The Long War: Just end it.

Bob Woodward reports that Pres. Obama made the political decision to announce a date certain for withdrawal from Afghanistan out of fear of angering the base if he left the impression that the adventure is open ended. This is being taken in some quarters as evidence of the left's influence on policy. But there is nothing to suggest that the pledge to withdraw is anything more than dressing up as Gandhi for Halloween: the loose costume leaves plenty of wiggle room.

If the left really wants to influence the Democratic Party, there are ways. 1. Contribute and work for members of Congress who have a record of opposing the war. And only them. Do not work for or contribute to any candidate who actively supports militarism. 2. Contribute to and work for -- and field -- primary challengers to Blue Dogs and other Democrats representing the Pentagon and the security state. 3. When no antiwar Democrat is available, support libertarians like Ron Paul who are willing take on military spending, no matter what party colors they sport. 4. Support -- and vote for -- third party candidates who make opposition to the war machine central to their campaign. In California, for example, the Peace & Freedom Party offers to disgruntled Democrats third party candidates for Congress who are not only antiwar, but as a bonus also favor policies promoting economic justice.

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