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When "anti-war" doesn't mean anti-war

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Message Mickey Z.
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A casual stroll through most major U.S. cities would provide ample opportunity to encounter numerous stickers, buttons, t-shirts, and window signs bearing anti-war messages. Well, maybe not exactly "anti-war," but more like: anti-THIS-war. There's been some version of a peace movement in America for over a century, but far too many of those speaking out against the U.S. invasion of Iraq are not strictly "anti-war." From what I can tell, more than a few of them have absolutely no problem with: wars started by their (sic) party and/or wars that the U.S. easily wins (sic).

Case in point: Operation Iraqi Freedom (sic) has provoked far more protest/outrage than 78 days of U.S./NATO bombing over Yugoslavia in 1999 ever did. Where were all the Hitler moustaches and facile Nazi analogies when it was Bill Clinton ordering the use of cruise missiles and depleted uranium in the name of humanitarianism (sic)?

Well, don't think for a second that the powers-that-be aren't hip to this irrational trend. "As the Iraq war gets more unpopular, the environment for Republican candidates erodes," said Republican strategist Mark Campbell recently told the New York Times.

Meanwhile, Democratic candidates suddenly can't stop talking about Iraq. "Iraq and foreign policy are to a large extent albatrosses around the Republicans' neck this year," New York Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat) explains. "And they don't know what to do about it."

So, dig this: You're a Democrat in the Senate or the House. You've assured your constituents that you are not soft on terror. You've supported the invasion of Iraq and voted in favor of all subsequent funding bills. You've helped spread wild theories about WMD and hinted at a possible connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. You've passionately and unconditionally pronounced your support for the troops, choosing to view the massacres, rapes, and torture as "anomalies." Most recently, You've voted for the draconian Military Commissions Act. Now, with the mid-term elections just weeks away, you find it politically expedient to position yourself as anti-war (sic)...and, of course, the public is buying it like it was a new iPod. A New York Times/CBS News Poll taken in early October found that two-thirds of respondents "disapproved of Mr. Bush's handling of the war and 66 percent said the war was going somewhat or very badly." In addition, according to the Times, "45 percent said Democrats were more likely to make the right decision on Iraq, compared with 34 percent of Republicans."

While the Democrats pretend to be Cindy Sheehan for a month, their rivals, well, here's Mark Campbell again: "Only in an election year this complicated can Republicans be happy that Mark Foley knocked the Iraq war off the front page."

By equating U.S. military intervention solely with the Bush regime, the anti-war crowd is aiding and abetting this subterfuge. Anti-war doesn't just mean anti-Bush and it isn't a useful mask to wear at an election season costume party. The label "anti-war" signifies one as being against all war no matter what political party has commenced the invasion, the bombing, the sanctions, or the covert operations. Until the anti-war movement is guided by genuine anti-war sentiment, it'll play right into the hands of the two-party (sic) game...a game with no long term winners.

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at
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