First Black President Defeats U.S. Antiwar Movement

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 04/15/2009 - 01:23
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obama samA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford



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The arrival of the Obama administration has crippled the U.S. anti-war movement, which has neither the fortitude nor political depth to confront imperialism with a Black face. The Out of Iraq caucus on Capitol Hill might as well call itself the Out of Action caucus, since it can’t figure out a way to respond to President Obama’s expanding military budgets and wars. National anti-war organizations cling to the fiction that Obama is really seeking a military withdrawal from Iraq. “The anti-war movement has hit rock-bottom because of its failure to challenge this particular president, an imperialist with charm, a warmonger with a winning smile.

 

 

First Black President Defeats U.S. Antiwar Movement
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford


“Obama pretends he wants peace, and anti-war members of Congress pretend to believe him.”


In the streets, on the2009campuses and on Capitol Hill, the anti-war movement is no longer moving anywhere. It has been crippled by the Obama Effect, the deep and wide delusion that imperialism with a Black face is somehow – something else. When a movement disbands itself without coming even close to achieving its objective, that is a defeat. We can now definitively state that, for the time being, the U.S. anti-war movement has been defeated – not by Republicans, but by Barack Obama’s Democratic Party.
A recent article in The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress, relates a meeting among staffers for Out of Iraq caucus leaders Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters and Lynn Woolsey. They were supposed to come up with a response to President Obama’s announcement that he would immediately send 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, with lots more to come. Obama is determined to leave at least 50,000 troops in Iraq for an open-ended period of time under the guise of “training” the Iraqis, and is rapidly merging Afghanistan and Pakistan into one theater of war, called Af-Pak. Clearly, the Obama administration is expanding its war in Af-Pak, and has no intention of ending the U.S. military presence in Iraq – ever. The staffers for the Out of Iraq caucus leaders spent two hours trying to come up with a position. They failed.
For all intents and purposes, the Out of Iraq caucus has ceased to function. Black Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters have at times shown great courage in the face of stupendous odds. But they will not confront Barack Obama, even when he expands the arenas of war, claims that combat soldiers are merely trainers and advisers, and pushes through a war budget that is bigger than any of George Bush’s war budgets. Obama pretends he wants peace, and anti-war members of Congress pretend to believe him.
The anti-war movement has hit rock-bottom because of its failure to challenge this particular president.”
Another Capitol Hill publication, the Congressional Quarterly, recently ran an article on the low demonstration turn-out and money woes of the anti-war movement. A March 21st rally at the Pentagon drew pitiful numbers of demonstrators, only 3,000 according to police. Organizers claim they can’t raise money these days, and have been forced to cut staff. A spokesperson for ANSWER, the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition, said the peace movement is seeing the impact of the “promises the Obama campaign made.” Outgoing United for Peace and Justice leader Leslie Cagan says her money people aren’t giving because “It’s enough for many of them that Obama has a plan to end the war and that things are moving in the right direction.”
But Obama has no plans or intention to end his wars except on imperialism’s own terms – which means never-ending war, just like under Bush – a basic truth that United for Peace and Justice refuses to recognize or admit. ANSWER organizers also fail to confront the Obama White House head-on. The Congressional Quarterly article concludes that the anti-war movement is suffering from the results of “its own success.” That’s absolute nonsense. The anti-war movement has hit rock-bottom because of its failure to challenge this particular president, an imperialist with charm, a warmonger with a winning smile. Obama has whipped them, but good. And they will stay whipped, until they stand up like men, like women, like leaders. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

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25 comments

Great article

Submitted by Edward on Thu, 12/10/2009 - 08:57.

Yes, finally. A President who says no to War and sticks his foot down. I think America over the past few years has been too trigger happy. Not everything needs to be settle by war...
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Politics As Usual

Submitted by ericrichards14 on Fri, 11/27/2009 - 09:12.

With each day that passes, I find myself less and less interested in politics all together. So many lies get tossed around, it's hard to even know what to believe anymore.
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Submitted by bulwark on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 06:34.

A nice blog.i think that this session will take a good, hard look at everything that's
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Why, why , why?

Submitted by stacieadams22 on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 02:56.

Why can't we just have politicians we can count on??  Is politics just an arena honest people avoid?? Does greed and hate always have to dominate?? I hope in the years to come, the political world changes.  I'd rather see people stand for the truth rather than lie just to save their own rear ends.  But... enough of my rant... just so fed up with politics!!
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Too Much

Submitted by TommyGray38 on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 00:57.

All this back and forth about Obama is starting to give me a headache..
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Really on point

Submitted by bulwark on Tue, 10/20/2009 - 08:16.

Really pro stuff. thx folks.
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I do not agree

Submitted by victor1 on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 03:12.

When a movement disbands itself without coming even close to achieving its objective, that is a defeat
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I listened to Dyson's radio

Submitted by mustadam123 on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 06:20.

I listened to Dyson's radio show a few times last week and there were moments on each show he had me thinking he was really on point about certain people and issues but then I would end up dismissing everything he said and laughing at him stringing together several 'Big' words in one breath while critiqing sumpin' or someone in the news. Hilarious! I always sensed that Dyson trys to sound more intelligent and/or 'down" than his guests are. online degrees finance | online degrees accounting

Perhaps, as odious as Obamism

Submitted by mustadam123 on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 06:19.

Perhaps, as odious as Obamism really is, in the long run his unmasking will help push americans towards a substantive approach to government and politics, and prepare us for responsible citizenship. Hell, I'll take a Malcolm X, I'll take a Eugene Debs over these bootlicking, carreerist frauds anytime.
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Anti-War movement MUST Not Give Up!

Submitted by Dawna on Fri, 04/24/2009 - 01:00.

 The Anti-war movement needs to get a lot more sophisticated.  It is not a simple issue. Our economy is based on military spending.  With the current economy, what would happen if all those soldiers were let loose to face
unemployment.  Talk about
social instability.  The Obama administration or any
administration wouldn't be
able to deal with that situation!
   We must wage the battles
at home so that our young
people won't HAVE to go
down to that recruitment
office.  Anti-war activists
need to build coalitions with
anti-repression movements including those battling the
prison-industrial complex and the immigration rights
movement.
   There shouldn't be a
white anti-war movement and
people of color movements against repression.  These are class issues as well.
 There is a lot of work to do!

I always suspected that leftists/progressives were full of %$^#

Submitted by grumpynyker on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 13:32.

Once Amerikkka gets a president with tawny skin, these fake leftist groups go off and sit on their fat behinds.  The Mulatto-in-Chief is behaving just like George W, but these groups won't critcize him out of political correctness.  Well, I didn't vote for his ass, and he is worse that the Bush Reich.  Obama won't send a delegation to Durban II for fear of offending Zionist racists ethnically cleansing Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank, Lebananon.  Again, any discussion of the Africa Slave tradeand talk of reparations is diverted.  Nor will he discuss anything regarding concerns of black Americans from healthcare to immigration. 

While it is true that UFPJ

Submitted by jiblkag on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 13:45.

While it is true that UFPJ and the ANSWER coalition have fallen flat in confronting the Obama White House head on regarding its continued imperalist and murderous policies of war and torture, there is one group who has stood firm in its principles and has called for the people to take on the responsibility of stopping these crimes.
 
That organization is World Can't Wait. As the longest presidential campaign WCW was out front telling people to listen very closely to what Obama was really saying about ending the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations and torture. We pointed out and gave analysis around the contradictions posed by the pundits touting Obama as the "peace candidate" and what Obama was in fact truly saying.
We have had actions, protests and forums around the Obama policies of continued occupations and torture. We still believe and know that these policies will not end with out a mass visible movement of resistance acting independently of politics as usual. We believe that the people of this country must take responsibility for stopping the crimes of their government.
For anyone who is seeking a vehicle through which to act and express these sentiments I encourage to visit www.worldcantwait.org. Sign the open letter to the anti-war movement and join World Can't Wait in stopping the crimes of our government. 

jiblkag:true point: how can/should/could groups work together?

Submitted by NYCartist on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 18:31.

