Peace activism is rising, but that isn’t translating into huge street demonstrations, writes Allegra Harpootlian.
By Allegra Harpootlian
When Donald Trump entered the Oval Office in January 2017, Americans took to the streets all across the country to protest their instantly endangered rights. Conspicuously absent from the newfound civic engagement, despite more than a decade and a half of this country’s fruitless, destructive wars across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, was antiwar sentiment, much less an actual movement.
Those like me working against America’s seemingly endless wars wondered why the subject merited so little discussion, attention, or protest. Was it because the still-spreading war on terror remained shrouded in government secrecy? Was the lack of media coverage about what America was doing overseas to blame? Or was it simply that most Americans didn’t care about what was happening past the water’s edge? If you had asked me two years ago, I would have chosen “all of the above.” Now, I’m not so sure.
After the enormous demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the antiwar movement disappeared almost as suddenly as it began, with some even openly declaring it dead. Critics noted the long-term absence of significant protests against those wars, a lack of political will in Congress to deal with them, and ultimately, apathy on matters of war and peace when compared to issues like health care, gun control, or recently even climate change.
The pessimists have been right to point out that none of the plethora of marches on Washington since Donald Trump was elected have had even a secondary focus on America’s fruitless wars. They’re certainly right to question why Congress, with the constitutional duty to declare war, has until recently allowed both presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to wage war as they wished without even consulting them. They’re right to feel nervous when a national poll shows that more Americans think we’re fighting a war in Iran (we’re not) than a war in Somalia (we are).
But here’s what I’ve been wondering recently: What if there’s an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just haven’t noticed? What if we don’t see it, in part, because it doesn’t look like any antiwar movement we’ve even imagined?
If a movement is only a movement when people fill the streets, then maybe the critics are right. It might also be fair to say, however, that protest marches do not always a movement make. Movements are defined by their ability to challenge the status quo and, right now, that’s what might be beginning to happen when it comes to America’s wars.
What if it’s Parkland students condemning American imperialism or groups fighting the Muslim Ban that are also fighting the war on terror? It’s veterans not only trying to take on the wars they fought in, but putting themselves on the front lines of the gun control, climate change, and police brutality debates. It’s Congress passing the first War Powers Resolution in almost 50 years. It’s Democratic presidential candidates signing a pledge to end America’s endless wars.
For the last decade and a half, Americans — and their elected representatives — looked at our endless wars and essentially shrugged. In 2019, however, an antiwar movement seems to be brewing. It just doesn’t look like the ones that some remember from the Vietnam era and others from the pre-invasion-of-Iraq moment. Instead, it’s a movement that’s being woven into just about every other issue that Americans are fighting for right now — which is exactly why it might actually work.
A Veteran’s Antiwar Movement in the Making?
During the Vietnam War of the 1960s and early 1970s, protests began with religious groups and peace organizations morally opposed to war. As that conflict intensified, however, students began to join the movement, then civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. got involved, then war veterans who had witnessed the horror firsthand stepped in — until, with a seemingly constant storm of protest in the streets, Washington eventually withdrew from Indochina.
You might look at the lack of public outrage now, or perhaps the exhaustion of having been outraged and nothing changing, and think an antiwar movement doesn’t exist. Certainly, there’s nothing like the active one that fought against America’s involvement in Vietnam for so long and so persistently. Yet it’s important to notice that, among some of the very same groups (like veterans, students, and even politicians) that fought against that war, a healthy skepticism about America’s 21st century wars, the Pentagon, the military industrial complex, and even the very idea of American exceptionalism is finally on the rise — or so the polls tell us.
Right after the midterms last year, an organization named Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness reported mournfully that younger Americans were “turning on the country and forgetting its ideals,” with nearly half believing that this country isn’t “great” and many eyeing the U.S. flag as “a sign of intolerance and hatred.” With millennials and Generation Z rapidly becoming the largest voting bloc in America for the next 20 years, their priorities are taking center stage. When it comes to foreign policy and war, as it happens, they’re quite different from the generations that preceded them. According to the Chicago Council of Global Affairs,
“Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization.”
Although marches are the most public way to protest, another striking but understated way is simply not to engage with the systems one doesn’t agree with. For instance, the vast majority of today’s teenagers aren’t at all interested in joining the all-volunteer military. Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they’d serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z.
In addition, we’re finally seeing what happens when soldiers from America’s post-9/11 wars come home infused with a sense of hopelessness in relation to those conflicts. These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America’s conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they’ve gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
And this may just be the tip of a growing antiwar iceberg. A misconception about movement-building is that everyone is there for the same reason, however broadly defined. That’s often not the case and sometimes it’s possible that you’re in a movement and don’t even know it. If, for instance, I asked a room full of climate-change activists whether they also considered themselves part of an antiwar movement, I can imagine the denials I’d get. And yet, whether they know it or not, sooner or later fighting climate change will mean taking on the Pentagon’s global footprint, too.
Think about it: not only is the U.S. military the world’s largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels but, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project, between 2001 and 2017, it released more than 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (400 million of which were related to the war on terror). That’s equivalent to the emissions of 257 million passenger cars, more than double the number currently on the road in the U.S.
A Growing Antiwar Movement in Congress
One way to sense the growth of antiwar sentiment in this country is to look not at the empty streets or even at veterans organizations or recruitment polls, but at Congress. After all, one indicator of a successful movement, however incipient, is its power to influence and change those making the decisions in Washington. Since Donald Trump was elected, the most visible evidence of growing antiwar sentiment is the way America’s congressional policymakers have increasingly become engaged with issues of war and peace. Politicians, after all, tend to follow the voters and, right now, growing numbers of them seem to be following rising antiwar sentiment back home into an expanding set of debates about war and peace in the age of Trump.
In campaign season 2016, in an op-ed in The Washington Post, political scientist Elizabeth Saunders wondered whether foreign policy would play a significant role in the presidential election. “Not likely,” she concluded. “Voters do not pay much attention to foreign policy.” And at the time, she was on to something. For instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders, then competing for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton, didn’t even prepare stock answers to basic national security questions, choosing instead, if asked at all, to quickly pivot back to more familiar topics. In a debate with Clinton, for instance, he was asked whether he would keep troops in Afghanistan to deal with the growing success of the Taliban. In his answer, he skipped Afghanistan entirely, while warning only vaguely against a “quagmire” in Iraq and Syria.
Heading for 2020, Sanders is once again competing for the nomination, but instead of shying away from foreign policy, starting in 2017, he became the face of what could be a new American way of thinking when it comes to how we see our role in the world.
In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed “a litmus test of the Democratic Party’s progressive shift on foreign policy.”
Nor, strikingly enough, is Sanders the only Democratic presidential candidate now running on what is essentially an antiwar platform. One of the main aspects of Elizabeth Warren’s foreign policy plan, for instance, is to “seriously review the country’s military commitments overseas, and that includes bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.” Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel have joined Sanders and Warren in signing a pledge to end America’s forever wars if elected. Beto O’Rourke has called for the repeal of Congress’s 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that presidents have cited ever since whenever they’ve sent American forces into battle. Marianne Williamson, one of the many (unlikely) Democratic candidates seeking the nomination, has even proposed a plan to transform America’s “wartime economy into a peace-time economy, repurposing the tremendous talents and infrastructure of [America’s] military industrial complex… to the work of promoting life instead of death.”
And for the first time ever, three veterans of America’s post-9/11 wars — Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America’s wars in the months to come.
Get on Board or Get Out of the Way
When trying to create a movement, there are three likely outcomes: you will be accepted by the establishment, or rejected for your efforts, or the establishment will be replaced, in part or in whole, by those who agree with you. That last point is exactly what we’ve been seeing, at least among Democrats, in the Trump years. While 2020 Democratic candidates for president, some of whom have been in the political arena for decades, are gradually hopping on the end-the-endless-wars bandwagon, the real antiwar momentum in Washington has begun to come from new members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ilhan Omar who are unwilling to accept business as usual when it comes to either the Pentagon or the country’s forever wars. In doing so, moreover, they are responding to what their constituents actually want.
As far back as 2014, when a University of Texas-Austin Energy Poll asked people where the U.S. government should spend their tax dollars, only 7 percent of respondents under 35 said it should go toward military and defense spending. Instead, in a “pretty significant political shift” at the time, they overwhelmingly opted for their tax dollars to go toward job creation and education. Such a trend has only become more apparent as those calling for free public college, Medicare-for-all, or a Green New Deal have come to realize that they could pay for such ideas if America would stop pouring trillions of dollars into wars that never should have been launched.
The new members of the House of Representatives, in particular, part of the youngest, most diverse crew to date, have begun to replace the old guard and are increasingly signalling their readiness to throw out policies that don’t work for the American people, especially those reinforcing the American war machine. They understand that by ending the wars and beginning to scale back the military-industrial complex, this country could once again have the resources it needs to fix so many other problems.
In May, for instance, Omar tweeted, “We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can’t invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it’s this.”
We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts.https://t.co/2cCCbeJMOY
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 28, 2019
A few days before that, at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Ocasio-Cortez confronted executives from military contractor TransDigm about the way they were price-gouging the American taxpayer by selling a $32 “non-vehicular clutch disc” to the Department of Defense for $1,443 per disc. “A pair of jeans can cost $32; imagine paying over $1,000 for that,” she said. “Are you aware of how many doses of insulin we could get for that margin? I could’ve gotten over 1,500 people insulin for the cost of the margin of your price gouging for these vehicular discs alone.”
