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 12:02 PM | Comments (1)

Some Basic Math

I'm having trouble figuring out the basic math of the AntiWar crowd:

There are 191 countries in the United Nations.
Of all of them, there are:
190 countries less dangerous to world order than the United States.
190 countries more committed to peace, progress and justice than the United States.
190 countries more free in speech, press, and religion than the United States.
190 countries more democratic than the United States.
190 leaders smarter, wiser and saner than President Bush.
190 leaders less bloodthirsty and violent than President Bush.

And among that 190 countries are: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, Ukraine, Venezuela, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Serbia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cuba, Laos, Myanmar, Lebanon, Paraguay, Egypt, Yemen.

And those 190 leaders include: Saddam, Qaddafi, Kim Jong Il, Chavez, Mugabe, Assad, Castro, Khameini, Kuchma.

What am I missing in this calculation? Oh, right. Dunce cap for me. I forgot that there is one country even worse than the United States: Israel.

Posted by campbell at 01:50 AM | Comments (0)

The Real Difference

Colin Powell asks the key question: "Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe?" Amitai Etzioni quotes Powell speaking to a truculent group at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The United States has sent its soldiers in the thousands to fight in Europe and Asia repeatedly over the past century, and "We have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in."

Posted by campbell at 01:34 AM | Comments (0)