By David Swanson
An In These Times article by David Sirota gets the peace movement dramatically wrong. Sirota addresses the real peace movement, the organizers working for peace in every way they can, in his opening lines, just clearing his throat really, and dismisses everyone involved as creating a fringe image because not all participants brings the same signs and posters to marches. Sirota doesn’t talk to anyone involved, and gets his take on the peace movement from the corporate media. He comes away with the idea that the peace movement never tries to play inside ball, never works with congress members, never engages in electoral politics, but simply and purely holds marches. He could not possibly have thought this had he spoken to even one leading organizer of even one national peace organization.
Then Sirota spends the bulk of his article criticizing the pseudo-peace movement, the monied campaigns that use peace as an electoral issue, the people whose marches allow no one not carrying the approved poster and always supply far more posters than there are hands to carry them. This allows Sirota to churn out his usual (and always right) boilerplate on the need for real grassroots work. But Sirota laughably misses the point this time, because he supposes that the purpose of these pseudo peace groups is peace, and that they’ve chosen the strategy they have because they foolishly suppose it to be the best way to achieve peace. This is nonsense. The purpose of these groups (which would be clear to someone who knew nothing more than what is in Sirota’s own article) is to use the issue of war and peace to get Democrats elected. These groups are “players,” as Sirota calls them, not because they play inside strategic politics, but because they dump tons of money into ads on the corporate media, which then covers them as “the peace movement,” the corporate media being – of course – Sirota’s source of information for his whole article.
Of course, the same groups wisely refrain from investing any money in any media outlets that might actually promote peace, including In These Times. Had they done so, In These Times might have been able to afford to hire a reporter to actually report on the peace movement.