From The Idiot Factor:
This is a good article and it is timely. I can’t remember when the peace movement was in worse shape than it is now. I’m not sure I agree with everything in this article. What’s more important than the mistakes of the past is the plan of the future. A lot needs to be done. Some polls tell us that as many as 80 percent of the population have a lot of faith in the military, although that number varies from poll to poll with some as little as 67%. At any rate the military is very popular with most voters, especially young ones.
We are fighting wars all over the
Middle east. The US
has invaded and still occupies Iraq
The Afghanistan US now plans to
keep troops in Syria. The US is now deploying troops to Africa.
Most of this is being done under the disguise of “fighting terrorism.” But it
is really a case of this country making sure that no nation can turn against
us, as happened in . Iran
Articles I’ve read point out that only about 1 percent of US citizens are joining the military.
military today is gradually
becoming a separate warrior class, many analysts say, that is becoming
increasingly distinct from the public it is charged with protecting. U.S.
This may open opportunities for us to point out that we have become reliant on a class of people who are continuously and permanently at war. People also need to be aware of the imperialist nature of our wars.
From Fightin’ Cock Flyer:
Whither the Anti-war Movement?
By Daniel Martin
“Imagine there’s no heaven…and no religion too.”
A more useful line when it comes to our current wars may be “Imagine there’s no duopoly.” It’s hard to fault John Lennon for his idealism, of course. In his day, many blamed religion on the wars of history. But a much bigger obstacle right now, at least in the
Aside from the very early days of the
It’s easy to blame the military-industrial complex, the corporate media, and the greed and malleability of politicians. But what about the anti-war movement itself? Why has it failed so miserably, and can it revive as President Donald Trump continues the wars of his predecessors and threatens new ones?
The rallies and protests in the early 2000s attracted significant numbers but they were weighed down by far-left organizations like the World Workers Party, which brought with them myriad other issues beyond war like global warming and poverty. There was also long-held and fairly broad skepticism  about the intentions of United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which organized most of the big protests over the last 17 years. This was due to the “big tent” affiliations of some of their steering committee members, which critics say led to a dilution of the message and drove the anti-war movement further from the mainstream.
Perhaps the movement’s biggest weakness was that it shied away from directly attacking its own—the liberal Democrats who voted for the war in Congress.
In a sense, Democrats did emerge as the de facto anti-war party during the
Conversely, steadfast non-interventionist Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who voted against the resolution, failed badly in both his 2004 and 2008 attempts at his party’s presidential nomination. Bottom line: Support for the war was hardly a deal-breaker for voters, any more than opposition to it was a dealmaker.
Reaction to war is just a microcosm of the political landscape, a manifestation of partisan-driven, short-term memory. Sure there might have been momentary disapproval, but when it came time to decide whether supporters of the war stayed or went, the sins of one’s party leaders meant very little in the zero-sum game of electoral politics. Parties outside the duopoly be damned.
The same thing happened to the anti-war right, as the Ron Paul movement took off in 2008 with an immense level of grassroots energy. One of the singular successes of his movement was the ability to reach people on an intellectual and practical level about the folly of our foreign interventions and the waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars. Paul didn’t shy from criticizing his own party’s leaders and actions. He explained the Federal Reserve’s relationship to the monetary costs of war.
Ultimately, media blackouts and distortion of Paul’s message (for example, conflating his non-interventionist foreign policy views with “isolationism”) helped kill his campaign. After Paul’s 2008 defeat, conservative political activists seized upon the
What the drone program did, in essence, was to create the illusion of “less war.” Nevertheless, studies  showing an increase of terrorism since the beginning of the “war on terror” indicate precisely the opposite: Civilian drone deaths (not always reported) create more enemies, meaning more of our troops will be put in harm’s way eventually.
So where should the anti-war movement go from here? Perhaps it should begin by tempering its far-left impulses and embracing its allies on the right who have been made to feel unwelcome. They could take a lesson from right-leaning places like Antiwar.com and TAC that have long been open to writers and activists on the left.
Meanwhile, flying “Resist Trump” signs at rallies not only misses the mark by suggesting that our needless wars aren’t a bipartisan, systemic problem, but creates a non-inclusive atmosphere for anti-war Trump voters. Ironically, not much “resistance” was heard when Democrats recently helped pass Trump’s $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and failed to repeal the original post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, as was advocated for by Senator Rand Paul this year.
In addition, the few on the anti-war left who oppose war based on pacifist or religious reasons need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans believe in a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution. Most people are willing to accept that there’s a big difference between that and the terrible waste and tragedy that comes with waging unnecessary wars overseas.
They are also averse to their lawmakers doing favors for special interests. Focusing on the money and influence that giant defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing have on Capitol Hill—essentially making war a business—makes the anti-war point by raising the issue of crony capitalism and the cozy relationship between politicians and big business, which increasingly leaves the American public out of the equation.
These corporations, along with Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, have accounted for $42 million in contributions to congressional candidates since 2009, with $12 million in the 2016 cycle alone. The majority of these funds have targeted Armed Services Committee  members, such as perennial war hawk John McCain. In addition, influential neoconservative think tanks have received millions in grants over the years from “philanthropic” organizations such as theBradley  Foundation and the Olin  Foundation, which have corporate backgrounds in the defense industry. The conservative Heritage Foundation is reportedly considering the vice president of Lockheed as its new president. 
Furthermore, mantras and slogans like, “you’re either with us or against us” and “support our troops” have been used as powerful psy-ops to create a false dichotomy: you either support the war policy or you’re not patriotic. Debunking this by pointing out how these wars profit the elite while serving as a pipeline that puts more American military servicemembers—often from working-class backgrounds—into harm’s way should appeal to the current populist spirit on both sides of the political fence. In fact, it could begin to draw new, disenchanted voters into the movement.
Americans today are tired of war, which is good, for now. Unfortunately, without a strong anti-war movement, there won’t be much resistance when the next “big threat” comes along. The two major parties have proven to be false friends when it comes to opposing war—they only do it when it suits them politically. Moving beyond them and becoming stronger with allies and numbers—imagine, there’s no parties—is the best way to build a real opposition.
Daniel Martin is an anti-war activist, musician, and rock journalist from
Excerpt from a speech (in sexist male language) by then ex-President Teddy Roosevelt, given in
"Citizenship In a Republic."
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.