Saturday, March 20, 2004

I just spoke at the San Jose anti-war rally. I am not a good rally speaker as I do not have the skill for it. I do not know how to engage the crowd like Ted Kennedy (as in: What do we want? What? I did not hear you? etc). I tend to speak the way I normally speak. It was very hot in San Jose. The crowd was small, but was surprised how much the Palestinian issue figured on banners and flags. The crowd was quite multi-ethnic, but did not see much college students (am I right Anthony: as you were there longer). I heard one speaker say that people are watching the Mel Giblson's movie in large numbers because they want to identify with Jesus' opposition to the Roman war machine. I could not believe that. Now some optimism in life is good, but that much optimism is quite delusional. The left and the antiwar movement will not spread unless the young college crowd is energized. I am not speaking about events that take place on college campuses, but about college students who engage in activities outside of college, as was the case during the Vietnam war. There was a big and angry demonstration in Egypt. Do you know that Richard Perle had said back in the fall of last year (on MSNBC's Hardball--how much the host hated me the one time I appeared on that show--never to be invited back of course) that Iraqis will dance in the streets welcoming US troops, and that Arabs will be delighted with the war on Iraq? But then again it was brilliant Perle who in a paper he wrote in 1996 predicted that Iraqis will insist on bringing back the Hashemite monarchy because the Iraqi Shi`ites follow the Jordanian royal family? Kid you not.