Attn, DC Reasonoids: Who Should You Vote for If You're Anti-War?, Debate Tonight!

|

naked peace sign.jpg

Celebrate Columbus Day by arguing about war and the midterm elections! Busboys & Poets serves food and booze, so enjoy dinner and a drink as well as conversation about "peace voters."

VotersForPeace Forum: "The Peace Voter's Dilemma"

Monday, Oct 9, 2006
"Meet and Greet" @ 5:30pm
Panel begins @ 6:00pm

Busboys & Poets, Langston Room
14 & V St. NW

Join anti-war commentators across the political spectrum in a dialogue about how the occupation of Iraq is changing our political landscape and challenging the emerging bloc of peace voters. How are political parties responding to the new "peace voter"? If a majority of Americans are now against the US occupation of Iraq, why are most leading candidates so tepid about taking an anti-war stance? What is a peace voter to do? What does the peace voter dilemma tell us about the state of our democracy? What can be done to restore accountability and responsiveness to our political system?

Host: Linda Schade, Executive Director of VotersForPeace

Moderator: Nick Gillespie, Editor-in-Chief of REASON magazine.

Panelists:
James Antle, Senior writer and assistant editor of American Conservative magazine.
Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action
John LaBeaume, Libertarian political strategist and former National Campaign Coordinator of the Libertarian National Party.
Joyce Robinson-Paul, Green candidate for DC Shadow Senate.
Kevin Zeese, Director of DemocracyRising.US, 2004 spokesperson for Ralph Nader. [Cancelled due to scheduling conflict.]
Gael Murphy, Code Pink

Space is limited– please RSVP here or call 301.270.2355

Advertisement

NEXT: Edmund S. Phelps Wins Nobel in Economics

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Celebrate Columbus Day by arguing about war and the midterm elections!

    It makes more sense than arguing about whether Columbus discovering America was a Great Leap Forward or Original Sin.

    No more useful, mind you. But more reasonable.

  2. A third view:

    Columbus day is ACTUALLY october 12th

    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/oct12.html

    This revisionist history up must end!

    JG

  3. If the Dems could convince me that should they regain power, they would immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq and maybe Afghanistan too, I’d vote for them, every other issue be damned.

    What I fear is that they would continue to keep troops in both places, but “feel bad about it”.

  4. And just why would we want to bring troops home from Afghanistan? You do know the taliban and al-qaeda continue to flourish in the border region, right?

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

  5. Right, Randian. They flourish in the Paki border region, under the protection of the Paki military & intelligence services…..so, lets occupy Pakistan! Thatll fix it.
    I bet its only a matter of time before Deep Thinker Henry K puts THAT bug in Pres. Cheneys ear.
    To pull out of Afghanistan means leaving everybody who hoped for something better at the mercy of revenge minded primitives. All the more reason to pull out of Iraq, drag our putative CinC out of the WH by his heels, & clean some house.
    Wont happen, tis a pity. And once again, the folks in Afghanistan will suffer- horribly- because the US is run by thugs, for thugs.
    A real friggin mess, this. But the Talibans base of military power lies in Pakistan, as Al Queda’s financial power lies in Saudi Arabia.
    Your splendid little war in Iraq has destroyed any chance of offering a decent alternative, as if that was actually an option.
    The Army is accepting recruits into thier 40’s, by the way…..fell free.

  6. You mean Dr. Henry Killingher and his magical murder bag?

  7. “Fortunately we have Iran as an enemy. ”
    We can certainly create endless enemies. Im sure next it will be Venezuela, then, where? Brazil? the UAE?
    Endless enemies, we are told, all “anti american”.
    Im sure the nitwits in power can create them, too, as Im sure the Amen chorus will come outr from under thier beds long enough to cheer those brave pols on.
    Fact is, we create a lot more enemies than we actually HAVE- such enem,ies being profitable, you see, for some.
    Yes, count me a “no show” at this fabricated bullshit witrh Iran, sport. I showed up at the fabricated war with Viet Nam- learned something.

  8. When I returned home from Vietnam I was struck by the disconnect between what I saw with my own eyes and what I heard on the news and from my fellow citizens stateside. People here who were in favor of the war seemed to think the Vietnamese people wanted us there. Perhaps some of them did, but the impression I got back in the ‘Nam was that they were sick of our presence, wanted us out of there and wanted their country back. We American troops were an arrogant swaggering bunch and it was easy to see why they hated us. Then, after we left, the commies turned the place inside out, put everyone in re-education camps and made a lot of people there wish we hadn’t left. In retrospect it all seems inevitable. I haven’t had the chance to talk to any returning Iraq War Veterans so I don’t know what the situation is really like on the ground and I sure don’t trust the media to tell me the truth. But I think maybe some of the Iraqis would like to see us gone. Sooner or later, one way or another, we have to leave, and when we do all hell is going to break loose. I don’t see any way around it, they’re damned if we do (cut & run) and they’re damned if we don’t.

    I’m down on this war out of concern for our troops, who’s job is to fight an unwinable war. It’s like deja vu all over again, there is no happy ending in sight. Just thinking about it gets me depressed and angry at the same time.

    What really sucks is I can’t even protest this war because most of the other war protesters are left-wingnuts who make me want to puke. President Bush really delt us a crummy hand to play.

  9. I’m all in favor of bringing the troops home from Afghanistan immediately.

    But only if we legalize opium first.

    We have two choices: We either bankrupt the Taliban (the guys who basically sponsored 9/11, or at least gave safe haven to the sponsors) or we fight them.

    Iraq was an unnecessary war. Afghanistan wasn’t.

  10. What if that hed was ….Should You Vote…If You’re Anti-War?

    Kevin

  11. Well, I would like to make a truly moral voting suggestion.

    I am a Rothbardian anarchist, so I view the State as a criminal enterprise that commits theft, destruction and murder wholesale.

    Now, there is a controversy amongst anarchists as to whether one should vote at all, and if one votes whom to vote for. The first concern is the argument that by voting on is consenting to the state. The second concern has to do with what the effect of voting.

    While many principled anarchists whom I respect argue that one should not vote, I disagree. Those who do not vote are widely held to be “apathetic” and their lack of participation is not seen as deligitimating the election in any way. So they do not accomplish their desired end. Meantime, the voters that do vote are voting for people who generally advocate increased amounts of looting and pillaging.

    To me, the act of voting is like the act of firing a gun. Certainly, shooting a gun at someone can be immoral. In fact, electing a politician who promises to take money from somebody else to pay for your child-care is not very different (on the moral plane) than whipping out a gun and pointing it at a neighbor to directly extort money for that purpose. On the other hand, voting against that politician is just as moral as whipping out a gun and pointing it at a would-be thief to drive him or her off.

    However, this does bring up an additional problem: whom to cast a vote for. Unfortunately, a vote for A is counted as supporting the particular pillaging the A proposed. For example, a person opposed to George Bush I’s mercantilism and Perot’s psychoticness could decide to vote for Clinton I. After the elcetion his majesty Clinton I and his henchmen count up these votes and decides that he has a mandate for his gang to monopolise of medical treatment.

    Simply speaking, voting for someone is a form of aggressive violence. So one has to find a way to vote against every candidate without voting for a single one.

    The simple solution is to show up at the polls and either write in “none of the above” for every office on the ballot, or if one lives in a state where no write-ins are permitted, to line out (but not fill in) all the check-boxes.

    Vote NOTA in every election!. NOTA will never be caught in bed with a live boy or dead woman, will never vote to give its brother in law lucrative contracts to provide marble for the town hall, enslave your children and send them to die in a foreign land, to extort your money and spend it on charities you disapprove of.

    NOTA… It’s for the children.

  12. If I could go to this — which I can’t, dammit — it would be to see Gillespie toss t-shirts and LaBeaume rock the mic.

  13. Ayn – Let ’em flourish. We’re trying to push back the ocean. We aren’t accomplishing anything positive. We’re simply expending lives and money. We have to get out sometime, so why wait?

  14. tarran,

    “Those who do not vote are widely held to be ‘apathetic’ and their lack of participation is not seen as deligitimating the election in any way. So they do not accomplish their desired end”.

