FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Democrats Flee Peace Protests

by JOSHUA FRANK

I have been thinking for a while now that the Democrats really should sit down and consider changing their mascot from a donkey to a marmot. A rodent really is more emblematic or their provincial habits than a donkey could ever be. Think about it. Just this past weekend antiwar rallies were held across the country and the Democratic leadership was nowhere in sight. They had high-tailed it out there. They hid in their holes and were afraid to be seen.

In all fairness, a few elected Democrats did show face, mainly two: Reps. John Conyers and Cynthia McKinney. But I wouldn’t constitute either as party leaders. The better-known Democrats, like Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, two likely candidates for 2008, were nowhere to be seen. Even more striking were the absences of DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Russell Feingold and Ted Kennedy — all occasional critics of the Iraq war.

Of course the Democrat’s collective criticism only goes so far. They certainly don’t want to be photographed with any militant protestors. By God, that would taint their reputations! They’ve got campaign contributions to worry about here. No, the Democrats aren’t about to take to the streets. They’d rather sit back and project the illusion that they care.

On her way out to Washington, the anti-war movement’s leading lady Cindy Sheehan offered a tepid excuse for Senator Clinton’s refusal to attend the protest, “She knows that the war is a lie, but she is waiting for the right time to say it. You say it and you risk losing your job.”

Well, sorry, but I think the time to speak out against the war is right now and if it means Clinton could lose her job (even though that’s highly unlikely, given that almost half of all Americans, according to a recent Pew research poll, think we should end the occupation and come home), so-be-it.

This isn’t to say that the Democratic grassroots don’t oppose the war. The majority does–but then so do nearly half of all Republicans. So this begs the question: why are anti-war activists so loyal to a Democratic Party that supported Bush’s war and still refuses to oppose it?

Much of the Democrat’s cognitive dissonance has to do with the success of Howard Dean at the DNC. He’s been able to corral anti-war Democrats into the fold, making sure they don’t flee en masse over the war issue even though they should. Many still see Dean as a sign of future hope, where party leadership stays in touch with the grassroots. Plus, Dean’s early criticisms of the Iraq war earned him significant street-cred with party advocates.

It was un-deserved. Dean, like the rest of the Democratic leadership, is pro-war and pro-occupation, and it couldn’t be more damaging for the peace movement to continue putting faith into this futile party. If Democratic activists really want to make some change — the best thing they could do would be to get up and leave their party. Only then will Democratic leaders start to think twice about the monstrous policies they endorse.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, published by Common Courage Press. You can pre-order a copy at discounted rate at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at: Joshua@BrickBurner.org.

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail