Come Home America: One Year Old

The Book Has Been Written on the Right/Left Antiwar Alliance

A year ago this week on February 20, about forty antiwar activists, writers and organizers, gathered in a basement conference room in Washington, DC, to launch an antiwar organization spanning the political spectrum.  As a first step we agreed to publish a book of essays by meeting participants and others, now out with the title ComeHomeAmerica.US.

That meeting was remarkably friendly, given that the editors of The Nation and The American Conservative were contained within the same four walls.  The keynote was given by Ralph Nader  – at the insistence of the Right.

About 65%, of Americans oppose the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.  And yet this majority is unable to prevail.  One reason is that those who oppose war do not work together.  In fact, we often are at one another’s throats even where we are in agreement.  Some of that is principled difference – all to the good.  But some is simply based on stereotypes of “the other,” a recipe for failure.

As Eugene McCarthy often said, the war in Vietnam ground on because antiwar Democrats put Party above principle.  And today we see many who passionately opposed the war under Bush have vanished into the woodwork with the rise of Obama.  Certainly there is no call to “Impeach Obama” although he is carrying out the same policies as Bush.  The same happened on the other side under Bush, albeit to a lesser degree if we are to be honest.  Those who would put partisan interests above a principled antiwar stance will not find a Right/Left alliance very congenial.  But such Democrats and Republicans, whether unthinking loyalists or crass careerists, hold the antiwar movement back. Their absence is to be welcomed.  It is another powerful feature of a movement like ComeHomeAmerica.

As the two War Parties are fond of proclaiming, politics should stop at the water’s edge. We should take up the same cry; our differences over domestic policy should stop at the water’s edge and there we should unite to oppose Empire and war.

What do the Right and Left bring to the antiwar movement?  At this time, the Left brings greater numbers because the Cold War has led the Right away from its traditional “isolationist,” aka anti-interventionist, stance to which it is only beginning to return.  But the Right brings something far more powerful to the antiwar movement, and that is its vocabulary.  The Paleocons and Libertarians put their opposition to war in words that are widely understood and accepted in conventional mainstream discourse.  When the Paleos declare America should be first, that cry resonates far and wide to a populace facing economic hardships.  And when Libertarians declare that government is a threat to liberty, with military being a large part of government, that is something Americans have been taught to understand and respect since their grade school years.  The antiwar movement benefits enormously from this conventional and traditional American vocabulary.   It is not readily assailed.

America’s wars are a scourge unto millions of humans.  From a moral point of view, we in the metropolis of Empire have a duty to stop the bloodshed and suffering perpetrated by our elite.  In this quest dare any of us turn away allies?  Can we be so sure of our own views that we will consort only with the like minded even at the price of other humans?  How can we square that with our deepest instincts to preserve life.  Those who would refuse such alliances must look deep into themselves to discover what justifies that.

The ComeHomeAmerica movement has begun.  Later this year a mass conference will be called that will hopefully attract hundreds of participants.  Meanwhile read the book and sign up at the web site.

John V. Walsh, @JohnWal97469920, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for several independent media. Read other articles by John V..

9 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on February 24th, 2011 at 10:13am #

    “The ComeHomeAmerica movement has begun. Later this year a mass conference will be called that will hopefully attract hundreds of participants. Meanwhile read the book and sign up at the web site.”

    alas, only a movement! and principle on which the demand to stop the wars not even revealed! so, what is this principle?
    is it a panhuman principle, which states that no land has the right to attack another under no known circumstance, or yet another american one? and an undisclosed one to boot? tnx

  2. MICHAEL said on February 24th, 2011 at 5:50pm #

    Mr.John V. Walsh:
    At the risk of sounding pessimistic,the last ten years +,
    provide a record for permanence of our social,political and
    economic agenda, that have been dealt (in part) by “sleight of hand”.
    The political arena is full of purchased Democrates,
    Republicans,Independents and individuals who have been successful
    in destroying solidarity- those who, “…vanished into the woodwork.”They
    no doubt,realize the futility of what is said,or by whom.” 65% of Americans
    oppose the wars.” Unfortunately,this figure could be 80% – 85% with
    absolutely no changes made in the policy regarding the wars.
    I wish the very best to the Come Home America Movement,
    even though there is no longer an America per se,it is now the America’s.
    Thanking you for your attention to this matter –

  3. Vic Anderson said on February 24th, 2011 at 8:08pm #

    And Forget NOT, that common enemy of fundamentists, zealots, and tyrants … ridicule! And Send ME an Obamanible DIY IMPEACHMENT Pack!

