I’ll never forget the call I got from Eric Garris in March 2009 – more than a decade ago! – asking if I would write for Antiwar.com. That call as a pivotal moment in my career as a journalist. I was writing for the American Conservative then, challenging the mainstream orthodoxy and media hive coverage of the failing U.S. counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eric’s interest and faith in my work – combining reporting and skeptical, independent analysis – pushed my writing into new terrain and I never looked back. I count myself as a proud member of the Antiwar family.
And what a community it is! Nearly three decades ago, Eric and the late Justin Raimondo brought together a constellation of intelligent and brave critics and combined it with comprehensive news gathering. Together they built what is now considered the real nerve center for non-interventionism and the most reliable hub for daily foreign policy and national security news on the Internet today.
What appealed to me the most about writing for Antiwar.com – beyond its courage and stable of legendary anti-Imperialist writers – was its heterodox and non-partisan nature. Eric and Justin come from libertarian-conservative backgrounds, but the mission here is clearly to show how Washington institutions have bought into American exceptionalism as an engine of primacy and war. Both major parties and the elite, corporate media have powered this machine for decades. This isn’t a left or right problem – but it begs for a left-right solution, and Antiwar is one of the few organizations that have fostered writing and writers from both sides of the spectrum to amazing effect.
Its endurance as a go-to for independent readers since 1995 is all the proof one needs of this transpartisan success. Countless times I’ve spoken to young interns, writers, and readers who say they have been "following Antiwar.com since high school." Think of your favorite magazine or website; many have ebbed and flowed in appeal, often as new owners or editors take over, or core missions change with the current zeitgeist. Not so for Antiwar.com – it has multi-generational appeal because it is consistent and principled, and unchanging in its focus on war at home and abroad. It does not need to shift with the political winds because its relentless pursuit of the truth is as old as the country itself – beginning with George Washington’s warning against foreign entanglements, through Smedley Butler’s "War is a Racket," and Tulsi Gabbard’s rage against "regime change wars" today.
That Antiwar.com will live on long beyond this year’s fight against US interventionist policies is no doubt. But as an independent journalistic enterprise that eschews corporate and foreign support, Eric Garris and team need your assistance to ensure that there will be a next generation of readers and also to nurture and support new and upcoming journalists and critics who will help keep a check on power. The mission is critical, and the time is now.
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos