Selective opposition: Where are the peace protests over Syria bombing?

dissent
SFGate: Maybe it’s war fatigue. Maybe climate change is consuming all the protest energy right now. Maybe momentum just needs to build.
But most likely, all of the above are the reasons antiwar protests didn’t erupt throughout the Bay Area, veteran activists say, after U.S. warplanes roared over the Syrian border Tuesday to bomb more than a dozen enclaves of Islamic radical jihadists into rubble.
Some activists even conceded that many people weren’t going into the streets because the militants being targeted deserved to be dealt with, if not killed.
By Tuesday afternoon, there were still no loud demonstrations to be found. Major military incursions in years past launched seas of banners down San Francisco’s Market Street, but this time? Nothing — at least right off the bat.
“People are war-weary and have already been very disappointed in President Obama for some time,” said David Hartsough, executive director of the Peaceworkers antiwar group in San Francisco. He said he and other longtime activists are outraged at the bombing and believe nonviolent solutions to jihadist terror would be more effective — but the groundswell to hit the streets just isn’t there.
I think a lot of people are focused on the climate right now, especially young people,” Hartsough said, noting that weekend protest marches on that issue in cities including New York and Oakland collectively drew hundreds of thousands of people. “That seems to be closer to heart, and I think on war we as a nation have been numbed.”
“Just think: When, in a young person’s lifetime, have we not been at war or dropping bombs on someone?” Hartsough said. “People hear that over and over and they get numbed.”
Plans weren’t made
U.S. officials said last week that they planned to strike targets in Syria, so there was plenty of time to plan for big protests before warplanes targeted the Nusra Front, the Khorasan Group and Islamic State, the group that aired videos of the beheadings of two U.S. journalists.
Sunday was even celebrated by activists all over the globe as International Day of Peace — but that’s when the main events sucking up headlines centered on climate change. The actions that did come by Tuesday evening were limited.
The Credo progressive group in San Francisco started a national online petition drive Sunday to demand that Congress vote to end the air war, and two dozen antiwar activists — including several with Bay Area roots, such as Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin — protested outside the White House. And in Walnut Creek, the Mount Diablo Peace Center staged a demonstration against the bombings.
“We felt like we needed to do something quickly and let the world know that even in places like Walnut Creek, people are angry about this,” said Margli Auclair of the Mount Diablo Peace Center.
“It’s early still, and for the moment this is an air war and not a ground war,” said Credo President Michael Kieschnick, whose petition drive had collected 40,000 signatures by Tuesday evening. “I think Americans get most concerneed when there are soldiers on the ground at risk.” (As if a pilot isn’t at risk when flying over enemy territory?)
‘Bombing won’t work’
“And look, Americans are horrified by ISIS,” Kieschnick said, using one of the alternative names for Islamic State. “There’s a natural instinct to at least pause before critiquing. These are murderous thugs, and they should be called out and dealt with.”
“But bombing won’t work. It never works,” Kieschnick said. “And a different form of protest will emerge when bombs go awry and hit a wedding party, or when someone calls in a strike labeling someone as ISIS when they’re not. Then, things will look different.”
Even the Bay Area’s famously liberal congressional delegation was largely silent, and Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer issued a statement saying, “We cannot stand idly by while barbaric groups threaten America and the entire world.”
Stephen Zunis, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, said the unusually murky nature of alliances and enemies in this latest of many U.S. fights in the Middle East make it tough to muster focused outrage.
“I think a lot of people are torn,” he said. “At the start of all classes last year, I explained to my students that the U.S. government might be on the verge of war against the Syrian government, and now I have to explain why we’re going to war now against Syrian rebels. It’s a very muddled situation over there.
I see now – it’s “climate disruption”, a “muddled situation” and a “murky nature” to bomb Syria. Spare me the faux excuses. We all know why they aren’t protesting.
Messiah Obama
DCG

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0 responses to “Selective opposition: Where are the peace protests over Syria bombing?

  1. Americans are criminals, by the genetic code. They like to kill peoples! For this they trigger wars

     
    • Riiiight. And ISIS are just poor, misunderstood young youths.

       
      • al-Qaeda is an organization created by American intelligence, initially funded with american money to fight against the Soviets in the 70s
        When Osama bin Laden was n’t more useful to these services, they declared him a terrorist

         
        • But of course it gets worse: you can easily find many good Internet articles showing how and when the US created IS after Al Qaeda’s usefulness declined, so once again We, the Sheople, have been set up by AIPAC and our financial and oil elites to do their dirty work.
          This is the CIA’s worst blowback ever, and we’ll be rueing the day we did so for decades to come. For all its viciousness and blood lust, these fanatics and mercenaries are the product of ideas and passions which cannot be bombed or soldiered into submission. Indeed, it only makes them more defiant and determined.
          The Crusades, for example, were spread over centuries and in the end, nothing was gained. The only positive event was the halting of the Ottoman Empire at Vienna in 1543. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire] By the way, France became an ally of the Ottoman Empire during its heyday, which shows how much of this is about secular power as well as religious fanaticsm.
          Odd too, isn’t it, that as much as Israel demands ISIL be stopped it is never in the willing coalition, it never overtly sends its vaunted troops in to fight and die alongside ours. Why not? It profits immensely from weakened enemy states.

           
          • “Odd too, isn’t it, that as much as Israel demands ISIL be stopped it is never in the willing coalition, it never overtly sends its vaunted troops in to fight and die alongside ours.”
            Because if Israel joins the non-existent “coalition,” that would unite all the Arabic states from their present intra-Islam infighting.

             
            • Would it? It seems to me that Saudi Arabia –by far the biggest, baddest heavy-hitter– can easily flatten any other Islamic state that challenges it, and the others know it. As much as they dislike the Saudi’s heavy hand in their lives, they either go along or stand aside.
              The entire Islamic world is a gigantic mess, not likely to be resolved in our lifetimes, nor in a century from now. Involvement in it will drag the US down while China, Russia, India, et al., get their acts together and become dominant in their spheres, and equal to the the US and Europe. Perhaps only then will we again have ‘peace in our time,’ in a new stand-off of MAD….

               
            • “Because if Israel joins the non-existent “coalition,” that would unite all the Arabic states from their present intra-Islam infighting.”
              Precisely so, the Arab/Islamic states have made it very clear that they will NEVER fight alongside Israel, no matter the cause or the target, and that they will ALWAYS side with one another against Israel.

               
        • “al-Qaeda is an organization created by American intelligence, initially funded with american money to fight against the Soviets in the 70s”
          Even granting, purely for sake of discussion, that this may be true, the proper response is…. SO WHAT!!
          That was then, and this is now. You want to ignore the fact that 40 years have passed and pretend that the situation is static, in order to make a point that is of miniscule significance anyway.
          “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is an abiding and immutable principle throughout all of human history, from small personal interactions on up to the clash of civilizations. The world is a dangerous place, and it’s very common to deal with unsavory parties in order to unite against a common enemy. However, it’s also true that things change in time, and all too often the enemy of my enemy becomes MY enemy.
          That’s all that happened in this case, unless you want to pretend that those 40 years never existed. Besides, 40 years ago nearly no one could foresee Islam rising to again become a world power unto itself, strutting its malevolence and ferocity for all to see. And certainly NOBODY thought then that helping the mujahadeen to kick a common enemy out of their country would come back to bite us decades later.

           
    • “Americans are criminals, by the genetic code. They like to kill peoples! For this they trigger wars”
      Funniest thing I’ve read all day — you’re just still mad about World War II, when Romania joined the Nazis and got your ass kicked.
      😀

       

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