Whatever Happened to the antiwar 'Opposition' and 'Resistance'?
Remember the heady days following the election of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency when Democrats vowed to oppose and resist his every move and work tirelessly to bring him down? Remember when brave actions like the following were practically everyday occurrences (see the source for the full list)?
November 13-16, 2016: The Democracy Alliance, an invite-only network of progressive donors, outlined their intent to oppose Trump's policy initiatives through local- and state-level intersectional organizing.
January 2017: Progressive activist David Brock led a donor retreat to discuss paths forward for Democratic donors and strategists. During the retreat, he said that his organizations aimed to raise $40 million, with half going to 501(c)(3) organizations and half going to 501(c)(4) organizations and super PACs.
January 21, 2017: The Women's March on Washington protested Trump's previous rhetoric towards women. It was held at the same time as women's marches in cities across the U.S.
Notice the absence of peace activists and the antiwar movement, though? Notice the lack of any persons or groups actively opposing Trump's military actions and policies? It's not like Trump didn't reveal his hand right away, as these headlines demonstrate:
April 7, 2017: Trump launches military strike against Syria
August 21, 2017: Trump to Expand Military Operations in Afghanistan
December 1, 2017: Under Trump, U.S. Troops In War Zones Are On The Rise
Hardly the Peace President, right? But where's the opposition now that military action against Syria (again, and still) is imminent? Are the Pussy Hats marching on Washington to demand that Syrian women not be bombed by U.S. warplanes and warships? Uh, no. Are all the fighters for the lives of people of color picketing in the streets to protect brown people in the Middle East from U.S. attacks? Not exactly.
So what are top Democrats and progressives doing to oppose war against Syria?
What burning issues are Democrats willing to stand up for? Could it be: a) Ensuring Palestinian rights; b) Ending Yemeni civilian deaths; c) Stopping the genocide of Rohingya; d) Preventing escalation of the Syrian war; or e) Keeping Rod Rosenstein employed? If you guessed e, you're absolutely right!
If President Donald Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or any other officials involved in the Russia investigation, he faces the prospect of hundreds of thousands of activists immediately turning out to protest all over the country.
A coalition of grassroots activists, unions, policy organizations and good governance groups have, for months, been plotting to quickly and forcefully respond to any perceived interference with the investigation.
I guess most Americans only care about war when they're personally in danger of being drafted to go fight it.
But guess who is against intervention in Syria? The so-called far right!
n 2002 and 2003, millions of left-leaning demonstrators crowded cities around the world to protest against the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. All the while, conservative media, along with large segments of the liberal press, beat the war drums, encouraging the Bush administration in its project of regime change.
But 15 years later, as the US edges towards a greater involvement in Syria, there is as yet no progressive, mass anti-war movement. For now, the most prominent opponents of Middle East intervention are all on the right, while leading Democrats are entirely on board with military intervention in the Middle East.
Almost as soon as allegations of a chemical attack in Douma were aired, a broad spectrum of rightwing commentators were claiming that it was a “false flag” – that is, an attack carried out by someone else as a provocation, in order to bring down international punishment on the Assad government.
Of course, the above quoted article quickly devolves into calling people that oppose bombing Syria conspiracy theorists, zealots, anti-Semites, alt-right, America Firsters, etc. Granted, some of those exist and some of them oppose the war for various reasons. But aren't there also at least a few people like me, a Democrat since birth and just a few millimeters to the right of being an outright socialist, who think it's immoral to bomb first and ask questions later? I sure hope so.
The image at the top of this essay is courtesy of @TheResistanceMedia on Facebook and is based on Kayla Chadwick's June 26, 2017 Huff Post article.