I was reading a post over at Tim Blair's place and headed over to Surfdom to see what the commotion was about. While there I posted this comment over at The Road to Surfdom, in response to their claims that the rhetoric and actions of anti-war demonstrators gave no comfort to the enemies of the west. I kept it a bit plain, but my aim was specifically at the anti-war protestors in the US who protest the war alongside those who hate the US and would like to see America fall.
During the 80's there was a thirteen part documentary series on Vietnam that I watched. One part that has stuck with me, and reversed my supportive position on the 60s-70s peace activists, was an interview with a Vietnamese General. When he was an NVA captain morale was always a problem. Like any soldier he saw less of the succesful politics of North Vietnam and more of the constant losing of battles with the Americans. To bolster morale the Chinese constantly shipped in films of the Vietnam protestors. This general (at the time a captain) stated that watching the peace protestors gave him and the men under him the boost they needed and improved their morale.
Jim McCain long ago stated how the North Vietnamese would use footage and quotes from peace protestors to try to demoralize the POWs. As I recall in his recollection he remembers both Kerry and Fonda in those.
Jane Fonda's protests are well known to have given succor to the North Vietnamese and their communist allies.
Part of the problem isn't that peace protestors hate their countries. Certainly those who belong to certain organizations do actually hate their countries but I don't believe all of them do. There is also the fact that those organizations are quite willing to utilize people whose sole goal is to stop the use of force to help them push their agenda. The problem comes when those who decry the use of force allow anti-west voices to harmonize with theirs.
I don't recall hearing any accounts of peace activists disavowing the World Worker's Party, International ANSWER, or the ACP. I don't recall any accounts of peace activists disassociating themselves with peace activists who burned their own country's flag or carried signs that stated "We support our soldiers -- when they shoot their officers."
So long as peace activists give tacit support to those people and organizations, or attend rallies organized by those same people they will be viewed not as being against war, but as being against their country.
So long as that view is the one they allow to be promoted (by those organizations, the press and themselves) that will be the friendly face terrorists see and identify with.
And the fault will lay with those who are for peace but refuse to denounce those who hate their country.