Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Reactions to the State of the Union:

An interesting article by Dennis Hans points suggests “the Bush administration is hoarding intelligence information that disproves or weakens the case against Saddam Hussein.” That’s right “weakens” not strengthens.

For visual reminder of what this war will mean check out this photo essay.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I was at the January 18th protests in D.C. It was an inspiring show both in terms of size and diversity. The march passed a Republican Party office where people on the balcony held a sign reading “Hippies Go Home.” But one of most obvious facts about the crowd was that few looked anything like “hippies.” Many appeared to be middle-class suburbanites. In fact there were even a few signs emphasizing this (“Another middle-class homeowner against the War”).

There has been much discussion about estimating the number of protestors. One thing is clear- the estimates of under 100,000 people that appeared in some media outlets are clearly low. There were several problems that made it difficult to estimate the numbers participating including:
- The cold weather not only discouraged people from attending but also meant at any one time there were many who had ducked into a nearby restaurant, museum or public building to temporarily warm up.
- Many arrived late. Some busses did not arrive until at least an hour after the rally started. Clogged metro lines also resulted in late arrivals.
- The march began before the rallies ended and before some late comers arrived at the rally.
- The front of the march had reached the end of the route and begun disbanding even before those at the rear had begun to march.