War? What War?

Continuing a theme from Alex’s post, I wanted to highlight two stories highlight just how much things change when the man in the White House has a D after his name.

First, you remember all the anti-war protesters we had under Bush? You might have been wondering where they were. Well, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, etc. couldn’t be bothered so it’s up to … Buzzfeed to ask those questions:

Activists who turned out thousands of protesters during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq say they’ve been unable to effectively organize or raise money since the end of the Bush years, and that newer causes like drones have seized the space on the left once occupied by opposition to conventional warfare. And some acknowledge that the energy has leaked out of the movement because a Democrat is now in office. Though some groups have organized online petitions and some real-life protests, the antiwar crowd that was on fire before the war in Iraq has made hardly a dent in the conversation surrounding Syria.

“Well, the most incredibly depressing thing was that most of the groups that existed before don’t exist anymore,” said Medea Benjamin, the founder of Code Pink. “That’s the number one problem, is that the antiwar movement is a shadow of its former self under the Bush years.”
Benjamin pointed to groups like United for Peace and Justice, a Communist Party-connected group, as examples: “They’re down to a couple of volunteers,” she said.

Some people are trying to blame the economy or the attention on drone strikes. But the more honest war protesters — i.e., the ones who are just as fired up about Obama attacking Syria — admit that they simply can not drum up the support because it’s Obama. Now I will grant that bombing Syria is not the same thing as a full-on invasion of Iraq. But the protesters were also silent during the bloody Afghan surge. And if you really oppose war, really oppose intervention, the scale of the operation shouldn’t really make a difference.

Now you could accuse the Republicans of hypocrisy too for opposing this while they supported Iraq. It’s a fair point. However, it’s important to remember that the Iraq War started only a couple of years after 9/11 — we were still on edge about terrorists and WMDs. Moreover, as someone who supported the Iraq War and now opposes this one, my explanation is that I learned my lesson. At least in Iraq, we had some shadowy goal — removing a dictator, destroying his WMDs and setting up a democratic replacement. Goal one was accomplished, goal two had already been accomplished by Bush I and Clinton. Goal three is still shaky. But what are our goals in Syria? What’s the mission? If it’s destroying the WMDs from afar, I’m not completely opposed. But if it’s to “send a message” or “maintain or credibility”, I don’t put much stock in that. And if it’s too empower one side in this war, I think that’s a terrible idea.

The second story is that Obama is waffling on whether he needs Congressional approval for this war, police action, kinetic action, conversion of potential energy or whatever he’s calling it these days. Friersdorf reminds us that Joe Biden said attacking another country without Congressional approval was an impeachable offense. I will say what I said on Libya, on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on everything: if there is any doubt, get Congressional approval. And that point is becoming increasingly obvious even to many on the left.

Of course, the reason Obama doesn’t want to go to Congress is because he’d have to justify an attack (indeed, Boehner has already sent a letter asking about this very point). Unfortunately for Obama, going to Congress and saying, “I’ll look weak if we don’t do something” probably won’t fly.

Comments are closed.

  1. AlexInCT

    Some people are trying to blame the economy or the attention on drone strikes. But the more honest war protesters — i.e., the ones who are just as fired up about Obama attacking Syria — admit that they simply can not drum up the support because it’s Obama.

    What? You mean all the protesting against Boosh was just people angry he didn’t let Gore steal the 2000 election? Well blow me down….

    Thumb up 6

  2. Hal_10000 *

    Now, Alex, you know that Bush was only going to war for evil oil-stealing Haliburton purposes. When Obama goes to war, it’s for nobel reasons. And the way you know is that Obama is a Democrat. It’s not like Clinton ever started a bombing campaign to take attention away from …

    oh, yeah.

    Thumb up 9

  3. AlexInCT

    Seriously though Hal, what is our reason for fucking around in Syria? What is the national or other interest there?

    In Libya it was obvious the goal was to get rid of Gadhafi because he had had the temerity of telling the Eurotrash to fuck off and that he would sell his oil to China instead. So Obama threw the frogs a bone and had our tax payers foot the bill to keep the Europeans in the cheap oil. The place is now a massive shithole, and in the end, the chaos it created because nobody stepped in to put order in place, is going to cost us even more.

    I still can’t fathom what we gain from military intervention in Syria. Israel doesn’t win because the fucking Iranian madmen said they will retaliate against Israel for us messing with their vassal state. Then you have the Russians and the Chinese that might actually this time decide they can no longer just let us fuck them over economically and politically, so the risk this escalates is huge. Are we trying to get at Iran because Obama feels pissed the Iranians never took his offer to talk to them seriously? Are we hoping we can use this attack as cover to kill the people that might tell others what really went on in Benghazi, so this is the WH doing a cover your ass move?

    I mean shit, when Boosh told the world we needed to deal with Iraqi WMDs because Saddam, whom had used them on his own people without anyone feeling obliged to bomb him for that, might use them on us after the lessons of 9-11, these people went apeshit and accused him of having all kinds of ulterior motives. We were going to steal oil. Fine the Chinese got the oil. He was taking us to war because he had daddy issues. Saddam is dead and I still see nothing to let me think there are daddy issues or that they were solved. Boosh was a fucking cokehead with delusions of grandeur. The current occupant of the WH thinks he is bigger than Napoleon, Julius Cesar, and Jesus combined. Blah, blah, blah! The list of bad reasons and their claims of flimsy evidence, after the fact, while ignoring the real reasons and all that, was insane, and they ripped their clothes in protest to any intervention in Iraq. In fact, A-Stan became the only good war then so they could give themseves cover for being Boosh haters. Seriously, the left’s problem with Boosh was and remains that he didn’t let Gore steal the 2000 election, and then even won the 2004 one. Never forget that.

    Now Black Jesus wants to bomb Syria, on flimsy evidence, and despite the fact they gave him a Nobel peace prize to point out how much more humane and less blood thirsty than evil Boosh he is, and these same morons are all making excuses for him. War protesters? Practically none to be found anywhere. They are too busy with other things. Seriously, what’s in Syria that we need so bad? Maybe Obama should come out and tell us that the Iraqi WMDs are there. I might tentatively support him then if he gives me some proof that’s what they are really after.

    That the Eurotrash suddenly are backing down and saying they prefer we give diplomacy another chance tells me they were coerced in going along with this attack thing. The only people still beating the war drums are the ones in our government that stand to gain, and are gaining, as we focus on why Syria, instead of the massive mountain of scandals.

    I think we should dig Nixon up, put magnets on him and in the lining of his coffin, and run cables to batteries from them. The speed at which he must be spinning in his grave should generate enough power to light up Washington D.C. He knows he got fucked over for a fraction of the crap that these crooks are getting away with. Pathetic times we live in that our press has their noses so far up these asshole’s asses that they can’t even see how they are wrecking our nation. Do they think that the next administration if they are republicans are suddenly going to stop doing everything Obama has done because this time they will report on them? I swear you couldn’t make up something as nefarious and stupid as is going on in this country at this time.

    Thumb up 10

  4. CM

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Thumb up 0

  5. Section8

    If Obama goes through with this, and as of now he hasn’t, I don’t think there is one major policy he has not followed trough with which Bush was heavily criticized for or just hated. In fact, many of those policies have been greatly expanded under this administration. How anyone on the left can argue for this guy without looking like a ridiculous hypocrite is beyond me. It won’t stop them though. At least we can have a good laugh over it.

    Not many people oppose all and any interventions.

    Kiwi Bomb, this also makes Hal’s point, and without a doubt, one of those factors and by far the primary one happens to be the political label associated with the intervention.

    Thumb up 6

  6. hist_ed

    The difference between the Afghan surge and Syria is that the war in Afghanistan was authorized by Congress. The president does not need to go back to Congress to change tactics and strategy during a war.

    From a Constitutional perspective, this attack against Syria (like the one against Libya) is much worse than Afghanistan and Iraq. Iraq’s invasion was authorized by Congress with large, bipartisan majorities. But Obama doesn’t care about the Constitution when working on his domestic policy, so we really shouldn’t expect him to care with foreign policy either.

