Obama on Pace to Surpass Bush in War Casualties: Where Are the Antiwar Protests?
posted at 6:23 pm on August 10, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
Remember the anti-war rallies when George W. Bush was president? Organizers sometimes claimed turnouts in the tens of thousands. Protesters carried clever signs reading “Support the Troops: End the War” or posters of the president as Hitler, the devil, or—in one artful effort—as both. (So much for the left’s professed civility.)
The media did its part to emphasize the war-is-hell aspect of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan by running footage of slain soldiers’ coffins being unloaded from cargo planes at U.S. air bases. Lest there be any confusion or short memories of just how intense, and uncivil, these protests became, a stroll down memory lane via this slideshow should suffice as a reminder.
That was then. And this is now. And now one scarcely hears a peep from the anti-war protesters, despite a disconcerting observation by Ira Stoll at reason.com, who writes:
The Obama administration is on pace to have more American soldiers killed in casualties related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than the George W. Bush administration did in its first term.
Citing the website iCasualties.org, which maintains data on military personnel killed in action, Stoll notes the sobering specifics:
630 American soldiers died in the Afghanistan operation in the years 2001 through 2008, when Mr. Bush was president, while 1097 American soldiers have died in the years 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Not to mention, the president has added a third war—in Libya—which, despite his early predictions of U.S. involvement being measured in days has dragged on for months. The war has cost American taxpayers $60 million a month since the bombing began in March, but it has been even more costly in terms of human lives.
So the question logically arises: Where are the marchers and demonstrators now? Why aren’t they out picketing in front of the White House, holding aloft posters of Barack Obama with a noose around his neck? (Oh, that’s right…)
Stoll posed questions like these to Michael McPhearson, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, which organized some of the largest antiwar protests during the Bush administration. The explanation he gave is simple: It’s all political partisanship:
Once Obama got into office, they kind of demobilized themselves.
Because he’s a Democrat, they don’t want to oppose him in the same way as they opposed Bush. The politics of it allows him more breathing room when it comes to the wars.
In other words, the protests were nothing more than demonstrations of liberal hypocrisy. Suprised?
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