Who shall overcome?

Watching some tape from the runup to the antiwar protests in Washington, I heard the protesters singing “We Shall Overcome.” At first, that washed over me: It’s expected, isn’t it, like Jimmy Buffet singing Margaritaville.

But as I thought about it, I wondered: What are they overcoming? The song is about people overcoming oppression.

Who’s overcoming oppression and trying to secure peace, freedom, and justice in this case? The people of Iraq, I’d say.

  • J.W.

    Uh, maybe they’re trying to overcome the pollyanna view that Iraq is not on the fast track to civil war….

    But that’s just the view of “the reality-based community”.

  • corwin

    Dear Mr. Jarvis,
    I believe your mistake is assuming the participants are serious people.It’s simply tail-gating.

  • http://wordvirus.blogspot.com Vincent

    Eh, it’s like Hitchens said to certain members of the audience at the Galloway debate: these people have deluded themselves into thinking that they possess “revolutionary credentials” by fighting a “twilight struggle” against Cheney, Bush, and Halliburton. They’re the same people who gather by the thousands in Washington DC to complain that Chimpy McBushitler is stealing away their right to free speech.

    It’s not about “overcoming,” “persuading,” or even “making a statement.” It’s about gathering in large groups of like-minded people to bask in the warmth of collective self-righteousness and percieved moral superiority.

  • donna

    Viewing it on CSPAN, the audience looked pretty sparse. The speachers were bizarre, all kinds of slogan spouting Anti-“anything USA”, communists (they’re still around?),etc. I thought for a moment I was having an acid flashback.

  • owl 1

    It takes about a dozen of these communist type groups to even make up a decent protest. Several have started to google up the individuals and it’s not exactly their first “professional” protester stint. Mother Sheehan was always an activist but now is so off the wall that she calls throat cutters and her son’s killers freedom fighters. One of them thinks he is still doing the Kerry war protest. Code Pink protests the injured soldiers at Walter Reed, in their faces. Protesting Katrina, corporations and Bush’s election. Does not seem to bother any of them to shout “peace” and march to keep some Iraqi from voting. Yep, I would say they have quite a bit to overcome. Wonder if that was the same group that had the drums and dancing?

  • http://lonewacko.com The Lonewacko Blog

    I don’t think JJ’s too familiar with his lefter cousins. They’re overcoming… should I take this, or do you want to?… be my guest… OK, thanks… they’re Overcoming the Hegemonic Oppression of the Racist Oppressors of the Womyn, Peoples of Color, … sorry, almost lost it there… the Racist Oppressors of the Womyn, Peoples of Color, Transgendered and Transsexual and Gay and Lesbian Peoples and Working Class and Alternatively Abled Personages who are Oppressed by the War-Mongering Racist Xenophobic Anti-Human Third Reich Wing Oppressors.

  • John

    It was interesting that on CNN Saturday around 11:45 p.m. while Aaron Brown was doing the usual front page layout round-up from the next day’s paper he had to stop a moment and go through an explanation on why Hurricane Rita and not the Washington D.C. protest was dominating that night’s TV news and Sunday morning’s front page, and explained that there was no conspiracy involved’, but that the public wanted to hear more about the hurricane than they did about the people outside the White House.

    Assuming Arron just didn’t pull this explanation out of thin air, it means that people apparently had been calling CNN during the day and evening complaining about the lack of protest coverage, and a few also seemed to think there was some conspiracy involved in deciding Port Arthur and Lake Charles were more important on Satuday than what was going on at the Elipise. Depending on your political view you can debate whether or not the march was properly covered; but to believe CNN was part of some Vast Right Wing conspiracy to igrone the protest by focusing on Rita shows a lot of delusional self-centeredness.

  • http://ruthcalvo Ruth

    Anyone interested in watching said demonstration could have tuned in to C-Span, and it was rerun all night, too. By the time it dwindled from an early large showing to a few stragglers listening to screams of protests against US aggression in the Phillipines and Haiti, it looked like the staging committee was about to implode, but made interesting background while emailing with friends who stayed in Houston and never lost power, but reported that gas was being ‘liberated’ from any car that was not secured inside … and some that were.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Who’s overcoming oppression and trying to secure peace, freedom, and justice in this case? The people of Iraq, I’d say.

    I’ll bet you a million dinars that the womenfolk of Iraq would disagree with you, Jeff. And cowards that we are, we’re standing idly by and patting ourselves on the back while religious zealots effect a constitutional takeover of our grand experiment in Arab democracy (who said the Left had a monopoly on political correctness?).

    Your rhetoric is about two years too old to be believed seriously by anyone except the most deluded at this point. Mind you, the antiwar crowd has become just as crazy, demanding an unconditional immediate pullout that will make the region even worse than Bush did by invading in the first place, but that’s just par for the course now I guess.

