We Told You So

Four years ago, I went for a walk in the fair city of London. More than nine hundred thousand, nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine other people happened to be walking in the same direction as me at the same time. Either it was an amazing coincidence, or as the banners many folks were carrying suggested, it was The Anti-War March, organized a few months before Britain or America went to war against Iraq. It was the largest protest march in Britain since the General strike of 1926. The famously apolitical and apathetic Generation X put their coats on, grabbed their hats, lifted up their anti-war banners and took to the streets of London to make their views known to Tony Blair and G. Bush.

Some of my friends at the time had been swayed by the media and the Government spin-doctors. In Britain back then it was all about WMD, it was our duty to free the people of Iraq and remove the threat of chemical and biological weapons. It seemed more straightforward in America: anyone with brown eyes whose country has more oil than you would reap the whirlwind. Poor Tony Blair had to sell the war to us as our responsibility, sprinkling us with the confetti of fear, those WMD.
I never bought the spin, me and the other million plus others who marched all those years ago. I said it then and I say it now; the war will go on and on and eventually settle down into a guerrilla style war that will lead only to greater instability in the region the longer foreign troops were on the streets of Baghdad.
A few years ago I was feeling particularly righteously indignant. I went to visit the House of Commons. I stood in the Gallery that over looks Tony Blair and all the Members of Parliament and shouted at the top of my voice.

After I was arrested, sent to Guantanamo, and then released a couple of years later, I thought it was high time for another march. Thanks to the new generation, the MySpace/FaceBook generation, everyone knows everyone through some online community or other. I sent the word out to the million banner wavers of the past anti-war demonstration that their country needed them. It was time to be smug; it was time to be really smug and not just steal the moral high ground but build a house on that high ground and invite everyone for dinner. So, Lush For Life readers, dust off your anti-war banners – the “WE TOLD YOU SO” march is being organized for next month. We are just waiting to hear from the London Police force to see if they will let us go ahead with the march past the Houses of Parliament.
There is of course, next to no chance that the “I Told You So” march will be allowed to go ahead due to the loss of almost all our rights to protest in the intervening years since we went to war with Iraq, in which case we will remain smug and quiet, and will whisper with malevolence. (So as not to be arrested for an illegal protest… )



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