Missing In Action: The anti-war movement

Todd Gitlin at Salon:

Where have all the war protesters gone?

The outrage that greeted the run-up to the Bush-Blair Iraq war debacle generated what must have been the largest antiwar rallies and demonstrations in the history of the world. Sometimes in subzero temperatures, millions of marchers in New York, London and elsewhere took to the streets to interrupt the roar of self-righteous crypto-imperial bravado, to barge through George Bush’s strutters’ ball and its fevers of fantastical, deceptive and self-deceptive claims about Saddam Hussein’s danger to the United States and Washington’s promise to parachute democracy into Saddam’s stricken land. In the well-chosen words of one London sign, the marchers were “Shocked, Not Awed.”

Then the marches stopped.

They stopped partly because the antiwar leadership was barely cobbled together, with some conspicuous quarters reluctant to speak harshly of the multi-murderous Saddam Hussein. The movement’s drawing power was limited from the start, and then, once the war was on in earnest, it felt — realistically — that it had run smack against the brick wall of George Bush’s manic pigheadedness. Demonstrators are unlikely to invest their energies in what look from the start like very lost causes. And the demonstrations also tailed off because the mainstream media didn’t pay attention — refused to pay attention. The story line they were promoting was: America kicks ass, new era begins!

Do not neglect the new wars’ insulation from the American population, either. A volunteer army, disproportionately staffed from rural areas, is an army insulated from the more vocal, influential sectors of the country. By the same token, drone wars in Yemen and Somalia take place behind thick curtains, with some effectiveness against hated jihadis, and the offstage moans are muffled. For the vast American majority, ordinary life goes on — business as usual. For that matter, too, it’s troubled business, with many people beleaguered by what feel like the more urgent cares of joblessness and eviction. Paradoxically, perhaps, a more prosperous country is better available to resist its own wars.

We don’t need protesters because we elected the “anti-war” candidate so the wars are all over now. They even gave him a Nobel Peace Prize.

Besides, all the former protesters are busy looking for work.


The secret war in Somalia

Writing in the Nation this week, Jeremy Scahill revealed that the CIA is running “a counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives” at Mogadishu’s airport and also using a secret prison in the beleaguered Horn of Africa nation.

The revelations come just two weeks after media reports — sourced to unnamed American officials — of a U.S. drone attack in Somalia on members of the Islamic militant group Shabaab, which was designated a terrorist organization by the State Department in 2008.

The Washington Post noted that Somalia is now the sixth country — joining Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen — where the Obama administration has launched drone attacks.

I’m pretty sure the Somalis know about the war there, so who is it being kept secret from?

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53 Responses to Missing In Action: The anti-war movement

  1. By far the most disturbing consequence of the Obama selection, was the effective silencing of any opposition to the war machine.

    One has to question… to what degree was he selected for just this purpose? And with whose collusion??

    • He probably had experience in decoying and neutering opposition, as a ‘community organizer’ under Mayor Daley.

    • Pips says:

      …effective silencing of any opposition to the war machine…

      … except they are still buzy – or is that: They are at it again? – blaming Hillary Clinton for the war in Iraq. Because you know, “she voted for it.” 🙄

  2. 1539days says:


    You may want to consider open threads 😛

  3. ralphb says:

    I think the anti-war movement is trying to get on QVC with old Hanoi Jane.leading the way.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    I’m still on this mailing list:


    They fit an anti-war protest in now and then.

  5. ralphb says:

    John Kasich and Ohio’s credit rating

    Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services upgraded Ohio’s debt rating just one day after it put the United States on “creditwatch negative” on what it calls a rising risk of policy stalemate in the debt limit negotiations.

    For Ohio, the rating was revised from “negative” to “stable” after Gov. John Kasich signed a new budget the ratings agency says will essentially balance the state’s finances for the next two years. S&P also said Ohio is experiencing a modest economic recovery which has stabilized revenue.

    But wait, isn’t he was one of those “thieving” Republican governors 🙂

    • 1539days says:

      You see, a Democratic governor who balances the budget is fiscally responsible. A Republican governor who balances the budget is giving away to the rich on the backs of the poor.

      That’s why when Bush spends deficit money on the military, it’s out of control and irresponsible, but when Dick spends three times as much deficit money on his campaign donors AND the military, it’s Keynesian.

    • Wow. That’s my home state.

      Who knew?

    • JeanLouise says:

      Yes, Kasich’s a thief. The rich get richer and the budget gets ‘balanced’ on the backs of the poor, the disabled, children, seniors, the working class and the middle class. He cut services. He didn’t raise ANY taxes.

