I don’t have the opportunity to talk much with anti-war people from the Left. Nearly all of the anti-war people I know are on the Right. Listening to some of them, particularly those who defend the United Nations (perhaps for the first time in their lives), I get the feeling that they are like the doves columnist Matthew Parris (himself a dove) describes here:
Like the admiral who gave 12 reasons for not firing a salute, the twelfth of which was that he had no powder, a certain kind of doveish commentator’s position can be summed-up thus: “I’m against war because I’m not convinced Iraq is harbouring weapons of mass destruction, but even if they are I’m against war because the UN has not authorised it, but if they do I’m against war because an invasion would prove a military fiasco, but even if it didn’t I’m against war because toppling Saddam would destabilise Iraq, but even if it didn’t I’m against war because it will antagonise moderate Arab opinion.”
This will not do. It is not honest.
In this Times of London essay, Parris suggests several things anti-war people should do to keep themselves honest.