    I haven’t voted in years and it has nothing to do with deligitimating the election, it has to do with my complete, total and absolute contempt for authority. My “desired end” is to be left alone by the criminals who rule us. The less contact I have with the government, the better off I am. So far I’ve managed to avoid flying (except for drugs, of course) since 9/11 so I haven’t had to endure the humiliation and indignation of being searched by some lowlife federal agent. Voting puts my name on someone’s list and I don’t want that. Plus, with the new electronic voting machines, I believe election fraud will soon become rampant.

    I wouldn’t know a Rothbardian anarchist from an donut, I’m sure you’re better educated than me. I’m a Look-Out-For-#1 anarchist and voting for scumbag A instead of scumbag B just doesn’t interest me. If I’m seen to be apathic, so be it, I went to war for this country and my citizenship is paid for, I owe it to no one to vote.

    “The masters make the rules
    for the wisemen and the fools.” Bod Dylan

  15. Tarran: Indeed: the State is organized theft, and murder. Mass murder, at times. (Ill have to add “rothbardian” to my neopaleonormanrockwellian title that got hung on me here) I spent long years not voting. Ya get older, you reason more deeply. ,And watchin Salvadorean peasants line up at 5am, in the far back of beyond, after years of being hunted by our thug proxies, to vote, in the first elections they could safely vote in- no thanks to the US….well, it causes a man to think. SoI vote. Rarely FOR anyone. Or I cast a blank ballot, or NOTA……but I go, & stand in line, and think about it, and vote. No pancea, & I dont tell folks they should (especially dumb ones)
    Buckshot: Im curious: how much reading have you done about VN? Some things start to make more sense with delving into history. (Not years worth of reeducation camps- but who it was who came to voluntarily side w/ foriegn occupiers- which, as you know, is what we were- wouldnt get them treated any better here, & knowing our people, most wouldnt live to see a reducation camp. )
    Whatever, Im just curious about wwhere your studies have taken you, as there arent many of us posting here Im aware of.
    Mutt, 595 LE, 86th Eng Bn, in the Delta, 68-69…..

  16. MUTT, there is no moral imperative to join the military if you happen to support a particular war. That’s just insipid. You know, the Founding Fathers (those cool doodles in the wigs) came up with civilian control of the military, wherein citizens, through their elections and voicing of opinions, decide what the military they pay for does. And since it’s an all-volunteer force, you and tarran’s snivelling about the state “enslaving your kids and forcing them to die in foreign lands”, well, that dog don’t hunt.

    hm, and you’re an embittered, half-coherent Nam vet? Do you really have to fill the stereotype that well?

  17. MUTT:

    13th Aviation Bn, 164th Group, 1st Aviation Brigade, “Shield of the Mekong”. Helicopter outfit in a little place in the Delta called Soc Trang.

    Your comments about Salvadorean peasants really puts me in my place better than any intellectual speech you could have given about my “duty” to vote, which is what I usually get. Kind of like, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Perhaps my aversion to government isn’t as noble as I’ve been telling myself, it does indeed make a man think. You get whacked often enough and you stop sticking your head up, but that is cowardice as much as wisdom, maybe I’m not so wise to cop-out of the system.

    Yes, we were foreign occupiers, that was clear to me even in my ignorant youth. I have a clear memory of a black soldier calling a young lady a gook to her face and the look of pain it gave her, I wanted to crawl into a hole. The irony didn’t escape me, either. Another time I almost got beat up my a group of ARVINs. These two incidents more than anything I’ve read since conviced me that we were not loved by the people we were allied with. The RVN government looked pretty corrupt even to us young soldiers, it was hard not to see it. If I had been a Vietnamese boy instead of American I would probably have been a VC. There was a line by a Marine in the movie, Full Metal Jacket, “Sometimes I think we’re killing the wrong gooks”, which was a strong sentiment at the time among a lot of troops.

    Where have my studies taken me? I’m self-educated, which means I’ve lots of holes in my education, bits and pieces. I’m not so much a failed intellectual as a street person who made the big-time (I’m not on the street). Vietnam, and some other things, took it out of me, but I have no complaints, I made my own bed and I don’t mind sleeping in it. I’m a visceral Libertarian, it just took Ayn Rand to organize it into a coherant philosophy. Haven’t read enough about the post-war Vietnam to know what life was like for the people after we left other than the generic hell communism generally brings wherever it goes. A Vietnamese poker dealer (lots of those around) told me during a game in the Bicycle Casino that he was in a re-education camp and expressed amazment that he’s still alive. That should be a books worth of reading.

    Not many of us posting anywhere these days, time moves fast. I envy Woverine.

  18. tarran, Buckshot, MUTT:

    1st “Whew, they ended the draft just in time so I got to decide whether to sign up or not” Brigade, Stateside.

    Good exchange. I participate in voting. I’ve even run for office. When a more-statist-than-I friend of mine called me on this behavior, saying something like “If you don’t believe in government, why are you running?”, I told him I was attempting to wrestle a gun from the grip of a madman. Once it was in my hands, I’d unload and safe it.

    I vote for Libertarian Party candidates. If there are none for an office, I write in NOTA. Our area uses paper ballots that are fed into an optical scanner by the voter, and there’s always a write-in space. I’ll vote for the least worst candidate in the first round of non-partisan elections, which have run-offs around here, and for the least worst in the general unless both candidates are idiotic or evil. I always vote NOTA when a candidate is unopposed, which is usually the case in judicial races.

    I live in such a one-party area that voting is, for me, mostly symbolic, anyway.

    Kevin

  19. Now that the Pakistanis aren’t backing the Taliban, while even a “withdrawn” America and NATO would be backing the Afghan government, perhaps it’s getting close to the time to trust our allies to defeat the Taliban themselves. As in Iraq, the presence of foreign occupiers can only be enlarging the size of the resistance, and encouraging some who would otherwise work with the government, or at worst be neutral, to go over the Taliban side. We know for certain at this point that there are nationalist Iraqi (Sunni) resistance groups cooperating with foreign jihadists, who would otherwise be just as hostile to those foreigner killers as they are to us. Isn’t it likely that the same dynamic is going in in Afghanistan?

    In Iraq and in Afghanistan, the assumption is always made by the “stay the coursers” that it is only our presence which is preventing Al Qaeda from routing the new government’s military.

    Not all withdrawals are created equal.

  20. yeah, Buckshot: self educated….a skeptic. That means I see theories as just that, & not immutable frameworks. When the facts dont conform to the theory- well, some folks ignore the facts, some folks modify the theory.
    Never made it to Soc Trang, but heard about it.
    ANYHOW: theres three useful reads to get a start on figuring out what the fuck went on. First is available used thru Amazon- Sideshow-Nixon, Kissenger & the Destruction Of Cambodia” Wm. Shawcross Why that?Because we all “lknow” what happened in Cambodia, right? Well, actually, us taxpayin peasants dont. And its a great window on what pathological liars we got running the country. the second is “Bright, Shining Lie” by Sheehan, who has been a historian of our war there since we WERE there, very readable, it encompasses our early days there, and what, & who, exactly, we were defending. (While Sideshow sounds like a grim read, Shawcross has the right sense of black humour- just whats required) Finally, a harder to find volume called “A Political Biography of Ho Chi Minh” by a Frenchman….damn. Jean LoCouture? Damn. The first two are the war thru a US lens, it is useful to see it thru a Viet nationalist lens, too. While the Party Line is Monolithic Communism, & every peasant rebellion, every corrupt tax collec tor who got his throat cut, was the work of Stalin & Co, its useful to remember people rebell against opppression. And they will take ideas, and help, from anyone who dosnt have a boot on thier neck. Ho was indeed a capitol C Communist, but not one welcome in Moscow, or Beijing. Then he died. And lesser men took over. The Nationalists lost out to the Communist Firsters, if you will.
    Giap goes into that a lot in “Victory at any Cost”
    Shoot, I dont want to rattle on here. Keep your powder dry, boys…..
    Randian: Our best & brightest do not enlist to fight public wars for private profit. They enlist to defend the country from actual, real enemies, foriegn & domestic.
    To snivel about them “volunteering” so anything that follows is on them shows just what a little turd you actually are. As if any more evidence is required…..but I digress.
    Anyhow, Buckshot et al, I guess I see ya (figuritivly) at the polls in Nov. Lookin forward to it actually.

