Patterico's Pontifications

4/20/2008

MoveOn.org Revises History

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Recently, Hillary Clinton criticized MoveOn.org for its anti-war position on Afghanistan. Subsequently, in a statement to the Huffington Post, MoveOn.org’s Executive Director claimed that “MoveOn never opposed the war in Afghanistan.”

Now Tom Maguire at Just One Minute provides some evidence that MoveOn.org was against the war in Afghanistan before it was for it.

Good times.

— DRJ

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Beldar weighs in, in this very well-written and compelling post.

34 Responses to “MoveOn.org Revises History”

  1. Moveon Asks for justice. Meanwhile, the first name we tried to use for the the Afghanistan mission was “infinite justice.”

    stef (8f26ca)

  2. MoveOn may be right on a technicality.

    The petition in question was circulated before there was a war in Afghanistan.

    Once there actually was a war in Afghanistan, did they oppose it?

    If you can answer that in the affirmative, there’s no wiggle room. Otherwise, there is.

    LYT (b67340)

  3. That answer is straight out of Bill Clinton’s playbook: I voted for the bill before I voted against it. It depends on the meaning of “is.” Oral sex is not sex. Yadda yadda yadda.

    No matter how you parse it, MoveOn is lying. Read Beldar’s quote.

    Erik the Red Stater (d1e694)

  4. Petition ran until December 2001, so yeah. Moveon opposed Afghanistan.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  5. Absolutely, Jim. But be prepared for some Clinton-style parsing of the meaning of is, coming up. I’m sure some of the MoveOners voted for the petition before they voted against it.

    Beldar’s post puts it best.

    Funny how incredibly fair some people are to some groups, but not to others. Couldn’t have a thing to do with politics, could it?

    Erik the Red Stater (d1e694)

  6. We are at war the Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eurasia. – 1984

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  7. you can’t see the forest for the trees, and you can’t identify the trees without your glasses. the moveon petition cited in beldar opposed only bombing kabul and killing people who were themselves victims of the taliban, it said nothing about invading afghanistan and killing taliban members.

    moreover, you seized on the least consequential aspect of hillary’s embarrassing statement. worse was her whining about “activists” flooding caucuses and intimidating her supporters.

    obama owes part of his standing to racial entitlement. hillary is the candidate of gender entitlement, but there’s something worse hiding under its skirt: a sort of elitist, corporatist, dynastic entitlement crying out for coronation.

    i don’t think i can vote for mccain, hillary or obama, but of the three, obama is the most attractive. once you resign yourself to the proposition that none of these clowns can solve our collective problems or improve our lives, when you come to hate the current regime of profligate, belligerent corporatist enemies of individual liberty as much as i do, the devil you don’t know gains favor over the ones you do. election day is like nfl draft day, a grain of irrational optimism is required to participate. our top pick has to be a future pro bowler, because the current starter can’t tie his own shoelaces.

    assistant devil's advocate (b716df)

  8. How exactly does “the devil you don’t know gains favor over the ones you do” sync with “our top pick has to be a future pro bowler”? If you show favor to the one you DON’T know, how can you possibly count on that person becoming a future pro-bowler?

    Oh, wait. I get it now! See, I thought you made a mistake, forgetting to put the dash in pro-bowler (as in an NFL all-star). Now I realize it was deliberate. You were actually making a sarcastic reference to Obama’s terrible bowling performance. It all makes sense now; it . . . hold it. You DID clearly ID it as an NFL reference.

    Well now I’m just confused. So, tell us again, WHY should we vote for the candidate about whom we know the least?

    Missed It By THAT Much (d02d39)

  9. ada – That’s an interesting attempted spin at the Moron.org petition, but I don’t agree with it. If we invade or bomb, innocent people will get hurt. That’s what the petition is against.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  10. how can you possibly count on that person becoming a future pro-bowler?

    the same way i counted on qb alex smith becoming a future pro-bowler when the 49ers drafted him first overall a couple years ago. a lot of things i’ve said, done and thought look stupid in retrospect, but you have to have hope in order to function, and you have to either draft someone or trade the pick. right now, the superdrafters are quietly discussing the feasibility of trading the rights to obama for a seasoned veteran like al gore.

    daleyrocks, you’re spinning the petition, putting words in it that weren’t there, in order to bolster hillary (who supported the iraq invasion) against obama (who didn’t). put your arms around your new bedfellow and give her a deep, wet kiss, her husband may actually be grateful to you for distracting her desire. the petition can be reasonably interpreted as opposing an indiscriminate slaughter in the style of doolittle/tokyo or harris/dresden instead of an invasion targeting the taliban with only light to moderate civilian casualties. i need a higher threat level to support an indiscriminate slaughter, kabul doesn’t do it for me.

    assistant devil's advocate (b716df)

  11. All of your Democrat types were calling Afghanistan a quagmire after one week and claiming our military was bombing children and wedding parties.

