A Web site called Counterconvention.org promises protests outside the Republican Convention in New York next summer
A million people on the street, representing the diversity of New York, and the multiplicity of this nation--community organizers, black radicals, unions, anarchists, church groups, queers, grandma's [sic] for peace, AIDS activists, youth organizers, environmentalists, people of color contingents, global justice organizers, those united for peace and justice, veterans, and everyone who is maligned by [President] Bush's malicious agenda--on the street--en masse--An overwhelming, festive, and poignant showing with the entire world bearing witness.
If this gathering goes on as planned, it's certain to get wide media attention, and it's hard to imagine such a freak show doing anything other than enhancing the president's re-election chances. Making a similar point is Geoffrey Wheatcroft in the British magazine Prospect. Wheatcroft, who opposed the liberation of Iraq, argues that the idiocy of "antiwar" intellectuals in the wake of Sept. 11 undermined the case for regime continuation:
Because the critics of the Bush administration and Blair government made themselves so ridiculous in the aftermath of 11th September, the proper case against the Iraq war was subsequently much weakened. Sane critics of Bush and Blair must have been embarrassed by the sheer emptiness of the Voices for Peace, one of the instant books which came out in autumn 2001, in which Mark Steel, Ronan Bennett, Annie Lennox ("I'm sorry, but I just don't get it"), George Monbiot ("Let's make this the era of collateral repair"), Anita Roddick ("We must shift from a private greed to a public good") and other usual or unusual suspects were rounded up, along with Adrian Mitchell (yes, also still with us), who rather lamely reprinted his old favourite "Tell me lies about Vietnam," which must have taken a few wrinklies back to the 1960s.
These unthinking "radicals" provoked more than just amusement mixed with irritation--they induced a sense of despair. They simply had nothing to say--as they showed when they were asked for more practical advice.