Pro-War Movement: We Sound the Same No Matter Who’s “In Charge”

Posted: June 14, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Okay folks, I’ve about had it. I have never been a single issue voter, but the folks I’ve voted for lately have just about pushed me to that point. President Obama never claimed to be anti-war, just anti-Iraq-war, but even that stance should allow for some empathy (there’s a word we’ve heard a lot about lately from the White House) for members of Congress who (rightly) won’t vote for one red cent for the continued occupation of Iraq, and it should at least give him some perspective on the folks who feel that way about Afghanistan. But take a look at the reaction of the White House now that the extra war spending bill is floundering, from HuffPo:

The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won’t get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

“We’re not going to help you. You’ll never hear from us again,” Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen. She wouldn’t say who is issuing the threats, and the White House didn’t immediately return a call. [UPDATE: White House spokesman Nick Shapiro says Woolsey’s charge is not true.]

The president (and his chief of staff…this has the unique feel of a Rahm Emanuel operation) is not flying solo on this.  House Democrats are adopting the exact same rhetoric that the Republicans used when Republicans pushed war funding bills:

“We’re working it. We’re working it,” Pelosi told POLITICO before heading to a White House meeting with Obama. “The Republicans are saying they are not going to vote for the bill, the funding of the troops. They’re not going to support the troops.”

If I didn’t see it in print, I’d never, ever have believed that my former boss would utter these words. I’ve never been more stunned by the absolute hypocrisy of someone for whom I’ve worked. I have always been proud of my work for Pelosi when she was the Minority Leader, fighting against the regressive, militarized policies of the Bush administration and the pre-2006 Congress. But seeing her adopt the exact same rhetoric used against her own party when the Republicans were in charge makes me angry beyond description.

Next election, I’ll be hard-pressed to be anything other than a single issue, anti-war voter. If you want to have a chance at my vote, you’ll have to show your anti-war credentials. Otherwise, I’ll be writing in “Jesus of Nazareth” on my ballot where appropriate. I did not give time, sweat and money to watch and listen to Democrats enthusiastically embracing the rhetoric and policies of the pro-war movement. I want off the bus.

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Comments
  1. Dear Derrick,

    I’m encouraged that you want to get off the bus. Gates ‘sounded the same too’ and I had to ‘ventilate’ and ‘vomit’.

    Perfect lines of white crosses curving behind him, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates used a somber visit to the graves of thousands of American dead from World War II to appeal Wednesday for similar unity and resolve in the current war in Afghanistan. AP 10/6/09

    I was tempted yet again not to respond to these un-laudable instincts of Mankind, but though we can kill people, we cannot kill conscience.

    And that conscience demands exposure.

    We mustn’t condone the silly pride we have over the dead.

    We have become so un-imaginative, un-creative and in-humane that we have to coerce others to be unified in war!

    No country would ever have the moral courage to look hard at why it has ‘enemies’.

    The existence of enmity is always completely the fault of the enemy. The haughty illogic is that the hated never did anything to incur such hate. The hated is 100% right. The hater is 100% wrong. So, we end up with the dilemma that America is 100% right in its own eyes and 100% wrong in the Taliban’s eyes and the Taliban is 100% right in its own eyes and 100% wrong in America’s eyes.

    Even if I suggested that America or Taliban could be 1% wrong, I would immediately be seen as an American or Taliban ‘hater’ or ‘enemy’, because each of them, being 100% extreme in their views, will not accept any possibility of error and so to both, I must be wrong.

    And even if America viewed the Taliban as 100% wrong and 110% ‘enemies’, they could at least not defile the belief that some of their Cross-tian citizens, including their Cross-tian presidents have, to ‘love your enemies’.

    So the Taliban calls for unity against America and America calls for unity against the Taliban.

    I’m already going in circles and that’s how it is. Circles of self-defeating deception, violence and death.

