Posted by John Stauber on July 25, 2007

UPDATE: Read the post-event report at: http://www.prwatch.org/node/6321

The Center for Media and Democracy is sponsoring a "Coffee with the Troops" in Chicago on Sunday, August 5, 9:30 a.m. during the Yearly Kos extravaganza in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. The room is Regency Ball Room C/D on the 2nd level of the Hyatt.

Join Sheldon Rampton and me for coffee, pastries and a moderated discussion of how online activists can better support our troops in their own resistance to the war in Iraq. We'll be discussing the war with Garett Reppenhagen, Aaron Hughes and other soldiers who are the backbone of Iraq Veterans Against the War, IVAW.

I've never attended a Yearly Kos. I'm looking forward to this annual gathering of the Netroots crowd, the online movement that has become a powerful force in Democratic Party politics and fundraising, liberal and left activism, and the news media. The Netroots emerged in 2003 from a convergence of on-line opposition to the Iraq war and the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, the current Democratic Party chairman.

August 5th's "Coffee with the Troops" is an opportunity for Yearly Kos attendees to converse with a constituency crucial to stopping the war, anti-war soldiers themselves. Coincidentally the 40th anniversary conference of Vietnam Veterans Against the War is also being held in Chicago the same weekend as Yearly Kos, and Iraq Vets Against the War will be attending. Appreciation continues to grow for the work and leadership of pro-peace Vietnam soldiers in stopping that war. The 2006 documentary Sir, No Sir! illuminates the activism of thousands of soldiers who demonstrated in the streets, organized war crimes tribunals, and often went to the brig for peace.

The "A-list" bloggers and political consultants Jerome Armstrong, who coined the term Netroots, and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, after whose Daily Kos website the conference is named, wrote a 2006 book titled Crashing the Gates: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics. In it, they noted the unique importance of the Iraq war as an issue among liberal bloggers:

The Netroots activist, much like the new generation of grassroots activist, is fiercely partisan, fiercely multi-issue, and focused on building a broader movement. It's not an ideological movement — there is actually very little, issue-wise, that unites most modern party activists except, perhaps, opposition to the Iraq War, (although opposition to the war seems to be uniting the entire country as of late).

With the Democratic Party's Congressional victories in November 2006, the gates have been officially trampled. Many of the blogger barbarians are now comfortably ensconced in the castle, a power within the mainstream Democratic Party establishment. Nevertheless, the US debacle in Iraq drags on unabated. The Democratic Congress has funded the war with no strings attached, and Hillary Clinton who is seen by many as the Democratic presidential candidate for 2008 has told the New York Times that "when" she is president she will keep US forces in Iraq but run a better managed, smarter war. How different is her position from the current Bush policy in Iraq enunciated in the Joint Campaign Plan that calls for US forces to impose "sustainable security" on all of Iraq over the next two years?

What's up with the Netroots and the war? Is stopping the war still an over-arching issue that unites liberal bloggers? Or will the online partisans be taking their lead now from presidential candidates and Party strategists? What can bloggers do to hasten the end of the war and support our troops' own resistance?

Join us for a discussion of these issues at our "Coffee with the Troops," Sunday, August 5, 9:30 a.m., in Chicago at the Yearly Kos.


John Stauber is the founder and executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. He is the co-author with Sheldon Rampton of 2003's Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq, a New York Times bestseller.

Comments

and I think it's fairly obvious that the netroots isn't looking for a Democratic version of the war. You'll find far more people at DailyKos cheering Kucinich for telling Bush to use his current funding to buy their tickets home than you will find supporting Hillary. To be honest, Hillary's decision to attend YearlyKos can be compared to a person with open wounds diving into a shark tank.

Thanks, but you misunderstand the gist of what I am saying.

I'm certainly not saying that the Netroots activists are lined up behind Hillary for President at the moment, although IF she is the Dem candidate in 08 that is exactly what would happen, obviously, since the Netroots are hardcore anti-Republican.

The question I raise is 'where are the Netroots now on ending the war in Iraq?' especially as the November 2008 election looms larger and closer and the war drags on.

Will the overwhelmingly partisan Democratic Netroots take their cue on the war from the candidates, their campaign managers, and the Dem leadership, or will the Netroots themselves be a critical part of the citizen leadership in the splintered movement to end the war?

This is a very important question, especially given the failure of the Netroots and the anti-war movement to hold the Congress accountable so far regarding ending the war.

These questions are very important to discuss, and I'm looking forward to our "Breakfast with the Troops" where I'm sure they will be examined. 9am Sunday, August 5, Yearly Kos. Be there.

Regarding Hillary, there is a very good chance that she will be the Democratic nominee and of course at that moment I have no doubt that the overwhelmingly Dem partisan Netroots will work like heck for her election over any Republican.

From the Rawstoryhttp://rawstory.com/news/2007/Colbert_mocks_OReilly_outrage_at_DailyKos_0726.html comes a little something about Daily Kos:
Colbert: Bill O'Reilly thinks Daily Kos is 'like the Ku Klux Klan'

for butting in and fixing your link; the clip's worth watching. Thanks for posting. :-)

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Colbert_mocks_OReilly_outrage_at_DailyKos_0726.html