Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Left Antiwar Motive

By Stanford Matthews
Blog @

Matthew Continetti offers a spectacular view of the debate on the Iraq war
. While you will have no trouble finding reports that are critical of General Petraeus and US military success in recent months, the Continetti opinion piece from the Weekly Standard is a refreshing look at more than one side of the discussion. Imagine that. And there is mention of some positive reports even from the left. Of course those 'defections' are rarely allowed to see daylight and often come with some sort of qualifier. As if it is only an attempt to not look biased by at least mentioning something positive like a backhanded compliment.

Why those opposed to the war find it necessary to publicly campaign immediately and continuously from the beginning of any conflict is at least disappointing. One might expect all citizens could restrain their personal opinions if expressing them would be damaging to the very troops they claim to be concerned about. It is difficult to define such protest as anything but unAmerican as it poses direct obstruction to a military mission. Exercising one's claim of a right to free speech by opposing one's own country in time of war again ignores responsibility in favor of personal preference. The argument from protesters is often expressed as a patriotic and necessary exercise of free speech when at odds with governmental authority. Since there are a variety of effective methods for accomplishing the same goal without harming those actively engaged in performing their duties, aka, military troops, protest arguments to justify action are not very convincing. Public protest only serves to disrupt the chosen target of those organizing such activity. Attaching any noble characteristics to antiwar public protest is nonsense. While claiming to be patriotic and necessary in exercising free speech, the reality is the goal of antiwar protest is to deny other's rights in favor of their own.

What would compound the questionable motives of those opposing this particular war in Iraq is actions described in the accompanying reference to the Coninetti piece at the Weekly Standard. To discount the current military success in Iraq by the means described below is pathetic.

..... Antiwar Democrats immediately started dancing the Iraq shuffle, in which you ignore your opponent's arguments, shift the terms of the debate, and attack his motivation and character. Witness the left's reaction to a recent interview Petraeus gave to conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. Rather than rebutting Petraeus's findings, lefty bloggers accused the general of being a partisan political actor. Or consider the liberal, antiwar Center for American Progress's "Progress Report" of July 31, entitled "Bush's Enablers." The email newsletter is sent to left-wing political operatives, activists, and journalists throughout the country and is a reliable barometer of progressive opinion.

Maintaining an opposing viewpoint on an issue is a position anyone should be allowed to take. When circumstances change and the effect weakens the opposing viewpoint, a reasonable person would acknowledge the event. To ignore the event and continue to defend the position with purely political tactics exposes the real motive behind the position. It would not be the first time that left wing opposition to the war in Iraq has been suggested as the one issue Democrats have selected to use for political objectives. That would mean the one problem for the left would be victory in Iraq. So what is really driving opposition to the war?

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