Tom Watson senses a turning point in public opinion about the war. I think he's right.
...we have returned to 1968: there is a mounting anti-war movement in America. This time, however, it is different. For one, it is not led by student radicals: we do not have a draft, so the college-bound upper middle class does not worry about the rigors of the battlefield. No, this movement is in the center - not so much the political center (it's heavy with liberals to be sure) as the center of regular American life: people with homes, jobs, cars, retirement plans, vacations, and high-speed Internet access. This is no "Michael Moore fringe" as the righties are keen to say ...No, this movement is very much like the one within the modern Roman Catholic Church in America, the lay movement of Voice of the Faithful, sickened by bureaucracy and yet loyal to the core: its leadership populated by Rosary Society types with plenty of gray hair and mass card buyers among them.
This is the movement of Cindy Sheehan, who has clearly survived the Swiftian smearing of the right to emerge into the broad sun-lit plains of the American mainstream, a brave and embattled Gold Star mother, the type of real-world person (looming divorce, mourning for her son, stricken elderly mother) that Americans can - and do - identify with easily. Camp Casey has become Camp Homeland, as the President's approval ratings slip below Nixon's, and a majority of Americans now oppose the disastrous Iraq adventure. Unwittingly perhaps, television preacher Pat Robertson - in his silly, addled call for assassinating Venezuela's socialist president - spoke for this movement; such an act was cheaper, cost less in lives and fortune. If we are honest, we can admit the Reverend Pat's words were thoughts that connect our Iraqi day-dreams; why didn't we just bump off Saddam?
The only people who will read the rest of what he wrote will already be persuaded.
For the rest of you, before you leave, here is the end...
...Camp Casey will move from Texas to Washington DC, and indeed, will spread to cities and towns across the United States. And the moral relativist press will be finally shaken from its torpor. Even Russert will admit the waste. Even Andrea Mitchell will see the failure. Even Ruppert Murdoch will turn Fox to oppose the war from the right.
The war itself is over, the retreat will begin shortly, and Iraq will settle in to its own bloody reinvention over the next decade. And America, my country, will reel.