Monday, December 12, 2005

''McCarthy was hero of antiwar movement''

"An unpopular war was going badly. The nation was restless. One politician stepped up.

The year was 1968. The war was in Vietnam. The politician was Eugene J. McCarthy.

McCarthy died in his sleep Saturday at an assisted living facility in Washington, D.C. He was 89 years old, and in his way, he was a hero.

At a crucial point of his life and in the nation's history, McCarthy took a stand and he helped to end a war, and he showed that it could be done within the system.

''The fellows running this war don't know where they're going or what they're up to,'' McCarthy said in retrospect during an interview years later. 'You didn't have to make a great moral judgment on it. You could simply say, `It doesn't make any sense.' ''

Howard Forman, a former Democratic state senator and Broward County clerk of courts, hailed McCarthy for compelling Americans to consider the morality of the Vietnam War. ''He had the courage of his convictions,'' Forman said. ``His bravery and intellect will be remembered for decades to come.''

A historian by training, a poet and a not-particularly accomplished U.S. senator from Minnesota, McCarthy ran for president five times and never came close.

But, in 1968, he forced President Lyndon B. Johnson to drop a bid for reelection, he nudged his Democratic Party toward opposition of the war and he galvanized a generation younger than his own."-excerpted from MARTIN MERZER's op-ed in the Miami Herald.

"Eugene McCarthy for President" Stephen Kaus (Mickey's bro), has this: "From the vantage point of almost forty years later, McCarthy seems better credited with causing the reform of the Democratic Party nominating process than ending the war, which dragged on for years. However, at the time, he was at the center of a campaign to bring realism and nuance to American foreign policy, a battle that, rather obviously, goes on after his passing. It would be a fitting memorial for Democrats to continue that fight."-from The Huffington Post.

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