    And how did we get such un-educated language that described a horrid scenario as ‘perfect’, ‘white crosses’, ‘somber’, ‘appeal’ ‘unity’ and ‘resolve’, from both an educated leader and I presume, an educated AP journalist.

    It evokes nothing but vomit in me. And I wish 100% that it brings out the vomit in you too. If it doesn’t, you would have un-knowingly leaned towards the 100% WWII unity Gates called for.

    By the way, in order to get rid of all the ‘safe havens’ and ‘sanctuaries’ of the ‘enemies’ in a land with porous mountains, villages and ordinary people, Gates would have to annihilate 100% of Afghanistan and thus visit more ‘perfect cross-es’.

    • dcrowe says:

      Hakim:

      Always good to hear from you. I totally agree. Violence will not solve any of the problems facing us. I especially agree with this:

      And even if America viewed the Taliban as 100% wrong and 110% ‘enemies’, they could at least not defile the belief that some of their Cross-tian citizens, including their Cross-tian presidents have, to ‘love your enemies’.

      Jesus meant what he said. Too bad us Christians don’t do a better job making that clear by how we deal with our enemies.

  2. […] arguments in defense of their no votes on war funding as Democrats made while in the minority (and vice versa…). And, we have an entire community of Very Serious People who say we need more troops in […]

  3. Sporkmaster says:

    “By the way, in order to get rid of all the ‘safe havens’ and ‘sanctuaries’ of the ‘enemies’ in a land with porous mountains, villages and ordinary people, Gates would have to annihilate 100% of Afghanistan and thus visit more ‘perfect cross-es’.”

    No, you just have to provid the support and protection of the population to that they can ID those that are hiding in each village. People will not speak up if they are afriad of the attacks on them and their famlies from the insurgents.

  4. Sporkmaster says:

    “Always good to hear from you. I totally agree. Violence will not solve any of the problems facing us.”

    But why have Armed police or SWAT teams? If violence does not reslove things then why have them? Like I have said before, nothing is impossable to the person that does not have to do it. If we cannot go without having armed police here, how do you thing it will work over there?

  5. dcrowe says:

    Hey Sporkmaster, good to hear from you!

    If we cannot go without having armed police here, how do you thing it will work over there?

    I don’t accept your premise that violence is necessary to keep order in a society, and more specifically from the perspective of this blog, violence–whether it’s SWAT team violence or Afghan-nationalism violence–conflicts directly with the teachings of Jesus.

    Violence is not a neutral tool for problem solving. If violence is the problem, then using violence enlists you in the problem dynamic. It only “solves” a given problem if you’re willing to sacrifice victims in the name of your end state, and I don’t accept the premise that one person ever has the right to decide to end the life of another in any circumstances.

  6. Sporkmaster says:

    Except you are benfiting from thier protection. Becuase I have to ask where do you draw the line? Becuase I have to ask, why bother using 911 at all?

    Becuase when people are in a area where shot are fired or someone has been killed with the murderer at large. They do not ask what would Jesus do, they call the cops. Why? Becuase they have the ablity to catch and if need to stop the person with deadly force.

    Like I said before, I am not a Christian and I believe that this life is the only one we have. So the idea of rolling over and giving up without a fight is something I strongly disagree with.

    The idea of not taking another’s life is noble but, if that person is already set on seeing me dead, I will defend myself. Even if it means that he dies becuase of it.

    Also on the note about violence abroad.

    • dcrowe says:

      Except you are benfiting from thier protection.

      Again I reject the premise. I think you’re assuming that I want people harming other people to preserve my interests. I don’t. The corrollary of this is also a response to your earlier comment about “the person that does not have to do it”: this kind of stance does in fact ask quite a lot from me and others that subscribe to it–to be willing to give up anything that can only be preserved by violence.

      Becuase I have to ask where do you draw the line? Becuase I have to ask, why bother using 911 at all?

