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As the Afghan war escalates, it becomes painfully obvious that the Democratic Party and its leftist allies will not serve as a force for peace, and will support American violence abroad so long as a Democratic President is in office. This is an inevitable feature of the two party political system dominated by the military industrial complex and no amount of effort will change that. Instead what will likely happen is that anti war forces will continue to be further marginalized and ridiculed by the Democratic establishment, as has already happened with such anti war activists as Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink.

But another feature of the two party system is that if one party goes one way, the other party has to go the other way. Libertarian ideology can easily become a foundation for anti war sentiment, take Pat Buchanan, or, or this article in the American Conservative. If this trend continues, what will become of the former left wing anti war movement? Will they ally with those on the right wing that feel the same, or will the movement remained divided in the face of the centrist pro war consensus.

I have often been called out on this site for not being a partisan Democrat, and it is true, I am an anarchist, who often finds himself in sympathy with many leftist views, such as universal health care, but who is utterly disguisted with the emerging consensus supporting the ongoing escalation of the American wars in Central Asia.  At a certain distance from the American political discourse, the supposedly opposing positions of the two parties often appear indistinguishable, especially in foreign policy.   Everybody wants to bomb something, but the target list is different.  Bill Clinton bombed Serbia and Iraq, George W. Bush bombed Afghanistan and Iraq, McCain wants to bomb Iran and Samantha Powers wants to bomb Sudan, but bombs are bombs and tear human flesh apart the same way.  Nation building occupations have now been accepted by both sides as practicable and positively good.

The Obama Pentagon is just as repugnant to me as the Bush Pentagon, in part because the same exact people, from Robert Gates to David Petreaus to Cheney's assassination ring commander Stanley McChrystal, have been put in charge by Obama and the same policies have been maintained. In fact, in Afghanistan, Obama appears to be going beyond the Bush administration, doubling the number of troops, increasing airstrikes in Pakistani territory, launching new bloody offensives, and there is no end in sight. In fact, further escalation at this point seems inevitable, and the Democratic Senate has just voted 93-1 to increase the size of the US Army by another 30,000 troops, who will be sent into the Afghan meat grinder as soon as they are out of basic training.  This increase is unfunded, so Obama will have to get an emergency spending bill to pay for it, a Bush era approach that Obama had previously condemned but has continued.  Predictably, opposition to the return to misleading permanent emergency funding of the current wars drew opposition only from and some left wing bloggers (not the staunchly loyalist DailyKos).  Of course, all the accounting gimmicks cannot obfuscate the fact that despite some cosmetic cutbacks (7 less F-22s will be built), the Pentagon budget has increased under Obama, and will continue to do so as the Afghan war becomes increasingly massive and expensive. If you thought supplying 150,000 troops in Iraq through the Persian Gulf and Turkey was expensive, you can double that for keeping a force of that size in Afghanistan supplied via overland routes stretching thousands of miles through Pakistan and Russia.

Speaking of Russia, Biden is over in Georgia now, reassuring the Georgian dictator, who exists solely on American support and aid, that the US stands behind Georgia on its continued course of confrontation with Russia. Recent American military maneuvers in Georgia and hints regarding American willingness to sell heavy weaponry to Georgia underscore the point. On a previous stop in the Ukraine, Biden stated explicitly that the US would not any zone of influence for Russia in its immediate neighborhood.  Such zones of influence must remain one of America’s unique prerogatives as the world’s hyperpower, but as always, Joe puts it best: "We recognize no sphere of influence, or no ability of any other nation to veto the choices an independent nation makes as to with whom and under what conditions they will associate." (Emphasis mine).  I guess this is why the US keeps arresting Iranian diplomats in Iraq, because this principle only applies to "other" nations.

America’s real policy toward Russia was humorously encapsulated in a recent gaffe.  Hillary Clinton presented Russian President with a button mechanism marked "Reset" in English and its equivalent in Russian.  Apart from the fact that only to the Americans would such a juvenile gimmick seem appropriate and that all the Russians were visibly wincing, the translation into Russian had been botched.  Instead of reading "reset," the button read "overload."  But she didn’t hand out cowboy hats and boots, and this seems to be the main distinction between Bush and Obama’s policy toward Russia.  

And yet, there is no opposition to the escalation in Afghanistan or the continuation of other American bellicose policies. A 93-1 vote seems pretty conclusive to me, the Democrats are behind Obama and Republicans love spending money on war, so who's complaining (the solitary dissenter was Russ Feingold, who wants more cutbacks in Iraq). Furthermore, observing the diary activity on the DailyKos, it is clear that the vast majority is prepared to continue supporting Obama's militaristic policies. After all, he told us during the campaign that he was going to escalate Afghanistan, so what's the problem?

So where does that leave the marginals who continue to desire peace above all? Looking around the political spectrum, we begin to realize that the only other group that will stand with us in opposing the wars are the libertarians and various paranoid right wingers afraid of growing government and international entanglements (affectionately referred to as Paultards here). This thinking informs the American Conservative article, which attacks long time Obama ally Samantha Powers for being a war hawk, although her reasons are humanitarian and not neocon/geopolitical in nature. She wants US intervention for human rights, she hails the brutal bombing of the Serbian people in the 1990s and wants to see the same tactics deployed against the Sudan, and other human rights violators. Doubtless, the article was published mainly because it attacked an Obama Administration official, but the person who wrote it is closer to me than any Democrat who would support any American assault on countries posing no threat to the US.

This expose of American imperialist hubris contained in the article could have easily come from the pen of Noam Chomsky, or even from some of the last leftist antiwar figures who are still palatable to the mainstream pro war Democratic majority, such as Glenn Greenwald. Already, people on the DailyKos are turning on Greenwald because of his increasingly strident outrage regarding the Obama Administration’s continuation of Bush ear torture and detention policies, which the consensus here defends as alternatively necessary or accidental.  If Greenwald keeps going down this path, how long until he is relegated to the ranks of "anti American" fringe cooks like Noam Chomsky, and deleted from the leftist blogroll.  

So what is to be done when the Democrats and the Republicans present a united pro war front, and seek to marginalize those of us who continue to point out the insanity of America's ongoing wars and the war crimes being committed in the process?  As right wing opposition gradually grows stronger as more and more right wingers take on the anti war position as a way to criticize Obama and the Democrats, will the marginalized left wing anti war forces stand by and let the movement be redefined as a conservative opposition movement in the vein of conservative opposition to FDR's bringing the US into the Second World War? Or can an apolitical ant war movement transcend the fairly arbitrary American political dualism (for the life of me I can't tell the centrists apart - though the bomb throwers on both sides do come off different even if they both throw their bombs in the service of the same regime and the bombs seem to always land on brown people in the Third World who happen to be sitting on some natural resources).

The same dynamic, incidentally, is in play also in the domestic counterpart to America’s militarism abroad, the internal police state.  There are those on both the left and the right who stand against the increasingly militarized police forces, in their zero tolerance rampage, packing our prisons with millions of our countrymen.  Those on the right oppose it because they think it’s the prelude to a coming totalitarian regime, and those on the left oppose it because of civil rights considerations and the obvious racism and classism of the police state.  Those on the left think the right wing opponents are paranoid militia wackos, and those on the right think the left wing opponents are bleeding hearts or reverse racists or some such thing.   As a result, both sides of the opposition remain marginalized, as the center continues to expand the police forces, pass more draconian sentencing laws, and build more prisons.  

I know that for the people here, the political divisions are very significant, and an alliance with libertarian forces is out of the question, in contradiction to Barack Obama’s own favored approach of seeking out such areas of agreement in order to come together as a nation.  Bipartisanship is acceptable on war funding bills, but not on war opposition, it appears. But at what point do our duty to humanity and the absolute moral imperative to oppose butchers as they systematically cleave their way across the globe transcend American domestic politics and link all of the people opposed to war together, regardless of their other political positions?  Is the construct of the American two party system so strong as to override such moral concerns? Are the psychological barriers created within us by systematic indoctrination dividing the people into warring camps too great to overcome, even while the actual disagreements between the camps largely come down to symbolic issues and 93-1 votes to expand the wars? Because if they are, the anti war movement in American will remain impotent and marginal, as the militarists intend it to be, and the world will continue to tremble under the boot of the American "liberators."

