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 joshua@counterpunch.org. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail