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HMM: Russia Embarks on Military Buildup in the Far East.

Indeed, within the past several months, the Russian side has repeatedly complained about the presence of the United States in the region. Russia’s main concerns are related to the U.S. military bases (especially, the Air Force component) located in Alaska along with the significant potential (including six aircraft carriers) of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (RIA Novosti, December 18, 2017). Another area of concern for Moscow has been the increasing number of military exercises held by U.S., South Korean and the Japanese naval forces, which is “aggravated” by the growing U.S. military presence in the Pacific region (for instance, the expanding U.S. military potential in South Korea—see EDM, July 22, 2016).

And yet, Russia denies (which frequently occurs in other theaters as well) any attempts to embark on the militarization of the Far East. According to prominent Russian military expert Mikhail Khodarenok, “We are not starting any sort of arms race in the Far East, we are not pursuing saber rattling or preaching war […] we are merely trying to take back what used to be ours.” He further stated that the creation of the new army unit in the Far East and the buildup in local military capabilities is nothing but a “return to common sense” and “the patching up of the old ramshackle hedge—not the creation of a new wall” (RIA Novosti, December 19, 2017).

It’s curious that Russia claims to be so concerned about a few air and naval bases when there are major formations of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army just on the other side of the border from resource-rich-but-sparsely-populated Siberia.

THEY’RE NOT ANTI-SLAUGHTER, THEY’RE JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE: Iraq archbishop: Where were all those protesters while ISIS committed genocides?


How quickly everyone forgets that “America First” was once the consensus position across elements of the political spectrum. Back in 1940, Americans skittish about running headlong in the European war formed a number of committees to try and stay out of the wars in Europe and Asia. On both the patriotic right and the socialist left, groups like America First and the League of American Writers agitated for American neutrality, and pushed back against FDR’s interventionism.

Reminder: Stalinist lefties Pete Seeger, Dalton Trumbo and even Charlie Chaplin were also against America entering WWII and then — seemingly under orders! — turned on a dime when Hitler violated his nonaggression pact with Stalin in mid-1941. To coin an Insta-phrase, “Not anti-war, just on the other side.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, ANTISEMITISM EDITION: Israeli academic shouted down in lecture at University of Minnesota. “The protests were apparently organized by a group calling itself the ‘Anti-War Committee,’ which bragged on its Twitter feed about having disrupted the lecture and complained that the protesters’ ‘free speech’ rights were violated when a few were arrested.”

They’re not “anti-war,” they’re just on the other side. And they don’t care about free speech, or they wouldn’t be shouting down speakers. More evidence of the toxic environment on many campuses today.

ED DRISCOLL: Not Anti-War, Just On The Other Side.

BUT OF COURSE: Dan Savage’s Website Celebrates Occupy Vandalism.

UPDATE: Reader Steven Jens writes: “He’s not ‘anti-bullying,’ he’s just on the other side.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Paul Butzi thinks this is unfair:

I dislike Dan Savage intensely.

That aside, as support for the claim that ‘Dan Savage’s website celebrates vandalism’, this example falls pretty short.

It’s a piece by Brendan Kiley, a potty-mouthed columnist of kindergarten intellect. Dan Savage is the editor. Savage, as editor, is free to exercise discretion to publish a variety of views – in this case, there are entries on the Slog which both support the vandalism (Kiley’s) and some that oppose it.

I thought that’s how it was supposed to work – you know, the whole marketplace of ideas jostling for adherents kind of thing.

There are plenty of things about Dan Savage to not like. Allowing the newspaper for which he is the editor to publish a variety of viewpoints including one that excuses the vandalism as well as some that condemn it, however, is not one of them. I wish he did it more consistently, in fact, since it’s usually just a spittle-flecked leftist rant through and through.

Please don’t bash Savage for the one instance where he’s allowing something vaguely resembling rational discourse is actually taking place on the pages he controls. It’s not as if there’s a shortage of valid things about Savage to point out.

That’s a fair point. I actually like his show okay — but it’s apparent that, as with Garrison Keillor — the public version of him is considerably spiffed-up and smoothed-over.