Originally posted to Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:10 PM PDT.


Can America police itself?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

    by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:10:30 PM PDT

  •  What if (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones, stunzeed, BFSkinner

    monkeys fly out of Pat Buchanan's ass?

    "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

    by Mas Gaviota on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:13:16 PM PDT

    •  this is why I like you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mas Gaviota, rhutcheson, ppl can fly

      Your sig says radical, but your views say, bomb bomb bomb.

      Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

      by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:11:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is why I like you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        on first glance you look reasonable then you make the insane assertion that "the right" would ever be anti war.  Your diaries and  comments are always provocative sometimes to the point of trollishness, but enjoyable never the less.  Keep on battling my anarchist brother from another mother.

        PS: Zapata was not a pacifist.

        "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

        by Mas Gaviota on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:10:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Always anti-war is a minority opinion (6+ / 0-)
    Being anti-war all the time in all cases as a matter of principle is a minority viewpoint in this country. It has nothing to do with the two party system. The opinion just isn't popular.

    And conservatives are war-mongers, nothing is going to change that.

  •  Excellent essay. (7+ / 0-)

    As an antiwar independent, I'm waiting to see how this shakes out.  To me it's all very simple.  The US is the imperialist country of the world, seeking out and pillaging the resources of other countries while trying to prevent any other country from gaining ground, i.e., China and Russia.  The entire agenda is the same regardless of who is in office.

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:21:18 PM PDT

  •  After the right has killed off everyone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mas Gaviota, Marcion

    but white dudes and subservient women they will have no more reason to fight wars.  Then they will be the anti-war party.

    The future will be better tomorrow. -D.Quayle

    by word player on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:24:01 PM PDT

  •  Um... none of the above? (5+ / 0-)

    I do not support any of the wars we are currently involved in, and I might align myself with the people from the right on this particular cause. I will not sacrifice other causes I feel are important to this one, however.

    I don't even know what I should call myself these days- never been a republican, feeling less & less like a democrat, have almost nothing in common with Independents or Libertarians, I believe in goverment so I'm not an anarchist, the green party is a little too one-track-mind for me...

    Is there a "Common Sense" party? I might be able to get behind that one. But only if it was tempered with a little empathy.

  •  The anti-war Right has two components (8+ / 0-)

    One component is respectable: it's the Paulbots.  I'm all for making common cause with them.

    The other component is the Buchananites; their basis for anti-imperialism is that the rest of the world is too inferior, racially and culturally, for us to have anything to do with, even as imperial overlords.  While the practical consequence of their position is progressive, their values are too much in conflict with ours to permit any common front.

    These two components, put together, are only a small part of the Republican party or what's commonly known as the Right, so I don't think the whole discussion is necessary.  But we should be more welcoming to the Paulbots, because they're ready to deal.  They know they're not going to get rid of the Fed, after all.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:26:46 PM PDT

  •  go join Pat Buchanan in Fortress America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mas Gaviota

    I won't get into the plainly obvious reasons we are in Afghanistan, because it would do no good.

    But Clinton didn't bomb Serbia because he "wanted to bomb something." Remember the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia? You don't think we had some moral obligation to intervene?

    •  actually (5+ / 0-)

      the major bombing and devastation was conducted to stop the supposed atrocities against Kosovars. There were allegations at the time of 100,000 Kosovars killed. After the fact it urned out that less than 5,000 were killed, most during the bombing campaign. A much greater number of Serbs was killed and ethnically cleansed by the Kosovo guerillas we put in power. At the time of the ceasfire, Serbs and neutral nations such as Russia were assured that Kosovo would not become an independent country. Last year, they declared uniliateral independence and were immediately recognized by the US, that in part led to the Russia-Georgia war and the declaraiton of independence by S. Ossetia and Abkhazia. The US maintains one of its largest bases in Kosovo and that country is now a compliant American client state. A triumph for democracy and human rights.

      Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

      by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:56:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  plainly obvious reasons? (5+ / 0-)

      We just found out we killed Bin Laden's son.  Didn't mean to.  He was just there when we blew up a bunch of people.  I guess he must have been a terrorist too even though until we blew him up I'd never heard of him.  I guess killing terrorist's sons is almost as good as killing real or imagined enemies.  I'm so fucking proud that of all the news reports of the event (three or four months ago), not a one says what Bin Laden's son was guilty of.
      Not one Afghani was on board any of the planes that flew into the twin towers.......and we only have Bush's word that the same Taliban that visited his ranch in Crawford were hiding Bin Laden in the first place.
      It seems everything we know we got from tortured confessions. I don't think there is anything plainly obvious about anything connected to these wars.

      "Bad Bruise before dishonor"

      by tRueffert on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:03:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you think so? (5+ / 0-)

    My guess is that the right will become even more militaristic, and as the economy tanks and masses and masses of people are starving and freezing, they're going to push for us to just go into the Middle East, wipe out the "heathens", and seize the oil that "God gave to America by right".

    If things get bad enough, we're going to discard any remaining pretense that we only fight good and noble wars to protect our freedom, and openly embrace the idea of going into other countries and taking what we want from them by force.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:38:06 PM PDT

  •  LOL "Anarchist" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mas Gaviota

    Let me guess... face covered by scarf... into vandalism.

    Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

    by SFOrange on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:43:50 PM PDT

  •  I don't see much evidence (6+ / 0-)

    that the mainstream of RW 'thought' will ever go anti-war.

    You may find a few pro-lifers that extend that to life after birth as well, but not very many. I for one would welcome those, in fighting against wars.

    But for most, they'll wave the flag, and send someone else's children off to die, just as they were glad to do under Democratic administrations during Vietnam.

    "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

    by Wilberforce on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:47:37 PM PDT

  •  RE: Anarchist. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mas Gaviota, BigAlinWashSt

    How does an Anarchist deal with a nuclear armed world?? Or other WMD?

    Seems to be a tough cat to put back in the bag.

    "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

    by Wilberforce on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:49:22 PM PDT

    •  so far (5+ / 0-)

      The only times WMDs have been used has been by Western powers or parties supplied by them to fight their proxy wars (Iraq). I think that in the absence of aggressive imperialist ventures there would be very much war at all, certainly none escalating to the point of WMD use. Weaker nations do not attack stronger nations, especially with WMDs. War is the tool of the powerful.

      All the great military philosophers agree - war itself is not necessary. War is an aggressive extension of diplomacy by other means, and the necessity for it arises only when something goes wrong in the negotiations or one of the parites thinks they can get an disproportionate share by resorting to war. But to quote Sun Tzu - wise warriors first win, and then go to war, and stupid warrors first go to war and then hope to win. So war is basically the confirmation of the status quo, and is inherently unnecessary and irrational.

      Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

      by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:05:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is an argument against war (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mas Gaviota, ppl can fly

        and maybe for smaller less powerful nations, but not an argument for anarchy, because it only takes one power hungry nut to get and use wmd.

        Killing and war are inherent in some humans, just as is the wish for power--which is why the very worst humans generally rise to the top--it's those folks that will do anything for power and more moral people won't.  

        Those folks will always be trying to form a government, a tribe, or something, and WMD makes that very possible.

        "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

        by Wilberforce on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:12:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  anarchy does not equal impotence (4+ / 0-)

          Just because people woldn't be organized into war machines, it would not mean that they would be helpless or unable to organize in the face of a threat. In fact, much larger coalitions would be possible against any aggressor if people weren't separated by nationalist frontiers.

