At the beginning of 2003, US cities were flooded with large pacifist demonstrations that opposed the imminent war in Iraq: the movement for peace, led by such coalitions as United for Peace and Justice and Win Without War, was more international, internet-based and cross-party than any of its antecedents. It was a quick and overwhelming development, which reached its zenith on the eve of the intervention against Saddam, with the international day against the war on February 15, 2003: it seemed that the world had said "no" to the Bush War. Despite this premise, hostilities in Iraq began on March 20, 2003. The American pacifist movement had failed in its main purpose: stopping the military race against Saddam’s regime. Through a review of this critical phase of the recent US history and using coeval journalistic sources, activists’ statements and first-hand materials of pacifist organizations, the author analyses the development of the pacifist movement against the war in Iraq and makes reference to its key people, its innovative features and its strengths and limitations, focusing on the months between the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003.
Keywords: American/US pacifism, United for Peace and Justice, Win Without War Coalition, 15 February 2003, opposition to the Iraq War, Not in Our Name