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Q: Preventing the War in Iraq ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   34 Comments )
Subject: Preventing the War in Iraq
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: justaskscott-ga
List Price: $3.16
Posted: 16 Mar 2003 08:59 PST
Expires: 15 Apr 2003 09:59 PDT
Question ID: 176963
How can I (or anyone else reading this question) help to prevent the
threatened war in Iraq?
I have read some ideas about what an individual can do, such as these:
I presume that many of you have other useful ideas -- especially (but
not exclusively) with regard to using the Internet.
For example, you might come up with a phrase, an image, or something
else that might help to reorient undecided (or indecisive) people to
an anti-war stance.  (I consider "Drop Bush Not Bombs" and "No War for
Oil" to be effective phrases, though I imagine that there are even
better ones.)
I don't want to limit your creativity.  Not only clever phrases, but
succinct arguments and innovative tactics are welcome.  Even if I
don't follow your suggestions, someone else might.
Flames, anti-Arab diatribes, and similarly irrelevant or offensive
comments are not welcome.
I'm hoping for as many useful comments as possible, so please do not
answer the question immediately.  At some point (hopefully when the
war has been averted) I will award the money for this question to the
Researcher with the best comment(s), perhaps posting additional
questions for other Researchers who make especially useful comments. 
I hope that the money is not the most important thing -- and that
making a difference is.

Clarification of Question by justaskscott-ga on 16 Mar 2003 09:02 PST
Incidentally, the price reflects today's date.  Perhaps it reflects
the amount of time in days and hours that we have until the war
becomes inevitable, so post your comments (and act upon them) before
it's too late!  (I don't see any connection to the "John 3:16" signs
at sporting events -- but if you do, that's okay with me.  :-) )

Clarification of Question by justaskscott-ga on 19 Mar 2003 04:51 PST
Thanks for your comments so far.  We haven't prevented the war, but
maybe we've educated some people, and motivated them to voice and act
upon their opinions, even after the war begins.

As with my follow-up question, I intend to choose a Researcher to
answer this question tonight.  In the meantime, you can post your best
ideas for what those who oppose the war should do once the war starts.

Clarification of Question by justaskscott-ga on 19 Mar 2003 16:33 PST
In this last hour before the war deadline (which is not a real
deadline, since the Bush administration said it will invade regardless
of what Saddam does), I will conclude this question on preventing the
war by designating a Researcher to answer it.  (But I will not
conclude speaking out, and I urge all of you to keep making your
opinions known.)

It's a tough choice, but I will award the answer to Eiffel.  Post
whatever you would like in the answer space.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
Answered By: eiffel-ga on 21 Mar 2003 04:12 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi justaskscott,

Thanks for inviting me to post an answer. Firstly, here are some sites
listing anti-war slogans:

Anti-War Slogans Protesting War with Iraq

Anti-War Slogans on T-shirts

My own placard has different slogans on each side:

   "War Fuels Terrorism"
   "Reject Military Violence"

I wanted to keep the slogans short, so that I could use large letters.
I hand-lettered each slogan on a separate sheet of thick white
A2-sized cardboard, which I bought from the art-supply department of
my local stationer. I sketched the letters in pencil and filled them
in with a broad-tipped marker.

It's surprisingly tiring to hold up a placard for any length of time,
and it helps to have a stick to hold it by. Unfortunately, officials
sometimes stop you from travelling by train or even walking through
the city with such a sign, on the grounds that the stick is a risk to
public safety - despite the fact that it's less dangerous than, say,
an umbrella or a walking-stick. Here's how I get around that:

I place the two sheets of cardboard together, and staple them along
the left and right sides, but not the top or bottom. In this state I
can loosely roll up the sign and fit it into a backpack. In the middle
of the rolled-up sign I pack my Djembe (African) drum - I'm no
musician but I can beat out a rhythm on it. Also, I take a small piece
of wood and some drawing pins (thumbtacks). When I get to the peace
rally I unroll the sign, insert a small part of the stick between the
front and back parts of the sign, and secure the sign to the stick
using four drawing pins. It's quick and easy, and it's also easy to
dismantle the sign for the journey home.

