OPINION

The people united

The US military campaign in Afghanistan sparked only sparse international protests (from members of the public and politicians alike). Its declared goal, the liquidation of Osama bin Laden and the disruption of Al Qaeda appeared a relatively obvious aim to many people, who are now forced to agree that the results have fallen short of predictions. The reaction to the air strikes on Yugoslavia was also low-key. Virtually all Western countries joined the alliance of the so-called defenders of human rights. Unlike the Greek population, most of the people in these countries seemed to share the passion of the «archangels» and only took a step back when the local population was being attacked with depleted uranium-tipped bombs. Finally, during the 1991 Gulf War in which many Arab countries fell behind the Western alliance, voices against the war were a mere whisper. So what is the reason for this huge pacifist wave – at a time, moreover, when the advocates of this war are trying to legitimize it by promoting the mishmash of moralistic and emancipatory dogmas that had been put forward in previous conflicts? Why has the number of skeptics increased? Why is it that, in spite of the unprecedented campaign to manipulate the public (which has driven even US diplomats to resign), we are seeing a surge in anti-war sentiment and growing skepticism over pre-emptive strikes and the lethal dogma of exporting democracy? The anti-war movement does not speak with one voice – a result of its global scope. Millions of people in dozens of countries may be divided on many things but stand united in their opposition to the crude transgression of international law, their refusal to award the invaders any legitimacy. This will, at least, deprive them of moral victory. Strikingly, one of the capitals of the pacifist movement is the wounded city of New York.