It's substantive arguments were also off the mark, drawing the wrong lessons from history.
- The unexamined premise of the peace movement's analysis of the world situation is still Maoist. On the one side is the Imperialist Superpower, the United States. And on the other side is the worldwide United Front Against Imperialism. While virtually no one in the peace movement defended the Taliban, or Saddam Hussien, no one seemed to have an analysis which did not start and end with the necessity for restraining the United States.
- While not defending the Taliban or Saddam Hussien, the antiwar forces also did not analyze them, nor Al Qaeda. The antiwar movement had been silenced during the Iranian crisis of the Carter administration and has never regained its voice because it could not fit Islamic fundamentalism, as a political force, into its unexamined premise of the United Front Against Imperialism leftover from its anti-Vietnam heyday.
- It is another feature of the leftover Maoism of the antiwar movement was that their rhetoric always seemed to focus on economics -- the roots of terrorism was third world poverty, not religious grievances, nor political paralysis in the Middle East.
- The antiwar movement tended to view the rhetoric about "democracy promotion" as culturally imperialist (democracy promotion was always described as "imposing Western-style democracy"), which carried the connotation that some people were not ready for democracy.
Out of tune emotionally with the American people, and unable to provide any real wisdom about what is happening, the antiwar movement has played a negative role in the last five years. The turning of the people against the war has come from their observation of the failures of the administration's policy, not from the leadership of antiwar activists. In fact, public opinion has moved most against the war during those periods when the antiwar movement has been silent.