MoveOn.org, one of the most influential liberal organizations in American politics, tops its homepage today with this key issue: “Rescue government from corporations and lobbyists.”
Meanwhile, the United States is engaged in the longest war in U.S. history, costing billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and ironically “increasing and multiplying the terror threats we face”…and there is no end in sight.
If John McCain were president making the same decisions as Barack Obama on the war in Afghanistan — sending 30,000 more troops, backpedaling on withdrawal dates — my liberal friends would be in the streets protesting. Instead, liberals are peddling decades-old lines about corporate greed. Is the glamour of Barack Obama really so strong that they quietly accept his agenda even if they disagree?
I am not qualified to analyze Afghanistan in a serious way. I have never been there, I have never served in the military, I know little about the region. But from everything I read, it appears the counterinsurgency operation right now is a clusterfuck. If you read about the history of Afghanistan, perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise. In George Friedman’s credible analysis, these sentences stood out: “The United States is trying to invent a national army where no nation exists, a task that assumes the primary loyalty of Afghans will shift from their clans to a national government, an unlikely proposition.”
This much we also know: Obama will run for re-election with far more troops in Afghanistan than Bush ever had – and a war and occupation stretching for ever into the future, with no realistic chance of success. Make no mistake: this is an imperialism of self-defense, a commitment to civilize even the least tractable culture on earth because Americans are too afraid of the consequences of withdrawal. And its deepest irony is that continuing this struggle will actually increase and multiply the terror threats we face – as it becomes once again a recruitment tool for Jihadists the world over.
This is a war based on fear, premised on a contradiction, and doomed to carry on against reason and resources for the rest of our lives. Maybe this is why you supported Obama – to see the folly of nation-building extended indefinitely to the least promising wastelands on earth, as the US heads toward late-imperial bankruptcy. It is not a betrayal as such. But it is, in my view, a huge and metastasizing mistake.
So will Obama’s liberal base — the people he must listen to more than any other — speak up? Will they acknowledge that not actively opposing Obama’s insane escalation of the war in Afghanistan constitutes tacit support?