Back to discussion about what, I think at least, is the directionless peace movement. Daily Kos , a darling of Liberal Democrats, has courageously gone way out there in critiquing last week’s big protest demos.
Directly challenging his own vast and loyal constituencies, Markos questions if the protests were even worth it. Actually, he decides, they weren’t. It’s a crucial point he raises; one that deserves serious reflection. Says Markos of the demos:
The lack of focus is maddening, obviously. But my biggest problem with anti-war protests is that they're obsolete. What do they accomplish? Historians still argue about the role Vietnam-era protests had on ending the war (shortened it versus prolonged it). But today, they mean nothing.
We are a media-saturated world, bombarded on all angles by information. A bunch of people marching in the street no longer have any serious emotional effect on media consumers. One picture on a front page and CNN of flag-draped coffins would likely have a greater effect on war opinions than 1,000 marches like the one we had last weekend……Ultimately I was agnostic over the march this past weekend because I can appreciate that people want to gather to fight for the cause, I appreciate that they want to feel like they're doing something. My question, then, becomes whether the money and effort people expended getting to DC to march might've been better spent in other forms of activism -- letters to the editor, contributions to anti-war candidates, politicians, and organizations, calls and letters to their elected officials, creating anti-war media (e.g. Flash animations, documentaries), and so on....
Make sure you read the entire post. I’m pleased that Kos is trying to advance the discussion. We need it and too few are willing to confront it.
Update: There's also this heartfelt and strongly-worded entry from one of the Kos diarists. Read it.
And: Here is my latest L.A. Weekly column on the same subject. Some reworked thougts that appeared earlier this week on the blog.
RE-UPDATE: Great minds think alike. David Corn now weighs in. His title "March to Irrelevance."