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The Two Antiwar Movements

by Steven Yates Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2003 at 4:09 PM

It’s the same old cultural Marxist claptrap. Their West Coast gig, which Justin Raimondo of recently reported, was filled with speeches that had nothing to do with Iraq or our international situation and more to do with such things as "transgendered people’s" rights.

The Two Antiwar Movements

by Steven Yates,, November 2, 2002

It has become clear that there are two antiwar movements in this country at present – two movements, that is, that oppose Bush the Younger’s impending invasion of Iraq, if it happens. They oppose the war for completely different reasons, however, because they operate from completely different premises and political philosophies. What makes this of interest is the talk of a "convergence" between the two. I don’t think so.

The first antiwar movement opposes invading Iraq because its members really doubt that doing so is in this country’s long-term best interests, or expresses our best ideals as a Constitutional republic. Their writings can be found on sites such as this one and They have no problem admitting that Saddam Hussein is a villain, but wonder what substantial evidence connects him to 9-11. They wonder why Osama bin Laden, who was Public Enemy #1 during the first few months after the 9-11 attacks, has simply dropped off the official radar screen. Saddam, moreover, owes a goodly portion of his little fiefdom to the U.S.; he was once our villain. The U.S. government backed him in his own nasty war with Iran.

Supposedly, Bush wants to attack Iraq because Saddam has – or might have – weapons of mass destruction. Maybe he does; maybe he doesn’t. I don’t know. Bush himself admitted to not knowing, "and that’s the problem." China also has weapons of mass destruction. This we do know. Russia also has them. Nobody is proposing that we attack China. Or Russia. Nobody would. Both would hit back, and everybody knows it.

Thus the U.S. government comes across looking like an international bully. Bullies tend to be full of bluster and aggression, but they studiously avoid picking on anyone their own size.

I don’t doubt that if the Bush Administration were to cut loose, our military – even in its present Clinton Regime condition – could step on Saddam. Then what? Regime change, to use the phrase of the day. What’s that? Another U.S. backed regime posing as a "democracy," with U.S. troops remaining in the region indefinitely as a kind of semipermanent internationalist police force. More ammunition for Noam Chomsky.

Bad idea, in other words. It isn’t simply that the Framers of this country never intended for their distant descendents two centuries later to rule the Middle East, whether for oil or for any other purpose. (Lord have mercy! Rome on the Potomac has gotten so far from the Framers’ original intentions that it almost sounds strange to invoke their authority here. But someone has to do it.) After the first Gulf War, over ten thousands Iraqis were resettled here between June 1991 and the end of 1996. That’s right, on US soil. Another product of our wonderful, open-all-doors, drop-all-barricades immigration policy. Tell me, does anyone really believe all these guys magically transformed into loyal, Bush-following Americans, especially in these multiculturalist times? Does anybody believe they wouldn’t respond if Bush attacks their homeland?

Bet on it. There is already some evidence of Iraqi involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing. The government and the official media are still keeping quiet as ever about the considerable body of evidence that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols had help from at least one "John Doe #2" whom the FBI maintains never existed. Part of this is the politically correct necessity of a Lone White Male theory which may well have cost several people their lives in the DC-area sniper fiasco which ended when a black man with the name Mohammed and an illegal immigrant were taken into custody.

A war against Iraq would lead to another wave of refugees. Wars do that, regardless of who wins, because wars are inherently destructive. Where would the new generation of refugees from Gulf War v.2.0 go? Assuming our immigration policy stays at its current level of insanity, many of them would undoubtedly end up here where they would be welcomed with open arms by immigration-loving Democrats like Dick Gephardt (D-MO).

So if Bush the Younger attacks and destroys Saddam’s regime, might it lead to more terrorism on US soil? Given the above, added to the fact that most of our government’s measures in the so-called war on terrorism have assaulted liberties of native-born Americans rather than taking action to halt illegal immigration and getting rid of illegals already here, the question is a no-brainer. It should be clear that Arabs can cross our Southern border as easily as can Mexicans. If Bush attacks Iraq without our having relinquished the politically correct but culturally suicidal religions of diversity, multiculturalism, etc., there will almost certainly be more terrorism on US soil, possibly more destructive than 9-11 was.

The plain truth is, ordinary people are vulnerable. The DC-area sniper attacks should have proved that. The Iraqis were doubtless watching, while our authorities fumbled the ball repeatedly and media coverage remained strictly within the boundaries established by political correctness. The deeper Rome on the Potomac’s foreign entanglements get, the greater the risk from foreigners. We once had a president named Washington who warned about these sorts of entanglements in his farewell address. We named the US capital after him but didn’t absorb a word he said.