          It is a very American presumption that there are just these crazy people out there willing to wage war for the fuck of it, without hope of victory (and there would be no hope of victory against a hostile anarchist population that refused to accept the authority of the occupiers, you might have an occupation for a while, but no victory). In reality people are mostly rational actors and wars are extremely pragmatic eneterprises.

          Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

          by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:15:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I like the idea (0+ / 0-)

            but I'm not sure about the implementation...

            "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

            by Wilberforce on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:27:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You used to live in the CCCP correct? (0+ / 0-)

            What's your take on Hitler? Would he qualify as a crazy person who started WWII for the fuck of it? Now, I can see starting the war (from his point of view): he had a chance of winning. Well, at least until he launched Operation I'm-A-Fucking-Moron (Unternehmen Barbarossa) and attacked the CCCP.

            Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.00, -3.79

            by KVoimakas on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:40:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  correct (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Germany faced a persistent quandary throughout the modern era: it had arrived late to the imperialist party, with Prussia emerging as a Great Power only in the late 18th century and Germany not getting unified until the 19th. Therefore Germany did not obtain a fair share of imperlialist spoils. Britain and Russia, both individually weaker than Germany were holding the lion's share and France, which after its humiliating defeat by the Prussians in the 1870s, was the sick man of Europe, militarily impotent but holidng a vast empire in its own right. This disbalance between actual power and distribution of empire meant that war became inevitable. Britian attempted to forestall this by granting Germany some overseas possessions in Africa and China, but this was not enough. The weakening of Austro Hungary opened the door for German expansion southward, through Eastern Euopre and Turkey all the way to the Middle East. The great German Baghdad Railway when completed made the war a certainty.

              The two world wars represent the same titanic struggle for Germany to obtain an empire commensurate with its power. Germany's failures in the twentieth century were not military, they were diplomatic. Whereas Frederic the Great and Bismark were able to expand their empire without having the other powers unite into a coalition against them, twentieth century Germany repeatedly faced a coaliiton of Britan, France, Russia and the US (with Italy and Japan flipping bakc and forth) which it could not overcome.

              Hitler gave it one mighty shot, by entering into a non aggression pact with the USSR and by trying to play the liberal capitalist and the communist camps off each other. And it worked through the 1930s, as both sides armed and funded Germany's rearmament with the calculation that Germany would be the "icebreaker" against the other side, which icebreaker would in turn be sunk from the back, opening the way for the two sides to proceed against their weakened enemies. For this reason, the US sent billions of dollars for German rearmament, while Russia provided the tanks and the open space for German commanders to practice their blitzkrieg tactics. General Guderian for example, studied under the inventor of the mobile tank blitzkrige tactic, Soviet General Tukhachevsky, as they conducted repeated mamoevers in the Ukraine throughout the 1930s.

              But Germany's initial success against France was too quick for Germany's own good. It caused the USSR to consider the icebreaker phase to be complete before Germany had a chance to consolidate its winnings by knocking out Britain. by 1941 it was clear that the USSR considered the icebreaker phase ended adn was ready to attack Germany to take advantage of its efforts and proceed through Germany to France and the ultimate conquest of Europe. It is a well known fact in Russia, backed up by very serious analyses of troop locations and Soviet preparations, that the USSR would have attacked Germany in July 1941. This left Hitler with no choice but to launch his attack first, and the wild initial success of Operation Barbarossa was due largely to the fact that nearly all Soviet forces and particulary its armor and air force were pulled up right to the border in preparation for the assault, and were destroyed in the first weeks of the war.

              Ironically, Hilter's plans succeeded after he himself was dead. After Germany's humiliation and dismemberment, Hitler's dream of both the Western and the Eastern camps bullding up Germany as a bulwark against the other was realized and Germany emerged during the Cold War as the dominant European power built up by the US and the USSR to use against the other.

              So I do not think that Hitler was crazy at all. His major mistake was moving too quickly, his early successes made his sponsors abandon him as they moved to the next "post-icebreaker" phase of their imperialist agendas.

              Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

              by Marcion on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 11:30:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Holy fuck, that's a long post. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                But very good reading. Thanks for that. We only get the Americanized version of history here and one of the things I find funny is the downplay of the Soviet role in WWII. I had not read Tukhachevsky and Guderian (I'll have to look that up), so thanks for the additional area of interest that I didn't even know existed.

                Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.00, -3.79

                by KVoimakas on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 09:09:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  unfortunatley for the Soviets (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Tukhachevsky was executed shortly before the war started, while Guderian was given free reign to implement his theories.

                  Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

                  by Marcion on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:16:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  If the GOP becomes anti-war...great! (7+ / 0-)

    The war is wrong and evil and unnecessary. It would be novel for the GOP to be on the correct side of any issue.

    I don't expect it to happen.

    When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

    by Rayk on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:50:16 PM PDT

    •  not the GOP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but the freepers, I definitly think will start opposing Obama's wars. They'll still be pro war and chauvinist American in general, but they'll just say these wars are the wrong wars.

      Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

      by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:59:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And despite the fact it is virtually (6+ / 0-)

    impossible to tell the Obama war plan from the Shrub war plan idiots like Liz Cheney get on the air and proclaim that people don't think Obama is doing enough to protect the US.  He still supports nearly every single aspect (signing statements, indefinite detention, multiple wars, warrantless wiretaps, etc.) and he isn't hawkish enough for the lunatics.  You know the minute he actually does something substinative there will be 100X increase in the whack-o attacks on other policies he is trying to get thru.  

    But to answer your question Nixon sort of played this game WRT to 'Nam.  So I don't think I'd fall for that line coming from someone else on the right.  And I live in WA so the D's here are largely beholden to Boeing so they're pissed about the F-22's.  I'm willing to bet you that turns into at least one "No" vote on healthcare.

    In general the American people are too fat, dumb, and happy to demand real change. There are days I think "Maybe we would've been better off if McLame had won and then we would've gone into crapper deep enough that we'd demand and get real change". But then I realize that nutjob or Caribou Barbie would've been as likely to trigger WWIII and nuke the planet for the Rapture as anything else so that passes quickly. I vote, I donate, I call my congress critter but the noise machine drowns out my voice.

    The only hope we have is public financing for elections.  Until the money leaves politics the politics will always be about money.

    "The dead have risen and they're voting Republican!" -- Bart Simpson

    •  lol (0+ / 0-)

      "Maybe we would've been better off if McLame had won and then we would've gone into crapper deep enough that we'd demand and get real change".

      Bush had us at that point!  That's what we voted for.  To get out of the human craphole the Bush crime family dropped us into.

      "Bad Bruise before dishonor"

      by tRueffert on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:15:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ppl can fly, mieprowan

        we voted for a moderate who said he woudl continue most of Bush's foreign policies.

        Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

        by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:21:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is we're really not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marcion, ppl can fly

        in the crapper.  Not like the Great Depression. Then we got some real social change but it didn't last.  The "Reagan Revolution" that has been destroying the middle-class in this country for nearly thirty years has done a very good job of keeping the "bread and circuses" going.  Most people, even today, aren't that bad off and who wants to rock the boat?  Me?  Hell, I can't afford to do much and I'm well-off by most people's standards.  And I still worry about healthcare, I have to provide it for not only myself but my family.  And I'm certainly not rich enough to play the game against the likes of Exxon, WalMart, or Rupert Murdoch.

        The way things stand now Republican, Democrat, even Independent doesn't mean jack sh*t if you need to worship at the altar of campaign contributions.  But if 20, 25, or 30% of the population was out of work or we had to start a draft to fight that third war in Iran/North Korea/Whatyoucallitistan then maybe, just maybe the people would actually yell loud enough to drown out the noise from the corporations and other monied interests.  

        And watch -- I predict that as this recession eases support for things like healthcare reform will wane.  Support for anything but the status quo of the last thirty years will just ebb like the drop in the unemployment figures.  The real "fierce urgency of now" that Obama is talking about is he knows that if he doesn't get healthcare reform done soon it might not get done at all.  At least that is my opinion.