  21. MUTT:
    “A Political Biography of Ho Chi Minh”. Sounds interesting, I’ll read it, even if it is written by a frog. They (the frogs) got their butts kicked before we got our’s, so it should be interesting, too bad we didn’t learn from their mistake. From the looks of Iraq, we still haven’t learned.

    Ayn Randian:

    Q: What do you get when you cross an objectivist with a prostitute?

    A: Another fucking know-it-all.

  22. I don’t care what religion you are, that’s funny!

  23. Tarran

    Rothbardian anarchists and all other -ists are dogmatic utopian dreamers who sometimes take control of states in order to help them “wither away’ or some other fantasy and end up killing millions of people. God save us from self-important fucks like you who espouse such drivel and dream up fancy names for it.

  24. Rothbardian anarchists and all other -ists are dogmatic utopian dreamers who sometimes take control of states in order to help them “wither away’ or some other fantasy and end up killing millions of people.

    I know what others -ists have done, but when have Rothbardian anarchists ever taken control of a state?

  25. “I know what others -ists have done, but when have Rothbardian anarchists ever taken control of a state?”

    They would if there were more than half a dozen of them.

    Neither war (Iraq or Afghanistan) was necessary. But then that calls into question what we mean by necessary. We could very easily have gotten angry and shouted veiled threats at the Taliban after 9/11. We could have had the usual round of sanctions and so forth, and ultimately stood around and done nothing.

    And ultimately the amount of lessened security the average American would have would be negligible. So no, invading Afghanistan wasn’t necessary.

    But that doesn’t really address whether it was ultimately in our best interests or not.

  26. Wow bob, I guess my desire not to oppress my neighbors, and my attempts to convince them to do the same really upset you. I think you have me confused with other ‘-ists’ who do want to oppress their neighbors, and whose attempts do cause lots of misery. I think their crimes should not be laid at my door.
    The last time my ilk siezed the machinery of state, colonial Pennsylvania c. 1690, the result was not only the comedy of watching a royal governor flop and twitch, but also a period massive economic growth and a flowering of civil society that out-paced older & better developed colonies. There’s a reason guys like Ben Franklin fled from places like Boston to Philadelphia.
    BTW as far as your prayer to be saved from people like me, you might want to rethink that one; He has already given you FDR, Lincoln, LBJ, Nixon, & Bush II. From my readings of the Bible, I have concluded that the old guy has a very dark sense of humor, and enjoys answering ill-thought-out, self-destructive prayers. You do not want Him to give you a new set of rulers that make you pine for the days of Bush II. So don’t tempt them.
    Oh, I almost forgot:
    I’m rubber, you’re glue: bounces off me and sticks to you!
    So there!

  27. Crap! “Tempt him” not “tempt them!”

    Guess I’d better reset the ol’ accident counter.

    Days blogging without poor grammar, mistaken wording or lost-workday typographic errors: 0

  28. “Rothbardian anarchists and all other -ists are dogmatic utopian dreamers who sometimes take control of states in order to help them “wither away’ or some other fantasy and end up killing millions of people. God save us from self-important fucks like you who espouse such drivel and dream up fancy names for it.”

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

    Also, I just have to say, that is the shittiest attempt at making a giant peace symbol out of nekkid people that I’ve ever seen.

    That’s the problem with the left; no pride in quality.

  29. Thoreau,

    There are all sorts of unfulfilled -ists out there who will never come to power. Their failure is the source of their purist self-righteousness, which in its turn would be the source of their crimes if they actually did come to power. They’re dimwitted fucks who dress themselves up in sectarian slogans to appear–they think–intellectual. It’s pathetic.

  30. What really sucks is I can’t even protest this war because most of the other war protesters are left-wingnuts who make me want to puke. President Bush really delt us a crummy hand to play.

    Couldn’t agree more. Back when there was still a chance not to follow the advice of the galactically stupid, and people were turning out in the streets, I thought about showing up with a sign that read:
    ANTI-LEFT
    ANTI-RIGHT
    ANTI-WAR

    It’s pithy, but it doesn’t convey the proper amount of contempt and I really didn’t want to be associated with the Loony-Left.

  31. So bob, do you hate the Amish because religious extremists knocked down the Twin Towers?

  32. Bob, aren’t you reading an awful lot into a suffix?

  33. you could stop calling it anti-war, use some sense and start calling it pro-peace. kthxbye

  34. Fyodor

    It isn’t about a suffix; it’s a about morons and their ideological certainties. The Amish are a benign case, but they are part of a strain that has been known to mutate into virulent forms (Islamism is part of the same strain). Most -ists are dimiwitted followers (otherwise they wouldn’t be -ists) who are easily manipultated by clever leaders when they come along.

  35. Bob,

    How do you reconcile:

    “It isn’t about a suffix”

    with:

    “Most -ists are dimiwitted followers (otherwise they wouldn’t be -ists)”

    Alternately, do you have another way of identifying “morons … who are easily manipultated by clever leaders when they come along” other than by the “ist” suffix? Or, hopefully, by the fact that they believe something other than what you do?

  36. Bob, if you call anybody a name again on this thread or any other, you will no longer be welcome to comment at this site.

  37. Bob is a Nihilist.

    Jah.

    He believes in nothing!

    /Big Lebowski

  38. Thanks, Tim.

  39. Bob, you shouldn’t have insulted physicists like Thoreau so unjustly. They are well respected here. 😉

  40. My first wife, an Upper Skagit Indian, refered to Columbus Day as Invasion Day.

  41. If you think Columbus was bad, just be thankful the Vikings never found this place. Phew!

  42. So Tim has offered to excommunicate bob for his bad manners and bob has accepted the challenge. Wow, this is a shape-up or ship-out website. Good, keeps me in line. I used to post comments at the Huffington Post and they’ve got some vicious animals running amoke over there. I like this place better, lots of smart people to learn from.

  43. Adios, Tim

    Does this mean Bob won’t answer me?

  44. Tarran- Im surprised someone who “gets” the early Dutch (my pipples!) wants to take over the world in a malstrom of fire and slave camps! You must be one of them Indonesian Dutch colonizers. Nasty bunch. Maybe it was the spices…
    But if your hip to the PA Dutch, you will have a blast reading “City at the Center of the World. ” Came out last year in pb. An acct of the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, its politics & socio economic goings on. The writer- great writer! makes the case the Dutch set the stage for the frewheeling social & economic machine the US is, not those dismal New England crackpots & tyrants. My family name isnt mentioned, alas, tho we have a lot of items in the Richmondtown Museum.
    Mutt, whose peeps jumped ashore in Neuw Amsterdamm in 1625…../

  45. Tarran- Im surprised someone who “gets” the early Dutch (my pipples!) wants to take over the world in a malstrom of fire and slave camps! You must be one of them Indonesian Dutch colonizers. Nasty bunch. Maybe it was the spices…
    But if your hip to the PA Dutch, you will have a blast reading “City at the Center of the World. ” Came out last year in pb. An acct of the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, its politics & socio economic goings on. The writer- great writer! makes the case the Dutch set the stage for the frewheeling social & economic machine the US is, not those dismal New England crackpots & tyrants. My family name isnt mentioned, alas, tho we have a lot of items in the Richmondtown Museum.
    Mutt, whose peeps jumped ashore in Neuw Amsterdamm in 1625…../

  46. MUTT, the PA “Dutch” aren’t descended from Nederlanders. The name is a corruption of Deitsch, which is what they called their dialect. Their ancestors emigrated from the various German states.

    Kevin

  47. AH! that explains thier sobriety!
    I thought mebbe they were , um, sorta like dutch retards or somethin.
    Just as well, then: drunken Huns are a bloody horror…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.