Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I don't believe the passion

Arianna Huffington is not the only anti-war spokesperson. But she's as good an example as any. In her blog today she writes as follows.
Now that the latest Democratic effort to force an up or down vote on troop withdrawal has failed, it's more important than ever that we keep the pressure on those who are standing in the way of bringing our troops home.
I agree that the war should end, and I agree with all the reasons usually given for ending the war. But I'm not convinced that the passion of those expressing those reasons is real. Why do they feel as strongly as they do? In asking this, I'm not asking for reasons for ending the war, I'm asking for reasons that they should feel as connected to ending the war as they claim to feel.

Huffington goes on to quote from Tom Matzzie of MoveOn.
"Ultimately, as progressives, we have to offer a choice to war supporters in Congress: help end the war or face political extinction. Our primary task has been to create a toxic political environment for war supporters. We do this with a multi-layered campaign that uses the Internet, TV advertising and old-fashioned street organizing to keep pressure on our targets -- especially back in their hometowns.

"In this moment, with 70 percent of the public united in support of a safe exit from Iraq, it is important that Americans understand how they can help end the war. It is no longer sufficient for all of us to illustrate public anger about the war. Our job now is to show that people are angry at the politicians who are blocking an end to the war -- specifically the Republicans who are still sticking with Bush. That is an important distinction that is all the difference. And, if we keep it up, we can end the war."
It's all so tactical. Tactics are fine, but tactics that are not rooted in honest passion feel phony. Is the public really angry about the war? Perhaps those whose friends or relatives have died or have been injured are angry. That's understandable. But that doesn't apply to 70% of the public. One might feel passionate about ending the war if one really cared about how the Iraqis are suffering — and if one believed that their suffering would be reduced if we left. But I don't hear much about that. One might even feel passionate if one had some real vision about how we might be spending the money we are now spending on Iraq. But I don't hear much about that either.

All I hear is enthusiasm about making Bush look bad. I'm all in favor of making Bush look bad. I think he's been a terrible President. But let's at least be honest about it and not wrap ourselves in passion that isn't real.

No comments: