Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Liberal Internationalism

Peter Beinart and book reviewer Michael Tomasky debate whether it's possible for liberals to lead the fight against terrorism without repudiating the invasion of Iraq at Slate.  Beinart argues that the war on Jihadism remains the right war; whatever the merits of OIF may have been. "Your basic point," he says to Tomasky, "was that while my argument about liberal foreign policy may be valuable, you're not prepared to engage with it—because I vocally supported the war in Iraq". Beinart rejects this but he concedes, however that it would have been better to fight Jihadism in


the Cold War liberal tradition—with its focus on legitimacy abroad and self-improvement at home—provides the principles necessary for winning the struggle against jihadism today ... it inclines liberals to support powerful international institutions—as they did at the dawn of the Cold War—not only because America cannot manage international problems alone but because we do not want unrestrained power. Because liberals recognize that America is not immune to imperial temptation, we build in the restraints that distinguish us from the predatory powers of the past. Second, recognizing that American virtue must be proved, not asserted, leads liberals to talk differently than George W. Bush does about democracy.

Tomasky on the other hand, refuses to address the question of how to fight radical Islamism because the debate has been poisoned. He regards OIF as making any liberal attempts to fight Jihadism futile. The soup has been ruined. No further point in stirring it. The only way back lies in throwing out the batch and starting from scratch. Bush's Iraq and "the warriors" have made it impossible to contemplate 'fighting the good fight' against the theocrats and made it impossible even to intervene in Darfur. Only after Bush's legacy has been scraped down to bare metal can one start again.


Is that will there now in either Democratic leadership or the American people? It is not. And the fact that it isn't is not the fault of the "abject pacifists." It's the fault of the warriors. It's because of Iraq. The war in Iraq is why we "missed" Darfur, a moral error that your magazine (under new editorship) recently lamented. And the war in Iraq looms over our national future. I fear that it renders the grand visions for liberal internationalism that you and I share useless nullities, for a generation, maybe more. That is the tragedy of Iraq; that's why I dwelt, and dwell, on it. And I tremble with fear—not for "my" side, but for the country and the world—that, should a Bush administration and an Iraq come around again, we will have forgotten everything I just said.

John Kerry agrees with Tomasky. The Boston Globe reports:

By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | June 14, 2006 -- WASHINGTON -- Senator John F. Kerry is placing himself at the center of congressional action over the war in Iraq this week with a crisply worded resolution to require President Bush to withdraw almost all US troops by the end of this year. The measure has exposed Kerry to attacks from Republicans and some Democrats, as critics rushed to tag the plan as a "cut-and-run" strategy. But it also has made him a rallying point for antiwar activists. ... "My friends, war is no excuse for its own perpetuation," Kerry said before a group of cheering liberal activists who had gathered in Washington yesterday for a "Take Back America" conference. "It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake -- to say the simple words that contain more truth than pride. . . . It was wrong and I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi war resolution."

A New York Times article indicates that the Beinart-Tomasky debate, far from being academic, is actually the central issue dividing Democratic National security policy as reflected in the differences between Hillary Clinton (cast in the role as Beinart) and Barney Frank, John Murtha and Nancy Pelosi (and now Kerry) as the collective Tomasky.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, faced boos and shouts of "bring them home" from an audience of liberal Democrats here on Tuesday as she argued against setting a deadline, wading into what she called a "difficult conversation." Thirty minutes later, the same crowd applauded wildly as Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, the party's 2004 presidential candidate, implored the Senate to back his call for a six-month deadline for withdrawal, and said he regretted his initial support for the war.

Tomasky may be right though not for the reasons he thinks, when he says that "the war in Iraq ... renders the grand visions for liberal internationalism that you and I share useless nullities, for a generation, maybe more." Liberal internationalism faces what might be called the "body disposal problem". Post-Saddam Iraq, with it's  internationally recognized government, constitutes an embarassing counterexample of what liberal internationalism has declared impossible to achieve. A President John Kerry would have to brazen out any invitations to Baghdad, pretending not to recognize that he is visiting a government he had done everything in his power to strangle in its crib. Even a semi-successful Iraq will have the same terrifying effect on liberal internationalism as the collapse of the Berlin Wall had on the "permanent stability" of the Cold War. The only way around the guilt of wishing Iraq to fail is to assure oneself that it was never possible for it to succeed in the first place. But it's inconvenient and one sympathizes with Tomasky's desire to make it all go away.

Unfortunately, there are even more bodies lying around defying disposal, and the most prominent of these is the decaying corpse of the Cold War world. Niall Ferguson in the Opinion Journal is not even sure of the survival of American power in the face of growing global chaos. He argues that in a world where America has "feet of clay"; "Old Europe" grows older; China faces its coming economic and demographic crisis; and Islam proves that it is only capable of fighting itself -- it will not be a question of supporting "powerful international institutions" but finding any effective institutions that will work at all.

The defining characteristic of our age is not a shift of power upward to supranational institutions, but downward. If free flows of information and factors of production have empowered multinational corporations and NGOs (to say nothing of evangelistic cults of all denominations), the free flow of destructive technology has empowered criminal organizations and terrorist cells, the Viking raiders of our time. These can operate wherever they choose, from Hamburg to Gaza. By contrast, the writ of the international community is not global. It is, in fact, increasingly confined to a few strategic cities such as Kabul and Sarajevo.

Tigerhawk points out that Pew research data showing a decline in public support for the War on Terror in Western Europe counterintuitively suggests it actually grew more popular from 2003 to 2006 in "frontline" countries.

Country 2003 2006
Jordan 2% 16%
Indonesia 23% 39%
Pakistan 16% 30%
Russia 51% 52%
India n/a 65%


The question of whether "liberal internationalism" really reflects the aspirations of the Third World and isn't largely implicitly and perhaps unconsciously Western European in orientation requires going back to the Second World War, which was welcomed in its way by independence movements throughout the Third World as ringing the death-knell of European empire. Support for Hitler in the Middle East was far from trivial; and many Asian "nationalists" immediately came forward to collaborate with the invading Japanese. If the Second World War were run to the same popularity standards as the GWOT the results would probably not be very flattering to Europe. The Atlantic Alliance was started by a rather exclusive club and while that does not invalidate it, it would be well to remember its provenance in a world where India is poised to overtake France.

The Beinart-Tomasky debate falsely revolves around the issue of Iraq when in fact it should revolve around whether the liberals have a strategy for dealing with the growing chaos and dysfunction in the Third World of which radical Islamism is simply an instance. Iraq only seems central to the debate because it has precipitated a crisis within liberal internationalism that can no longer be ignored. The world that gave rise to the Cold War; that gave international institutions "legitimacy"; the bipolar power alignments that made these institutions effective -- all of it -- is fading away. Long after George W. Bush's presidency is over the question will remain: can liberals and only liberals fight the global war on terror and make America great again?


Blogger TigerHawk said...

The problem with Beinart's wish -- and it seems to me that is exactly what it is -- that liberals adopt their own strategy for fighting the jihad is that too many on the left do not believe in fighting. They believe that if we had a sufficiently submissive foreign policy and a suffficiently humane and "sustainable" economic system, nobody would struggle against us. Vietnam never had a beef with the United States. The war was purely of our own neo-colonialist creation. Ho, after all, quoted Thomas Jefferson.

So it is with the jihad. It is all blowback, and the solution to it all, according to the left, is to urinate submissively and then roll over.

If you don't value what you have, you are unwilling to confront the people who want to take it away from you.

I can imagine all sorts of smart things that I wish the Bush administration would do, and that perhaps a Democrat might think of doing. The problem is, there is simply no stomach on the left for the fight. That is why we increasingly see lefty bloggers and blog commenters claim that the threat of al Qaeda has been massively inflated. Not that it is today massively inflated, but that it always has been. What about September 11? A lucky hit, they say. Won't happen again.

Why do they say that not only is al Qaeda not a threat today, but that it never has been? Because if the threat of al Qaeda has diminished, somebody would have to get the credit for that...

6/14/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

I agree with Tigerhawk. I've just finished Bruce Bawer's "While Europe Slept" and he makes a point to note the difference between going to war to stop tyranny -- his description of American conceptions of just policies -- and tolerating tyranny to stop war -- his description of the European policy prescription. It seems that while the US learned the necessity of stopping tyranny in WWII, Europe, surrounded by its own devastation, instead learned that war, all wars, any war, is never the answer to anything.

Reading the book, I was struck by how much the attitudes of the domestic Left in the US could be called "Euro-light": these same understandings of the nature of war and tyranny seem to underlie the Democrats' problem in finding a policy.

A desire to stop war at all costs can all quickly degrade into self-flagellation. After all, war is caused by disagreements, which are created when people are unhappy. If people are unhappy, life must not be fair. If life isn't fair, then income needs to be redistributed, or opportunity isn't even, or something we are doing is causing unhappiness.

6/14/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger joe shropshire said...

What the hell does any of this have to do with virtue? Look: the impulse to fight and the impulse to flee are about equally strong, and there's no rational argument between them: they make war, and one or the other wins. So if I am so cursed as to be President of the United States when a real shooting war breaks out I am going to want to set up as far as possible from my own shores, so that if the impulse to flee wins out it has farther to run. Not much, but you do the best you can with what you have.

6/14/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger showhank said...

Interestingly I was reading Fjordman's new essay "Revenge of Marxism" and while researching Antonio Gramsci came across the following line in Wikipedia:

Gramsci warns against the state-worship that results from identifying political society with civil society, as was done by the Jacobins and Fascists. He believes the proletariat's historical task is to create a 'regulated society' and defines the 'withering away of the state' as the full development of civil society's ability to regulate itself.

The last part got me thinking about the idea repeated here at Belmont that the biggest problem with the world is failed states. Could the cultural Marxist have set in place a chain of events we are only witnessing come to fruition today? Are we witnessing the cultural hegemony sought by Gramci?

6/14/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


I had a long discussion with someone who grew up on a farm and remarked that most city folk have forgotten that we're part of the food chain. It's ugly, I will admit, to be acknowledge our animal nature and we're often sorry to be reminded of it.

Necessity inconveniently teaches us humility and honesty, and whether we lose our job or get attacked in bed the time comes when we have to become, in essence like the other person and do what we must in order to survive. Why are Beinart and Tomsky having this conversation? Because they can.

6/14/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

i agree with th too but would add that many on that side hold views that are best described as muddled. for example, just the other night i witnessed a couple of dyed-in-the-wool young liberal attorneys switch from their "profound concerns about the erosion of civil liberties under this administration" in one breath, to the fact that instread of sending the military we should conduct the entire WOT with clandestine teams of special forces whose activities and very existence we would then be able to plausibly deny. i.e. death squads.

6/14/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

The Left, or to be more precise, Liberalism, cannot fight and defeat the Daemon that is Militan Islam until it exorcises the daemons within. The Self-Destructive elements within the Political Left in the West prevent it from being able to properly address the problems we now face. Unless the Left reforms itself, it cannot hope to achieve victory.

"And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna..."

6/14/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

I would like the Left on "my" side and often wondered why, when US troops could enlist, Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims as allies, why it wasn't possibe to win over the Berkely crowd? I mean if you can have the left on your side then why not?

Then I realized that the inestimable advantage of Iraq was that it made facts inescapable. As in "if I raise my head above the sill it gets blown off". Darwin was present in person.

Keeping most of the world safe made it possible for the Left to believe in Pink Elephant repellant powder. The proof of it's efficacy lay in that there were no Pink Elephants about, ergo it worked. The UN was a success because, see, the subway trains are running.

But the cure for fantasy comes at too high a price. Is there some way of disabusing people of their illusions without getting everyone in trouble? If words won't do it and experience is too painful, what's left? If there was way out of this, someone would have patented it by now.

6/14/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Liberalism and the Left have never come to terms with Clarence Darrow’s defense of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. For that matter, Liberalism and the Left have never come to terms with Clarence Darrow’s defense of lynching in open court during the Massie Affair. After all, it is the cause of the social reformer to accuse his society of ills, not defend his society against idiotic social reformers. In defense of a couple of spoiled brats, Clarence Darrow would put America on trial for its social ills, as if anybody other than Leopold and Loeb were responsible for the death of Bobby Franks. In al-Qaeda, we are facing the barbarity of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb writ large. And they call it “Islam”.

Al-Qaeda can’t be reasoned with. Non-violence doesn’t work against them. The Left has conceded that ever since September 11, for the Left never even tried nonviolent demonstrations against the terrorists! They only demonstrate against America, for they are social reformers who will only demonstrate when they think someone is listening.

America has won so many victories seemingly without effort the idea of victory itself can seem difficult to savor. And given the disgusting and pathetic nature of our enemy, it hardly seems to be worth the effort to defeat them if it gives us no laurels in the process. The old Marxists would have called our enemies what they really are – feudal ruffians funded by petroleum rent who seek to impose their oriental despotism and patriarchal satrapy onto the rest of the world.

In the long run, while we can win our military victories, we must live our lives as we see fit and be better than those who seek our destruction. Any victory over our enemies would feel like a defeat if it means that the energy we put into defeating them prevents us from becoming what we truly want to become. If this war keeps us achieving some great enterprise we would otherwise have achieved, our enemies will point to our lack of achievement as their own achievement, for they apparently think they have nothing else in their pitiful pathetic lives to be proud of otherwise.

That is the hope for liberalism. If liberalism can show us that we can fight the war not only abroad, but fight the war at home through making our society better, there is hope for liberalism. Sadly, this isn’t likely.

In the meantime…

Life is good
People are weeping on al-Jazeera
Imagine how bad life would be
If they had something to celebrate

6/14/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

One of the extremely depressing aspects of this war is the pathetic nature of the people we are fighting.

I’ll quote an Arab commentator referred to by Iraq the Model:

“We don't know for sure but we see that our enemies are so happy that he's killed and that is what makes me feel sad for his death.”

Zeyad from Healing Iraq wrote the following:

“…every Jordanian I spoke to thinks that Zarqawi is a martyr. One taxi driver frankly told me that one should not rejoice over Zarqawi's death, for one simple reason: Americans and Iraqis are happy about it.”

In other words, our enemies construct their entire lives around how we feel. Think about it. If the world is going well for us, they feel gloomy. If something if going wrong for us, they feel happy. With such people, the only thing we could ever do to make them happy would be to die a gruesome death, preferably with as much pain and suffering as possible. For them, even raping us isn’t good enough. Oh no, it must be prolonged as long as possible and become a shared experience for one’s peers, and then the victim must die.

This isn’t just Schadenfreude, but a creepy culture of losers who exalt rape above anything we would call civilized. We are facing a society that exalts the power trip at the expense of doing anything constructive in life, a society whose very hopes are grounded in the humiliation of other people, a society with no sense of self-worth other than the lust for old-fashioned conquest.

We are up against a society where people are impressed and fascinated by lopping off heads and barbaric torture, a place where self-destruction is lauded so long as the enemy can be made to suffer. We are fighting against people who are impressed with casual cruelty – they do it for fun and to impress their friends, not out of a serious interest in revenge. Al-Qaeda is a place where boys can make videos and say, “Look Mom, I’m killing an infidel!” or “Look Mom, I’m torturing a prisoner!” It’s the old relief of the Pharoah’s ceremonially clubbing his bound enemy on the head – all over again.

The problem with opposing such people is that they concede themselves to be so pathetic and so worthless that it hardly seems to be worth fighting them at all. Their threat isn’t underestimated in the least, but there is nothing of the joy one gets in defeating an enemy worth fighting. What joy is there in defeating an evil villain with merely half a dimension to his personality? What meaning can there be in prevailing against a society so utterly decadent? What triumph can be felt against spoiled brats with soft hands, soft skin, and ease of living who think they are tough when they kill children?

It doesn’t feel like victory to outwit a half-wit. And it doesn't feel like victory for a professional athlete to defeat a small child.

6/14/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Let's face it, the Left is good at smug. It is articulate, often witty and always intellectualy charming. It knows how to balance the right wine with the correct cheese and read an olive oil label. The jihadis on the other hand do not pay much attention to their chakras. They are intellectual jackels and will not read labels. They break bones with their teeth. If Princeton opens up a new college devoted to war science or Yale offers a degree program in advanced espionage and counter intelligence I may be tempted to have another look.

One diversionary observation. Thank God our host is not sorting and approving commentary and has his chakras focused on this superb forum.

6/14/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The Secret to the Suicidal Liberal Mind

Jack Wheeler
Freedom Research Foundation
Monday, Jan. 21, 2002

What do Harvard president Larry Summers, Taliban John Walker, Delta Airlines officials and the editors of the New York Times have in common with Yanomamo tribeswomen in the Amazon jungle?

To answer this question is to understand the root cause of liberal "white guilt." Lakes of ink have been splashed on newspaper, magazine and journal pages ruminating and anguishing over the bottomless guilt that pervades the liberal soul.

Paul Craig Roberts, economist and columnist, writes eloquently about the anti-white racism endemic in American universities that demonizes white males as the font of all evil. Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institute explained in the Wall Street Journal recently how white guilt empowers racist frauds such as Cornel West.

The self-loathing of the white American liberal is as well-established and documented as Einstein's Special Relativity theorems. A typical example is writer Susan Sontag's denouncement of the white race as "the cancer of human history."

A racist hatred of one's own race – auto-racism – has become a defining characteristic of the liberal mind. Yet the source of such suicidal guilt remains a mystery.

Clearly understanding what disables liberals from wanting to defend their culture is today a mortal necessity – an absolute requirement if America is to be preserved and protected from Moslem terrorists and other folk desirous of her demise.

Exploitation and Black Magic

For such understanding, we need to travel to the Amazon. Among the Yanomamo and other tribes deep in the Amazon rain forests still adhering to the ancient hunting-gathering lifestyle practiced by our Paleolithic ancestors, it is an accepted practice that when a woman gives birth, she tearfully proclaims her child to be ugly.

In a loud, mortified lament that the entire tribe can hear, she asks why the gods have cursed her with such a pathetically repulsive infant. She does this in order to ward off the envious black magic of the Evil Eye, the Mal Ojo, that would be directed at her by her fellow tribespeople if they knew how happy she was with her beautiful baby.

Anthropologists observe that for most primitive and traditional cultures, "every individual lives in constant fear of the magical aggression of others ... there is only one explanation for unforeseen events: the envious black magic of another villager."

Reflect for a moment on the extent to which tribespeople in a tribal, "primitive" culture suffuse their lives with superstition, witchcraft, sorcery, voodoo, "black magic," the "evil eye." The world for them is teeming with demons, spirits, ghosts and gods, all of whom are malicious and dangerous -- in a word, envious.

A great many, if not the majority, of tribal or traditional cultures, whether in the Amazon, Africa or the Pacific, have no concept of natural death. Death is always murder.

For the Shuara Jivaro of the eastern Amazon, the first tribe I ever stayed with, there are three ways to die: actual murder (such as a spear through your stomach); demon-murder (accidental death, such as being killed by a falling tree in a storm or by snakebite, which the Jivaros see as perpetrated by a demon); or witchcraft murder (death by illness or unexplained causes, perpetrated by an envious sorcerer).

The Jivaro, just like the Tiv in Nigeria, the Aritama in Colombia, the Dobua in Micronesia, the Navaho in the Southwest U.S. and the tribal mind in general, attribute any illness or misfortune to the envious black magic of a personal enemy.

Envy is the source of tribal and traditional cultures' belief in Black Magic, the fear of the envious Evil Eye.

The fundamental reason why certain cultures remain static and never evolve (e.g., present-day villages in Egypt and India that have stayed pretty much the same for millennia) is the overwhelming extent to which the lives of the people within them are dominated by envy and envy avoidance: as anthropologists call it, the envy barrier.

For the Mambwe in Zambia, for example, "successful men are regarded as sinister, supernatural and dangerous." In Mexican villages, "fear of other people's envy determines every detail of life, every proposed action."

Members of a Hispanic "ghetto" in a community in Colorado "equate success with betrayal of the group; whoever works his way up socially and economically is regarded as a 'man who has sold himself to the Anglos,' someone 'who climbs on the backs of his own people.' "

It is an ultimate irony of modern times that left-wing Marxist-type intellectuals consider themselves to be in the progressive vanguard of sophisticated contemporary thought -- when in reality their thinking is nothing but an atavism, a regression to a primitive tribal mentality. What the Left calls "exploitation" is what anthropologists call "black magic."

As sociologist Helmut Schoeck summarizes in his seminal work, "Envy: A Theory of Human Behavior" (and who collected the above anthropologists' observations):

A self-pitying inclination to contemplate another's superiority or advantages, combined with a vague belief in his being the cause of one's own deprivation, is also to be found among educated members of our modern societies who really ought to know better. The primitive people's belief in black magic differs little from modern ideas. Whereas the socialist believes himself robbed by the employer, just as the politician in a developing country believes himself robbed by the industrial countries, so primitive man believes himself robbed by his neighbor, the latter having succeeded by black magic in spiriting away to his own fields part of the former's harvest.

The primitive atavism of left-wing bromides like "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is best illustrated by arguing that one can be healthy only at the expense of others. That in order to be in superior health, bursting with energy and vitality, one has to make someone else sick or in poor health -- just as in order to be rich you have to make others poor.

The healthy are healthy because they unjustly exploited and ripped off the sick, spiriting away the sick's fair share of health with black magic. In fact, the sick are sick because the healthy are healthy. If this is absurd, then claiming the poor are poor because they have been exploited by the rich is equally absurd.

Fear of Being Envied

Pandering to the envious, and intimidating those who are afraid of them, has been the path to power of all modern demagogues, from Lenin and Hitler to Yassir Arafat and Osama bin Laden.

The three great political pathologies of the 20th century are all religions of envy: Nazism, preaching race envy toward "rich, exploitative Jews"; Communism, preaching class envy toward the "rich, exploitative bourgeoisie"; and Moslem terrorism, preaching culture envy toward the "rich, exploitative West."

Envy-mongering has always been and continues to be the underlying strategy of all variants of the political Left, such as the Democratic Party. What a Yanomamo woman calls "black magic" and a Marxist professor at Harvard calls "exploitation," Tom Daschle calls "tax break for the rich."

So here we discover the secret fear at the source of the suicidal liberal mind. It is envy that makes a Nazi, a Communist or a terrorist. It is the fear of being envied that makes a liberal and is the source of "liberal guilt."

This is most easily seen in the children of wealthy parents. Successful businessmen, for example, who have made it on their own normally have a respect for the effort and the economic system that makes success possible.

Their children, who have not had to work for it, are easier targets for guilt-mongering by the envious. So they assume a posture of liberal compassion as an envy-deflection device: "Please don't envy me for my father's money -- look at all the liberal causes and government social programs I advocate!"

Teddy Kennedy is the archetype of this phenomenon.

This is also why Hollywood is so liberal. The vast amounts of money movie stars make is so grossly disproportionate to the effort it took them to make it that they feel it is unearned. So they apologize for it. The liberal's strategy is to apologize for his success in order to appease the envious.

Liberalism is thus not a political ideology or set of beliefs. It is an envy-deflection device, a psychological strategy to avoid being envied.

Then there are those who are terrified of envy even though they have earned success themselves. Many Jews are liberals because such lethal envy has been directed at Jews for so many centuries that it is little wonder they consider avoiding envy to be a necessity of life.

One definitive characteristic of both envy and the fear of it is masochism. Envy is not simply hatred of someone for having something you don't -- it is the willingness to masochistically give up any chance of ever having that something yourself as long as the person you are envious of doesn't get to have it either.

Similarly, the more one fears being envied, the more one is driven to masochistic self-humiliation in attempts at envy appeasement.

