We’re Still at War, In Case Anyone Cares

Even our local anti-war Web sites have moved on.

The Iraq war is now more than five years and 4,000 U.S. deaths old. The BBC reports that interest in the conflict is on the wane, stating that Americans are now more concerned about expensive gas and weakening financial markets than they are about the war. Case in point: Recent protests in Seattle to mark the war's fifth anniversary drew fewer than 100 people, down from 5,000 who showed up to mark the conflict's first year.That apathy extends to the Internet. At the outset of the conflict, protesters created Web sites for groups such as Not in Our Name (Seattle), the Ballard Peace Activists, Edmonds/Lynnwood Peace Action, Hearts for Peace, the Kitsap Citizens Action Network, the Mercer Island Peacemakers, and United for Peace Thurston County, to name a few.Now, none of the aforementioned sites are still functioning as they were originally intended. For example, Notinourname-Seattle.net once billed itself as a "Seattle group affiliated with the national campaign to declare opposition to war on Iraq and to the endless war on terrorism." These days, the cute coed on the home page seems much more interested in selling Seahawks tickets and real estate than she does in ending a war.The Oakland-based Notinourname.net was still a legitimate antiwar entity until it folded on March 31. Jeff Paterson, the group's co-chair, says the Seattle office has been closed for about a year, but the decision to close the national office is recent.According to Paterson, a core group started the organization in 2002. "We quit our jobs and poured our lives into this," he says. Eventually, most of that core got married, had babies, and moved on, he adds.Paterson will now work with Courage to Resist (couragetoresist.org), an organization that works with military veterans who are speaking out against the war. "What we've been doing for four or five years isn't working," he says. "So it was time to devote our efforts elsewhere. We didn't want to be an empty ship or just a Web page."

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