The recent anti-war march in Washington saw the resurrection of old Hollywood lefties still trying to maintain the rage. These included the perennial activist, “Hanoi Jane” Fonda. All the other usual suspects were there, including Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.
The January 27 march was a protest against American involvement in Iraq. Fonda said “silence is no longer an option” to the wild applause of the activist crowd. Comparisons were made with the Vietnam conflict, and the overriding message was to pull out of Iraq now.
While it is true that there are similarities between the two conflicts, they are not as the radicals imagine. The truth is, we abandoned the South Vietnamese to the Communists back in the 60’s, thanks to the demands of the lefties, and they now want us to abandon a democratic Iraq to the terrorists.
Cal Thomas, writing in the January 30, 2007 Townhall.com, makes the same point. He begins, “The ideologically decrepit anti-war crowd returned to Washington last weekend for a reunion. The older among them abandoned hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Vietnamese to imprisonment, torture, death and re-education camps. Their demonstrations were encouraging to the communist Vietnamese, sending the message that America lacked the will to win. These aging hippies and their progeny now want to do the same to millions of Iraqis, who have democratically elected their leaders.”
He continues, “This is the sunset of the ‘Age of Aquarius.’ Yesterday, when they were young, they were the pampered generation that eschewed self-control for self-indulgence. They were (and are) so vain; they probably thought the world was about them. They were the redeeming generation that would save their parents from their sins by ending war, curing racism and cleaning the air and water. Their failure has long been obvious to all but them. To them, intentions, not success, are paramount. Because they believe their intentions are noble, they absolve themselves from the negative consequences of their actions.”
Indeed, being actors, these activists are used to dealing with fantasy. Unfortunately they try to take their fantasy world from Hollywood sets and inject it into the real world.
“As with the Vietnam anti-war protests, several of the same Hollywood actors spoke against the effort to make Iraq a stable and independent nation. Hollywood is the land of make-believe where love means never having to say you’re sorry and acting means never having to take responsibility for your words and behavior, which are written and directed by others. These stars live behind gates with security alarms and guards who protect their privileged lives. Is there anyone else’s freedom these celebrities would defend? Do any other lives have value beyond their own? Since none of the older demonstrators took responsibility for what occurred in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, would any like to pledge now that if their protests help embolden the insurgents and Taliban to fight on until Iraq is in their clutches they will accept blame?”
And of course they all share the same disease: Americaphobia. They are part of the blame-America-first crowd, who always manage to find the US at fault for the world’s ills. “Why do these people always oppose America’s efforts to defend itself and others? Why did they not protest in Washington, or in Baghdad, when Saddam Hussein was practicing genocide and his sons were raping and torturing their fellow Iraqis? Will we ever see an anti-Taliban protest? How about a demonstration against suicide bombers, or even those who produce and detonate roadside bombs in Iraq? Why do these people think only their country is evil?”
Living in the land of make believe obviously does not help these activists to properly face reality. There are real enemies out there who really hate freedom and democracy. It will take more than demos and appeasement to eradicate this very real threat.
“This is the doctrine of the privileged and the pampered. It is salvation on the cheap. It makes the protestors feel good, even righteous, but does nothing to solve the problem, which isn’t the United States, but a very real enemy that intends to kill us. Unlike Vietnam, the Islamofascists won’t leave us alone if we leave Iraq before stability is established. They will send more fanatics to our shores.”
Political realism, not sloppy sentimentality, is the need of the hour. As Thomas concludes, “While President Bush may have chosen Iraq and Afghanistan to counterattack in this war, the war would have come – and, indeed, had already come prior to the attacks on these two countries – had he decided to do nothing. ‘Peace is controversial,’ said Jesse Jackson last weekend. His comment has about as much relevance in an age of terror as a declaration against lust. Peace doesn’t result when America does nothing to confront evil. Peace comes through facing and defeating evil wherever and whenever we can. If freedom is not on the march against tyranny, then tyranny will be on the march against freedom. Neither is static. Peace doesn’t ‘happen.’ To the extent peace can be attained on earth, it arrives through strength and willpower.”
Hanoi Jane and her colleagues have every right to protest. But it is wished that some common sense and moral discernment came with their corny clichés and shallow sloganeering. An enemy which has declared loud and clear its intent to bury the West cannot be wished away, nor will it be put off by Western self-loathing.
Leftist anti-Americanism has already been responsible for one tragedy in Vietnam. For the sake of freedom and democracy-loving Iraqis, we dare not let it again prevail.