December 22, 2001

What is AWCA, The Warbloggers Disease?

It’s an illness that can strike at any time, that can affect even the most sensible and rational blogger.

It strikes slowly at first — a glance at The Nation or Village Voice, a quick peek at what the Berkeley City Council is up to this week — but can develop into a full-bore obsession. Minutes trolling on Indymedia turn into hours, ridiculed websites make their way to the Windows Favorites list, until finally one cannot bear to turn off the computer before seeing the words quagmire, proportionality, Arab street, root causes, and “terrorists” (in quotation marks only).

The illness is Anti-War Crank Addiction, and you might be suffering from it.

Below is a brief quiz to help determine if you may suffer from AWCA. If you answer Yes to six or more of these questions, you might need help.

1. Are you familiar with Noam Chomsky’s upcoming schedule of speaking engagements?
2. Do you find yourself repeatedly hitting the Refresh button at so that you can be the first one to parse Ted Rall’s latest?
3. Besides the main Indymedia site, do you have at least three other Indymedia city sites that you check on a regular basis?
4. Can you name at least three San Francisco Chronicle columnists?
5. Do you read at least half of the essays posted on
6. Can you describe the injuries suffered by Robert Fisk during his beati— I mean, during his time as a symbol of the hatred and the fury of this filthy war?
7. Do you check the Guardian and Independent websites before The New York Times or Washington Post?
Can you complete the following sentences?
8. "There will be no emancipation for women anywhere on this planet until _______________." --Sunera Thobani
9. “The Bay Area is also a place that encourages ____________ about the U. S. role in the world. That may have played a part in [Walker’s] vulnerability to the Taliban's extreme propaganda. --Louis Freedberg
10. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who __________________! --Michael Moore

Unfortunately, just as there is currently no known cure or effective treatment for the Anti-War Cranks themselves, there is no medicine or treatment available for victims of AWCA. If you are a victim yourself, just try and remember that there will always be cranks in the world, and there is nothing you can do to make them think logically. Try to ignore ridiculous and idiotic columns, rather than mercilessly tearing them apart sentence by silly sentence. If you find yourself spending more time reading columnists and websites you hate rather than those you truly enjoy, turn off the computer for a few minutes and go outside for a walk, read some fiction, or watch a delightful network situation comedy. While there is no cure, there can be hope.
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