  4. Don Hawkins said on February 25th, 2011 at 2:48am #

    A mass movement sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Did anybody see the rally in front of Fox New’s the other day was that a mass movement? A few people here in the States think the rest of us are Zombies as they tell us what to eat, drink, think but as far as the system goes the biggest Zombies of all are the few who like to think for other people. So let’s turn this around on them we need a symbol a pyramid with a dollar bill running through it and Ponzi scheme written in big letters on the bill this could be built on a flatbed truck and a nice touch might be a rather large barrel of oil next to the pyramid and a big pile of coal. We could also paint the Arctic on the pyramid with the ice melting as that is exactly what is happening. Heck maybe we could get some help from Hollywood at least from some people who don’t think they have crack under control or on probation and can still leave the State. Randy are you still in Canada you were very good as Tornado Tommy come on down. Put some speakers on the flatbed we will need people to hear and see. Now the real Zombies total addicted to the system they call Capitalism that seems to have shape shifted along the way well it’s show time. Maybe a hundred people will do the trick first stop Wall Street we will get better as we put the show on in more places so about a hundred people dressed as Zombies and here’s the kicker each Zombie has a name for all to see maybe with a chain around there neck yes we will need one hundred names here’s just a few Buffett, Forbes, McConnell, Hatch, Palin yes we need to put the girl’s in there this time, Coulter, Murdoch, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Malkin, Inhofe, that’s correct there’s more than a hundred sorry Blitzer don’t want to forget Wolf. Ok then after a few speech’s from the best minds we have as the camera’s look to the West or the East coming down the street the Zombies walking slow with there names for all to see and as they reach the pyramid put on the song money and they all get on there knees in front of the pyramid and maybe start taking in tongues the same as what we now see when we see them on TV. Then we bring out tent’s and a bridge don’t think of this as being to big it can be done and homeless people that shouldn’t be to hard in old 2011 and show people what it’s like to sleep on the street under a bridge and one homeless man goes to the pyramid and point’s to the Zombies and could say do you know how much trouble you people have caused and now you want to do it again. Money, money! How about then we bring out a big sign that read’s Berlin the thirties and the Zombies do a little dance. Sound to much well turn on the TV and watch the Zombies today every thought controlled living in a prison for the mind sort of they all know what’s coming yes they do. Am I serious about this yes I sure am fight back damn it there is still time and yes we waited to long and it’s going to get ruff. So how do we get started? How about at the end the Zombies eat money, money.

  5. Don Hawkins said on February 25th, 2011 at 2:52am #

    I forgot something as the Zombies are eating the money we bring out another big sign that read’s the 2020 Party.

  6. Don Hawkins said on February 25th, 2011 at 3:13am #

    Daily Kos a few moons ago;

    At our own hands, before our time. I see no way to prevent another thermal maximum-type event. There is no will among the elites to give up even a smidge of their presumed entitlement to comfort. The psychopathic leeches that have been riding on the back of civilization figured out a way to take control of the golden goose, and are now killing her. Why they think they will survive while the rest of us die is due to their smugness, and expertise at denial.

  7. Don Hawkins said on February 26th, 2011 at 4:28am #

    Yesterday on CNBC the talk was is America the king of oil. They had on Boone Pickens and he feel’s natural gas is part of the answer he could be correct for large machinery. It was said that America sold about 55 million car’s and trucks last year oversea’s then in about 2012 the old supply demand equation will be on the demand side. So the push is on natural gas, coal, open up federal lands and drill baby drill all done of course because it’s the economy stupid. They kind of forgot it would be nice to have a planet that can sustain life while pursuing their institutional role: maximizing short-term profit and putting aside externalities. Anybody see the temperature anomalies for the Arctic and the Earth in general for January 2011. I wasn’t going to send CNBC anymore comment’s but just couldn’t help myself after listening to this madness so after listening to this girl a reporter on CNBC yes there’s boy’s and girl’s on the third planet from the Sun and her guest a man that think’s all of the above is a good idea hell use it all it’s the economy stupid I sent this comment and must say it seemed to cause a little stir. I don’t think they like much when someone point’s out the externalities as not in there business plan.

    Ok then,

    Call this man and have him bring a few people with him then maybe Inhofe and a few from the CATO people.

    Dr. James E. Hansen
    Columbia University
    Armstrong Hall
    2880 Broadway
    New York, NY 10025 USA

    Just think you would become famous and yes you would never work in this town again. There’s always’ Cali become a waitress in a fancy place and heck meet famous people.


  8. Don Hawkins said on February 26th, 2011 at 4:40am #


    Here’s one of the CATO people and I’ll bet he’s been to Cali and read some of his witting as I find 100% looney tunes with known knowledge of course now this Michaels it appears is not on house arrest funny how that work’s.

  9. Don Hawkins said on February 26th, 2011 at 5:20am #

    War Administration
    From the beginning of preparedness in 1939 through the peak of war production in 1944, American leaders recognized that the stakes were too high to permit the war economy to grow in an unfettered, laissez-faire manner. American manufacturers, for instance, could not be trusted to stop producing consumer goods and to start producing materiel for the war effort. To organize the growing economy and to ensure that it produced the goods needed for war, the federal government spawned an array of mobilization agencies which not only often purchased goods (or arranged their purchase by the Army and Navy), but which in practice closely directed those goods’ manufacture and heavily influenced the operation of private companies and whole industries. eh dot net

    Yes read between the lines a little and harder this time. Of course the business plan so far is
    pursuing their institutional role: maximizing short-term profit and putting aside externalities. Did you all see this morning in Iraq they are raising a little hell with the oil refinery’s. Yes boring this will not be as if we wish to survive that maximizing short-term profit well pretty much throw that out the window you know the window some look out and see both reality and unreality at the same time that must be a tad bit confusing to say the least.