Loyal Opposition

Patrick Nielsen Hayden has a good post discussing the ill-conceived "direct action" contemplated by certain opponents of the war.  I think it’s very important for anti-war folk to disown these people as clearly as possible, not the least because such action could endanger the lives of U.S. and allied military personnel, by whose valor and professionalism the ill effects of this adventure will be minimized.

More persuasively, such action will do absolutely nothing to restrain or discredit the Bush Administration; on the contrary, it will simply feed into the anti-civil-libertarian juggernaut that has been rolling since 9/11.  Contrary to what certain leftist fabulists believe, Vietnam didn’t lead Americans to humility or self-examination; it led us to denial and self-absorption.  The corruption of the Nixon Administration was evident early on, and Nixon still kicked McGovern’s ass because the anti-war movement gave him the perfect foil.  To repeat this mistake would be arguably treasonous and inarguably narcissistic, but worst of all it would be ineffective.

In contrasting this enterprise with British activism, Hayden has a cogent caveat:
One of the besetting sins of American progressives is a tendency to wish for a more European politics, rather than buckling down to deal with the country we’ve got.

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