And while such ridiculous waste isn’t news to those of us who follow Pentagon spending closely, this was undoubtedly something many of her millions of supporters hadn’t thought about before. After the hearing, Teen Vogue created a list of the “5 most ridiculous things the United States military has spent money on,” comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted out the AOC hearing clip to her 12.6 million followers, Will and Grace actress Debra Messing publicly expressed her gratitude to AOC, and according to Crowdtangle, a social media analytics tool, the NowThis clip of her in that congressional hearing garnered more than 20 million impressions.
Not only are members of Congress beginning to call attention to such undercovered issues, but perhaps they’re even starting to accomplish something. Just two weeks after that contentious hearing, TransDigm agreed to return $16.1 million in excess profits to the Department of Defense. “We saved more money today for the American people than our committee’s entire budget for the year,” said House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings.
Of course, antiwar demonstrators have yet to pour into the streets, even though the wars we’re already involved in continue to drag on and a possible new one with Iran looms on the horizon. Still, there seems to be a notable trend in antiwar opinion and activism. Somewhere just under the surface of American life lurks a genuine, diverse antiwar movement that appears to be coalescing around a common goal: getting Washington politicians to believe that antiwar policies are supportable, even potentially popular. Call me an eternal optimist, but someday I can imagine such a movement helping end those disastrous wars.
Allegra Harpootlian is a media associate at ReThink Media, where she works with leading experts and organizations at the intersection of national security, politics, and the media. She principally focuses on U.S. drone policies and related use-of-force issues. She is also a political partner with the Truman National Security Project. Find her on Twitter @ally_harp.
This article is from TomDispatch.com.
First read this at LRC. No comments section there. Read the comments here. I guess Ms. Harptoolian believes she is referencing the real movers and shakers in the antiwar movement. Only one comment mentioning Justin Raimondo and Ron Paul is still hanging out on the 13th floor in a city hotel somewhere. Unbelievable.
I think you missed something massive, even after coming very close to it. You acknowledged that fighting climate change will require taking on the pentagon and the forever war, but it is extremely short sighted to think this is primarily because of the pentagon’s own carbon footprint. The biggest connection between climate and empire is that, since at least the Carter Doctrine, we’ve militarily guaranteed Gulf oil sales, and since the tanker war of the late 80’s we been fighting almost non stop to defend that oil trade. We’ve know for just as long (publicly since the 1988 hearings, but oil companies and the security state knew much earlier) that much of that oil needs to stay in the ground if civilization is to survive. It will be impossible to cut emissions drastically when our central strategic posture is designed to ensure those emissions continue. Our wealthy tyrant allies and military corporations already bribe the government and the msm; that their money stream relies on continuing emissions gives them a strong incentive to fight climate action, far beyond whatever their own direct emissions are.
This is truly an uplifting, while sensible and well reasoned article! Bravo.
Does anyone know why Tulsi Gabbard hasn’t signed the “End The Forever War” pledge by the group Common Defense mentioned in this article? Is it because she isn’t really antiwar? Is the pledge and the group promoting it not what they appear? Has she just not gotten around to it? It’s a whole lot of cognitive dissonance for someone attracted who is attracted to her because of her foreign policy.
Tim Cook: Tulsi has been the leading Congressional opponent of US regime change wars since she took office in 2013. Wolf Blitzer interviewed her several times in 2015 and 2016 and she spoke out consistently against what the US was doing not only in Syria, but in Yemen as well. She called out the Obama administration CIA for arming terrorists, and opposed Obama’s plan to bomb Syria in 2013. She has also spoken out against Trump’s interference in Venezuela. No other member of Congress or Senate has spoken out as consistently on issues of peace as Tulsi Gabbard, nor been so bitterly attacked for her actions, yet you are fussing about a single pledge? Has anyone asked her to sign it? To see the many actions she has taken and bills she has introduced to end these wars, see https://www.tulsigabbard.org/tulsi-gabbard-on-regime-change-war
Tulsi needs 130,000 distinct donors to qualify for the 3rd and 4th debates this fall. Go to tulsi2020.com and press Donate. A single dollar is enough
sadly, as a former ( and soon to be present ) street corner anti war /anti empire activist, the only way to wake up our fellow citizens is to stand out there with proper signage , at least once a week for an hour or so. my sign says:
Save Our Cities… Save Our Economy…. Save our Troops…. Pull Back This Empire Before it Bankrupts Us!!
by this sign, we let the people know that A) We need to spend more on our towns and cities, B) Over half of our federal taxes goes for military spending C) We care about our military personnel ( a key PR point ) and D) This 1000 bases worldwide machine is bankrupting our nation.
Petitions do NOT work better than going to the local offices of our elected Congressional reps and protesting… WEEKLY!
July 05, 2019 Justin Raimondo, RIP (1951-2019) by Antiwar Staff
Raimondo passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 67. Justin was a lifelong fighter for peace and liberty. In 1995, he co-founded Antiwar.l com with Eric Garris. He served as Antiwar com’s editorial director and top columnist, writing over 3,000 articles for the website. He can never be replaced and will be missed by countless numbers of fans and followers.
July 4, 2019 Brave Congressman Blasts 2-Party System as ‘Existential Threat to America’ then Quits His Party
In an inspiring op-ed on the 4th of July, the now-former Republican Congressman Justin Amash took to destroying the idea of identity politics, notably the two-party system, which he says is destroying the country. Amash declared that he is no longer going to identify with a party and declared himself an independent.
“How Obama demobilized the antiwar movement”
By Brad Plumer
August 29, 2013
“Reihan Salam points to a 2011 paper by sociologists Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas, who find that antiwar protests shrunk very quickly after Obama took office in 2008 — mainly because Democrats were less likely to show up:
Drawing upon 5,398 surveys of demonstrators at antiwar protests, interviews with movement leaders, and ethnographic observation, this article argues that the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Heaney and Rojas begin by puzzling over a paradox. Obama ran as an antiwar candidate, but his first few years in office were rather different: “As president, Obama maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan. The antiwar movement should have been furious at Obama’s ‘betrayal’ and reinvigorated its protest activity. Instead, attendance at antiwar rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement dissipated.””
The author may be too young to realize that the overwhelming driving force in the anti-Vietnam War movement was hundreds of thousands of young men who were at risk of being drafted and sent to fight, die and kill in that godforsaken war. As the movement grew, it gathered in millions of others as well. Absent the military draft today, most of America’s youth don’t seem to give half a damn about the current crimes of the U.S. military. As the saying goes: They have no skin in the game.
Precisely. The deaths of millions of Vietnamese was actually secondary to our concern. Rather, our own fate was on the line. Not saying there were none who felt the losses to the people in that funny little country so far away were secondary, but yes, I am saying self preservation was on the minds of the many.
Let no one forget who generates these wars, it isn’t a nation, it is a cabal of those who profit from it, in wealth and power. If Americans have some increase in standard of living, it’s only scraps that fell from the table.
Those seated at that table have always considered (and are) above nationality. They are elite.
Thanks SoMuch Allegra for posting your article & CN 4 running it.
Coincidentally this AM had a conversation w/ friend who drinks milk made of peas… so my non sequiturial mind goes2: macrobiota states cow’s milk is poison… Cow’s Side NOT sizzlin’ Delicacy in India…
So… My comment: while US exports military Murder… India exports madras cloth!
Good news is my friends are used2 my political BS & listen politely…
A West Coast friend recently lamented the lack of an antiwar movement here in the USA saying that, in effect, there really isn’t one. I responded this way:
During the Bush administration, in the shrub’s second term, or maybe it was early in the Obama administration, I was driving my son home from soccer practice at the community sports complex in nearby Nevada, IA, one afternoon, listening to NPR on the car radio. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute https://www.aei.org/scholar/norman-j-ornstein/ was talking about the politics of the day. He mentioned that Iowa had “the strongest antiwar movement in the country.” That got my attention for a number of reasons. First, I realized that Ornstein was talking about me, though he never mentioned my name. I was, and am still (though I am currently taking an unpaid sabbatical of sorts), the only reporter in central Iowa working for a national magazine/media organization reporting regularly on antiwar activism and events in Iowa. By that time, I had long since become keenly aware of being the only guy in town who worked consistently at putting the voices of peace and social justice activists in Iowa before a national audience. So, I realized that Ornstein had read my work, knew who I was, and, more important, was publicly recognizing the tireless efforts of many Iowans’ peace activism over the years. That activism has mostly reflected the efforts of local religious organizations’ peace and social justice work: Des Moines Catholic Worker, Catholic Peace Ministry, American Friends Service Committee-Iowa, Methodist Federation for Social Action, and many others, along with WILPF Des Moines Branch and three Iowa chapters of Veterans For Peace. I was also keenly aware that antiwar activism in Iowa is seldom noticed in any significant way by local media outlets, national media outlets, or by alternative media outside of Iowa other than in the pages of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. To be fair, from time to time, Common Dreams, Democracy Now!, and a very few other alternative media outlets have reported on antiwar events and other social justice activism here in Iowa, but only occasionally.
The annual Palm Sunday Peace Procession in Des Moines often brings out 100 to 150 marchers. Even in inclement weather, people march though their numbers are sometimes fewer. Only once in my memory has the march been cancelled due to rain. On that day, several years ago, the organizers looked at each other, then at me. I had brought only a light jacket and no umbrella. I was already soaked. Bob and Chet called it off and we all went home. I was left with the guilty feeling that, had I been better prepared for the cold wind and driving rain, we’d likely have marched anyway, all 8 or 10 of us. There is an antiwar movement in the USA, certainly in Iowa! This year’s Palm Sunday Peace Procession drew the largest numbers in more than a decade.
But my friend’s critique, perhaps slightly overstated, is all too accurate. I share his disgust at the apparent indifference of the American public, though I will say, again, that Americans are the most propagandized, misinformed, distracted, bamboozled, and, as Rep. Ilhan Omar all too accurately put it, “hypnotized” citizenry on this earth. The biggest problem is that American audiences have long been systematically fed a steady mass media diet of biased news coverage that typically has treated antiwar activists as if they were little better than terrorists, and a smorgasbord of lucrative, socially destabilizing, high-energy, violent and hyper-violent entertainment fare freighted with political messaging crafted to incite fear and animosity, desensitize audiences young and old to violence, and make Americans more amenable to fighting what are essentially Israel’s wars. The social science research, decades of it, thousands of studies, is irrefutable.
There has again been some shift in Sanders’ public positions, while Tulsi Gabbard occupies a position that was not represented in ’16, and HR Clinton was more openly bent on war than anyone currently at the table, though perhaps because that much of her position had become so difficult to deny over the years.
That said, Clinton lost to Obama in ’08 because she could not as effectively deny her militarism. There was at the time within the Democratic Party more and clearer movement against the wars than there is now. One might remember the run for candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, for example. The 8 years of the Obama regime were a consistent frustration and disappointment to any antiwar or anticorporate voice within the Democratic Party, but complaints were muted because many would not speak against a Blue or a Black president. More than at any prior time, corporate media spokespersons could endorse radically pro-corporate positions and imply or accuse their opposition of racism.
That leaves it unclear, however, what any antiwar voices have to do with the Democratic Party itself, particularly if we take “the party” to mean the political organization itself as opposed to the people whom it claims to represent. The Party and the DNC were major engines in the rigging of the 2016 Democratic nomination–and also, lest we forget, contributors to the Donald Trump nomination campaign.
It should not escape us, as we search for souls and soulfulness among these remnants of Democratic Parties Past, that any turn of the party against war is surely due to Hillary Clinton’s loss to presumed patsy candidate Donald Trump in 2016–the least and second-least popular major presidential contenders in history, clearly, in whichever order one wishes to put them.
There is some value in realism, then. So as much as one hates to criticize a Bernie Sanders in anything like the present field that he runs in, his is not a consistently antiwar position: he has gone back and forth. Tulsi Gabbard is the closest thing to an antiwar candidate within the Party. And under even under the most favorable circumstances, 2020 is at best not her year.
Most big money says war. scorched earth, steep hierarchy, and small constitution. Any who don’t like it had best speak up and act up.
In 2016, disheartened by Clinton’s horrific foreign policy agenda, my illusions about the Democratic Party finally shattered, I found myself at sea – reaching out to people I met who were lifelong conservative Republicans some of whom voted for Trump as the only alternative to Clinton! They too, I found, were horrified by the bloody wars killing “our” kids and “their”(the target country’s) kids.
I listened to Bernie’s anti war speech at Westminster College in Missouri. I welcomed his speaking out against our mindless horrific foreign policy of destruction that enriches a few and makes the rest of us unsafe. The moral injustice and senselessness of it all.
Please share with me Bernie’s “shifts” that you refer to.
I also like Tulsi Gabbard and she’s my second choice after Bernie because as a veteran she gets why our war policy is so horrifically bad for our soldiers, for our financial stability, in our best interests and is responsible for millions of people driven from their homes and seeking refuge in Europe with the inevitable backlash empowering the xenophobic extreme right gaining ground in Europe.
She resigned as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party to endorse Bernie Sanders! Wow! That woman is not scared to stand up and do what’s right and speak out about it!
I don’t see where Bernie is not completely aligned, as am I, with what Gabbard is saying about our horrific foreign policy.
(Rightly or wrongly, for political reasons, I guess – so he doesn’t get absurdly attacked as “weak” he points out that if this country is invaded that he is capable of using the defense that the military was supposedly designed for but has fallen by the wayside…..
Again, please share with me what he has said or done that convinces you and some others here that he is not strongly against our foreign interventions for the MICIMATT. To me, Bernie seems to make decisions based on his core values. I think those values have been consistent and proven by his documented behavior over a lifetime….
MLK was a brilliant analyst of the wrongheadedness of our leadership – the wars, the theft from working people, the greed and stupidity of policies that represented no one but themselves. Bernie admired Dr King and wrote of him in his most recent book.
I don’t see a division in thought there…..
I am for Tulsi, a Senator from Hawaii not a rep as this article says. Folk Music was in when the peace movement was strong and building, the same for Folk Rock who songs also had words you could get without Google.
So my way of “hoping” for an Anti-War/Peace Movement is to have a Folk Revival in my mind.
The answer to the question why anti war movement is dead is so simple and obvious but apparently invisible to most Dems/libs/progressives (excuse my inability to discern the distinctions between labels). The answer points to our onetime “peace” president Obama. As far as foreign interventions go (and domestic spying, among other things) Obama had continued Baby Bush’s policy. Even worse, Obama had given a bipartisan seal of approval (and legality) to most of Baby Bush’s crimes. In other words, for 8 years, meaning during the “peace” president’s reign, the loyal “lefty” sheeple have held their mouth when it came to war and peace.
Obama and the Dems have very effectively killed the ant war movement
No More War
The establishment will always be pro-war because there’s so much money in it. Street demonstrations will never change that, as we recently learned with Iraq. The only strategy that has a chance of working is anti-enlistment. If they don’t have the troops they can’t invade anywhere, and recruitment is already a problem. It needs to be a bigger problem.
Sorry, ALL of these Democrat wannabes save one is ignorant of foreign affairs, foreign policy and its destruction of what they blather on about – domestic vote-getting sky pies. Oh yes, free everything: schools, health care, social justices and services. It’s as though the MIC has not stolen the money from the public’s pockets to get rich by sending cheap fodder out there to get killed and wounded, amputated physically and mentally.
Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn’t stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men, because she drew a bad one. Huma was better company. Since she didn’t know anything beyond the superficial, she did whatever the “experts” whispered in her ears: War! Obama was in the same boat. The target, via gaining total control of oil from Libya to Syria and Iran was her Putin hate. So her experts set up the Ukraine. The “experts” are the MIC/CIA and our fearless, brainless, corrupt military. They have whispered the same psychotic message since the Gulf of Tonkin. We’ve lost to everyone with whom we’ve crossed swords and left them devastated and America diminished save for the few.
So I was a Sanders supporter until he backed the warrior woman and I, like millions of others backed off of her party. It’s still her party. Everyone just loves every victim of every kind. They all spout minor variations on the same themes while Trump and his neocons quietly install their right wing empire. Except for one who I spotted when she had the independence to go look for herself in Syria.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate to be the candidate who has a balance of well thought through, realistic foreign policy as well as the domestic non-extremist one. She has the hurdle of being a too-pretty woman, of being from the remotest state, and not being a screamer. Even this article, written about peace by a woman fails to talk about her.
Tulsi has the registered voter count and a respectable budget, but the New York Times which is policy-controlled by a few of Hillary’s billionaire friends has consistently shut her out, because Tulsi left the corrupt Hillary-owned DNC to back Sanders and Hillary never forgave her.
If you want to know who is against Trump and war, take 5 minutes and listen to what she really said during the 1st debate where the CBS folks gave her little room to talk. It will change your outlook on what really is possible.
Hi Anonymot; I also exited my Sanders support after over 100 cash donations and over a years painful effort. I will never call him Bernie again; now it is Sanders, since Bernie makes him sound cute and cute was not the word that came into my mind as Mr. Sanders missed his world moment at the democratic election and backed Hillary Clinton (I can not vote for EVIL). Sanders then proceeded to give part of my money to the DNC & to EVIL Hillary Clinton.
So then what now? Easy as Pie; NO MORE DEMOCRATS EVER. The DNC & DCCC used Election Fraud & Election Crimes blatantly to beat Bernie Sanders. Right out in the open. The DNC & DCCC are War Mongering more then the Republicans which is saying allot. The mass media and major Internet Plateforms like Goggle & Facebook are all owned by Evil Oligarchs that profit from WAR and blatantly are today suppressing all dissenting opinions (anti Free Speech).
I stopped making cash donation to Tulsi Gabbard upon the realization that the Democrats were not at all a force for Life or Good and instead were a criminal organization. The voting for the lessor of two EVILs is 100% STUPID.
I told Tim Canova I could not support any Democrat ever again as I told Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi is still running as a criminal democrat. If she would run independent of the DNC then I would start to donate cash to her again. End of my story about Tulsi. I do like her antiwar dialog, but there is no; so called changing, the DNC from the inside. The Oligarchs own the DNC and are not supportive of “We The People” or the Constitution, or the American Republic.
The end of Tim Canova’s effort was he was overtly CHEATED AGAIN by the DNC’s Election Fraud & Election Crimes in his 2018 run for congress against Hillary Clinton’s 100% corrupt campaign manager; who congress seated even over Tim’s asking them not to seat her until his law suites on her election crimes against him were assessed. Election crimes and rigged voting machines in Florida are a way of life now and have been for decades and decades.
All elections must be publicly funded. All votes must be on paper ballots and accessible for recounts and that is just the very minimums needed to start changing the 100% corrupted election system we Americans have been railroaded into.
The supreme Court has recently ruled that gerrymandering is OK. The supreme court has proven to be a political organization with their Bush Gore decision and now are just political hacks and as such need to be ELECTED not appointed. Their rulings that Money is Free Speech & that Corporations are People has disenfranchised “We the People”. That makes the Supreme Court a tool to be used by the world money elite to overturn the constitution of the United States of America.
No More War. No More War. No More War.
Absolutely spot-on, superb comment, P .Brooks.
I saw the light (with what the Dems are really about) after Kucinich’s candidacy. That made me one of the very few lefties in my circle not to have voted for Obama even the first time around. I hear a lot of talk about trying to reform the party from inside. Utter bu** sh**. “You cannot reform Mafia”.