The Masochism of Liberals

It is possible to perceive the passions of the Left as frenzies of masochism. What could be more idiotic and masochistic than to oppose missile defense? This opposition cannot be understood unless one dispenses with its rhetoric and rationales and realizes that these folks at their emotional core do not want their country defended.

The lunacy of the "global warming" hoax cannot be comprehended other than that its masochistic advocates do not want their civilization to prosper. The culture-destroying immigration policies that Pat Buchanan warns are causing "The Death of the West" were put in place by those who do not want their culture to survive.

The lethality of liberal envy appeasement is that personally felt guilt is projected onto the various social or tribal collectives to which the liberal belongs and are a part of his self-identity. Self-loathing is transformed into a loathing of one's society or race.

White male liberals become auto-racist and auto-sexist: racist toward their own race, sexist toward their own sex. Dime-store demagogues like eco-fascist environmentalists, feminazis, animal and homosexual rights types, race hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton all get their strength from the liberals' fear of their Evil Eyes.

As the Amazon tribeswoman who says her baby is ugly, so the white male liberal says his gender, his race, his country, his civilization and even his entire species is ugly.

I began to realize how liberal envy appeasement is the root of the problem when I was speaking at colleges back in the 1980s about anti-Soviet resistance movements in Soviet colonies such as Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique and Afghanistan.

Students would invariably turn a discussion of Soviet imperialism into an assertion of moral equivalence between the USA and the USSR: "How can you criticize the Soviets when we're just as bad? What about what we did to the Indians?" I would be asked.

"I haven't done anything to the Indians," I replied. "What have you done to them?"

"But we stole their land!"

"OK -- let's give it back. And let's start with your property. To what tribe do you want your family's home to go? What tribe gets your stereo?"

Once I couldn't stand being heckled by a particularly loud and petulant student leftist any longer. I lost my temper and said to him: "Look, man, if you're into masochism, find some chick with long black hair who's into whips and chains and have her beat the hell out of you. Just don't take it out on your country."

Rejecting Envy

The future of our economy, our culture and our civilization depends on an antidote to the corrosive social poisons of envy and envy appeasement. That antidote was first provided by Aristotle in the 4th century bc.

The antidote to envy is emulation.

In the "Rhetoric" (ca. 350 bc), Aristotle distinguishes the two: "Zelos, emulation, is a good thing and characteristic of good people, while phthonos, envy, is bad and characteristic of the bad; for the former, through emulation, are making an effort to attain good things for themselves, while the latter, through envy, try to prevent their neighbors from having them." ("Rhetoric," 2.10.1)

Aristotle invokes the ancient wisdom of his 8th century (bc) predecessor Hesiod:

There is not one kind of Eris (Strife), but all over the earth there are two. One fosters evil war and battle, being cruel. The other is the elder daughter of dark Night, and she is far kinder to men. She stirs up even the shiftless to toil. For a man grows eager to work when he considers his neighbor, a rich man who hastens to plough and plant and put his house in good order. Thus neighbor vies with neighbor to hurry after wealth. This Strife is wholesome for men. ("Works and Days," 11-24)

Aristotle concludes that "Whereas phthonos, envy, is censured because it seeks to harm another, zelos, emulation, is praised because it encourages a person to attain excellence on his own merits." ("Rhetoric," 2.11.1)

Fear of envy is very deep-seated in the human psyche. It can prevent a culture from progressing for thousands of years. Only a youthful culture full of vigor and confidence can shrug it off, enabling that culture to flourish. The road to cultural ruin lies in the fear of envy reasserting itself from the primordial depths.

America once had that youth, vigor and confidence, culminating in history's single greatest achievement, putting a man on the moon.

After the triply debilitating debacles of Vietnam, Watergate and Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan resurrected America's self-confidence, with America's resultant victory in the Cold War.

Yet America lost her way once more, indulging in a cultural debauch epitomized by the Clintons. America's response to the atrocity of Sept. 11 provided overwhelming evidence that her reserves of vitality and self-assurance remain abundant.

Those reserves are nonetheless depleted. America's most elite universities have degenerated into fascist cesspools of envy appeasement. They survive only on the inertia of their prestige. Delta and other airlines compromise passenger security by harassing people at random rather than racially profiling Arab and other Moslem men.

Indeed, the entire phenomenon of political correctness -- perhaps best exemplified by the New York Times editorial page -- is nothing but a massive exercise in envy appeasement.

One of the most positive results of Sept. 11 is that it has made the American people mad enough to reject envy. They now could care less if Moslems or the French or whomever are envious of them. That rejection must now be applied to the envy panderers and envy appeasers within America herself.

Rejecting envy is the key to preventing "The Death of the West," the key for America to continue to prosper. I suggest that this rejection begin with you.

Fear of the Evil Eye is the only thing that gives the Evil Eye any power. Without fear of it, the Evil Eye is impotent. So, the next time Evil Eyes are directed at you and demand you apologize for your existence, you might suggest that they indulge in S&M by themselves and leave you out of it.

6/14/2006 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

All that said, judging by the changing atmospherics coming out of the Iranians--the death of Zharqawi --the take down of his network -- and the formation of the new government -- has changed things significantly in Iraq.

6/14/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Alexis, that is one hell of a post. Right on the mark.

6/14/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Charles, great article.

6/15/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

(Thanks, Alexis and Charles, for extraordinary posts. I’ve expanded & revised some thoughts I posted some weeks ago.)

Tomasky suggests that the U.S. has fatally poisoned any possible moral position by our actions in Iraq. Even if he were to allow this is also true of our actions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he is either a moron or a festering liar.

Muslim fanatics have been slaughtering their opponents, non-Islamic And co-religionists, since Mohammed the Prophet walked the soil of Medina.

Definition: “Dar al-harb” - areas where Muslims are in the minority. House of War
Definition: “Dar al-Islam” — the house of submission or the house of God; the territories where Shari’ah rules Muslim communities.
Definition: “Dar al-Kufr” — abode of disbelief , prompting Da’wah (calling to Islam)

With the passage of time and the revelations of captured documents and intercepted communications, it has come to light that many of the current crop of Jihadi terrorists operating in Iraq and Afghanistan participated in massacres in the former Yugoslavia, Jordan, the Philppines, Indonesia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and various African nations. It would be fascinating to know from the various posters if any can identify a moment when they “turned” — i.e., saw clearly for the first time that the Islamic terrorists are beyond any human covenant and must be dealt with not with hatred, but with the passionless dispatch needed for dealing with a rabies-infected animal approaching your children.

On several occasions I’ve posted some blather that most of us in the Western industrialized democracies simply have no grasp of the way most of the rest of the world lives — gramma slowly dying of cancer in the living room while mom cooks dinner over a wood fire, the kids assemble tennis shoe uppers for the local Nike subcontractor, and the goats nibble at straws poking out of the mud and dung walls.

On further reflection, I see I’ve been an idiot. If that cultural gulf were actually the basis of *our* conflicts with terrorists, then we should expect to be in conflict with terrorists being spawned by every impoverished third-world culture on the globe. That is precisely the racist stereotyping that many people in America use to discount the vast majority of decent, law-abiding residents of American inner-city ghettos. And of course, no such thing is happening.

It seems redundant to point out that the Prophet Mohammed during his lifetime commanded numerous military assaults on those who opposed his vision, routinely ordering summary executions of captives. In the first three decades after his death, the leadership of the new religion changed hands several times, with each new leader ascending by assassinating his predecessor. By 732— a scant century after the death of Muhammed — Islam had already been spread by military onslaught from the Arabian Peninsula north into Turkey and Syria, and west across North Africa. That year an Arab Islamic army of invasion moving into France from the Iberian Peninsula was turned back by Charles Martel and his Frankish armies at the Battle of Tours (Poitiers). What we are experiencing in this time is simply the continuation of Islamic expansion of Dar al Islam by the subjugation of Dar al Harb, which has been in progress for some fourteen centuries.

It is finally undeniable that totalitarian barbarity of Islamic Jihadism is a defining characteristic of Islam, cropping up wherever a significant Islamic population has arisen within a non-Islamic culture. The most casual scan of weekly news from around the globe shows that Islamic terrorists are busy murdering, shooting, stabbing, raping, hacking, exploding, maiming, torturing, beheading, and generally abusing Hindus in New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Srinagar and Pakistan, Animists and Christians in Darfur, Coptics in Egypt, Zoroastrians and followers of Baha’u’llah in Persia, Jews, Catholics, Episcopalians, Scientologists, New Age adherents of Edgar Cayce, Baptists, agnostics, atheists, journalists, grocers, and Liberal Democrats everywhere else.

But we must remember they are “equal-opportunity” terrorists, murdering fellow Muslims in even greater numbers, to intimidate them into submission.

Almost any culture can steer some of its own to extremist attitudes and behavior — America has had its share of Unabombers and Timothy McVeigh’s. But Islamic terrorism, Jihad, the barbarity that defines Shariah — these have returned to the fore as the Islamic Arab cultures wallow in the greatest abundance, wealth and power they have ever known, from the sale of their oil at prices very much controlled by their own cartel OPEC.

Meanwhile, do they use this wealth to create, to educate themselves, to become self-sufficient? While some of the oil wealth has been applied to construction projects, the arab states have mostly become massive welfare societies, hiring (and brutalizing) alien nationals to do their menial jobs, electing Koranic studies rather than engineering degrees. Farouk El-Baz, member of the US National Academy of Engineering, points out that “during the past two decades, South Korea registered in the US over 44 times the number of patents from all Arab countries combined...” and “ ... the number of books translated in all 22 Arab countries is equal to one-fifth of those translated into Greek.” (

This is monstrously perverse.

The Left excuse contemporary Islamic terror as being no more than the manifestation of justifiable resentment at the Christian European Crusades and colonial oppression. In fact, the crusades were the attempt to liberate Jerusalem from Islamic conquerors who had occupied lands holy to Chrisians and Jews living there many centuries before Islam existed. The Crusades were initiated after the Muslims barred Christian pilgrims from visiting Jerusalem.

With that admittedly foreshortened history, I am not denying the many faults of Western civilization, just pointing out Islam is NOT a religion of peace, but one which exalts war, not persuasion, nor the example of a life well-lived, as the tool of choice for expansion.

The tragedy of Islam is that it holds hostage the vast potential of the subdued population. A Shayk is any man who has memorized the Qur’an, and this man commands more respect and authority than a plumber, or a farmer, or a doctor, or a mathematician, or a pharmacist, or a physicist. Ironically, while Europe was prostrate for centuries following the collapse of Rome, Islamic cultures bloomed. Astronomy, mathematics, medicine, poetry, mechanical invention, architecture, and most of the better-known pursuits of civilization advanced and flourished.

I say “ironically” because it seems that this situation seems to only have prevailed when Islam dominates all other faiths within its domains. In the present era, the Jihadists haven't the wit to build the forges to make the blades they use to saw their victims’ necks.

6/15/2006 02:08:00 AM  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

[L]iberals [read: Leftists]... support powerful international institutions—as they did at the dawn of the Cold War— ...because we do not want [America to have] unrestrained power...

Tigerhawk is oh-so correct. America would have little motive for seeking the power Pinkocrats (of all parties) pretend to fear so much if more of the other nations of the West would pick themselves up and do their share of the heavy lifting. Sheesh! The "unrestrained power" the pinkocrat chattering classes fret so much about is nothing other than the Little Red Hen's "power" to choose who gets to eat the bread. (Duh!)

6/15/2006 02:12:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Chester notes: It seems that while the US learned the necessity of stopping tyranny in WWII, Europe, surrounded by its own devastation, instead learned that war... any war, is never the answer to anything. Reading the book, I was struck by how much the attitudes of the domestic Left in the US could be called "Euro-light": these same understandings of the nature of war and tyranny seem to underlie the Democrats' problem in finding a policy.

Very true. But, the US has essentially protected Europe via NATO - with little monetary cost to Europeans. Hence, for the moment they can live the high life and be limousine liberals akin to the Hollywood types - but, only for a limited time.

Twenty-One-Sixty-Fourth said: Let's face it, the Left is good at smug. It is articulate, often witty and always intellectually charming. It knows how to balance the right wine with the correct cheese and read an olive oil label. The jihadis on the other hand do not pay much attention to their chakras. They are intellectual jackels and will not read labels. They break bones...

No doubt about it. I suspect Europe will have an unpleasant bone-braking experience in the near future – unless Uncle Sam gives them a helping hand.

Charles writes: Envy-mongering has always been and continues to be the underlying strategy of all variants of the political Left, such as the Democratic Party...

I agree. If Envy-mongering can be done with skill it works effectively.

This can take the form "My Lia" syndrome where military power can be used as a weapon against successful military countries. This can be done from within - such as John Kerry’s Winter Soldier - or with help from outside. The key is proper execution.

I believe Murtha is trying to use a page out of Kerry's play book to sucessfully promote his own agenda via a variation of Envy-mongering.

At first blush it would seem to be a futile reenactment of an old trick.

But, Murtha has a Rove-like-twin-brother pulling the levers behind the curtain that could place him in the Majority Leaders seat. That makes Murtha quite confident [1].

Let’s take a look at some interesting facts:

John Murtha’s older brother Bill Murtha runs an obscure but powerful lobbing firm called KSA [2]. John Murtha has a fairly successful – yet murky military record, which accounts for some of political success.

But, his brother Bill is the brains behind the operation (plus his other brother Robert Murtha).

John Murtha also heads the powerful House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

John Murtha never misses a chance to disparage the President. “Our soldiers don’t have armored Humvees or enough body armor - But, you can buy them from my brother. He has lots of contacts in the defense industry…” The old, "I win or you lose game."

Too soften up the adversary John Murtha required some “sensitivity training" for the troops – and a mosque at Quantico. Thas can have lasting benefits for Murtha (ever mistake by our troops is another PR plus).

Now to pull-off another "My Lai" smear job, John Murtha needs a sensational story, some pictures, a hand full of “stress-out civilian killing Marines” in chains sitting in the clanger [3]. And a few contacts in the military. He has got them all (thanks to the MSM and his family).

Aside from his vast military contacts via his seat on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, his military career yields some answers (although it is somewhat opaque).

John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr …rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia [4].

...Other operational tours as a squadron pilot were served at
MCAS Tustin [4a], California
[Camp Pendleton is in Ocean Side CA just south of the decommissioned Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, CA. see note 5]

One would guess John Murtha has old contacts from his MCAS days in Tustin who now work in at Camp Pendleton (which also has helicopter and fixed wing air training). Thus, one would guess John Murtha is exerting some type of political control and getting some information on the “guilty cold blooded murders” who yet to be charged with a crime.

As for the poor guys caught in this power play Michelle Malkin writes:

“...There are seven young Marines and a Navy corpsman sitting in a military brig right now in leg and wrist shackles -- despite the fact that they've not been charged with any crime?

“The men are in solitary confinement, locked in 8'x8' cells at San Diego's Camp Pendleton, as investigators probe an April 26 incident involving the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. They are behind bars 23 hours a day; family members can only see them through inch-thick Plexiglas. Military blabbermouths have told the press that the service members are suspected of kidnapping and shooting a man in the Iraqi town of Hamdaniya. The Iraqi man's family reportedly came forward seeking payment for his death

One wonders how much political pressure Murtha and Co., are putting on these guys to make them do the “My Lai” perp walk. It’s disgusting to think about.

1. When I first heard that, I thought it was a joke, but evidently it is for real.

2. Lobbyist's Brother Guided House Bill: A family member's ties to special interests raise questions in the case of Democrat John Murtha

3. Could Murtha have been thinking about a possible ethics investigation when he decided to throw himself into the public limelight last week?

4. See: Wikipedia

4a. See: MCAS Tustin, CA

5. See: Camp Pendleton

6. THE CAMP PENDLETON 8, Michelle Malkin

6/15/2006 03:21:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/15/2006 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

It is often noted that the Left, with such doctrines as multiculturalism and general "anti-American" sentiments is "opposed to Western Civilization." If that is the case, I'm wondering what it is, specifically, that people here feel is the fundamental characteristic of Western Civilization that leads to this hatred. That is, what specifically about the West is so disdained and what is it about the left that produces this apparent self-loathing? "Western Civilization" is a really big idea, one which includes Marxism and multi-culturalism itself. Frequently, I find myself thinking that describing someone as simply being "against" Western Civilization is all-together entirely too vague and nebulous.

Personally, I'm a little bit skeptical of Tigerhawk's formulation that the "solution to it all, according to the left, is to urinate submissively and then roll over." The reason I'm skeptical of this is that it's not the solution "according to the left" that I've ever explicitly heard. That is merely an interpretation or an attribution of attitude or mind-set.

My primary sense is that the Left doesn't seem to think that this conflict is really all that serious nor much of a threat. They seem more dismissive than submissive. When they do play up the threat, it seems purely to revolve around political aims: "Bush is making things worse! Bush is doing it all wrong!" They get very heated about this and then seem to bounce back into a dismissive mode towards what some here would call "islamofascism."

6/15/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

There are many reasons wny the Left cannot fight the War - or any war, really, but I think that its most basic problem is that they refuse to endorse, promote, or hold in any kind of regard the kinds of skills and professions required to fight the war.

This relates back to the fact that they just don't "do" that kind of stuff. From mechanical engineering to rifle marksmanship, from program management to rocket science, they just don't do it, any of it. Their idea of a brtually effective weapon is a can of mace in a purse. Their concept of effective strategy is a sharp crack during a faculty lounge discussion. Their idea of a grevious war wound is paper cut - or perhaps spilling McDonald's coffee in your lap.

The "Me" decade of the 70's never ended for them. They think so much of themselves the idea of someone being more competant at something more important is beyond their ken.

6/15/2006 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/15/2006 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


I think it's important to note that the left you're speaking of is a very limited slice, mostly simply the contemporary western left. Clearly, the left has been willing to train, to fight, and to sacrifice themselves and others with great zeal

6/15/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

James K: Yes, you are right. I recall back in the 60's foreigners commenting on the entirely different behavior of the polite, well groomed Soviets they encountered versus the unkempt, foul-mouthed examples of Leftists in the West. The same could be said of their attitudes about personal competence and ability. Over at Ranting Profs, she has commented on how many of the Jihadists going to school in the West are majoring in engineering. How many non-foreign engineer leftists do you know of? Ted Kazinksy learned just enough engineering to learn how to blow up engineers.

But those polite, well groomed, but ruthless foreign types we whipped, but good. And perhaps that is another reason why the Western Left denigates that kind of expertise: their side is just not good enough at it to prevail.

6/15/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rwe, It is not the "left" that is failing, it's all of US, at a Federal level.
Or at least that is what VDH says, today.

"... Instead, he insisted that a citizen who lived in a consensual society should not pick and choose which laws he finds convenient to obey.

Selective compliance, Socrates warned, would undermine the moral integrity of the entire legal system, ensuring anarchy. And so, as Plato tells us, the philosopher accepted the court's death sentence and drank the deadly hemlock. ...

...breaking the immigration law is not really civil disobedience but, typically, an expression of jaded self-interest by workers, employers and government officials.

Nevertheless, what distinguishes the U.S. from nations in the Middle East, Africa and, yes, Mexico is the sanctity of our legal system. The terrain of Mexico may be indistinguishable from the landscape across the border in the U.S. But when it comes to the law, there is a grand canyon between us. ...

...Yet once we as a nation choose to ignore our keystone laws of sovereignty and citizenship, the entire edifice of a once unimpeachable legal system will collapse. Ironically, we would then become no different from those nations whose citizens are now fleeing to our own shores to escape the wages of lawlessness.

That worry is why Socrates, 2,400 years ago, taught us that the deliberate violation of the rule of law would have been worse for ancient Athens even than losing its greatest philosopher. "

But what would VDH or Socrates really know?

6/15/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Speaking first, Lovato declared that he had problems with the words "civil rights." Why? In part because that phrase had been used by black Americans half a century ago - it was their term. But mostly, he continued, the term is inapt because today "a lot of the members of the movement were political revolutionaries in countries such as Nicaragua and El Salvador." And that's why, he concluded, "this is not just a civil rights movement - this is the northernmost expression of a continental rights movement."

Got that? This is "the northernmost expression of a continental rights movement" led by "political revolutionaries" from Nicaragua and El Salvador. ..."

Part of a piece by James P. Pinkerton
"'Movimiento' aims to take back America"
, in Newsday.

6/15/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

james kielland 5:06

My primary sense is that the Left doesn't seem to think that this conflict is really all that serious nor much of a threat. They seem more dismissive than submissive.

That reminds me of "The Meaning of Life", where the uninvited arrival of the Grim Reaper "cast rather a gloom over the evening" at a certain dinner party. Still, for whatever reason, the Grim Reaper wasn't interested in teaching a "potentially positive learning experience". He was only interested in dispensing death.

Folks from al-Qaeda want to think of themselves as the "Grim Reaper", and folks from the Left act as the victims from Monty Python. This all suggests to me that history doesn't necessarily repeat itself first as tragedy and then as farce. Sometimes the farce comes first.

6/15/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Alexis and James K: Slide over to and read the article about the guy in Great Britain that scofs at the idea that Islamic extreamism is a real threat there.

Y'all's comments are right on target.

Michael Moore's statement that "Terrorism is not a problem because statistically your chandes of being killed in a terrorist attack are insignificant" is mainstream leftism.

My point is that they choose to believe that because they also choose to denigate the skills and lifestyles required to combat that threat - because such skills are not "of them." That is not the only reason, but it is a signficant factor. "I can't do it, so it cannot be important."

6/15/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Come on now, fellows.

The "Left" does not see the threat?
Well then neither does the "Right" nor the "Middle".

If the threat was seen, by any kind of a Majority the civilian billets for Justice and State would not be empty in Baghdad.

The search for strawmen and excuses find their usual targests, but ask these questions of yourselves,
Who briefed Mr Kline, Mr Warner and Mr Murtha, so that they all came to the conclusion that Haditha was an atrocity, committed by Marines?
Who is holding the Pendleton 8?

What leftist is briefing Congress and holding as yet unindicted Marines in solitary confinement?
Obviously pressuming the guilt of those being "investigated" by their observed actions.

Mr Jefferson, another Federal employee is "under investigation" but also uncharged. He remains free, at work and voting for his District. No shackles for Mr Jefferson.

Who is in charge of this behaviour by Federal Prosecutors, both Civil and Military?
Names and specifics are always needed, for indictments.

6/15/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

It sounds like they only have a hammer so the Liberals see all problems as a nail. The similarities between the Jihadists and the Socialists is tenuous at best. I'm curious as to the logic behind the thinking that what worked against the USSR and it's unwilling minions will work against the Jihadists.
Granted Socialism is a religion in that it requires belief that flys in the face of facts, Socialism denies that it is a religion, while Islam proclaims loudly that it is the ultimate religion. That is a major difference. Socialists were more then happy to set off bombs, but they didn't have them strapped to their waist while doing so.

6/15/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Liberals continue to misunderstand the nature of the engagement in the Cold War, treating as ascendant the diplomatic and cultural efforts that alone among the tactics employed can be construed as congruent with their overall soft socialist moralisms regarding international relations. This is a fantasy. Communism died of its own weight, incompetence, the persistent force of native internal cultures, the fact of the shallow and essentially bad soil of those localities, and the strategic postures forced upon them by the realities following World War II. Cultural influences? In the 60s? Like what - the Beatles? And the liberals, as partisans of an ideology, are allowed to claim credit for them? The entire liberal/hippy/68er perspective is wrong, wrong, wrong, a parasitism, only incidently and unexaminedly expressing the true and valid underlying sentiments of the classical liberal and simple, deapper, non-ideological characteristic of the cultures which found themselves in the ascendent at the very moment they found themselves confronting communism. Review the countries which were stricken, and you will uniformly dissary following imperial dissolution or, in the case of France, a radical and neurotically denied exhaustion. This has nothing to do with culture or diplomacy, except as the latter was an adjunct of hard military manoeuvers. Looking at these cultures in Eastern Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, it is hard to carry the argument that they were to any sufficient degree acculturated to the point of denaturing. That was the effect of communism, not evidence of the penetration of Anglo-American culture. If these idiots would simply kick the bad intellectual habit, inheritted by the magnitude of the fight against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and ramified by enduring allure of Leninist anti-Imperialism (which of course was only a means of advocating communist-Russian imperialism), of regarding all war as evil and of identical character with those regimes, they could finally begin to crawl out of the ghetto of stupidity in which they wallow.

Unfortunately, of course, this will never happen. Byzantium is no country for old, wise men.

"THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect."

- Yeats

6/15/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

What worked for the Commies will work for the Jihadists because if you kill either one of them, they are just as dead.

Latest news on Zarqawie is the lingerie of his girlfriend was found in his safe house. Really too bad we did not get to dress him in some of it before he expired. Now THAT would have made a great photo!

Then again, maybe that is what our troops were doing when he kicked off.

6/15/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... I'm writing this on behalf of my husband, who is a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. He has been deployed to Iraq three times, serving in a rifle battalion as an infantry man, and I have been with him every step of the way. ...
... ...during his second deployment, he witnessed his best friend being shot and killed by enemy gunfire. My husband was awarded the Purple Heart for combat wounds.

On this last combat tour, two months before he was to return home, my husband was sent back to the states and into pretrial confinement at the military base brig at Camp Pendleton, California. At the brig, he is under maximum security. It's unfair considering the fact that he was in Iraq (for the third time) risking his life, fighting for our country and he has not been convicted of anything. ...

...With him imprisoned and without the support of the Marine Corps, I was left to fight this fight alone. On an enlisted man's salary, I had quite a fight ahead of me.

Fortunately, one of the best lawyers that a Marine can ask for has just agreed to join me in this fight. My husband is being represented by Mr. Victor Kelley, a retired Marine officer with a history of successfully defending Marines.

As I write this, Mr. Kelley is on his way to meet with my husband. Since the Marine Corps has told us nothing, we don't know what Mr. Kelley will face when he gets there. But, we do know that he is the person to find out. Hopefully, he will able to move this process forward and gain my husband’s freedom. ..."

As if that was not enough, the Marines, according to Ms Milkin,

"... The witch hunt against the Marine who performed "Hadji Girl" continues. Military lawyers are scouring their books for a reason to punish Cpl. Joshua Belile: ..."

Jr's under 50 days, couldn't be better timing.

6/15/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Seems like this debate was the boomer child of the Cold War. Whereas there was a great deal of bipartisanship during the Cold War, a relic of WWII shared interests, the generation whose brain came to life during the Vietnam era and saw the short comings of government during the Nixon administration came to resent the vast “military industrial complex”, doubted its purpose, and soon after Reagan’s successes and the fall of the Soviet Empire, doubted that the threats that gave it purpose ever existed.

6/15/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Democrats fought the Cold War, not the left. The left opposed fighting the Cold War. The whole debate is nothing but a crock. The intellectual heirs of Alger Hiss are now taking the credit for what Democrats did, at a time they considered three quarters of the party (i.e. the voters) racist hicks. Only half of them were.

Harry Truman went into Korea with UN backing because he quickly called a vote while Stalin was boycotting the Security Council (the Commies never made that mistake again). Gee, does that make it an illegal war? Who was Secretary General, Ken Blackwell? So much for Liberal Internationalism!

As for Kerry, to call for a negotiated defeat in Iraq -- and then suggest we hang around to have our faces rubbed in it -- would be contemptible if wasn't so nutty.

6/15/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The boys at Westhawk have an
interesting update on that other bastion of "Liberal Internationalism" policy success

"... After the debacle with Task Force Ranger in October 1993, U.S. policy makers wanted to just forget about Somalia. Leon Trotsky, the revolutionary founder of the Soviet Red Army, is alleged to have said, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” There is an understandable temptation to want to avoid chaotic messes that seem completely disconnected from relevance. But chaos eventually has a way of making itself very relevant, like it or not. ..."

Westhawk have an

6/15/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yes, Somalia is terrible news. Already yesterday I listened to John Prendergast of the International Crisis Center (or something) harp continually on the "US-backed"-ness of the warlords, clearly relishing the failure of that "coalition" (i.e., if we appear to band together, we will receive - according to Prendergast - $100 - $150k a month from the USA). Although, the "only thing [he agress with the US on]" is that there are Al Qaeda among the Islamic Court militias - which is to say, he agrees with the US on the only thing that grounds US policy in the region. And then he disparaged the US some more.

Mr. Prendergast, I think, needs a labotomy.

6/15/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

One of the early cultural Marxists, Georg Lukacs, noted that “Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries.” At a meeting in Germany in 1923, “Lukacs proposed the concept of inducing “Cultural Pessimism” in order to increase the state of hopelessness and alienation in the people of the West as a necessary prerequisite for revolution.”
(HT Gates od Vienna)

For all this discussion to ring true, we would have to assume a "conspiracy" of great proportion .
Is it a disease, or is it true sedition?

6/15/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

“The concept of ‘internalized oppression’ is the same as the Hegelian-Marxist notion of ‘false consciousness,’ in which people in the subordinate groups ‘internalize’(and thus accept) the values and ways of thinking of their oppressors in the dominant groups.” “This is classic Hegelian-Marxist thinking — actions (including free speech) that ‘objectively’ harm people in a subordinate class are unjust (and should be outlawed).”

Interesting post by the Baron.

6/15/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


Communism didn't die. It morphed into Cultural Marxism.

See Political Correctness — The Revenge of Marxism at Gates of Vienna

6/15/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... The ultimate triumph of Gramscianism would mean the end of this very ‘exceptionalism.’ America would at last become Europeanized: statist, thoroughly secular, post-patriotic, and concerned with group hierarchies and group rights in which the idea of equality before the law as traditionally understood by Americans would finally be abandoned. Beneath the surface of our seemingly placid times, the ideological, political, and historical stakes are enormous.” ..."

Much as VDH said.
Guest workers, obviously create a "different class", is one solution proposed by Mr Bush and Mr McCain. Endorsed by many Democrats and leftists.

First disrespect for the Law, then seperating Society into "new" legal stratas and classes.

Mr Bush, a Post neoMarxist?
So John Fonte's comments would seem to indicate as a possible destination of the presently charted course.

"Liberal Internationalism"

6/15/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Dan & everybody --

Thanks for the link!

I'd like to say that I wrote the essay, but I didn't; it's by Fjordman. He has chosen not to be a contributor at Gates of Vienna, which means that he sends his guest-posts to me, and I post them for him. That's why they have my byline, although I credit him at the top of the post.

I wish I could claim credit for such fine work, but I can't!

I do however, get to make illustrations for his posts...

6/15/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Benj 1 said...

Glad Wretchard wouldn't mind having some help on his left side (so I ain't trying to hear his irony). One big problem with Beinart/Tomasky debate is they're locked on to the lib vs Conservative antinomy. The opposition that matters (and this has been true since, ah, Kronstadt) is small (d) democrats vs. Power-is-all types...You can see it on/in? ths ground in Iraq of course. But let's go back in time a bit...

At the risk of upsetting Tigerhawak - all blowback talk isn't empty. In the spirit of Wretchard - i.e. a faith that facts matter - I'd urge Belmont Club readers to try Stephen Kinzer’s "All the Shah's Men." His account of how the CIA overthrew Mossadegh is immensely pertinent today. It also goes directly to the argument between Beinart/Tomasky. B. could have used it to help stregthen his case. Kinzer even uses a Harry Truman line as the book's epigraph – “There’s nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” Ya'll may have noticed that Bush repeatedly invoked Truman's example in his FINE speech to the Military academy a couple weeks ago. Bush won't invoke Mossadegh's example. But anyone who cares about democracy in Iraq/Iran could and should...

Mossadegh was Iran’s first democratically elected prime minister and his “epic” battle with Britain’s imperial Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now known as British Petroleum), led Iran to nationalize its oil business. The infuriated Brits tried to overthrow Mossadegh (after taking their case to the World Court and losing). They then established a military blockade and began pressing the U.S. to make a coup. Harry Truman turned down their insistent requests. During his administration, American diplomats protested against BP’s “reactionary and outmoded” policies and dismissed the hypocritical arguments of British government officials (who refused to pick up on the logic in the musings of the Labor Party’s Ernest Bevan: “What argument can I advance against anyone claiming the right to nationalize the resources of their country. We are doing the same thing here.”) So the Brits changed their tune, pumping up fears of the Communist threat in/to Iran and downplaying narrow economic interests. When the Dulles brothers came to power (at the State Department and CIA) with Eisenhower, American policy toward Iran changed.

The Great Satan is in the details here. Kinzer explains exactly how CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt – Teddy Roosevelt’s nephew – orchestrated an in-country campaign against Mossadegh. Roosevelt bought mobs, generals, newspaper editors and clerics who enabled him to destabilize the country, which then allowed the Dulles brothers to convince Eisenhower Iran was coming apart and required a coup to prevent Stalin from stepping in. Roosevelt failed the first time he tried to take Mossadegh down, but he improvised another coup attempt which succeeded in re-installing the Shah (who ruled Iraq until he was overthrown in 1979 by an even worse tyrant, Ayatollah Khomeini).

Kinzer allows Iran may not have been ready for democracy in 1953. (It was too easy for the CIA to put Mossadegh on the ropes.) And Mossadegh wasn’t blameless. He refused to consider compromises that might have given his people a chance to preserve their dignity and their fledgling democracy. Still, no-one should trash this victim. When members of the Tudeh, Iran’s pro-Soviet party, asked Mossadegh to give them weapons to take on CIA-sponsored mobs in Tehran, he refused – “If I ever arm a political party, may God sever my arm.” Many Iranians shared Mossadegh’s admirable political imperatives. "All the Shah’s Men" tells the story of democratic struggles in Iraq, beginning with the 1906-1911 Constitutional Revolution, which was eventually crushed with the help of foreign powers (chiefly Russia and the UK), but “only after it had laid the foundation for a democratic Iran.”

"A Constitution had been written and adopted, and under its provisions there would be regular elections, which meant political campaigns and at least a semblance of open debate. In the years to come, Iranian rulers could and would ignore, overrule, and act against public opinion, but they would never manage to extinguish the people’s conviction that they were endowed with rights no government could take from them."

Kinzer notes Iran’s democrats tended to identify with Americans during the first half of the 20th Century. He opens his book by recalling a conversation he once had with an Iranian woman who assured him her people “loved Americans” until the coup against Mossadegh.

"But after that moment, no-one in Iran ever trusted the United States again. I can tell you for sure that if you had not done that thing, you would never have had that problem of hostages being taken in your embassy in Tehran. All your trouble started in 1953."1

Kinzer makes large claims about the coup’s historical consequences, linking it to the rise of the Taliban and 9/11.2 That may be a stretch, but Charles O’Brien’s line on the recent Danish Cartoon controversy connects even more dots. O’Brien suggests threats against the cartoonists and the fatwa against Salman Rushdie have been wrongly framed as free speech matters. (“The fatwa was about sovereignty. Do subjects of the United Kingdom, resident there, get to live under the U.K.’s laws?”) He places these instances of Islamist censoriousness as part of a pattern of assaults on sovereign nations that began with the Iranian attack on the U.S. embassy. Kinzer’s account of the 1953 coup adds a dimension to an O’Brienesque sense of the past by illuminating what seems to have been the originary subversion of sovereignty. According to one Iranian quoted in "All the Shah’s Men", Mossadegh himself saw the basic issue separating Iran and England “as one of national sovereignty:”

"Mossadegh did not care about dollars and cents or numbers of barrels per day...Iran’s sovereignty was being undercut by a company that sacrificed Iranian lives for British interests. This is what infuriated him."

