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Posts Tagged ‘pacifism’

Sheehan still protesting war

Posted by Richard on August 19, 2009

Mama Sheehan (a.k.a. "Mama Moonbat") is going to try doing to Barack Obama what she did to George Bush:

Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq, will join hundreds protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at Martha's Vineyard where Pres. Obama and his family will be vacationing.

Sheehan will be arriving on Tuesday August 25, 2009.

Her statement was released from her home in California:

“First of all, no good social or economic change will come about with the continuation or escalation of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We simply can’t afford to continue this tragically expensive foreign policy.

“Secondly, we as a movement need to continue calling for an immediate end to the occupations even when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office. There is still no Noble Cause no matter how we examine the policies. …”

Byron York noted that, judging from the recent Netroots Nation conference (successor to YearlyKos), most of her former allies won't be joining, or supporting, or even paying much attention to her (emphasis added): 

The meeting didn't draw much coverage, but the views of those who attended are still, as they were in 2006, a pretty good snapshot of the left wing of the Democratic party.

The news that emerged is that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have virtually fallen off the liberal radar screen. Kossacks (as fans of DailyKos like to call themselves) who were consumed by the Iraq war when George W. Bush was president are now, with Barack Obama in the White House, not so consumed, either with Iraq or with Obama's escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan. In fact, they barely seem to care.

As part of a straw poll done at the convention, the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg presented participants with a list of policy priorities like health care and the environment. He asked people to list the two priorities they believed "progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most." The winner, by far, was "passing comprehensive health care reform." In second place was enacting "green energy policies that address environmental concerns."

And what about "working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan"? It was way down the list, in eighth place.

Perhaps more tellingly, Greenberg asked activists to name the issue that "you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently." The winner, again, was health care reform. Next came "working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections." Then came a bunch of other issues. At the very bottom — last place, named by just one percent of participants — came working to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For many liberal activists, opposing the war was really about opposing George W. Bush. When Bush disappeared, so did their anti-war passion.

On an earlier York column about Sheehan, commenter RHO1953 said it rather nicely: 

I do not agree with Ms. Sheehan about anything. We probably couldn't reach consensus about the time of day, but I have to give her credit for consistency. She believes in her cause irrespective of whether a liberal or conservative is in power. At least she's not a hypocrite like Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Murtha, Kerry and Durbin.

At, Rick Moore contrasted the effectiveness of the anti-war movement and the anti-socialized-medicine movement: 

The left has been strangely silent about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since rainbows and unicorns came into power in January, but our favorite ditch person, Cindy Sheehan, Mama Moonbat herself, wants the antiwar left to mimic the Tea Party protesters who are thwarting Obamacare. The antiwar left griped for years and held big rallies, but never had the kind of effect on national policy that the anti-Obamacare folks have had in a few weeks.

Why? Republicans knew she and her merry band of Code Pinkos were a bunch of kooks and they weren't intimidated. They just ignored the petulant outbursts. Obama knows he's not dealing with kooks, but people who could really make an impact on his presidency.

Well, the biggest difference is numbers. It's clear from the turnouts at tea parties and town halls and the recent poll numbers that public sentiment has swung fast and hard against socialized medicine, and the anti-Obamacare movement has the support of the majority already.

That didn't happen with the anti-war movement. For years, they were clearly a small minority. Eventually, as the sectarian fighting undermined support and war fatigue set in, a significant portion of the population became nominally opposed to the Iraq campaign, but for the vast majority of them it was never strong, strident opposition — just discouragement, disillusionment, and disinterest. We never saw mainstream America joining the whackjobs at the anti-war rallies. 

Anyone who's been to a tea party rally, on the other hand, knows that it's very much mainstream America. 

Moore added: 

Let's see if Obama is as tolerant of her protests as Bush was.

Oh, I think he will be. Most of her cohort have moved on, and the media are focused on the "right-wing crazies" who are killing health care reform and inexplicably failing to show the proper respect for our enlightened rulers in Washington. Sheehan will get little attention and pose no significant challenge to Obama on the war issue.

If anything, Obama may welcome such smatterings of dissent from the left. They permit him to position himself as attacked by extremists on both sides, and therefore clearly the voice of reason and moderation. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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The foolish and credulous among us

Posted by Richard on March 20, 2007

Four years into the struggle for a free, democratic Iraq, streets, plazas, and public places around the country were again filled by those who oppose that struggle (dwindling numbers of them, I'm happy to note). Gerard Van der Leun observed the demonstrators, and had trouble concealing his contempt:

Four years in. An inch of time. Four years in and the foolish and credulous among us yearn to get out. Their feelings require it. The power of their Holy Gospel of "Imagine" compels them. Their overflowing pools of compassion for the enslavers of women, the killers of homosexuals, the beheaders of reporters, and the incinerators of men and women working quietly at their desks, rise and flood their minds until their eyes flow with crocodile tears while their mouths emit slogans made of cardboard. They believe the world is run on wishes and that they will always have three more.

Four years into the most gentle war ever fought, a war fought on the cheap at every level, a war fought to avoid civilian harm rather than maximize it. Picnic on the grass at Shiloh. Walk the Western Front. Speak to the smoke of Dresden. Kneel down and peek into the ovens of Auschwitz. Sit on the stones near ground zero at Hiroshima and converse with the shadows singed into the wall. Listen to those ghost whisperers of war.