    You reference Biden above, Here is Senator Obama in 2007:
    “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,”

    Thumb up 11

  7. hist_ed

    Unfortunately for Obama, going to Congress and saying, “I’ll look weak if we don’t do something” probably won’t fly.

    The real reason is that Obama knows that if he goes to Congress he will lose the vote big time.

    Thumb up 7

  8. Seattle Outcast

    Seriously though Hal, what is our reason for fucking around in Syria? What is the national or other interest there?

    “Wag the dog”

    Also, Obama has permanently lost much credibility at home and abroad. He mistakenly thinks that if blows some shit up he’ll be perceived as having a pair.

    That largely answers your question.

    And you are dead wrong.

    Mainly that just shows you don’t understand American culture, or are being disingenuous. Anti-war kooks in America will protest the shelling of a deserted island that has nothing living on it other than rats and seagulls. It’s not the size of the military action, it’s the fact that the US military exists at all, much less actually doing anything outside of our borders.

    Thumb up 8

  9. CM

    And you are dead wrong.

    Mainly that just shows you don’t understand American culture, or are being disingenuous. Anti-war kooks in America will protest the shelling of a deserted island that has nothing living on it other than rats and seagulls. It’s not the size of the military action, it’s the fact that the US military exists at all, much less actually doing anything outside of our borders.

    I’m not talking about kooks. I’m talking about the vast majority of people that occupy the ‘middle’, who will support an intervention/war if they considered it necessary. Many of these people opposed the Iraq invasion, but that doesn’t mean they’ll oppose any and all interventions/wars.
    It’s a given that kooks are…..kooks.

    (BTW, it seems very obvious to me that you’re all totally on the mark about Obama needing the support of Congress)

    Thumb up 1

  10. Seattle Outcast

    I’m not talking about kooks. I’m talking about the vast majority of people that occupy the ‘middle’, who will support an intervention/war if they considered it necessary

    Keep proving me right, and change the argument in mid-stream. Got it.

    We are talking about “protesters”, not “the middle” – apparently you aren’t familiar with the American phenomenon of weekend protesters that show up like clockwork on street corners, parking lots, parks, highway overpasses, etc any time it’s even mentioned that we “need to intervene” someplace when a non-Democrat is in office. That these people instantly vanished when Jesus Obama was elected was not a coincidence. Also, it was the point of the entire post.

    You can no go back to your nearly unpopulated island many thousands of miles from the rest of the world and look at penguins.

    Thumb up 9

  11. satch

    I am really enjoying the demolition Alex and Hal are administering to the local apologists for the current occupant. I was going to jump in on the other thread about Syria but Alex so thoroughly handed them their bollocks I felt like it would be piling on.

    Have you chaps seen the latest setback for the One? Good old parliament told Cameron to sod off and voted against a strike at Syria. So now, will we go it completely alone and step on a possible land mine with some ridiculous air strikes that would likely accomplish nothing? This is going to be very interesting.

    Alex, I am in favour of sending you a large case of Orville Redenbacher popcorn. And if you live close enough a growler or three of locally brewed ale. The entertainment value of our resident lefties is going to be monumental as this plays out and I want to make sure you are having all the fun possible.

    Thumb up 7

  12. hist_ed

    We are talking about “protesters”, not “the middle” – apparently you aren’t familiar with the American phenomenon of weekend protesters that show up like clockwork on street corners, parking lots, parks, highway overpasses, etc any time it’s even mentioned that we “need to intervene” someplace when a non-Democrat is in office.

    And they are out there and ready. This is not a new phenomenon. I was just out of high school when Reagan bombed Libya. I was a stupid hippy of sorts then, and a couple of friends decided that we would organize a protest. We used the office of a local college paper and called people we knew for a while while getting mostly nowhere. Then someone talked to a friend who said “Hey you should call this guy.” We did, he turned out to be an officer in the local commie party. He was all over it. He called us back about 15 minutes later and said “I got you your protest.” A bunch of people showed up with pre-made anti-Reagan banner, bongo drums and weed. Aside from the 4 of us who started calling, we didn’t know anyone in the group and boy did they take over our protest.

