Posted by CODEPINK Staff
A handful of people have called various CODEPINK offices these past few days, asking us, "Where's your outrage against Obama?" With the massive escalation in Afghanistan, and more troops remaining in Iraq than promised, they've said, there's plenty of reason to kick and scream at him, demand an explanation and true end to both wars. One woman wondered if the left, the anti-war movement, had organized so well for past six years only because of rabid hatred of Bush -- now, with love for Obama, we've forgotten our mission to bring home the troops and stop the wars.
Believe it: there's not much love for Obama and his disastrous policies, at least within CODEPINK. We haven't forgotten our mission at all. Here's the kicker, however: back in the Bush era, the American people were outraged by the wars and wanted to show it. So they formed or rejuvenated local anti-war organizations, made signs and banners, took to the streets, marched and rallied, over and over again. Six years later, in the midst of a massive economic crisis, people seem more concerned with keeping their jobs, paying their mortgage and making it to September in one piece (fair enough). If they've any anger at all toward Obama, it centers in frustration around his work on health care and the economy, not the wars. CODEPINK women across the country have tried to host candle-lit 'bring home the troops' vigils and anti-war rallies, but maybe 10 people will show. They've called for people to gather in front of the White House or Congress, but again, maybe half a dozen will show. Earlier this year, the country's largest anti-war coalition United For Peace and Justice held a national anti-war and economic justice march in New York City. Despite months of organizing, about 7,000 people attended. In past UFPJ marches, numbers were up to 70,000.
Many in the anti-war movement have spent the past few months educating themselves on the extremely complex political history of Afghanistan to better their messaging around that war, and they've spent time waiting -- and watching -- Obama and his cabinent to determine exactly his intentions and actions. In other words, they've been hunkering down and restrategizing. Now, nearly eight months after his inauguration, the movement's gathering major momentum (unfortunately) as more and more realized that Obama's rule looks a lot like more of the same. Many organizations, including CODEPINK, are gearing up for a month of demonstrations in October -- stay tuned for more on that. We're organizing with interviews with Afghan women (you can read them here) and planning a peace delegation to Afghanistan this fall. Like other organizations in the anti-war movement, we will continue to organize around Palestine/Israel and Iran, too.
And of course, we appreciate more input. What do you all think of Obama's positions on the wars?