Via Rough & Tumble, another column on the silencing of dissent.
Marjie Lundstrom, in the Sacramento Bee, writes about three instances in which dissent was silenced.
The New York Times’ spiking of columns critical of it’s anti-Augusta stance; the new Berkeley mayor Tom Dean’s trashing of student publications critical of him just before his election; and the generalized ‘silencing of dissent’ on the coming war in Iraq.
There’s just one problem…
…only two of the three are real.
I’m the poster child for ambivalence on this coming war. I need to write something about it, and have trashed about six false starts. But I’m certainly not feeling like the voices opposed to the war are being silenced. Not in the L.A. Times, not in the New York Times, not in the Washington Post, not in the Chicago Tribune.
From the Bee:

Published on December 21, 2002, Page B6
Striking first
Re “Bush sanctions strike-first plan,” Dec. 11: It makes no sense that the U.S., a sovereign nation, is “allowed” to have weapons of mass destruction, while other sovereign nations are not “allowed.” It is both ironic and terrifying that this country may use such weapons to prevent another country from producing its own. On the day that President Bush pushes the nuclear button, will you be proud to be an American?
– Matt Nelsenador

From the Tribune:

Protesters denounce U.S. Navy presence
Items compiled from Tribune news services
Published December 27, 2002
MARSEILLE, FRANCE — With chants of “no blood for oil,” about 1,000 people marched through this southern French port city Thursday, protesting the presence of a U.S. Navy battle group and the prospect of an American-led war against Iraq.
Dozens of police kept order during the rally, which was peaceful even though demonstrators briefly shouted at a small group of U.S. sailors…

From the New York Times

THREATS AND RESPONSES: DISSENT; Protests Held Across the Country to Oppose War in Iraq
Late Edition – Final , Section A , Page 22 , Column 1
LEAD PARAGRAPH – From a morning blockade of a federal building in Chicago to a lunchtime march to the White House to an evening discussion at a Y.W.C.A. in Detroit, a cross-section of activists, celebrities and everyday Americans held more than 150 events across the country today to oppose a war with Iraq.

From the Los Angeles Times

December 27, 2002
A Fight for Freedom of Speech

Dissent doesn’t mean a lack of patriotism.
By Eric Foner and Glenda Gilmore, Eric Foner is a professor of history at Columbia University. Glenda Gilmore is a professor of history at Yale University.
We are two of the professors to whom Daniel Pipes refers when he asks: “Why do American academics so often despise their own country while finding excuses for repressive and dangerous regimes?”

These took me three minutes to find. So help me out here…
Why exactly are the opponents of the war acting like the Ministry for Prevention of Protests is about to beat them back into the burning building?
Sadly, the examples of repression she cites that appear real…the New York Times and Berkeley stories…represent the casual use of repression by the left, not of it.
Honesty, folks. It all starts with honesty.
(cleaned up some wording)


  1. A liberal who calls his ideological compadres on their crap. That’s why, AL, I go to you early in my blog reading every day. You’re not my first choice, but you’re up there.

  2. Why all this skittishness about repression of dissent? Well, you’re one of the only Armed Liberals out there! (The rest of us unarmed liberals just expect we’ll hafta start running like hell if things get dicey …)

  3. Sassafrass, you’re welcome at my house if things heat up. It pisses me off that many liberals use the First Amendment to trash the Second, but that won’t stop me from using the Second to protect the First.

  4. In response to the Striking First letter posted on your AL Blog (an opinion/question that comes up a lot): The answer may depend. If a country such as NK plans on using the nuclear weapons only for defense and deterrence then in my opinion I say let them have them. However, if their plans include the option to sell those weapons to whomever they please (terrorists?), then I say they should be prevented from having them. As far as I can tell, the U.S. does not sell nukes to just anyone.
    If a country plans on using the weapons aggressively to conquer other nations then I say they should be prevented from having them. When NK tests missiles by lobbing them over Japan – then their motives do fall into question. Should other countries question or worry about potential U.S. uses of nukes? Sure. But from a U.S. standpoint a solid argument can be made as to why some countries should not get to play with matches.

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