FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Netroots and the Iraq War

by JOHN STAUBER

The Center for Media and Democracy is sponsoring a "Breakfast with the Troops" in Chicago on Sunday, August 5, 9 a.m. at the Yearly Kos extravaganza in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Join Sheldon Rampton and me for coffee, pastries and a moderated discussion of how online activists can better support our troops in their own resistance to the war in Iraq. We’ll be discussing the war with Garett Reppenhagen, Aaron Hughes and other soldiers who are the backbone of Iraq Veterans Against the War, IVAW.

I’ve never attended a Yearly Kos. I’m looking forward to this annual gathering of the Netroots crowd, the online movement that has become a powerful force in Democratic Party politics and fundraising, liberal and left activism, and the news media. The Netroots emerged in 2003 from a convergence of on-line opposition to the Iraq war and the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, the current Democratic Party chairman.

August 5th’s "Breakfast with the Troops" is an opportunity for Yearly Kos attendees to converse with a constituency crucial to stopping the war, anti-war soldiers themselves. Coincidentally the 40th anniversary conference of Vietnam Veterans Against the War is also being held in Chicago the same weekend as Yearly Kos, and Iraq Vets Against the War will be attending. Appreciation continues to grow for the work and leadership of pro-peace Vietnam soldiers in stopping that war. The 2006 documentary Sir, No Sir! illuminates the activism of thousands of soldiers who demonstrated in the streets, organized war crimes tribunals, and often went to the brig for peace.

The "A-list" bloggers and political consultants Jerome Armstrong, who coined the term Netroots, and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, after whose Daily Kos website the conference is named, wrote a 2006 book titled Crashing the Gates: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics. In it, they noted the unique importance of the Iraq war as an issue among liberal bloggers:

The Netroots activist, much like the new generation of grassroots activist, is fiercely partisan, fiercely multi-issue, and focused on building a broader movement. It’s not an ideological movement – there is actually very little, issue-wise, that unites most modern party activists except, perhaps, opposition to the Iraq War, (although opposition to the war seems to be uniting the entire country as of late).

With the Democratic Party’s Congressional victories in November 2006, the gates have been officially trampled. Many of the blogger barbarians are now comfortably ensconced in the castle, a power within the mainstream Democratic Party establishment. Nevertheless, the US debacle in Iraq drags on unabated. The Democratic Congress has funded the war with no strings attached, and Hillary Clinton who is seen by many as the Democratic presidential candidate for 2008 has told the New York Times that "when" she is president she will keep US forces in Iraq but run a better managed, smarter war. How different is her position from the current Bush policy in Iraq enunciated in the Joint Campaign Plan that calls for US forces to impose "sustainable security" on all of Iraq over the next two years?

What’s up with the Netroots and the war? Is stopping the war still an over-arching issue that unites liberal bloggers? Or will the online partisans be taking their lead now from presidential candidates and Party strategists? What can bloggers do to hasten the end of the war and support our troops’ own resistance?

Join us for a discussion of these issues at our "Breakfast with the Troops," Sunday, August 5, 9am, in Chicago at the Yearly Kos.

JOHN STAUBER is Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison, Wisconsin and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deception and The Best War Ever. He can be reached at: john@prwatch.org

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Binoy Kampmark
Totalitarian Thinking, Feminism and the Clintons
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
David Busch
Bernie’s Blinding Light
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
stclair
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Winslow Myers
Looking for America
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Tony Christini
Death by Taxes (A Satire of Trump and Clinton)
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
February 11, 2016
Bruce Lesnick
Flint: A Tale of Two Cities
Ajamu Baraka
Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance
Shamus Cooke
Can the Establishment Fix Its Bernie Sanders Problem?
John Hazard
The Pope in Mexico: More Harm Than Good?
Joyce Nelson
Trudeau & the Saudi Arms Deal
Zarefah Baroud
The Ever-Dangerous Mantra “Drill, Baby Drill”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail