Saddam's capture has left the hard-core left in shock and disarray:
- Dan Gillmor marked his return to the US by posting about the "great news" of the capture of Saddam. Gillmor was not jingoistic or bloodthirsty. Here is his post in its entirety:
I've arrived home to the great news that one of the 20th Century's most murderous thugs, Saddam Hussein, has been captured.
Put him on trial for war crimes, and then put him away in a hole for the rest of his miserable life.
The idea that Saddam's capture was good news, and that Saddam might be answerable to his crimes, threw Gillmor's commenters into a tizzy.
If you are talking the recent Gulf war, what war crimes precisely? And do the US generals who deployed cluster bombs around civilian populations (Geneva Convention doesn't just apply to winning side) also get prosecuted?
Have a nice father and son bedtime chat as you try to explain the logic behind invading a sovereign nation that has committed no offenses against your country.
It's like invading Canada and describing it as a victory in the war against Australian aborigines.
Whoo-hoo! Parade the Canadian Prime Minister around! Raise the bloody flag and cheer!
I, too, was surprised by Dan's post. But I am going to put it down to his returning to the US after five weeks abroad. The propaganda machine must be fierce down there, and it must have just hit him hard.
Not that everyone was so eloquent. When Jeff Jarvis discussed a statement by Howard Dean, one commenter took his marbles and went home:
I am sorry but I cant read this right wing nonsens any more
adios and good luck
Some can't even bear to face the news. Andrew Sullivan notes:
Indymedia - one of the major anti-war sites - simply (as of 10.30 pm [Sunday] night) doesn't
mention the capture of Saddam at all. Its more pressing headlines?
"Majority of the population of Uruguay votes against privatisation."
"Activists Gather in DC to Oppose CAFTA." Eloquence itself.
Atrios' mob was made of sterner stuff:
Moronic brownshirt fucks: God's gift to the nap-impaired.
(Get it everyone? The "fascism" argument against the American right wing is becoming very reasonable: Bush most certainly is a military dictator. Of Iraq.)
The War on Terrorism is destroying the anti-war left. The anti-war crowd is loathed and mocked.
These wounds are entirely self-inflicted.
What makes the anti-war left ridiculous? Not its opposition to war per se. Opposition to war cannot explain the vicious reaction to Saddam's capture. The left is silly -- and vile -- for two reasons:
- They issue apocalyptic warnings which fail to come true. Remember the "brutal Afghan winter"? The "brutal Iraqi summer"? The "concentration camp" at Guantanamo (where jihadists are allowed to pray five times a day, and gain weight)? The predictions that a US-Iraq war would cause hundreds of thousands of casualties?
- The left protests war by elevating America's opponents to the status of heroes. See my preceding post for an example: A fellow wrote a letter to the San Jose Mercury News claiming that "Now that Saddam Hussein has been found and is alive and well, we need to apologize to him for killing his sons, knocking down his statue and making him live in a hole in the ground." No, jackass, we do not need to apologize to a person who murdered three hundred thousand of his fellow citizens.
The left consists of many people with varying styles and goals -- which all lead to absolutism. The left is not happy that a murderous dictator will face justice at the hands of the people that he oppressed. The left declares that Bush is worse than Saddam, that the United States cannot win any war anywhere, that America is responsible for all current and past evil in the world.
I repeat: All motivations for being a leftist lead to absolute opposition to America and the War on Terror. The utopians must promote an alternate vision of reality where lack of American power leads to paradise. Those who would use leftist politics to rule us -- or at least their university's liberal arts department -- have fantasies of a world with themselves in charge, and feel that they must discredit those actually in power. And the people who show up at demonstrations because they have nothing more worthwhile to do with their lives must fill the void in their souls by shrieking as loudly as possible.
A hint of the left's future can be seen in another comment in that Dan Gillmor post
. It is an interminable "conversation" between a father and his son in which every silly strawman of an anti-war argument is propped up and worshipped as dogma. It is of course a monologue disguised as dialogue, and it is as close to actual debate as the left can stand.
(Footnote: Not all opposition to war is motivated by leftist abolutism. There is also puerile self-centeredness
dear president of the united states,
nice job finding saddam. to be honest i never thought you could do it.
not like it was you who couldnt find him.
and i know it wasnt actually you who opened up the fake door tagged him and said "youre it!"
but you know what i mean.
i feel safer now.
and im really stoked that it wont take an hour and a half to get on an airplane anymore.
and that they wont make people get out of line and take off their shoes anymore.
and the stock market will go back up, and stay up.
Blah blah blah. Whatever
. When AIDS is cured, remind me to complain about how my health hasn't gotten any better.)