Here is an excellent article by Christopher Hitchens about "The dismay of an honorable man of the left".
He articulates a lot of the frustration I’ve been feeling as someone who considers themselves left-wing but finds themself confronted with the kind of stubborn dogma usually found on the far right.
It seems to me that some people feel that once you choose which side of the fence you’re on, it is somehow "weak" to occasionally find yourself in the middle or sometimes even on the other side.
Personally, I see no contradiction in supporting the US policy in Afghanistan while maintaining that past US policy in Chile was responsible for stupendous suffering. I see no contradiction in believing that George W. Bush has done well in his handling of the Afghan campaign while at the same time, believing that he is a greedy, bumbling idiot when it comes to the economy and the environment.
Perhaps the strength of my convictions might seem diminished by these admissions. That’s okay. I’ve never considered strength of conviction a virtue. All of history’s greatest criminals have had strength of conviction.
Maybe I’m just going through a phase. The "grey phrase" that lies between the strength of conviction of the young and the old:
When you’re young, everything seems clear cut and black and white.
When you’re old, everything seems clear cut and black and white except that was black is now white and what was white is now black.
I hope I’m experiencing clarity of vision and not just some half-time changeover.
Anyway, go read that article by Christopher Hitchens.