A few more straggler pieces have popped up analyzing last weekend's anti-war demos and the disproportionate role exercised by delusional fringe groups like ANSWER.
Dennis Perrin, with whom I have had some sharp political differences, offers a biting first-person account. He quotes his anti-war daughter looking at the ANSWER robots up on the stage and incredulously asking: "Who the hell are these people?" Excellent question!
The Nation magazine has weighed in with a brief dispatch that, quite predictably and unfortunately, glosses over the glaring liabilities of an ANSWER-led protest and ends up being one more thinly-disguised and uncritical event press release. The problems with ANSWER go way beyond a "lack of political nuance and a bullying attitude." It's rather a matter of a massive citizen's movement being hijacked and crippled by a few dozen extremist loonies.
The debate we've been having on this site for the last few days ought to be taking place in the pages of The Nation.
The Nation is the outlet best positioned to air this controversy. It needs to trust its readers more and not be so timid in confronting the really tough strategic questions. A magazine devoted to the peace movement ought to be thinking twice as hard as anyone else about just who should be leading it. Maybe my editor will call me up and excitedly ask me to write a piece on "Why ANSWER Isn't The Answer." I'll let you know.