    Thumb up 4

  13. Seattle Outcast

    They’re too busy demanding $15/hour for fast food workers today.

    What a bunch of idiots. Zero comprehension of how close they are to being replaced by automated equipment or a smart parrot. Not to threadjack, but how can they not understand that any raise in the minimum wage will merely leave them in the exact same position in five years?

    The more money there is, the more things cost. So simple that not even a highly education liberal can comprehend it.

    Thumb up 2

  14. AlexInCT

    What a bunch of idiots. Zero comprehension of how close they are to being replaced by automated equipment or a smart parrot.

    Why would they worry about that? Obama will then finally have an excuse to go after all the automated machines and their masters. He already has a boner for cash machines at the bank because it got rid of tellers…

    Seriously, that they pay a fucking idiot that half of the time takes too long, gets it wrong, or does both $15 an hour is a shame. These fucking lazy idiots are not worth half that money. If I was as lazy and wrong as often as they are, I would have to work the job they are doing too. I still doubt I should be paid $15 and hour for that though.

    Thumb up 1

  15. pfluffy

    What a bunch of idiots. Zero comprehension of how close they are to being replaced by automated equipment or a smart parrot. Not to threadjack, but how can they not understand that any raise in the minimum wage will merely leave them in the exact same position in five years?

    The more money there is, the more things cost. So simple that not even a highly education liberal can comprehend it.

    While I can appreciate your logic here, remember that bills come in at ~30 day increments. A minimum wage worker probably thinks in those terms.

    Thumb up 0

  16. AlexInCT

    While I can appreciate your logic here, remember that bills come in at ~30 day increments. A minimum wage worker probably thinks in those terms.

    I think the problem is that they don’t even think pfluffy. Or I should say, they can’t think logically.

    Thumb up 1

  17. AlexInCT

    I now hear we are going it alone because nobody else wants to do it. Boy Obama sure is a much better pol than that crazy cowboy Boosh. He had 40 other countries and even UN and congressional approval. Obama has his Nobel prize, and that’s all he needs. You can not make up a better parody by comparing the left then and now if you tried. If we all wouldn’t be getting ass raped in the process this would all actually be comedic.

    Thumb up 3

  18. TxAg94

    I just saw some ‘expert’ on CNN spin it that Obama has Congressional approval by default because Boehner has not called Congress in for a vote. The guy sold it with a straight face and of course the host, somebubbleheaded bimbo,just rolled with it.

    Thumb up 3

  19. TxAg94

    I’m still struggling to understand why we had virtually no problem when civilians were being slaughtered by conventional means but we’re now on thebrink of war. Makes no sense to me.

    Thumb up 5

  20. stogy

    I am really enjoying the demolition Alex and Hal are administering to the local apologists for the current occupant.

    Who are these local apologists? And what have they done? Is it me? Should I apologize? I must have missed the asskicking. Did it hurt?

    I don’t think anyone posting here is actually in favor of a US military solution in Syria. Except for CM with his rather forceful argument for the use of tactical kiwifruit.

    But will there be protests? Probably not much, and yeah, it’s completely hypocritical. How much am I gonna miss the “no blood for oil” slogans??

    But fortunately, we had Alex:

    In Libya it was obvious the goal was to get rid of Gadhafi because he had had the temerity of telling the Eurotrash to fuck off and that he would sell his oil to China instead.

    Would you ever have said that if it had been a Republican in the WH, and was bombing heavy weapons in Libya (as I’m pretty sure they would have done – to howls of protest from the left)? No, you would be dissing the opposition for crying “no blood for oil”. Point is, you’re are no different at all from the people you are actually quite rightly criticizing.

    Thumb up 0

  21. AlexInCT

    I just saw some ‘expert’ on CNN spin it that Obama has Congressional approval by default because Boehner has not called Congress in for a vote. The guy sold it with a straight face and of course the host, somebubbleheaded bimbo,just rolled with it.

