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The Anti-War Movement

One of the benefits of living in a democracy is that not all sides agree on a particular issue or belief. Although public opinion polls indicated wide-spread support for the President and his policy, a quick look at the television during Operation Desert Storm showed an occasional protest around the country.

Commentators were quick to recognize the similarities between these protests and the ones during the Vietnam era. One reason for this is that many of the protesters today were protesters during Vietnam. Those who ask "What happened to the Hippies?" should really visit one of these protests to find the answer. Although there are some families of troops deployed and some younger persons out expressing their point of view, the majority of the demonstrators are extremely liberal, even radical members of society. Survey's showed that many of the protestors were against all wars, not just the Gulf War. In this country, there will always be an anti-war movement, even when there is no war.

The numbers of protesters and the public opinion polls are far different from the dissent we experienced during the Vietnam war. During the height of the Vietnam protests, U.S. public support was at least evenly divided in those who supported and those in opposition toward the war. During Desert Storm, the protest community remained relatively small and the poll numbers overwhelmingly in support of the President.

In late January, the anti-war movement held its largest, and last, major event. A rally in Washington D.C. with 75,00 marchers against the war. It received considerable media attention, but following this event, the anti-war movement essentially "died."

The anti-war coalition of groups, a collection of dozens of special interests, were never able to come up with a solid plan or message that could be relayed to the American public. "No blood for oil" or "cease-fire now" were easy to shout, but left the United States with no policy to pursue, and if enacted, could have caused considerable military problems for U.S. forces. Stuck with this same message, and offering no other solution to the problem of Saddam Hussein, the anti-war movement was never able to broaden its appeal to the masses. It was effective at mobilizing its core constituency, the extremely liberal segment of society, but failed to make even the slightest inroad into the mainstream. With the exception of drumming which went on at the White House keeping the President awake at night, the anti-war movement had little impact on the conduct of Desert Storm.

Organizations Opposing Military Action

American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Amnesty International
322 8th Avenue
New York, N.Y. 1001

Cato Institute
224 2nd Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 2003

Center for Defense Information
1500Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 2005

Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Middle East
36 East 12th Street
New York, N.Y. 1003

Institute for Policy Analysis
1601 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 2009

Military Family Support Network
122 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 2002

National Campaign for Peace in the Middle East
104 Street
Suite 303
New York, N.Y. 1008

National Council of Churches of Christ
110 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 2002

National Peace Institute Foundation
110 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 2002

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