Ever since Kucinich, I have been voting Green. No, this is not a waste of my vote. Besides, I cannot be complicit to war crimes – that’s what it makes anyone who votes for either of the two parties.
Wow you said a mouthful. It’s worse than that its a cottage industry that includes gun running, drug running and human trafficking netting Trillions to the MIC, CIA and other alphabet agencies you can’t fight the mark of the beast.
I fully back/endorse Gabbard, but…
The battering of Bernie is not fair. He is NOT a Democrat, therefore him being able to get “inside” that party to run AS a Dem put him in a tenuous situation. He really had no option other than to support HRC lest his movement, everyone’s movement, would get extra hammering by the neocons and status quo powers. He wouldn’t be running, again, had he not done this. Yeah, it’s a bad taste, I get it, but had he disavowed HRC would the outcome -Trump- been any different? The BLAME goes fully on the DNC and the Clintons. Full stop.
I do not see AOC as a full progressive. She is only doing enough to make it appear so. The Green New Deal is stolen from the Green Party and is watered down. Think of this as “Obama Care” for the planet. As you should know, Gabbard’s Off Fossil Fuels Act (OFF) actually has real teeth in it: and is closer to the Green Party’s positions.
I support movements and positions. PRIMARY is peace. Gabbard, though not a pacifist, has the right path on all of this: I’ve been around long enough to understand exactly how she’s approaching all of this. She is, however, taking on EVERYONE. As powerful a person as she is (she has more fortitude than the entire lot of combined POTUS candidates put together) going to require MASSIVE support; sadly, -to this point- this article doesn’t help by implying that people aren’t interested in foreign policy (it perpetuates the blockout of it- people have to be reeducated on its importance- not something that the MIC wants), people aren’t yet able to see the connections. The education will occur will it happen in a timely way such that people would elect Gabbard? (things can turn on a dime, history has shown this; she has the makeup that suggests that she’s going to have a big role in making history).
I did not support Bernie (and so far have not- he’s got ample support; if it comes down to it he WILL get my vote- and I’ve held off voting for many years because there’s been no real “peace” candidate on the plate). Gabbard, however, has my support now, and likely till the day I die: I’ve been around long enough to know what constitutes a great leader, and not since the late 60s have we had anyone like her. If Bernie gets the nomination it is my prediction that he will have Gabbard high on his staff, if not as VP: a sure fire way to win is to have Gabbard as VP.
I’m going to leave this for folks to contemplate as to whether Gabbard is real or not:
In a context in which Rio de Janeiro’s evangelical churches have been accused of laundering money for the drug trafficking gangs, all elements of Afro-Brazilian culture including caipoeira, Jango drumming, and participation in Carnaval parades, have been banned by the traffickers in many favelas.
“caipoeria,” is something that Gabbard has practiced:
“I trained in different martial arts since I was a kid including Capoeira — an amazing art created by slaves in Brazil who were training to fight and resist against their slave masters, disguising their training with music, acrobatics, and dance. Yesterday I joined my friends Mestre Kinha and others at Capoeira Besouro Hawai’i for their batizado ceremony and some fun! ” – Tulsi Gabbard December 9, 2018
The GOAL is to get her into the upper halls of governing power. If the people cannot see fit to it then I’ll support Sanders (in the end) so that he can do it.
Harpootlian claims to see what’s going on, but, unfortunately, she’s not able to look close enough.
Anonymot, thank you for leading out here with Gabbard and her message.
If Gabbard had the MSM coverage Buttigieg has received she probably be leading in the polls. It is surprising(?) that this supposedly anti-war author mentions corporatist Mayor Pete but not Gabbard.
She DOES (briefly)mention Gabbard, but she missed the fact that Gabbard is the most strongly anti-war candidate. She gets it entirely wrong about Buttigieg, who is strikingly pro-war, and supports getting in to a war with Iran.
David, kinda begs one to question the true agenda of the author, doesn’t it? Can she really be that ignorant of what these candidates stand for? Incidentally, one of my mottoes is, “Never trust a Rhodes Scholar.” Clinton and Rachel Maddow are both Rhodes scholars. Cecil Rhodes was a committed British imperialist, and Rhodes scholarships were set up in order to train (propagandize) the brightest minds of the Commonwealth (later extended to the US) in the value of British (later Anglo) rule.
And sadly, Ms. Gabbard is mired at the 1% mark in the polls, even after having performed so well in the debate.
This seems to me an indication of the public’s lack of caring about our foreign wars.
The reason she’s “mired” is because a number of polls don’t include her!! However they include, Marianne Williamson.
How’s that for inverse totalitarianism par excellence….
I did see one poll that had her at 2%. And given the reputation of many polling outfits, I take any professed results with a grain of salt. Tulsi’s press coverage (what little she gets) has been mostly defamatory to the point of being libelous. If her strong performance continues in the primary debates despite all efforts to sabotage her, I think she could make a strong showing. That said, at some point she will have to renounce the DNC controlled democratic party and run as an Independent if she wants to make the General Election debates for 2020.
“Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn’t stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men…”
If I were to psychologize, I would conjecture more un-gendered stereotype, namely that of a good student. He/she diligently learns in all classes from the prescribed textbooks and reading materials, and, alas, American education on foreign affairs is dominated by retirees from CIA and other armchair warriors. Of course, nothing wrong about good students in general, but I mean the type that is obedient, devoid of originality and independent thinking. When admonished, he/she remembers the pain for life and strives hard not to repeat it. E.g. as First Lady, Hillary kissed Arafat’s wife to emulate Middle East custom, and NY tabloids had a feast for months.
Concerning Tulsi, no Hillary-related conspiracy is needed to explain the behavior of the mass media. Tulsi is a heretic to the establishment, and their idea is to be arbiters of what and who belongs to the “mainstream”, and what is radical, marginal etc. Tulsi richly deserves her treatment. Confronted with taunts like “so you would prefer X to stay in power” (Assad, Maduro etc.) she replies that it should not be up to USA to decide who stays in power, especially if no better scenario is in sight. The gall, the cheek!
Strangely enough, Tulsi gets this treatment in places like The Nation and Counterpunch. As the hitherto “radical left” got a whiff of being admitted to the hallowed mainstream from time to time, they try to be “responsible”.
Yes!…Thank You…I was gritting my teeth reading this article…#Tulsi2020
The end of the anti-war movement expired when the snake-oil pitchman with the toothy smile and dark skin brought his chains we could beleive in to the White House. The so-called progressives simply went to sleep while they never criticized Barack Obama for escalating W. Bush’s wars and tax cuts for the rich.
The fake left wing in the US remained silent when Obama dumped trillions of dollars into the vaults of his bankster pals as he stole the very homes from the people who voted him into office. Then along came the next hope and change miracle worker Bernie Sanders. Only instead of working miracles for the working class, Sanders showed his true colors when he fcuked his constituents to support the hated Hillary Clinton.
Let’s start facing reality. The two-party dictatorship does not care about you unless you can pony up the big bucks like their masters in the oligarchy and the soulless corporations do. Unless and until workers end to the criminal stranglehold that the big-business parties and the money class have on the government, things will continue to slide into the abyss.
An informed awareness of imperialism must also include an analysis of how “technology” is used and abused, from the use of “superior” weaponry against people who do not have such weapons, from blunderbuss and sailing ships, to B-52s and napalm, up to and including technology that may be “weaponized” against civilian populations WiTHIN a society, be it 24/7 surveillance or robotics and AI that could permit elites to dispense with any “need”, on the part of the elites, to tolerate the very existence of a laborung class, or ANY who earn their wealth through actual work, from maids to surgeons, from machine operators to professors.
Any assumption, that any who “work”, even lawyers or military officers, can consider their occupation or profession as “safe”, is to assume that the scapegoating will stop with those the highly paid regard as “losers”, such comfortable assumption may very well prove as illusory and ephemeral as an early morning mist … before the hot and merciless Sun rises.
The very notions of unfettered greed and limitless power, resulting in total control, must be recognized as the prime drivers of endless war and shock-doctrine capitalism which, combined, ARE imperialism, unhinged and insane.
This article is weak. Anyone who could equate Mayor Pete or the eleven Democrat “ex”-military and CIA analysts who gained seats in Congress in 2018 as anti-war is clueless. Tulsi Gabbard is anti-regime change war, but is in favor of fighting “terrorists” (created mostly by our CIA and Israel with Saudi funding). Mike Gravel is the only true totally anti-war ‘candidate’ and he supports Gabbard as the only anti-War of the Democrats.
In WWI, 90% of Americans who served were drafted, in WWII over 60% of Americans who served were drafted. The Vietnam War “peace demonstrations” were more about the Draft, and skin-in-the-game, than about War. Nixon and Kissinger abolished the Draft (which stopped most anti-war protests), but continued carpet bombing Vietnam and neighboring countries (Operations Menu, Freedom Deal, Patio, etc), and Vietnamized the War which was already lost, although the killing continued through 1973. The abolition of the Draft largely gutted the anti-war movement. Sporadic protests against Bush/ Cheney over Afghanistan and Iraq essentially disappeared under Obama/ Hillary in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. Since their National Emergency proclamations no longer ever end, we are in a position to attack Venezuela (Obama), Ukraine (Obama), South Sudan (Obama), Iran (Carter, Clinton), Libya (Obama), Somalia (Obama), Yemen (Obama), Nicaragua (Trump) and even Burundi (Obama) and the Central African Republic (Obama). The continuing support of death squads in Honduras and other Latin American countries (“stability is more important than democracy”) has contributed to the immigration crises over the last five years.
As Pelosi noted about Democratic progressives “there are like five of them”. Obama not only failed to reverse any of the police state and warmongering of Bush/Cheney, he expanded both police state (arresting and prosecuting Chelsea Manning for exposing war crimes, as well as more whistleblowers than anyone in history), and wars in seven Arab Muslim countries. Black Americans, who had always been an anti-War bloc prior to Obama, converted to the new America. The Congressional Democrats joined with Republicans to give more to the military budget than requested by Trump. (Clinton squandered the Peace Dividend when the Soviet Union fell, and Lee Camp has exposed the $21 TRILLION “lost” by the Pentagon.)
The young author see anti-war improvements that are not there. The US is more pro-war in its foreign policies than at any time in its history. When there was a Draft, the public would not tolerate decades of war (lest their young men died). Sanctions are now the first attack (usually by National Emergencies!); the 500,000 Iraqi children killed by Clinton’s sanctions (Madeline Albright: “we think it was worth it!”) is just sadism and psychopathy at the top, which is necessary for War.
Superb comment, michael, very much agreed with and appreciated.
You are absolutely right. Obama and Hillary were the brilliant ideas of the MIC/CIA when they realized that NO ONE the Republicans put up after Bush baby’s 2nd round. They chose 2 “victims” black & woman) who would do what they were told to do in order to promote their causes (blacks & get-filthy rich.) The first loser would get the next round. And that’s exactly what happened until Hillary proved to be so unacceptable that she was rejected. We traded no new war for an administration leading us into a neo-nazi dictatorship.
Thank you for this comment!
michael – Just an addition/correction to your thoughts; Lee Camp didn’t expose the $21 trillion Pentagon “lost”. It was finely studied and detailed during a forensically done study via a statistics auditor whose name escapes me as it was over a year ago. He did a video talk in his office that was very important showing proof.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only peace candidate in the Democratic Party
Many current crises have the potential to escalate into a major confrontation between the nuclear powers, similar to the Cuban missile crisis, though there is no comparable sense of alarm. Then, tensions were at boiling point, when a small military exchange could have led to nuclear annihilation. Today there are many more such flashpoint – Syria, the South China Sea, Iran, Ukraine to name a few. Since the end of the Cold War there has been a gradual movement towards third world war. Condemnation of an attack on Iran must include, foremost, the warning that it could lead the US into a confrontation with a Sino-Russian alliance. The warning from history is states go to war over interests, but ultimately – and blindly – end up getting the very war they need to avoid: even nuclear war, where the current trend is going.
Many truly superb, well-informed, and very enlightening comments on this thread.
My very great appreciation to this site, to its authors, and to its exceptionally thoughtful and articulate commenters.
I appreciate this author’s perspective, research, and optimism.
Clearly, the young ARE far more open to embracing a future less warlike and hegemonic, while far too many of my generation are wedded to childish myth and fantasy around U$ driven mayhem.
However, I would suggest that vision be broadened beyond opposition to war, which opposition, while important, must be expanded to opposition to the larger issue of imperialism, itself.
Imperialism is not merely war, it includes economic warfare, both sanctions, internationally, and predatory debt loads, domestically, in very many nations of the world, as well as privatization of the commons (which must be understood to include all resources necessary to human existence).
Perpetual war, which profits only the few, is driven by precisely the same aims as pitting workers against each other, worldwide, in a “game” of “race to the bottom”, creating “credit” rather than raising wages, thus creating life-long indebtedness of the many, which only benefits monopolized corporate interests, as does corporate ownership of such necessities as water, food production, and most channels of communication, which permits corporations to easily shape public perception toward whatever ends suit corporate purposes while also ensuring that deeper awareness of what is actually occurring is effectively stifled, deplatformed, or smeared as dangerous foreign fake news or as hidden, or even as blatant, racial or religious hatred.
Above all, it is critically important that all these interrelated aspects of deliberate domination, control, and diminishment, ARE talked about, openly, that we all may have better grasp of who really aligns with creating serious systemic change, especially as traditionally assumed “tendencies” are shifting, quickly and even profoundly.
For example, as many here point out, the Democrats are now as much a war party as the Republicans, “traditionally” have been, even as there is clear evidence that the Republican “base” is becoming less willing to go to war than are the Democratic “base”, as CNN and MSNBC media outlets strive to incite a new Cold War and champion and applaud aggression in Syria, Iran, and North Korea.
It is the elite Democratic “leadership” and most Democratic Presidential hopefuls who now preach or excuse war and aggression, with few actual exceptions, and none of them, including Tulsi Gabbard, have come anywhere near openly discussing or embracing, the end of U$ imperialism.
Both neoliberal and neocon philosophies are absolutely dedicated to imperialism in all its destructive, even terminal, manifestations.
Gabbard has spoken out against sanctions. She understands that they’re just another form of war.
The younger generations won’t be able to financially support imperialist activities. And, they won’t be, as the statements to their enlistment numbers suggest, able to “man the guns.” I’m thinking that TPTB are aware of this (which is why a lot of drone and other automation of war machinery has been stepped up).
The recent alliance of Soros and Charles Koch, the Quincy Institute, is, I believe, a KEY turning point. Pretty much everything Gabbard is saying/calling for is this institute’s mission statement: and people ought to note that Gabbard has been in Charles Koch’s circle- might very well be that Gabbard has already influenced things in a positive way.
I also believe that all the great independent journalists, publishers (Assange taking the title here) and whistleblowers (Manning taking the title here) have made a HUGE impact. Bless them all.
The US government consistently uses psychological operations on its own citizens to manufacture consent to kill anyone and everyone. Meaningless propaganda phrases such as “Support Our Troops” and “National Security” and “War on Terror” are thrown around to justify genocides and sieges and distract us from murder. There is no left wing or in American politics and there has not been one since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. All we have is neoconservatives and neoliberals representing the business party for four decades. Killing is our business and business is good. Men are as monkeys with guns when it comes to politics and religion.
Seen on the street:
Support Our Troops
BRING THEM HOME NOW
New and better link here:
One might be hard-pressed to find more outright perversions of reality in a mere two pages of text. Congratulations Congress, you have indeed surpassed yourself.
So it’s those dastardly Russians and Iranians who are responsible for the destabilization of the Middle East, “complicating Israel’s ability to defend itself from hostile action emanating from Syria.” And apparently, it’s the “ungoverned space” in Syria that has “allowed” for the rise of terrorist factions in Syria, that (we must be reminded) are ever poised to attack “Western targets, our allies and partners, and the U.S. homeland.”
Thank you Joe Lauria and Consortiumnews.
There is much wisdom and a good deal of personal experience being expressed on these pages. I especially want to thank IvyMike and Dao Gen. Ivy Mike you’re so right about our troops in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, draftees and volunteers, they fought what was clearly an internal civil war fought valiantly, beyond that point, Vietnam was a political mess for all involved. And Dao Gen all of your points are accurate.
As for our legislators, please read the linked Foreign Affairs press release signed by over 400 leglislators On May 20th., 2019 that address “threats to Syria” including the Russia threat. Clearly it will take action by the People and Peace candidates to end this travesty of a foreign policy.
Is your legislator a signee of this list? All of mine are…
Vietnam a war triggered by the prevention of a mandated election by the USA which Ho Chi Minh was likely to win, who had already recently been Premier of a unified Vietnam.
Sorry, being courageous in a vicious cause is not honorable.
Speaking a true history and responsibility is honorable.
No need to be sorry James Clooney. I did not mention honor in my comment, I mentioned valiant (courage and determination). American troupes ultimately fight honorably for each other not necessarily for country. This was the message and evaluation of Captain Hal Moore To General Westmorland And Robert McNamera after the initial engagement of US troops and NVA and can be viewed as a special feature of the largely inaccurate DVD “We Were Soldiers And Young).
The veterans group About Face is doing remarkable work against the imperial militarization that threatens to consume our country and possibly the world. This threat includes militarization of US police, a growing nuclear arms race, and so-called humanitarian wars. About Face is also working to train ordinary people as medics to take these skills into their communities whose members are on the front lines of police brutality.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with a strong, enlightened understanding of the costs of our many imperial wars … Costs to ourselves in the US and costs to the people we invade in order to “save” them. I voted for McGovern in 1972. I would vote for Tuldi’s Gabbard in 2020 if given the chance.
Vote for her now by supporting her*! One cannot wait until the DNC (or other party) picks the candidate FOR us. Anyone serious about peace ought to support her, and do it now and far into the future. I have always supported candidates who are champions for peace, no matter their “party” or whatever: I did not, though I wish that I had, support Walter Jones -of Freedom Fries fame- after he did a 180 (Gabbard knew Jones, and respected him); it took a lot of guts for him to do this, but his honest (like Ron Paul proved) was proven and his voters accepted him (and likely shifted their views along with him).
* Yeah, one has to register giving money, but for a lousy $1… She has yet to qualify for the third debate (need 130k unique donations): and yet Yang has! (nothing against him, but come on, he is not “Commander in Chief” material [and at this time it is, as Gabbard repeats, the single most important part of being president]).
Strongly agree…Only Tulsi…
Not surprising there was little or no antiwar sentiment in the newfound civic engagement after Trump’s election, since the majority of those participating were supporters of the war criminals Obama, Clinton, and their corporate, war mongering DEM party. Those same people today, support Obama-chaperone Biden, or one of the other vetted corporate DEMs, including socialist-in-name-only Sanders, who signed the DEM loyalty oath promising to continue austerity for the poor, socialism for rich, deregulation, militarism, and global war hegemony. The only party with an antiwar blank was the Green Party, which captured >2% of the ~130 million votes in the rigged election- even though Stein is as competent as Clinton, certainly more competent than Trump, and the Green platform, unlike Sanders’, explained how to pay for social and environmental programs by ending illegal wars in at least 7 countries, closing 1000 military command posts located all over earth, removing air craft carrier task forces from every ocean, cutting defense spending.
I believe the CIA operation “CARWASH” was under Obama, which gave us Ultra fascism in one of the largest economies in the world, Brazil.
Superb comment, trieke, and I especially appreciate your mention of Jill Stein and the Green Party.
It is unfortunate that the the Green New Deal, championed by AOC is such a pale and intentionally pusillanimous copy of the Green New Deal articulated by Stein, which pointedly made clear that blind and blythe economic expansion must cease, that realistic natural constraints and carrying capacity be accepted and profligate energy squandering come to an end.
That a sane, humane, and sustainable economic system, wholly compatible with ecological responsibility can provide neaningful endeavor, justly compensated, for all, as was coherently addressed and explained to any who cared to examine the substance of that, actual, and realistic, original, GND.
Such a vision must be part of successfully challenging, and ending, U$ imperialism.
And Trump likely signed a GOP pledge. It’s all superficial crap, nothing that is really written in stone.
I LOVE Stein. But for the sake of the planet we have little time to wait on getting the Green Party up to speed (to the clasp the levers of power). Unless Gabbard comes out on top (well, the ultimate, and my favorite, long-shot would be Gravel, but reality is something that I have to accept) it can only really be Sanders. I see a Sanders nomination as being the next best thing (and, really, the last hope as it all falls WAY off the cliff after that). He would most certainly have Gabbard along (if not as VP, which is the best strategy for winning, then as some other high-ranking, and meaningful cabinet member). Also, there are a lot of folks that would be coming in on his coattails. It is THESE people that will make the most difference: although he’s got his flaws, Ro Kana would be a good top official. And, there are all the supporters who would help push. Sanders is WAY better than HRC (Obama and, of course, Trump). He isn’t my favorite, but he has enough lean in him to allow others to help him push the door open: I’ll accept him if that’s what it take to get Gabbard into all of this.
Sometimes you DO have to infiltrate. Sanders is an infiltrator (not a Dem), though he treads lightly. Gabbard has already proven her intentions: directly confronted the DNC and the HRC machine (and her direct attack on the MIC is made very clear); and, she is indirectly endorsed by some of the best people out there who have run for POTUS: Jill Stein; Ron Paul; Mike Gravel. We cannot wait for the Dems (and the MIC) to disarm. We need to get inside “the building” and disarm. IF Sanders or Gabbard (and no Gravel) don’t get the nomination THEN it is time to open up direct “warfare” and attack from the “outside” (at this time there should be enough big defectors to start swinging the tide).
Yes trieke, I voted for Stein in 2016, and I plan on voting Green Party again in 2020. I see too many fellow progressives/liberals/leftists (whatever the hell we want to call ourselves) agonizing about which compromised Democrat to vote-for, trying to weigh their different liabilities, etc. I’ve come to believe that my duty as a voter is to vote for the POTUS candidate/party whose stances/platform are closest to my views, and that’s unequivocally the Green Party. My duty as a voter does NOT entail ‘voting for a winner’, that’s just part of the two-party-con that the Dems & Reps run.
The big difference is that, during the Vietnam years, people could *see* the war. People talked a lot about “photographs that ended the Vietnam war”, such as the napalm girl, etc.
The government noticed this. There were enormous pressures on the press, even a ban on returning coffin photos. Now, since the two Iraq wars, people *don’t see* the reality of war. The TV and press don’t show Afghanistan, don’t show Yemen, didn’t show the real Iraq… excepting for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, who are in prison because of this.
And the wars go on:
“The US government and military are preventing the public from seeing photographs that depict the true horror of the Iraq war.”
Dan Kennedy: Censorship of graphic Iraq war photographs — 29 Jul 2008
For example, we all know that mainstream media is war propaganda now, itself at war on truth and, apart from some convenient false flags to justify attacks, they very rarely let the very people suffering wars be heard to wake viewers up, and don’t often even show this uncensored reality of war anymore, not like the true images of this old, powerful video:
Happy Xmas (War Is Over! If You Want It)
So this is Xmas
And what have you done…
— John Lennon
mbob — thank you — has already put this very well, but it is above all the Dems, especially Obama and the Clintons, who killed the antiwar movement. Obama was a fake, and his foreign policy became even more hawkish after Hillary resigned as SoS. His reduction of Libya, the richest state in Africa, to a feudal chaotic zone in which slavery is once more prominent and his attempt to demonize Syria, which has more semi-democracy and women’s rights than any of the Islamic kingdoms the US supports as its allies, and turn Syria into a jihadi terrorist hell, as well as Obama’s bombing of other nations and his sanctions on still other nations such as Venezuela, injured and killed at least as many people as did GW Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Yet where was the antiwar movement? In the 21st century the US antiwar movement has gained most of its strength from anti-Repub hatred. The current uptick of antiwar feeling is probably due mostly to hatred of Trump. Yet Trump is the first president since Carter not to invade or make a major attack on a foreign country. As a businessman, his policy is to use economic warfare instead of military warfare.
I am not a Trump supporter, and strong sanctions are a war crime, and Trump is also slow to reduce some of Obama’s overseas bombing and other campaigns, yet ironically he is surely closer to being a “peace president” than Obama. Moreover, a major reason Trump won in 2016 was that Hillary was regarded as the war and foreign intervention candidate, and in fact if Hillary had won, she probably would have invaded Syria to set up her infamous “no-fly zone” there, and she might have bombed Iran by now. We might even be in a war with Russia now. At the same time, under Trump the Dem leadership and the Dem-leaning MSM have pursued an unabashedly neocon policy of attacking from the right Trumps attempts at detente with Russia and scorning his attempts to negotiate a treaty with N Korea and to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan. The main reason why Trump chose dangerous neocons like Bolton and Pompeo as advisors was probably to shield himself a little from the incessant and sometimes xenophobic attacks from the Dem leadership and the MSM. The Dem leadership seems motivated not only by hatred of Trump but also, and probably more importantly, by a desire to get donations from the military-industrial complex and a desire to ingratiate itself with the Intel Community and the surveillance state in order to get various favors. Look, for example, at Adam Schiff, cheerleader-in-chief for the IC. The system of massive collusion between the Dem party elite and the US deep state was not as advanced during the Vietnam War era as it is now. 2003 changed a lot of things.
The only Dem presidential candidates who are philosophically and securely antiwar are Gabbard and Gravel. Even Bernie (and even more so, Warren) can’t be trusted to stand up to the deep state if elected, and anyway, Bernie’s support for the Russiagate hoax by itself disqualifies him as an antiwar politician, while the Yemen bill he sponsored had a fatal loophole in it, as Bernie well knew. I love Bernie, but he is neither antiwar nor anti-empire. As for Seth Moulton, mentioned in the article, he is my Rep, and he makes some mild criticisms of the military, but he is a rabid hawk on Syria and Iran, and he recently voted for a Repub amendment that would have punished Americans who donate to BDS organizations. And as for the younger generation of Dems, they are not as antiwar as the article suggests. For every AOC among the newly elected Dems in 2018, there were almost two new Dems who are military vets or who formerly worked for intel agencies. This does not bode well. As long at the deep state, the Dem elite, and the MSM are tightly intertwined, there will be no major peace movement in the near future, even if a Dem becomes president. In fact, a Dem president might hinder the formation of a true antiwar movement. Perhaps when China becomes more powerful in ten or twenty years, the unipolar US empire and permanent war state will no longer look like a very good idea to a large number of Americans, and the idea of a peace movement will once again become realistic. The media have a major role to play in spreading truthful news about how the current US empire is hurting domestic living standards. Rather than hopey-hope wish lists, no-holds-barred reporting will surely play a big role.
Absolutely superb comment, Dao Gen.
Another fine example of why I think there is hope! (some very sharp commentators!)
A strong leader can make all the difference. The example gets set from the top: not that this is my preference, just that it’s the reality we have today. MLK Jr. was such a leader, though it was MANY great people that were in his movement/orbit that were the primary architects. I suppose you could say it’s a “rally around the flag” kind of deal. Just as Trump stunned the System, I believe that it can be stunned from the “left” (the ultimate stunning would be from a Gravel win, but I’m thinking that Gabbard would be the one that has what it takes to slip past).
I really wish that people would start asking candidates who they think have been good cabinet members for various positions. This could help give an idea of the most important facet of an administration: who the POTUS selects as key cabinet members tells pretty much everything you need to know. Sadly, Trump had a shot at selecting Gabbard and passed on her: as much as I detest Trump, I gave him room in which to work away from the noecon/neolib death squads (to his credit he’s mostly just stalemated them- for a rookie politician you could say that this has been an impressive feat; he’s tried to instigate new wars but has, so far, “failed” [by design?]).
“We saved more money today for the American people …….” – Elijah Cummings. Yea? Well then, give it to us!! You owe us a return of our money that you have wasted for years.
Same old, same old, same old, same old.
Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different.
There won’t be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel.
Just like Dubya.
Just like Obomber.
Just like the Orange Baboon.
Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.
And this is the “new anti war movement.”
Every extreme elicits an extreme response. Our current western pacifist obsession is no exception. By prohibiting argument, disagreement, verbal conflict, and the occasional playground “dust up” on a personal level, you seem to make the seemingly less personal war inevitable.
Life on earth is simply not possible without “a bit of biff”.
An aware person may not react extremely to a extreme. USA slaughtered 5 to 10 million Vietnamese for no apparent reason other than projection of power yet the Vietnamese trade with the USA today.
Who prohibits argument? Certainly not those with little power; it’s the militarily and politically powerful that crush dissent, (Tinamen Square , Occupy Wall Street). How much dissent does the military allow? Why is Assange being persecuted?
I believe even the most militant pacifist would welcome a lively debate on murder, death and genocide, as a channel for education and edification.
Weak essay. AOC hops from cause to cause. She rarely/ever says anything about US regime change wars, and the bombing of children. She’s demonstrated no anti-war bona fides.
Only Tulsi Gabbard has forthright called for an end to regime change wars, the warmongers and reduction in our military.
The power is with the powerful. We’ll not see an end to war, nor Medicare for All or much of anything regarding student debt. These are deep systemic problems calling for systemic solutions beginning with how we live on the planet(GND is a red herring), the GDP must become null and void if we are to behave as if plundering the planet is part of “progress”. It needs to be replaced to some that focuses on quality of life as the key to prosperity. The geopolitics of the world have to simply STOP IT. It’s not about coalitions between Russia and China and India to off-set the US imperialists. That’s an old game for an empty planet. The planet is full and exceeding it capacity and is on fire. Our geopolitics must end!
Not one of these candidates come close to focusing on the systemic problem(s)…except Gabbard’s focus on war because it attacks the heart of the American Imperial Empire.
I agree with you that you americans will probably not see the end of your system and the end of your problems any time soon.
BUT I disagree on that you seems to think it’s inevitable. I’m not american, I’m french, and reading you saying you think medicare for all, no student debt and end to endless wars are systemic problems linked to GDP and the current economic system is… well, amusing. We have medicare for all, in fact even better than your medicare, we have no student cost for our educating system, and still in both cases often better results than yours, even if we are behind some of our northern neighbors, but they don’t pay for these either. And we don’t wage endless wars, even if we have ourselves our own big war problems, after all we were in Lybia, we are in Syria, we are in Mali and other parts of Africa.
We also have a big militaro-industrial complex, in fact very alike the american one. But we made clear since much longer than we would not accept as much wars, in part because the lesson we got from WW2 and Cold War was to learn to live together with our hated neighbor. You know, the one the other side of the Rhine. Today France is a diplomatic superpower, often the head of the european spear onthe subject, we got feared elite military, and we are proud of that, but we would not even accept more money (in proportion) given to our military complex.
And you know the best news (for the americans)? we have an history of warmongering going back millenias. We learn to love Caesar and the “Guerre des Gaules”, his invasion of Gauls. We learn how Franks invaded their neighbors and built the first post-roman Empire. We learn how crusaders were called Franks, how we built our nation and his pride on ashes of european continental english hopes and german holy empire aspirations. We learn how Napolean nearly achieved to built a new continental Empire, how we never let them passed at Verdun, and how we rose in the face of a tyran in 1944.
All of this is still in our history books, and we’re still proud of it. But today, if most of us were to be asked what we were proud about recent wars France got into, it would be how our president vetoed USA when they tried to got UN into Irak and forced them to invade illegally, and without us.
I think my country’s revelation was Algeria’s independance war. One bloody and largely filled with war crimes and crimes against humanity. We’re ashamed of it, and I think we, as a nation, learned from it that stopping wars on our soil wasn’t enough. I still don’t understand how americans can still wage wars after Vietnam, but I am not american. Still, even the most warmongering nation can learn. Let’s hope you will be quicker than us, because we got millennias of bloody history before even the birth of USA.
Thanks Maxime for a foreign perspective! I’m often curious what people in foreign countries think of our current politics in the US,especially when I read analysis/commentaries by US writers (even ones I respect) who say “Oh most of our allies think this or that” —- maybe they’re right or maybe they’re wrong or somewhere in-between, but it’s interesting getting a DIRECT opinion from a fellow left-of-center citizen from a foreign state.
I agree with your points that European countries like France almost all have their own bloody history including an imperial period, but the two big World Wars that killed SO many people and destroyed so many cities in Europe were so tragic and wasteful that I suspect they DO continue to act as a significant deterrent to the saber-rattling that the US war mongers are able to engage-in. For too many US citizens ‘war’ is just something that’s mentioned & sometimes displayed on a screen, just like a movie/TV program/video-game, and there’s a non-reality to it because it’s so far away and seldom directly affects them. Geography has famously isolated us from the major death & destruction of war and enables too many armchair warriors to talk boldly and vote for politicians who pander to those conceits. In a not-so-subtle way, the US IS the younger offspring of Europe, where Europe has grown-up due to some hard lessons, while the US is going through its own destructive stage of ‘lesson-learning’. Hopefully this learning stage will be over soon and won’t involve a world war.
Tulsi Gabbard is, indeed,pointing at part of a major organ of imperialism, Antonio Costa, yet habeas corpus, having the whole body of imperialism produced is necessary for the considered judgement of a people long terrorized by fictitious “monsters” and “demons”, if they are to understand that shooting warfate is but one part of the heart, while the other is economic warfare. Both brutally destructive, even if the second is hidden from public awareness or dismissed as “a price worth paying”. Imperialism pays no price (except “blow-back”, which is merely “religious extremism” as explained by a fully complicit MSM).
And the “brain” behind it all?
That is corporate/military/political/deep state/media greed – and their desperate need/ambition for total, and absolute, control.
Only seeing the whole body may reveal the true size of the threat and the vicious nature of the real danger.
Some may argue that it is “too soon”, “too early”, or “too costly”, politically, for Gabbard, even if she, herself, might see imperialism as the real monster and demon, to dare describe the whole beast.
Frankly, this time, Tulsi’s candidacy, her “run” for President, is not likely to see her become the Dem nominee, most likely that will be Kamala Harris (who will happily do the bidding of brute power), rather, it is to lay the firm and solid foundation of actual difference, of rational perspective, and thoughtful, diplomatic international behavior.
To expose the whole, especially the role of the MSM, in furthering all the rest of the lumbering body of Zombie imperialism, would be far more effective in creating an substantial “opening” for alternative possibilities, even a new political party, next time.
I’m figuring that Warren and Harris will take one another out. Climbing to the top requires this. But, Gabbard doesn’t stop fighting, and if there’s a fighter out there it is her: mentally and physically she is the total package.
Sanders’ 2016 campaign was ignored, he wasn’t supposed to go anywhere, but if not for the DNC’s meddling he would be POTUS right now (I have zero doubt over that). So too was Obama’s climb from nowhere: of course, Obama was pushed up by the System, the System that is NOT behind Gabbard. And then there’s the clown at the helm (Trump). I refuse to ignore this history.
Gababard is by no means out. Let’s not speak of such things, especially when her campaign, and message, is just starting to burst out: the MSM is the last to admit the state of things unfavorable to the wealthy, but out on the Internet Gabbard is very much alive. She is the best candidate (with the best platform of visibility) for peace. She has all the pieces. One comment I read out on the internet (someone, I believe, not in the US) was that Gabbard was a gift to the Americans. Yes, I believe this to be the case: if you really look closely you’ll see exactly how this is correct. I believe that we cannot afford to treat this gift with other than the utmost appreciation. Her sincerity when she says that she was/is willing to die for her fellow soldiers (in reference to LBGT folks, though ALL apply) is total. She is totally committed to this battle: as a warrior in politics she’s proven herself with her support, the loyalty, for Sanders (at risk to her political career- and now look, she’s running for POTUS, she continues to come out on top!).
I burned my draft card, grew my hair out, and smoked pot and was anti war as heck. But the peace demonstrations (and riots) in the 60’s and 70’s did not have much effect on how the U.S. Government prosecuted the Vietnam War. It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties. We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South. Then the politicians and Generals knew, given the super power politics surrounding the war, that we had lost. We had failed to recognize that we had not intervened in a Civil War, in truth Vietnam as a whole was fighting for freedom from Imperialism and we had no friends in the South, just a corrupt puppet government. Instead of getting out, Nixon made the unforgivable choice to slowly wind the war down until he could get out without losing, Peace With Honor the ultimate triumph of ego over humanity. Americans had a chance to choose a peace candidate in 1972, instead Nixon won with a big majority.
The military has never been able to admit they were defeated on the battlefield by North Vietnam, blaming it instead on the Liberal Media and the Anti War movement. Believing that lie they continue to fight unwinnable wars in which we have no national interest at stake. The media and the people no longer fight against war, but it never really made a difference when we did.
IvyMike – Yes, I voted for George McGovern in 1972 and I would vote for him again. Sadly, no one has picked up the slack.
I too hoped for a miracle and voted for George. But then I always voted for the loser in whatever state I happened to be living in at the particular time. I think Carter was a rare winning pick by me… but only once. I got disgusted with voting and sat out the Clinton campaigns, only returning to vote against the Bush juggernaut. In retrospect, Perot should have won to make a real difference. I sided with the winner in Obama, but the loser turned out to be America getting saddled with that two-faced hypocrite. Nobel Peace Prize winner indeed! (What did he spend the money on?) When you listen to their campaign promises be aware they are telegraphing how they plan to betray you.
American people in mass need to hit reset button. A yellow vest-like movement made up of tens of millions of woke people, who understand the democrats and republicans are the left and right wing of the oligarch party, US elections have been and continue to be rigged, and the US constitution was written to protect the property (such as slaves) of oligarchs from the people, the founding oligarchs feared real democracy, evident by all the safeguards they built into our government to protect against it, that remain in tact today. We need a new 21st century constitution. Global capitalism needs to be greatly curtailed, or ended out right, replaced by ecosocialism, conservation, restoration of earth focussed society
And just think that back then there was also Mike Gravel. The CIA did their work in the 60s to kill the anti-war movement: killing all the great social leaders.
Why wars are “lost” is because hardly is there a time when there’s an actual “mission statement” on what the end of a given war will look like. Tulsi Gabbard has made it clear that she would NOT engage in any wars unless there was a clear objective, a clear outcome lined out, and, of course, it was authorized by THE PEOPLE (Congress).
