Come Together! Put Aside Differences To Form a Mass Protest Movement To Oppose an Iran War

It’s time to temporarily put away our left-right differences and form a mass movement to oppose a war with Iran.

Progressives, libertarians, liberals, and even some high profile Trumpists are against another military adventure in the Middle East. Laura Ingraham criticized neoconservatives like Bret Stephens for seeking an Iran War. Tucker Carlson denounced Washington "warmongers" for their hawkish bent. Chuck Schumer voiced his concerns that Trump may "bumble into war." The Nation and The American Conservative have long denounced the prospect of an Iran War. Progressives like Bernie Sanders and libertarians like Ron Paul have consistently done the same.

But with such disparate political philosophies, how to form a mass protest movement to oppose an Iran war?

First off, Carlson, Ingraham, Ron Paul and the centrist democratic politicians have to invest their political capital in advocating that their supporters hit the streets in demonstrations.

As of now, the only antiwar protesters consist of America’s far left. Not only are they antiwar but many would prefer a form of socialism over capitalism.

For antiwar rallies to gain traction and help deter foreign adventures, those against war should be temporally willing to collaborate with their political opposites. Trumpists probably find the values of far-left progressives abhorrent and, certainly, vice versa. Yet to grow an antiwar movement that reflects the country’s wide antiwar sentiment, ideological differences must be cast to the side. The sole focus should be on preventing a war with Iran – no anti-abortion talk, no anti-Trumpism, no anti-imperialism, no talk of ‘libtards’ or left-wing ‘snowflakes’.

To expand anti-Iran war protests, the message must massage.

Leftists and libertarians can’t suddenly convince moderate Democrats or Trumpists that American policy overseas is imperialism and detrimental to humankind. Nor can Americans instantly be convinced that far-left economic policies are the way to go. Americans feel no solidarity with a protest where Iranian and Syrian flags are flown (as one often sees at these protests). This is an automatic turnoff for average Americans, Trumpists and the center left.

Instead, the far left – as the only visible antiwar movement on the streets thus far – should narrow the messaging. Instead of Iranian or Syrian flags, they should re-appropriate the American flag by advocating for a cosmopolitan patriotism that cares for the world’s peoples in so far as they are not doomed by perpetual U.S. wars and sanctions. They should remind Americans of their wallet and everyday common decency: endless war wastes the American dollar, causes undue harm to millions of civilians and usually results in blowback.

While creating a more inclusive visual atmosphere for politically diverse Americans transiently unified by an antiwar penchant, the messaging should focus on the goal. Instead of protest chants denouncing imperialism from "Palestine to Mexico" or equating capitalism with slavery, the focus should remain on preventing an Iran War. To this end, in speeches, US aggression toward Iran should be touched upon, including Trump’s breaking from the JCPOA that had worked rather swimmingly. Protest chants can alternate between "No war with Iran" and "Sanctions are murder, end the sanctions now." Both remain focused on war prevention and highlight the social and economic damage brought by yours truly on Iran.

Not only would those of antiwar ilk be more apt to join an overtly patriotic protest that does not denounce America from teeth to toe and flies American flags. It may help sway the undecided, making antiwar advocacy the norm rather than fringe.

Last Saturday, as I walked through downtown Boston in an anti-Iran war protest, I noticed the many passerby’s blank and often disdainful looks when American imperialism was derided. Unfortunately, Americans don’t conceive their country to be an imperialist nation. Instead, they think, United States preserves the liberal world order that supposedly benefits everyone.

Unlike anti-imperial rallying cry, when the "No war with Iran" slogan was called out, it seemed to resonate far more widely.

Keep the focus tight, message concise, symbols familiar and comforting – and a mass antiwar protest movement may yet burgeon.

That is, so long as libertarians, center-left Democrats and some Trumpists follow through with their anti-Iran war rhetoric and call for mass protest.

Peter Crowley is an independent writer and scholar with a M.S. in Conflict Resolution, Global Studies from Northeastern University. He works as Content Specialist/Production Coordinator for a prominent library science company.

18 thoughts on “Come Together! Put Aside Differences To Form a Mass Protest Movement To Oppose an Iran War”

  1. This bomb-throwing Yippie leftist is more than willing to invite the right to smash the war-state, but I’m not going to dumb the message down and make myself a prop of the “liberal order.” You don’t have to be a leftist to understand that globalism is a Trojan horse for multi-national corporate rape. We need to take this opportunity to educate people on the fact that these kind of wars are the natural result of central statism, otherwise we’ll just find ourselves back here in the same damn place a decade from now. The root cause of this thing needs to be addressed.

