2005/03/11

MoveOn.org: Making Peace With the War in Iraq



I was a supporter of Moveon.org but haven't been keeping up since the election. I was surprised to read this and terribly disappointed. But, we move on.

Two years after the invasion of Iraq, the online powerhouse MoveOn.org -- which built most of its member base with a strong antiwar message -- is not pushing for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

It's all well and good for MoveOn.org to do superb work in the current battle over the future of Social Security. And it's very helpful to excoriate President Bush for his many big lies in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. But such activities don't make up for going along with the basics of the present-day Iraq war.

When a large progressive organization takes the easy way and makes peace with war, the abdication of responsibility creates a vacuum. Ironically, a group that became an Internet phenom by recognizing and filling a void is now creating one. And other groups are bound to emerge to fill it.

Among the emerging organizations is Progressive Democrats of America PDA, a fledgling national group with an activist focus on the Iraq war that is laudably straightforward. "We're organizing a new campaign in every Congressional District we can to call for the end of funding for war and occupation, and for the transfer of reconstruction assistance to Iraqis themselves," says Tim Carpenter of PDA. He contends that "public pressure can awaken Congress to an opposition role."


I've had a look at the PDA site and it looks good. I'm no Democrat but I like the sound of Progressive Democrat. Check it out and see what you think. As Sarah said, "We cannot separate the demands of the moment from the larger moral picture, unless we wish to abandon our own moral principles."

31 Comments:

I think Moveon.org will lose a lot of its credibility. But as you say, other ppl will *move on * and they will be left behind. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/11/2005 11:30:00 pm  
I'm a "member" of Moveon.org, but I got involved simply to help out with the last couple of elections. In talking with the fellow who recruited me a couple of weeks ago and he said since the election, there are simply not enough people actively involved to do much at all right now.

I'm guilty of not giving the organization any time at all since November 2nd. Perhaps, and I'm only suggesting this, the folks left running things there feel like they have to pick a winnable battle or two to bolster the ranks.

Still no excuse, I know, for such an organization to even appear to have quit fighting for the very thing that motivated so many new people to get involved last year.

Personally, seeing new splinter groups like the PDA doesn't thrill me as maybe it should. I start thinking of that scene in Monty Python's "The Life of Brian..." I think the left is seen that way too often, and that too often we help solidify the stereotype. 

Posted by surrogate
3/12/2005 01:02:00 am  
Here is a link to an article I found today.US held youngsters at Abu Ghraib   Proof that the American military from their leadership down are out of control. The sad thing is that they are getting away with it. How can the U.S military justify having children and abusing them in their prisons? Is this a necessary evil to keep America safe? must people suffer in other parts of the world so that others can live the illusions that the world is a better place now? 

Posted by Max
3/12/2005 11:48:00 am  
MoveOn sucks and "progressive democrats" are socialists with a more palatable title. 

Posted by Kender
3/12/2005 03:45:00 pm  
"MoveOn sucks and "progressive democrats" are socialists with a more palatable title."

I'd rather be a socialist than an antisocialist toad like yourself any day. :)  

Posted by deviant1
3/12/2005 06:16:00 pm  
this kender person is quite something... squeaky squirrel cage no doubt 

Posted by surrogate
3/13/2005 01:28:00 am  
"progressive democrats" are socialists with a more palatable title "

Kender, do you people think everyone is a Socialist? If only it were true that there are that many Socialist in the states. Use your head for once. The truth is that most Americans don't have the slightest idea that a Socialist Party exist in the US. 

Posted by Dianne
3/13/2005 01:29:00 am  
"Use your head for once "

From the pic I saw, this could be a problem. His head is kinda pointy - not much room at the top for a sizeable brain to reside :-) 

Posted by WhyNot
3/13/2005 01:55:00 am  
Ha...you guys are too funny....and now who's calling people names? Hehehe...antisocial toad? That is just absolutely brilliant wordsmithing there D1...did it take you long to come up with that?

Really, you guys are so out of touch with reality. The more I listen to people like you whine about the poor and needy and the "disenfranchised" (as in the voters that voted for kerry the less I care about these people

MoveOn still sucks.
Socialists still suck.
Democrats that hide their socialist goals also suck.....however....

I have an idea. How nice would it be to crate up the statue of liberty, and send it back to france, along with all of the tired, poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free that we have here and let you deal with the whiny, lazy, stupid parts of humanity that refuse to work or better their place in life?

Oh wait, do you need another ten million citizens just like yourself?

