t even talk about the French who are so up to their eyeballs in dealing weapons to Saddam that their worst fear is our finding all the fabrique en Fracais boxes piled up in his chemical weapons labs. We’ve tried to work through the proper international bodies (conceived, constructed, and almost totally financed by us), but when the time comes to protect our vital interests (in this case the removal of a dictator who has WMD capability and would not hesitate for an instant to share it with someone who he had confidence would use it against us), we WILL protect our interests, and the French, the Canadians, the Germans, the Belgians, and the about 5% of the American public who is always against ANYTHING we do can be damned.
Posted by Nathan Fisher on Feb 13, 2003 at 12:20 PM
MB:Whether you perceive the NYTimes as beating the band against the war or not, it has all but ignored the movement and the extent of popular opposition. Reading the NYTimes one would not know that some 70 city councils have already passed resolutions against a preemptive war, and this is an unpredented occurrence.
Similarly the Times, like all the corporate media has consistetly underestimated the size of anti-war demonstrations. It talked of “tens of thousans” of demonstrators in Wash and San Fran on 2/18, whereas there were humdreds of thousand in both places in demonstrations as large as the largest against the Vietnam war—and thos took place only after more than a decade of war, not in advance of it.
Further, the Times report about rifts between the US and Britain is simply that—a news report. The fact is that a quite substantial majority in Britain is against war, despite Tony Blair, who is now known in Britain as Bush’s puppet. Overall, he Times simply regurgitates all the lies and distortions coming from the Bush administration about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, few of which survive and none of which in any way threatens our nation.
Only a tiny fraction of the demonstrators paid any attention to the anti-Israeli speakers (or to any of the speakers for that matter). Those who attempted to use the demonstrations for their own sectaian purpose are stupid, but not significant, expecially since they did most of the work in putting the demonstrations together. They have done us all a great service.
The same polls you quote show that majorities, ranging from bare to over two-thirds, oppose US action outside of the UN framework.
Posted by jim weinstein on Feb 13, 2003 at 4:06 PM
Carl, baby, Iraq has no nuclear weapons and no possibility of creating them even if left free to do so in leass than five years. The CIA admits this and the UN inspectors proclaim it. You’re comparing apples and oranges when you compare Us military power with Iraq. The US has a superabundance of redundent power and weapons, Iraq has a rag-tag army and weapons degraded by eleven years of inability to get replacement parts. They only way in which Iraqi power is significant is in the size of its army, but it couldn’t transport them much further than Kuwait, and even that turned into a disaster.
Posted by jim weinstein on Feb 13, 2003 at 4:11 PM
Yes, dear Nathan, Our country is the one we should be concerned with first, but our government and our political establishment, is not our country. Nor is the corporate media. Bush says that if we are against him we are against our country, but Bush and his friends do not speak for working Americans, only for their fellow oil company pals and munitions manufacturers—those who dream of an American empire that will rule and police yje world forever. Read their stuff.
Posted by jim weinstein on Feb 13, 2003 at 4:18 PM
I agree the government is not America, and let me be the first to assure you that I have no problem with the protests (though I disagree with most of their views). It is the right of the people, to make their views known. I also agree that it’s sad that most people don’t have the time or energy to do what I’m doing right now, which is get a perspective on the news from many different political slants. I watch FOX news, and I listen to NPR. I read American Spectator and The Nation. Nobody gives the entire story. We’re human beings with axes to grind and bosses to please. In this case, I just tend to MOSTLY agree with the view you took issue with. Not that there should be some perpetual benevolent dictatorship of the world by America (we all know the sun eventually sets on ALL empires) , but that we have a unique window of opportunity here (because of our total economic and military hegemony) to right some wrongs and make some changes to the world order that will benefit not only America, but the rest of the world as well. I contend that if ten tears from now Iraq has a quasi-democratic government that respects the human rights of it’s citizens, the the Iraqis will thank us, not hate us.