    I work with a person who’s been cataloging the explosion of Iraqi newspapers since the fall of Saddam. She said it’s been absolutely disheartening to watch the overall mood of these bellweathers of freedom go from the jubilation and exuberance of 2003 to bitter hostility and depair just two years later.

    I’d like nothing better than to see Iraq emerge as a garden of freedom, religious tolerance, and democratic ideals. But tell me how that’s going to happen when our current options on the table seem to be either selling out our ideals one by one to mollify Hitchens’ so-called “Islamofascists” who are calling the shots now or cutting and running to the mortal danger of anyone who collaborated with us and essentially giving our blessing to a 3-way Iraqi civil war.

    Quite frankly, I don’t see anyone overcoming anything anytime soon — right or left, American or Iraqi. And that’s just sad.

  • Marina Architect

    I told my girlfriend today, if I could pick one place to be right now(yesterday) it would be at the DC March. It would have been electric. Bush is echoing LBJ’s comments in exact unison. LBJ said we will stay the couse, etc. Sauidi Foreign Minister came out and expressed that Iraq is collapsing big time into conflict: the peace is so fragile that time will not resolve their condition. My generation is so different than the 60’s. My generation is vested in their careers to a point that a protest lacks any visceral energy. Wheres our Norman Mailer and Bob Dylan.

    Until Iraqis are turned on by the pursuit of wealth creation and career, the conflict will persist. End of story. I doubt the Iraqi men with good women, good food and drink and a nice place are out on the street with a gun. We need to provide the lower and middle class with an equity model. Iraq needs investment and jobs. Provide the insurgents high paying jobs and bonuses to lay down their arms forever.

    Religion has them fucked up in a closed loop. How is it that Turkey(possible entry into EU) is religious and yet has free expression, music, drinking, etc. Anyone know anything about this or why?

  • penny

    I’ll bet you a million dinars that the womenfolk of Iraq would disagree with you, Jeff. And cowards that we are, we’re standing idly by and patting ourselves on the back while religious zealots effect a constitutional takeover of our grand experiment in Arab democracy (who said the Left had a monopoly on political correctness?).

    For starters it ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings? Your RIP democratic Iraq is a bit premature, isn’t it?

    The Islamofascists(“so-called” by you, but unequivically properly named to many of us) aren’t exactly calling the shots right now:

    Only days after Al-Qaida announced the completion of its latest campaign of violence aimed at avenging alleged “massacres” of Sunni Muslims in Tel Afar by the U.S. and Iraqi government, there are growing indications that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Al-Qaida acolytes may be facing the most serious political and operational challenges they have encountered since they first joined the anti-coalition insurgency in mid-2003. The deadly glut of suicide bombings that began on September 8 has undoubtedly caused destruction and chaos–but militants were neither able to undermine the anti-insurgent operation in Tel Afar nor deter Iraqi government efforts to formulate a constitution.

    It seems the “standing idly by” US forces of the “standing idly by” Bush administration are making life harder on terrorists in spite of all of the leisure time you’ve attributed to them:

    American casualty rates for September are less than what they were the last few months. Attacks on infrastructure (including oil facilities) and civilians are down as well. Combat operations along the Syrian border, and throughout the Sunni Towns of central Iraq have made it much more difficult for terrorist groups to operate.

    And I’ll bet you couldn’t have paid most of the womenfolk of Iraq a million dinars NOT to have voted for the first time in their lives in a free election. And I bet those women are delighted to have so many newspapers to choose from rather than Saddam’s state controlled rags. Perhaps your friend is having trouble processing the chaos of a free press.

    Your description of Iraqis as whimpy bystanders unwilling to accept the sacrific smacks of the bigotry of low expectations. There are people in this world that have the will and brains to stay the course for a better life for their kids.

  • korutenshi

    Mustafa Ataturk was largely responsible for creating a modern European-Muslim environment. But being the gateway across both continents also plays heavily on that regions tolerance to cross cultural ideals.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Kemal_Ataturk

  • penny

    How is it that Turkey(possible entry into EU) is religious and yet has free expression, music, drinking, etc. Anyone know anything about this or why?

    Google Ataturk.

    When he founded modern Turkey he imposed secularization on the populace/government.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    jeff,

    newsflash for you. most Americans have had enough of this war. they get it that they were lied to about Iraq’s imminent threat, they get it that Iraq didnt have ties to 9/11 or wmds, and they get it that we’re probably not still there to liberate anyone.

    therefore what they are overcoming is BushCo’s agendas because it doesn’t jibe with normal American’s agendas.

    what you heard was America wanting thier country back.

    get with it bro.

  • penny

    But as I thought about it, I wondered: What are they overcoming? The song is about people overcoming oppression.

    Given all of the funding and organizational effort by America hating leftist/anarchist groups thrown into this moonbat war protest consortium why be surprised that the poor duped college kids are sing “America’s most successful” Communist’s song.