Mossadegh’s anger, though, must not be confused with Islamist fury. Blowback isn’t payback. The Mullahs who rule Iran are not Mossadegh’s heirs; they’re sworn enemies of his legacy. (As a young man, Ruholla Khomeini rejected Mossadegh because he believed Iran’s liberals had “forsaken the Koran.” And the most important Mullah in Iran back in that day, Ayatollah Kashani, conspired with the CIA.) Iran’s secular democrats now invoke Mossadegh – praising his legacy or waving his portrait – to implicitly challenge the principles of Islamic rule. An Iranian acquaintance of Kinzer’s explains:

"The main thing about Mossadegh is that he represents freedom. In his time there was free speech, there were free elections, people could do what they wanted. He reminds us that there was a time in Iran when we had democracy. That’s why our government is afraid of him."

There’s a more immediate danger to that government, though. Memories of Mossadegh are less scary to Iran’s mullahs than the prospect of Irag-the-Model on their border. The best way for America to extend Mossadegh’s legacy in the Middle East (and make up for 1953) is to resist efforts to subvert Iraq’s sovereignty. According to a recent Washington Post column by David Ignatius:

"The most important fact about Maliki's election is that it's a modest declaration of independence from Iran…The Iranians waged a tough behind-the-scenes campaign to keep Jafaari in office. Tehran issued veiled threats to Iraqi political leaders, in written letters and through emissaries, that if they didn't back Jafaari, they would pay a price. In resisting this pressure, the political leaders were standing up for a unified Iraq…‘Maliki’s reputation is as someone who is independent of Iran,’ explained Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad."

All politics is local and the road to Tehran does not go through Baghdad. Still, Iraq’s “modest” declaration of independence might end up encouraging Iranians to stand up to the Council of Guardians that constrains popular sovereignty in their own country. Winning the peace in a unified Federal Republic of Iraq could help America avoid war with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

One final point - I understand BC readers who can't stand self-hating Americans. But absolution isn't to the point either. If you LOVE the country - find a way to identify with the young heroes who won in Fallujah AND with the non-violent army who transformed the American south in the 60s. All of those young people were risking their lives to bring demos to Klan/clan country...

6/15/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"recognizing that American virtue must be proved"
The no-win position, defined and distilled to it's essence.
Resulting in a
"sufficiently submissive foreign policy"

6/15/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Benj 1 said...
If you LOVE the country - find a way to identify with the young heroes who won in Fallujah AND with the non-violent army who transformed the American south in the 60s.
This is a bizarre juxtaposition. But it does serve as a very nice sheet of blank paper into which bloggers can project.

For the sake of clarity however, I think it would be better if you more clearly explained how and why you think the two events are linked.

6/15/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Beinhardt will be on Hugh Hewitt's show today, .

The Good Fight

"America shouldn't shrink from fighting terrorism, despite civilian casualties and moral compromises, he contends, but its antitotalitarian agenda must be restrained by world opinion, international institutions and liberal self-doubt"
. Christopher Hitchens and the myths of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.


. Bill Roggio in Afghanistan

6/15/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OK, Charles, how about this:
"If you LOVE the country - find a way to identify with the young heroes who won in Fallujah AND with the Violent and slightly deranged abolitionists."

6/15/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

btw, If you get a chance to hear RUSS FEINGOLD at that anti America Rally, or whatever, don't miss it:
He has to be the MOST LIGHTWEIGHT Senator I have EVER heard.
No wonder McCain went to Brokeback with him and came back with a hatchett on the 1st Ammnendment.

6/15/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


Interesting article about US efforts in Somalia.


6/15/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

benj_1 12:37

So, imagine that a foreign state desires to overthrow our government. What would it do? How would it try to overthrow our government?

This is not a minor question. Many foreign states have a vested interest in subverting our elections. During the 1700's, outside powers ruthlessly exploited Sweden's parliamentary factions (and its election cycle) to gain control over its foreign policy. Poland's experience with outside subversion was even worse during the same period. I regard the legacy of Mossadegh to be a cautionary tale of the importance of not acting as a pawn of foreign powers.

6/15/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Benj 1. Interesting history but explain the relevance to today. There was no non-violent army that will be self-congratulatory for eternity that freed the South. The South changed because it was time and the good people of the South recognized it. The contradictions of the legacy left by slavery became obvious and anachronistic. If by Klan activities you mean white on black crime, it is paltry by current and purposefully non-differentiated black on white crime and miniscule by black on black crime. It is the greatest myth of the Left and their enduring posturing in self-importance. There were white thugs and reactionaries but very few. When federal laws were changed the maligned South changed with the times. There is no moral equivalency to white college kids getting on a Greyhound and heading South during the sixties to the young black and white GI's slogging it out in Fallujah. That is Carteresque patent nonsense that allowed the Left to compare those that made the march though Ia Drang to those on a bus ride through North Carolina.

6/15/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Interesting article, smacko.
The CIA's operation, though previously rumored, is burned by operatives at the State Dept.
The author advocates promoting the CIA Station Chief, even though the exposed Operation was a failure, to put the State folk "in their place", sort to speak.
The Mohammedans are now controlling south Somalia, regardless of whether the NYTimes knows how or why.
Backing the warlords was not a "good" play, as they lost.
As to the What to do?, question.

We are back to war or retreat,
any bets as to which course we take?

6/15/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sorry Benj that Mossadeqh history is bullshit. FYI.

6/15/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"it is paltry by current and purposefully non-differentiated black on white crime and miniscule by black on black crime."
...which has been superseded in CA and AZ by "Latino New Arrival" Crime.
I'm such a Nativist for such a statement, but rest assured, it is backed up by Mountains of Self-Doubt, so please do not condemn, ok?

6/15/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

As far as the misadventures of 1953, this was less than a decade after our tumults with the Axis. That Westerners will not ruin the lives of their own and their children for the sake of a misguided self-pitying bigotry suggests that the long memory of the Iranians and their antipathy after a vicious 444 days of payback is typical Middle East juvenile self-flagellation.

6/15/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Yeah, it is bullshit. It was easy to overthrow Mossadegh because he had alienated every single political ally in the country, and the Army was with the Shah. We just gave the final push.

The CIA tried to duplicate this magnificent success in other countries but couldn't. Why? Because Iran was primed for a coup. Mossadegh brought about his own demise, we just held the Shah's hand and gave him encouragement. Hardly the stuff of legend.

6/15/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

As far as the State Department selling out American interests and in the end endangering American lives for the sake of partisan Shadenfreud, they should have their names and social security numbers exposed so that the cyber mobs can do with them as should be done with all enemies of liberal democracy, hung from their cyber petards. That’s all of them until the perpe-traitors can be fingered and excised like the cancer on humanity that they have become. This is our country and we have lost it to the interlopers in middle government who put their petty bickering above all.

6/15/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

History is full of civilizations that reach a state of security and posperity. What usually happens then is a "flowering" - the barriers to non-competitive behaviors fall and pleasure, hedonism, and fantasy become a dominant concern.

But there is always a "lean and hungry" civilization on the wings ready to exchange situations with the flowering one.

In our case, liberalism represents the newly affordable behaviors of our rich civilization. Not only in cash, but in internal discipline were these newly affordable behaviors affordable.

The rich society becomes like a person who decides he doesn't need skin because he is so strong. Of course, the microbes invade.

Liberals just want to let the good times roll. The rest of us recognize a legitimate civilizational challenge. Liberals want to deny the risks and the opponent. They refuse to tighten up because the partying will have to come to an end.

The options for Western Civ then become 1) de-power the liberals 2) wait until the physical threats change the liberals' self-indulgence or 3) lose.

6/15/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Mossadegh managed to turn a 100 million dollar annual revenue with Britain into a 120 million dollar a year loss. He resigned after the Shah refused to give him total control of the military but was soon re-appointed due to the popularity of Mossadegh on the “street”. Seems collectivism is as popular in Iran as it is today in Venzuela.

6/15/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" wait until the physical threats change the liberals' self-indulgence or... "
Hewitt had a caller from NYC driven insane by anti-war types coming out for summer in the city on streets once within the sightline of the WTC.
He's now playing Dem Reps in Congress that make Beinhart sound like a Self-Assured SuperHawk.
Beinhart to be on later.

6/15/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

"The options for Western Civ then become 1) de-power the liberals 2) wait until the physical threats change the liberals' self-indulgence or 3) lose."


6/15/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

"The options for Western Civ then become 1) de-power the liberals 2) wait until the physical threats change the liberals' self-indulgence or 3) lose."

Or 4). Wage a determined an unrestricted campaign of absolute anihilation of the Jihadis, their sources of funding, their political and governmental benefactors, and their ideological fellow travelers, and those providing sanctuary for them.

You ALWAYS give liberals the rhetorical upper hand by attempting to fight a "compassionate" half-assed, restrictive ROE, "limited," "engagement" complete with cease fires, demiliterized zones etc etc.


As has been said by a better man than me "there is no substitute for victory."

6/15/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mossadeqh was also the demagogue scion of the deposed former imperial family who exploited the mechanisms of government with an intent to coup. No one "elects" a Prime Minister and crowd adulation counts for squat in the calculus of Liberalism. The Iranian people can believe what they want; opinions may be attributed to them. No one knows what will happen when we invade. But I know three Persians personally whose reaction after Saddam was "Why didn't they do that to the mullahs?" Of course, 3 is nothing too. Und so weiter.

6/15/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

big dig
As I recall the man who said that was relieved of command

And Victory was never achieved in the Area of Operations, just a 50 year "Truce", that Enemy has nukes, now, didn't then.

Progress of a sort, I guess.

6/15/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Beinhart on Hewitt Now.

6/15/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

It was progress of a sort, in that it sent a message to Stalin about our willingness to fight. The progress was informational rather than territorial. The message could have been stronger, i.e. we could have obliterated the Norks, but you must concede that our concerns over the consequences of this option were quite justified at the time.

The actual regime of North Korea was, then, a secondary concern. It has risen in prominence only because the larger danger has been defeated. That is progress, regardless of the weaponry it now wields.

6/15/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Stalin's been dead for quite a while.
The crux of the thread is that his ideology of totalitarianism has found new life without him.
It never even died in N. Korea.

So what ever informational advancement was achieved, it's been squandered. The lives of millions of Koreans have been ruined and nuclear weapons are in the hands of an International Terrorist.

spin away, but that ain't victory.

6/15/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Next I'll be hearing that the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Blockade & Crisis were both US victories, as well.
Securing Castro in Havana 'til his natural demise deemed a vital US interest.

6/15/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Benj2 said...

annoyMouse - take your point re Iranian animus (justification?). Made it myself in a footnote to the original version of this posting. (See "Local Heroes" at The quote you focus on is also a little out of time NOW because most Iranian young people (by all acounts)have come around again to id-ing with the U.S. Still - we should TAKE back ALL the moral high ground by id-ing with Mossadegh since he was in OUR tradition. Democracy and popular sovereignty and individual rights.

Re Dan's "bullshit" dismissal of Mossadegh - invective ain't arugment. Dealt with a lot of that on the (imagined) Left...We can do better, no? Check Kinzer - even if you diasgree with his politics. Zero in on Truman's contempt for the Brit's arrogant imperial attitudes. Truman was RIGHT - Ike and Dulles and the CIA were WRONG to take M. out. And their actions had consequences...

Re the WONDER expressed at the idea the struggle against genocidal arab racism might have some conncection with other anti-racist struggles. I'm sure you guys remember Stephen Vincent - the independent journalist who was killed in Iraq last year - HE made the connnection And I ran with it in an exchange THE NATION's Victor Navasky last summer. I was objecting to his mag's cozying up to al-Sadr's fascists...Here's Vincent's passage

"Outraged at the sight of [700 young students in Basra] picnicking, listening to music and freely intermingling--worse, many women were not wearing hejab--between 20-40 of Sadr's blackshirts attacked the fete with guns, sticks and heavy electrical cables, injuring and robbing several, hauling at least 10 away in pick-up trucks.
The assault triggered several days of protests by students and their families, who demanded an apology and the disbanding of the school's morality police. Surprised at the public outcry, Sadr's office issued an apology--of sorts. 'There was a mistake in our execution, but we had the right to intervene,' said Mr. Jabari.

