Cross posted from Huffington Post:
The anti-war movement in America is on the brink of self-destruction. There are multiple contributing factors to the movement's erosion. Extremists, incompatible ideologies, lack of participation from the silent majority, timid politicians from all parties, fringe/special interest groups, and an overall lack of solidarity has all but put the final nail in the coffin.
It has been impossible to organize legitimate protests against the Iraq war without commingling other agendas. I have been to many marches against the war. In every situation radical organizations have blended into the demos to promote their views of the world. In most cases those views are contrary to those of most Americans. For example, advocates for freeing Mumia Abu-Jamal, anti-Israel organizations, worshipers of Che Guevara, and communist/socialist groups have poisoned the message of "bring the troops home" and created an image of chaos and anarchy that sends the average American off screaming into the night. These Americans, the silent majority, under normal circumstances would attend anti-war protests and contribute to the movement if it were not for the circus act.
Most politicians have provided nothing but lip service over the last five years while the blood continues to flow in Iraq. Republicans will stand by their party orthodoxy of "stay the course" and "fight them in Baghdad, not Boston." Each time they voted for war funding they did so because they actually believed it was right. They backed up their votes with conviction no matter how wrong they were. Democrats have shouted their opposition to the Iraq war, but at every moment of truth when they had the chance to vote against war funding, many of them caved in and voted with their Republican counterparts to continue the war. So what side of the aisle is worse?
The well-financed fringe groups have proven to be counter-productive to ending the Iraq war. I'm speaking of organizations (aligned with the Democratic Party) that put mouthpieces on MSNBC and CNN to regurgitate the talking points of the Democratic leadership and to attack their Republican opposition - henchman and hacks. Most Americans understand that these individuals will sell their souls for an invitation to a political cocktail party. Even worse, the very Democrats who they advocate for consistently voted in lockstep with the Republicans to prolong the war -- total hypocrites. So who's version of the war are you buying, the Democrats or the Republicans? Whichever side you choose, don't forget you're still putting stock into the war.
Time was never on our side. It isn't the Vietnam era when Americans were forced to care because of the reality of the military draft. We can freely conduct our daily business and not even have think about the lives and billions being spent in Iraq -- how selfish. We are not mandated to serve in the military nor are we encouraged to serve. A promo initiated by our Commander in Chief George W. Bush. According to him, America is fighting a global war on terror (primarily in Iraq) while he tells Americans to "go shopping."
Hindsight is always 20/20. Through unity and setting aside unrelated agendas we could have implemented strong political will that could have forced Washington to take the anti-war vote seriously enough to achieve the ultimate goal -- an end to the war in Iraq. Instead, an umbrella movement formed consisting of groups with multiple and competing absolutist agendas. A civil war within the movement was inevitable and there seems to be no middle ground. A perception has been created that you're either an enabler for those who have no real plan to end the war (the two main political parties and the main stream fringe groups) or you're a radical taking votes from Obama by voting for third party candidates, thus handing the election to McCain and perpetuating the war -- a beautiful mess.