Anti-war activist Tom Hayden is taking MoveOn.org to task for remaining silent about the Obama Warz.
The most powerful grassroots organization of the peace movement, MoveOn, remains silent as the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan simmer or escalate.
The executive director of MoveOn, Justin Ruben, met with President Obama in February, told the president it was “the moment to go big,” then indicated that MoveOn would not be opposing the $94 billion war supplemental request, nor the 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, nor the increased civilian casualties from the mounting number of Predator attacks.
I’ve mentioned this before: the startling lack of indignation by the anti-war left over our current course in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Obama wins, and the most influential online liberal organization obediently shuts up. Remember, we’re going to be in Iraq and Afghanistan at least until 2019. We still have over 130,000 soldiers in Iraq and we’ll have close to 70,000 in Afghanistan by the end of the year. (Which rivals the highest total number of Americans deployed overseas in the past eight years.)
Why has it been so easy for MoveOn to just, uh, move on, from what had been their signature issue of the Bush era? Part of it has to do that with the fact of an all volunteer force, the war is solely a political issue for them. (For the most part.) No skin is on the line for the folks at MoveOn; they don’t have to fight the war, and never really feel the impact of it. There’s not a draft, no real sense on the home front that we’re a country at war. So it’s much easier to give Obama the benefit of the doubt when a sudden silence in opposing the conflicts can be rationalized away as an expedient political position, despite all the worrying signs that these wars are nowhere near conclusion. The issue becomes intellectual, not actual. It’s easy to make political compromises when only your principles are at stake.