Yesterday I attended a peace rally in the pedestrianised part of the
small city where I live. It was peaceful and good-natured, with many
of those present planning to stay for a full 24 hours, sheltering and
playing music in a Peace Yurt (traditional tent). After working hours,
the city square emptied out and the group of about a hundred
protesters spontaneously decided to pick up their signs and march past
the pubs and restaurants.

As cars paused at the traffic lights, we moved out onto the street and
marched around the inner city loop road (about one kilometer in
length). The cars behind us were of course slowed to walking speed,
but none were held up for long as no-one drives the whole loop as part
of their journey.

As we passed the pubs and restaurants, we held up our signs and
chanted ("What do we want? No War! When do we want it? Now!"). Those
by the windows smiled and gave us thumbs up. There was not one case of
disapproval or abuse. The only irritation was from one taxi-driver who
sounded his horn in impatience.

Even in a "democracy" like the UK, we don't have real freedom of
assembly and movement. If you want to march, you need to have the
government's permission. After we had completed about three-quarters
of our loop, we were met by about half a dozen police vans and fifteen
or so police who directed us to return to the city square. Many in the
group sought a way to finish the march by cutting through a car park
but were rebuffed by the police. People returned to the city square
and there were no scuffles or arrests. Our police force claims not to
have the manpower to personally visit each home where a burglary is
reported, yet they can rapidly muster enough force to stop a group of
people who march without a permit.

No doubt many of those that we passed in the restaurants and pubs had
never seen a live protest before. The scale of the dissent in the UK
is unparalleled. The February 15 march in London was the largest
protest march ever held in the UK - the most conservative official
estimate of the attendance was 750,000.

Although we have been unable to prevent this war, it's clear that the
scale of protest is having a profound political effect. It has
directly caused the resignation of three government ministers. It has
also led to the largest ever revolt of members of parliament, with
many of the governing Labour Party's MPs rejecting the vote for war
whilst the "opposition" Conservative Party voted for war with the
remaining Labour MPs.

My own Labour MP supported a war in Iraq until a month or so ago, but
changed his mind and voted against Prime Minister Blair's war motion.
Presumably this happened because his constituents were willing to
loudly voice their opposition - otherwise it's always "easier" for an
MP to follow the party whip than to take a career-limiting move and
oppose it.

I also feel that the scale of worldwide public opposition is what gave
the majority of the countries on the security council the confidence
to decide to vote against any war motion.

So my conclusion is one of guarded optimism. I believe that if the
leaders of the USA and the UK had forseen the way in which the leadup
to this war would unravel, they would have taken a more cautious path.
Having painted themselves into a corner, they are not the kind of
leaders who will admit error and change direction.

But ordinary people have shown the strength of opposition to
war-at-all-costs, and the next potential war may unfold differently
because of that. If so, then something worthwhile has been achieved.

Google search strategy:

"anti-war slogans"

justaskscott-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.23
Thanks!  I like the first set of anti-war slogans especially.  Also,
it is interesting for me, as an American, to read about the British
protests -- especially since they are having some effect on the
government (though not enough, yet).  Your note of optimism was a nice
way to conclude.

Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: tutuzdad-ga on 16 Mar 2003 09:05 PST
Maybe if we marry one of George Bush's daughters off to Saddam
Hussein's sons it would help. It worked wonders for the Hatfields and
the McCoys.

Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 16 Mar 2003 09:19 PST

Creative, but unlikely.  I just don't see Barbara or Jenna going for
that.  :-)

But in all seriousness, I am interested, in part, in ideas that would
appeal to the Bush administration, or to other persons who currently
favor a war.  The most obvious way to influence the Bush
administration is to show that public opinion is strongly against war.
 But perhaps there are ways to convince them that they can declare
victory and go home (to paraphrase a famous anti-Vietnam War statement
by Sen. George Aiken).
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: carlar-ga on 16 Mar 2003 09:45 PST
Yes, to show that the public opinion is against a war is probably the
best way to help prevent one, here in Sweden the prime minister has
changed his mind a bit, and now says no to a war without the support
of the UN, probably because of the public opinion here that's against
a war, even if our prime minister really can't change Bush & Co's
mind, it shows that the public opinion does matter.

