promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

What ever happened to the anti-war left?

In foreign policy, protest, war and peace on March 31, 2010 at 1:45 am
When President George W. Bush spoke of spreading democracy to other nations during his second inaugural speech, liberals cringed. In 2005, many on the left realized what most on the right did not — that such rhetoric was nothing more than a thinly veiled declaration of an aggressive foreign policy. But that was 2005.
How I long for the liberals of those days: anti-war, noninterventionists, skeptical of their government.
Sadly, as libertarian author and editor Lawrence Samuels points out, most former anti-war liberals have abandoned their posts.
It was not long ago when almost every progressive leader and newspaper voiced harsh words for Bush’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Samuels said. Now that Obama is in charge, that anti-war sentiment is changing. It appears that it is okay for a Democrat administration to engage in war, but not a Republican one.
Are libertarians the only consistent voice of anti-war opposition? What ever happened to the angry protesters, celebrities, and progressive media railing against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars? Perhaps their moral convictions changed with the new administration.

Ron Paul: The anti-war left has just left (5:37).

  1. Jessica,

    The anti-war left has been around for centuries and is still very much alive and well today, though as you note, perhaps a little “muted” for now.

    Lincoln was pressured by that “left” to pull out of the Civil War when the South was gaining military ground in the early years. Without the Union victory at Gettysburg, I wonder what might have been that outcome. Another “Vietnam” I wonder?

    How long did it take to engage America in WWI and WWII. The anti-war crowd was loud and vehement in such pressure to remain isolated and not involved in affairs “over there”.

    Since the early 60’s the definition of “over there” has changed and the anti-war crowd has gained much political traction in America. One wonders at what consequence for both America and the world at large since say 1950

    Among other matters I would point out that in that period we have only won one war decisively, the Gulf War which lasted only a few weeks. All the others were or are stalemates or outright losses. Again, I ask at what cost to America and the world.

    I can recall no President in our history more “anti-war” in his beliefs. Without the Great Recession the election of 2008 would have endorsed that view, very strongly in all liklihood.

    Yet here we have a very liberal President making “pro-war” decisions in spite of the vehemence of the radical left. Do you really believe that he is making such decisions without great agony and concern? He doesn’t “want war” but he evidently sees no way to achieve legitimate politcal objectives without it.

    You and many others reject war at all costs. Fine. Now tell us that disagree how to achieve legitimate political objectives without it.

    See my previous challenge to you concerning the imposition of sanctions as well. It is all part of the same challenge.


  2. It is too easy to confabulate the ‘anti-war’ factions of the past with recent ‘anti-war’ factions. Those who advocated non-involvement in WWI & WWII certainly included a huge number of conservatives. The most exemplar was Charles Lindbergh – a fellow who had immense respect for certain aspects of German society that had developed since WWI. He was associated with the ‘America First Committee’. Not exactly a liberal, but closer to our Pat Buchanan, who also likes America First. Many isolationists were specifically criticized for Nazi sympathies.

  3. Over history anti-war is not right or left, it just remains anti-war. Just like more “Republicans” voted for Civil Rights legislation in the 60’s than “Democrats.”


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