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The Left Fights a Losing Battle
New York Daily News ^ | 3/24/02 | Charles Krauthammer

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.

E-mail: krauthammerra@hotmail.com




TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/24/2002 1:23:01 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
great article..
2 posted on 03/24/2002 1:32:35 AM PST by davidosborne
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To: kattracks
Dissent is a vey touchy issue. In no way am I a leftist or rightest. I belive in freedom of speech but I also believe in discretion on certain issues of sensitivity. That goes for both sides. Just face it there ae so many things tied to this war that the general public does not know about. All we know is that which we had heard on the boob tube or read about in newspapers and sometimes there is a tendency to falsify some info on the happenings. However, I don't think that dissenters are "anti-american" in totality, it's just the fact that some people don't believe war solves problems. War suppresses problems only to an extent that they re-present themselves at a later date along with the attatchments of hotility and vengence.
3 posted on 03/24/2002 1:37:00 AM PST by jrawdog
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To: kattracks
Charles Krauthammer is a liberals worst nightmare - he counters whining and hyperventilating with facts and logic. Excellent article.
4 posted on 03/24/2002 1:43:46 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: kattracks
The "Shadow Government" was the most pathetic, and dishonest.

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?

5 posted on 03/24/2002 1:49:39 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: kattracks
For the record I don't like Krauthammer. But he is right in these accounts the Left is pathetic their biggest victory of late has been Mugabe and his private war against the West (add generous amount of sarcasm). But let me know the tally after the next UN conference on racism scheduled five months from now in Jo'burg SA how the Left is doing. It will be interesting in this post 9/11 era with our troops fighting Islamicist fanatics.
6 posted on 03/24/2002 1:54:38 AM PST by junta
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To: jrawdog
The brutality of the 9/11 attacks and the potential future link between international terrorists and weapons of mass destruction leaves the western world with no choice but to declare all-out war against this "evil".

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.

7 posted on 03/24/2002 2:01:59 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: SkyPilot
Agree. You would think that proponents of "big government" would support plans to ensure a Continuity of Government.
8 posted on 03/24/2002 2:05:05 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: kattracks

9 posted on 03/24/2002 2:30:38 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: jrawdog
"However, I don't think that dissenters are "anti-american" in totality, it's just the fact that some people don't believe war solves problems"

You describe garden variety "pacifists". Krauthammer is not writing about pacifists.

10 posted on 03/24/2002 2:43:17 AM PST by YaYa123
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To: jrawdog
"War suppresses problems only to an extent that they re-present themselves at a later date along with the attatchments of hotility and vengence."

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.

11 posted on 03/24/2002 3:01:32 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: jrawdog
"However, I don't think that dissenters are "anti-american" in totality, it's just the fact that some people don't believe war solves problems."

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.

12 posted on 03/24/2002 3:25:42 AM PST by DugwayDuke
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To: kattracks
Good article - the left is under attack now - but like a wounded animal it is at it’s most dangerous - and should be killed instantly. No half way measures. Winning a war on terror means no more democrats.
13 posted on 03/24/2002 3:36:19 AM PST by Free_at_last_-2001
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To: kattracks
Great article. Krauthammer is pointing to specific instances of the continuously evolving and morphing "HATE AMERICA FIRST CROWD". Expose the fallacy of their arguments and they rally around another "FIRSTER" until something resonates with greater numbers.
14 posted on 03/24/2002 3:40:49 AM PST by PGalt
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To: jrawdog
If your point is that some people who oppose this war are well intentioned but befuddled about how the real world works, I don't disagree. But the vast majority of the leaders of their movement have no such delusions. They know that American pacifists are their most effective weapon against America. They are explicitly anti-american. During the cold-war, they wanted the Soviets to dominate the world. During the Vietnam War, they rooted for Hanoi. Today, they do everything they can to preserve Al Quaeda's ability to strike again.

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.

15 posted on 03/24/2002 3:57:39 AM PST by ffrancone
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To: jrawdog
However, I don't think that dissenters are "anti-american" in totality, it's just the fact that some people don't believe war solves problems.

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.

