Let’s all take a moment to send out our thoughts and (non-denominational) prayers to our friends on the anti-war left, whose glory days are long gone now that the President of the United States is no longer a Republican.
On the eve of American military intervention in Syria, the once-robust antiwar movement has stayed curiously silent.
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.”
That really is the most incredibly depressing thing, isn’t it? Not that yet another brutal dictator is murdering his own people, but that nobody’s paying attention to Medea Benjamin anymore.
You got what you wanted, lefties. You got the charismatic, multiracial, multicultural president who would heal the wounds left by that loathsome monster George Bush. Who would bring peace to the world and stop the rising oceans and whatnot. And now here he is, on the verge of starting yet another war without the approval of Congress.
I’m not going to claim I know the best course of action in Syria. I’m just waiting for the people who’ve been shrieking for 10 years about the invasion of Iraq to tell me why this time it’s different. Pay attention as they try to reconcile the cognitive dissonance.
Barack Obama is every bit the wartime president that the left falsely claimed Bush was, and worse.
But at least Big Bird is safe.