November 21, 2010

There are two explanations for this. One, the non-neocon right’s firepower is so limited that its adherents cannot possibly win a place in the media-nurtured political conversation. You can only get into this gab session with megabucks and a communications system that Justin and his allies don”€™t have. Two, there is no real incentive for the antiwar left to cut a deal with a powerless right, particularly if that right is even farther removed from the left on social questions than the neocon journalists and Republicans. It is in the left’s interest to depict the right as fascist warmongers while confining the political dialogue to a relatively harmless opposition, even if that opposition is eager to pursue foreign wars. Note that much of the antiwar right is not anarcho-libertarian like Justin or painfully accommodationist toward possible leftist allies like TAC was during the Bush years.

There is a hard right that has also been antiwar for quintessentially right-wing reasons, namely that American military adventures and a transformed American military are identified with a leftist political culture. One needn”€™t look far to notice the presence of this true right among the anti-interventionists. If I were a Jewish liberal working for The New York Times, I”€™d want nothing to do with such obvious “€œextremists.”€ I would prefer debating immigration-friendly, pro-gay rights, and pro-Israeli “€œconservatives”€ David Frum and Jonah Goldberg rather than Pat Buchanan, Taki, or Peter Brimelow. The war is not as critical an issue for most of the Democratic left as, say, gay rights or amnesty for illegals.

The antiwar right, using that term broadly, does not even agree within its own ranks about why it opposes Bush’s wars. Being against a war because one is a pacifist libertarian is not the same as attacking it as a traditionalist or a member of the Nietzschean right. These differences surface as soon as one brings up their reasons for opposing a specific military action. This reminds me of two similar conversations I had with Sam Francis and Peter Brimelow in 2003 about an antiwar brief published in a supposedly conservative magazine. Both friends complained that it was impossible to find “€œanything specifically right-wing”€ about the reasons cited for opposing the Iraq War. I made the same observation at the end of my conversations with both Sam and Peter: “€œThe left won”€™t bite no matter what we say. So the question remains academic.”€ That’s as true now as it was in 2003.


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