    The song made sense for the civil rights era, but these poor creatures haven’t noticed that the Iraqis had their civil rights restored because of Saddam’s fall. The very thing they are protesting.

  • Marina Architect

    Democracy 2.0 before Recovery 2.0

    This song has a shattering edge to it in today’s context. Get up and listen to Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning.”

    Excerpt
    ..

    How can we dance when our earth is turning
    How do we sleep while our beds are burning
    How can we dance when our earth is turning
    How do we sleep while our beds are burning

    The time has come
    To say fair’s fair
    To pay the rent, now
    To pay our share
    ..

    End Excerpt

    We need Democracy 2.0 as a precursor to Recovery 2.0. We should have national referendums every 3 months (quarterly). Why can’t there be a national voting ATM that works. Bush/Cheney/Rove/Chertoff have to much authority and Congress has become a bunch of eunuchs in the corporate harem.

    NYTimes ( http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/magazine/25turkey.html ) has an article on Turkey moving towards democracy. I’m reading it right now to see if we can learn anything about Iraq in the subtext.

  • Marina Architect

    Follow Up:

    A friend sent me this on the money OpEd in LA Times by David Mamet. It’s a must read. Check it out:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-mamet16sep16,1,341798.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

    Also, head over to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ and post a thoughtful, stimulating comment. I 100,000 comments.

  • owl 1

    Penny, it all goes back to the media. They get another F-.

    If they were really “professional” journalists, we would see this group profiled on the front pages of the NYT, WaPo and LAT. We would see 60 Minutes showcasing each of the different elements. The kids don’t know that Communists and Socialists managed to kill more than anyone else. They are out there “Marching for Peace” while holding Communist signs and singing a Civil Rights anthem.

    Our media spent the month of August on one person but can’t manage a front page about ANSWER? They hide the organizers and supporters by calling it a anti-war protest. They know better, they lie. Media March=F-.

  • Ed Poinsett

    Tony

    Newsflash for you, most americans have not had it with this war. They want it to end asap, but not before the hard work is done. To quit now would mean we’d have to do it all over in a couple of years when the Iranian mullahs have subdued Iraq and are basing their long range nukes in Baghdad.

    You keep thinking this war is about Iraq, it isn’t and never was. It’s a clash of cultures whether Bush calls it that or not. One culture supports individual freedom of choice and the demands that you make no choice but Islam. You apparently choose the Islamist outcome, most of the rest of us don’t. Regards

  • Ed Poinsett

    Sorry, “the other culture”

  • penny

    Owl

    The other missing entity in this is the demise of our college campuses. Our colleges, like a radio with only one station of leftist dribble, haven’t been in the fairest sense to its students a marketplace of ideas.

    You don’t have to look further than some comments here to see the dumbed down thinking of if-I-feel-this, it-must-be-true without an iota of fact as basis for one’s opinion. All critical thinking skills suspended.

    It’s not that these kids can’t Google. It’s that they won’t. Scary.

    what you heard was America wanting thier country back.

    Tony, that “heard’ was a statistical non-event sans the media coverage. These sad losers aren’t real inspiring for your cause.

    And, Tony, here’s some questions for you to put your well reasoned factual responses to: just what do you, in your infinite wisdom, think that the majority of Iraqis want for their country? Regression and get the Baathists back? Civil war instead of a constitution? An interim of third party presence so things can be organized and move toward democracy?

    Please, Tony, having read your eloquent blog i’m awaiting your astute answer.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    penny,

    the sad losers, as you call them were 150,000 strong in DC yesterday. the pro-war contigent was a whopping 300-400.

    heres some more numbers:

    AP/Ipsos poll Sept. 16-18 said that 65% of those polled think we’re spending too much money on rebuilding Iraq

    CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 16-18 said that 67% those polled disapporve of the way W is handling the war in Iraq.

    in that same poll 59% say it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq.

    CBS News/New York Times Poll. Sept. 9-13 – 59% disapprove the way our president is handling Iraq

    in that same poll 50% say we should have stayed out of Iraq with only 44% saying we did the right thing.

    ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Sept. 8-11 – 62% disapprove the way W is handling Iraq

    before you go asking bloggers what we think Iraqis want for their country, why dont you pay attention to what Americans want for America.

    America wants out of Iraq. We’re not happy with the President’s priorities mostly because they dont reflect our agendas. We were not sold into this war to help the Iraqis. We were told there were wmds there, we were told they had ties to 9/11. We were lied to. Only after the lies were realized did people like you suddenly have empathy for the people of Iraq.

    What about the people of North Korea, China… or even the falsely imprisoned people in Gitmo… many of whom are Iraqi. Not all of them are falsely improsioned but some are and i would imagine that the people of Iraq, if you asked them, would want them back.

