There was a demonstration out on the National Mall yesterday. It looked like "back to the future," complete with The Fonda, the peace symbol "thingy" and a pronounced aura of tie-died togetherness. One could almost smell the tear gas. This was interesting but largely irrelevant, largely, but not altogether. The demonstration was, on balance, probably counter-productive if the objective was to modify American policy in Iraq. The "resurrection" of the highly polarizing symbols and personalities of past internal conflict is, I think, a foolish thing. What could be more likely to alienate the majority of Americans than such a display? Most of the people that have to be convinced of the errors of American policy in the Middle East do not like Jane Fonda. Doesn’t "moveon.org" or whomever sponsored the event, know that?
The American electorate is moving steadily to the opinion that the Bush/Vader Administration has followed a ruinous course in Iraq. That consensus, when it is decisive in strength, will change US policy for good or ill.
Leading that shift in opinion are men who lived Vietnam, lived it in the raw, savage, sweaty war in the field or lived it then, and now, in the knowledge of their responsibility.
Hagel, Webb, John Warner, and ultimately John McCain, are examples of the men who are stricken to their core by the memory of that time and the vision of war without end that is the looming legacy of this administration. These are the men who will lead America out of the wasteland. pl