MoveOn.org is mobilizing. The "antiwar"
group's Political Action
members across the country voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Democratic candidacy
of Barack Obama last week. MoveOn claims to have 1.7 million members in states
that vote in Tuesday's primaries. "[Our] endorsement means a fresh infusion
of people-power for Obama in the critical days before Super Tuesday," read
the organization's press release. "MoveOn will immediately connect thousands
of progressive activists into the Obama" volunteer operation.
Obama's campaign is no doubt pleased, for its mantra of "hope" and
"change" has begun to echo in the deep subconscious of many well-intentioned
progressives. Obama's best quality at this point seems to be the fact that he's
not a Clinton. When it comes to foreign policy, however, he may as well be,
which makes MoveOn's shallow approval of his candidacy all the more hypocritical.
After Obama won his senatorial race in 2004 he quickly abandoned the antiwar
rhetoric he had touted along the campaign trail. While remaining critical of
the White House and the lies that pushed us toward war, Obama still maintained
that U.S. military should remain in Iraq until the job was completed.
"Given the enormous stakes in Iraq, I believe that those of us who are
involved in shaping our national security policies should do what we believe
is right, not merely what is politically expedient," Obama proclaimed in
to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in late November 2005.
Later in that same speech, he said, "In sum, we have to focus, methodically
and without partisanship, on those steps that will: one, stabilize Iraq, avoid
all out civil war, and give the factions within Iraq the space they need to
forge a political settlement; two, contain and ultimately extinguish the insurgency
in Iraq; and three, bring our troops safely home."
Obama continues to favor a "phased redeployment" of our troops as
well as "benchmarks" for the Iraqi government, but promises to not
"fully withdraw" – hence why the Illinois senator has supported the
majority of Bush administration's pork-engorged appropriation bills that are
draining the U.S. Treasury. Obama wants to keep cadres of troops throughout
Iraq with others all other the region to strike if necessary.
So where would President Obama send the troops he's redeployed? A good guess
might be Iran.
As Obama told the Chicago Tribune on Sept. 26, 2004, "[T]he big
question is going to be, if Iran is resistant to these pressures [to stop its
nuclear program], including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed
if they do not cooperate, at what point … if any, are we going to take military
He added that "launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal
position for us to be in" given the ongoing war in Iraq. "On the other
hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is
worse." Obama went on to argue that military strikes on Pakistan should
not be ruled out if "violent Islamic extremists" were to "take
Iran is a "genuine threat" to the United States and Israel, Obama
later expressed at a forum sponsored by AIPAC on March 12, 2007, in Washington,
D.C. At the event Obama reiterated that he would not rule out the use of force
in disarming Iran, a position he shares with rival Hillary Clinton.
Earlier that same month, on March 2, 2007, Obama spoke at an AIPAC Policy Forum
in Chicago, where he succinctly laid out his position on how he would deal with
the Middle East, promising not to alter America's lopsided relationship with
Israel. "[W]e must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense
relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing
work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs," he said. "This
would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from
as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza."
How could any critic of the war machine support a candidate like Barack Obama?
MoveOn has quite a long history of supporting Democratic candidates despite
said politicians' allegiance to the Bush doctrine, so their support of Obama
doesn't come as much of a surprise. But even CODEPINK stalwarts such as Jodie
Evans and Nancy Kricorian (the latter runs the popular ListenHillary.org)
have endorsed Obama for president.
Perhaps betrayal is contagious.
In the end, Super Tuesday, despite MoveOn's public frolicking, won't end up
being all that super when the votes are finally tallied. Pro-war candidates
from both major parties will likely solidify their side's nomination.