Monday, January 12, 2009

Today's "Antiwar" Movement

Some folks may have noticed amid all the protests against Israel in Gaza is that the main sponsor of the demonstrations in the U.S. is the ANSWER coalition. Saturday's pro-Palestinian demonstration in Westwood, for example, was sponsored by "the Free Palestine Alliance and Answer L.A.", according to this report in the Los Angeles Times.

A Times photo of yesterday's demonstration depicts protesters holding signs sponsored by CAIR, the country's top Islamic lobbying group and "front organization for Hamas."

Gaza Protest

I'm one of those who view the "peace" protests with a wide angle.

A look at the protesters at these demonstrations indicates it's never just about one isolated injustice, military campaign, or alleged gay rights abuse. We routinely see any and all protests ultimately engagint the secular left's most radical forces in their attempts to take down the entire system. Some folks on the Democratic-left, who might call themselves "liberals," minimize the neo-Stalinist totalitarianism in ANSWER's agenda. Folks who supported Barack Obama and the Democrats knowingly support the ANSWER agenda while simultaneously and hypocritically denouncing the actual demonstrators at the barricades as "fringe activists." Natually, for those who consider themselves respectably antiwar and pro-choice, while advocating "universal" healthcare, there couldn't possibly be any connection between their "progressive" agenda and the antiwar demonization parades taking place routinely across America's cities.

In any case, John Bruhns, a veteran anti-Iraq activist, calls baloney on the "peace" movement at
the Philly Daily News:


I support people protesting what they think are injustices, but all issues aren't linked. It's not a good tactic to force people to stand under an umbrella of issues, all of which that they may not support.

By alienating the silent majority, the current anti-war movement has dealt itself a bad hand that essentially diminished its credibility.

In a democracy, strength is in numbers. This anti-establishment and absolutist view of the political process is likely to be the real cause of their implosion.

As someone who's been fighting for years for an end to the war in Iraq, I find this tragic because we need the voices of millions to put pressure on our elected officials to end the conflict and fix the many problems facing our country. But those voices have to be credible to be taken seriously, and circus acts never are.

What pains me the most about the self-destruction of the anti-war movement is the fact that the people behind it genuinely want an end to the war. They're not phony front groups or partisan hacks using the war as an advantage to promote their political party, in my mind a worse sin than dragging in all those irrelevant issues.

But the truth is that the "real" anti-war movement has become far too radical to be effective.

They've pushed themselves into a corner where there's no possibility of meeting an opposing side halfway. If they ever hope to regroup into a force capable of generating a strong political will, they'll need to accept that it's 2009, not 1969 - and be more tolerant of other opinions.
Readers can judge the degree of Bruhns' naïvety. It sounds quaint to hear someone announce - after eight years of the most bitter denunciations of the "evil BusHitler regime" - that the movement's gotten too "radical."

The angry activists we've seen in the latest wave of demonstrations against Proposition 8 and now Israel are not good people, frankly. Their agenda is revolutionary, plain and simple. Some of these forces are willing to cooperate with "bourgeoise" democratic-left parties and interest groups, but the most hardline factions allied around ANSWER actively support terrorist movements and armed resistance to American power, seen most recently in the vicious attacks on Jews at the antiwar rallies the past few weeks.

These people are the "nihilists" I routinely excoriate. The backlash I get on this blog from netroots nuts who call me a "fascist" or "wingnut" expresses solidarity with left-wing extremism. The most positive development I've seen in American politics since the election is Barack Obama's strong repudiation of the most radical street activists, their netroots allies, and their extremist policy agenda on such issues as gay marriage and torture-trials for Bush administration officials.

We'll likely see Obama burned in effigy as the new administration hews to a more traditional centrist orientation than the far left. But don't be surprised to see a few congressional Democrats manning the barricades.

*********

UPDATE: Zombietime has a new photo-journalism expose of San Francisco's Israel-Gaza protest from January 10th. Lots of pictures, but this passage reiterates my argument above (via Memeorandum):

Throughout the rally, there was a new name that cropped up all over: Oscar Grant. He was the unfortunate victim of a New Year's Day shooting by a local BART (subway system) policemen (which was either intentional or accidental, depending on whom you ask). Just a few days before this rally, there had been a protest against Oscar Grant's shooting in Oakland that had degenerated into a riot. That protest, unsurprisingly, had been co-organized by ANSWER as well. Almost overnight, Grant has become the new icon of the far left, the poster child for police brutality, and comparisons between Oakland and Palestine and Grant and the Palestinians were commonplace throughout this protest, which theoretically had nothing to do with Oscar Grant or his shooting. This sign was a prime example: "End Government Sponsored Murder in the Ghettos of Oakland and Palestine."

And the protesters have denounced Barack Obama:

Why? Because he's not left-wing enough! In particular, Obama's campaign appearance at a meeting of AIPAC (the pro-Israel lobbying group) infuriated many potential far-left voters who hoped that he would change U.S. policy and be pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel once elected.

26 comments:

Philippe Ohlund said...

We should remember:

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive", see 1 Corinthians 15:22.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad", see 2 Corinthians 5:10.

I love Bible quotes! :-)

JBW said...

Obviously. I love dry martinis.

Philippe Ohlund said...

I'm getting thirsty! :-)

TRUTH 101 said...

I'd love to drink beer with a real live secular humanist liberal,JBW, Philippe and the Professor.

Philippe Ohlund said...

Truth 101, they have really good beer in Belgium.

I prefer Bush, Chimay, Duvel, Grimbergen, Hoegaarden, and Westmalle. :-)

JBW said...

I agree whole-heartedly, Philippe; I don't think I had the same beer twice when I was in Belgium (I had a lot of them) and they were all great.

Philippe Ohlund said...

I suppose so JBW.

Three things keep me in Belgium:

Belgian Chocolate and Beer. :-)

TRUTH 101 said...

WE have a tavern in my town that serves imported beers. The Blegian is good but it's too dang filling. Two of them and I have no room for onion rings. Plus I'm bombed out of my head. You Belgians are some tough dudes Philippe.

Tim said...

There's good reason Belgium has great beer--it's all made by monks.

Belgium, btw, may have the nicest people in the world. Except for their nihilist war protesters of course.

But thanks again Donald. Once again you've made the same (very) lazy argument that tars any and all on the left of the spectrum as being nihilist and supporting ANSWER. Who, btw, I didn't know about before today. May have seen the acronym before, but that's it.

My takeaway is that this is a lazy argument. And I know Grace doesn't like lazy people, because everyone on the left expects a handout. (Again, lazy.)

Let's see some brain power put to use here please.

Tom the Redhunter said...

I've been to a dozen or so anti-war protests in Washington DC, and the professor has it right; they have a hard time staying on message.

One problem is that they invite all sorts of special interest groups, each with their own cause.

I hasten to add that far from participating in their nonsense I jeered them with other counterprotesters.

Grace Explosion said...

This one friend of mine makes the best martinis. Can make them taste like mint, or chocolate, all these awesome flavors. The biggest liquor collection I've every seen. This "Blue" stuff... you take a drink of that stuff in a martini... and it just heats your stomache and just is so warm. Oh, I liked those martinis. Haven't had one for a while. Just a glass of wine Friday nite.

I love Dr. Pepper. I had a friend tell me to go order a flaming Dr. Pepper at a bar. I read the recipe. So I had a friend drive me to the bar. I said, "I'm going to that drink, then we gotta leave. I think I'll be drunk from that one drink. You have to drive and we have to leave immediately after I drink that." lol It was so good. And I told everyone, if I'm ever injured and in pain... take me to that bar and get me a flaming Dr. Pepper. Never mind painkillers. lol

Wasn't this about anti-war?? Ah, but we digress.

Grace Explosion said...

I didn't say everyone in the left was lazy, Tim. They just have a loser mentality. They're losers - because they think the American people are losers.

Hey, if you think we're all losers and we can't "make it" apart from Government - like we cannot produce wealth and fund responsible charities - you think we need to be enslaved by the Government because we're losers - or miscreants.

Actually, Tim, we're driven, successful, frugal, charitable, and a wonderful nation.

If it wasn't for Government - it would show. And we wouldn't be headed for a Great Depression.

(I still think we are, Donald. Sorry... Hope I'm wrong. I'd be happy to be wrong - just don't think I am, of course. So time will tell.)

Well, the UN-USA is headed for a Great Depression. Over in the new USA, yeah, maybe we'll develop fusion energy sources... as God grants us gifts and wisdom and we generate wealth by God's blessings in Providence. We'll stop the taxation, and we'll prosper in the midst of great lack elsewhere. And we'll care for the poor in charitable ways. I think it would be great to have a new "USA experiment" again. That would be awesome. Like a Christian "Israel". How terrific is that??

It's a LOSER MENTALITY, Tim.

If you believed in the American people and in our goodness, etc., you wouldn't turn to some rotten totalitarian state to try to control and enslave us to fulfill your utopian dream (which is a nightmare - as we'll all see soon, imo.)