    Funny how now that it is one of their own leftist fellow travelers that wants war the fucking shitbags at CNN that always had such doubts about that evil warmongering cowboy and his motives, because they were thinking people and anti-violence, all sport some major war boners, huh? Like I said: the left never had or will have a problem with war: they just hated Boosh so badly for not letting Gore steal the 2000 election that they simply opposed anything he was for. If the opposition was smart they would get that Texan cowboy to come out and say he agrees with Obama that we should bomb the fuck out of Syria, and you would immediately see the heads of most of the shitbags in the LSM explode as they tried to sort out their instinctive reaction to go against BushChimpyMcHitler and their need to suck off Obama. It would be priceless.

    Thumb up 4

  22. AlexInCT

    Would you ever have said that if it had been a Republican in the WH, and was bombing heavy weapons in Libya (as I’m pretty sure they would have done – to howls of protest from the left)?

    The last republican to really bomb Libya was Reagan. He did it after Gadhafi’s boys blew up some US servicemen in a disco in Germany. I was 100% behind that because it showed everyone that the US was not going to let anyone fuck with it. I wish we had put an even bigger hurt on Libya after the Lockerby bombing as well, but they didn’t. In fact, I was seriously pissed that we didn’t bomb Gadhafi hard after this but used that stupid international court instead.

    When there is a national interest (a real one, not just something convenient for that administration), I have no problem with the use of force, be they republican or democrat. The problem is that for some ungodly reason democrats seem to only want to use force when there is no national interest, when they have a personal interest (something they love to project on the other side, too), or worse, when they need to distract people from something bad they have been up to. So, to answer your question, if it was a republican in the WH and they decided to bomb Libya to keep cheap oil for the French, I would be totally against it just as vehemently as I was when it was a democrat.

    The point is that there is nothing at all to gain from bombing Syria. The whole WMD thing suddenly making it absolutely necessary for us to use force now, is blatantly ludicrous. The only reason Syria is an issue and gets so much press time is so they do not have to talk about the other fucked up shit this administration is doing. That’s why they are all alone in this endeavor. And that is no reason to use force ever.

    Thumb up 4

  23. hist_ed

    I’m still struggling to understand why we had virtually no problem when civilians were being slaughtered by conventional means but we’re now on the brink of war. Makes no sense to me.

    You know, it’s much more humane to shred people with high explosives and shrapnel, leaving mangled bodies to die in slow agony. Also much more humane to simply starve them to death, shoot them, burn them, etc. Gas attacks, well, they are beyond the pale.

    I have made a similar point talking to students (and adults) about the atomic bombings of World War Two. More people were killed in the biggest Tokyo firebombing raid. Thousands perished after the raids from burns. Yet somehow Nagasaki and Hiroshima were more cruel and crimes against humanity etc. etc. I don’t get it.

    Thumb up 1

  24. Mook

    So after stating that he doesn’t need any stinkin’ Congressional approval for bombing Syria, King Obama today announced that future military action in Syria should be put up for Congressional vote. Our king is benevolent.

    By his words and actions it’s clear Obama doesn’t consider the Congressional vote to be binding in the least.. he’s just looking for political cover. Boehner should demand that Obama publicly declare in advance of the vote whether or not he considers the Congressional vote on Syria to be binding. Otherwise, what would be the point of having a vote? Reality is, Boner and McCain will probably join in a coalition to support Obama bombing Syria.. with Al Queda giving us ground support in the bombing.

    Thumb up 1

  25. Section8

    Point is, you’re are no different at all from the people you are actually quite rightly criticizing.

    Even if Alex or anyone else here would have been bitching about the left if a GOP president was in office during the Libya invasion, there is still one key factor you have failed to notice even with it being as obvious as it is. The left has managed to successfully sell their narrative regarding how imperialistic the US has been and that all the meddling is for self centered purposes. Now when one or a group successfully sells their ideology, and obtains control the point is they have a responsibility to practice what they preach otherwise you look like a complete fraud, are a complete fraud, and people will take notice. You know how like people love to make fun of fundamentalist blowhards when it turns out they don’t apply the standards to their own actions, and in fact say it doesn’t apply to them at every turn. With this bunch though, I don’t even think fundamentalist blowhards have been so blatantly hypocritical. I know no amount of explaining will get through to you,but most everyone else knows exactly what is going on.

    Thumb up 2