        1. It was almost totally scripted. Elizabeth Warren got half the questions and speaking time, in spite of there being 10 candidates on the stage. Interestingly enough, though, Tulsi’s minor appearance boosted her from third to a strong first in google searches of the candidates.

          It is so obvious to me that a majority of the rank and file of both major parties want peace, that it is hard to believe that the media is this blind. Trying to force Elizabeth Warren on the electorate, would seem to me to generate much less advertising revenue than actually giving coverage to a peace candidate. What gives?

    1. “The root cause of this thing needs to be addressed.”

      I agree. Without an understanding of opposition to imperialism, any antiwar efforts, including opposition to a specific war, are all for nought.

  2. A waste of energy.

    USA will do as Zion wants.
    Schumer is agin a war on Iran until AIPAC gives Schumer his orders, then Schumer will stand with Trump.

  3. Got a lot of rules for how the left is supposed to act, and what to say. How about this, get off your ass and stand against the war. Stand with your tribe and say what you will, stop whining.

  4. The problem is the word “war”. It equates everything — wars of aggression or wars to defend oneself. How is something a war, when only one side is pushing for it? This is not a war, it is aggression. We have a problem, for sure, as most people do not care about wars, for as long as they do not see themselves affected by it.
    But they might care about the dangers. Nation destroying and nation building is costly in treasure and lives, and will bring us back desperate migration crisis — the blowback of our nation destroying and nation building in Central America.

    People are not asking themselves if they are safe. Nobody believes that our own cities, infrastructure and war making assets may be in danger. Nobody even cares if we are protected from missile attacks, from coastal submarine attacks? It has been taken for granted that any such attempt will be suicidal, and that any such country foolish enough to touch us, would be evaporated. This is no longer safe assumption.

    And we are not going after Iran, we are going after Russia. The real target is Caspian region, the epicenter of Eurasian energy flows, and Eurasian integration. It is not SAFE to assume that Russia and China — that would be next — are going to let Iran be destroyed. Yes, Iran is doing all the talking NOW, but it may change quickly.

    Here is the proof that we are not being told important things. As we speak, a Russian frigate and supporting flotilla are anchored in Cuba. There are dozens (that we know of) KALIBR cruise missiles. And apparently, a large number of areal defense systems, S-400. KALIBR cruise missiles have a range of approximately 3,000 miles, and defense systems — each capable of tracking flying objects (fighter planes, missiles, drones, small craft) from varying distances. Under normal circumstances, we will have MSM shrieking about it — but not now. I suspect, they DO NOT WANT PEOPLE to feel endangered, they just want their “little war”, and if this gets out of hand, then they are SURE American people would rally to their side. Of course, American people would be angry, and will not think about who started it. Our wars are ALWAYS linked to Israel, one way of another. At present, Israel is not feeling very secure. Ever since Russia moved into their neighborhood, it was nothing but Russia, Russia, Russia — here at home. And the region has changed. The bad boy MBS is not exactly towing the line, as expected. Threats did not work — being ultra nice to him, did not work. Iraq, not sufficiently obedient. Syria not under the thumb, and even Lebanon no longer looks like an easy target, with Lebanon signing up to Russian intelligence sharing. And while we reflexively cheer anything anti-Erdogan, like the victory of pro-NATO Republican Party in large cities, Israel knows that Turkey has sailed to the East, and will not be taken over again.

    This is why Iran has this larger then life meaning. It is only by taking Iran on, and threatening Russia and China, that the War Party believes can prevail. They believe that neither of those countries can come up with an asymmetrical response that would be sufficiently damaging — and cause American people blame THEM.


    Are we anywhere near ready for protests? Not really, we feel safe and comfy. No way of telling how will the nation react, should that prove to be false.

  5. Welcome to late stage capitalism folks. Call it imperialism neoliberalism or globalism if you like. Whatever floats yer boat.
    There would be no wars if the CAPITALISTS that run America did not want war.
    Smedley Butler splained all this long ago.
    But I do agree, nothing changes without some violence, protests, strikes, boycotts, etc. Gotta hit em in the wallet.

  6. What people need to realize is that we can’t control organizations or individuals who wish to be part of a demonstration from carrying their own signs and literature, complete with their own anti-imperialist, or libertarian, or anti-capitalist, or liberal, or conservative, etc. messages, as long as they agree with the purpose of the demonstration. The only thing that the organization can control is what the slogans of the demonstrations are, and who speaks from the podium. Such slogans as “no war with Iran” and “end the sanctions” are perfectly suited for a united front operation, but laundry lists of demands should be avoided like the plague.

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