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Antiwar 2.0

By Donald Douglas

Now that victory in Iraq has reached near-consensus, the antiwar press and netroots masses have turned their attention to the next stage of anti-Bush opposition.

The New York Times is leading the way, for example, with its editorial today mocking Salim Ahmed Hamdan's Guantanamo conviction as "Guilty as Ordered."

Andy McCarthy exposes the Times' allegations as tiresome liberal "bombast."

But that's not all. Today's paper includes a weepy front-pager attacking the administration's "good war": "500: Deadly U.S. Milestone in Afghan War"

Abe Greenwald notes the coming of Antiwar 2.0:

The New York Times, at a loss for bad news from Iraq, is mining Afghanistan for tragedy and defeat. Today's front page bears the headline, "500: Deadly U.S. Milestone in Afghan War." The piece, by Kirk Semple and Andrew W. Lehren, contains heart-wrenching stories of young life cut short, and the online edition contains interactive features with graphs showing casualty breakdowns and mini-bios of lost troops. With this bit of morbidity, the Times has sent out a signal to left-wing media outlets, progressive bloggers, and activists looking for a march: It's time to switch from death in Iraq to death in Afghanistan.

Running tallies of American causalities in Afghanistan can now go up on websites; Digital collages of Americans killed by the Taliban arranged to form George W. Bush's face are sure to follow.

The thing about the Times' milestone is -- it's completely artificial. The casualty count for Americans in Afghanistan passed 500 months ago. The number now stands at 563. The "milestone" framework is just a pretense for the paper to shift its gruesome focus onto a new front.

The antiwar focus is also shifting to the end of the administration, and potential war crimes trials against President Bush and top officials alleged to have violated international law and "shredded the Geneva Conventions."

No doubt the Times will be leading that effort as well.

Donald blogs daily at American Power