In less than a week, I will be in Denver at the Democratic National Convention participating in events that will take place outside the Pepsi Center. As I prepare to head to where the political epicenter of American politics will be next week, I have formulated a series of articles titled, "The Right, the Left, and Your Prized Candidate." The first in the series is as follows.
Why Did Obama Win the Nomination?
Only one blog on the Internet citing Joe Trippi has raised this question.The blog, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot – over, has a post detailing why Hillary lost to Obama---one of those reasons being Hillary’s inability to deal with her Iraq vote early in her campaign.
While it’s disconcerting that the post only brings up reasons why Hillary lost and not why Obama won, this supposed reason for Hillary losing is important for those who wish Obama to be elected.
The media has said that Obama won the nomination because unlike Hillary he was against the war in Iraq from the very beginning. Democrats early in the election thought this to be a key difference between the Party's two most "viable" or "electable" candidates.
Obama supporters should run with this narrative. It frees supporters and other Americans to do so much even if it can be proven that his infamous so-called anti-war speech just shows him to be against “dumb” wars and for “smart” wars.
We should mobilize under this storyline because we the people who wish the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would end have been against these wars for some time now (and even prior to their start). More supported the war in Afghanistan than the war in Iraq, but we all have come to see these current U.S. military occupations as part of a phony “war on terror” that must come to an end.
The “war on terror” has made it possible for those in power to carry out policies that involve torture, warrantless wiretapping, unreasonable searches and seizures, restrictions on travel via a byzantine “terrorist” watch list, arrests at rallies and protests, etc.
For us to regain freedom, we must demand an end to a “war on terror” that keeps the flames of destruction burning in Iraq and Afghanistan and signals impending doom for Pakistan and Iran in the future if this reckless militaristic fight is not brought to a halt.
With millions of Iraqi civilians dead, thousands of U.S. soldiers dead, hundreds victim of torture and rendition, and tens of thousands injured, the responsibility is on us to not forget what we know from watching the Bush administration senselessly destroy the lives of people during his presidency.
I propose that we do so by making inroads with groups who will be present in Denver and who have been out there challenging the direction of this Bush program for years now.
Most importantly, I propose we make it clear to Barack Obama that he must acknowledge the existence of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in his campaign during the upcoming months and give them a voice. The tacit ignorance of these brave men and women coming together to insert moral clarity into the debate over the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan by participating in a Winter Soldier Investigation was appalling.
Sadly, Obama and the Democratic Party have continued to ignore the group. A fig leaf to appease angry veterans, a new G.I. Bill of Rights, was passed but has not swayed IVAW to stop organizing against America's ongoing wars of mass destruction.
The people of America who want a reverse of policy in the Middle East should adopt the IVAW agenda which it has pursued “since its inception”: immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq, reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and stopping the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that their people can control their own lives and future, and adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.
Not only is this narrative liberating for those struggling to grapple with feelings of frustration, but this narrative also affords us the opportunity to do some “soul searching” while this election steams onward---“soul searching” to advance a strategy of never lowering our sights when we know as a people we possess a higher level of fortitude and courage than elected politicians will ever show.
Adopting an agenda to end the “war on terror” may be for some quixotic instead of pragmatic.