Americans Against Escalation in Iraq–the group that sponsored the “Iraq Summer” campaign that was active in West Michigan–is now working to help elect Democrats. According to an article published on Politico.com, the group–along with other liberal and well-funded antiwar groups–are no longer advocating that Congress end the war. Instead, the groups will:
“…lower their sights and push for legislation to prevent President Bush from entering into a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could keep significant numbers of troops in Iraq for years to come. … The groups believe this switch in strategy can draw contrasts with Republicans that will help Democrats gain ground in November.”
Unfortunately, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, “…the tens of millions of dollars that MoveOn and AAEI have spent lobbying and organizing for “peace” has been directed at pressuring and embarrassing pro-war Republicans, while the Democratic Congress has continued to fund the war and pro-war Democrats have generally been given a pass.” This was certainly true in Grand Rapids, where the campaign focused exclusively on Representative Vern Ehlers, despite the fact that both of Michigan’s Democratic Party Senators–Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow–have continued to support the ongoing occupation.
Of course, this really should not be too much of a surprise. The initial job description for an Iraq Summer Organizer described the position as “…a great opportunity to situate yourself for the ’08 races as an experienced campaigner.” Similarly, as Media Mouse noted in a critique of the campaign, the campaign often times seemed more focus on taking attention off the Democrats’ failures and instead redirecting the antiwar movement’s energy towards the Republicans.