Here are some Copyright-free posters, to print and put where ever you
want, at your work, university or whatever:

Perhaps a bit too late, but tonight you can take part in "Global

I also recommend you check out's main site:


Oh, by the way, call your favourite radiostation and request John
Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" as well :)
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: easterangel-ga on 16 Mar 2003 10:09 PST
One way is to file a suit.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 16 Mar 2003 10:30 PST

Unfortunately, the suit has been unsuccessful.

"Appeals court upholds presidential war powers", by Terry Frieden (March 13, 2003)
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: probonopublico-ga on 16 Mar 2003 10:58 PST
Sorry, but it's too late to change anything.

The moving finger has written.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 16 Mar 2003 11:07 PST

It's easy to say it's too late.  It's better to do something before
it's literally too late.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: badabing-ga on 16 Mar 2003 11:32 PST

granny is a peacenik.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: jackburton-ga on 16 Mar 2003 11:44 PST
"World Peace Experiment"
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: livioflores-ga on 16 Mar 2003 12:22 PST
One thing is to show how the people of the world feel:
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: eiffel-ga on 16 Mar 2003 12:25 PST
You mention "effective phrases". How about:

  "Regime Change in UK" (or USA)

or my personal favourite:

  "War is _so_ twentieth century"

Unfortunately, slogans on placards are largely preaching to the
converted. For getting the message across to pro-war groups I think
the most powerful way is simply to say

  "War? Not in my name!"

This denies them the luxury of believing that their pro-war view is
natural, moral and generally supported.

I think probonopublico is right: nothing is going to stop this war.
President Bush and Prime Minister Blair seem to have decided a long
time ago to have a war, and the last six months has been spent trying
to justify it. But the reality is that a politician does not march
300,000 troops up to the top of the hill only to march them down

What we _can_ do is to (politically) bring down those who are
responsible for waging this war. There is actually a real chance of
that happening in the UK. That way, those in power will think more
carefully before starting the next war.

Usual disclaimer: we who oppose this war don't support Saddam Hussein.
We just think that there are more constructive ways to approach this
problem, and that the war will cause more human suffering than it can
possibly alleviate.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 16 Mar 2003 13:28 PST
Interesting links, and good comments from Eiffel.

If Bush & Co. are serious about Monday being the last day for
diplomacy, then let's make the rest of Sunday and Monday a time to
make our voices heard.

More ideas and comments -- and actions -- would be appreciated.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: jackburton-ga on 16 Mar 2003 14:05 PST
Say this decree out aloud... 
"In the Name of God, by the Right of Divine Decree under Universal
Law, I ask for Highest Divine Order to take place concerning any
possible or potential war between the USA and Iraq.
In the Name of God, by the Right of Divine Decree under Universal Law,
I ask for Highest Divine Order to take place concerning any possible
or potential war between the USA and Iraq.
In the Name of God, by the Right of Divine Decree under Universal Law,
I ask for Highest Divine Order to take place concerning any possible
or potential war between the USA and Iraq.
(A decree is your right to make a request to Divine Consciousness (All
That Is). Decrees need to be said using the same words - three times.)
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: stressedmum-ga on 16 Mar 2003 14:54 PST
Last week, I sent the following message to approx. a hundred friends
and colleagues. I've had one very negative, bellicose response in
which I was informed I'm never allowed to send him an email ever
again, not ever, no siree :)
Other than that, I've had a few encouraging replies and I truly don't
know what else to do: Here's my email...

"Hi folks

I just wanted to let you know that I have put a white ribbon on the
aerial of my car and I'm going to be wearing a white ribbon on my
I'm doing this because it seems like 'something' I can do to get the
message across to our leaders that I don't want them to instigate a
particularly a war without UN sanctions, in my name. I believe that if
Australia goes to war without the UN's approval, then that makes
Australia guilty of war crimes before the first shot is fired and
the first bomb is dropped.

I know it's a very small gesture, but I invite you to join me in this
hoc "Wear White for Peace" campaign. No-one's selling you anything.
find a piece of white plastic ( I've cut up a supermarket bag for the
car's ribbon) or a piece of white material or even a white shoelace
that's what you've got!) and wear that.

