The following items appear on Andrew Sullivan's blog, The Daily Dish.
ORWELL ON WAR CRITICS: "It is, I think, true to say that the intelligentsia have been more wrong about the progress of the war than the common people, and that they were more swayed by partisan feelings. The average intellectual of the Left believed, for instance, that the war was lost in 1940, that the Germans were bound to overrun Egypt in 1942, that the Japanese would never be driven out of the lands they had conquered, and that the Anglo-American bombing offensive was making no impression on Germany. He could believe these things because his hatred for the British ruling class forbade him to admit that British plans could succeed. There is no limit to the follies that can be swallowed if one is under the influence of feelings of this kind. I have heard it confidently stated, for instance, that the American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution. One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool." - from Notes on Nationalism. It's a helpful quote when slogging through yet another left-liberal column on why we can't win in Iraq.
KERRY ON THE BRITS: They're part of a "fraudulent" coalition, according to the Senator from Massachusetts last night:
This president has done it wrong every step of the way. He promised that he would have a real coalition. He has a fraudulent coalition. He promised he would go through the United Nations and honor the inspections process. He did not. He promised he would go to war as a last resort, words that mean something to me as a veteran. He did not.
Some questions. How was the coalition "fraudulent"? Is going to the U.N., getting a resolution and trying extremely hard for a second resolution not going through the U.N.? Are twelve years of inspections not respecting the inspections process? Is John Kerry a serious candidate for the presidency of the United States?
A "FRAUDULENT" COALITION: The alliance that John Kerry decried last night was very close to the alliance that landed at Normandy. Was that coalition fraudulent?
SPEAKING OF FOOLS: There were so few "anti-war" demonstrators in DC this weekend that I barely noticed any. I had one amusing exchange with a stereotypical aging hippie couple who were both wearing 'Free Iraq" t-shirts. As I walked past them with the beagle, I pointed at their t-shirts and said, "We just did." They scowled. The BBC did its best to pump up the demonstrations, of course:
The march was thought to be smaller than the mass demonstrations before and during the war. But the BBC's Jon Leyne, who was at the Washington rally, said it was probably more in tune with the mood of Americans, who are increasingly concerned at the president's policy in Iraq.
Notice the scientific reporting: the march "was thought" to be smaller than the pre-war ones (it was obviously not even in the same ball-park). And the rally - which was full of the usual anti-globalization Luddites and bitter anti-Semites - was "probably" in tune with American public opinion. They don't even make stuff up with real confidence any more.
SO WHY CARE? So why bother with these extremists? Because it seems to me that the far left anti-war message, misguided before the war, is close to obscene today, and tells us something about what we're up against. Before the war, these people claimed they weren't pro-Saddam; they were just pro-peace. But now that the Iraqi people have the first chance in living memory to have a decent, pluralist and democratic country, these demonstrators want to abandon them to chaos, terror, civil war and a possible new dictatorship. The only connective thread in this movement is hatred of the United States. (Oh, and Israel. Some posters openly called for the eradication of the Jewish state.) They assail one of the biggest humanitarian efforts in recent history while Iranian Qaeda surrogates are busy locating synagogues in Britain for terrorist attacks; and while Iran itself may be preparing to become the nuclear-armed vanguard of Islamo-fascism. They march under these banners when polling suggests most Iraqis want to construct a viable democracy; and when even the New York Times concedes that Iraqis view their present as far preferable to their past. It's now that we can see what really lay behind the activist core of the "peace movement": not peace but hatred of the West; not democracy, but alliance with dictators, terrorists and Islamo-fascism. Here's a prediction: the fledgling links now forged between left-wing anti-war campaigners and Islamo-fascism will get stronger in the years ahead. The anti-globalization far left has nowhere else to go. Fanatical political Islam provides them with an over-arching structure for the loathing of the West. Now that Marxism is dead and post-modernism has shown itself inept as a basis for a real political movement, Islam will fill the void.
A NEW IRAQ BLOG: From a U.S. soldier with bad spelling. But it's interesting, nonetheless. His depressing thought:
For so many years America has always cut and run when its soldiers die, pathetic weak leaders we have. Despite many many resistance cells and fedayeen cells that get uncovered and arrested or killed, which we find these cells all the time, despite all the successes (you never hear about in the news) we've had in cracking down on these guys, they still manage to hit us. We can make this Iraq a great place, but it is going to take patience and time, and sadly, the American people I dont believe have the will to do it, we aren't the great generation like in WW2, it makes me sick.
He shouldn't be so downhearted. This president isn't so easily cowed. And the media isn't so insulated from criticism any more.