"We've got new momentum. Now let's ride the wave." So says Medea Benjamin, co-founder of both (!!) CODEPINK and Global Exchange.
In an essay published a few days ago by Common Dreams, Benjamin writes:
For the history books, mark down June 2005 as the moment the US movement against the occupation of Iraq got its second wind. In June, the US public became solidly anti-war, Bush's approval rating took a nosedive, and a significant number of Congresspeople started to call for an exit strategy. This marks a seismic shift from just one month ago, when Congress overwhelmingly passed another $82 billion for war-with only 44 members of the House and not one Senator dissenting.Read the rest here.
The continued violence in Iraq, the daily deaths of US soldiers, and the non-stop drain of financial resources has finally moved the anti-war sentiment from a much-maligned minority position to a mainstream one. A Gallup poll June 6-8 found that 6 in 10 Americans advocated a partial or full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and for the first time, a majority said they would be upset with the president if he decided to send more troops. An Associated Press poll showed only 41% approved of Bush's handling of Iraq. With such negative perceptions of the war and 2006 midterm elections approaching, an increasing number of elected officials have finally started to listen to the public and push for an exit strategy.
Thursday, June 16 was a snapshot of just how much the ground has shifted.