As President Barack Obama launches air strikes in Syria, anti-war activists are frustrated that he is getting a pass from groups traditionally opposed to military intervention.
According to the Washington Post, only 22 anti-war activists protested near the White House this week, and “it was the latest display of how Obama has neutralized the left.”
Left-wing activist David Swanson, “who voted for Obama in 2008 before switching to the Green Party,” told the Post that “if George W. Bush were launching wars with Congress out of town, oh, it would be flooded.” But he said liberals give Obama a pass because “he’s more eloquent, he’s more intelligent, he’s African American, he bills himself as a constitutional scholar.”
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink said “the black community is traditionally the most antiwar community in this country,” but Obama has “defanged that sentiment within the black community, or certainly voicing that sentiment.” She told the Post “that the two leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus split on last week’s Syria vote” and said that “if it were under Bush, there would be no split at all and they would all be against this.”
This month’s Washington Post-ABC News poll found that “liberals supported airstrikes in Iraq and Syria (64 percent and 54 percent, respectively), as did Democrats (67 percent and 60 percent).”