Friday, February 14, 2003

To be honest, I've always been skeptical about the usefulness of protests, especially when the government in question is hostile to the entire idea (as the Bush administration undoubtedly is) and in the age where relatively accurate polling is the norm, not the exception.

Still, this is daunting.

60,000 in Japan? 150,000 in Melbourne? 100,000 in Germany? 50,000 in Paris? half a million in London and Barcelona? 100,000 in NYC, despite being the only North American city to be attacked by terrorists?

(Oh wait, right, forgot about McVeigh. Common thing these days, ain't it?)

I mean, desperately pathetic blogger arguments aside, this ain't just ANSWER and a bunch of Stalinist apologists. This is becoming a serious problem. Maybe not in Australia or the U.S. (where right-wing executives are, as I said, not going to care), Blair really has to take this seriously. His MPs are going to get skittish, and non-confidence votes aren't just a Thatcher thing. It's already happening:

In Britain, several lawmakers from Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party will be among the protesters, including former Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam, reflecting unease felt by many of Blair's centre-left and labour union supporters.
Labour unionists are going to take demonstrations seriously, and therefore so will Blair. I don't think this'll crack open the British/U.S. alliance "of the willing" right now, but I can't see the Brits backing the U.S. any farther than Iraq itself. Wherever the U.S. goes next (France?), it'll likely go alone.

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