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Hitchens on "anti-war" protests this weekend

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  • Hitchens on "anti-war" protests this weekend

    Anti-War, My Foot

    The phony peaceniks who protested in Washington.

    By Christopher Hitchens

    Saturday's demonstration in Washington, in favor of immediate withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq, was the product of an opportunistic alliance between two other very disparate "coalitions." Here is how the New York Times (after a front-page and an inside headline, one of them reading "Speaking Up Against War" and one of them reading "Antiwar Rallies Staged in Washington and Other Cities") described the two constituenciess of the event:

    The protests were largely sponsored by two groups, the Answer Coalition, which embodies a wide range of progressive political objectives, and United for Peace and Justice, which has a more narrow, antiwar focus.

    The name of the reporter on this story was Michael Janofsky. I suppose that it is possible that he has never before come across "International ANSWER," the group run by the "Worker's World" party and fronted by Ramsey Clark, which openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the "resistance" in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Clark himself finding extra time to volunteer as attorney for the génocidaires in Rwanda. Quite a "wide range of progressive political objectives" indeed, if that's the sort of thing you like. However, a dip into any database could have furnished Janofsky with well-researched and well-written articles by David Corn and Marc Cooper—to mention only two radical left journalists—who have exposed "International ANSWER" as a front for (depending on the day of the week) fascism, Stalinism, and jihadism.

    The group self-lovingly calling itself "United for Peace and Justice" is by no means "narrow" in its "antiwar focus" but rather represents a very extended alliance between the Old and the New Left, some of it honorable and some of it redolent of the World Youth Congresses that used to bring credulous priests and fellow-traveling hacks together to discuss "peace" in East Berlin or Bucharest. Just to give you an example, from one who knows the sectarian makeup of the Left very well, I can tell you that the Worker's World Party—Ramsey Clark's core outfit—is the product of a split within the Trotskyist movement. These were the ones who felt that the Trotskyist majority, in 1956, was wrong to denounce the Russian invasion of Hungary. The WWP is the direct, lineal product of that depraved rump. If the "United for Peace and Justice" lot want to sink their differences with such riffraff and mount a joint demonstration, then they invite some principled political criticism on their own account. And those who just tag along … well, they just tag along.

    To be against war and militarism, in the tradition of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, is one thing. But to have a record of consistent support for war and militarism, from the Red Army in Eastern Europe to the Serbian ethnic cleansers and the Taliban, is quite another. It is really a disgrace that the liberal press refers to such enemies of liberalism as "antiwar" when in reality they are straight-out pro-war, but on the other side. Was there a single placard saying, "No to Jihad"? Of course not. Or a single placard saying, "Yes to Kurdish self-determination" or "We support Afghan women's struggle"? Don't make me laugh. And this in a week when Afghans went back to the polls, and when Iraqis were preparing to do so, under a hail of fire from those who blow up mosques and U.N. buildings, behead aid workers and journalists, proclaim fatwahs against the wrong kind of Muslim, and utter hysterical diatribes against Jews and Hindus.

    Some of the leading figures in this "movement," such as George Galloway and Michael Moore, are obnoxious enough to come right out and say that they support the Baathist-jihadist alliance. Others prefer to declare their sympathy in more surreptitious fashion. The easy way to tell what's going on is this: Just listen until they start to criticize such gangsters even a little, and then wait a few seconds before the speaker says that, bad as these people are, they were invented or created by the United States. That bad, huh? (You might think that such an accusation—these thugs were cloned by the American empire for God's sake—would lead to instant condemnation. But if you thought that, gentle reader, you would be wrong.)

    The two preferred metaphors are, depending on the speaker, that the Bin-Ladenists are the fish that swim in the water of Muslim discontent or the mosquitoes that rise from the swamp of Muslim discontent. (Quite often, the same images are used in the same harangue.) The "fish in the water" is an old trope, borrowed from Mao's hoary theory of guerrilla warfare and possessing a certain appeal to comrades who used to pore over the Little Red Book. The mosquitoes are somehow new and hover above the water rather than slip through it. No matter. The toxic nature of the "water" or "swamp" is always the same: American support for Israel. Thus, the existence of the Taliban regime cannot be swamplike, presumably because mosquitoes are born and not made. The huge swamp that was Saddam's Iraq has only become a swamp since 2003. The organized murder of Muslims by Muslims in Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan is only a logical reaction to the summit of globalizers at Davos. The stoning and veiling of women must be a reaction to Zionism. While the attack on the World Trade Center—well, who needs reminding that chickens, or is it mosquitoes, come home to roost?