But, anyway, at least we can agree we like beer and martinis and such.

Maybe we should leave it at that.

lol

Grace.

Stogie said...

I agree that beer in Belgium is excellent. I was there a year ago last October and absolutely loved the local beers. Even my wife, who never drinks beer, loved it.

TRUTH 101 said...

And thanks to Agatha Christie for the greta Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
And thank you Professor for alerting Tim and I to another kook group we'd never heard of.

And thank you Grace. Next time I go out i"ll just order a bottle of the blue stuff.

And thank you Philippe for reminding us of a Bible Verse that supports Catholic teaching about good works helping us go to Heaven.

And thank you JBW for getting us off the subject that Professor Douglas posted.

And most of all, Thank you Lord for delivering victory to Barack Obama.

Donald Douglas said...

Truth101: Why do you want to get off the topic posted. Hits too close to home?

repsac3 said...

It's true that the ANSWER Coalition does spread the net too wide, but that comes from their being a coalition of disparate groups, all with their own little agendas, all trying to work together.

I know of no such groups on the right currently, but I won't be all that surprised to see anti-abortion groups and the Freepers getting together to protest against Obama's economic policies, or something... Politics has a tendency to do that to the folks who're out of power...

But on the other hand, it's like Don said a day or so ago... "Or, there's a method to my madness. I connect a whole lot of areas that might not seem readily apparent, but I'd not be surprised to hear this woman's radical opinions on Iraq or civil rights, or what have you."

The same goes for some on the left... Like Don, we believe that some of you folks on the right are as wrong about your policies regarding homosexuals as you are in your policies regarding terrorism, and like Don, we're just sewing those disparate threads of wrongness into one big reactionary right wing suit...

While I'd prefer that folks holding these rallies & marches pick one topic & stick to it, it'd be like asking Donald to only be wrong about one topic a day, and most of us know that he's not capable of keeping the number that low... ... that is, of course, unless he doesn't actually post anything at all...

As far as Bruhns, he's just more proof that all of us on the left don't think alike... He's welcome to his opinion, and you're welcome to agree with him, but he's far from the only oyster in the stew... He's not even the tastiest morsel. He's just another guy with just another opinion.

The fact of the matter is, the "circus actors" do their part, and normal folks like Bruhns do theirs, and where they agree (like on ending the occupation of Iraq) they come together. That also is the nature of politics. People working together where they can for what they believe to be common good. Bruhns & all the other average Americans who attended rallies organized by ANSWER or CodePink didn't become socialists or commies by agreeing with ANSWER on this one issue, and ANSWER & CodePink didn't become any less radical by agreeing with Bruhns & all those other Americans... But as far as Iraq was concerned, they got together and made their voices heard... Folks can analyze & debate all the livelong day as to whether these protests had any effect on policy here or in Iraq, but those who protested & those who protested the protesters) did what they thought they had to do... And good for them.

So now Bruhns has an opinion about some of his fellow protesters? Good for him... ...and so what... I honor his service, and I support his speaking out against the war and for the veterans when he did, but that doesn't make every opinion he utters golden... For the record, I think he's wrong... But then, who cares what I think, either... Protesters will do what they think is best to achieve their ends, and there will always be the freaks, the regular Joes, and the buttoned up policy wonks, each doing their part... That's the way it's always been & the way it'll always be...

On the REAL topic, though... Can I admit that I'm not a big fan of Belgian beer? Much prefer Canadian lagers & Vermont IPA's... Somethin' about the water, I think... (It's like NY bagels & pizza... Nothin' like either of 'em anywhere else in the world, even though they're made the same way...)

JBW said...

Philippe, T101 and Don: on the REAL topic, let's get those beers, dudes!

Tim: I agree it's a lazy, blanket argument.

Grace, the blue liqueur in your martini was most likely blue curacao; I had a girlfriend in college that loved Blue Hawaiians so I made them for her all the time. Oh, and lighting your drink is a fun bar trick (although most places won't do it anymore for liability reasons) but you're only burning alcohol, making your drink less potent in the end. Just drop the shot glass in and chug.

Rep, I thought you were dead, amigo; good to hear from you again.

Tom, you called me "juvenile" back at my place for saying that I think Obama is cool for liking comics. I subsequently called you a humorless douche, partly so that your accusation would have at least some merit and partly because you really do sound like a humorless douche. Take care, Tinkerbell.

Grace Explosion said...

