April 6, 2011

OBAMA’S ELECTION AND THE DEMOBILIZATION OF THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENT:

Among Barack Obama’s distinguishing characteristics in the field of presidential hopefuls, four years ago, was his opposition to the Iraq war, which he had denounced at an antiwar rally in Chicago in October 2002, when invasion was still yet a gleam in the neocon eye. As Obama’s reelection campaign begins this week, his administration continues the military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, while making the down payment on a third in Libya.

This is not what people who supported Obama expected — and public opinion polls suggest that opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq remains as high as it was during Bush’s second term, or higher. But the streets no longer fill with protesters. This coming weekend there will be antiwar demonstrations in New York (April 9) and San Francisco (April 10). They won’t be on the scale that became almost routine a few years ago, however, when hundreds of thousands of people attended such events. They will be one-tenth the size, more or less.

Well, the Nobel Peace Prize winner is in the White House now, so whatever we’re doing must count as peace.

Also, “Obama is awesome.”