As many have commented, calling the anti-war protesters “peace protesters” is inaccurate, as peace is not their object. Life under Saddam’s rule, after all, is hardly peaceful. But today, Nordlinger goes further, arguing that “anti-war” might not be so accurate either. He writes:
Speaking of the very, very ugly: You may have seen the banner that “antiwar protesters” carried in San Francisco: “We Support Our Troops When They SHOOT Their Officers.” So let us put to rest the notion that all of the protesters want only the “safe return of our boys”; that they are simply gentle, high-minded peace-lovers.
It reminds me a little of the Vietnam era. After the fall of Saigon — and after reports of reeducation camps, boat people, and mass murder reached the West — the Left said, “All we wanted was for our boys to come home, to be out of harm’s way.” I’m sure this was true of many activists. But a great many of them were openly pro-North, pro-Ho, pro-Communist, pro-American defeat. This was a fact that got greatly obscured, in later years. Jane Fonda, for example, was in no significant sense antiwar: She was for the victory of the Communist North against the America-backed South.
Although it has long been impolite to say that.
Incidentally, you probably noticed that I put “antiwar protesters” in quotes above. That is because some of these people are hardly antiwar, more closely resembling the Fonda of yore.
So perhaps such Fonda-like people should be called “pro-defeat” or “anti-victory” instead of “anti-war.” Or perhaps the label “anti-American” is really the most descriptive.
Update: Josh Zader has posted some further analysis of this issue!