Sunday, August 13, 2006

The festivities were begun by Peta Lindsay of ANSWER, the usual mistress of ceremonies at big protests here, who is incongruously perky at the podium, like an activities director on a cruise ship headed to the dictatorship of the proletariat. She's about 21, Howard University student, probably a red-diaper baby.

They had warmed the crowd up with about five minutes of chants: "Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Occupation is a crime!" The crowd took to it with gusto. When Peta stepped up, the crowd drowned her out with furious chants of "ALLAH AKBAR! ALLAH AKBAR! ALLAH AKBAR!"

Peta lost no time blaming America for the war in Lebanon. All the bombs and weapons for the war came from the US, she said, omitting those 13,000 Katyusha rockets et al from Iran. She claimed that 200,000 Iraqis had died from US imperialism, which is twice the wackiest estimate of the Lancet, since debunked. ANSWER has a history of inflating numbers. She finished claiming that America's war for empire only benefits Exxon and other transnational corporations. So evidently, Exxon started the war in Lebanon by firing rockets into Israel. It was kind of hard to follow how Exxon began this shooting war, but everyone applauded so it must be true.

That set another theme of this demonstration: blameshifting. Everyone was to blame for this war but Hezbollah: Israel, America, Bush, Exxon, transnational corporations, you name it. If it had an American connection, it was guilty somehow.


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