Where Is The Peace Movement?

Posted on November 6, 2009


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For days, I guess for weeks, President Barack Obama has been studying the question: How many more thousands of American soldiers to send to war in Afghanistan? Will the President decide how many thousands next week, or will he struggle with the decision until the week after? The question is not whether to have a war in Afghanistan, but how many more thousands of American soldiers.

In the background, I keep reminding myself that American soldiers continue to fight a war in Iraq. Thousands of American soldiers. I forget how many thousands in Iraq. I’ve lost track of how many years American soldiers have been fighting in Iraq.

It’s Friday night, and I just watched a documentary, “The Good Soldier,” on Bill Moyers, on PBS. The old soldiers, veterans from World War II, and the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War, talk at length about their experiences. (The documentary didn’t have a veteran representing the Korean War. So many wars.)  The veterans in the film do a good job, in less than an hour, of sharing with us the pain and horror, the killing and dying, that they participated in and witnessed in war.

And so now the generals ask for thousands more American soldiers for Afghanistan. The president deliberates carefully. How many thousands for the war? It’s only one of many questions  competing for time on the news. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue almost in the background, as Americans debate Wall Street greed, economic recession, health care reform, increasing public debt, global warming, a cap-and-trade system for industrial polluters. So many problems, so many important decisions.

After watching “The Good Soldier” tonight, I’m asking myself, Where is the Peace Movement? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times since before we first invaded Iraq. Where is the Peace Movement? And where are the Peace Candidates?

You know, in all the years America has been fighting the war in Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan, I personally have never been to a war protest. Not a single war protest. I haven’t voted for a Peace Candidate. (Have there been any Peace Candidates?)

I have met the person who failed to work for Peace, and it is me. The Peace Movement is invisible, and it’s my fault. Who else could I point a finger at?

How many more thousands of soldiers for Afghanistan? How many more years in Iraq? How many dead? How many wounded?  WHERE IS THE PEACE MOVEMENT?

“The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind, The answer is blowing in the wind.”

— Bernie Hayden

George McGovern on Afghanistan and Health Care