Yeah, JBW, they wouldn't light it for me when I went to the bar for that drink. I slammed it for full effect. Then we left. Haven't had one since. But I had to try that. (It was potent.)

When I was barely 21, had blue motorcycles at the bar one night with friends. They snuck up on me. I was AOK til I got in the car. It was only then that it hit me. Oops. I just laughed and was like, "OK, well, I'm going to sleep. Wake me up when we get home. And help me get in the door!" lol Never drank blue motorcycles since. (Know better now. lol)

Hey, T101... That Blue Stuff (maybe I'll think of what the name of it was... )... it just warms you up. It would be the perfect winter and fireplace drink, imo.

Phillippe... I don't think I've every had Belgium beer. I'll have to try that. That sounds like something good to go out with family and order us all a Belgium beer and toast to "American Power". :)

Donald, Great post!! (See, T101, you remind me I have to get back on topic.)

Thank you, Lord, that Jesus has the victory 100%... and the reign of antichrist proves... the bigger they are... the harder they fall. :)

Tim,... I guess I'll quit picking on you. (But we're not losers. We have the victory in Jesus and our God shall provide all our needs according to His riches in glory - we don't need to take from our neighbors. We can receive from the Lord and we can work and produce with God's blessing then share in free will with those in needs. Government theft weakens the economy. God's blessing works through our liberty to promote the common good and happiness. That's why it frustrates me that you want to bring us under compulsion and take away our blessing and liberty in God... which is how we think and pursue happiness from the... right. But, sorry I've been kinda, well, blunt. :) )

Cheers!!

Grace Explosion said...

Yeah, JBW, they wouldn't light it for me when I went to the bar for that drink. I slammed it for full effect. Then we left. Haven't had one since. But I had to try that. (It was potent.)

When I was barely 21, had blue motorcycles at the bar one night with friends. They snuck up on me. I was AOK til I got in the car. It was only then that it hit me. Oops. I just laughed and was like, "OK, well, I'm going to sleep. Wake me up when we get home. And help me get in the door!" lol Never drank blue motorcycles since. (Know better now. lol)

Hey, T101... That Blue Stuff (maybe I'll think of what the name of it was... )... it just warms you up. It would be the perfect winter and fireplace drink, imo.

Phillippe... I don't think I've every had Belgium beer. I'll have to try that. That sounds like something good to go out with family and order us all a Belgium beer and toast to "American Power". :)

Donald, Great post!! (See, T101, you remind me I have to get back on topic.)

Thank you, Lord, that Jesus has the victory 100%... and the reign of antichrist proves... the bigger they are... the harder they fall. :)

Tim,... I guess I'll quit picking on you. (But we're not losers. We have the victory in Jesus and our God shall provide all our needs according to His riches in glory - we don't need to take from our neighbors. We can receive from the Lord and we can work and produce with God's blessing then share in free will with those in needs. Government theft weakens the economy. God's blessing works through our liberty to promote the common good and happiness. That's why it frustrates me that you want to bring us under compulsion and take away our blessing and liberty in God... which is how we think and pursue happiness from the... right. But, sorry I've been kinda, well, blunt. :) )

Cheers!!

cracker said...

Beerfest?

Lovefest?

What the heck is goin on here!

youre all acting like a bunch of normal human beings!

Some neo-con blog this is DR!

JBW said...

Antiwar post successfully derailed by alcohol. Yee-ha!

Grace Explosion said...

cracker...

Honestly, I'd sit and have a beer and be friends with these leftist liberals. There's this lady I know professionally through work who is a Buddhist priestess. When we see each other at meetings, we hug. She loves me. lol Some of my favorite clients are atheists, also. We're arguing different positions... but that doesn't mean I don't like the people on the "other side".

Tim said...

Grace: Then you need to define what you perceive to be the government's function. You are sounding a bit anarchic to me.

It is not in the liberal philosophy for government to take care of you cradle to grave, which is what you are implying. It is, however, there to give some a foothold so they can get on with their lives. Like anything, it is exploited. Sort of like religion. It's got its good points, but it is exploited to engage people's fear and thus their compliance.

Congratulations though. You put just as much faith in your man in the sky than some do in government. The reality is that your god doesn't always hand out when it's needed. Nor does he look out after the innocent. It's a crap shoot out there, and that is the reality.

Philippe Ohlund said...

Thanks for all the nice counter-comments! :-)

TRUTH 101 said...

I'll join Grace and everyone else in a toast to God.

JBW said...

I don't believe in God; can't we just toast Jesus instead? Aren't they kind of the same guy anyway?