UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 8, 2009

LIBERAL GROUPS HAPPILY ENLIST IN OBAMA'S WAR

Justin Raimondo, Anti War - As John Stauber points out over at the Center for Media and Democracy Web site, the takeover of the antiwar movement by the Obamaites is nearly complete. He cites MoveOn.org as a prime but not sole example:

"MoveOn built its list by organizing vigils and ads for peace and by then supporting Obama for president; today it operates as a full-time cheerleader supporting Obama's policy agenda. Some of us saw this unfolding years ago. Others are probably shocked watching their peace candidate escalating a war and sounding so much like the previous administration in his rationale for doing so."

Picking up on this in The Nation, John Nichols avers that several antiwar groups are not toeing the Afghanistan-is-a-war-of-necessity line, including Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, and the American Friends Service Committee, yet there is less to this than meets the eye. Naturally, the Friends, being pacifists, are going to oppose the Afghan "surge" and the provocative incursions into Pakistan: no surprise there. Peace Action is not making a whole lot of noise about this, in spite of the issue's relative importance. They are confining their opposition to an online petition. As for UFPJ, their alleged opposition to Obama's war is couched in all kinds of contingencies and ambiguous formulations. Their most recent public pronouncement, calling for local actions against the Af-Pak offensive, praises Obama for "good statements on increasing diplomacy and economic aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan." So far, this "diplomacy" consists of unsuccessfully finagling the Europeans and Canada to increase their "contributions" to the Afghan front - and selling the American people on an escalation of the conflict.

Although energized and given a local presence nationwide by a significant pacifist and youth contingent, UFPJ is organizationally dominated by current and former members of the Communist Party, USA, and allied organizations, and you have to remember that Afghanistan is a bit of a sore spot for them. That's because the Kremlin preceded us in our folly of attempting to tame the wild warrior tribes of the Hindu Kush and was soundly defeated.

The Soviet Union did its level best in trying to accomplish what a number of liberal think-tanks with ambitious agendas are today busily concerning themselves with solving the problem of constructing a working central government, centered in Kabul, which would improve the lot of the average Afghan, liberate women from their legally and socially subordinate role, eliminate the drug trade, and provide a minimal amount of security outside the confines of Kabul - in short, the very same goals enunciated by the Bush administration and now the Obama administration. The Kremlin failed miserably in achieving its objectives, and there is little reason to believe the Americans will have better luck. . .

The pro-war progressive think-tanks's role is to forge a new pro-war consensus, one that commits us to a long-range "nation-building" strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are the Center for a New American Security, explicitly set up as home base for the "national security Democrats" who make up the party's hawkish faction; Brookings; and, last but not least, the Center for American Progress, which was an oasis of skepticism when Team Bush was "liberating" Iraq, and a major critic of the occupation. Now the leadership of CAP is making joint appearances with the neocons over at the newly christened Foreign Policy Initiative and issuing lengthy white papers outlining their Ten Year Plan for the military occupation of Afghanistan. . .

I am truly at a loss to describe, in suitably pungent terms, the contempt in which I hold the "progressive" wing of the War Party, which is now enjoying its moment in the sun. These people have no principles: it's all about power at the court of King Obama, and these court policy wonks are good for nothing but apologias for the king's wars.

2 Comments:

Anonymous robbie said...

Although energized and given a local presence nationwide by a significant pacifist and youth contingent, UFPJ is organizationally dominated by current and former members of the Communist Party, USA, and allied organizations, and you have to remember that Afghanistan is a bit of a sore spot for them. That's because the Kremlin preceded us in our folly of attempting to tame the wild warrior tribes of the Hindu Kush and was soundly defeated.

OK, no need to read any further. I agree that the anti-war movement has been taken over by a bunch of partisans who support their own warmongering, but this is ridiculous. Firstly, if UFPJ's board were full of communists, whydid they so publically split with ANSWER? Secondly, to think that these people are upset because the Soviets had their own problems in Afghanistan? OK, off the deep end.

April 8, 2009 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Some may notice that the neo-conservatives who masterminded the policy of global interventions are not complaining about the level of military and foreign spending. This is because rather than drawing down our costly interventions, Obama is largely staying the course on these issues. In fact, this week a group of leading neoconservatives met to discuss how best to support the President on foreign policy! I am disappointed and concerned that, in spite of a change in leadership, we will remain the policeman of the world, placing ourselves at grave danger in many ways. " Ron Paul http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=43.
I can certainly see why Obama's phony minions agree with Bush's phony minions and why they want nothing to do with honest guys like Ramsey Clark or Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul.

April 9, 2009 1:55 PM  

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