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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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October 11, 2004

The unconservative war

Will conservatives ever question the war? In the Sunday New York Times, Franklin Foer digs into the history of the Right in America, suggesting that the small group of right-wing antiwar voices, which you can sample here and sample here, reflect an almost-forgotten American tradition.

In 1940-41, when WWII had started but the United States was not officially in it, the conservative America First Committee, run by an executive of Sears, Roebuck, opposed aid to Britain because aid would involve us in a European war. (And they were right about that.)

In 1915-1916, most conservatives opposed involvement in WWI (as did the socialists); it was the fiery progressive Republican, ex-president Theodore Roosevelt, who publicly campaigned for getting into it, and a progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, who finally did it.

Foer is right: From an historical view, Bush's "war on terror" is not a conservative policy at all, either in the sense of conservatism as prudence, conservatism as anti-statism or conservatism as a defense of actual American interests.

Respond to Bruce

Read his latest column

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at October 11, 2004 11:29 AM



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