Need to laugh at the pathetic? Check out Paul Richter's "Antiwar groups fear Barack Obama may create hawkish Cabinet" in this morning's Los Angeles Times. Laugh at the pathetic and stupid.
I like Iraq Veterans Against the War but an IVAW contingent already embarrassed themselves publicly in Denver. They staged a protest at the Democratic Party convention. They were getting press attention inside the convention because -- as the press gas bagged -- wasn't Barack the alleged 'anti-war' candidate and here was IVAW protesting him. Phones were buzzing, it was going to be the big story. And Team Obama was being asked to comment. So Team Obama sent Tall Tales from Texas out to the protest to make a lot of meaningless remarks that sounded like promises but were nothing more than standard 'rap session' b.s. ("I know where you're coming from," said Barnes.) They bought into that crap hook, line and sinker. And gave interviews where they were excited about Barack (the War Hawk!) and he was going to do this or that and maybe they'd be onstage tonight during his big speech and . . . . It was all so thrilling people might pee their pants!
Reality check, they were punked and everyone knew it right away (including the press -- not always notorious for grasping reality immediately) except IVAW.
They stopped their protest and there was no story (certainly nothing that would embarrass Barack). Barack turned them into props for the 2008 election.
IVAW is an actual group against the illegal war. (If they were also as strongly against the Afghanistan War then they never would have been punked by Barack because his position on Afghanistan cannot be justified.) Win Without War is not an anti-war group. It is not a peace group. It's a p.r. group for electing Democrats. Tom Hayden has called them out before (usually gingerly but not always). So we're not even interested in their garbage. "Sam Husseini of the liberal group Institute for Public Accuracy" is quoted and I've nothing to say of Sam but IPA is not a group against the war. It's Obama delegate to the Democratic Party Convention Norman Solomon's group and he's made very clear that ending the illegal war takes the back seat to electing Democrats. IPA does not and has not organized marches or do anything. It's a think-tank/p.r. group. We'll note this section:
Kevin Martin, executive director of the group Peace Action, said that although Obama had campaigned as an agent of change, the president-elect is "a fairly centrist guy" who appears to be choosing from the Democratic foreign policy establishment -- "and nobody from outside it."
"So, in the short term, we're going to be disappointed," he said. "They may turn out to be all pro-war, or at least people who were pro-war in the beginning."
Martin said that his group was concerned about Gates and Clinton as well as Rahm Emanuel, Obama's choice for White House chief of staff. He also said his group was trying to mobilize its grass-roots supporters with e-mail alerts, but recognized that it must approach the subject delicately because of public euphoria over Obama's historic victory.
Oh listen to the big babies, all of them in the article. Whine, whine, whine. Can someone change their diapers? How very cute that they all are so willing to be used to bash the woman -- the only woman thus far -- who might be in the cabinet. Hillary Clinton was the incoming senator from New York. If their words -- any of their words -- meant a damn thing, they might be calling out Tom Daschle who repeatedly failed in his job. He was Senate Majority Leader when the 2002 vote took place and he supported the authorization and he forced and cajoled others into going along with it via threats and intimidation. He was also Senate Majority Leader when the Patriot Act passed and he is the feeble minded, feckless ____ who refused to force a real investigation into 9-11. The Jersey Girls would have to do that and though he did finally help them somewhat with that, he did so as Minority Leader because he waited so damn long he was no longer the Majority Leader (2002 mid-term elections that November meant he lost his Majority Leader status).
These so-called 'anti-war' groups (many of which aren't) better start asking themselves why they repeatedly are used to go after one woman (they were used the same way during the Democratic Party primary)? In the real world, Hillary Clinton was not Senate Majority Leader during the 2002 authorization vote. In the real world, she was responsible for her vote only and couldn't strong arm others into voting for the authorization. Democratic leadership in the Senate in 2002 cannot make the same claim and that certainly includes Tom Daschle but somehow he's a non-issue. It's a non-issue how he ensured the airline industry his wife once oversaw and then lobbied for got a huge bailout (and was not held accountable for grave breaches in policy, procedure and security) as a 'reward' for 9-11. See Mike, Cedric and Wally last night. Tom Daschle is a War Hawk. But by all means, 'peace' activists, play another round of Bash The Bitch. It doesn't accomplish anything (but then, neither do you) but doesn't it make you feel so gosh darn important and welcomed in a society that regularly tears apart women while letting men slide?