If you agree with me, please, please can you pass this message on to
everyone you know?  If enough white ribbons start appearing, then we
might be able to create a tangible and ongoing show of solidarity in
quest for peace.

Yours in peace and hope


PS Have you heard of the 'snowflake theory'? A snowflake will melt at
a touch, yet it takes just one snowflake to be the one that causes the
branch from one of the biggest trees in the forest to break. No one is
so insignificant as not to matter in this world. Peace might be just
one voice away, one action away, -- one snowflake away."

So that's my effort. I know it's not much but they're not really
taking notice of anything so at least I can feel some sense of hope
when I see another car driving past with a white ribbon streaming from
its aerial or smile at someone in the supermarket queue who's wearing
a white ribbon.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: omnivorous-ga on 16 Mar 2003 15:29 PST
Scott --

Like Probono, the equipment and the men are in place and the war
against Iraq will likely go ahead.

My recommendation: get your local radio stations to regularly play
Jackson Browne's "Lives in the Balance" and/or other antiwar songs:

At least you'll have the benefit of raising consciences over the

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: elwtee-ga on 16 Mar 2003 15:43 PST
unfortunately, there is nothing that will stop this war short of
saddam leaving the country and granting oil rights to the united
states. messers. cheney and rumsfeld among others have been promoting
this invasion through their participation in a group called the
project for the new american century since at least 1997. their
published position has been consistent and clear. having now obtained,
with a supreme court assist, the ability to put the policy into action
i see no way or reason for them to change their tactics at this late

the project for the new american century can be found at:

read it, be scared and realize that this war has nothing to do with
9/11 except as justification for a long proposed insurrection in the
name of american global imperialism. although at the pnac site they
tend to call it american principles, interests and leadership. but a
rose is a rose so they say.

cbs news published a report on 9/04/02 that says that learned from
people who were there that rumsfeld began making attack iraq plans
withing five hours of the planes hitting the pentagon. that report is

so to again answer the question. how can this war be stopped. given
the agenda of the players, can't. sorry.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 16 Mar 2003 19:15 PST
Keep up the good comments.  The last four comments, put together, have
the right mix of pessimism, cynicism, and hope.

Somehow, I think that, in this post-9/11 world, we've become scared,
and felt small.  We let our leaders do the thinking for us.  At this
crucial moment, this is a luxury that we cannot afford.

Each of us alone can do something, and together we can do a lot, I
hope.  (If we cannot prevent the war, then we can stop it once it
starts, however difficult that may seem.)  That's why I posted this
question: to get a better understanding of what the individual and the
community can do -- and then to do it, and encourage others to do
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: omnivorous-ga on 16 Mar 2003 19:53 PST
Scott --

Consider elevating the visibility of Dwight David Eisenhower's
quotations on war.  He certainly earned the ability to observe:
"Possibly my hatred of war blinds me so that I cannot comprehend the
arguments that its advocates adduce. But, in my opinion, there is no
such thing as a preventative war...War begets the conditions that
beget further war." -Dwight Eisenhower, 1950

or --

"I think that people want peace so much that one of these days
government had better get out of their way and let them have it."

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: sublime1-ga on 16 Mar 2003 23:48 PST
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 17 Mar 2003 04:25 PST
Thanks, Omnivorous, for the quotes from Eisenhower.  I sense that many
veterans today feel the same way.

The question answered by Sublime1, I believe, accurately reflects the
post-9/11 feelings I referred to in my previous comment.  Moreover, it
points to a basic truth about the horrors of war, which Eisenhower
surely knew.

So, what more can we do today?  I'd rather do something than wait for
the clock to tick down.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: alan_dershowitz-ga on 17 Mar 2003 06:48 PST
Convince Saddam Hussein to stop killing his people and terrorizing his neighbors.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 17 Mar 2003 07:04 PST

Ah yes, the moral argument for war.

