Man Without Qualities

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Trending Away II

The current "crowds" of anti-war protestors seem surprisingly small - although some media coverage seems at pains to obscure that: An estimated 10,000 antiwar protesters, including many who remember World War II, paraded peacefully through central Tokyo. Only 10,000 in a capital city of more than 10,000,000? Is that a joke or a typo?

The reference to "many who remember World War II" is curious, especially with respect to former-Axis-power Japan. That was the war that was much worse than it needed to be because too many outside the Axis sought only "peace in our time" through excessive faith in diplomacy with a madman. It was the war that was so much worse than it needed to be because isolationism and misguided left-wing activism caused too many Americans to focus their attention only on what the Axis had already done to the United States.

The linked article continues: Sentiments were as varied as the locales, with many people saying Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is no threat to the United States ...

This same sentiment has been expressed in the round of American television advertisements - one featuring a Methodist bishop, others featuring B-list celebrities - opposing the war. Indeed, much of the anti-war effort in the United States and Europe seems intent to establish such a "principle," and the people carrying and expressing that intent should be vigorously questioned about it, much more vigorously than has been the case to date. The "principle" has taken root in a shockingly wide tract of the Democratic Party: Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry said on Friday that Iraq does not pose an immediate danger, and said that instead of rushing into war, President Bush should take months to build an international coalition against Baghdad.

This same Senator Kerry, who describes his "recently discovered" Jewish heritage as a "light" within him, should be asked pointedly: To what extent would a complete and utter annihilation of the State of Israel, or any other purely domestic pogrom or genocidal act, pose an imminent threat to the United States - or any threat to the United States at all? In such a case, should the United States just dither around the green glass building in Turtle Bay until the French and some collection of undemocratic Security Council states decide it's time to move? Is that a "principle" the anti-war crowd's arguments support de facto or by intent? And if not, why not?

And Howard Dean should be up next. According to USA Today: He ceaselessly attacks fellow candidates who voted for last fall's resolution authorizing Bush to use force against Iraq, contending they support ''unilateral war.'' The four who voted yes say they were convinced Bush would try to work through the United Nations. If there is a war, it won't be unilateral because some U.S. allies already are on board.

Now that the loathesome and embattled U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D) quit his House leadership post ... for making what he called "insensitive" remarks about Jews pushing the nation into war with Iraq, the time is ripe to really get into the consequences of the other positions the Democratic Party and its main exponents are developing.

UPDATE: Silence is not the answer.

FUTHER UPDATE: Anti-war "crowds" have been small - even in the "Arab street."

ANOTHER UPDATE: A follow up question: Do torture and gross human rights violations pose an imminent threat to the United States?

AND ANOTHER: Arnold Kling breaks out the history books.

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