In conversation with a progressive friend of mine the other day, I had occasion to hear a valid criticism of my writing: why, he asked me, do you limit yourself to attacking the left on the war question, why not praise them when they’re doing something right? This is a paraphrase, and not a word for word quotation, but you get the idea: an entirely negative critique, given the left’s storied history of anti-interventionism, is not entirely fair.
However, it is precisely because of the long, heroic tradition of left-wing anti-imperialism that I tend to get a bit bitchy when it comes to the contemporary record, which hardly measures up. When I hear that United For Peace and Justice, the major antiwar coalition controlled by Communist party types, has basically dissolved itself – at a time when the US is fighting two and a half wars, with a third in the making – I tend to suspect they’re just not that into it, as the saying goes. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that their hero, President Obama, is the one fighting the wars now, and without George W. Bush to demonize anymore, the fight has gone out of them.
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