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Jewish World Review Oct. 1, 2001 / 14 Tishrei, 5762

Marc Berley

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A new kind of peace movement


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- JUST as America must fight a "new kind of war," so it must deal with a new kind of peace movement, one that blames U.S. foreign policy for September 11th. Blame the hateful mass murderers seeking martyrdom in their vicious holy war against America and freedom? Not the new peace movement - it's a part of a global war against America.

Those who opposed U.S. military action in the past questioned the right of America to protect its interests in other countries. That questioning centered on two issues: the definition of American interests and our right to impose our interests on others. These have always been, whatever one's view in particular cases, reasonable questions.

But now that thousands have been murdered on American soil, the new peace movement has nothing to do with reasonable questions.

"Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a 'cowardly' attack on 'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world' but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?" So asks Susan Sontag in The New Yorker.

The new self-proclaimed peaceniks are anti-American cultural warriors willing to sink to unimaginable moral equivalencies.

The new peace movement doubtless recalls the old. The latter included communist sympathizers who excused the Soviet Union innumerable crimes against humanity, seeing capitalism as the world's great evil. Having adjusted to the end of the Cold War, the new peace movement hates America for being the world's sole remaining superpower.

Unmoved to anger against the perpetrators of the attack of September 11, the new peace movement merely heats up a longstanding anger against America. Deplorably, it turns the death of thousands of innocent lives into an opportunity to point a cold ideological finger at America. It defends the brutal killing of thousands of innocent people on the grounds that America got what it had coming.

In its extremism, the new peace movement has something in common with Jerry Falwell: the refusal to blame those responsible for the September 11th attack. Falwell blames America for harboring heretics. The new peace movement blames America for harboring proud Americans. Put the two together and you get the holy war of Osama bin Laden, the jihad declared against America.

As polls show, most Americans know we were wrongly attacked. But those who blame America congregate where the future of our country is being shaped: our nation's college and university campuses, where the Sontag sentiment is highly visible.

The day after the attack, a Columbia student voiced this reaction: "I hope it will cause America to examine its foreign policy decisions." She's not alone. At campuses nationwide, students have been rallying and chanting: "One, two, three, four, we don't want your racist war." They should, of course, be saying this to the terrorists. But their fingers point only at America.

The new peace movement is rooted in our universities. Thus, it is ruled by political correctness, which, after ignoring America's virtues and exaggerating its defects, credits America's most vicious enemies with political and moral superiority.

As part of its anti-American campaign, political correctness teaches young Americans to identify their country as a global oppressor and to regard the rest of the world as blameless victims. They pay no mind when these so-called victims of America freely and violently oppress millions of peaceful citizens in their countries, especially women.

Political correctness has legitimized selective morality, and selective violence. The new peace movement talks much about tolerance but is itself intolerant of the American flag. Last week, in Berkeley, California, firefighters were forced to remove flags from their trucks. Why? The new peaceniks attacked the flag-waving fire engines, imperiling the rescue of lives in progress.

As we were reminded on September 11, 2001, firefighters give their lives to save the lives of others. They are model pacifists. But in the name of peace, the new "peace" movement attacks Americans for being American.

"Isn't that's what terrorists do?" you're doubtless asking. Yes, exactly.

Nurtured at our universities, not in terrorist cells, the new peace movement acts on a profoundly disturbing hatred of America.

If we are to win this long war against terrorism, the next generation will have to be another great generation. Lines at recruitment offices for America's armed forces suggest it just might be exactly that. But courageous, patriotic young Americans will find their peers using the cloak of a new "peace" movement to wage a war against them.



JWR contributor Marc Berley, president of the Foundation for Academic Standards & Tradition, is author of After the Heavenly Tune and co-editor of The Diversity Hoax. Comment by clicking here.

Up

09/25/01: Why Can't Israel Be "With Us"?
09/20/01: Because We're America

© 2001, Marc Berley