Vincent’s parsing of these events beats the hell out of The Nation’s “nuanced” approach to evil in Iraq:

"Oppression thrives in secret; exposure to the light of public scrutiny reveals the true face of illegitimate power and constellates perhaps the most potent and revolutionary reaction to its brutality--revulsion. No doubt many Basrans and Iraqis view Sadr's actions as necessary, if not admirable. But most, I'll wager, interpret the sight of masked armed men publicly beating helpless students--helpless female students--as despicable, contemptible, pathetic. The noble and strong do not act this way; the craven and cowardly do. Cravenness, cowardice--these are taboo, psychic stains to be avoided. Despite being armed with guns, truncheons and public sentiment that was hostile to civil rights, the reactionaries lost on the day that Bull Connor unleashed his dogs on peaceful marchers of Birmingham. Moqtada al-Sadr has taken another step into the barren wastes of Connor Country. It will take time, but he, like the Alabama sheriff and his ilk, will shrivel and die as well."

Navasky has not been responsive to efforts to apply lessons of the American Civil Rights Movement to situations in Iraq. (Viet Nam, of course, is the preferred template at The Nation.) But INDEPENDENT minds are FREE to go there own way...

I was sad to see some postings equating the American Civil Rights Movement with the actions of a few Northern Students. THe Movement was made by thousand of local people (overwhelmingly black) over DECADES. If you try "The Children" by DAvid Halberstam, you'll see why I connect the courage of those Aemrican heroes with the Marines fighting in FAllujah. God knows the black people who made a non-violent revolution in the South are cousins of the brothers who blog at Iraq-the Model.

Re Dan/Charles' invocations of Abolition. Hey guys - you notice it's called RECONSTRUCTION in Iraq. Let's hope to hell it works out better than RECONSTRUCTION in the American South. Let me close with the final graphs from another Charles (O'Brien's) response to 9/11. It's immediately to the point as it invokes Lincoln... Notice his capacity to handle contradictions without fading into disengagement. Doubt anyone on the RIGHT has written more powerfully about the need for the WAR...

"What will that war be? As is usually the case, we don't now know. However much the Civil War was rooted in the question of chattel slavery, the United States did not begin to fight under the banner of emancipation, but the war's end was Lincoln being carried through the streets of Richmond on emancipated shoulders. The Paris Commune, which began with public demolition of the guillotine, ended up driven to shoot hostages. Between Sept 1, 1939 and V-E Day, both Italy and the USSR, initially Hitler's allies, ended up allied against him.

In the Second World War, the United States, reaching accommodations with Franco's Spain, nevertheless fought to the end a war against fascism. The land of Jim Crow and nisei internment nevertheless fought a war against racism. The allies of Stalin nevertheless fought for democracy. The destroyers of Japan's and Germany's cities nevertheless fought a war against genocide. We live in contradiction, and to say so is neither an admission nor a recommendation of inaction. The "war on terrorism" will not end "terrorism", nor even define it successfully. We will be employing against our enemies assassination, "surgical" bombing, sabotage, seizures of bank assets, clandestine operations, and general eschewing of judicial process, ending states: in other words the repertoire of the XIXth Century's most militant working class practice. What an earlier time vapidly denounced as terrorism, we can now recognize as the purest democracy in action brought to bear on democracy's most fervent enemies.

This war will not achieve infinite justice nor, on its own, enduring freedom. And since not even Mr. Bush's favorite Political Philosopher ever promised to root out evil from the world, we should not presume to try. We must merely, in all our imperfection, overcome the nothingness offered by our enemies.

It is the duty of the left in this time not only to be a party of war, but to be the maximalist party of war. Hostilities must extend not only to Iraq, Sudan, etc. but to the supposed friendlies, the darlings of many on the domestic right: Saudi-Arabia, the UAE, and Pakistan. We can do no better, to use Chomsky's phrase, than, first, to disregard Chomsky utterly (along with such organs of disinformation as Z and Counterpunch as well as the more genteel Harpers, LRB, and The Nation). But more important, we can do no better than to emulate revolutionary France: which, with audacity, without indulgence, summoning up the people, carried the war, across whosever borders, to the enemies of the republic."

6/15/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...


6/15/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The land of Jim Crow and nisei internment nevertheless fought a war against racism."
Does an injustice to the injustice of Jim Crow, imo.
FDR did not call for lynching US Citizens of Japanese ancestry, nor were there many black American spies, as far as I know.

6/15/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Turning to Beinart, first I would note that he is a sloppy thinker. When he gets close to a good thought, he always trades precision for rhetorical bites of pap. Look here:

First, it inclines liberals to support powerful international institutions—as they did at the dawn of the Cold War—not only because America cannot manage international problems alone but because we do not want unrestrained power.

Why don't we want unrestrained power? Wouldn't it be better to have unrestrained power and use it selectively? I guess he's talking about liberals and what they want, but he states it like a maxim; a maxim, by the way, that I reject. I want America to have as much power as possible -- and not have to use it.

American virtue must be proved, not asserted, leads liberals to talk differently than George W. Bush does about democracy.

This is an amazing comment from an American, who, I'm assuming, embraces "self-evident" truths as a matter of course. I wonder how much Beinart would squirm if we were to try to falsify the notion that "all men are created equal."

Bush talks about American democracy as a finish line we have crossed.

I can think of at least ten quotes by Bush, and especially Rice, that directly contradicts this statement. I understand strawmen in argument and their utility, but come on. You get the feeling that many liberals have to denounce Bush in order to get into the conversational door--right before they reiterate the policy of the dreaded neoconservatives.

And the idea that America cannot do good without acknowledging it can do evil is great rhetoric, but a poor argument. Is it true that America can do no good without admitting a capacity for evil? A simple thought experiment shows this not to be the case. For instance, if we blindly believed we were perfectly moral--moral as Beinart would define it--then even Beinart would have to admit that we could do a lot of good. In fact, Beinart's real argument is that we do evil insofar as we deviate from his liberal internationalism.

Finally, Beinart says that we should strive to be a a stronger, better nation—a nation capable of leading and improving the world. But let's be real clear. Improving the world is a means, not an end: insofar as it has value, it contributes to the long-term survival of America. If it came to pass that we had to burn the world to save this last best hope of mankind, I'd start the fires today.

But luckily for the world that is not the case. Improving the internal and external realities of our competitors fits within our long-term goal of survival--until it doesn't. Our patience is not infinite, however.

It's important to understand that we are truly fighting for our values and our way of life. The American Revolution was a speciation event, a speciation in the socio-political organization of man. America is special, in both the normative and colloquial senses. The question that must always be asked, of friends and foe alike, is how will they help us survive?

6/15/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Yes, Rat, you have succeeded in proving that the Korean War was not a victory for the North Koreans. For Americans, 50 years of peace was not a defeat.

I'm an American, Rat. My objective is her survival. The survival of others is a distant second. Luckily, we have an immense capacity for symbiotic relationships with other peoples and other ways of life. If we didn't, though, if we lived in a world of savages that waited just outside the light of the campfire, savages with whom there was no coexistence, then -- well, then, if it's them or us, it's no decision at all.

6/15/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The same society that brought us Altamont will provide walkers for the Stones final Concert."

6/15/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we had never engaged in Korea, the US would still be safe.
The Sec of State under MR Truman, forget the fellows name, left Korea out of the US "sphere of influence" post WWII.
The were no US interests in Korea.
The Chinese were not involved until the US Army was marching to the Yalu, along the historic invasion route to China.

Miscalculations and statemnets that were not well thought out led to War, not vital US interests.

Korea was just the first in a long series of Wars and conflicts where Victory was substituted for a "Draw" or even defeat.

There was no plan to win the "Cold War", or Mr Reagan would not have been exceptional to even suggest it.
Mr Carter had no such Plan.
Detente had ended the Cold War, we were losing the Peace, even then.

Boycotting an Olympics no real answer to Soviet global expansion.
The CIA nor any other Government Agencies were projecting the imminent collapse of the Soviets in 1979, no anything but.

So the results of the Korean Conflict in 1954 did not hinder the Soviets for another thirty years, if at all.

When a Korean nuke is detonated in LA or elsewhere in the US, by aQ or others, which is a scenario far more likely than an Iranian nuclear attack, I'll remember you dismissed Mr Kim as a threat, to US.
For what it'll be worth.

6/15/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

It's funny that that's how you read my statement. A "second order concern", recently "rising in prominence" with dangerous modern weapons, and you think I said "no threat."

To be clear, they are a threat, more of a threat now than they were then, just as I said. I'm sorry if my refusing to wallow in defeatism is seen by you as a dismissal of a threat.

You have to stand back a little, Rat. Things aren't all that bad over here in reality.

6/15/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Will today's No Knock Supreme Court Ruling apply to our Marines in Warzones, or do their more sensitive sensibilities still take precedence?

6/15/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I do see things from afar, aristide.
In the historical sweep.
The demographics, the economies and most importantly the Will of our enemies.

The Will of the Soviets, broken on the hills of Afghanistan. The Will of the US open to debate and equivication. Mr Bush qualifying as the first President to call for a subCitizen class within the US, "guest workers".

Right on the course to obtaining the "ultimate triumph of Gramscianism would mean the end of this very ‘exceptionalism.’".

Per the Baron's article by fjordman and VDH's description of the current declining status of the Law, within the US.

But what would they know, about Law or Survival?

6/15/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat, re VDH:
"Doug said...
...our rapid descent into lawlessness.
All our subtle and precious freedoms will mean nothing once a certain point is reached on that slide...1:55 PM
" - "Only You"
"...Yet once we as a nation choose to ignore our keystone laws of sovereignty and citizenship, the entire edifice of a once unimpeachable legal system will collapse.
Ironically, we would then become no different from those nations whose citizens are now fleeing to our own shores to escape the wages of lawlessness.
Great Minds

6/15/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Senate Rejects U.S. Troop Pullout in Iraq:

Republicans arranged for the debate to culminate in a vote on a resolution that praises U.S. troops, labels the Iraq war part of the larger global fight against terrorism and says an "arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment" of troops is not in the national interest.

Democrats decried the debate as a sham, saying Republicans promised an open discussion but, instead, stacked the deck in their favor by limiting debate to 10 hours and barring any amendments. They also complained that Republicans refused to allow them to present an alternative resolution _ though Democrats weren't able to agree on just what to offer.

Senate Rejection

6/15/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Graphic: Decline of enforcement of sovereignty and citizenship by last two administrations.

6/15/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

each time you link to that map, doug, that's all I see, a map of the Continental US.
Could be me or my equipment, or not.

6/15/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

It's not just you, Rat.

6/15/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Iran: Nuke proposal a step forward:

Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's six members, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, meet in Shanghai today to discuss oil, terrorism and border controls.

Ahmadinejad is attending as an SCO observer.

Shanghai Cooperation

6/15/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Alaska and Hawaii are there too. At the bottom.

6/15/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger rayra said...

off-topic - I'm looking forward to the Belmont treatment of the escalating series of raids resulting from the intel gathered from Zarqawi's crater. Quite a haul / expanding series of raids, with huge results.

6/15/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Mr Bush qualifying as the first President to call for a subCitizen class within the US, "guest workers".

While I don't know much about immigration law, I'd guess a resident alien qualifies as a sort of subCitizen. Are resident aliens with green cards much different than "guest workers"?

6/15/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks, I wasn't going to answer Rat until he made ammends for that;-)
'Rat for me, if I click once to activate, this address works for me:

6/15/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Try this

6/15/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Do you have the latest Flash Player update?
...takes 2 minutes, no reboot necessary?

6/15/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Flash Player

6/15/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

al-AP Reports thusly:
"PURPORTEDLY Quite a haul / expanding series of raids, with purported huge results."
Check in with Al-Jeez for solid confirmation.