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  12. Why be nice an call it revising or rewriting history. They lied. They are lying. And, they will continue to lie.

    JD (75f5c3)

  13. I think it all comes down to a psychological quirk: no one wants to admit that they were dogmatic and unreasonable. The MoveOn folk could have simply said: “We oppose all wars, no matter the circumstances. In fact, we oppose retaliation, even if we were attacked by nuclear weapons. Only by international law and cooperation should we deal with this.”

    Except they know that they would lose all support. So they, like Bill Clinton, triangulate. They split hairs. They debate the meaning of the word “is.” They keep trying to redefine and reframe the question.

    And now, as Beldar puts more eloquently than I ever could, they lie about their own past positions—because they must be seen as reasonable.

    I would respect them more if they truly had the strength of their convictions. But that doesn’t get elections won….

    Eric Blair (d1e694)

  14. In some ways Assistant Devils Advocate and Levi and others of similiar ilk remind me of the “journalists” at the Los Angeles Times. And sorry ADA, I shouldn’t slander you by joining you at the hip with Levi.

    For some time now the Daily Dog Trainer’s meme has been “worst economy in years” “unemployment rate worst in X years” etc. Today’s headline on the front page says “Shortage of Skilled Workers may hinder economy”.

    You can’t have “massive unemployment” at the same time as “shortage of skilled workers”. But hey, it’s Monday and what they said last Thursday doesn’t count.

    The fellows infected with Bush Derangement Syndrome change positions as often as they change socks. Or like Hillary’s “snipers” they simply jump behind different rocks to take a shot at the Administration from different angles.

    And yes I’ll buy the line that Moveon.Org was “against Afghanistan” before they were “for Afghanistan as the one true place to fight Al Qaeda”.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  15. I read the petition as supporting the position Beldar ascribes to (among others) Amnesty International–which was such an unrealistic option that to advocate it amounted either to idiocy or dedicated pacifism (which is, of course, another form of idiocy) and, effectively, an antiwar position.

    kishnevi (da26af)

  16. “You can’t have “massive unemployment” at the same time as “shortage of skilled workers”.”

    You can, if the economy needs specific skills which the unemployed don’t have. Or if the economy is unwilling to pay what it would take for the skilled workers to get back to work.

    stef (f469f7)

  17. alphie – How are you doing today? Were your scenarios the case, don’t you think the dog trainer would have stated that?

    JD (75f5c3)

  18. “You can, if the economy needs specific skills which the unemployed don’t have. Or if the economy is unwilling to pay what it would take for the skilled workers to get back to work.”

    There’s a grain of truth in this. Our unionized educational system has produced a generation of high school graduates who can read of add and subtract. Talk to someone running a small business and ask about their problems getting competent employees. I don’t mean computer programmers, either. Just kids who will show up on time five mornings in a row would be a good start.

    I knew people who went to New York City for anti-war marches before the Afghan invasion. Moveon was right there in support of them. If Gore had been elected in 2000, he would still be trying to serve the arrest warrant for Usama.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  19. Here’s another petition sponsored by Moron.org advocating a nonmilitary solution and not restricted to Kabul. Hopefully that helps out ada because the site was run at the time by Moron.org’s current spokeperson, Eli Pariser. He does seem to have one of those convenient selective memories common on the left.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20011212235438/http://www.9-11peace.org/

    daleyrocks (906622)

  20. It was really a measure of Hillary’s desperation that she burned the nutroots and Soros on this and actually told the truth. Then again, the Morons embarrassed a lot of people in Congesss with their Petraeus ad last year and their typical overblown rhetoric and factual innaccuracies.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  21. daleyrocks – By factual inaccuracies, do you mean overt lies ?

    JD (5f0e11)

  22. JD – Lies would be a less obtuse or less stefesque way of expressing it. I wonder if any commenters such as LYT have found any preinvasion explicit expressions of support for military intervention from Moron.org. It would be interesting to view those since they now claim they supported the action.

