03 October 2008

IVAW Sells Out

Iraq Veterans Against War recently decided to open up a coffee shop down near Fort Lewis as a way to preach stale ideas from the 60s about GI resistance (which hasn't been able to muster up a large amount of support since the military has been all-volunteer for over 30 years). Seeing how there's as many java joints in Seattle as freaky sex shows in Tijuana, it would seem the place would go belly up in the first quarter. But far left organizations have always had an affinity for veterans who speak out against their combat service, so IVAW was a big hit during the mish-mash of crazy ideals that were brought to the limelight during the DNC protests. But like anti-capitalist rockers Rage Against the Machine signing onto a major record label, IVAW is taking "blood money" from imperialist coffee maker Tully's. From the Weekly Volcano:

Tully's founder and Chairman Tom O'Keefe has pledged $15,000 worth of coffeehouse supplies to the organizations behind the java joint — GI Voice Inc. and the local chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Tully's spokesman Roger van Oosten of the Fearey Group did not respond to media inquiries about the donation. O'Keefe did tell other media outlets that while he doesn't necessarily agree with some of the political positions of the backing organizations, he does, however, respect members' rights to have a differing opinion. There is no word on whether O'Keefe expects any type of fallout from military consumers because of his support.
I don't have anything against the delicious coffee at Tully's or even IVAW setting up a store, but it just seems to shatter their "revolutionary" image that's crucial to winning the hearts and support of simple-minded college kids seeking to alleviate their upper-middle class guilt.

Fort Lewis responds to placing the store on the "off-limits" list:
Fort Lewis spokesman Joe Piek said it's premature and inappropriate to even ask if military officials will pursue off-limits restrictions of an antiwar coffee shop.
It is true that an "off-limits" list exists for military members on bases throughout the country, but it's normally reserved for sheisty car dealers, night clubs with rampant drug use, and check cashing joints that have ripped off young servicemembers in the past. Putting the IVAW coffee shop on the "off-limits" list would have the effect of creating buzz and media attention for the establishment, when it probably is a really dull place to get a cup of joe with hippies hanging around in berets.