UNAC: A Real Anti-War Movement in the Belly of the Beast

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 03/28/2012 - 13:59
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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The United States finally has an anti-war movement that can’t be bamboozled by President Obama’s “humanitarian” mass murder. The United National Anti-War Coalition has broken decisively with those who would give a pass to Washington to wage illegal wars against Syria and Iran – as Obama did in Libya. “Our task as Americans is to dismantle from within the monstrous apparatus of imperial aggression. Period.” No exceptions.

 

UNAC: A Real Anti-War Movement in the Belly of the Beast

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

There is now a place for genuine anti-imperialists to gather and plot for peace.”

With passage of a short and elegant plank in its Action Plan for 2012, the United National Anti-War Coalition is building a peace movement that is finally prepared to confront President Obama’s global military offensive, cloaked in “humanitarian” interventionist rhetoric. The language states: “End all threats of war and intervention against Iran and Syria! No to sanctions, blockades and embargoes!”

It is a simple expression of the singular mission of anti-warriors in the belly of the beast. That mission is to disarm the beast – not to quibble with the war machine about where best to deploy its overwhelming firepower, or to advise corporate warmongers on the most efficient killing-mix of live troops and automated drones, or to pick and choose from a Democratic administration’s menu of regimes that might be changed to make the world more amenable to Wall Street. Our task as Americans – our overarching responsibility, for which we are uniquely positioned and, therefore, solemnly obligated – is to dismantle from within the monstrous apparatus of imperial aggression. Period.

Our mission is to disarm the beast, not to pick and choose from a Democratic administration’s menu of regimes that might be changed to make the world more amenable to Wall Street.”

I was privileged to present the coordinating committee’s draft of the Action Plan to UNAC’s national conference in Stamford, Connecticut, this past weekend. “This action plan does not just target some U.S. wars,” said the committee’s statement. “It does not target the currently unpopular wars. It does not shy away from condemning wars that remain acceptable to half the population because the real reasons for them are obscured in the rhetoric of humanitarian intervention. It does not advocate that we avoid putting U.S. boots on the ground by mounting embargoes that bring economic devastation on the peoples of Iran. It does not condone war by other, more sanitized, means. It does not cheer on wars that minimize U.S. combat deaths by the use of robotic unmanned planes or the highly trained murder squads of the Joint Special Operations Command. It does not see war by mercenary as somehow less threatening to the peoples of the world and the U.S. than war by economic draft. It does not give credit to Washington for removing brigades from one country in order to deploy them in the next.”

The document demands an end to “all wars, interventions, targeted assassinations and occupations” and U.S. withdrawal from “NATO and all other interventionist military alliances.”

UNAC’s reasoning is rooted in the principle that all the world’s peoples have the inherent right to self-determination, to pursue their own destinies – the foundation of relations among peoples, enshrined in international law but daily violated by the United States.

UNAC’s reasoning is rooted in the principle that all the world’s peoples have the inherent right to self-determination.”

American exceptionalism – the belief that rules of international conduct, or even the rules of history and human development, do not apply to the United States – is deeply entrenched in the popular American psyche and has long been the bane of the U.S. anti-war movement. It encourages Americans to think they have a privileged perspective on the world and a consequent right to preach, lecture and ultimately intervene in other people’s affairs – just as their government does. In anti-war movements, this national arrogance (deeply entwined with racism) allows self-styled peaceniks to behave like little imperialists, imposing conditions and caveats on their willingness to confront their own government’s aggressions. They reserve the right to pick and choose which U.S. violations of international law to oppose. Unmoored by principle and crippled by national chauvinism, such “peace” movements inevitably disband at the earliest opportunistic juncture.

UNAC emerged with the disintegration of United for Peace and Justice, which showed itself to be more of an anti-Republican formation than an anti-war movement. UFPJ disintegrated at the first whiff of the new Democratic administration, clearing the way domestically for a new imperial strategy: “humanitarian” intervention. At its founding conference, in July of 2010, UNAC tackled the first taboo of American foreign policy with a plank to “End all U.S. aid to Israel, military, economic and diplomatic!” – a direct confrontation with Israeli “exceptionalism.” Last week, UNAC broke decisively with Obama’s humanitarian “exception” to the rules of international behavior. There now exists a place for genuine anti-imperialists to gather and plot for peace – and that is a beginning. No repeats of Libya, no more equivocations in the face of U.S. carnage.

A luta continua – the struggle continues, in the belly of the beast.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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4 comments

UNAC

Submitted by MinnMouth on Mon, 04/02/2012 - 08:50.

 

A quote from UNAC’s Action Plan: Bring all the troops, mercenaries, war contractors, death squads and military “advisors” home now from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Colombia, Haiti, Cuba/Guantanamo and Korea. U.S. troops out of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe!

A nice thought. But how could anybody who is seriously against US Military action / occupation ignore Okinawa. There are more US troops in Okinawa than in Korea, including a huge airbase right in the middle of a densely populated area. (This airbase was one of the main launching points of B-52 bombing raids against Vietnam.) The Okinawan people have been struggling for years, against the US government and their own Japan mainland government, to move the US occupation forces off their islands. Other than the areas where we are carrying on overt and covert wars, Okinawans have suffered as much as any people.

Really?! That remains to be seen!

Submitted by Deadbeat on Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:03.

Our task as Americans is to dismantle from within the monstrous apparatus of imperial aggression. Period.” No exceptions.

IF you don't confront Zionism and are too afraid to speak out against Jewry's hegemony of the left and the political economy you'll never succeed in stoping nor dismantling anything.  You'll just be kidding yourselves and misleading others.

These wars AIN'T about oil.

Yes, thank God there is

Submitted by epppie on Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:35.

Yes, thank God there is finally a movement towards a real peace movement, which doesn't embrace excuses for war once 'our' party is in office.  Thank God.  But how can you possibly oppose the Military State, when you do not oppose the Police State?   Yes, I see that the UNAC statement is concerned about civil rights of non-whites and of antiwar protestors, and that's very good, but to leave it like that is similar to saying you oppose one war, but support another.  To be partially against the Police State is like being partially against the War State, and it amounts to the same thing as well, since you can't really have one and not the other.

 

Or do you  not see that America is now a Police State, and not just for non-whites anymore?  Or do you believe that it is only white right wing covert quasi-racists like Alex Jones who care about such things, who worry about the TSA checkpoints, about universal communications surveillance, about NDAA, about 'contingency government plans', about FEMA camps,  about global government, etc., etc.?

 

Do you not see that the Police State and the War State are two sides of the same coin?  That you cannot oppose one without the other?

A.N.S.W.E.R.

Submitted by mulligas on Fri, 03/30/2012 - 03:06.

The ANSWER Coalition is another great strongly anti-imperialist anti war movement. It has a principled position on the interventions in Syria and Libya.

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