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9 Years Ago, the Center for American Progress was Anti-War, Then Something Happened

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The Center for American Progress (CAP) proposed a withdrawal plan from Iraq in 2005; in 2014 they are proposing airstrikes in that same country. What changed?

Center for American Progress Logo
(image by Center for American Progress)

The answer is that the political party of the President changed. When George W. Bush, a Republican, was President, the war in Iraq was, according to CAP, an abysmal failure. Then, when Barack Obama, a Democrat, became President, CAP began to endorse the very kind of warmongering policies it so vehemently protested when Bush was President. Yet CAP calls itself a nonpartisan research organization/think tank. Why on earth would anyone believe such a fairytale, given the ample amount of evidence that CAP is anything but nonpartisan?

CAP's former president and founder, John Podesta, who also used to run a lobbying firm, left in 2011 to join the Obama administration. CAP's current president, Neera Tanden, served on Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign in 2008. Such people hardly sound like politically disinterested observers kind enough to share their "knowledge" for the benefit of the nation; they have a political agenda and political allies (corporate Democrats) for whom they speak; truth, if they even care about it at all, is at the very bottom of priorities.

CAP was formed in 2003 to counter the unbalanced makeup of right-leaning versus left-leaning Beltway think tanks. Among the overtly political think tanks, CAP was one of the earliest to openly claim the progressive label. In doing so, it presented itself as a breath of fresh air for those who were tired of the likes of the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute controlling the dialogue. However, since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, CAP has clearly demonstrated that it is little more than a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, a political party which has repeatedly demonstrated that it is NOT progressive.

Afghanistan: The Surge

The myth that the Center for American Progress (CAP) is nonpartisan was completely shattered once President Obama ordered escalation of the war in Afghanistan in 2009. In fairness though, this is actually an area in which CAP has been somewhat consistent. For instance, in late 2007, more than a year before Obama took office, CAP authored a report on Afghanistan entitled "40 Reasons to Reengage in Afghanistan," and the reasons given for escalation are every bit as irrational as the escalation itself. Some examples:

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Poverty is widespread.

Literacy levels are inadequate.

Life expectancy is low.

Unemployment is high.

Domestic violence, forced marriages, and roadblocks to opportunity.

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Lack of representation [of women] in the police force.

Poor maternal mortality rates.

While all those things are certainly troubling, CAP's report fallaciously implies that an increased military presence will unquestionably improve those situations, without even bothering to explain how. The report continues:

Current Resources are Being Wasted.

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John Brock holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in city planning. His writing interests include American politics, the U.S. Congress, anti-war activism, health care, civil liberties, and economic democracy. He (more...)

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It is just as important for people to be aware of ... by Deena Stryker on Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 10:06:21 AM
As soon as I saw John Podesta was going to run CFA... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 11:59:31 AM
At least we know to laugh really, really hard when... by Samson on Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 11:22:55 PM
What changed?Iraq did. ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 at 4:31:35 AM