PEACE-DARK BROWN TEES
The term anti-war sometimes refers to pacifism, i.e., opposition to all use of military force during conflicts, but most often is used in the context of opposing one particular nation's decision to wage war. Many activists distinguish between anti-war movements and peace movements. Anti-war activists believe that most wars have an aggressor and that their movement works to ensure that the aggressor (whose goals they see as selfish) ends their war.******************Many groups call themselves anti-war activists though their opinions may be different: some anti-war activists may be equally opposed to both sides' military campaign; in contrast, many modern activists are against only one side's (usually the most powerful) campaigns, feeling that the war will end if one side pulls out, as with the Second Iraq War.
Anti-war movements and pacifist movements are related, but are not one and the same, although members of anti-war campaigns often marshall pacifistic imagery and arguments. Pacifism is the belief that conflict is never acceptable, and that society should not be structured to maintain a stance of readiness to fight in a conflict. While pacifists oppose all war, anti-war activists may be against only conflicts which seem to them unnecessary or unjust.************A key event in the early history of the modern anti-war stance in literature and society was the American Civil War, where it culminated in the candidacy of George McClellan for President of the United States as a "Peace Democrat" against incumbent President Abraham Lincoln. The outlines of the anti-war stance are seen: the argument that the costs of maintaining the present conflict are not worth the gains which can be made, the appeal to end the horrors of war, and the argument that war is being waged for the profit of particular interests. During the war, the New York Draft Riots were started violent protests against Abraham Lincoln's Enrollment Act of Conscription plan to draft men to fight in the war. After the war, The Red Badge of Courage described the chaos and sense of death which resulted from the changing style of combat: away from the set engagement, and towards two armies engaging in continuous battle over a wide area.************With the increasing mechanization of war, opposition to its horrors grew, particularly in the wake of the First World War. The European avant-garde cultural movements such as Dada which were explicitly anti-war.
On June 16, 1918, Eugene V. Debs made an anti-war speech and was arrested under the Espionage Act of 1917. He was convicted, sentenced to serve ten years in prison, but President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence on December 25, 1921.*****************It was in the 1930s that the Western anti-war movement took shape, to which the political and organizational roots of most of the existing movement can be traced. Characteristics of the anti-war movement included opposition to the corporate interests perceived as benefiting from war, to the status quo which was trading the lives of the young for the comforts of those who are older, the concept that those who were drafted were from poor families and would be fighting a war in place of privileged individuals who were able to avoid the draft and military service, and to the lack of input in decision making that those who would die in the conflict would have in deciding to engage in it.
Many war veterans, including US General Smedley Butler, would speak out against wars and war profiteering on their return to civilian life.
Veterans were still extremely cynical about the motivations for entering WWI, but many were willing to fight later in the Spanish Civil War, indicating that pacifism was not always the motivation. These trends were depicted in novels such as All Quiet on the Western Front, For Whom the Bell Tolls and Johnny Got His Gun.************Opposition to World War II was most vocal during its early period, and stronger still before it started while appeasement and isolationism were considered viable diplomatic options. Communist-led organizations, including veterans of the Spanish Civil War, opposed the war during the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact but then turned into hawks after Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
The war seemed, for a time, to set anti-war movements at a distinct social disadvantage; very few, mostly ardent pacifists, continued to argue against the war and its results at the time. However, the Cold War followed with the post-war realignment, and the opposition resumed. The grim realities of modern combat, and the nature of mechanized society insured that the anti-war viewpoint would again find presentation in Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five and The Tin Drum. This sentiment grew in strength as the Cold War seemed to present the situation of an unending series of conflicts, which were fought at terrible cost to the younger generations.*******Opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War began slowly and in small numbers in 1964 on various college campuses in the United States. This happened during a time of unprecedented student activism reinforced in numbers by the demographically significant baby boomers, but grew to include a wide and varied cross-section of Americans from all walks of life. Many veterans of Vietnam, including US Senator John Kerry, would speak out against the Vietnam conflict on their return to civilian life.***********Opposition to South Africa's border war spread to a general resistance to the apartheid military. Organisations such as the End Conscription Campaign and Committee on South African War Resisters, were set up.***************Opposition to the 2001 Afghanistan War consisted of Afghani women and tens to a hundred thousand protesters in the United States and the United Kingdom. Opposition was organized locally by Afghan women and internationally in the form of protests by various anti-war organizations who would go on to organize much larger protests against the 2003 Iraq War.**************The anti-war position gained renewed support and attention in the build up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and its allies. Millions of people staged mass protests across the world in the immediate prelude to the invasion, and demonstrations and other forms of anti-war activism have continued throughout the occupation. The primary opposition within the U.S. to the continued occupation of Iraq has come from the grassroots. Opposition to the conflict, how it had been fought, and complications during the aftermath period divided public sentiment in the U.S., resulting in majority public opinion turning against the war for the first time in the spring of 2004. Majority opinion in the most of the world has remained generally anti-war throughout.***************Opposition to a perceived risk of a military attack on Iran by the United States (US) is known to have started during 2005-2006. Claims that a risk of military attack existed were made by people such as Seymour Hersh, Scott Ritter, Joseph Cirincione and Jorge E. Hirsch. Majority public opinion in the US in late 2006 was reported to be opposed to an attack. Several individuals, including former US military intelligence officer and then United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter, made many public speeches and published articles opposing a would-be attack on Iran. Grassroots organisations, including Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran in the US and the United Kingdom (UK) and Don't Attack Iran Coalition in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as national governments, including the Non-Aligned Movement of 118 states, declared their opposition to an attack on Iran. Mass street protests around the world and especially in the UK and cyberspace actions were carried out in opposition to the would-be attack.