Oh yes. That other antiwar movement. The one the dominant media have been reporting on – at least somewhat. While most of the first antiwar movement’s activities have been limited to articles for their websites, the second has staged marches, allegedly a hundred thousand strong, with antiwar placards reading things like "Jobs Not War." Last weekend there were protests both in San Francisco and in Rome on the Potomac itself.

I want nothing to do with this antiwar movement. It seems clear that these people oppose warring with Iraq not because of sincere concern about this country’s best interests and certainly not out of any Constitutionalist sentiment but because they hate this country and all it stands for. They hate Bush the Younger’s administration not because of anything Bush has or hasn’t done, but because he’s Bush: a Republican, a mouthpiece for the rich who was "selected, not elected," and all that.

With these people, it’s the same old cultural (and sometimes unreconstructed) Marxist claptrap. Their West Coast gig, which Justin Raimondo recently reported, was filled with speeches that had nothing to do with Iraq or our international situation and more to do with such things as "transgendered people’s" rights. In our capital we saw the usual parade of far-left nutballs (Al Sharpton, etc.). The aim was not trying to find constructive ways to diffuse the terrorist threat – that takes thinking, after all – but to rant against "capitalism." As I said at the outset, we’re looking at two opposed political philosophies here. The first would liberate the individual from government; the second would use government to enslave the individual in the name of the collective.

These, by the way, are the people most likely to break windows, throw objects at passing cars, and in general be destructive. We saw the same thing in Seattle back in December of 1999. There were groups of peaceful people, many of them middle-class, who were concerned about the effects of World Trade Organization style globalization on their careers, their lives, on this culture and on US independence. Some were dubious that the WTO really represents free trade, as opposed to trade manufactured and micromanaged for the benefit of a global superstate.

Then there were the commies who came in, smashing and burning things. Needless to say, the major media only reported the antics of the commies, while restricting the movements of the serious people.

This second antiwar movement is popular among college and university professors, and among the sort of student who plasters her car with Save the Whales and Teach Tolerance stickers. (Well, duh!)

Their enemy is "world capitalism." If they studied economics they would eventually come to realize that capitalism has not been allowed to operate properly for over a hundred years, and that much of what gets called capitalism could better be called corporatism. Some lefties stop just short of saying "we deserved 9-11": witness Bill Clinton’s infamous speech at Georgetown University where, like all leftists, he invoked our "legacy of slavery." This, by the way, is one of the things to look for, since many of those in this second antiwar movement will raise many of the same issues I did above – you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, after all, to figure all that out. Look for a "multi-issue" focus that incorporates radical feminism, "gay rights," green-ism, etc., with issues pertaining to the dangers posed by illegal immigration conspicuously absent. This movement epitomizes where over a decade of political correctness has left this country, this hinting around by a former US president that America made itself vulnerable to being attacked because we enslaved Africans. This is how leftists think.

In short, this antiwar movement, festering on campuses and other lefty strongholds, basically hates this country. They have been perpetuating a kind of intellectual terrorism on college and university campuses for the past couple of decades. Just criticize the reparations movement, or observe that AIDS could be stopped in a very short period of time if men would stop being promiscuous with other men. See what happens. The second antiwar movement could not care less about efforts to restore Constitutionalism, or, barring that, to create conditions for liberty and free markets, because it is more committed to the Communist Manifesto than the Constitution or liberty. That this second antiwar movement brought out 100,000 activists on October 26 ought to be seen as a cause for concern. I doubt that all 100,000 would sign on to every bit of multi-culti nonsense, of course, but it is worthwhile to remember that we are now seeing the first generation literally to grow up with the faiths of diversity and multiculturalism enter college.

The problem is, as this second antiwar movement is sensational and thus gets most of the media attention, again the issues that ought to come up regarding the relationship between this country and the Middle East generally, or how best to diffuse the threat of future terrorism on US soil, are obscured.

Steven Yates [send him mail] has a PhD in philosophy and is a Margaret "Peg" Rowley Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (ICS Press, 1994), and numerous articles and reviews. At any given time he is at work on any number of articles and book projects, including a science fiction novel.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 10 posted about this article.
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#1 can eat my #2 E. G. Smith Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2003 at 7:37 PM
Anti-war IS anti-capitalism hello Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 6:29 AM
"...ending capitalism." daveman Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 6:33 AM
Logical Fallacy debate coach Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 6:41 AM
Capitalism Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 6:42 AM
Remember this... daveman Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 6:43 AM
Remember this... occasional writer Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 8:25 AM
Meyer London two anti-war movements Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 8:38 AM
Remeber this....... Brian Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 8:39 AM
Capitalism and Plutocracy... Diogenes Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003 at 9:04 AM

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