(Now see? THAT is how one creates an insult. No simple little words like "antisocial toad" but rather a sweeping insult to the french, socialists, lazy and the poor in general, and you folks in particular.) 

Posted by Kender
3/13/2005 03:46:00 am  
"who's calling people names? Hehehe...antisocial toad "

Calling names? Dang, I thought D1 was only returning your polite favor of calling us "a bunch of frogs and other assorted amphimbians". You really have the knack for inserting your foot in your mouth every time you open it, don't you?

"Now see? THAT is how one creates an insult"

I have no doubt you beat us all hands down in the insult and racism department, Kender. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/13/2005 07:05:00 am  
A few thoughts on this topic, since it seems to still be fairly fresh:

(1) MoveOn, while clearly having laudable goals like restoring someone with a semblance of progressive thought to the White House, operates under the same anti-democratic premise as groups like SwiftBoat Veterans for Truth. A number of folks donate in small amounts, but really, this group is a front for wealthy Democrat activists who want to contribute more than their legally allowed $2000 to a candidate. There are tons of groups like this, but for the first time, the Democrats have actually come up with a major player. Good for them. Bad for the overall spirit of political campaigning. If they stick purely to issue-based work, I've got no issues. But it seems that such a philosophy isn't in the cards for these guys. I'd like to see all of these groups out of politics so that smaller, more issue-based groups can help raise the level of debate in the country rather than bringing it down to who threw away what medals or who did what in the Texas Air National Guard.

(2) I'm glad there are people out there pushing for the removal of troops from Iraq, but I'm not one of them. The war is awful and was a collosal mistake. But leaving in mid-job would open the door to creating an extremist state in Iraq, which benefits no one, including Iraqis.

(3) Kender, you're right: You're very good at making broad, sweeping generalizations and insults. I particularly enjoy your one about poor people being lazy. Keep in mind that the poverty level in the US for a family of 3 is around $14k per year. I don't know how old you are or what your job is, but imagine trying to live on that amount of money for one or two people let alone having a kid. And there are millions who do. Calling them all lazy simply because corporate America has decided that they're only worth 6 bucks an hour or so and no benefits is ridiculous. You want ghettos to go away? Make the minimum wage $10-12/hr and be willing to pay 7-8 bucks for a hamburger instead of 4-5. End of story.

And it doesn't surprise me, considering your views on pushing religion on other people, that you'd be excited about boxing up a symbol of LIBERTY and shipping it back to the intellectual birthplace of those ideals. 

Posted by Evan
3/13/2005 05:13:00 pm  
Evan,

"You want ghettos to go away? "

In discussions on previous posts, Kender has made it clear that he doesn't care if ppl can't survive. His theory is that if they can't survive, it's their fault. His argument over the minimum wage being too low to survive on is that "they should get off their lazy asses and do something that pays more".

Isn't it right, Kender? Or do I need to go dig out your comments? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/13/2005 05:55:00 pm  
"But leaving in mid-job would open the door to creating an extremist state in Iraq, which benefits no one, including Iraqis "

The problem here is:
Do they Iraqis want  a western style democracy? If they don't, as seems to be the case in view of the elections, what do we do? Impose is on them? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/13/2005 06:09:00 pm  
Interesting point about MoveOn, Evan, and something I didn't realize about their organization. Thanks for pointing it out. I will look into it further.

I disagree with point 2. Everything I read and see on the news here says a majority of Iraqis want the troops out. I don't agree with US interventionist policies in other parts of the world. They have always ended in disastor and they are all based on what's good for the US. Thinking only of my own or 'my' countries survival this policy is understandable but it doesn't make it right. Whether Iraq wants an Islamic form of government is not our business. I can't emphasize enough how strongly I believe this. Whatever the future holds we deal with it when it happens. We don't make the future what we want it to be in order to serve ourselves.  

Posted by Dianne
3/13/2005 07:42:00 pm  
a sweeping insult to the french, socialists, lazy and the poor in general, and you folks in particular..

Your abilities just take my breath away, Kender.
3/13/2005 07:45:00 pm  
If minimum wage being raised is so good why stop at ten or twelve an hour? WHy not 50? Because at ten or twelve alot of compnies are going to close up shop, because frankly nobody is going to eat hamburgers that cost 7 bucks when you can make one at home for 2.50.

And how long would cattle farmers let that stand? .25 worth of beef for a seven dollar burger? The grain farmers threw a fit a few years back because .40 cents worth of grain made a 4 dollar box of cereal.

Minimum wage jobs are for those starting in the work force and those without marketable skills. It is a simple premise. If you want to earn more money, be worth more money. It is not our job to make sure everyone has an equal standard of living, it is only our job that everyone gets the same chance.

