One has to be pleased that the antiwar movement
is taking shape. Finally the target isn't just George. W. Bush and gang. Last
night at a chic Manhattan fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, antiwar activists
staked out the senator and vowed to do so until she changes her position on
Sen. Clinton released a letter last week that clarified her (non) position
on Iraq. She said she wouldn't accept any timetable for withdrawal and won't
even embrace a "redeployment" of U.S. troops along the lines of Rep. Murtha.
"I take responsibility for my vote, and I, along with a majority of Americans,
expect the president and his administration to take responsibility for the false
assurances, faulty evidence and mismanagement of the war," Clinton wrote in
letter that amounted to nothing short of denial for her own culpability
in the mess.
Last Friday, Clinton spoke at an event in Kentucky where she reiterated her
"The time has come for the administration to stop serving up platitudes and
present a plan for finishing this war with success and honor," she said. "I
reject a rigid timetable that the terrorists can exploit, and I reject an open
timetable that has no ending attached to it."
Translation: Clinton is all for an extended American stay in Iraq. She "takes
responsibility" for her vote on the war, but won't admit that it was wrong.
And of course, Clinton is still for "winning" this war. Whatever that means.
Antiwar activists across the country have not been overly pleased with Clinton's
continued warmongering these past few weeks. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, who
supported John Kerry's pro-war campaign last year, has changed her tune on the
Democrats and says she will be hot on Clinton's trail across the country. "We're
calling it 'Bird-Dog Hillary,'" Benjamin raves.
It's about time.
Cindy Sheehan also said she'll be tracking down Hillary, maintaining that she
and other activists may even take Camp Casey to the streets of NYC. Activists
here in New York assured me last month that they plan on organizing a lot of
events and sit-ins in front of Clinton's offices in the months ahead. I think
this is proof the antiwar movement is finally getting somewhere.
Over on the other side of the country, in San Francisco, antiwar activists
plan to hold a huge rally on Dec. 20, where Clinton will be attending a bar
association benefit with an interview session with Jane Pauley.
Focusing all of the antiwar movement's energy on the Republicans is shortsighted,
and perhaps worst of all, completely naïve. The Democrats not only authorized
this war, they still by and large defend the ongoing occupation.
Taking on the leaders of both parties is paramount if we are ever to end this
How nice it would have been for the antiwar movement had they held Kerry's
feet to the fire during last year's presidential election. But one has to be
glad that prominent leaders like Medea Benjamin and publications like The
Nation, which is also stating that it won't be supporting any pro-war
candidate in the future – are finally coming around. The liberal myopia that
infected so many may at last be wearing off.
Lesser-evil politics often gets in the way of successful social movements;
so let's hope antiwarriors keep up their pressure on Hillary Clinton. It can
only lead to good things.