You gotta choose your battles

How progressive should a group like Washington Liberals be?  If it’s too progressive — too anti-war, too hard on centrist Dems, too uncompromising, and too open to certain controversial views (such as Palestinian grievances) — then it risks alienating potential allies.  On the other hand, if it’s too conventional, fearful and meek, it’ll betray progressive values.

There are SO many injustices, and we can only do our little part — which makes it easier, in some sense:  ya can’t fight all injustices, you have to pick and choose.  On the other hand. it also means that you have to sacrifice certain issues, or at least de-emphasize them.

What I fear is that by refusing to be brave about my values I’m turning a blind eye to great injustices. I’m sure that many Republicans were upset with Pres. Bush’s policies but kept quiet for fear of aiding Democrats.    Now it’s we Democrats’ turn to either speak out against injustice or to pretend it’s not there.   The war in Afghanistan, for example, seems to me to be highly unjust and wasteful. So do many of Pres. Obama’s economic policies and staffing choices.  So does his treatment of Bradley Manning, and his decision to hide the truth about Bush era crimes from the American people.  He’s better than Bush and most Republicans, but that’s not saying much.  On a handful of issues, he has been exemplary (e.g., overturning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).

The issue of Obama will divide Democrats for the next few years.  Can’t pretend it’s not a big problem.

Further below is a copy of an email from Pirate TV about their upcoming broadcast about the war in Afghanistan.  Every day I get lots of emails from various lefty groups, too many emails to read.  I need to pick and choose which ones I devote my time and energy to.     With so much injustice in the state, the nation and the world, you gotta choose your battles.

Malalai Joya: U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now!

Watch Pirate Television South End Edition on Puget Sound Access

PSA Channel 77 (For viewers in Renton, Burien, Kent, Auburn, Seatac, and Tukwila)

Producer: C.I. Hawkes                                Number 17
Wed. 4/27/11
at 8 p.m. PST                        Repeats: Friday 4/29/11 at 5 p.m. PST

Thanks to pressure that reversed a State Dept. refusal to grant her a visa for a three-week speaking tour, Malalai Joya was able to come to the Pacific NW anyway.  The Boston Globe reported that the refusal to grant her a visa had prompted “nationwide protests”, including one in Harvard Square Wednesday night, and support for Joya from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.

Joya is a vigorous opponent of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and advocates U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan . In February 2010, she said: “[My] country is occupied. Obama couldn’t care less about peace. What has he done in one year? By sending more soldiers, he is only spreading the war and the massacres that have fallen on the Afghan people, especially women; they risk returning the Taliban to power. His policies are dangerous, worse than Bush’s. It’s all a waste of blood and money for nothing.  Even if I have often looked death in the face, what I’m most afraid of for my people is silence, the victory of power over justice. We must not be abandoned in this fight. Foreigners have had eight years to make of this country a paradise and they have made it a field of ruins.”

This talk was recorded 4/5/11 at UW Tacoma.

Thanks to Peace Action

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