Once upon a time - say, three years ago - your average Democrat appeared to care about issues of war and peace. When the man dropping the bombs spoke with an affected Texas twang, the moral and fiscal costs of empire were the subject of numerous protests and earnest panel discussions, the issue not just a banal matter of policy upon which reasonable people could disagree, but a matter of the nation's very soul.
Then the guy in the White House changed.
Now, if the Democratic rank and file haven't necessarily learned to love the bomb - though many certainly have
- they have at least learned to stop worrying about it. Barack Obama
may have dramatically expanded the war in Afghanistan, launched twice as
many drone strikes in Pakistan as his predecessor and dropped
women-and-children killing cluster bombs in Yemen, but peruse a liberal
magazine or blog and you're more likely to find a strongly worded
denunciation of Rush Limbaugh than the president. War isn't over, but
one could be forgiven for thinking that it is.
Given the lamentable state of liberal affairs, Drift, a new
book from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, is refreshing. Most left-of-centre
pundits long ago relegated the issue of killing poor foreigners in
unjustifiable wars of aggression to the status of a niche concern,
somewhere between Mitt Romney's family dog and the search results for
"Santorum" in terms of national importance. So in that sense, it's nice
to see a prominent progressive at least trying to grapple with the evils
of militarism and rise of the US empire. It's just a shame the book
isn't very good.
Read the rest at Al Jazeera.