The Dog That Didn’t Bark

by Dave Schuler on August 23, 2014

James Taranto muses over why the anti-war Left is so silent about our bombings in Iraq:

Is it different because this time the president is a Democrat and a reluctant warrior? The Post’s Aaron Blake notes that the poll found support for the strikes strongest among Republicans (61%), especially conservative Republicans (63%), while Democrats were right at the national average of 54%. Only a 49% plurality of independents back the intervention.

One imagines Democratic support would be lower, and Republican support perhaps higher, if a Republican were in the White House. But hard-left antiwar groups like the Answer Coalition (an acronym for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), which organized that 2001 protest, are not loyal Democrats. They’ve protested, among other things, Obama’s use of drones to kill terrorists and his failure to empty Guantanamo Bay of al Qaeda detainees.

A look at the Answer homepage turns up nothing about the current Iraq intervention. Atop the page are two posters, one a law-enforcement parody–”WANTED: Officer Darren Wilson for the Murder of Mike Brown”–and one an ad for an Aug. 31 “National March in Detroit” to “END the SIEGE of GAZA NOW!”

Hence our hypothesis: The reason no one is protesting against the intervention in Iraq is because the usual suspects are distracted by agitations against Israel and the Ferguson, Mo., police.

I think it’s because there is no “anti-war Left” in the United States to speak of, at least not an organized one. Organization takes more than a few committed individuals. You’ve got to have institutions and with the exception of a few religious institutions there is very little institutional opposition to war here in the United States.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

TastyBits August 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I have not kept up on ISIS or the bombing, but I am not sure it could f*ck up the area much worse. It will probably be a half-assed effort that accomplishes nothing. It might weaken ISIS in Syria enough to let Assad start exterminating them.

Maybe, Assad should get a Nobel Peace Prize.

steve August 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

There is not much of an organized anti-war group, plus nearly all “serious” foreign policy people are interventionists. We nearly always do something. The real risk is that we do too much.

Steve

Andy August 24, 2014 at 5:11 am

I agree there is little in the way of an anti-war movement outside of the libertarian right and parts of the progressive left. Both groups are small with little influence on the mainstream.

What concerns me is that factionalism (partisanship) is increasingly the metric for support or opposition – people seem overly inclined to give “their guy/gal” a pass.

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