FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Disappearing the Anti-War Movement at the NYTs

by JOHN WALSH

 

Hot on the heels of the deadly attack on U.S forces in Mosul on December, 21, a front page headline in the NYT on December, 22, proclaimed authoritatively: “Fighting On Is the Only Option, Americans Say.” Amazingly the self-assured report was based solely on a few interviews by a handful of reporters, not on a systematic survey. The only poll it chose to mention was a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll which, interestingly, did not raise the question of withdrawal from Iraq. That hardly seems like competent reporting.

One might wonder: Is every American for “staying the course” in Iraq except a small and weird, left-wing minority? Is there no polling data on this question? Fortunately there is. Here is a sample (from http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm):

1. Pew Research Center survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Dec. 1-16, 2004.

“Do you think the U.S. should keep military troops in Iraq until the situation has stabilized, or do you think the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible?”

RESULTS: Withdraw: 40%; Stay: 56%

2. ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Dec. 16-19.

“Do you think the United States should keep its military forces in Iraq until civil order is restored there, even if that means continued U.S. military casualties; or do you think the United States should withdraw its military forces from Iraq in order to avoid further U.S. military casualties, even if that means civil order is not restored there?”

RESULTS: Withdraw: 39%; Stay: 58%.

3. The Harris Poll. Nov. 9-14, 2004
“Do you favor keeping a large number of U.S. troops in Iraq until there is a stable government there OR bringing most of our troops home in the next year?”

RESULTS: Withdraw: 47%; Stay: 50%

(Like Gallup, the following polls have not raised the question of withdrawal versus staying: NBC News/ Wall Street Journal; Quinnipiac University; Associate Press/Ipsos; CBSNews/New York Times. This is peculiar since we are routinely exhorted not to dwell on the mistakes of the past where Bush and the necons are soundly thrashed in the polls, but to decide what we should do about the future. Strangely most polling does not consider the future.)

So there it is; somewhere between 39% and 47% of the populationwant the US out of Iraq as soon as possible. And this number is all the more amazing since the option of withdrawal is nowhere advocated or even discussed in the mainstream media or even in the “liberal” media ­ except to dismiss it. There exceptions are Nader and the Greens, but they are clearly personae non gratae, even on “lib” outlets like Air America. (All the leading Democrats are for putting in more troops and continuing the war, leaving the 39-47% of us unrepresented by either major party. Another Democratic betrayal!)

As an example of this dismissiveness, take the column of Nicholas Kristoff (NYT, Nov. 27) where he opines: “Lately, I’ve been quiet about the war because it’s easy to rail about the administration’s foolishness last year but a lot harder to offer constructive suggestions for what we should do now. President Bush’s policy on Iraq has migrated from delusional — we would be welcomed with flowers, we should disband the Iraqi army, security is fine, the big problem is exaggerations by nervous Nellie correspondents — to reasonable today. These days, the biggest risk may come from the small but growing contingent on the left that wants to bring our troops home now.” (Emphasis mine.) Got that. Right now the biggest danger is not Bush or the neocons or the silent liberals, but a “small but growing contingent on the left”! Let us pass over the fact that arguments which Kristoff makes for staying the course are the very same ones made in Vietnam ­ mainly that our sudden departure would unleash a bloodbath, this time in the form of a civil war.

What is most nefarious is Kristoff’s attempt to label those of us calling for immediate withdrawal as a “small” contingent on the left. That “small” contingent is 39-47% of the population. When I called this fact to the attention of Kristoff and the Times Ombudsman, citing the Harris and then the Pew poll, I got nothing more than a lot of weasel words in emails and a slew of distortions on the Kristoff blog. (Judge for yourself how honestly Kristoff handles this by looking at blog #689 and then re-examine the polls above.) Dismissing the option of immediate withdrawal has crept from the op-ed page to the front page. Shades of Judith Miller.

Why would Kristoff and the Times try to disappear the peace movement this way? Of course I have no way of knowing for sure. But the effect of such “journalism” is to discourage those of us who are trying to get the U.S. out of Iraq by making us feel that our numbers are small. So let us not be discouraged. We are very close to being a majority. Let us demonstrate wherever Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz appear. And let us make our case wherever we can. That is the only way to end this war. We are on our way to victory.

See you at the Demonstration at the Inaugural on January 20!

JOHN WALSH is Professor of Physiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He can be reached at bioscimd@yahoo.com

 

Prof. John V. Walsh, MD, can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com. He usually does not include his title in a little bio like this, but in this case the political essay above involved a bit about science.   can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
Thomas Knapp
Florida’s Shenanigans Make a Great Case for (Re-)Separation of Ballot and State
Jordan Flaherty
Best Films of 2016: Black Excellence Versus White Mediocrity
Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail