Many readers will remember Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an Iraq casualty who became the public face of the anti-Iraq-war movement. Cindy bedeviled President Bush, and seemingly had greater access to the media than he did. Between 2004 and 2006, the left devoted itself entirely at home and abroad to denouncing US militarism; attributing the war to President Bush's psychological kinks, Vice President Cheney's Halliburton connections and the bogie-men neocons' paranoia regarding Israel; dissuading America's allies from the fight; whipping up protest from Washington DC to Madrid and beyond; and generally giving aid and comfort to America's enemies.
Noman recalls a NY Times editorial sternly lecturing Al Qaeda after one of its casual atrocities--the beheading of Daniel Pearl perhaps--that this was not going to help it win the propaganda war against the great satan. Even before that, the Times had tipped off Osama Bin Laden that the military had tracked his cell phone to locate him at Tora Bora. He escaped by giving his phone to an aide and sending him in the opposite direction to draw away fire. All this, we were told, was the purist sort of patriotism, which, despite looking like treason, was actually the highest form of serving one's country in its time of need.
One hears a great deal about unpatriotic Americans these days, who put their own selfish interests before their country's. The issue isn't life and death, victory or defeat anymore. It's much more dire than that. This time around its about providing an endless supply of bureaucratic jobs to liberal college graduates and other unemployables, an endless stream of benefits to an increasing number of government dependents, and larding a bottomless trough for Democrat constituencies and corporatist quislings. In short, the issue is whether you are a patriotic American insisting that others pay higher taxes to fuel the continued hyper growth of burgeoning government at all levels or, conversely, you are a selfish and treacherous... gasp... tea partier.
Good and noble President Obama is vulnerable only because he is vexed by something apparently never-ever-ever seen in this country: a disloyal opposition that just wants him to fail. Moreover, these traitors are apparently all racists.
Those who live on the planet earth might want to know what happened to patriotic dissent and Cindy Sheehan after the Democrats won Congress in 2006. The Iraq war fell off the front pages, and the spending binge commenced. In the 2008 election, Cindy challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's seat for not impeaching George Bush. She'd already become a bore, but was now persona non grata. America is still fighting in Iraq, and even more so in Afghanistan. We're now even fighting in Libya. When was the last time you heard about an anti-war protest?
Speaking of Iraq, American troops are scheduled to depart in December, though complete withdrawal looks an unlikely event. One of today's headlines was "Iraq Erupts: Bombings in a Dozen Cities Kill at Least 60 on Monday":
"Where is the government with all these explosions across the country? Where is al-Maliki? Why doesn't he come to see?" said Ali Jumaa Ziad, a shopowner in Kut, where the worst of the violence occurred. Ziad was brushing pieces of human flesh from the floor and off equipment in his shop...
As for patriotic dissent, it no longer exists.