      See above for where I draw the line. 911 (the phone number not the event) is pretty nice for ambulances…although I do admit to struggling with this exact question, but I’m also honest enough to know that my struggle has way more to do with an ingrained, instinctual self-interest than with my convictions.

      Becuase when people are in a area where shot are fired or someone has been killed with the murderer at large. They do not ask what would Jesus do, they call the cops. Why? Becuase they have the ablity to catch and if need to stop the person with deadly force.

      Correction: that’s what many, but not all, people do.

      Like I said before, I am not a Christian and I believe that this life is the only one we have. So the idea of rolling over and giving up without a fight is something I strongly disagree with.

      Please don’t conflate nonviolence with rolling over and giving up without a fight. I don’t think Dr. King, the leaders of Solidarity, Gandhi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, etc. etc. etc. could be characterized as giving up without a fight.

      Re: this life being all we have, doesn’t that lend more weight to the value of the life of your opponent as well? For example, Christian non-pacifists have used the idea of eternal life for years to baptize war and other violence and to make killing less of a serious offense. C.S. Lewis, for example, wrote about the duty of soldiers of different countries to fight vigorously, killing each other out of duty, so that they could fulfill (what Lewis saw as) their “Christian” obligations to the state, only to embrace each other as brothers in the afterlife. Without an afterlife, human life becomes infinitely more sacred due to its finite nature. I don’t think that helps you, but I also understand your perspective. Having this be the only time you’re allotted makes it much more terrifying to lose it, and much more important to you to preserve it.

  7. Dear Sporkmaster,‎

    I just exchanged ‘painful’ thoughts with a friend from New Zealand yesterday. He is a Christian and ‎has the same ‘heart’ as you, in that he would defend himself, especially if his daughter ‎was under immediate threat.‎

    It’s a difficult and sad dilemma! It’s beyond us.‎

    And those fellow human beings through history who have been killed because they didn’t ‎want to ‘hit back’ or couldn’t hit back aren’t alive to ‘enlighten’ us.‎

    ‎“you just have to provid the support and protection of the population to that they can ID those ‎that are hiding in each village..” ‎

    How do we practically differentiate ‘insurgents’ who would lie and ‘commoners’? ‎

    Non-corrupt Afghan police may stand a chance at IDing, so if civilian protection is needed, ‎can’t Afghans be left to their own age-old tribal protection codes? ‎

    The foreign trooper has no ability nor a chance at identifying ‘insurgents’, far less human-less ‎drones.‎

    Pondering with you,‎
    Hakim in Afghanistan

  8. Sporkmaster says:

    I am on a public computer so my reply is going to be brief.

    I disagree with that becuase even when one does not call 911, the police are around all parts of the city at all hours of the day. it can be said that just thier presence can help fight against crime by deterence. It that was not there, the danger would be much greater.

    But the thing with 911 and EMS is that we cannot do our thing if there is a danger untial the police can ensure that the ems is safe. I have heard a story from a EMS guy that said that they where working on gunshot wound. Another guy came up and asked if he was going to make it. The second the EMS said yes, the guy had pulled out a hand gun and proceded to shoot the person in the head. Crazy stuff.

    Perhaps, but I would be willing to bet money on 911.

    But here is the thing, I do not think that the methods used by those people will work in Afganstan. Just being armed is a deterence. There is a phrase that talking about if two sides have mutual fear of what the other can do if they attack there is peace. May not be the best peace, but it is peace. North and South Korea would be a example.

  9. Sporkmaster says:

    But the thing is that while those that have lived before us can offer guidence on our current problems. But what works in the past does not mean that it will work today. Becuase the major objection that I have is that in order to make a plan that works, you need to be able to work with it first hand rather then react to second hand reports.

    That is why we talk to the local villages, becuase when we do not know, they do. If we provide them with their needs and protection they will help us get the insurgents.

    There is more I want to say but I am getting kickid off the computer. Should have a steady internet by the end of July.

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