March 07, 2003

Anti-War? Nah. Anti-USA.

Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at the origins and ideologies (and idiocies) of the "AntiWar" movement today. It is my thesis that the central organizing principle of that movement is not peace, but a profound antiAmericanism that was born in the Vietnam War era, came of age in the anti-globalization movement, and may be as threatening to democracy as any of the great ideological movements of the 20th Century.

As a starting point, I'd like to point to Todd Gitlin's incisive post-9/11 column for Mother Jones:

To the left-wing fundamentalist, the only interesting or important brutality is at least indirectly the United States' doing. Thus, sanctions against Iraq are denounced, but the cynical mass murderer Saddam Hussein, who permits his people to die, remains an afterthought. Were America to vanish, so, presumably, would the miseries of Iraq and Egypt.
In the United States, adherents of this kind of reflexive anti-Americanism are a minority (isolated, usually, on campuses and in coastal cities, in circles where reality checks are scarce), but they are vocal and quick to action. Observing flags flying everywhere, they feel embattled and draw on their embattlement for moral credit, thus roping themselves into tight little circles of the pure and the saved.
Posted by campbell at March 7, 2003 12:02 PM
Comments

"To the left-wing fundamentalist, the only interesting or important brutality is at least indirectly the United States' doing."
And to the Prime Minister of Canada. Isn't it lovely.

Posted by: Paulineee at April 6, 2003 07:55 PM