Friday, May 25, 2007

Damage Control

There's a sucker born every minute.

Over at GNN, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber have co-authored a post titled 'Democratic Spin Won't End the War in Iraq'. No, it certainly won't, and the meltdown and continual attempts to control the damage done by Democratic sellouts who voted to fund the emergency war spending bill on Thursday is going to take much more than continual pep talks from the front pagers at places like Daily Kos and MyDD, where they really do believe they can spin gold from straw or victory from more dead bodies.

As Rampton and Stauber point out:

The bottom line, however, is that MoveOn until now has always been a big “D” Democratic Party organization. It began as an online campaign to oppose the impeachment of President Clinton, and its tactical alliances with Democratic politicians have made it part of the party’s current power base, which melds together millionaire funders such as George Soros and the Democracy Alliance, liberal unions like SEIU, and the ballyhooed Netroots bloggers like Matt Stoller, Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga of the Daily Kos. At a personal level, we presume the members of this coalition genuinely want the war to end, but their true and primary priority is winning Democratic Party control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Now that the war in Iraq hangs like a rotting albatross around the neck of the Bush administration, it has become the Democrats’ best weapon to successfully campaign against Republicans. From a “shrewdly pragmatic” point of view, therefore, they have no reason to want the war to end soon.

That is echoed by the "just wait until September - we'll nail Bush then" meme that bloggers like kos are now pushing. And, to add insult to injury, he and Bowers have the audacity to continue to shill for donations to the Democratic party in the midst of a major meltdown in which several Dem party members have expressed that they've had enough and are finally ditching the party (despite the fact that poor kos finds that embarassing. It hurts his feelings, you see.)

If progressive grassroots activists are too demoralized to make small donations, the party becomes more reliant on large donors.

Thousands of Dem party supporters actually believed the party mouthpieces when they promised that a Dem majority would bring an end to the Iraq occupation so they opened their wallets, even if some couldn't afford to. Which "donors" do you think the party leadership listened to?

And, as if that wasn't insulting enough to the party's anti-Iraq war base (only a very small minority is actually anti-all war. See: war, Afghanistan - which no one has made a peep about there and which also received funding via that bill), kos (who along with his other front pagers have written an amazing flurry of posts the past couple of days to try to force his readers/members to still support the party) is dredging up 3 days old news about Lieberman threatening to leave the party (because, you know, if it weren't for Lieberman, somehow the Dems could have automagically ended the war yesterday) while making excuses for Jim Webb's 'yes' vote because Webb was one of kos's chosen people to win.

Webb, like most of his colleagues, bought into the b.s. right-wing frame that voting against this supplemental was voting against our troops.

He's talking about Jim Webb - Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan - as if he's some sort of political simpleton who was just fooled by right-wing talking points.

Does it get any clearer than that that kos et al are in absolute desparation mode? No wonder he titled his post 'Moving Forward'. He can't put this behind him soon enough.

This vote was a bloody trainwreck of massive proportions - but - it was no accident, that's for sure. The Democratic party is not an antiwar party. It's not even an anti-Iraq war party. It's amazing that so many people are only now awakening to that reality and those who have allowed themselves to be fooled should have paid more attention to history.

From that GNN article:

There is an organized anti-war movement in America that is not an adjunct of the Democratic Party. Up until now, it has been weak and divided and unable to organize itself into an effective national movement in its own right. In its place, therefore, MoveOn and its Netroots allies have become identified as the leadership of the anti-war movement. It is vitally important, however, that a genuinely independent anti-war movement organize itself with the ability to speak on its own behalf.

In the 1950s and the 1960s, the civil rights movement was most definitely not an adjunct of the Democratic or Republican Parties. Far from it, it was a grassroots movement that eventually forced both parties to respond to its agenda. Likewise, the movement against the Vietnam War was not aligned with either the Democratic or Republican parties, both of which claimed to have plans for peace while actually pursuing policies that expanded the war.

That’s the sort of movement we need again, if we wish to see peace in our lifetime.

That is exactly what Scott Ritter wrote about in 2006:

It's high time to recognize that we as a nation are engaged in a life-or-death struggle of competing ideologies with those who promote war as an American value and virtue.
Despite all of the well-meaning and patriotic work of the millions of activists and citizens who comprise the anti-war movement, America still remains very much a nation not only engaged in waging and planning wars of aggression, but has also become a nation which increasingly identifies itself through its military and the wars it fights. This is a sad manifestation of the fact that the American people seem to be addicted to war and violence, rather than the ideals of human rights, individual liberty, and freedom and justice for all that should define our nation.

In short, the anti-war movement has come face to face with the reality that in the ongoing war of ideologies that is being waged in America today, their cause is not just losing, but is in fact on the verge of complete collapse.

And those competing ideologies cannot be described as simply being Republican v Democrat - as more people on the so-called left have now realized as a result of Thursday's vote. Take the case of the much-heralded Jack Murtha, who voted in favour of yesterday's bill - again to some Democrats' surprise. Ritter had him pegged:

Americans aren't against the war in Iraq because it is wrong; they are against it because we are losing.

Take the example of Congressman Jack Murtha. A vocal supporter of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, last fall Mr. Murtha went public with his dramatic change of position, suddenly rejecting the war as un-winnable, and demanding the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. While laudable, I have serious problems with Jack Murtha's thought process here. At what point did the American invasion of Iraq become a bad war? When we suffered 2,000 dead? After two years of fruitless struggle? Once we spent $100 billion?

While vocalizing his current opposition against the Iraq War, Congressman Murtha and others who voted for the war but now question its merits have never retracted their original pro-war stance.

The bottom line is this: the real antiwar movement is not to be found on the big box blog sites like Daily Kos or their various spinoffs. In fact, many antiwar activists have either been ridiculed to no end, bullied, labeled as "radicals" and/or banned from those sites for having the audacity to go against accepted Democratic war policy. Code Pink members and antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan have been repeatedly insulted (you know - the people who are actually out there doing something to end these wars). And kos has decried any talk of impeachment as "impeachment porn". That's what's insulting to democracy - not vocal antiwar activists who have better things to do than to sit around figuring out 50 ways to apologize for the blow their spineless elected representatives dealt to them this week, like kos is currently up to.

It's amazing that a well-coordinated antiwar movement hasn't emerged after all of these years in the US. Perhaps this will act as one of those many "wake up calls". That depends, of course, at how successful Dem apologists are at spinning this latest catastrophe so they can lull people back into complacency. That road, however, looks much more rocky than it has in decades but it's time they felt some of that real pain that families of the dead and injured - Iraqi, American and coalition forces - have had to deal with in the face of the Democrats' utter failure to stand on principles instead of worrying about whether or not they'll be re-elected in '08.

And always remember: War is a Racket. Again, which donors do you think the Democratic party is listening to?

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