As a kid growing up in the 60s and 70s I remember the anti-war protests of the era. Multitudes of scruffy unwashed weekend Marxists paraded across the screen of our Magnavox hurling epithets at the United States and our military while they simultaneously championed the cause of the North Vietnamese communist dictatorship.
“Make love, not War,” and the ubiquitous “Give peace a chance,” were bandied about by these cretinous children. Of course, when “peace” was given a chance in 1975 all manner of horrors took place in Vietnam and Cambodia. These flower children did not stop to wonder whether the flora they stuck in the gun barrels of bewildered National Guard troops had any effect on the postwar tragedy of Southeast Asia. They just went about their way on to disco, voting for Jimmy Carter, and then voting for Ronald Reagan. From hippie to yuppie in 15 years.
Today many of them in power have forgotten their former mottos “War is not healthy for children and other living things” and “It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need, and our air force has to have a bake-sale to buy a bomber” and fully embrace our supply of very lethal weapons to Ukraine. As well they should.
My question is, when did war become so attractive to these crusaders for peace? Sure, you could say, in Ukraine American troops aren’t involved. But read those slogans above again. None of them were specific to Vietnam. They damned war, even defensive war like the Ukrainians are fighting, as an evil in of itself.
You could say the flower children finally grew up. But given many of them in power are still anti-American and hard Left on other issues, the answer to that would be nahhhh.
I think perhaps war is fine with them when they aren’t fighting against one type of regime: communist. The close relationship between communists, the American Left, and their adherents in the Democrat Party is a matter of record. From Ron Dellums to the Dear Commandante letter, and since then their continued loyalty to Cuba and Venezuela, the ardor of their Bolshevik flame has not weakened. But today’s Russia is not communist. Thus, to the Left they are an acceptable enemy.
Yes, Putin has brought back certain Soviet trappings and he himself is likely still a Red Chekist at heart. However, in 2022 Russia is a gangster crony capitalist autocracy and exceedingly socially conservative. Not the kind of regime much to the liking of Bernie Sanders and the Squad.
Which gives a former anti-Vietnam traitor like Sanders and his ilk just the right cover to stay quiet or cheer for the Ukrainians. This time the good guys, at least in comparison to the bad guys, are to their hypocritical liking. If they had shown such enthusiasm for a country fighting to retain freedom in 1969, Saigon would still be called Saigon.