'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, November 17, 2006

Support antiwar.com 

I can't recall ever encouraging the people who read this blog to financially contribute to anything. It may have happened once or twice, but if so, I have no memory of it.

Today, I believe that it is very important that we support antiwar.com during its quarterly fund drive. Fund drives are always challenging, and it is easy to succumb to the temptation that a wealthy saviour will step forward at the last minute, as has appeared to have happened during previous antiwar.com drives. In this instance, we need to resist it, and show our appreciation for the most dynamic American anti-imperialist site on the Internet.

Admittedly, antiwar.com is not a leftist one, it is avowedly libertarian. I have substantial disagreements with the social and economic beliefs of the people who operate it. Even so, on the most important issue of our time, the expansion of the American empire through extreme violence and economic coercion, the people involved with antiwar.com are unequivocal and forthright in their opposition to it.

It is the portal to news articles and columns from around the world regarding the war in Iraq, the war on terror, a possible war in Iran and the perpetual attempt of the Israelis to colonize the entirety of Palestine. It has played an essential role in destroying the monopoly of information that the US media once possessed. No longer are we at the mercy of the The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and, worst of all, FOX News.

The breath of news and commentary at antiwar.com is, quite simply, without peer. Ideologically, one finds the anarchist Noam Chomsky alongside Reaganite Paul Craig Roberts, the Tory Peter Oborne with Tom Engelhardt of The Nation. Indispensable reports and analysis from Dahr Jamail, Aaron Glantz and Jorge Hirsch are readily available. Without antiwar.com, it would be much more difficult to readily access such disparate sources of information.

The thread tying them all together is the essential cause of creating a broad based coalition from right to left to resist the predations of the American empire, a cause that has become even more urgent as a consequence of neoconservative control over US foreign policy. Justin Raimondo has written today that he believes that contributions have declined because of the recent Democratic victory in the congressional elections. He may well be correct.

If so, the refusal to financially support independent entities like antiwar.com by instead placing confidence in a Democratic Congress to bring the war to a conclusion is profoundly misguided. Already, the red lights are flashing: Lieberman and McCain, part of the bipartisan Group of 12 who really run the Senate, advocating 20,000 more troops for Iraq, a recommendation that will purportedly be made by James Baker's Iraq Study Group, the containment of moderately antiwar House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with two pro-war subordinates, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Democratic Caucus Chair, Rahm Emanuel, all confirming this prediction by Alexander Cockburn (referenced here in this post by Joe last week):

What may well happen now is what we satirically predicted at the statrt of the week: a bipartisan consensus by the national leadership of both parties around the McCain position, calling for fresh troops and better manangement of the war. This is what Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden all endorse.

Antiwar.com is part of the effort to create an alternative to this kind of cynical politics, an alternative emphasized by Cockburn:

What's needed now is a de facto alliance between the antiwar Democrats bolstered by Tuesday's results, and the antiwar Republicans led by Chuck Hagel who no longer have to be beholden to the neocons and who have no desire to go the way of Santorum or Burns.

The loss of antiwar.com, or even just a reduction of service, would be significant setback for this endeavor. Personally, I donated $75.

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