Sunday, April 9, 2017


The positive response of Democratic Party centrists and the corporate media, in toto, to the attack on Syria’s Shayrat airbase sheds light on an important ideological divide in U.S. politics. Progressives, as opposed to centrists, condemned the attack in no uncertain terms. I do not belittle the importance of some of the reforms proposed by Democratic centrists (the Clintons, Obama, etc.) on the domestic front in the area of health, regulation of the private sector, etc, even while these measures do not represent real solutions to urgent problems (the centrists, for instance, do not support single-payer or complete elimination of fracking). But I have always felt that foreign policy is more important than domestic issues. Firstly, because military spending saps up at least fifty percent of the federal budget. And second, from a humanitarian viewpoint in that so many lives are at stake. As can be seen in the case of the conflict in Syria, there is much more of a consensus between Democratic and Republican Party leaderships on foreign issues than domestic ones.  

The Democratic centrists are now in a quandary. Up until now they have tried, and with considerable success, to retain the support of those who are infuriated with Trump’s positions and policies. This was especially important because the Resistance movement takes in a considerable number of rank-and-file Democrats, some of whom supported Hillary in the primaries.  

The attack on Shayrat may represent a milestone in U.S. politics. An independent progressive pole that attracts those who most staunchly reject Trumpism will be deprived of resources and other types of backing from the Democratic Party establishment and the mainstream media. But in the long run, it will be able to highlight foreign policy issues, specifically the issue of militarism and interventionism, which for so long was submerged or shunted aside. If this happens, U.S. politics will be reshaped in a fundamental way, and for the better.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home