Conservatives Turn Against Afghanistan War, Max Boot Goes Insane

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on Firedoglake or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

Something very interesting has been happening with conservatives lately. They’re turning against the war in Afghanistan.

Sure, the majority of Americans have been opposed to the war for some time now, predominantly made up of Democrats and progressives.  But there was always that nagging little problem of the Republican base, specifically their ferocious pro-war attitude.

They carry a lot of weight in the public discourse, so their powerful vocal support for the war would often drown out the (vastly more popular) critical voices. But not anymore. Continue reading “Conservatives Turn Against Afghanistan War, Max Boot Goes Insane”

Journalism is not an Attack, Wikileaks is not Warfare

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on Firedoglake or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

Wikileaks is under attack!

Journalists and politicians are calling for the criminalization of Wikileaks, or worse, the assassination of its members. The US government is coercing companies into blocking access to Wikileaks, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is normally very strong on internet freedom, has been forced to “evolve” her positions.

If you’re a supporter of Wikileaks, or even a relatively dispassionate observer, you likely find these actions to be offensive, or even downright criminal. How dare the US move so arrogantly, so aggressively, against Wikileaks for what seems to be nothing more than the second coming of the Pentagon Papers? We believe in free speech, in transparency and accountability for our government. It’s outrageous that Washington would move so decisively to crush a project like Wikileaks.

But are Wikileaks’ supporters actually feeding this response from the government? In our rush to rationalize and defend Wikileaks and their actions, have we inadvertently opened the door to attacks by the US government?

The answer can be found in how we’ve chosen to frame the debate so far. Continue reading “Journalism is not an Attack, Wikileaks is not Warfare”

Tongue-tied liberals on the wars and health care

Doug Henwood

Every passing day reveals the toxic side-effects of the Obama presidency more clearly. The activist liberal left has largely either gone silent or cast itself in the role of apologist for power.

Yes, it is now obvious that the vast bulk of anti-war protesters were decidedly more anti-Bush than anti-war. And while Obama has toned down the Iraq war, he’s escalated the Afghanistan war. Yet most antiwar protest has gone mute.

Well-off liberals are entirely comfortable blasting Wal-Mart, which is vulgar and largely Republican. But don’t be too bold in criticizing—I mean questioning—our president, who is an elegant Democrat.

Is this what Bob Dylan sang about, ‘you just want to be on the side that’s winning.’ Do we want real change, or just to perpetuate the tired old the-other-side-is-to-blame game that paralyzes US politics.

And the quality of much of the opposition [to the health care plan] has only deepened the liberals’ defensive ardor. A few weeks ago, I heard someone I love and respect, an otherwise sophisticated and thoughtful person, say that “we” have to support the scheme just because “they” oppose it. Professional journalists, who should know how to scrutinize the content, typically do little better. So we’re condemned to dueling caricatures, and our health care system will continue to suck enormously.

A recent poll showed the vast majority of the population has no idea what the public option is or means. This suggests that Obama, Democrats in Congress, and liberal and progressive bloggers have done a terrible job of explaining it. They need to do so. It would certainly increase chances of the bill passing. Because the mud slinging fest we have going on now is doing little to get a quality health care bill passed.