Students Continue Anti-War Speaking Tour
October 29, 2004
(The following article is reprinted from "The Worker," newspaper of the Workers Party, USA.)
As part of the ongoing campus speaking tour against the war in Iraq, a member of the Youth and Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy (YSDFP) recently spoke in a sociology class.
The speaker started with a short presentation, making three main points. First, she emphasized that the U.S. government keeps escalating the war. Second, she showed how the brutal methods used by the U.S. military reflect the war's aggressive and colonial nature.
Finally, the speaker showed how the latest attempt to justify the war - the refrain of "now that we're there, we can't leave" - is just another Big Lie being propagated by the government and politicians like Kerry to cover over the real economic and strategic aims of U.S. imperialism in Iraq.
After the presentation the students discussed many of the issues related to the war and how to end it.
Two themes came out again and again: 1) determined opposition to chauvinism and 2) students' feeling of alienation from the current political system.
Students repeatedly went against the anti-Iraqi chauvinism that is inundating our society. One student spoke of the need to remember the Iraqi casualties just as much as the American casualties. Another person denounced the hypocrisy and chauvinism behind the common depiction of Iraqis as "different" and especially "violent people."
Others targeted the U.S. occupation as the obvious source of the violence and chaos. Another student emphasized the right of the Iraqi people to build their society without any outside interference even insofar as that process might involve internal strife. In addition, many students defended the necessity and justness of the Iraqi people's fight against the occupation.
Many comments from the class revealed an alienation from the political system. One student expressed disappointment that there is no presidential candidate that represents her views. Indignation was voiced about insulting campaigns that use pop culture gimmicks to try to convince the younger generation to vote. A number of students had firmly drawn the conclusion that in the current system people have no control over the political life and decisions of the government. One student said that people are exposed to an ongoing and constant stream of lies and spoke of the need to break from that pressure and work to have a broader perspective.
The YSDFP speaker introduced several points about how to advance the anti-war struggle by building up the independent political movement of the people.