Proof's in their silence over Daschle. As for having to "approach the subject delicately because of public euphoria over Obama's historic victory," that's due to your own cowardice and situational ethics that prevented you from calling a War Hawk a War Hawk. And it's still evident by Kelly Dougherty (whom I like) stating for the article, "Obama ran his campaign around the idea the war was not legitimate, but it sends a very different message when you bring in people who supported the war from the beginning." When did he do that, Kelly? When promising more war in Afghanistan? It takes a lot of blindness and denial for someone heading an organization calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to make such a statement about Barack. Alleged 'anti-war' activist better get over their fears of how to "approach the subject delicately because of public euphoria over Obama's historic victory" because Iraqis are dying every day in the never-ending illegal war and your own little soft-cushy-comfort level really doesn't matter. Either you call out War Hawks, or you don't. And either you call them out equally, or you don't.
We've seen the alleged 'peace' movement is perfectly willing to play Bash The Bitch and "Kill Mommy" as they go after Hillary time and time again. They just lack the fortitude to go after anyone else apparently -- and apparently going after men is really scary to 'activists.' Some movement. The man in control of the Senate when the 2002 authorization vote took place, the man who strong-armed borderline senators into going along, is being brought into Barack's cabinet and all the 'peace' activists can do is whine yet again about Hillary. They really do love beating up on women and they're all too damn scared to take on the real criminals or power and that would now be Barack Obama. Keep hiding in the shadows, kiddies. You'll note that actual anti-war groups like World Can't Wait and A.N.S.W.E.R. aren't included in the article. Apparently if you can't be controlled by Jodie's dimes and purse strings, you're not in the movement in the eyes of the Los Angeles Times? Both groups can and have called out Barack. It's not that difficult, it just takes a minimal amount of maturity.
Brandy notes Chris Hedges' "America's Wars of Self-Destruction" (Information Clearing House):
Obama and those around him embrace the folly of the "war on terror." They may want to shift the emphasis of this war to Afghanistan rather than Iraq, but this is a difference in strategy, not policy. By clinging to Iraq and expanding the war in Afghanistan, the poison will continue in deadly doses. These wars of occupation are doomed to failure. We cannot afford them. The rash of home foreclosures, the mounting job losses, the collapse of banks and the financial services industry, the poverty that is ripping apart the working class, our crumbling infrastructure and the killing of hapless Afghans in wedding parties and Iraqis by our iron fragmentation bombs are neatly interwoven. These events form a perfect circle. The costly forms of death we dispense on one side of the globe are hollowing us out from the inside at home.
The "war on terror" is an absurd war against a tactic. It posits the idea of perpetual, or what is now called "generational," war. It has no discernable end. There is no way to define victory. It is, in metaphysical terms, a war against evil, and evil, as any good seminarian can tell you, will always be with us. The most destructive evils, however, are not those that are externalized. The most destructive are those that are internal. These hidden evils, often defined as virtues, are unleashed by our hubris, self-delusion and ignorance. Evil masquerading as good is evil in its deadliest form.
The decline of American empire began long before the current economic meltdown or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It began before the first Gulf War or Ronald Reagan. It began when we shifted, in the words of the historian Charles Maier, from an "empire of production" to an "empire of consumption." By the end of the Vietnam War, when the costs of the war ate away at Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and domestic oil production began its steady, inexorable decline, we saw our country transformed from one that primarily produced to one that primarily consumed. We started borrowing to maintain a lifestyle we could no longer afford. We began to use force, especially in the Middle East, to feed our insatiable demand for cheap oil. The years after World War II, when the United States accounted for one-third of world exports and half of the world’s manufacturing, gave way to huge trade imbalances, outsourced jobs, rusting hulks of abandoned factories, stagnant wages and personal and public debts that most of us cannot repay.
The bill is now due. America's most dangerous enemies are not Islamic radicals, but those who promote the perverted ideology of national security that, as Andrew Bacevich writes, is "our surrogate religion." If we continue to believe that we can expand our wars and go deeper into debt to maintain an unsustainable level of consumption, we will dynamite the foundations of our society.
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