TocqueDeville says what I would have liked to:
And the worst part for me, is that it was a deliberate disaster. This event was billed as an anti-Iraq war protest. And though astute observers, a couple of which tried to warn us, knew the agenda of ANSWER and the political risk of hitching our horses to their wagon, my research and Googling tells me that hardly anyone was aware of it.
And my research also indicates that this was ANSWER's plan. They host a big rally under one pretext, the opposition to the Iraq war, then exploit that opposition to piggyback their real agenda on top of it.
How many people would have shown up for a rally to denounce the "occupation" of Palestine by Israel? Or to free the Cuban 5? Or to protest the expulsion of Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti? Or to promote the the communist sympathising, pro-North Korea, pro-Castro agenda of the Worker's World Party?
I would venture to guess no more than a hundred people. But if you believed your TV, tens of thousands of people showed up to support all of these things. This is the cleverness of ANSWER's method.
Brian Becker ANSWER Coalition National Coordinater, in an attempt to play down the controversial aspects of the show, tried to explain why everyone was there:
"Why? Not because everybody in the movement has to have the same slogans on their banners. But we have to march, shoulder and shoulder against the real enemy. And he's in the White House."
But I assure you, what was beaming off of that stage was much, much more than the difference in slogans. It was another world altogether. A world that has no chance but to completely alienate the American people from the left...
...A pivotal moment in the Vietnam war was when average Americans, mothers, grandmothers and people of all political persuasions joined in march on Washington. This was essential to the effort. No longer could Nixon and others characterise the anti-war movement as just a bunch of pro-communists, radical, hippy leftists. The anti-war movement had gone mainstream.
And this is what needs to happen now. Indeed, what has begun to happen now. But the mainstreaming of opposition to this war was dealt a severe blow yesterday, only negated by the diversion of a hurricane...
...Understand, this is not about my political beliefs. I'm probably as radical as some of these people in my own way. No, this is about political expediency. This is about winning over the majority of the American population to the wrongness of this war. This is about mainstreaming the opposition.
By blatant neglect, we allowed ANSWER et al. to put a radical, extremely controversial, and politically disastrous face on the otherwise increasingly mainstream opposition to this war.
And while we can be thankful that hardly anyone was paying attention, rest assured, our political enemies were. And they will no doubt use it to portray all of us as America hating, commie loving, terrorists sympathising malfeasants. Of course, that would be nothing new, and I normally advocate ignoring them and sticking to attacking them instead of defending against their attacks...
But now they have footage. And for that we need an accountability moment. They say a stupid friend is worse than a smart enemy. I couldn't agree more. And it should be clear to anyone with even the slightest political sensibilities that we have some really stupid friends. And I am not talking about ANSWER.
I am talking about those who thought it was a good idea to join in and help promote this event. Those who either did not bother to find out who they were getting into bed with, or those who knew and didn't care, should seriously rethink their judgement.
I've nearly quoted the whole thing, but do go read the original piece. If you're a dKos member, recommends and tips are enthusiastically suggested.