Posted by Nathan Fisher on Feb 14, 2003 at 9:27 AM
Where are the latest progressive opinion polls on the war?
Posted by linda on Feb 15, 2003 at 12:28 AM
So, have millions marching on London, Rome, New York, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as many other cities - made a difference? Will our elected politicians (OK, some were elected) be positively influenced? Probably not. For an accurate snapshot of London, read: http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,896511,00.html
And just a word on the NYC march. (51st to 72nd seemed pretty impressive if it was still “banned”) And if there was a ban because of “security” risks, what’s going to happen to St Patrick’s Day next month?
Posted by Emilia on Feb 16, 2003 at 3:40 PM
I think that you’re aware that the methodology of estimating the size of crowds is more art than science. I don’t disagree that it’s possible for the reported number to betray an underlying agenda. That would be just as true for those who might have an interest in inflating the number as for those who’d like to say it was smaller.
I think that you’ll have to do a better job of making the case that The Times is biased toward supporting the administration on the war. A news organization like The Times has great leeway in deciding what is news and what isn’t. The key point in my initial response to your editorial was that The Times has consistently made “news” of non-events or issues that betray a bias in opposition to the Bush administration’s policy toward Iraq. I think it’s a reflection of your more extreme views that you would see them as being slavishly supportive of a President they so obviously oppose.
It would be nice if you were right that the extreme elements of the so-called anti-war coalition are insignificant. I fear that you’re underestimating the size and importance of that segment. In any case, isn’t there something disingenuous about saying “they were there, they were talking, but I didn’t listen to them, and neither did anybody else”? It truly sounds like you’re nurturing a gigantic case of denial. That would be understandable; I too would be very uncomfortable sharing a tent with mob that would prefer to see me dead.
Concerning your citation of the polls, clarity in these matters is critical. Your argument seems to conflate opposition to the war with opposition to a “unilateral” war. It does the same with “unilateral” and non-Security Council approved. These aren’t all the same, as you know, and a lot depends on how you slice them.
Concerning the question of whether Saddam is a threat that needs to be dealt with, there is Security Council unanimity on this issue: that’s what 1441 was about. The lack of cooperation since then does not represent agreement that Saddam’s not a threat. Rather it’s more a cynical willingness to let America’s military force him into containment regime. The fact that this is not sustainable is not yet in the political calculation, not when there’s so much capital in mining anti-American feeling. I hope you’re right that we
Posted by MB on Feb 17, 2003 at 3:18 PM
I agree with your excellent editorial. The enormous growth of the worldwide antiwar movement is unprecedented. The corporate media has under-reported the movement.
The unknown question: will Bush back down? We just don’t know. Certainly the political price has been raised if he wages war.
If Bush manages to bully the UN security council into a second resolution, it will make it harder for us.
Congratulations to ITT for being able to see through the fog of pro-war propaganda. (I wish you had shown as much insight on the previous war, Kosovo.)
Posted by John Farley on Feb 18, 2003 at 7:13 AM
It saddens me to see posts like nathans, with his sort of “patriotism” instilled in so many americans, as it more closely resembles brainwashing.
Firstly, people with their own views do not automatically become
“...a big fan of the Nazis,...”
The only ““Big Lie” theory ” I have seen, is the one that refers to the existance of “weapons of mass destrustion”.
“There will be no “unilateral” war. There won’t even be a bilateral or trilateral war. There will be a minimum of 9 countries joining us, and possibly as many as 20 or 30. “
I bet you feel a little silly now as only a tenth of your estimate (including your own country) has rallied to your side.
“The actual shooting will probably last less than a week and Bush’s approval ratings will go back to the stratosphere. Hope you enjoy it. “
It’s already been more than a week with several embarassing conflicts for the USA
I sincerely hope (for it would be naive to believe) that no-one is enjoying this war.
Feel free to have your own opinion, just make sure its informed.
Sites like this are essential, keep up the great work.
Peace to all.
Posted by sic on Mar 31, 2003 at 8:00 PM