    In the meantime the people of the United States want their soldiers back. If you had more than 500 people show up to your little rally or more than 40% of the US citizens show support for your little puppet you’d have a leg to stand on. But you dont. Nor do you care. You simply want your agenda, which isn’t even yours, it’s Karl Rove’s, to continue to soldier on.

    Good luck with that.

    Maybe at your next rally 600 people will show up.

  • John

    Tony here’s the Reuters overhead shot of the gathering at the Elipise on Saturday. If there are 150,000 people there, 125,000 came disguised as trees or blades of grass.

  • penny

    First of all your number 150, 000 is a joke with again no basis in fact. Scroll down to get a some perspective of crown numbers. The MSM is notorious for massaging numbers.

    I’ll repeat:

    And, Tony, here’s some questions for you to put your well reasoned factual responses to: just what do you, in your infinite wisdom, think that the majority of Iraqis want for their country? Regression and get the Baathists back? Civil war instead of a constitution? An interim of third party presence so things can be organized and move toward democracy?

    Still waiting on your answer to my question, Tony.

    It’s refreshing to see that with your reliance in MSM polls that there are still some of us that believe in their accuracy. Face it, Tony I could get any result to a poll if I word questions accordingly and have an audience at hand that sticks to my site because my news product is anti-Bush biased it. The only poll in america that counts are election results.

    before you go asking bloggers

    Tony, we all blog nowdays. It ain’t a special class of people.

    Awaiting you astute analysis of what Iraqis want………….

  • penny

    numbers “joke” link corrected here: http://sweetness-light.com/

  • owl 1

    tony, I have a question for you. Can you tell me who organized and promoted that rally? Can you tell me who those people were? What were they protesting?

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    hey baby i answered your questions. so why dont you answer mine. why are you more interested in what your speculate iraqis to want than what Americans want?

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    owl,

    americans organized and promoted it. americans were there and in cities all around america. and they were protesting the war in iraq: the lies the brought us there, the newly-made reasons why we’re staying, and the lies about why we wont leave.

    you should read a paper from time to time

    :)

  • penny

    Owl, a better question for tony is what do the Iraqi people want? He’s so sure that the majority of Americans want out of Iraq now. Let him take a stab at what mainstream Iraqis want. Do they want anarchy or a civil society? The Baathists reinstated? The foreign terrorists routed? Syria and Iran not meddling in their affairs? American troops to cut and run leaving them and their democratic process unfinished and without protection?

    Maybe Tony can’t fathom a correlation between what Americans want for Iraqis and what Iraqis want for Iraq converging in Iraq. Both groups being basically reasonable and decent people might be dependent on each other for a decent outcome.

    Is it possible that large numbers of Americans see a responsibility in helping Iraqis get what they want, Tony?

  • penny

    why are you more interested in what your speculate iraqis to want than what Americans want?

    Owl, what was I saying about the decline of public education?……….

  • http://countertop-chronicles.blogspot.com countertop

    communists (they’re still around?)

    Yes, in the form of your friendly neighborhood Democratic National Party which elected Nancy Pelosi (she who formerly hosted Socialist Worker Party songs on her web page) as its minority leader.

  • http://ruthcalvo Ruth

    Paul Robeson, who sang Deep River in Showboat was investigated by Joe McCarthy, too. Gotta watch out for relating the plight of manual laborers who also happen to be black, seems like.

  • Ravo

    Marina writes: I doubt the Iraqi men with good women, good food and drink and a nice place are out on the street with a gun.

    Good women, good food and drink and a nice place didn’t stop the violence of four homegrown Islamic British subjects.

  • owl 1

    tony, a better idea would be for you to look at pictures instead of me reading a paper. If you need help finding the Grand American Protest pics, will help you. After finding those pics, read the signs. Nice Americans just strolling with nice friends.

  • jeb

    Silly games here, each side justifying their position on the protest based on their own convictions about the war itself.
    Jeff, your comments on this seem beneath your usual standards… Pretending what’s happening today in Iraq has something to do with their “overcoming oppression and trying to secure peace, freedom, and justice» rings a bit hollow.
    They’re pawns now, just as they were before the war. Sure, they voted. They used to do that in the USSR, and very few western journalists called that “democracy”. Look at who was nomininated, and who did the nominating.
    The tragedy of Iraq, like many third-world countries, is that it’s a plaything for more powerful rulers swinging their dicks. America’s trading our post-invasion (nominative) power as quickly as saving face will allow to the mullahs. Bush tried to use Iraq as a dick swinging arena, and has come up short in the eyes the majority of Americans today. Public opinion has shifted, so the pols follow the polls.
    Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
    Getting annoyed at the protesters singing, “We shall overcome” is pathetic, the response of the weak, pulling the yellow ribbon down over their eyes.

  • Kans

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