    There are only two serious attempts at swamp-draining currently under way. In Afghanistan and Iraq, agonizingly difficult efforts are in train to build roads, repair hospitals, hand out ballot papers, frame constitutions, encourage newspapers and satellite dishes, and generally evolve some healthy water in which civil-society fish may swim. But in each case, from within the swamp and across the borders, the most poisonous snakes and roaches are being recruited and paid to wreck the process and plunge people back into the ooze. How nice to have a "peace" movement that is either openly on the side of the vermin, or neutral as between them and the cleanup crew, and how delightful to have a press that refers to this partisanship, or this neutrality, as "progressive."


    Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent books include Love, Poverty, and War and Thomas Jefferson: Author of America.
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Kva...eature=related

  • #2
    Thanks for posting this TBF.
    "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

    Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

    "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's more about the speakers at the event from the National Post:

      QUOTE
      One of the speakers at the rally was the British MP George Galloway, ejected from the Labour party in 2003 for his outspoken support for Saddam Hussein. In 1994, Galloway led a delegation to visit Saddam and opened the meeting with this greeting: "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability. And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory until Jerusalem." In May, 2005, a U.S. Senate committee issued a report naming Galloway as the recipient of money diverted from the oil-for-food program by Saddam. In interviews, Galloway has described Israel as "this little Hitler state on the Mediterranean."

      Another speaker was Lynne Stewart, the New York lawyer who represented Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the blind sheik convicted in the 1995 plot to blow up New York City landmarks including the United Nations and the Holland Tunnel. Stewart herself was convicted in February, 2005, of aiding terrorism by relaying orders from the sheik to his followers to commit new attacks. (She was able to attend the rally because she is out on bail pending sentencing.)

      Also speaking was Michael Shehadeh, one of the famous "Los Angeles 8" -- illegal residents of the United States whom the Immigration Service detained and sought to deport for their fundraising work on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the group that hijacked the Air France flight to Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976. The group is still active: In 2002, Israeli intelligence barely foiled a PFLP plot to blow up a Tel Aviv skyscraper with a car bomb.[/b][/quote]

      http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpos...14-76e7eafc129e
      "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

      Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

      "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

      Comment


      • #4
        CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 16-18, 2005. N=818 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.



        "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

        Approve/Disapprove/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 32 67 1



        "In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?"

        Made a Mistake/Did Not Make a Mistake/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 59 39 2



        "Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq? The U.S. should send more troops to Iraq. The U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now. The U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq. OR, The U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq." Options rotated

        Send More/Same as Now/Withdraw Some/Withdraw All/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 8 26 33 30 3
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        • #5
          QUOTE(kah @ Sep 27 2005, 01:21 PM) Quoted post

          CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 16-18, 2005. N=818 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.



          "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

          Approve/Disapprove/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 32 67 1



          "In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?"

          Made a Mistake/Did Not Make a Mistake/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 59 39 2



          "Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq? The U.S. should send more troops to Iraq. The U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now. The U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq. OR, The U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq." Options rotated

          Send More/Same as Now/Withdraw Some/Withdraw All/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 8 26 33 30 3
          [/b][/quote]


          800 people polled?

          quite a sample.

          Comment


          • #6
            But kah, this administration doesn't pay attention to polls....
            Your friends list is empty

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            • #7
              QUOTE(Dr.Gonzo @ Sep 27 2005, 11:23 AM) Quoted post

              800 people polled?

              quite a sample.
              [/b][/quote]


              Standard for all national surveys. I don't think they ever ask much more than a thousand. Feel free to go here to confirm:

              http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm
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              • #8
                One of the great mysteries to me is why the Left has given the Taliban such a free ride on fundamental principles dear to liberals. For example, the abusive treatment of women, ranging from genital mutilation to second class economic rights, should be a rallying cry to women rights movements around the globe. Just yesterday, insurgents killed five women in Iraq for the “crime” of being teachers. The silence of the Left on atrocities like these is disappointing, to say the least.
                "I am for truth no matter who says it. I am for justice no matter who it is for or against."...Malcom X

                Comment


                • #9
                  QUOTE(kah @ Sep 27 2005, 01:21 PM) Quoted post

                  CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 16-18, 2005. N=818 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.



                  "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

                  Approve/Disapprove/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 32 67 1



                  "In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?"

                  Made a Mistake/Did Not Make a Mistake/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 59 39 2



                  "Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq? The U.S. should send more troops to Iraq. The U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now. The U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq. OR, The U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq." Options rotated

                  Send More/Same as Now/Withdraw Some/Withdraw All/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 8 26 33 30 3
                  [/b][/quote]

                  And this is supposed to be a surprise?
                  "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

                  Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

                  "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUOTE(kah @ Sep 27 2005, 12:21 PM) Quoted post

                    CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 16-18, 2005. N=818 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.



                    "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

                    Approve/Disapprove/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 32 67 1



                    "In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?"

                    Made a Mistake/Did Not Make a Mistake/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 59 39 2

                    "Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq? The U.S. should send more troops to Iraq. The U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now. The U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq. OR, The U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq." Options rotated

                    Send More/Same as Now/Withdraw Some/Withdraw All/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 8 26 33 30 3
                    [/b][/quote]
                    That looks like "fuzzy math". [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif[/img]
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                    • #11
                      QUOTE(kah @ Sep 27 2005, 01:21 PM) Quoted post

                      CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 16-18, 2005. N=818 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.



                      "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

                      Approve/Disapprove/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 32 67 1



                      "In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?"

                      Made a Mistake/Did Not Make a Mistake/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 59 39 2



                      "Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq? The U.S. should send more troops to Iraq. The U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now. The U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq. OR, The U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq." Options rotated

                      Send More/Same as Now/Withdraw Some/Withdraw All/Unsure %, 9/16-18/05: 8 26 33 30 3
                      [/b][/quote]
                      With a +/- variance of a 4, that poll is barely credible. Plus, as with any poll, you have to consider the source of the poll and how it was conducted. You could get widely varying responses depending on how many and to whom these questions were asked. If I read your post correctly, they asked 818 adults - that number would hardly constitute a valid pool of citizens.
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                      • #12
                        QUOTE(Jaws @ Sep 27 2005, 12:28 PM) Quoted post

                        One of the great mysteries to me is why the Left has given the Taliban such a free ride on fundamental principles dear to liberals. For example, the abusive treatment of women, ranging from genital mutilation to second class economic rights, should be a rallying cry to women rights movements around the globe. Just yesterday, insurgents killed five women in Iraq for the “crime” of being teachers. The silence of the Left on atrocities like these is disappointing, to say the least.
                        [/b][/quote]

                        Eh? There's been a general silence on Afghanistan's events since the Iraq War. How is the left any more culpable than the right?
                        Your friends list is empty

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                        • #13
                          QUOTE(kah @ Sep 27 2005, 01:26 PM) Quoted post

                          QUOTE(Dr.Gonzo @ Sep 27 2005, 11:23 AM) Quoted post

                          800 people polled?

                          quite a sample.
                          [/b][/quote]


                          Standard for all national surveys. I don't think they ever ask much more than a thousand. Feel free to go here to confirm:

                          http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm
                          [/b][/quote]

                          Well, it's not really the standard that matters, but sample size. On any poll.

                          All I'm saying is, can you honestly extrapolate the views of the nation based on .00036% of the population?

                          800 adults surveyed / 220mil adults(est. us census)

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                          • #14
                            Regardless of the sample size in that poll Kah posted, I find it hard to believe that a majority of Americans are currently in favor of the war, or don't believe that we should withdraw soon, or that we didn't make a mistake by going there. Christ, the reason to go there was WMD---they're not there. We've pretty much admitted that. How could that not be a "mistake."

                            I've seen some information about the sponsors of the protests, and it's somewhat similar to what that author wrote. The anti-war protest prior to Iraq were similar---disparate groups and interests, some sincere, some dubious.
                            I'm always right.

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                            • #15
                              QUOTE(Jaws @ Sep 27 2005, 01:28 PM) Quoted post

                              One of the great mysteries to me is why the Left has given the Taliban such a free ride on fundamental principles dear to liberals. For example, the abusive treatment of women, ranging from genital mutilation to second class economic rights, should be a rallying cry to women rights movements around the globe. Just yesterday, insurgents killed five women in Iraq for the “crime” of being teachers. The silence of the Left on atrocities like these is disappointing, to say the least.
                              [/b][/quote]


                              You have no idea what you are talking about, do you?
                              Dude. Can. Fly.

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