Though the issue of an attack on Syria is fairly new, people have still been surprised by the antiwar coalition's mostly silent response to it. The reasons for that silence are both long-standing and specific to the current international showdown, Buzzfeed reports
First, the down economy has taken over as the most pressing problem since 2008 - something no leftist can ignore. Second, spying
have taken over as the main focus of the left's foreign policy criticism.
And third, in the case of Syria, some on the left believe intervention to be necessary given the humanitarian crisis - whereas Iraq was deemed a profit-driven war of choice.
"The war in Syria is unpopular, but there are some who support it because they believe it's philanthropy," said longtime antiwar activist and progressive David Swanson, who also confessed to basic partisanship at work given the man in office. He offers another reason for leftist silence: "The Democrats are missing in action because of course the president is a Democrat."
And there's a logistical reason too: "The most incredibly depressing thing was that most of the groups that existed before don't exist anymore," said Code Pink's Medea Benjamin, whom nobody can claim is failing to take
on the security state. "The antiwar movement is a shadow of its former self under the Bush years."
Libertarian Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com
claims it's folks of his ilk who've shown themselves to be the most reliable on the issue of war, national security
, and in the current case, Syria
. Partly because those who espouse limited government ideals have few competing initiatives they'd like to see the state address (e.g. the minimum wage), leaving only one consistent theme.
"The antiwar actions of the Bush years were basically energized by the extreme left, the Old Left Marxists," said Raimondo. "But they are getting on in years, and they aren't recruiting many young people."