The Growing Antiwar Insurgency on the American Right

Kelley Vlahos and Gene Healy on the growing challenge to neocon hegemony.

John Walsh discusses the prospect of a Left/Right antiwar alliance.

What do the Right and Left bring to the antiwar movement? At this time, the Left brings greater numbers because the Cold War has led the Right away from its traditional “isolationist,” i.e., anti-interventionist, stance, to which it is only beginning to return. But the Right brings something equally powerful to the antiwar movement, and that is its vocabulary. The paleocons and libertarians put their opposition to war in words that are widely understood and accepted in conventional mainstream discourse. When the paleos declare America should be first, that cry resonates far and wide to a populace facing economic hardships. And when libertarians declare that government is a threat to liberty, with military being a large part of the government, that is something Americans have been taught to understand and respect since their grade-school years. The antiwar movement benefits enormously from this conventional and traditional American vocabulary. It is not readily assailed.

America’s wars are a scourge unto millions of humans. From a moral point of view, we in the metropolis of empire have a duty to stop the bloodshed and suffering perpetrated by our elite. In this quest, dare any of us turn away allies? Can we be so sure of our own views that we will consort only with the like-minded even at the price of other humans? How can we square that with our deepest instincts to preserve life? Those who would refuse such alliances must look deep into themselves to discover what justifies that.

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