Last night, the Associated Press reported that Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, offered criticism of Obama’s Hawkish foreign policy. From what I can see on Google, only a few papers are carrying the story. It will be interesting to see if the number grows.
The “peace movement” of 2001-2008 evaporated almost overnight once Obama came into office. There were a few moments of honesty in the mainstream media about Obama’s protection of torture, his failure to close illegal prisons, his refusal to allow the public to know about the crimes of Abu Ghraib, his Administration’s increase of drone killings (far more in his one term than in Bush’s two terms), his implementation of regime change, his lobbying for indefinite detention, etc. But for the most part, everyone acted as if the Nobel Peace Prize was completely deserved. Anti-war protests were replaced by Occupy Wall Street. The discrepancy between candidate Obama and President Obama was ignored.
So now that it looks like Mitt Romney might win the White House, is the Leftist “peace movement” suddenly going to rise again?
Morris Dees is an odious Left-Liberal. As far as I can tell from Googling, if he had any great objection to Obama’s foreign policy, he has kept it out of the papers until now. At the funeral for the Democrat Senator George McGovern, Dees decided to get all principled:
“The founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center says former Sen. George McGovern implored Barack Obama to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan right after the 2008 election. Morris Dees says, ‘Obama didn’t heed his message.’ It was a pointed jab from the activist, speaking at a Thursday night prayer service for McGovern, with Vice President Joe Biden sitting in the third row.”
This sudden bout of criticism to Biden’s face (Biden, despite later rhetoric, was very much in favor of invading Iraq), may indicate that the Left believes that Obama is going to lose and that they now want to throw him under the bus. His record on international bloodshed is going to suddenly matter to them, even though they mostly ignored it during his term.
Will the grassroots Democrats really fall for it? Will the public be swayed by a media that begins incessantly attacking Romney for his foreign policy and military strategy when they know that only a couple of years earlier the same behavior from Obama didn’t bother them?
There are conservatives who have been alarmed by our attempts at nation-building abroad (which Obama threatened in the last debate to bring home), money and arms going into the hands of terrorists to overthrow regimes, and massive numbers of drone killings that kill civilians—including women and children—and leave survivors more open to recruitment into terrorist organizations. As Rand Paul moves forward in the GOP, and as Romney and Ryan deal with the budget in a more responsible way than Obama ever attempted, hopefully there will be a discussion of what a conservative foreign policy should look like.
From Dees attack on Obama at McGovern’s funeral, it looks like the Democrats are already planning to appeal to a solid American majority that is tired of wars and other foreign entanglements. Voters have short memories. Conservatives will need to remind Americans that the Democrats are just posturing—that their anti-war, anti-national-security-state stance is just a ruse to get their own Commander-in-Chief back in the White House.
If the Democats succeed in a future election, suddenly they will declare that war is OK—that it even deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.