Jewish World Review Dec. 31, 2002 / 26 Teves 5763
As we look towards a future filled with the clouds of war
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | As we approach the year's end, and look towards a future filled with the clouds of war, it is sobering (and saddening) to consider how many Americans are ready to betray their country.
The other day I was on a panel with Frank Mankiewicz, former Bobby Kennedy press secretary, former National Public Radio chief, and the man who persuaded George McGovern to run for president in 1972 on a platform of "America Come Home." This was a thinly disguised translation of the left's slogan "Bring the Troops Home," which the radicals who staffed McGovern's campaign had designed to help the Communists win in Vietnam. This is not to say that everybody who endorsed that slogan or the McGovern candidacy also embraced the goal of enabling the Communists to win. It is just that that was the foreseeable practical effect of the policy, and those who endorsed it should learn from their mistakes. Two and a half million Indochinese peasants were slaughtered by the Communist victors just as presidents Nixon and Johnson had warned.
Mankiewicz's position on the current looming war with Iraq was that it is George Bush's fault. "We are going to have a war," he said, "because our President won't take yes for an answer." Think about that. We have been technically at war with Iraq for more than a decade. The war persists because Saddam Hussein violated every stipulaton of the truce that ended hostilities in the Gulf War. The intervening years have shown he is a pathological liar who can't be trusted to keep any agreements and a psychopath who tortures and murders the children of his own diplomats to keep them in check. In Iraq we confront a nation living under unimaginable terror. But the appeasement chorus has forced us into the sick charade of forming "inspections" even though we know that Saddam has hidden his weapons of mass destruction and that his scientists and officials are too terrified -- even if they have not been corrupted -- to tell the truth. Yet Frank Mankiewicz is ready to trust Saddam Hussein before he will trust George Bush and the American government. Shame on him.
In this unseemly and dangerous attitude, he is like Jimmy Carter, now according to polls the second most admired American. Carter was recently rewarded with a Nobel Prize by the Norwegian supporters of Middle East terrorism and terrorism generally. The Norwegian Nobel committee previously rewarded Guatemalan terrorist Rigoberta Menchu and of course Yasser Arafat for their "peace" efforts. In fact Carter's award was for second hand support for terror -- for trusting every international sociopath he has encountered in the last decade, most egregiously the North Korean dictators to whom he gave his personal imprimatur some years ago, allowing Bill Clinton and Al Gore to finance Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program under the cover of an atoms-for-peace deal.
"Liberal" appeasers like Mankiewicz and Carter, who have so endangered our future, are but the tip of the iceberg of betrayal. After all, we have those out of control Democrats and overgrown Tinseltown adolescents who actually traveled to Baghdad to give Saddam moral support; we have legions of Middle East studies professors shilling for Hamas and al-Qaeda, college leftists parading their pro-Saddam banners around the quad and already nearly two dozen leftist college towns, whose city councils have declared their own war on our domestic war on terror.
Whence comes this tolerance for evil and sympathy for our enemies? Some of it is earned. It comes from a radical left that has supported America's totalitarian enemies for generations and has now been enlarged by an unknown division of domestic Muslim radicals as well. In his address to the nation after 9/11, President Bush identified the historical continuity in our present foes: "We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies."
But there is an element of betrayal that comes from self-deception as well, and I think that Frank Mankiewicz and the so-called liberals at the New York Times fall largely into this category. Before doing so let me make this clear: A democracy like ours lives on dissent. We have succeeded in vanquishing our foes because we are free society in which principled critics provide a vital ingredient of our success. But saying that we are going to war because our president will not take yes for an answer from a psychopath does not fall under the category of principled criticism. It is based on a profound lie as to who we are. It is a betrayal of us.
This passion for betrayal by "liberals" like Mankiewicz and Carter comes in part from having absorbed and then having been addled by leftist leveling passions that presume that evil does not exist but is the product of a misperception based on ignorance and misunderstanding, and the corruption of social institutions like private property and corporations. These leftist passions give rise to the illusion and that governments can fix the messes that individuals construct. This leads them on the one hand to think that Saddam Hussein can be appeased and on the other it leads them to distrust wealth and success and thus to blame wealthy and successful America first.
In the minds of brainsick liberals we are the root cause of all the root causes that inspire madmen to attack us. (Thus we hear now from Alan Colmes reading off talking points provided by the Democratic National Committee that the sick dictator Kim Jong Il, who has presided over the starvation of a million of his inhabitants wouldn't be brandishing a nuclear threat if George Bush had not identified him as part of the Axis of Evil. Us bad. This preposterous accusation has the added benefit of deflecting attention from the fact that conservatives actually identified the North Korean nuclear threat during the Clinton Administration and warned the President and his emissary Carter not to trust North Korea's dictator and finance his nuclear weapons program under the guise of making peace.
A second element in this betrayal comes from the innate human impulse to deny hard realities, to hope that thinking will make it so. Appeasement is in fact the most basic human response when confronted with evil. The line-up in the 1930s when Hitler was marching through Europe was no different than the lineup is today. There was no multilateral response to Nazism. There was England. And then there was the United States. If the pacifist betrayers of the West had not been so powerful in the 1930s and Western governments had confronted Hitler early, 70 million lives would have been saved. Americans would do well to remember this now.
The heart of the self-deception of America's "liberal" establishment,
however, comes from forgetting the lesson of 9/11 and thinking we are
invulnerable. It is this complacency that leaps at the crumbs from
dictators' tables and proposes leaving Saddam and Kim Jong Il and Hamas
and Hizbollah alone under the promise that getting paper agreements will
buy peace in our time. It won't.
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JWR contributor David Horowitz is editor of Front Page Magazine and the author of several books, including, The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits, Hating Whitey, Art of Political War, Radical Son : A Generational Odyssey . To comment, please click here.
12/17/02: Trent Lott must go
12/17/02: Trent Lott must go