FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Deadly Illusions, Rest in Peace

This week’s cave-in on Capitol Hill — supplying a huge new jolt of funds for the horrific war effort in Iraq — is surprising only to those who haven’t grasped our current circumstances.

Public opinion polls aren’t the same as political leverage. The Vietnam War went on for years after polling showed that most Americans opposed the war and even saw it as immoral.

Slick phrases about the need to bring our troops home can easily become little more than platitudes on wallpaper in media echo chambers.

No matter how many Democrats are in Congress, they won’t end this war unless an antiwar movement develops enough grassroots strength to compel them to do so.

Unfortunately — and unnecessarily — for years now the Internet powerhouse MoveOn.org has often functioned as a virtual appendage of the national Democratic Party. That close relationship has largely squandered MoveOn’s opportunities to help build strong deep independent activism for the long haul. And, on crucial issues of the Iraq war, MoveOn has failed to back the positions of such gutsy progressive visionaries as Reps. Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters.

A statement issued Thursday by the national Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) pointed out that “the approach of the Democratic leadership has utterly failed — as they now prepare to give President Bush $95 billion more war funding through a bill that no longer has any timelines for troop withdrawal.”

Asking a key question — “How can you oppose a troop escalation while funding it in full?” — PDA reiterated its longstanding position that Democrats in Congress should be “using the power of the purse to cut off funds to Iraq, except those needed to safely withdraw our troops (and for humanitarian/reconstruction aid to the Iraqi people).” And legislators should be “using their investigative power to probe White House deceptions and distortions that propelled the Iraq invasion and occupation, and to impeach if necessary.”

Memorial Day 2007 comes at a disastrous time. Political power brokers and media elites insist on opting for a mix-merge of tragedy and farce. A key reality is that we won’t be able to change the militaristic direction of the country without effectively confronting the congressional Democrats who are fueling the engines of destruction.

When considering what to demand now, it’s helpful to put the current moment in historical perspective. The same basic arguments for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq have long been presented by reigning politicians and key media outlets as self-evident wisdom.

A cover story in Time magazine laid down the prevailing line: “Foreign policy luminaries from both parties say a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would cripple American credibility, doom reform in the Arab world and turn Iraq into a playground for terrorists and the armies of neighboring states like Iran and Syria.” That was in April– 2004.

NORMAN SOLOMON is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

The new documentary film “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death,” based on NORMAN SOLOMON’s book of the same title, will be released directly to DVD in June. For information about the full-length movie, narrated by Sean Penn, go to: www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org

 

 

More articles by:

Norman Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where he coordinates ExposeFacts. Solomon is a co-founder of RootsAction.org.

Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail