As of right now, dissenters are supposed to be silent because the administration’s clever and dubious spin of the war as some kind of humanitarian aid effort, or because of fear mongering around an "imminent global threat." Once you state that you are against the war, you are dismissed as an idealistic simpleton who has no understanding of the relevant events. On the other hand, if you do manage to demonstrate knowledge of what really is an incredibly complex issue, you are still dismissed as an idealistic simpleton and then branded as "unpatriotic." I actually saw someone use the argument, "Our president has access to detailed information gathered by the finest intelligence network in the world. You do not."
Who said American anti-intellectualism was dead?
Frankly, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of defending my decidedly middle of the road stance from people who think that parroting the same highly-filtered data that the Bush administration uses somehow makes them experts on the region, or from those who confuse emotion-driven rhetoric for rational debate. I am not some sort of hippie peacenik who assumes that war is utterly unnecessary. I am not an apologist for oppressive regimes of any sort. I do not believe, however, that just because someone repeatedly shouts about "attacks on America" or "twelve years of failed diplomacy" means that the opposition has been successfully dismissed. What it does mean is that any further conversation is likely pointless since he’s taken a seriously limited viewpoint and I’m just going to be classified as part of the "no blood for oil" crowd anyway.
For clarification’s sake, like many who feel the US does not have the right to use "any means necessary" to ensure her interests, I recognize that the world’s history does not begin in 1991. I acknowledge the hypocrisy of justifying an aggressive act with resolutions passed by the UN when we refuse to acknowledge the authority of that body ourselves. The US has pursued a course of action that is unprecedented in our history, and in the process has managed utterly to discredit the UN and to anger our allies in NATO, effectively isolating ourselves in an increasingly hostile world. Somehow in the face of this, I am supposed to be pleased.
I am not.
I am embarrassed and ashamed.
I just hope it's going to be as easy as the pundits would have us believe.