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The Two Antiwar Movements

It's the same old cultural Marxist claptrap. Their West Coast gig, which Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com 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, LewRockwell.com, 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 Antiwar.com. 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.

homepage: homepage: http://www.lewrockwell.com/yates/yates65.html

nothing is as simple as one and two 22.Apr.2003 20:02


Sigh. It is always so covenient to divide situations neatly in two; my way=the correct one and the other way which is then wrong.
There are so many problems festering in this country that I love, by the way I walked in those marches, that it is no surprise the issues get jumbled together.
Corporatism/capitalism are so interwined you just can't neatly divide them.
the older i get the more grey the world is...
that means i have to think through things carefully and be prepared to change my mind or alter my thinking.
I thank the younger people for being out there with their concerns. They help me think. By the way they don't categorically hate this country. It is amazing how the government/policies and the country are so intertwined in people's writing.
Sorry, you may be an educated writer but i think you're off the mark here.

commies? 22.Apr.2003 21:54

oh you cops

watching too many episodes of Happy Days, are we?

seriously. commies?

ugh 22.Apr.2003 22:13


quite possibly the worst ever written article. Lumping people into commie/non-commie. The best line however is when he talks about the damn commies breaking windows in Seattle and ruining it for the middle class peaceful protesters. YAY! A peace movement for the non-oppressed because damnit...we don't like it and we're going to cry until you stop. ugh.

Mainstream Patriot Police 22.Apr.2003 22:48


Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo, and Lew Rockwell are "liberatarians" who want to make sure the antiwar movement stays within the safe bounds of what is acceptable to the Mainstream America in terms of tactics and more importantly ideology and/or agenda.

That means no talking about Capitalism or American Imperialism as the root cause of war. War is caused by the fact that we have some "bad" people in Government, and just need to remove them, and replace them with some better (i.e. same) people.

Libertarians are not mainstream sellouts 23.Apr.2003 05:56


Although I disagree with libertarians on issues of labor, environmentalism and social welfare, I must say that they are not by any means mainstream Americans. Libertarians have been among the most controversial groups in America for years. Keep in mind that the Libertarian Party was originally founded as a free-market alternative to the Marxist groups in the 1960's. Both socialists and libertarians were (at least at the time) strongly anti-war and anti-imperialist. Both groups condemned political involvement for the interests of private business.

The key difference between the two groups was not the diagnosis of problem but rather the solution: Libertarians felt that eliminating 85% of government would result in a fairer marketplace that was more palatable to consumers, workers and small businesses, while socialists believed that common ownership was key to success. (History has shown, at least to my perspective, that both sides had some validity.) But recently there have been more pro-war libertarians than ever, even as anti-war libertarians have been organizing furiously. What we really need to do is invite anti-war libertarians to come to the demonstrations against war in Syria, as that would be the best way to make peace activism appealing to those people who aren't exactly anti-capitalist.

But Libertarians have been fervent supporters of drug legalization (which has become one of their political stereotypes besides tax protest) and the vast majority are still opposed to a war agenda for various social, economic and political reasons such as "War is the life of the state" or "we don't need to use military spending to prop up the economy" or "Corporations don't need special protection, let them succumb to the pressures of a competitive free market."

While I personally do not agree with all the libertarian ideologies, they do have at least some good ideas and at least have a good theory on the ideas I disagree with. The only problem is that the party, originally intended to be independent of both the "left" and "right," has been taken over by archconservatives who believe in minimal government but may include moralistic doctrine in their beliefs, something that the original Libertarians were adamantly opposed to.

Libertarianism is not left or right -- in the same way that left-wing communism and right-wing fascism merge into a totalitarian state, so do left-wing anarchists and right-wing libertarians into a system of little or no government and voluntary cooperation. There's really little difference between libertarians and anarchists, only that the former are more willing to support market-oriented enterprise while the latter are generally supporters of syndicalism and workers' cooperatives. But TRUE anarchism and TRUE libertarianism are no more different that Stalin and Hitler.

Of course, I am more willing to support a "fourth way" which combines elements of Marxism, democratic socialism, anarchism and libertarianism into a system based on social need, individual freedom and liberation of oppressed cultures (the last part is more modern and unique). Thus you get the philosophy I coined the name of -- Sephirothism.

Ppphhh! 23.Apr.2003 09:04


Yep, this guy is not too bright, which is fine, because he is completely irrelevant as well.

The fact that Stevie also has a Phd. in philosophy is just one more demonstration of the state of education in this great country. His regurgitated line about the tampering-with of capitalism being responsible for it's percieved faults is just the kind of thing said by someone who knows absolute squat about economics, not the other way around.

To top it all off, this supposed intellectual has the writing skills of a sixth-grade mollusk.

trans rights 23.Apr.2003 18:37


I don't want to be a part of any movement that DOESN'T talk about the struggles of transgendered people. Stuff like that gets left out all the time and people brave enough to incorporate it should be applauded.