If the Anti-War Movement Wants More Traction, They Should Try Actually Being Anti-War for a Change

The Politico reports on frustration that anti-war types are experiencing over their marginalized role in mainstream politics. Rabbi Michael Lerner, an “anti-war” leader from Berkeley, California, says that…

“The Democrats don’t have – and even the people in the anti-war movement don’t have – a coherent alternative world view from which to base a strategy. That’s why they end up debating everything on the same terms that the Republicans do.”
If Rabbi Lerner really wants to understand the limitations of the “anti-war” worldview, he needs to reread his own quote on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelsoi from later in the same article and undertstand the contradictions…
“We’re not that concerned about what’s going on in her heart,” he said. “We’re trying to end the war, and in that, she does not seem to be very much with us, [she] is not willing to take any serious political risk.”
The belief that the war in Iraq will “end” — that’s Rabbi Lerner’s term — immediately upon an American withdrawal from Iraq shows that the “anti-war” movement does have a coherent worldview, albeit a discredited one. To believe that an American withdrawal is all that’s needed to “end” the war in Iraq requires believing either…
  • …that it is purely the presence of America in Iraq that is driving otherwise normal people to go kill one another, or
  • …that Iraqi citizens getting slaughtered by foreign or foreign-backed fighters in any numbers doesn’t count as war, if American troops are not there, because war is an evil that can only be associated with America, and that in places in the developing world where America is not present, large scale violence just doesn’t matter.
Fortunately, the great majority of the American people have rejected both these bases of contemporary anti-war ideology, and that is the reason the movement has failed to gain any traction.

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rll
rll
13 years ago

Perhaps you intended to be obtuse,
but this Republican
interprets the phrase “end the war”
as shorthand for “end America’s participation in the war” — which is, whether you like it or not, what most Americans now desire. They want to exit the war, to withdraw from it. Will others continue to fight? Perhaps. But no longer aided and abetted by America’s military. After which, other solutions, beyond war’s chaos, may be essayed. And there are a number of those.
Do you now understand? Or at least no longer pretend not to?

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

Anti-war to me means minding your own business,stop being the world’s bully and avoiding foreign entanglements (see Washington’s farewell address). Those are all conservative and Republican traditions, until the advent of the neo-cons and their stooges, who to me are nothing but left-wing globalists on steroids.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

Anti-war to me means minding your own business,stop being the world’s bully and avoiding foreign entanglements (see Washington’s farewell address). Those are all conservative and Republican traditions, until the advent of the neo-cons and their stooges, who to me are nothing but left-wing globalists on steroids.

smmtheory
smmtheory
13 years ago

Rll,
What are your qualifications for pretending to know what most Americans desire? The only solutions to be assayed following your suggested course of action are which town will eventually get the most government aid for cleaning up after terrorist attacks. But hey, maybe that’s what you’re hoping for.
Mike,
I’ll tell you what… you start a list of all the nations that the U.S. has bullied in the last 7 years, and I’ll start a list of all the nations that the U.S. hasn’t bullied, and we’ll see which list is longer.

donroach
13 years ago

The problem is, many in the anti-war movement forget that Saddam Hussein was just executed due to the atrocities he committed against his own people.
Remove the troops from Iraq and you’ll need a strong force in Iraq to keep a quasi-peace. If that’s what the ‘anti-war’ folks want, that’s not what I want. A stable Iraq is good for Mid-east politics and to a lesser extent global politics.
An unstable Iraq is bad for everyone involved. But, as much as an incoherent strategy for stability the anti-war types have, this administration seems to possess very little acumen in producing long term results in stabilizing the country. I truly believe we need a new administration with a new approach to achieve what’s needed in Iraq.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

We should withdraw from the ONE HUNDRED FOURTY countries we now have troops in to further the globalist agenda and keep the at work sealing up the Mexican border. That’s conservatism and traditionalism.

smmtheory
smmtheory
13 years ago

No Mike, that’s navel-gazing. Fortress USA is only a pipe-dream, and a bad one at that.

PDM
PDM
13 years ago

Read War is a Racket by General Smedley Butler.

smmtheory
smmtheory
13 years ago

I’ve got no time to read it… why not provide a synopsis?

Andrew
13 years ago

rll,
I’m not being obtuse. I’m just pointing out that Rabbi Lerner and his ilk are attempting to infuse their position with a moral authority it does not have, mainly because there are very who few would buy into their position otherwise.
If you want a more accurate “shorthand” for what Rabbi Lerner really means, it’s “We’re trying to ignore the war”.
Mike,
It is not conservative — and it is certainly not libertarian — to say that foreign governments seeking to amass power should be ignored. Libertarians are supposed to distrust all government power, not just American government power.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

It is not conservative — and it is certainly not libertarian — to say that foreign governments seeking to amass power should be ignored.
Posted by Andrew at September 11, 2007 11:44 PM
XXX
Oh yes it is. Read Washington’s farewell address or the founder’s recoiling from “standing armies”. Or our inaction in the face of genocidal regimes from France’s Terror to Haiti’s extermination of whites through the “Progressive” horrors of Post WWI Communism.
When you are a playground bully the whole school will conspire to “get you”. When you are the world’s bully the whole world will. Make no mistake, despite the rationalizations and apologias, right now America is nothing if not the world’s bully.

smmtheory
smmtheory
13 years ago

Andrew,
I think at this point it has become apparent that Mike believes our military controls the governments of all the nations that host our troops, forcing them at gun-point to do not whatever is in their own national interest, but to do solely whatever is in the national interest of the USA. Furthermore, he appears to believe that our defense treaties and agreements with those host nations are secret code for the homage or tribute that they must pay toward our imperial ambitions. Therefore in his view, we are the bad guys until we withdraw from the world stage, ignore all that goes on in the world until everything goes to hell-in-a-hand-basket and the barbarians are knocking at the gate.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

Therefore in his view, we are the bad guys until we withdraw from the world stage, ignore all that goes on in the world until everything goes to hell-in-a-hand-basket and the barbarians are knocking at the gate.
Posted by smmtheory at September 12, 2007 10:07 PM
XXXX
Look around the Providence area. The “barbarians” have already passed the gates-many of them on the watch of “Open Borders” Bush.
Ron Paul
Restore Freedom
Dismantle The Empire

smmtheory
smmtheory
13 years ago

The last time I was in Providence about a year ago, I didn’t spot anybody wearing explosive laden suicide vests. I’m surprised there’s not more about it in the news if as you say they are already in Providence. I’ve not heard a peep about a store full of Starbuck’s patrons being blown up. Care to explain the dearth of ‘if it blows up, it shows up’ news?

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