Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What is the current American peace movement

My theme this week seems to be Barbara Tuchman's The Proud Tower (see sidebar), a book I keep referencing against modern day events. That book, which looks at Europe and America from 1985-1914, is a weird mirror of our own times, since so many similar issues show up, although in manifestly different forms. One of the things that appeared for the first time in that error was a "peace movement." There had always been in the West people opposed to a specific war (think of the draft riots in New York during the Civil War), but these weren't people promoting peace. They were saying that a specific war was a bad strategy, or that they didn't personally want to be involved in the war. The notion of some abstract, wonderful "peace" that could be obtained by refraining from war was new. Incidentally, much of the peace movement from a century ago come from the nascent Left. These people divided the world into horizontal class lines that existed in all nations, rather than in vertical nation lines dividing countries from each other. They therefore perceived war as a form of fratricide, with workers in each country -- all of whom share the same identity -- being forced to kill each other. (In this regard they might be seen as similar to modern Islamic fundamentalists, who see the world as a giant Caliphate, divided by believers and nonbelievers, rather than national lines. How else to explain the oft expressed hope for a Sharia government in England?) In those days of unbridled imperialism, there was really some virtue to the peace movement's activists. As I pointed out in an earlier post, the United State's war in the Phillipines was an act of pure imperialist aggression, aimed at owning Manila Bay. The peace movement today has a lot less to work with. They're busy celebrating the Palestianians, who just elected a radical fundamentalist terrorist organization to govern them, and they've for years been apologizing for the Palestinians' lust to slaughter innocents. Despite the fact that we've sustained a 1,000 fewer casualities in years of war in Iraq than we sustained on a single day in September, they insist on treating Iraq as a blood bath, and on assuring us that Hussein, who killed 300,000 of his own people, really was the better alternative. There are more examples, but I think we can conclude that our peace movement repeatedly defends the indefensible. R. Emmett Tyrrell is equally unimpressed by the modern peace movement. After spelling out some of their more ridiculous stances, he has this to say about who they are:

Now we have a rather larger peace movement in the United States, and it is being treated with grave respect by the bien pensants. Still, this peace movement is pretty much confined to the zanies. The other night, as the president was giving his State of the Union speech, they gathered in Washington around the statue to Gen. U.S. Grant on the Capitol grounds singing "All You Need Is Love," "Give Peace a Chance," and, who knows, maybe that song about the yellow submarine or "One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall." Their Gandhi is Cindy Sheehan, who is either a lunatic or one of the many self-promoters who, with little talent and no demonstrated knowledge of international relations, become media stars on behalf of peace. Sheehan was given a ticket to the State of the Union speech by a member of Congress. Would you care to guess which party that member represents? The member's name is Lynn C. Woolsey, and she insists "I didn't see this as a political act at all." One of the Democrats' complaints about the president is that he is a liar. What is the Hon. Woolsey? *** Sheehan has spent all of her brief public life demonstrating, but apparently despite the involvement of this Democratic congresswoman and despite her anti-war T-shirt, persons in press want to argue that she was not demonstrating. This is an infantile debate. In fact, the whole peace movement is an infantile movement. There is, to this day, no one to negotiate "peace" within Iraq. There is no alternative to our police action. The vast majority of Iraqis want peace, and most recognize that the only hope for peace resides with the American army or what some persist in calling the Coalition forces.
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