    When can we expect to read those expressions of support?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  23. Never. And I will go out on a limb and state that Eli Parisianer is a demonstrable and proven liar.

    JD (5f0e11)

  24. The petition everyone is linking to asks that its recipients “commit to protecting innocent civilians everywhere and ending the cycle of violence.”

    Gotta love this “gotcha” moment, where Hillary and the neocons say “hey! we’ve been against protecting innocent civilians and ending the cycle of violence all along!”

    I’ll concede. You guys have always supported the cycle of violence, civilians be damned. I respect your consistency.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  25. “Our unionized educational system has produced a generation of high school graduates who can read of add and subtract.”

    I think you mean ‘can’t.’ Do right to work states have unionized education systems too?

    “Here’s another petition sponsored by Moron.org advocating a nonmilitary solution and not restricted to Kabul”

    It asks for a ‘un mandated security force.’

    stef (4daa88)

  26. Wow, Phil. What a witty reposte. Since we are all bloodthirsty warmongers and all ….

    JD (5f0e11)

  27. Yes, UN mandated security forces are the key to our national defense, stef.

    JD (5f0e11)

  28. JD, are you saying someone can “commit to protecting innocent civilians everywhere and ending the cycle of violence” and yet still support using military force to remove the Taliban from office? Because if that’s true, then I don’t get the point of this whole claim that MoveOn is lying.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  29. Nobody is questioning the rationale behind the petition, phil. The simple point is that Eli Parisianer and moveon were demonstrably against our military intervention in Afghanistan, yet aided by the media, are attempting to rewrite history right in front of everyone’s eyes. Now, if you wish to debate whether or not we should have approached the Taliban from a diplomatic standpoint, or if UN security forces are the best way to project strength, that is an entirely different discussion than the one here. That army of strawmen you drag around must wear you out.

    JD (75f5c3)

  30. if you wish to debate whether or not we should have approached the Taliban from a diplomatic standpoint, or if UN security forces are the best way to project strength

    Speaking of straw men, I don’t see the above words anyhere in the petition at issue. I used the petition’s own language . . . not sure why you don’t do the same. Unless you’re trying to make the petition say something else.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  31. Phil-

    How can this statement from the MoveOn petition be consistent with invading Afghanistan:

    “We the undersigned support justice, not escalating violence…”

    That statement can’t be consistent with an invasion of Afghanistan.

    Let’s put it another way-do you think any of the petitioners who signed were in favor of the invasion of Afghanistan? Do you think that when MoveOn submitted these signatures, that MoveOn argued that it was proof that we should go into Afghanistan? Somehow I doubt it…

    MartyH (52fae7)

  32. Evidently Phil believes that MoveOn’s petition was without any meaning at all.

    SPQR (a261d3)

  33. LYT (#2): I don’t understand your point. MoveOn’s online petition first appeared on September 25, 2001 (check the URL of the Wayback URL). Pariser, before he was affiliated with MoveOn, had his own online petition (via his website, “9-11peace.org”) up by at least September 20, 2001, but there’s a suggestion — “This site created and designed by Eli [Pariser], and sponsored by Moveon.org” — that his expenses were reimbursed later. Pariser’s own site was intended to permit members of the public to “email your elected officials to urge them to support a non-military response,” and it insisted (boldface in original): “At this critical moment, it is essential that Congress hears from those of us who believe that war is not the answer.

    Congress passed its joint resolution “authorizing the use of military force” on September 18, 2001. We had covert Special Forces on the ground in September 2001 working with the Afghan warlords; their numbers increased throughout the fall of 2001, only gradually supplemented by overt regular forces. Wikipedia presently says that overt bombing missions began on October 7, 2001.

    Jim Rockford (#4): The MoveOn.org petition actually appeared as part of the MoveOn.org website until at least February 7, 2003, with no substantial changes.

    Daileyrocks (#19) and Stef (#25): The version of Pariser’s site you linked is from December 2001, by which time he was calling for “a UN-mandated security force in Afghanistan.” The U.S. government’s position is that no U.N. authorization was necessary because this was self-defense pre-authorized under Section 51 of the U.N. Charter, but on December 20, 2001, the U.N. Security Council established the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force to help stabilize post-Taliban Afghanistan.

    Beldar (adf235)

  34. DRJ or Patterico: Check your spam filter please, for my link-filled comment just submitted.

    Beldar (adf235)


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