Why can you not understand that simple premise? 

Posted by Kender
3/13/2005 08:09:00 pm  
Do they Iraqis want a western style democracy? If they don't, as seems to be the case in view of the elections, what do we do? Impose is on them?  

Oh, I don't at all disagree with you. I was against the invasion from the start. But once you have a vaccuum of power that the US has created, if the US were to leave and Iraq were to end up in worse shape, what would that say about the US? And what would that do for Iraqis in terms of their government.

Dianne's point of not looking at this through a US-centric lens is a good one, but ultimately, Iraqis don't benefit if we leave right now. They get hurt. The minority will get even less representation than they would have under Saddam, and their military is completely untrained and unable to defend its borders. As long as the country can function at some basic level and the military can defend the country from any possible attacks, I want the troops home as fast as the next guy. But it seems irresponsible to me to leave knowing that the country is unable to defend itself and is possibly in a position to be without the means to keep up with basic services that they had even under Saddam's rule. Once the country is stable enough in that regard, insurgancy or no, I agree that the US should be gone as fast as humanly possible. 

Posted by Evan
3/13/2005 08:56:00 pm  
Evan,

I hear what you're saying, and it does make a lot of sense. However, there are several issues which, while I don't claim to have  the answers to, I want to challenge or at least question a few points.

For instance:

if the US were to leave and Iraq were to end up in worse shape, what would that say about the US” 

Problem 1: how can you be sure Iraq will be in worse shape?
Problem 2: even if we could read the future, what of "what would that say about the US" ? It would only say that they fucked up big to start with, then fucked up again, but this time at least it was because they didn't know what was best, instead of "we came bash you on the head under false pretence and fabricated evidence". Mmmm... clumsy sentence, I know, but does it make sense?

Don't know if you read it, but somewhere in the comments, I mentioned about France and Algeria. Mostly because I know a lot about it, but really, it's the same story of old Europe imperialist ways. And the result has ALWAYS been the same: there is NO fixing our imperialist intrusions. The best we can do, as history has proven time and time again, is to get out and pray for the best. The longer we fuck with them, the worse we make it, and unless the US has a new magical recipe that nobody else ever thought of before, the same thing will happen in Iraq.

What's your thoughts on past examples of disastrous attempts by the West to teach other cultures "our" way of doing things? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/13/2005 09:57:00 pm  
"Dianne's point of not looking at this through a US-centric lens is a good one "

I'm glad we agree on this one, Evan. :)

I do believe without an American withdrawal from Iraq the situation can and will only get worse. I also agree with those who say US agenda in the region is to dominate not bring 'democracy.' America is splitting the country apart and paving the way for the civil war they talk so much about wanting to prevent.
The first step toward stability in Iraq is for the US to leave and the sooner the better. We would then see other countries making themselves available to help in whatever way they can when they are asked. Much of the terrorist attacks would stop as the Iraqis who have gotten involved with these groups because of US occupation would no longer feel the need. Those terrorist organizations that are there would lose the main reason they have, or at least use, for being there in the first place. I think US withdrawal would definitely reduce their number and make them easier to deal with.
It is wrong to treat the Iraqis as if they're ignorant people unable to take their lives into their own hands and put their country back in order.  

Posted by Dianne
3/14/2005 08:34:00 am  
Well, I do have to say that I'm not too staunch in my opinion on this one. You guys make good points, and it seems like I wrestle with similar ideas on getting out of Iraq all the time. Not that there's much *I* can do about it at this point, but in terms of thinking about it.

The most poignant way of thinking about it -- and something that, for whatever reason, never occured to me -- is what WhyNot said: And the result has ALWAYS been the same: there is NO fixing our imperialist intrusions.

Thinking back, that's largely true. The only notable exceptions have been in Europe and are kind of like comparing apples and oranges when looked at next to Iraq. 

Posted by Evan
3/14/2005 04:19:00 pm  
Kender,

If your going to quote me, do it right: I said antsocialist toad, you antisocialist toad.

"No simple little words like "antisocial toad" but rather a sweeping insult to the french, socialists, lazy and the poor in general, and you folks in particular.)"

Lazy and poor? Well, all I can say is I can actually decide what I do for a living, unlike yourself.

Greedy money grubbing freaks like yourself will never be able to understand simple terms like compassion (unless tax breaks to the rich count).

