Peace breaks out. War surrenders! Grand Ayatollah Sistani has returned to Iraq, and is leading a nationwide march to the holy city of Najaf to peacefully resolve the conflict. Moqtada al-Sadr's people have called upon their supporters to join the march too. Will Sadr and his Mahdi Army walk away free men? Double secret probation, maybe?!
In anti-war protests in Australia yesterday, children as young as 12 were shown on TV coverage participating not only in protests, but in the violence that followed when the protesters attacked police. There has, in the past, been condemnation of those who bring their children along to protests, but this is the first time I have seen large numbers of children protesting on their own behalf - most of whom would have been truant from school and, judging by the way many hid from cameras, without the permission of their parents. Should we take them seriously, or are they too young to really understand what it is they are protesting against? [more inside]
Advice for Conscientious Objectors in the Armed Forces (html version). "A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to applying for conscientious objector status. This edition....builds upon a tradition which began in 1970 with the First Edition. Advice has since reached over 40,000 military men and women who had decided that they could no longer in good conscience remain in the military. The 1970 Advice spoke to a generation troubled by the war in Vietnam. This generation of conscientious objectors, too, has seen war--most recently in the Persian Gulf, and before that in Panama. It has experienced the end of the Cold War and the flowering of hopes for peace; and it has watched as those hopes turned to disappointment in the chaotic, dangerous post-Cold War world." The G.I. Rights Hotline has recently reported they "fielded a record number of calls, mostly from military personnel and families seeking advice on conscientious-objector and other discharges."
Miss Germany wants to disarm Saddam - uhm - the old fashioned way. Would you give it up for peace? Would you lay down (for) the ... ultimate sacrifice? Miss Germany seems to say "Ja!" ... from India via Pakistan (if that isn't a sign that peace is possible, I don't know what is ...)
Evidence from Britain that the anti-war movement is having an effect. Perhaps the upcoming anti-war marches in Washington and San Francisco on January 18th will turn the tide in the USA.
Anyone go to the anti war protest in London today? The number of the people has been estimated from between 3000 (by the police) to 350,000 (by the organisers). I reckon 200,000. Either way, its the largest peace protest ever in the country. Me and my friends sign was a great success, with many people commenting on it/photographing it. It was the only black one we saw, so easily stood out. It said 'Its all about the oil' on one side, and on the other there was a picture of Bush looking stupid, and 'No to War'. The protest was peaceful (or was when I left) and on the whole, a success. The only question is, will Bush and Blair take any notice?