All war all the time

“If you think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will end with this Presidency, think again. These wars will likely outlast the next several Presidents” says John Robb, citing a number of reasons why this 4GW conflict will continue.

For those of us active in the antiwar movement, he offers little hope

Further, the ongoing fragmentation of national consensus we are experiencing (at all layers), due to a combination of globalization and alternative media conduits, makes it impossible for the opposition to mount any effort of consequence.

So, how do we mount unified, massive opposition to the war? A mass movement is needed, yet seems hard to create, even when the majority now opposes the war.

  • DJ

    The first problem is, of course, that “the opposition” Robb refers to does not exist in any politically meaningful way. At present, the Dems are “the opposition,” which means more of the same.

    Let’s be clear about something: what is needed is not merely a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, but a shift in foreign policy attitude: away from manufacturing enemies to fight and toward converting enemies to friends. And that’s just one plank of the platform. National health care, reducing global emissions, reining in unfettered markets, regulating credit, working to reduce poverty– these are planks also.

    So you’re looking for the unification of a significant block of American voters that currently does not exist. The Republican Revolution made such topics impossible to talk about in public. To get them back on the table requires a new revolution. And the tools to do so are sitting there in front of us, the same ones the fringe right used to create theirs: painstaking grassroots organization, face-to-face contact, networking, and aligning the platform with a religious message that gives in weight beyond mere politics. And in this country, that religion cannot be Marxism, not for anyone who wants to get elected. Try this on for size: “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.” (Acts 4:34)

    You may say that grassroots methods take too long: and they do. It took the fringe right 30 years to get its revolution off the ground. But now it has a lock on power, and there are only two ways to change it: civil war, or grassroots organization. And they’ve got the guns, so civil war isn’t the best choice. I think Joe Baegent’s criticism of the Left is absolutely justified: while the Right organized, the Left retreated into the cities and looked for shortcuts.

    There are no shortcuts. And the longer people look for shortcuts, the longer the monopoly of the fringe right on American politics. But here’s the good news: there are literally million of Americans just waiting for someone to take the lead. The include not only the remaining political leftists, but the Christian Left, as well as traditional conservatives like me who have no use for Marx but believe the community (not the family) is the bedrock of our nation.

    I see the barnraising as the greatest symbol of American culture– everyone getting together for a single goal. It’s not selfless, since if I don’t help you when you need it, you won’t help me when I need it. Rather, it is the kind of self-interest Adam Smith intended: the awareness that we must have healthy communties to have healthy families, and each of us must invest our own time and money in those communities.

    Combine that with the compassionate message of Christianity (as opposed to the meanspirited message hijacked by the Right), and you’ve got a winner. There are people on the Left well experienced at organization. If they would lend their efforts to a vehicle that could actually reach the destination, it wouldn’t take long to get it started.

    And if it does, I’ll jump on board. Unfortunately, I’m an analyst and strategist, not an organizer. I can’t start this thing, but I can tell you where the key is.

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