      Kasich made his millions shilling for Lehman Brothers and he doesn’t give a damn about anyone except himself and his rich buddies. The people of Ohio are retuning the favor. He has the second lowest approval rating of any governor in the country.

      Btw, Kasich has signalled his intention to sign radical anti-choice legislation that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend in court. Even the state Right to Life Organization thinks it goes too far. If he were a true steward of the state’s finances, he’d veto off-the-wall legislation. He won’t because he’s in thrall to the wingnut religious right, too.

  6. djmm says:

    We can’t be in a war because we have a (supposed) Democratic President who won the Nobel Peace Prize. We are not even engaged in “hostilities” in Libya — we are pelting the other side with love beads and flowers, because we love them so very much.

    You are on fire today, myiq. Great posts.


  7. Dario says:

    Jeez! It appears a few people here have not kept up with the news.

    The antiwar people elected an antiwar president who had the judgment to give a speech against the war in Iraq, and his love for peace was sealed into history when he became a Nobel Peace laureate. With that success, on the day the peace president received his award in Sweden, the antiwar people went home and threw away all paraphernalia accumulated through the years since the days of Nixon. They knew that their fight against wars was over.

    And the lions sleep with the sheep.

  8. glennmcgahee says:

    Don’t forget that these wars create JOBS
    making bullets
    gay flags

  9. Corrected (aka: Passerby) says:

    First of all Obama never ran stating he was an Anti-War Candidate .. He ran on ending the Iraq War & Escalating the War in Afghanistan.

    Many folks like to mockingly ask “Where have the Anti-War Protesters gone”?

    The anti-war protesters are out there & they still protest but not as big as they did under Bush. Though Obama has continued many of Bush foreign Policies when it comes to wars, he unlike Bush doesn’t focus his entire presidency on them. Obama more focuses on Domestic Issues and barely talks about about the wars while Bush focused the majority of his presidency on Foreign Policy (wars) and barely talked about Domestic Issues.

    Bush focusing primarily on Foreign Policy (waging wars) brought on the most vocal dissenters – “The Anti-War Protesters”

    Obama focusing primarily on Domestic Policy (HC Reform, Stimulus etc) brought on the most vocal dissenters – “The Tea-Party”

    So, If Obama changes course & primarily focuses on Foreign Policy (waging wars) instead of Domestic Policy “The Anti-War Protesters” will rise again.

    • myiq2xu says:

      How much is Axelrod paying trolls this year?

      • Corrected (aka: Passerby) says:

        I’m not working for Axelrod .. LOL .. I’m a person who just loves having civil debates/discussions

        p.s … Are you gonna ban me from commenting again?

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        Now, myiq, you’re getting sloppy in your old age. You know darn good and well Axelrod doesn’t pay ’em anymore. Cass Sunstein does.

  10. timothy2010 says:

    Way off topic
    But I left a response on a previous link about the deaf woman accused of stabbing her husband.
    Domestic abuse is still rampant in our society and the few places where women can go to get a respite are grossly under funded. Shelters for women with children are not many and are for the most part run through charities. They don’t get government money as they are essentially offering sanctuary. Never hear about them crying for money because they cannot. However, you can pick up your phone book look up women’s shelter’s and ask where you can make a donation. Gather up old clothes stop at the dollar store and drop 20 on ladies razors/shampoo etc . Flip flops are always needed as shared showers and when a woman packs a hefty bag to rescue herself and her kids athlete’s feet is not a priority.

    • votermom says:

      That is a great reminder. Thanks.

      • timothy2010 says:

        Also if you don’t want to go through the work of going to a dollar store and buying the stuff you can contact the charity which is maintaining the women’s crisis center and get an address for deliveries and then go to Dollar Tree.com and buy a case of razors/deordarant/flip flops/soap/’toothbrushes/lady products and have it delivered. I try to do it a couple of times a year.
        There’s a lot of stuff out there for guys who fall through the cracks but not so much for women and it gets scary if you think about a woman being so brave as to go to a shelter when she has been beaten and neglected. There is a better way and have tremendous respect for the mothers/women who show up to strangers with zip and say help me.

    • JeanLouise says:

      New underwear and new or lightly used bras are welcom, too.

  11. JeanLouise says:

    The small band of anti-war protesters in my city who stood on the same busy corner every Saturday since the invasion of Iraq disappeared when Obama was elected. I can only guess that they’ve been too embarassed to return.

  12. vivien2u says:

    I was wondering where code pink had gone to. They’re hanging out with Bill Ayres and his flotilla. I’m sure that doesn’t have anything to do with peace.

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