Thursday, October 10, 2002

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HOW NOT TO PROTEST: The Chicago Tribune has a story on why anti-war protests are not really catching on. The article suggests a "generational shift of priorities," combined with the absence of a draft, is responsible for the lack of enthusiasm. Reading the article, however, I think there's another explanation -- the protestors are intellectually obnoxious. Now, protestors are supposed to be physically obnoxious -- that's how they draw attention to themselves. But consider these quotes from student activists:

"Adil Khan, 20, a member of the university's Muslim Student Association, said: 'We [Muslims] believe the war as presently constituted is unjust. The only reason that it [the war] is being supported is because people are ignorant.'"

"Andrew Main, a sophomore at Swarthmore College, founded an organization called "Why War" shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. 'We were pretty outraged by the rush to war and the unbridled patriotism of the last year,' Main said."

Certainly, when I'm accused of being an unthinking patriot, my first instinct is to take these people seriously. Not!

UPDATE: Looks like Ron Rosenbaum has had a similar reaction to the anti-war protestors. (Link via Sullivan). Rosenbaum also illuminates the debate of why communism gets treated with more respect by intellectuals than fascism:

"I still can understand people like Pete Seeger joining the Party back in the 30’s during the Depression, when it looked like unregulated capitalism had cruelly immiserated America, when racism and lynchings reigned down South and it looked (looked, I said) as if the Soviet Union was the only force willing to stand up to Hitler. But to cling to Marxism now, after all we’ve learned in the past 50 years—not just about the Soviet Union, but China and Cambodia … ?

posted by Dan on 10.10.02 at 10:08 AM