16 posted on 03/24/2002 4:12:04 AM PST by The Electrician
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To: kattracks
So where is the left left? Sputtering,

May be sputtering on the WAR but they sure are doing well on other fronts.
CFR
Rejection of Pickering
Amnesty
Homosexual marriages

And the BEAT GOES ON
17 posted on 03/24/2002 4:37:57 AM PST by uncbob
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To: ffrancone
Totally agree! Maybe Jrawdog hasn't seen the “Great Unwashed”.

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.

18 posted on 03/24/2002 5:03:16 AM PST by johnny7
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To: kattracks
It's a quagmire!!!!!!!!!

A QUAGMIRE!!!

19 posted on 03/24/2002 5:33:28 AM PST by Benrand
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Just received my Limbaugh Letter yesderday. There is a long interview in it with Charles and Rush. I am looking forward to reading it. Your comments are so true. I'd love to see a debate between Charles and Algore. That would be comical.
20 posted on 03/24/2002 5:42:04 AM PST by MotleyGirl70
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To: Free_at_last_-2001
..."means no more democrats."

Please let it be true. The Democrats pose a far greater threat to our way of life than Osama, et al.

21 posted on 03/24/2002 7:34:28 AM PST by B. A. Conservative
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To: kattracks
" . . . the left waits, forlorn and flailing, for the American street to rise. Meanwhile, the street, sporting American flags on its SUVs, carries on . . ."

I loved this line. Krauthammer is such a great writer. He's right, the LEFT just doesn't get it - they never did! I think it's time to tell them to sit down and SHUT UP!!

Krauthammer was Rush's interview in the Limbaugh Letter this month. What a great interview. I still cannot believe this guy works for the Washington Post.

22 posted on 03/24/2002 11:19:04 AM PST by CyberAnt
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To: jrawdog
Hmmmm?? Just signed on 3 days ago huh?? Well, you can straddle the fence if you want, but "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways"!!
23 posted on 03/24/2002 11:23:01 AM PST by CyberAnt
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To: jrawdog
"some people don't believe war solves problems"

Excuse me, but if you have someone who is trying to KILL YOU, and he is eliminated, doesn't that SOLVE THE PROBLEM??? H E L L O!!

If you just do homage and pay him money like Clinton did; you end up with 9-11. So, your analogy is erroneous.

24 posted on 03/24/2002 11:31:47 AM PST by CyberAnt
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To: kattracks
How can he say that the Left is fighting a losing battle when their agenda continues to advance? We "Strict Constructionists" are now referred to as "people who think like you"...that's how Russ Feingold preceeds every sentence he uses while addressing me anyway. We have a Republican President and House, and the federal government continues to grow (unconstitutionally in my view...but then I'm one of those who "think like me"). The vast majority feel that the Constitution is a "living" document. That fact alone shows that the Left has won.
25 posted on 03/24/2002 11:33:40 AM PST by gorush
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To: CyberAnt
" . . . the left waits, forlorn and flailing, for the American street to rise. Meanwhile, the street, sporting American flags on its SUVs, carries on . . ."

Seems like it was only yesterday that we were waiting, forlorn and flailing, for the American street to rise, also. "Where's the OUTRAGE?!?" we screamed at every new revelation about the abhorent clinton administration. And we waited anxiously for the Sheeple to wake up and see the evil. Well,it seems the American Sheeple woke up just in time to see two large buildings annihilated, a pentagon-shaped building attacked, and a downed airplane in Pa.,full of brave Americans whose last words were not only powerful, but remarkably easy for the busiest of us to remember always: Let's Roll. The left will never win this battle because the American street awoke at the time for patriotism, not cynicism.

26 posted on 03/24/2002 11:49:08 AM PST by small voice in the wilderness
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To: davidosborne

"...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..."


27 posted on 03/24/2002 2:06:56 PM PST by vannrox
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To: vannrox
I disagree that this is a war against ANY "religion" people can believe what they want it is their actions that cause us to oppose them.. (ie. ACTS of terrorism)
28 posted on 03/25/2002 12:44:08 PM PST by davidosborne
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