WOULD IT BE FAIR TO SAY THEY’RE NOT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, THEY’RE JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE? Well, no. But it would be less unfair than it might have been, now.

CODE PINK’S HEAD-SCRATCHING WAR ON DRONES: “Shouldn’t the concept of a less violent war with minimized civilian casualties be exactly what the ‘pacifist’ group wants?” I dunno. Are they anti-war, or just on the other side?

UPDATE: Video.

THEY’RE NOT ANTI-WAR — THEY’RE JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE: Home from the war… and our troops are greeted by abuse from Muslim protesters.

BARRY RUBIN: The Gaza War: Is It Really So Hard to Understand? “When you are attacked, you fight back.”

But when you’re Israel, fighting back is immoral. It’s disproportionate — though that always struck me as the best way to fight back against an existential threat. More on morality from Phyllis Chesler, who asks, Who Are The “Peace Activists,” Anyway? My suspicion is that, once again, they’re not so much “anti-war” as just on the other side.

BUT THEY SUPPORT THE TROOPS: Portland “peace” protesters call for fragging.

They’re not antiwar. They’re just on the other side.

UPDATE: In Berkeley, a pro-Marine protest.

NOT ANTIWAR, just on the other side: “Disturbed anti-war protester can’t find soldier, kills civilian with axe instead.”

UPDATE: Brendan Loy thinks I’m wrong to use the “other side” comparison. But I’d absolutely do his pro-life sniper post counterexample, too. So maybe I’m just mean to deranged ideological killers.


“Anti-war?” Or just on the other side? Your call.

UPDATE: Read this, too.


MORE: It’s all because of frustration.

TIM BLAIR: “The International Solidarity Movement denied three years ago it had any connection to Tel Aviv suicide bombers. That denial might be a little harder to believe now that ISM activists have been photographed clowning around with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.”

They’re not anti-war. They’re just on the other side.

WHAT IF THEY HELD ANTIWAR PROTESTS AND NOBODY CAME? Gateway Pundit says that’s pretty much what happened at events meant to protest the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

UPDATE: ATC says that those who showed up seemed less anti-war than anti-American and anti-Bush. You don’t say.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More photos here. They’re not so much “antiwar” as just on the other side.

Brian Dunn, meanwhile, is enjoying a different and larger set of protests.

SPINNING THE PROTESTS: I recommend that readers google the names of people mentioned in the press accounts of this weekend’s antiwar protests. I looked up Brian Becker, who’s mentioned in this Washington Post story by Petula Dvorak. To be fair, Dvorak at least mentions the ANSWER connection, but a quick Google search of Becker’s name finds that he’s been praising the “Iraqi resistance” and denigrating U.S. troops since the beginning. It would appear that he’s not so much “antiwar” as just on the other side.

It would be nice if Dvorak’s article, and others, made that clearer, instead of offering the sanitized treatment of ANSWER that it does. The Post, however, has a history of whitewashing these folks.

For those who have forgotten, here’s some background on A.N.S.W.E.R. and its related groups by David Corn. Here’s some more, and here’s Michael Lerner’s piece on antisemitism in the antiwar movement, written after he was banned from an antiwar rally at A.N.S.W.E.R.’s behest.

If there were an authentic antiwar movement in this country, it wouldn’t have to rely on the services of fringe groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. to provide organization and cadre.

UPDATE: Here’s more on Becker from INDCJournal, including a photo from an earlier protest.

Meanwhile PostWatch asks:

Is the Washington Post simply incapable of accurately describing ANSWER, one of the chief organizers of this Saturday’s protest? . . .

Dvorak writes of “many causes” that antiwar protesters have marched for, but leaves out the really interesting ones.

Why can’t Dvorak do a little digging on the connection between ANSWER and the Stalinist Workers World Party (WWP)? . . .

If some bloggers can find this in an old Michael Kelly column, why can’t the combined staff of the Washington Post?

Why, indeed? Read the whole thing. And read this related post, too.

And there’s more criticism of the Dvorak article over at Newsbusters.

THE NEW CLIMATE OF FEAR IN AMERICA seems to have claimed another victim:

A local soldier back from the war in Iraq said he was beaten at an area concert because of what was printed on his T-shirt, NBC 4’s Nancy Burton reported. . . .

According to a Columbus police report, six witnesses who didn’t know Barton said the person who beat him up was screaming profanities and making crude remarks about U.S. soldiers, Burton reported.

Not anti-war. Just on the other side.

UPDATE: In response to a later link back to this post on August 8, 2006, Reader Ted Gideon emails that this report turned out to be false.

I don’t promise not to link to stories that turn out to be wrong (how could I?) just to correct errors when they appear. And, actually, I’m glad this looks not to have been true.

THEY’RE NOT ANTIWAR: They’re just on the other side.

Sadly, a continuing series.

LEFTY BLOGGER KOS DOES HIMSELF NO CREDIT by gloating over the deaths in Fallujah. (“They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them. “) (Via Spoons.)

Eugene Volokh has some more constructive observations.

UPDATE: More here, in an excellent post from Belmont Club.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Related thoughts here, and here. And Zach Barbera emails: “The comments only make it worse. Again. It is not that they dissent. They are just on the other side.”

Well, some of the comments are sane. But Bush-hatred has clearly turned into America-hatred in some quarters. Or maybe it was the other way around all along. Brendan Loy has more thoughts.

MORE: Jay Reding offers faces and bios of the “mercenaries” whose deaths leave Kos unmoved. Sadly, Kos isn’t alone. Reader Ricky West emails to ask “What’s up with the left? Have they gone completely bonkers?” Beats me, but there seems to be a lot of hate out there, and it’s no longer limited to marginal settings like Democratic Underground.

Roger Simon has some sane thoughts on the Left’s weird behavior:

Back in the Early Paleolithic Period, when I first joined the left, it was this idealism that motivated all of us. I assume it did for Zuniga et al. But some kind of cognitive dissonance set in after those planes came crashing into the World Trade Center. They refused to accept that anything good could happen under another name (Republicanism, conservatism, Bush, etc.). Good only comes from the names they traditionally associate with it. So heinous and barbaric acts are excused by people who under other circumstance would never do that. It’s depressing and it’s frightening.

Yes, it is. On the other hand, this post by a teenager on the Fallujah murders is far more inspiring:

Why, you may ask, does a teenager support the continued struggle to bring Democracy to the Middle East? My answer is simple, and only three words long:

Freedom. Isn’t. Free.

Live your lives to the fullest; this nation provides you that outstanding opportunity. I believe others should have it as well.

I guess the Left really has lost its teen spirit.

MORE: The link to Kos now goes to a different post, replacing the original, which opens:

There’s been much ado about my indifference to the Mercenary deaths in Falluja a couple days ago. I wrote in some diary comments somewhere that “I felt nothing” and “screw them”.

Some diary comments somewhere? You can see the original post in a screenshot here. You can decide for yourself whether the new post is an adequate response to the old one. Free speech: His blog, his choice on what to write — and your choice on what to think about it.

Matthew Hoy has a sum-up post here. And this comment from Roger Simon’s page is worth reproducing:

Remember, this guy was a major force in helping the web-based insurgency of Howard Dean, which at one point seemed poised to take over the Democratic Party. This is one of the most popular and most respected “liberal” (or whatever the hell he calls himself) blogs out there. Many mainstream Democratic political candidates advertise on it. This is not some fringe, freakshow thing like indymedia. This is one of the biggest voices on the left on the internet.

As I say, the hate has spread way beyond places like the Democratic Underground. Military blogger BlackFive has further thoughts, and addresses the “mercenary” claim. And echoing the mainstream point above, Best of the Web observes:

It’s worth noting that the Daily Kos is popular among Democratic leaders. Zuniga is a principal in the Armstrong Zuniga political consulting firm, which touts the Daily Kos as “the most popular political weblog with over 3 million monthly visits.” Friedman has a list of congressional candidates who advertise on the site, and in a February posting Zuniga reported that Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, “asked if I would post” a “Message to Blog Community.”

I should note that at least one of those congressional candidates appears to have pulled his ad. Sentiments like Kos’s are distressingly common among Democrats of the political class, but they’re far from universal.

STILL MORE: Tacitus: “I didn’t think this nonsense was representative of Democrats as a whole — good to see some folks who count are standing up to make that clear.” There’s also more at Winds of Change — and this observation in the comments: “I think there have always been two lefts, divided between progressives who believe in the essential goodness of American values, which they perhaps even want to strengthen and implement more widely, and those who believe in the essential badness of American values, which they want to combat.” I think that’s right.

More here. And here. And Allah has a quiz.

Oliver Willis: “I admire what Kos has done for Democrats over at the Daily Kos, but his remarks about the civilians killed in Fallujah were way the hell over the line.”

Kevin Drum: “I wish Kos would just step up to the plate and apologize . . . Bottom line: like it or not, Kos is a spokesman for the left these days, and this kind of stuff doesn’t help us. His advertisers are pulling out because of course they can’t be associated with statements like this. It’s a vote killer.”

John Kerry campaign blog: “In light of the unacceptable statement about the death of Americans made by Daily Kos, we have removed the link to this blog from our website.” I’m not generally a fan of de-linking, but as Kevin says, it’s unavoidable here.

Mark Kleiman: “Any human being not a partisan of the Ba’athist or Islamist resistance to the American presence in Iraq ought, first of all, to mourn the deaths of four fellow human beings. . . . Nor are the ties of nationality entirely irrelevant here; these men were our fellow-citizens, engaged — though as private employees rather than soldiers or public officials — in carrying out the policy of our lawful (whatever you think of what happened in Florida) government. Indifference to their deaths strains the ties that bind the country together.”


TONY JONES: John Pilger, do you still maintain that the world depends on what you call “the Iraqi resistance” to inflict a military defeat on the coalition forces?

JOHN PILGER: Well, certainly, historically, we’ve always depended on resistances to get rid of occupiers, to get rid of invaders. And what we have in Iraq now is I suppose the equivalent of a kind of Vichy Government being set up. And a resistance is always atrocious, it’s always bloody. It always involves terrorism. . . . Now, I think the situation in Iraq is so dire that unless the United States is defeated there that we’re likely to see an attack on Iran, we’re likely to see an attack on North Korea and all the way down the road it could be even an attack on China within a decade, so I think what happens in Iraq now is incredibly important.

TONY JONES: Can you approve in that context the killing of American, British or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?

JOHN PILGER: Well yes, they’re legitimate targets. They’re illegally occupying a country. And I would have thought from an Iraqi’s point of view they are legitimate targets, they’d have to be, sure.

TONY JONES: So Australian troops you would regard in Iraq as legitimate targets?

JOHN PILGER: Excuse me but, really, that’s an unbecoming question.

With some revealing answers.

UPDATE: Lovely observation:

Perhaps the most telling comment from Pilger was that the only countries he feared the US might go after were all fascist dictatorships.

That’s today’s Left. Go figure.

THEY’RE NOT ANTI-WAR — they’re just on the other side:

Just when you thought the German “peace” movement couldn’t get much more hypocritical they take things to a whole new level. Last week the unbelievable lack of protest at the German government’s plutonium and arms deal with Communist China made it seem as the peace freaks had all rolled up into a big ball for a long winter hibernation.

Not so! The German TV news program “Panorama” uncovered some of the wonderful activities that particularly dedicated cadres of the German peace movement are currently engaged in. In the spirit of peace, a number of groups have started a fund-raising campaign entitled “10 Euros for the Iraqi Resistance”. The money will be provided to the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance (IPA) a group dedicated to carrying out attacks against US soldiers in Iraq in collaboration with Saddam loyalists. The common goal is to “liberate” the Iraqi people from the evil imperialist American occupiers. On their website these groups gush with enthusiasm about turning Iraq into another Vietnam for the USA.

I think that one reason so many lefties have gone crazy regarding the war is that it is exposing their hypocrisy — and even more damaging to their self-image, their lack of moral stature — so clearly.

UPDATE: Bill Herbert has more on this.

AS I’VE SAID BEFORE, they aren’t anti-war, they’re just on the other side:

Tamsin Smith
BBC reporter in Rome

A group of Italian anti-war militants is raising funds to support the armed Iraqi resistance, the BBC has learned.

The discovery comes as Italy mourns 19 men killed in a suicide attack in Iraq last week.

The “Antiimperialista” organisation’s internet campaign asks people to send “10 Euros to the Iraqi resistance”.

Absolutely shameful. I love this: “They are currently organising an anti-war demonstration in Italy next month, and it remains to be seen whether news of the fund-raising activities will deter more moderate anti-war activists from attending.”

Any bets? You know, someone will probably accuse me of “blurring the line” between anti-war protesters and, well, traitors. But it’s the BBC that’s doing the blurring here. If they called them “terrorist sympathizers” or “Italians who support those who are killing their countrymen” that would be different. But they’re not willing to do that. Why not?

UPDATE: Reader Raymond Sauer emails: “How can a BBC reporter say ‘anti-war militants’ with a straight face?”

I think they have classes for that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Meanwhile, in Iraq, Healing Iraq reports:

Huge anti-terrorism demonstrations were held in Nassiriyah yesterday by students association condemning the attacks on the Italian force carrying signs such as ‘No to terrorism. Yes to freedom and peace’, and ‘This cowardly act will unify us’. I have to add that there were similar demonstrations in Baghdad more than a week ago also by students against the bombings of police stations early this Ramadan. I hope the demonstrations advocates that bugged me are satisfied now. There are also preparations for anti-terror demonstrations before Id (end of Ramadan holidays).

You’ll have to scroll, as his permalinks are bloggered. It’s in the 11/16 8:15pm post. Hmm. The Italians call themselves anti-imperialists, but they seem to be supporting the small group that wants to rule Iraq in opposition to its people, don’t they?

As another reader writes: “Funny you don’t hear about this sort of thing in the news.” Yeah, it is. Maybe some of those guys need to get away from their newly-hired Baathist minders.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s more information about the “anti-Imperialistas” and their fundraising efforts.


The two British suicide bombers who blew up a seafront bar in Tel Aviv, killing three people, had posed earlier as peace activists, acting as “human shields” for Palestinians, sources in the Gaza Strip said yesterday. . . .

A Western pro-Palestinian activist said the two later took part in a protest march in Rafah to commemorate Rachel Corrie, an American “human shield” killed by an Israeli bulldozer last March.

At least the story says “pro-Palestinian activist” instead of the manifestly-untrue “peace activist.” And the Israelis have noticed:

Israel will from now on bar pro-Palestinian activists from entering the country and will try to expel at least some of the dozens of activists who are already here, according a new plan drafted by the Israel Defense Forces and the foreign and defense ministries.

Most of the activists, who come from Europe, Canada and the United States, belong to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Yes, and they’re not “peace” activists, they’re just on the other side.

THEY’RE NOT PEACE PROTESTERS — they’re just on the other side:

Even more, when confronted with a camera. one group of these kids started yelling sentiments along the lines of “We’re all Arab mates!” and “Saddam’s our mate, and we Arabs stick together!”

Stupidity like this just underlines the destructive nature of ethnic separatism in free societies. And the blowback from this explicit endorsement of the enemy is going to be tremendous, especially after last year’s epidemic of gang rapes in western Sydney by Lebanese teens. For all the worries that Muslim “leaders” here have about anti-Islamic and anti-Arab prejudice, they sure don’t seem to be doing a lot to stop their fellow hyphenated Australians (hyphenated by choice, it should be noted) from giving the so-called “majority culture” reason to be suspicious, to say the least.

Funny about that. This shows the damage that anti-assimilationist “multiculturalism” does, by positively encouraging this sort of thing.

FRENCH VANDALS have now desecrated a World War I memorial dedicated to British war dead:

The words “Rosbifs [British] go home! Saddam Hussein will win and spill your blood” were painted in French over the base of the cemetery’s main monument – an obelisk topped by a cross.

On one side was a swastika and the words “death to the Yankees”.

Also daubed were the words “dig up your garbage, it is fouling our soil,” and “Bush, Blair to the TPI (International Court of Justice)”.

Some 11,000 British dead are buried at Etaples, which lies on the Channel coast around 24 kilometres south of Boulogne.

French officialdom is rightly deploring this, but after the climate of hatred that Mr. Chirac’s government has created, it’s no great surprise. And these guys, too, aren’t “antiwar” — they’re just on the other side.


Led by Muslims, Paris peace rally again turns anti-Israeli

But French Arab teenagers from the poor suburbs chanted slogans pledging war and martyrdom in the name of both Palestinians and Iraqis and against Israel. ‘‘We are all Palestinians, we are all Iraqis, we are all kamikazes!’’ chanted one group, no older than 14 or 15, from the suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse. Others chanted: ‘‘We are all martyrs! Allahu Akbar! God is more powerful than the United States.’’

Both boys and girls wore the Palestinian scarf known as the kaffiyeh. One Moroccan-born man stepped on an image of the Israeli flag. Another French Arab pointed to a group of protesters from a Jewish student association and said: ‘‘They are targets. They are not welcome here, because of what they did to our Palestinian brothers.’’

I’d say “anti-Israel” is putting a pretty generous spin on it.

THAT’LL BE ALL FOR ME FOR A WHILE: In the meantime, check out The Command Post,, The Agonist, StrategyPage, Steven Den Beste, and the many other fine weblogs linked to the left and below.

The CNN thing is supposed to air about 12:15. Like all TV, that’s subject to change at the last minute.

UDPATE: Read this piece, too. I agree that the biggest danger is an artificial timetable, and I’m happy to see that Bush and Blair seem determined to avoid one.

And read this account of aid and comfort from Columbia:

“The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military,” Nicholas De Genova, assistant professor of anthropology at Columbia University told the audience at Low Library Wednesday night. “I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.”

That kind of thing is an embarassment and a disgrace to the academic profession. Columbia should be ashamed. Even Eric Foner was embarrassed. And the people who said that Andrew Sullivan was being hysterical when he warned of a “Fifth Column” of academics and journalists who would actively root for America’s defeat owe Andrew an apology. Another one.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Read this piece by Eugene Volokh, which seems to expose De Genova as a Holocaust-denier, more or less. Why am I not surprised? Like a lot of people who say they’re “anti-war,” he’s really just on the other side. And lest anyone accuse me of “McCarthyism” for pointing that out, let me note that he says so himself.


LOTS OF GOOD POSTS over at today. I’ve decided that I’m not going to try minute-by-minute newsblogging at the moment, because it’s being done so well there, and at The Command Post.

I’m following Josh Chafetz’s lead here. I’m always saying that the Blogosphere is smarter than I am — so let it do the work!

UPDATE: Oh, and don’t forget The Agonist, currently posting that:

CNN just announced that Greek antiwar advocates have tried to bomb an American bank and an American restaurant in Athens.

They’re not “antiwar,” CNN. They’re just on the other side.

ANTIGLOBALIST WILLIAM HAWKINS writes that antiglobalists are abandoning the antiglobalization movement because it has morphed into old-fashioned anti-Americanism:

Hundreds demonstrated outside the hotel where AIPAC was meeting, chanting ‘”Stop the killing, stop the crime, Israel out of Palestine” while holding up signs lauding the suicide bombers as “the poor man’s F-16.” The “peace” movement remains a misnomer. It’s not “anti-war,” it’s just on the other side.

It is clear that the demonstrators were not really “anti-globalists” at all. There were calls for the “international community,” the U.N., and even the ICC to curtail the actions of the United States and Israel. This is the old liberal-Left desire for the disarmament of Western nations and the empowerment of “world” institutions to reign over them in the name of the downtrodden elsewhere.

The shift from anti-globalism to anti-Americanism has cost the demonstrators more than just the sympathy of the USBIC. The AFL-CIO — which provided most of the clout in Seattle, has also distanced itself.

Yes, it’s just the way certain folks split the Left back in the 1960s.