2006/08/26

Responding to a Greenwald post

My, my, it's certainly "Beat-up-on-Glenn-Reynolds" week, eh? Not a problem, I just wrote a post below berating Glenn for confusing "sweet spot" with "political center". Not the same thing at all. Is Glenn correct in saying that the anti-war movement made numerous inaccurate predictions? He's certainly correct in tagging certain prominent individuals with that charge. As someone who attended what I believe was the first anti-Iraq-War demonstration (Washington DC in late September 2003) and who has played roles in local demonstrations ever since (He says, puffing is chest out with pride) I was one of those who remembered later in life the one fact about Karl Marx that gets repeated endlessly when you're in junior high school. Karl Marx was wrong. Marx made predictions about how the proletarians would rise and everything would be wonderful after that.

Well, Marx may have gotten a lot of other things right, but the proletarians were brought off and neutralized and if a movement is ever to be democratic, it must begin that way. The idea that an awful, tyrannical State would "fade away" after society was "fixed" is not true, never was true and never will be true. The anti-war movement very deliberately does not have leaders who dictate decisions to the rest of us. The way Russia was ruled after 1917 was precisely the way their revolutionary movement was run before their success and as we saw, it continued to be run in that fashion until 1989.

The lesson that lefties must never predict the future was one we kept to. That's why Reynolds quotes a lot of politicians, who didn't have that idea pounded into them. That's why one can't find many predictions from The Nation (The Editors didn't refer to an Iraq "qaugmire" until late November 2003 even though there were a few suggestions of it earlier) or from Z Magazine (Rahul Mahajan mentioed "quagmire" in mid-April 2003 and BTW, does an excellent summary of the anti-war position at the time.)

Instead, we focussed on the fact that Iraq most likely didn't have the WMD that Bush & Co claimed they had and that the legal basis for invading was approximately the same as Der Fuehrer's was to invade Poland in 1939. The Iraq War was and is a war of unprovoked aggression and the Bush Administration has not to this day told the American people their true motivations for launching it.

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