I think that we should try to convince lots of world leaders not to
kill their own people and terrorize their neighbors.  I don't think
that we should invade each and every one of their countries.  We're
not invading, say, North Korea; we're not invading Iran.  Why are we
so obsessed with Iraq?
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 17 Mar 2003 07:07 PST
"We" in the previous comment means the Bush government, in contrast to
most of the world.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: mathtalk-ga on 17 Mar 2003 07:13 PST
In addition to offering the prayers for President Bush that he has
requested, we can also email him with our views at:

I consider myself lucky to have a Congressman (an arch-conservative
Republican) who voted against last fall's resolution, approving "any
means necessary" to deal with Iraq.  I will email him to voice my

I also participated in a peaceful protest against the war this past
weekend.   Coming up with "slogans" is a creative outlet for views on
the use of force in Iraq.  My stepmother came up with this:


which we lettered on posterboard with pieces of duct tape.

regards, mathtalk
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: probonopublico-ga on 17 Mar 2003 08:06 PST
If George Bush and Tony Blair had to lead our troops into battle, they
might not be so enthusiastic.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: gurgle-ga on 17 Mar 2003 08:30 PST
Gee, where were all you protesters when Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of Kosovo?

Oh, that's right. Clinton was a liberal, so his war against a bloody tyrant was OK.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: probonopublico-ga on 17 Mar 2003 09:11 PST
Hi, Again

Why is 177278 (your other question) locked when you specifically asked for Comments?
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: justaskscott-ga on 17 Mar 2003 09:24 PST
Re Probonopublico's last comment:

The other question is locked because it includes (in the address for
the link back to this question) the magic "G" word.  You'll notice
that all questions containing this word get locked automatically for
several hours, though they are eventually opened up for comments, etc.

Re Gurgle's comment:

If Saddam Hussein were currently engaging in genocide against the
Kurds, we would have a closely similar situation.  However, the U.S.
and Britain are already protecting the Kurdish area of Iraq, and have
been for several years, so the threat of a Kosovo-like situation is
remote and certainly not imminent.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: pinkfreud-ga on 17 Mar 2003 09:39 PST
The other question on preventing the war has now been unlocked.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: easterangel-ga on 19 Mar 2003 06:09 PST
Nothing can stop this war anymore but the power of prayer.
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: steph53-ga on 19 Mar 2003 18:08 PST
This war will forever change us no matter where we may live. 
Its impact will carry over into our personal and professional lives,
our beliefs and our relationships.
As we stand on the edge.... let us stay true to each other in whatever
way possible without borders and prejudice.
It is now out of our hands...
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: flajason-ga on 02 Apr 2003 07:26 PST
I'm obviously a bit late seeing how the war has been progressing now
for some time...

But maybe this method can be used in the future?

Iraq is a Republic, and Saddam Hussein was re-elected not too long ago
(with 99.9999% of the vote) although that was obviously not a fair
Instead of demanding exile for him and his sons, why not have a UN
monitored election? I'm sure there are a number of Iraqis who would
rather see someone else in charge, and having an unbiased 3rd party
monitor the election process might encourage those who would normally
be scared into voting that dictator back into office?

Or maybe that's just my medication talking...
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: stevewaa-ga on 24 Apr 2003 20:07 PDT
Your all a bunch of anti-war Sap's looking for a cause.   If you
really care about human beings, what about the 100,000-300,000 Iraqi's
killed by the regime there?   What about the 4000 people killed here? 
 Give me a break.   These things are linked, and it's time someone did
some major changing/shaking up, instead of a Clinton move to send in a
few antiseptic cruise missiles and bite his lip on TV.   We owe the
loss of the Trade Towers to the 8 do-nothing Clinton years.  That
wasn't the first time Al Queda attacked you know.  It was just the
first time they attacked when someone with a sense of what to do about
it was in office.

Y'all probably also protested Afganastan too.   We'd probably still
have Hitler in the world with your approach.  War is not good, but it
is sometimes necessary.  If someone had a gun to your childrens head,
and was raping your wife (as they did to Iraqi's as torture-- killed
their kids in front of them), wouldn't you want to prevent that?
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq
From: steph53-ga on 24 Apr 2003 20:37 PDT
Well, stevewaa-ga...

No anti- war Saps here as far as I can see. Just concerned people that
care about what is happening in our world.
Sorry to hear about your assumptions of what we believe in... never
assume anything until you have further knowledge of everyone's
thoughts and feelings on the ( now ended war ) and any other political
Take care & relax............. its good for your health :)


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