Click On Title To link To April 22, 2009 Farrah Stockman Boston Globe Article On The Massachusetts Senator John Kerry-led Afghan War Hearings Mentioned Below. This Article Is Priceless In Exposing The Now Threadbare Anti-War Credentials Of The Former Democratic Party Presidential Nominee. Plus There Is A Photo Of A Youthful John Kerry During His 1971 Anti-war Moment. Also Priceless.
Sometimes political happenings of interest to the radical public and to this blogger are not enough to warrant extensive full commentary but nevertheless warrant a word or two. That in the case here on the Afghan war front and the various doings on the gay marriage rights front.
John Kerry Refurbishes His War Credentials
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the unsuccessful 2004 Democratic Party nominee for President, former contender (at least in his own mind) for a Secretary of Stateship in the Obama Administration and now Chairman of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently (April 23, 2009) chaired hearings on the “progress” of the Afghan war. In the buildup to that event the media (at least the local media in Boston) recognized that these hearings were being held very close to the 38th Anniversary of the then private citizen and Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW) leader Kerry’s testimony against that war before this same committee in 1971.
As I have mentioned previously in this space this mania for “celebrating” every small event in the political and social universe has gotten out of hand. Especially the commemoration of this event, considering that Kerry’ testimony given in 1971 was pretty late in the game and after there had been a virtual mutiny in the American army over Vietnam War policy, although it retained a certain power to focus some issues even then. I deny no man or woman, including myself, his or her day in the sun but enough is enough. I have, on occasion, “celebrated” various landmark anniversaries of importance to me but I at least have had the propriety to separate them by five or ten year periods. Whoever heard of making a big deal out of a 38th Anniversary of anything (wedding anniversaries excluded, of course)?
But enough of that. The real import of these hearings is to, once again, confirm that while John Kerry may have earned his political spurs as an Vietnam anti-warrior when it comes to the perceived interests of late (witness his positive vote on Bush’s Iraq War policy) of the American imperium he is “ready for duty”. All the more so when it is a “liberal’s” war under aegis of the liberal Obama Administration. The argument all along in Democratic Party circles, made clear last year in the various Democratic primary debates with the partial exception of Congressman Kucinich, has been that the Bush “Iraq follies” were taking the focus and resources away from the “real” war in Afghanistan. Nothing in the Kerry hearings, including the selection of the appropriate pro-war military advocates to second the Obama administration policy was “off message” from that view.
In short, it is full steam ahead with Obama’s recently announced troop escalations now fully endorsed by the Democrat Party- controlled Senate. What is more problematic though is the state of the opposition to this Obamian war policy. The hearings themselves were lightly attended by anti-war activists, reflecting in part the partisan divide over “bad” Iraq and “good” Afghan policies in bourgeois politics and a general feeling that Obama should have his way, for now, on his policy decisions. Other than the hard-core pacifists of the American Friends Service Committee ilk, some leftist professors, mainly not well to the general public yet, and the usual coterie of “reds’, anti-imperialists and assorted anti militarists, including this writer, the political opposition at this point is negligible.
What appears to be shaping up in regard to the Obama Afghan War policy though is, unlike the rapid massive, if transient, buildup to the Bush Iraq war policy, a small but growing opposition similar to the trajectory of the opposition to the Vietnam War. If one wants to take a trip down “memory lane” on that score then Senator Kerry’s hearings are closer to the Fulbright Senate Vietnam War hearings of 1966 where the outcome was to placate the Lyndon Johnson administration on its war policy. Not a good event for anyone with liberal pretensions to be compared to and not something that an anti-warrior would want to be remembered for. But that is Senator Kerry’s problem. That is also President Obama’s problem. Our problem is to fight for a NO vote of the war appropriations. And it is never out of order, in fair weather or foul, to call for- Obama- Immediate Unconditional Withdrawal Of U.S./Allied Troops From Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fits and Starts On The Gay Marriage Front
Most of the news over the past year on the, mainly legal and legislative, fight for the democratic right of gays and lesbians to marry just like the rest of us has been positive, excepting that serious initiative reversal in California last November. Over the past few weeks the news has been hot and heavy and this week was no exception. A key court victory in the “heartland”, Iowa. A legislative veto override in Vermont. Now, this week, the Connecticut legislature has given its imprimatur to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision by changing any statutes that conflict with that court’s verdict. Maine and New York legislative bodies are both giving serious and heated attention to the issue. New York would be a key victory similar in impact to the California court’s decision.
I have only one comment to make here concerning these glad tidings. I do not know, and am not privy to, any inside information about the various legislative and political strategies of the gay and lesbian pro-marriage rights movement. I have heard, and the trends seem to confirm this, that at least part of the strategy is to make New England a gay marriage rights bastion. That seems to be proceeding nicely. What this brings to mind are the ebbs and flows of the slavery abolition movement and its historic center in the Northeastern United States in the 1830’s and 1840’s. Thus it seems appropriate that the leading role in the gay marriage rights started in New England. Here is the point though. Until the Georgias, Alabamas and Mississippis are “conquered”, places where gays and lesbians desperately need such rights, there will always be a sense of a “hollow” victory with each new announcement. Full Marriage Rights For Gays And Lesbians Everywhere!