The turnouts at Stop the War Coalition demonstrations seem to be dwindling before our eyes.
According to Huffington Post, a protest Saturday outside the US embassy in London against any possible Western intervention in Iran or Syria drew only about 200 people. The Socialist Worker put the turnout at 400, which means that Huffington Post is correct.
According to freelance photographer Ryan Gregory, scuffles broke out between the Stoppers and anti-regime “Free Iran” demonstrators. It appears the Stoppers didn’t appreciate anyone calling attention to the fact that Iran is run by brutal, murderous thugs.
Here’s a video that Stop the War has posted to make its case against an attack on Iran:
You don’t have to support military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities to find the message (“They’re just like us! Why would we want to slaughter them?”) silly beyond words. (By the way, Iranian women are sometimes arrested for dressing like those at the right.)
As one commenter points out, several of the photos are from Arab countries rather than from Iran. Perhaps to the Stoppers, they all look alike.
Finally there’s the breathtaking cynicism of it all. Does anyone believe that the likes of George Galloway, Lindsey German and Andrew Murray are gentle pacifists who are just as anguished, say, by the death of an Israeli child in Sderot as they are by the death of a Palestinian child in Gaza?
Update: In case anyone misunderstands (and probably someone will), I should clarify that I don’t think that opposing the slaughter of Iranians is silly beyond words. What is silly is the notion that an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities (which I oppose) would be an attack on the people of Iran, or would necessarily involve the mass slaughter of ordinary, innocent Iranians.
Further update: According the the STWC’s account of the demonstration:
Iranian activist Shirin Shafaie said the West had shown “double standards” in previous conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We are here to make sure there is not another war anywhere in the world, which is led by America or European countries.”
If she had stopped at “anywhere in the world,” I would take her antiwar credentials more seriously.
Another update: Here’s video of the scuffling at Saturday’s demonstration, accompanied by the dulcet tones of Lindsey German:
Note that the “Free Iran” banner is targeted by demonstrators while the nearby Hezbollah flag remains unmolested. Says it all, really.
(Hat tip: michael pugliese)