Skip to comments.The Left Fights a Losing Battle
Posted on 03/24/2002 1:23:01 AM PST by kattracks
It is not easy opposing the war on terror. Sept. 11 seems to have been a fairly definitive declaration of war on America, leaving us little choice but to fight. Nonetheless, we are blessed with a cadre of thinkers for whom refusal to oppose war is a kind of self-betrayal. Whether out of distrust of American power or reflexive sympathy with whoever is today carrying the banner of anti-Americanism (yesterday, Communists; today, Islamists), they have sallied forth carrying the flag of protest.
It began with Susan Sontag's immediate judgment, published in The New Yorker, that America had it coming. With thousands dead in Washington and New York, this moral idiocy found few takers (outside the usual Middle Eastern and European precincts, of course).
The next try at opposition did not imprudently blame the war on us. It merely attacked our conduct of it: the war at home, for supposedly trampling civil liberties, the war abroad, for laying waste to Afghan civilians and bringing starvation as the Afghan winter approached.
Just five days into the war, for example, Mary Robinson, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, demanded that U.S. bombing stop so she and her indispensable cohort could feed the hungry. Had we listened to them, tens of thousands of Afghans would have died. As it was, the bombing defeated the Taliban whose cruel and catastrophic misrule was the source of the famine and thus saved the Afghans from starvation.
By year's end, with Afghanistan liberated and the Bill of Rights still intact, the opposition moved on. To military tribunals. Alas, no luck. Americans have not much appetite for giving Al Qaeda the run of a massive judicial apparatus designed for those who live by the American Constitution. They sensibly want to keep the number of years-long, jury-endangering, media-circus civilian trials for terrorists down to the bare minimum. Already, three John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker and Richard Reid, accused shoe bomber will enjoy O.J. levels of media coverage.
Next? Torture at Gitmo! This story is the purest example of microhysteria a sudden burst of intense herd sentiment that then disappears without a trace since the death of Princess Di. The Guantanamo storm was based on a single misinterpreted photograph of bound Al Qaeda captives. "TORTURED," screamed the British tabloid The Mail. It took but a few days of fulmination about American brutality before people actually visited Guantanamo and found well-fed prisoners in a Club Med climate with a Koran in every cell and rather fine medical attention. End of story.
Then the politicians tried their hand. Led by the intemperate Robert Byrd and the soothing Tom Daschle, Democrats played with the charge that the Bush administration was getting us into a quagmire with no exit strategy. This, too, lasted but a few days. For a simple reason a reason that 88% of Americans understand, but these leading Democrats do not: Exit strategy applies only to wars of choice. You can choose to quit Vietnam or Somalia. The war on radical Islam is a war of necessity. Wars of necessity have no exit. They must be won.
So where is the left left? Sputtering, as with this from Robert Kuttner, editor of The American Prospect, writing in The Boston Globe: "Whether it is an ill-specified axis of evil or a decision to make tactical nuclear war thinkable, or a domestic 'shadow government' or deliberately leaked plans to attack Iraq, George W. Bush in his own way is as frightening as Al Qaeda. ... Terrorism, unfortunately, is all too real. But so is one's terror of the Bush presidency." Calling for protest to "reclaim our own democracy," the left waits, forlorn and flailing, for the American street to rise. Meanwhile, the street, sporting American flags on its SUVs, carries on, inexplicably less frightened by Bush than by Osama Bin Laden.
Since the Cold War, this nation has had contingency plans to continue the Government should catastrophe occur.
The New Your Slimes and the rest KNEW this--but let the attempt at "Spin" fly to hurt the Bush Administration.
Shame - - but how do you shame the shameless?
The baby boomber generation lost itself in self-absorbed political correctness and a "can't we all just get along" attitude that left us vulnerable to attack by those who view our very civilization as, well, "evil". The signs were there but we ignored them. The brutality of the attacks escalated but we ignored them. It's the economy, stupid. Tofu. Starbucks. Face lifts. Imagine.
If ever there was a reason to do something "for the children", this war is it.
You describe garden variety "pacifists". Krauthammer is not writing about pacifists.
Yup, Britain's problem with Napoleon showed up again. I suspect we will see Hitler and Tojo on the news any day now.
As far as "all we know is what we see on the boob tube"--I saw the buildings in New York fall to the ground, preceeded by lots of living people jumping to their deaths to keep from being burned to death--a horror worse than Pearl Harbor. War is the appropriate response.
Agreed, some folks do believe that. You'll note however that most of those who take that stance have never lost a war. Losing, just one war, sharpens the mind.
So is dissent "touchy"? Nope. They can say anything they want. The government cannot put them in jail for it. Beyond that, they should have NO protection and no forum. The rest of us ought to shout them down and deprive them of their soap boxes and their positions of authority. Nothing in the first amendment requires the rest of us private citizens to help them spread their lies.
Dissent is "touchy" only for optional wars. Here, our national survival is at stake. Those who persist in pacifism, whether from befuddlement or ill-intentions, have shown their colors. Our national survival is VERY important to me and I, for one, am prepared to cut them no slack whatsoever.
From my experience, many (most?) of them are. Dissent from government policies is a right, but that does not protect the dissenters' motives from being examined or challenged.
I have. They're either old hippies, brainwashed college students, their professors, communists, PA backers and the disfunctional.
I saw them 1st hand recently in NYC at a peace march. It had really nothing to do with peace.
It was a platform for anti-Americanism. Palestinian flags were displayed and many of the demonstators wore black berets.
True pacifists amoung them would have been a mere handfull.