By Philip Weiss
I heard several more mainstream voices trashing Ron Paul for his spectacular anti-war comments in Iowa the other night–when he said the runup to war with Iran was reckless and could lead to another million dead, and Iran has good reason to want nukes– and a couple of those voices were liberal! First neoconservative David Brooks on All Things Considered last night:
And then, Ron Paul really had a bad debate. People like the fact that he’s forthright, but the Iran foreign policy, which is a more Libertarian foreign policy, is really unpopular in a socially conservative state like Iowa.
Is David Brooks really reflecting the attitudes of Iowans? Or is he reflecting his own neocon agenda, his desire for an Establishment candidate, and yes, his attachment to Israel: a place he has visited many times, about which he is “gooey-eyed”?
Then on Hardball Friday night, host Chuck Todd scoffed that if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses, this will alarm the Washington “elites” to the point that they’ll get rid of this long-complained-about nominating system. John Heilemann of New York and USA Today’s Susan Page laughed along with him.
Not one of these people said a respectful word about the antiwar agenda of Ron Paul. And this is a demonstration of the moral wanting of the left. Occupy Wall Street has done very little to push the antiwar issue; and here comes a politician with populist charm raging against the Patriot Act and drones and saying Muslims are angry at us because we’re bombing their countries, and the liberal Establishment won’t go near him. For the same reason that the Republican Jewish Coalition didn’t invite him to its forum: he is considered out of the mainstream on the Israel issue.
When this is actually a matter of life and death for some people. North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones went from a warmonger to a war-opposer during the Iraq war because of the condolence letters he was signing to soldiers’ families. Again, this story is about the complete detachment of the Establishment from the true costs of a disastrous war. During Vietnam the privileged young were at risk of being dragged off to Vietnam and they occupied university presidents’ offices. This time they don’t care.
Steve Walt has picked up on studies of the draft: the composition of the military affects the power structure’s willingness to launch a war. I have long cited Milton Friedman’s position (can’t find the book this morning) post-Vietnam uprising– that we had to get rid of the draft because it hamstrings the ability of our leaders to prosecute a war.
Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.