Is it possible?  Are there points/times when groups can make temporary coalitions?

Don't act surprised

Submitted by mcearlgrey on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 12:47.

There's a tone of shock in this article that I'm trying hard not to snicker at. Even as a Senate candidate Obama declared he wasn't "against all wars, just dumb wars." And during the campaign he emphasized his commitment to win in Afghanistan and withdraw responsibly from Iraq. Apparently you can't just remove 160,000 troops in a day, who knew?
 
Maybe the lack of opposition to Obama's war policy is due to the fact that the policy is utterly reasonable: End the war we shouldn't have fought in a manner that doesn't shock the system over there or expose our troops to unnecessary danger, fight and destroy the organization that attacked us on 9/11, and vigorously defend our interests abroad when threatened by violent thugs like the Somali pirates.
 
For my part, I enlisted in the military shortly after Obama's inauguration because I am confident in his judgment as commander-in-chief. I've yet to see the president do anything in terms of foreign policy that even approaches "imperialism." The extreme left, like its counterpart on the right, needs to take a pill and come to terms with the reality that no one is going to enact their respective agendas point-for-point.

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Submitted by LL on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 03:37.

The amoral absolutists need to come to grips with the fact that they've lost Latin America, are losing Asia, and will lose Africa.
 
All empires come to an end!

mcearlgrey:good luck.

Submitted by NYCartist on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 13:19.

That's a heck of a reason to enlist.

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At least ANSWER tries...

Submitted by DanFromSeattle on Wed, 04/15/2009 - 16:03.

Glen Ford wrote: "ANSWER organizers also fail to confront the Obama White House head-on." Not that I'm a huge fan of ANSWER, but I'm certain their organizers (I know some of them) are quite willing to confront Obama head-on. The problem is, they can't force people to attend the events they organize - it's not like they have a people-creating machine, or that everyone of the 3,000 who show up to an ANSWER event is an ANSWER organizer. There are plenty of us trying to get the public to see through Obama, but we can't walk on water. Please direct your criticisms where they belong - people fooled by Obama, not organizers unable to get the attention of such people.

Critisism

Submitted by Grundoon on Mon, 04/20/2009 - 18:40.

From my reading, Mr. Ford is not critisizing ANSWER, but comisserating. 
He's expressing the exact same frustrations you are.
 
Peace.
 
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Leslie Cagan also made point that there are many local events

Submitted by NYCartist on Wed, 04/15/2009 - 18:52.

with groups protesting in their own areas around the country.  After I posted
my comment above, I remembered that DemocracyNow had two guys on
yesterdays' show, I think, who were protesting at the military place 40 miles
from Las Vegas, where the "unmanned" drones/missiles in Pakistan are piloted.
There have been people doing local protests around various issues, such
as near a manufacturing plant for landmines and recently at Caterpillar (sic?)
at about the time of the anniversary of Rachel Corrie's murder in Gaza, since
Caterpillar sold the specially-made house-bulldozers for the Israel govern-
ment (anniv. is Mar. 16, 2003; have art I made on my wall with the date).
The media diminishes the numbers when counting, although I recall that
at a DC big protest, the Parks Police said they couldn't do a count (new
since they used to).  Since I have been unable to attend, I pay attention
to coverage: it's hard to find coverage of demos, whether local or around
the country or DC.  I rely on DemocracyNow to have coverage of demos.
 
 
 

Looks that way, so first I'll cry and then I'll get really angry

Submitted by NYCartist on Wed, 04/15/2009 - 13:37.

How do we push for peace?  I made art on Jan. 26, 2009 about the drones/
missiles sent on Jan. 23, the continuation by Pres. Obama in Pakistan,
of the Bush illegal policy.  Multiples, on paper, sent out dozens as could.
I was surprised, when I saw the story in the Guardian.co.uk.  I am no
longer surprised.   How much does anyone expect from Congress? 
US corporate media is compliant.
 
I heard Leslie Cagan say, on WBAI, that she is going to step back and
no longer lead the group, to
re-evaluate what she wants to do next after the next demonstration. 

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