Click on the title to link to an "Under The Hood" (Fort Hood G.I. Coffeehouse)Web site online article about the "Oleo Strut" Coffeehouse, an important development in the anti-Vietnam War struggle. Hats off to those bygone anti-war fighters.
SOMETIMES THE BIG ISSUES OF WAR AND PEACE CAN ONLY BE RESOLVED ON THE STREETS
IMMEDIATE UNCONDITIONAL WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
It is very nice to be able to periodically run old George W. Bush through with a rhetoric spear and Thursday night's speech to the nation has once again taken us nicely down ‘neocon’ memory lane with a certain flourish. Somethings no matter how one packages them defy changing. I will admit I will miss the ‘old boy’ as a target when he is gone. Not as much as I miss his puppet master, Karl Rove, but I will miss him nevertheless. After almost seven years George Bush, however, is just too ‘soft’ a target and it is no longer ‘clever’ as sign of political sophistication to make hay from that source in order to end this damn war. Christ, my mother, a life long ‘bleeding heart’ conservative Republican, is taking potshots at him.If one is looking for parliamentary targets as obstacles in the struggle to immediately end this war the Congressional Democrats are more tempting. And they deserve it because in the end they knew, or should have known, better than to go along with the Bush agenda in Iraq in the early days.
However, after all the parliamentary wrangling and bleeding over the floor of Congress this spring on the war budget it is almost no longer fun to rip the establishment Democrats for their weak-kneed policy either. Even if Senator Reed, in response, last night made the right parliamentary points the sad reality is those policies on not funding the war are not going to happen. Moreover, here is the hard reality. A Democratic Party consensus appears to be forming that in the likelihood of a Democratic presidential victory in 2008 (most likely by a centrist) troop limits will not drop off significantly under that presidency and will remain in Iraq for ….. (Fill in the blank). In capsule form there are three prongs to that strategy 1. Avoid genocide and ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Iraq; 2. Cut off safe havens for Al Queda in the region 3. Counter and contain Iranian influence in the region. That, my friends, is realpolitik, Democratic style. To these eyes that means many troops for many years. End of story.
Well, where the hell does that leave serious anti-war militants? Our slogan is for Immediate Unconditional Withdrawal. That means today (if not yesterday). Does anything said recently by any politician of note even touch on that? They are all backpedaling using the huge logistical problems to, in practice, negate the impact of that slogan. We need another strategy if we are to win this battle against the war. The long and short of it is looking for parliamentary solutions and depending on the ‘good graces’ of anti-war Democrats has had its day. I have been advocating for over a year on my blog site American Left History that we change the axis of our political struggle and form anti-war soldiers and sailors solidarity committees in order to link up with the rank and file troops and lead us to an end of the war. A couple of years ago that would have seemed somewhat far- fetched, and may strike some readers here as far too radical today, however it comes closer to political wisdom for the left than those tired old parliamentary maneuvers. Let me make one historical point in defense of my position. When the deal goes down on the question of war and peace the only time that war stops in the ‘people’s’ interest is when the soldiers themselves put down their arms. In modern times I would refer the reader to World War I, the Russian Revolution and the American experience in the latter parts of the Vietnam War. More, much more on this later.