Is the Peace Movement Finally Awakening?
What America needs most today is a peace movement, a broad-based coalition that opposes not only the American empire’s operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (as well as less overt activities elsewhere), but also their attendant accretion of presidential power, which diminishes or eliminates civil liberties and the traditional protections accorded criminal suspects.
Unfortunately, there have been impediments to the development of this long-overdue movement. People on the Right typically are not inclined to oppose wars. Even if they are uneasy about a given war, they equate anti-war activity with left-wing opposition to the military, failure to support the troops, and lack of patriotism. If a Republican is running the war, they are even less likely to make a fuss. Some on the Right are authentically anti-empire and are ready to join an anti-war coalition, but they seem to be waiting for others to take the initiative.
The Left of course is much more comfortable opposing war and executive power and did so during the reign of George W. Bush. But they can alienate potential nonleft coalition members by stressing their interventionist domestic agenda.
A more recent problem with the Left is Barack Obama. With a few exceptions, Obama’s election has silenced the critics of empire, invasion, occupation, Predator bombings, and civil-liberties destruction. Maybe they feel he is one of them, so they are giving him time to get settled in before he begins to dismantle the empire. Well, Obama is into his 17th month and there has been scant progress on that front. It’s safe to say that he has no intention of scaling back, much less liquidating the empire.