All wars are about resources. We cannot, however, admit this: the ruling capitalists won’t allow that to be known/understood lest they lose their power.
Ya got all that right, especially the part about the analysts essentially declaring the war lost after Tet. I remember that offered a lot of hope on the campuses that the war would soon end (even though we lost), especially to those of us near graduation and facing loss of that precious 2S deferment. Yet the big fool marched on, getting my generation needlessly slaughtered for four or five more years.
And, yes, the 2 or 3 million dead Vietnamese did matter, to those with a conscience. Such a price to keep Vietnam out of Russia’s and China’s orbit. Meanwhile they set an independent course after kicking us out of their land and even fought a war with China. We should still be paying reparations for the levels of death and destruction we brought to a country half a world away with absolutely no means or desire to threaten the United States. All our wars of choice, starting with Korea, have been similar crimes against humanity. Turkey shoots against third world societies with no way to do us any harm. But every one of them fought ferociously to the death to defend their land and their people. Inevitably, every occupier is sent packing as their empire crumbles. Obviously, Americans have been too thick to learn this from mere history books. We will only learn from our tragic mistakes. I see a lot of lessons on the upcoming schedule.
USA did not “intervene” in a civil war. USA paid France to continue it’s imperial war and then took over when France fled defeated. USA prevented a mandated election Ho Chi Minh would win and then continued western imperial warfare against the Vietnamese ( even though Vietnamese was/is bulwark against China’s territorial expansion).
The Watson study says:
“Indeed, the DOD is the world’s largest
institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.4”
This is a gross UNDERcount of emissions.
It includes ONLY petroleum burned.
It does NOT count explosions from bombs, missiles, rockets, rifles, etc.
Perhaps someone could provide an estimate of this contribution to greenhouse gases???
US military contribution to ecocide https://climateandcapitalism.com/2015/02/08/pentagon-pollution-7-military-assault-global-climate/
Don’t worry, Elizabeth Warren has a plan to operate the military on renewables! (she can continue to make sure her constituency, which is Raytheon, is well served)
Raytheon, one of the biggest employers in Warren’s state, where it’s headquartered, “has a positive relationship with Sen. Warren, and we interact with her and her staff regularly,” Michael Doble, a spokesman for the company, said.
This awful news for the merchants of death and I’m sure they’re working overtime to stop silliness;-)sn
I do hope this isn’t killed by those that love the endless wars.
Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. Rather than support President Trump’s efforts to end the Korean War, to reduce our involvement in the Middle East and to pursue a more peaceful path with Russia, the Democratic party (with very, very few exceptions) is opposed to all these things.
The Democratic party places its hatred for Trump above its professed love of peace.
President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions.
From a peace perspective, Trump looks comparatively great (provided he doesn’t attack Iraq or invade Venezuela). But, since it’s impossible to recognize Trump for anything positive, or to support him in any way, it’s now impossible for Democrats to promote peace. Doing so might help Trump. It would, of necessity, require acknowledging Trump’s uniqueness among recent US Presidents in not starting new wars.
m – I am with you on this.
I agree. mbob makes perfect sense in his analysis.
The Democrats must be brought back to reality with a sound repudiation by the voters, otherwise they are of no use to America and will have no long-term future.
Obama escalated Afghanistan when he had a popular mandate to withdraw. He facilitated the the Syrian rebellion in conjunction with ISIS funding Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He instigated the Zalaya (primarily Hillary) and the Ukraine rebellion.
Trump supports the Yemeni genocide.
But yes citizens have been directed to hate Trump the man/symptom rather than the enduring Imperial predatory capitalistic system.
Opps sorry; so many interventions and invasions, under Obama, special forces trained Malian general overthrew the democratically elected president of Mali, result, more war,death and destruction.
You are correct in your analysis. Allegra Harpootlian is searching for the peace lobby among Democrat supporters, where it no longer resides. As a result of corporate-controlled mainstream media and their support for Democrat elites, Democrat supporters have largely been brainwashed into hatred for Donald Trump and everything he stands for. This hatred blinds them to the far more important issue of peace. Strangely, there is huge US support to remove troops from the ME, but this support resides with the overwhelming majority of Donald Trump voters. Unfortunately, these are not individuals who typically go to peace demonstrations, but they are sincere in bringing all US troops home from the ME. Donald Trump himself lobbied on this, and with the exceptions of his anti-Iranian / pro-Israel / pro-Saudi Arabia stance and withdrawal from JCPOA, he has not only backed down from military adventurism, but is the first President since Eisenhower to raise the issue of the influence of the military-industrial complex. In the face of strong opposition, he is the first President ever to enter North Korea and meet with Kim Jong Un to discuss nuclear weapons. Mainstream media continues its war-mongering rhetoric, attacking Trump for his “weakness” in not retaliating against Iran, or in meeting “secretly” with Putin. Opposition to Trump’s peace efforts are not limited to MSM, however, but are entrenched in Democrat and Republican elites, who attack any orders he gives to withdraw from the ME. It was not Trump, but Democrat and Republican elites who invited NATO’s Stoltenberg to speak to Congress in an attempt to spite Trump. In essence, you have President Trump and most of his supporters trying to withdraw from military engagements, with active opposition from Democrats like Adam Schiff, and Republican elites, actively promoting war and military spending. You also have a few Republicans, like journalist Tucker Carlson of Fox News, and Democrats, like Tulsi Gabbard, actively pushing the message of peace.
I think you got it. The author is right in the sense that there is an anti-war movement, but that movement is in many ways hidden. As bizzare as it may seen counter to CW wisdom, and in some way ironically crazy, one of the biggest segments of anti-war sentiment are Trump suppoters. After Trump’s decision not to attack Iran, I went to various right wing commentators who attacked Trump, and the reaction agaisnt these major right wing war mongers was to support Trump. And with right wing commattors who supported Trump, absolute agreement. These is of course based on my objective reading reading and totally subjective. But I believe I am right.
This made me realize there is an untapped anti-war sentiment on the right which is being totally missed. And a lack of imagiation and Trump derangment syndrome which blocks many on the anti-war Left to see it and use it for an anti-war movement. There was an article in The Intercept that looked research on the coorelation between miltary deaths and voting preference. Here is the article:
STUDY FINDS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH MILITARY CASUALTIES AND VOTES FOR TRUMP OVER CLINTON
And the thing is that Trump was in many ways the anti-war candidate. And those areas that had high military death rates voted for Trump. I understand the tribal nature of political affiliation, but it seems what I have read and this article, there may be indeed an untapped anti-war stance with Trump supporters.
And it really just challenges my own beliefs that the major obstacle to the war mongers are Trump supporters.
mbob – I couldn’t have said it better myself. Except to add that in addition to destroying Libya, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama, ably assisted by Hillary Clinton, also destroyed Honduras and the Ukraine.
Historically, the Democratic Party has been pro-war and pro-imperialism at least since Wilson. The hatred for Trump on their part seems to be based entirely on cultural issues — he is not subservient enough to their gods.
But as for antiwar demonstrations, it’s been proved in the streets that they don’t accomplish anything. There were huge demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, but it ground on until conservatives got tired of it. At least half a million people demonstrated against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and no one important cared. Evidently more fundamental issues than the war of the moment are involved and I think that is where a lot of people are turning now. The ruling class will find this a lot harder to deal with because it’s decentralized and widely distributed. Hence the panic about Trump and the seething hatred of Sanders.
Like the “withdrawal from Syria”, a typically fleeting idea?
Breaking a few treaties? Ratcheting up support of the carnage and starvation in Yemen?
The “comparatively great” side of Trump is attention deficiency disorder, so it is hard for him to start a war, something that requires some degree of organization and coordinating different branches of governments, different countries etc.
DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau.
Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing: this was my only hope when refusing to vote for HRC.
I attempted to make three points in my post. First, Democrats are now pro-war. Second, solely regarding peace, Trump looks better than all other recent Presidents because he hasn’t started any new wars. Third, the inability of Democrats (or the public as a whole) to give Trump the benefit of a doubt, or to support him in any way, is contrary to the cause of peace.
Democrats should, without reservation, support Trump’s effort to end the Korean War. They should support Trump’s desire to improve relations with Russia. They don’t do either of those things. Why? Because it might hurt them politically.
Your comment does not challenge the first two points and reinforces the third.
As for Yemen, yes, Trump is wrong. Democrats rightly oppose him on Yemen — but remarkably tepidly. Trump is wrong about a lot of things. I don’t like him. I didn’t vote for him. But I will vote for him if Democrats nominate someone worse than him, which they seem inclined to do. (Gabbard is better than Trump. Sanders probably. Maybe Warren. Of the three, only Warren receives positive press. That makes me skeptical of her.)
Trump stood up to his advisors, Bolton and Pompeo, regarding both Iran and Venezuela. Obama, on the other hand, did not. He followed the advice of his advisors, with disastrous consequences.
Trump standing up to his nominees:
>>In addition to Tuesday’s sanctions, the Treasury Department issued an advisory to maritime shipping companies, warning them off transporting oil to Syria or risking their property and money seized if kept with financial institutions that follow U.S. sanctions law.
“The United States will aggressively seek to impose sanctions against any party involved in shipping oil to Syria, or seeking to evade our sanctions on Iranian oil,” said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a release. “Shipping companies, insurers, vessel owners, managers, and operators should all be aware of the grave consequences of engaging in sanctionable conduct involving Iranian oil shipments.”<<
Today British marines sized a tanker near Gibraltar for the crime of transporting oil to Syria. And Trumpian peaceful military sized Syrian oil fields. Traditional war is increasingly augmented by piracy, which is less bloody, but trades outright carnage for deprivation of civilians. Giving "measured praise" for that makes me barf.