6/15/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Now that you mention it, raymond, so is Puerto Rico.
But no action graphic.

Watched the Discovey program on the Freemasons, when Dan Brown's next book comes out, da Vinci & Jesus won't hold a candle to Washington, Franklin, FDR and Truman when multigenerational conpiracy is the subject.
Not in the US, anyway.

It'll be fun to watch, that's for sure.

6/15/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Let me know if it works or not:
If so, AK is greyed out, but HI now makes the cut. PR missing on my map.

6/15/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd think that the current "Green Card" system is not really analogous to a "Guest worker" program. The scale is so much different.
Currently 20,000 "green dards" are issued annually to Mexican nationals. The Senate bill, endorsed by Mr Bush, increases that to 200,000 annually.
Still not the 500,000 reportedly crosssong illegally each year, now.

The 12 to 20 million illegals already in the country will, under the Senate bill, be operating under different tax and SS laws than the rest of US. Currently "green card" holders do not have "special" laws, just for them, they live under the same Rules as the rest of US.

Amnesty for the $250,000 USD fine for fraud involving the use of a SS# is waived for all of them, but not for you or I.
Back taxes, pay 3 out of 5 years, an option not available for Citizens.

Just some of the different "Standards" for the non Citizen, there will sure to be more coming, incrementalism being what it is.

6/15/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You left out the 3 out of 5 year rule for taxes.
...and the 8 year rule for payment of that draconian fine.

6/15/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But did you get the map to work?

6/15/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

U.S. Military Shows New Leader Of Al-Qaida In Iraq:

Arrests, weapons seizures and money shortages are taking a heavy toll on al-Qaida's insurgency in Iraq, according to the three-page transcript released Thursday by the Iraqi government, which said it reflects al-Qaida policy and the terror organization's cooperation with groups loyal to Saddam Hussein.

Caldwell said the document had been taken from a computer in a raid during the three-week operation to track down al-Zarqawi.

Arrests and Weapons Seizures

6/15/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

One of the big problems the West has — particularly America — is the general amnesia of the population. As a culture we exist in a perpetual present as finite as that of any Mayfly.

Try telling someone who’s not got an advanced degree in Soviet Studies that the United States, Britain and Japan actually had units of their armies fighting Russian communist forces on Russian soil, and see if they believe, even after looking up the facts in an encyclopedia. It was during the Russian Civil War, from August 1918 until about April 1920. The communists announced they would not honor the many tens of millions of dollars’ war debts of the former government....

Ask anyone you know and see who knows about the 20,000 Germans the Nazis decapitated with the Guillotine to discourage dissent during WWII.

See if any of your friends have ever heard of Stalin’s deliberate and prolonged program of executions, murders, and starvations of six-to-ten million Ukrainian Kulaks, the land-owning farmers who resisted Stalin’s forced agricultural collectivization in the 1920’s and 30’s, or of his paranoid slaughter of more than 30,000 of his own Red Army’s finest and most experienced officers in the years just before the Nazi invasion.

See how many folks are aware that almost a million German citizens starved in 1919, after the war had ended, simply as a result of a deliberate “Hunger Blockade” imposed on Germany to force the government to accept the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Guess which German war veteran experienced that famine after recuperating from war wounds, and nursed his resentment into a fascist dictatorship...

Who remembers that Harvard-educated Alger Hiss accompanied FDR to several World War II conferences with Churchill and Stalin, and was later accused by Time magazine senior editor Whitaker Chambers of having been one of his communist party contacts before the war? Hiss was convicted of perjury for his testimony denying he had participated in transferring information to Soviet Russia. How many people recall that Hiss was for the next half-century held up as a martyr by the left? Or that pre-war archives made public after the fall of the Soviet government confirm Hiss’s guilt, along with that of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed for passing Nuclear weapons secrets?

There are relatively few Americans that really understand that Russia lost more than twenty MILLION citizens to death, disease, and starvation during World War II, which they refer to as “The Great Patriotic War.” That’s FORTY TIMES the number of American combat deaths in the European and Pacific theaters combined.

See, our leaders had already seen from Stalin’s exterminations of millions of his own citizens in the 1920’s and 30’s that Communist Russia was able to robustly advance Stalin’s purposes very well. Those exterminations were no secret within the U.S.S.R. — the rumour and whispers of them certainly helped Stalin persuade the rest of his citizens to submit because they KNEW he was ready to murder. This is why the U.S. and its allies supported ANTI-communist regimes, even when they used authoritarian and even brutal methods. It is why the U.S. and Britain helped install the young Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to replace the popularly elected Moussadegh.

We can see with the benefit of hindsight that we created a legacy of seething resentment. But at the time, the threat of communist takeover was very real. In just a few years after the chaos of World War II, communists seized power in Hungary, CzechoSlovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Yugoslavia, and Mainland China. And there were during that period Communist-linked nationalist insurrections in Indonesia, Malaya, French Indo-China, Burma and a number of other former European colonies. After Fidel Castro became the government of Cuba, he announced his communist loyalties, and began organizing revolutionary insurrections throughout South America. To repay the support of the Soviet Union for thumbing his nose at the U.S., Castro provided Cuban troops to fight as Russian proxies in several prolonged conflicts in Africa.

But who remembers all that?

U.S. bad, that’s all the Left wants us to know.

6/16/2006 01:23:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Sorry, it is 3 hours later here, so I went home and to bed.

'Currently "green card" holders do not have "special" laws, just for them, they live under the same Rules as the rest of US.'

Yes they do. Lots of "special" regulations (laws). For one, they can't be elected president. Or vote legally. And lots of others. And 'grandfathering' is nothing new to lawmakers.

I'm already pretty much on your side on the immigration issue. I just don't think you help move the ball forward with an obviously flawed argument.

Enforce the law wrt employer sanctions, & no amnesty does it for me. Wouldn't even need a fence then. Which is how a free people should live. Doubtless the eventual political compromise won't look anything like that, and no one will be very happy.

Might not hurt to send some men with tupperware down south to foment democracy. Mexico could use it. Would improve their lot some and reduce the need for the journey north.

6/16/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Foreign born citizens cannot become President. It is not limited to nonCitizens not becoming President.
NonCitizens vote with regularity in some Districts. As per B-1 Bob, in CA.

We already have a subClass, the illegals, the Federals seem to want to maintain one, legally.
That may be a "wrong" view, but not by far.

Fences to keep people "in" are Prisons, fence that keep people out, make for good neighbors.

The reason the Government has allowed so much selected illegal activity in the US is, in large part, to maintain stability in Mexico. Men with tupperware do not promote stability, usually.

As VDH says selective law enforcement is destructive to the Republic and the Culture.
"once we as a nation choose to ignore our keystone laws of sovereignty and citizenship, the entire edifice of a once unimpeachable legal system will collapse."

That is the goal of "Liberal Internationalism", the Federal Government is becoming adept at promoting it

6/16/2006 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Didn't know the Nazis used the guillotine--seems kind of low class, using another country's 'national razor blade'.

6/16/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger John Wright said...

James Keilland asks:

What specifically about the West is so disdained and what is it about the left that produces this apparent self-loathing? "Western Civilization" is a really big idea, one which includes Marxism and multi-culturalism itself.

My answer: Western civilization is Christendom. It is the civilization that grew out of the fall of the Roman Empire, and inherited its verities. The two major threads that run threw the various European nations include the heritage of Athens and the heritage of Jerusalem. The Athenian heritage includes the rational, the scientific, the enlightened, but also the skeptical, questioning, unsettling intellect which is the source both of Western strength and Western shame. The Jerusalem heritage includes an unique respect for human life, individualism, an insistence on monogamy, but also includes a dark passion for religious conformity that overleaps tribal and national boundaries. Both threads contain a love of liberty and a belief that history unfolds towards an end goal.

The contrast with the great ancient civilizations of the East, with India and China, or with the terrifying civilizations of South America, Aztec and Toltec, could not be more pronounced. The world-view of the Hindu, the Buddhist, and the Taoist are profoundly passive, seeking salvation neither through works nor faith, but through detachment and mysticism; and the Western mind grows faint contemplating the endless cycles of Buddhist eternities, where eon follows eon, changelessly. There is no native word for liberty in these parts of the globe; polygamy is the norm; infanticide is as common as among the ancient Romans.

The God of Christendom is the subject of speculation and deduction in an Athenian fashion: theology is a science in the West, and from this grows our political traditions, the belief that men, through the use of his god-given reason, can produce a government rationally based to protect our god-given rights. It is commonplace today to depict religion as the enemy of science and freedom, but this is not historically sound. The contrast between the Empire before and after the rise of Christianity makes plain that the status of women and underlings was markedly improved by the canon law, and this consistently across the centuries. Christianity, and nothing else, abolished the slave trade, first in Europe in the fifth and sixth centuries, and then across the globe. In places where Western Civilization, i.e. Christendom, is weak, the vile trade is making a reappearance.

The civilizations of the Near East are our dark reflection. The Muslims share with us the Jerusalem thread, but not the Athenian. They have a Christian belief in a universal and egalitarian religion, to be spread to all peoples, but they have rejected skeptical inquiry into the truths of the universe as impious. There is no Muslim St. Thomas Aquinas which ties ancient pagan culture into modern faith. They have no universal Church, and hence no intellectual superstructure.

Marxism and multiculturalism spring from the skeptical tradition of Athens. The first is merely Plato’s REPUBLIC updated with various fallacies of economics. The very terms used to criticize capitalism are all taken from the Enlightenment tradition: charity for the poor, and insistence that the law be no respecter of persons, fraternity, equality, and so on. Marxism is Western skepticism without the ballast of Western theology, and, like Islam, becomes a destructive, bloody force in history.

Multiculturalism is promoted by people who have no interest or love of foreign cultures: it is Western skepticism pointed against Western exceptionalism, an insistence that history be no respecter of persons, and that all men are created equal. Naturally, no sultan in whose veins the blood of the Prophet runs, no Son of Heaven, no Brahmin born into his high caste, has this generous Western respect for the barbarians and infidels beyond the boundaries of his civilization.

Like all modern Western intellectual innovations, multiculturalism is merely an inferior and disproportionate copy of an idea first promoted, and placed in proper proportion, by Christian theology: first, the insistence that all men are equal springs from the Jewish tradition that God is no respecter of persons, and that salvation is individual; second, the insistence on universality springs from the Roman tradition that truth is catholic and ecumenical, that is, world-wide and universal, not the special possession of one race or nation.

Naturally, it is heresy in their eyes to remind Western intellectuals where they get their ideas.

That is what the Leftist intellectual is in rebellion against, and that is what he hates: reason and faith, hope for the future and respect for the past.

6/16/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

This blog is an American treasure.
I say without apology that the world is a better place because of this forum.
I thought myself an educated, urbane man, having met Presidents,foreign leaders, and the like but the education brought forth by most of the contributors to this tower of achievement are a tribute to it's founder and a service to mankind.

6/16/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

If it was up to me, I'd flood the Middle East with pot and pornography.

Since that would be very unconventional warfare I guess we are stuck with boots and rifles.

6/17/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

desert rat,

We got so many laws that enforcement is always selective.

The question is: is it sufficient?

Sufficient for what?

6/17/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger danielklotz said...

Beinart says "fighting" because no one likes the correct word for the situation, which is "policing." That we need to keep an eye on militant Jihadists and, when necessary, arrest and prosecute their members is something nearly all Americans agree on.

But that doesn't mean it has to be a "war." It's only fighting insofar as the DEA fights drug dealers.

6/22/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger danielklotz said...

Beinart says "fighting" because no one likes the correct word for the situation, which is "policing." That we need to keep an eye on militant Jihadists and, when necessary, arrest and prosecute their members is something nearly all Americans agree on.

But that doesn't mean it has to be a "war." It's only fighting insofar as the DEA fights drug dealers.

6/22/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one, it’s in, thanks!

absurd thought -
God of the Universe hates
firecracker journalists…

demonize minorities
who don’t tow liberal line

1/08/2007 04:00:00 PM  

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