        "The dead have risen and they're voting Republican! -- Bart Simpson

        •  you know what confuses me (3+ / 0-)

          the corporations support single payer health care, it would relieve them of a crushing burden that makes them less competitive against companies based in countries where they don't have to bear the majority of the cost of tehir employee's health care. And still it's not getting done.

          Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

          by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:59:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A friend of mine has a theory on that (4+ / 0-)

            He claims it is a form of "indentured servitude".  As long as my company provides healthcare I'm not going to quit and go somewhere else.  I'd love to leave the corporate grind and maybe just work freelance but I can't afford to do it. Do you now of any good paying jobs with health care benefits for an expert in SIMD optimization outside of corporate America? I didn't think so. As soon as healthcare is freely available to all corporations that rely on keeping wages relatively low while providing healthcare (even rationed healthcare) will find themselves suffering a huge exodus of talent. Right now it is still cheaper, especially in companies with a relatively young work force (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, other tech companies), to have health benefits that keep their employees just happy enough to not quit.

            "The dead have risen and they're voting Republican!" -- Bart Simpson

          •  that's a very good point (0+ / 0-)

            "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

            by mieprowan on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:50:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  For one thing, (6+ / 0-)

    The American Conservative is not representative of U.S. "conservatism" - most American "conservatives" wouldn't be able to distinguish between a work by Burke or a work by Buick.  

    The "conservatives" of the Republican Party are mostly as incapable of embracing Buchanon's antagonism to the "imperium" as most liberals are of rejecting the "city on the hill" metaphor.  And the few who do recognize it would really prefer to reincarnate Ribbentrop as Secretary of State.

    For another and more important thing, though, I like your attempt to deal with this issue.

    •  of course (6+ / 0-)

      the apparatchiks and party loyaliss will not turn against the dogma of imperialism and militarism that underpins so much of American civilization. But on the edges, teh less affiliated groups can make common cause. I'm not holding my breath here, and to be honest I don't think even such an unlikely alliance would do much good against the centrist consensus and the vested power of the military industrial complex. I'm just throwing it out there, looking to piss off the law and order crowd.

      Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

      by Marcion on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 02:08:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  terrific diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You do know how to ask the hard questions, Marcion. Tipped, recced, forwarded.

    "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

    by mieprowan on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:35:33 PM PDT

  •  This is on the front page (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, forgore, Marcion


    yr fellow anarchist, AG

    "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:17:16 AM PDT

  •  Allying w/antiwar right both possible & necessary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hi Marcion, and thanks so much for linking to my article in the American Conservative.  Am happy it could provoke some worthwhile discussion.  

    I wholeheartedly agree with you and many of the commenters (and a strong majority of those polled) that an anti-imperalist alliance with the antiwar right is both possible and necessary.  Why shouldn't we revive the Anti-Imperialist League of old?  

    For the record, I am not a conservative, neither neo- nor paleo-, but rather a left-libertarian.  And I am very happy to have contributed to The American Conservative, whose coverage of both foreign policy and civil liberties has been very strong.  See for instance their recent cover story on why it doesn't really matter to us if Iran gets the bomb.

    All best,


    •  you are most welcome (0+ / 0-)

      The American Conservative is certainly not in the vein of American conservatism as it is understood today, I would not bother reading it if it was, and your article was fantastic, the humanitarian interventionists are even more troubling than the neocons, at least the targets of the neocons are limited by geopolitical considerations, while the humanitarians have the entire Third World in their sights.

      Sadly, I fear the anti war tradition is dying in the US left because they think they are in power and are prepared to defend that power at all costs.
      The poll in this diary is not indicative, it is skewed because of all the traffic, non members can still vote in polls. To hear these committed progressives defend the Afghan war breaks my heart and I fear that the pattern of Democrats unleashing the biggest wars in US history will continue repeating itself.

      Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

      by Marcion on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 04:53:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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