I just love your take on economics and minimum wage. Better stick with training horses, or promoting bands or whatever the hell it is that you do. :)  

Posted by deviant1
3/14/2005 05:28:00 pm  
Evan,

I agree with you that the US army leaving Iraq will leave the country in an unknown state, and things could well get worse before they get better. In view of the various ethnicities and religious factions, especially because some were repressed for decades by Saddam and now want a voice, there could be civil war.

But one thing I'm nearly certain is that no  amount of staying there and bringing "stability" by force will fix it.

The example of France/Algeria is just one drop in the bucket. If you think of it, between France, England, Holland, Spain and Portugal, they went invade 1/2 the world: the 2 American continents, Africa, a good part of South East Asia, Australia and NZ. Hundreds of countries. I don't know of one single case where Europeans were able to "instate" a self rule that suited the natives. In most cases, after we eventually had to leave, the places turned into a humongous messes of civil war, and in some cases they still haven't recovered from it.

The ONLY cases that have seemingly succeeded are US, Canada, Australia and NZ. Why? Because those are the places where Europeans didn't just go mess with the natives, they eradicated them as well, stole their land, and completely took over the joint for themselves. So yeah, no huge problems with American Indians or Australian Aborigenes, the poor sods don't even own their own country any longer. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/14/2005 06:06:00 pm  
D1...too funny...you are right..it was 'antisocialist toad', which is a title that is even better than antisocial toad.

Greedy money grubbing freaks? OK. Maybe by your standards. And how do I not do what I want for a living as opposed to you, and I do all of it. 

Posted by Kender
3/15/2005 01:57:00 am  
"'antisocialist toad', which is a title that is even better than antisocial toad "

Glad to hear you're pleased with your new title. Wear it proudly on your pointy hat. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/15/2005 08:29:00 am  
"And how do I not do what I want for a living as opposed to you, and I do all of it."

This vaguely resembles English. Unfortunately, I can not make any sense of that. Can anyone?
 

Posted by deviant1
3/15/2005 02:47:00 pm  
A few comments / responses :

Kender : "If you want to earn more money, be worth more money" ... exactly! That is one of the foundations of Capitalism; if you don't agree with that statement head on over to FraGermany and be part of the 10+% unemployed (and unwashed ... sweeping generalizations are fun!).

Dianne : "If only it were true that there are that many Socialist in the states" ... obviously we have a radically different outlook of how America should function. IMNSHO More Socialists = bad; that defeats a large part of the purpose in the founding of our great nation!

Evan : "Keep in mind that the poverty level in the US for a family of 3 is around $14k per year. ... And there are millions who do. Calling them all lazy simply because corporate America has decided that they're only worth 6 bucks an hour or so and no benefits is ridiculous" ... no, 'the market' has decided how much they are worth. If they want to make more they should learn a (more) valuable skill, it *is* that easy.

Also - raising the minimum wage will increase the # of people living in poverty.

Also, part 2 - those living in 'poverty' in the US are still better off than most of the world!


/TJ
... NIF 
... The Wide Awakes



 

Posted by TJ
3/15/2005 03:13:00 pm  
""And how do I not do what I want for a living as opposed to you, and I do all of it."
This vaguely resembles English. Unfortunately, I can not make any sense of that. Can anyone?
 "

LOL, I think it's a famous quote from Bush, D1. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/15/2005 05:18:00 pm  
"Also - raising the minimum wage will increase the # of people living in poverty. "

Wow. Hard to beat such a masterpiece of economics brilliance. Now we know how to really  reduce poverty: let's make the minimum wage zero, let's not pay employees any longer, and bingo, instant end of poverty.

TJ, you win the Dodo-brain Award of the week. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/15/2005 05:49:00 pm  
Thanks for dropping in and sharing your lack of concern for those living in poverty. You're comments are callous and not worth a debate. They are useful for showing why America is hated by many around the world. It's certainly not because of your 'freedoms' as one can easily see from your words that the underpriviledged don't live under the same shelters you do. In fact, many don't live under shelter at all.  

Posted by Dianne
3/15/2005 06:20:00 pm  
Im sure I don't need to say this as it's pretty evident but I my previous comment was to Jay and Kender who better hope there's not a crash on the dollar.  

Posted by Dianne
3/15/2005 07:03:00 pm  
"and Kender who better hope there's not a crash on the dollar "

Oh, .... you mean a REAL crash? As in the $ dollar being worth less than toilet paper it currently is?

(this slightly below the belt statement should get the rabid fascist assholes going, hehehe - come on Jay / Kender / CAO / TJ / etc - make our day, bring it on!) 

Posted by WhyNot
3/16/2005 06:10:00 am  

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