Some Williams students went to the war protests in Washington a few weeks ago. I hope that they write about what they saw. DeWitt Clinton ’97 was at similar events in San Francisco and took some photos that, I think, accurately capture how many of the protestors feel about America. Dan Blatt ’85 gets a mention on Instapundit for this question: “If Iraq is like Vietnam, how come the rallies keep getting smaller?” He also notes that:

As the war in Vietnam escalated so too did the protests back home, that is, the rallies got bigger. But, as our troops continue to fight the terrorists in Iraq, the size of the rallies has not so increased. Those who follow what’s really going in Iraq know that our involvement there is nothing like that in Vietnam. Although we are experiencing a few setbacks, we are winning the war. And the inability of the anti-war movement to draw a large crowd for their rally yesterday shows that the situation back in the U.S. is nothing like it was in the Vietnam era.

Diversity (of opinion) among the Ephs is a wonderful thing. Is there a single member of the Williams faculty who thinks that we are winning the war? Professor Jim McAllister has done fine work in the past to expand the range of views presented by faculty to students on this issue; he was the one pro-war voice in the series of debates and panels that the College conducted in early 2003. But I can’t find any coverage of his views since then.

The funny thing is that Blatt is right, even if not a single member of the faculty would agree. The war is being won — slowly, bloodily, but won all the same. This isn’t to say that Iraq is heading for the promised land of Jeffersonian democracy, but anyone with eyes to see can tell that, in another two years or so, a large majority of the citizens of Iraq will be better off (both in their own eyes and objectively) because of the war. Whether or not the benefits for this improvement are worth the costs in blood and treasure is a harder question.

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