Four years in and the people of the Perfect World ramble through the avenues of Washington, stamping their feet and holding their breath, having their tantrums, and telling all who cannot avoid listening that "War is bad for children and other living things." They have flowers painted on their cheeks. For emphasis. Just in case you thought that war was good for children and other living things.

There were children and other living things on the planes that flew into the towers. They all went into the fire and the ash just the same. But they, now, are not important. Nor is the message their deaths still send us when we listen. That message is to be silenced. The rising brand new message is "All we are say-ing is give…." And it is always off-key.

Go. Read the rest. Please.

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The Eagles soared!

Posted by Richard on March 18, 2007

I haven't had the TV on since Friday, so this morning, I've been visiting various websites to find out what happened in Washington yesterday at the big anti-war march. What I learned made my heart swell and my eyes well. The anti-war turnout fell far short of expectations. The pro-troops, pro-victory Gathering of Eagles far outnumbered them! According to the National Park Service, GoE turned out 30,000:

Fox News reported today that the anti-war protesters had significantly less than they expected. However, they are erroneously reporting that the Eagles were there in "equal numbers". The truth is that we outnumbered them by at least three to one!

Consider…ANSWER had a year to plan their well-publicized event and were hoping for around 100,000. They actually drew about 5,000-10,000, according to various news reports today. The Gathering of Eagles, on the other hand, had about six weeks to plan an unprecedented response – and with no advertising, no publicity, no celebrity or political endorsement, no news coverage, and no big money, we had about 30,000 boots on the ground!

Go see the roundup by Michelle Malkin. She has a number of pictures, including a very moving and beautiful photo taken by Leslie Grainger, a college student who drove 12 hours to be there.

Next, visit Gates of Vienna for Baron Bodissey's marvelous account of his experiences among both the Eagles and the anti-war marchers, profusely illustrated. Don't miss his story of the disabled vet and the Gates of Vienna fan.

Then drop by Hot Air for Bryan's comments and links and a preview of Move America Forward's new ad. If you like it, make a contribution to help air it.

Want to see still more pictures? Michelle and the Hot Air staff have 273 of them waiting for you on Flickr. And Smash has posted a few photos and comments already, and promises more to come today. 


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Rejecting Gandhi’s way

Posted by Richard on March 15, 2007

Sen. Mitch McConnell isn't the only Republican displaying a bit of spine and spunk for a change. Former Senator, actor, and possible Presidential candidate Fred Thompson sat in for Paul Harvey this morning, and he commented on the anti-war group Code Pink, which is camped out on Rep. Nancy Pelosi's lawn demanding that she defund the troops in Iraq.

Code Pink's encampment features a giant statue of Gandhi, and the organization was founded on Gandhi's birthday. Thompson noted that prior to the toppling of Saddam, the anti-war movement distributed a poster that read, "What would Gandhi do?" NRO has the transcript:

And that's a pretty good question. At what point is it okay to fight dictators like Saddam or the al Qaeda terrorists who want to take his place?

It turns out that the answer, according to Gandhi, is NEVER. During World War II, Gandhi penned an open letter to the British people, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives as they did in Warsaw and Treblinka. "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife," he said. "They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs." "Collective suicide," he told his biographer, "would have been heroism."

The so-called peace movement certainly has the right to make Gandhi's way their way, but their efforts to make collective suicide American foreign policy just won't cut it in this country. When American's think of heroism, we think of the young American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives to prevent another Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein.

Gandhi probably wouldn't approve, but I can live with that.

I'm stunned by those quotes. I've never read all that much about Gandhi, but they don't entirely jibe with what I thought I knew about him. I certainly never deified the man, as many on the left have, but I also never suspected him of such vile thoughts.

Thank you, Fred Thompson, for clearly identifying Gandhi's way. All sane and decent people must forcefully reject it.

George Orwell, one of my favorite socialists, rejected Gandhi's way during World War II. I strongly recommend Orwell's essay, Pacifism and the War, which includes this (emphasis added):

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. … Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be "objectively pro-British".' But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom' station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.

UPDATE (3/19/07): Orwell's 1949 Partisan Review essay, "Reflections on Gandhi," is available online at ReadPrint. Quite interesting.

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Peace movement

Posted by Richard on November 20, 2006

The commitment to reason and dedication to science and logic that led some people to take World Jump Day seriously and that have always characterized the "reality-based community" have now led the Global Consciousness Project, in conjunction with Baring Witness, to promote a Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace. Elaib Harvey at The Brussels Journal summed it up nicely:

At last a way to stop Islamofascism, war, earthquakes and President George W Bush. The Global Orgasm is obviously the way.

The idea seems to be if countless millions are reaching a state of sexual ecstasy simultaneously on Friday 22nd of December then world peace will break out, Bush will indeed discover that Osama is quite a cute fellow after all, and that nasty fellow Ahmedinejad in Tehran will discover that the Isrealis are utter sweethearts.

This is the First Annual Solstice Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace, leading up to the December Solstice of 2012, when the Mayan Calendar ends with a new beginning.

For pity’s sake they even have a page pretending to prove the science – hosted at Princeton University!!

The "brains" behind this project are from Marin County, California — are you surprised?

You can’t make this stuff up.

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The perverse consequence of peace movements

Posted by Richard on July 21, 2006

Tom Sowell wrote in "Pacifists versus peace":

There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.

"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.

Sowell noted that "peace movements" have thus had catastrophic consequences: they’ve encouraged aggression. Outstanding column — RTWT!

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