I was waiting for this day to come. I got hints of it for the last couple years, but now it’s official: I’m a defender of George W. Bush.
A left-liberal writes me about my new LRC piece “Why the Left Won’t Stop the Wars” and complains about my rabid defense of George W. Bush. I’m also responsible for defending Reagan and every conservative evil, real or imagined, from the last 200 years.
Anyone who has read my stuff at LRC knows that this is about as far-fetched a criticism of my viewpoint as one could contrive. It is even harder for me to grasp than those throughout the Bush years who accused me of loving Bill Clinton, John Kerry, or socialism.
Yet this critic does help prove my point: He takes issue with my condemnation of Truman for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. That attack saved a million lives, you see, and besides, the Japanese were guilty of the Rape of Nanking, which apparently means there is no moral problem in slaughtering their children. Collective punishment based on ethnicity is such a charming element of the pro-Truman left, don’t you think?
I harp on the Truman example because I think it’s so illustrative of the fake antiwar sentiment of so many progressives and liberals. If you think a man who did this to Japanese civilians — to say nothing of what he did to Korean civilians — was a “great president,” or even better than modern Republicans, I think your moral compass needs recalibrating. But to defend outright the nuclear murder of Japanese civilians? Oh my gosh. What principles are left to defend at that point? We are supposed to fear Wal-Mart and oil companies, but look back nostalgically at the chief executive who exterminated hundreds of thousands of innocent people and ushered in half a century of Cold War?
So if anyone still wonders why the left doesn’t end the wars, keep the Truman litmus test in mind. Because even in the ranks of antiwar protesters, you’ll find people defending the very worst war crimes perpetrated by the American government. If this can be a serious position held by someone who claims to oppose the wars, then we are in pretty poor shape. That is, so long as we continue to rely on the left to provide us with a real antiwar movement. Libertarians, once again, must take the lead in opposing war as well as all other state crimes.1:26 pm on April 4, 2011 Email Anthony Gregory