[sixties-l] Were in a time machine - and its the early 60s (again!) (fwd)

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Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 20:10:45 EST

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    Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 14:11:19 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Were in a time machine - and its the early 60s (again!)

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    We're in a time machine - and it's the early '60s (again!)

    by Justin Raimondo
    November 23, 2001

    Karl Marx, that old shyster, must be chortling in his beard (somewhere
    near the bottom rung of Hell): Communism may be as dead as its founder,
    but one of Marx's more memorable aphorisms has certainly proved all too
    true. "Hegel says somewhere that all great events and personalities in world
    history reappear in one fashion or another," averred Marx, in The Eighteenth
    Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. "He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the
    second as farce." Suddenly, it seems, we are hearing all the old bromides of
    the 1960s, regurgitated by a whole new generation of deadheads or, in
    many cases, some of the very same deadheads. "America, love it or leave it!"
    "You hippie, get a job!" Anyone who dissents from the prosecution of the
    war is denounced for being "anti-American." You should see some of the hate
    mail we get at Antiwar.com "Why, you traitor, I only hope you're drafted and
    sent to the front lines in Afghanistan!" Traitor, fifth columnist, the
    "hate America
    crowd" ^ and these are just some of the milder epithets that come in over
    the wire.
    It's the sixties all over again and, this time, it truly is a farce^.

                 LET THE NIGHTMARE BEGIN^
    There is a nightmarish quality to this whole scenario, one that I find
    For, you see, I just turned 50 the other day, the age at
    which everything is supposed to come together and finally
    finally! we're all grown-ups around here. And yet,
    suddenly, it seems as if I'm going back, back, back in time,
    so that I'm forced to relive (and re-fight) the controversies
    of yesteryear. Except that, this time, instead of being
    exciting, the whole thing seems about as interesting as
    reruns of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
    The dreariness of life in wartime is multiplied a hundred-fold by the oddly
    repetitive quality of the rhetoric.
    Now, in looking to document this contention, I figured all I
    had to do was go to Lucianne.com, and I wasn't
    disappointed: the second posted item from the top of the
    front page was a screed by one Lisa De Pasquale, program
    director of something called the Claire Boothe Luce Policy
    Institute, entitled: "Is Patriotism Dead on America's College Campuses?"
    It seems Ms. De Pasquale is shocked -
    shocked! - that "more than 100 campuses in America have
    held anti-war demonstrations." Furthermore, pro-war
    sentiment is supposedly being stifled, and there follows a
    long litany of outrages De Pasquale seems to think are so self-evidently
    horrific that she has only to describe them.
    At Florida Gulf Coast University, faculty members were supposedly
    told to take down their "Proud to be an American" stickers because
    they might offend international students; at San Francisco State University,
    the obviously subversive "Students for Peace" has raised a typical
    slogan: "Fight War, Not Wars!" And
    imagine this! at Wittenberg College, in Ohio, "students are displaying the
    peace sign rather than the American flag."
    The problem, says De Pasquale, is all those pinko college professors.
    Is that Dick Cheney or Spiro Agnew I hear, denouncing
    those "nattering nabobs of negativism"? Any minute now,
    Abbie Hoffman is going to leap back into the spotlight,
    reincarnated, perhaps, in the body of the Wittenberg College student who
    explained the peace sign is better than the flag because its circular shape
    "promotes a more inclusive atmosphere." Hey, Abbie, is it really you?"
    Ms. De Pasquale, for her part, could be the
    reincarnation of whom? Perhaps those infamous little old
    ladies in tennis shoes who, like Ms. De Pasquale, were
    convinced back in the 1960s that American youth were all
    in on some insidious commie plot, although, today, I guess
    you might call it an "Islamist" plot. "These campuses," she
    moans, "were once a haven for the exchange of ideas. But
    today flags are being torn down, ROTC offices are being
    closed and students are being silenced. Anti-American
    sentiments are tolerated under the protection of free speech
    while ideas on unity and patriotism are called ^A'intolerant' and
    ^A'oppressive.'" What's next will "Up With People" make a
                  A COSMIC CATASTROPHE
    Oh, the horror of it all! Just when it seemed the human
    race may have made some progress, with the cold war
    ended and Communism impaled on its own sword, we seem
    to have been thrown back in time by the sheer force of the
    9/11 explosion. It's as if the shock of the extreme violence that
    occurred that day tore open a hole in the space-time continuum,
    and time went into reverse. We are now living, post-9/11, in this
    retrograde reality, doomed to relive endlessly! what has gone before,
    like characters in some tiresome Existentialist play.
    At the height of the Vietnam War I was a rather
    precocious junior high school student who had joined the
    major and the only national right-wing youth
    organization, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). When
    I wasn't writing unpublishable short stories and even worse
    poetry, I was churning out screeds demanding that the US
    bomb Haiphong harbor. Among us young rightists, for some
    reason, the whole solution to the Vietnam war question
    seemed to be tied up with the utter destruction of that
    commie harbor. If only the President would unleash the
    military, and perhaps even consider the use of nuclear
    weapons then and only then would the commies be
    defeated, rolled back, and the South (and, perhaps, the
    North, too) would be "liberated."
    During the course of my career as a right-winger, however,
    I soon came to know better, in part due to my contact with
    libertarian ideas, and specifically the worldview of
    libertarian theorist Murray N. Rothbard, but that was only
    much later. My conversion to non-interventionism came, in
    even larger part, from the mere sight of the war as it
    unfolded on national television. I remember seeing the
    famous execution of a hapless Vietcong sympathizer by one
    of our noble South Vietnamese allies: the gun put right to
    the side of the guy's head, and BLAM!, his brains were
    blown out as cameras clicked and whirred. Is this what
    we're supposed to be fighting for? I thought and so did millions
    of Americans, who turned away in horror from that monstrous sight.
    My own evolution from traditional conservative with
    libertarian leanings to a consistent advocate of a noninterventionist
    foreign policy is not really the subject of this column: I bring it up
    only to illustrate a point about the evolution of foreign policy ideas
    in general. For the reality is that, at least up until 9/11, the conservatives
    had long since given up their reflexive belligerence and adopted a policy
    often derisively referred to as "neo-isolationism."
    The hebephrenic hyper-interventionism of the Clinton
    years, combined with the growing realization that the cold
    war had led to the creation of a Welfare-Warfare State,
    inspired many conservatives to take a noninterventionist
    stance. It had suddenly dawned on many of them that, with
    the cold war over, the Right could get on with its original
    mission: reducing the size and power of government and
    unleashing the power and productivity of the free market
    economy. Furthermore, they began to understand the
    intimate correlation between freedom at home and peace on
    the international front: the great leaps in the power of
    government, they noticed (albeit in retrospect) had always
    occurred during wartime. As liberals like Al Hunt
    triumphantly declare that the era of antigovernment activism
    is over, these conservatives are having the peace-and-freedom
    correlation shoved in their faces even as President Bush and
    the Senate Republicans capitulate to the left and federalize the
    airports, while John Ashcroft tramples the Constitution underfoot.
    The post-cold war Left, on the other hand, evolved in
    the exact opposite direction, becoming increasingly
    militaristic. Many former leftists, having "converted" to the
    Rightist cause, repented of their sins and jumped on the
    neo-conservative bandwagon. Post-9/11, these former peaceniks
    are now the biggest warmongers on the block.
    The paradigmatic example is David Horowitz, the former
    leftist turned rightist, who once blasted the Vietnam War
    from the pages of Ramparts magazine, and is now libeling
    the antiwar movement as "traitors," "fifth-columnists," and
    "anti-American" becoming a parody of what he used to hate.
                  ROLE REVERSAL
    When Horowitz was marching against the Vietnam War, Pat
    Buchanan was on the other side of the barricades, advising
    Richard Nixon on how best to discredit the commie-peacenik-Black Panther
    popular front that filled the streets with protesters. Today, they are
    still on opposite sides of the barricades, but have switched positions:
    Horowitz, the former antiwar writer and activist, ceaselessly agitates
    for extending the Afghan war to Iraq and beyond.
    Buchanan, on the other hand, denounces the War Party and avers that
    declaring war against 1 billion-plus Muslims is not putting America first:
    "Without evidence of Saddam's collusion in the terrorism
    of Sept. 11, an attack on Iraq would be seen as an
    unprovoked, unjust war that could bring Arab and Islamic
    mobs into the streets from Morocco to Indonesia, risking
    the survival of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. What
    would it profit America to march to Baghdad, only to have Cairo
    fall to anti-American mobs?"
                  THE SIXTIES SCENARIO
    While the specifics of the story-line are different, and
    many of the players have switched sides, what we're seeing
    is the sixties scenario reenacted in all its essentials. Once
    again, the War Party is intent on launching and, this time,
    winning an unwinnable war in Asia. On the other hand,
    we have a Peace Party that sees the threat of a wider war
    poses to civil liberties at home, as well as our real interests
    abroad. Once again, the War Party charges the Peace Party
    with "treason," and raises the specter of state repression.
    The weird sense of dj vu is heightened as all this takes
    place against the backdrop of an economic downturn and
    looming social and political upheaval. Those who fail to
    learn from history are doomed to repeat it this is an old
    aphorism that advocates of yet another invasion of the Asian
    landmass would do well to keep in mind.

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