What happened to the antiwar movement in America?
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Michael J. McFadden
Michael J. McFadden, Neither a Conservative nor a Liberal: just a Radical.
Answered 4h ago
I think the problem faced by peace advocates in the US today is at least partly due to the complexity of the issues. Most peace proponents are not absolutist. Many would sanction a military action against Adolf Hitler for example. (Note I said “most.” There are a good number of Gandhian / Quaker / Mennonite and other philosophical / religious-based pacifists who hold that taking another’s life in ANY war cannot be sanctioned.)
But most of those who joined the US antiwar movement in the 1960s/70s were coming from a motivation based on stopping an all-out nuclear war and on stopping what was seen as an All Powerful US Military attacking a small group of almost defenseless idealistic peasants on bicycles on the other side of the planet just because, well, maybe there was oil there plus there were Communists plus we liked showing off and practicing with our military toys.
NOTE: I am not saying the above was the reality, but it was the vision and belief that drove a great deal of the US antiwar movement of that period. It seemed clear, and simple, and morally indisputable to most of those involved in the movement at that time.
The issues today are a LOT more complex and confusing: Assad’s a ruthless dictator. ISIS is a mad religious fundamentalist group that will whip and execute people for drinking, or smoking, or having fun between the sheets if you’re not properly heterosexually married… and then head out for some fun and bombing. The Turks have been strong US allies. But they want to kill all the Kurds for what appears to be no good reason (though I’m sure they could argue there are good reasons.) There are two or three other factions all intent on killing each other. And then there’s Russia. ::sigh:: It’s all just too confusing for any good politically based peace-antiwar movement, and the pure nonviolent religiously-flavored idealists who simply oppose ALL war are just not strong enough to make themselves heard.
In any event… that’s my analysis. It’s not a very well-educated analysis: my time has been stolen from the peace movement by the Antismokers and I’m just not enough of a Renaissance Man to really follow everything and still stay competent where I think I’m most needed.
MJM, Peace Studies Graduate, Manhattan College, 1973
McFadden, Michael J. (MC1973)
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I think the problem is that, other than the religious objection, the “anti-war” movement was an astroturf Democratic assault on Richard Nixon. As soon as he was deposed, and the way cleared for a Democratic landslide, it — the “liberal” leftist socialists — had not further need of it. And, it wanted to pick the targets for war and get all the military industrial complex money. Maybe I’m cynical but there was no authentic anti-war movement.
P.S., Sadam had chemical weapons because the USA sold them to him in the 70’s. But that was just an excuse to funnel more money into the “war machine”.
As the song said: “When will we ever learn”.
I’m an injineer and fighting a war should ABSOLUTELY be the very last resort. Congress ceded the war making power unconstitutionally to the executive. The Dead Old White Guys knew how dangerous a standing army was to liberty; hence their two year limit on the army, but not the navy. Time to go back to their blueprint. Good bye FBI, TSA, BATF, FDA, etc. etc. — which they would have called “standing armies”.
Argh! How stupid are “We, The Sheeple” due to Gooferment Skrules?
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