In an interview with Muslim Press, Marcia Hopple said “The extremes of Donald Trump as the new President and his policies may help to bring more people into the anti-war and peace and justice movement.”
Read the full text of the interview:
Muslim Press: Could you tell us more about your organization?
Marcia Hopple: Women Against War was founded in 2002 to resist the move toward bombing Iraq. We continued with our broader mission of promoting diplomacy instead of war, and protesting many problems of US policy including arms sales, drone warfare, pre-emptive attacks, civilian killings, and special operations. We supported the nuclear deal with Iran and see it as a model for more multinational diplomatic agreements and solutions. We bring speakers to our area for talks open to the public, such as Phyllis Bennis of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, speaking about her recent book on ISIS.
MP: As Donald Trump has become president of the United States, do you think there would be more wars imposed on other countries?
Marcia Hopple: He is impossible to understand so predictions are difficult. It looks as though he will be putting cabinet members and others in place who are not likely to choose diplomacy and are paranoid about terrorism and many minority groups.
MP: During his campaign, he promised to rip up the Iran nuclear deal. How would that affect US-Iran relations? Do you think a war is underway?
Marcia Hopple: I don’t know how it would affect relations, but they don’t seem very comfortable between the US and Iran in any case. Iran hardliners and US hardliners oppose the deal and feed into each others’ clout in their county by doing so. Meanwhile the US hasn’t lifted its own sanctions on Iran so US businesses are missing out on opportunities to trade with and operate in Iran. I don’t think of the US as at war with Iran, however, if I understand your question about a war being underway.
MP: How would you react if the US invades another country?
Marcia Hopple: We protest in various ways, by meeting with our Congressional representatives. Communicating to the public about reasons to oppose the invasion, stories of human costs of invasion in the target county, messages about what the economic costs are and why that money would be better spent in other ways, etc.
MP: Do you think anti-war movements are strong enough to sharply decrease the possibility of another war?
Marcia Hopple: Probably not now that Trump is president. I think the anti-war movement made a big difference in recent years in terms of Syria and in supporting the Iran deal. See my reply about future, below.
MP: Do you also work on the Saudi waged war on Yemen? How do you see the role of the U.S. in this war?
Marcia Hopple: We are concerned that the US relationship with Saudi Arabia supports their attacks on Yemen and their human rights abuses in their own country, and their arms sales all over the Middle East. We just co-sponsored a speaker about the US-Saudi relations and the dangers of it. (Medea Benjamin of CodePink. WAW is a local affiliate of CodePink.)
MP: What does the future hold for Women Against War?
Marcia Hopple: We are an aging group without much success in attracting younger (middle aged) women to the cause. They are still preoccupied with careers and families. But the extremes of the new President and his policies may help to bring more people into the anti-war and peace and justice movement.
Marcia Hopple liaisons with Women Against War, a CODEPINK affiliate. Women Against War (WAW) brings together Capital District women to work for peace. As liaison to CODEPINK, Marcia states: “We are a proud local affiliate of the national women’s peace organization, CODEPINK.”