Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Iraq Democraphobia of the Left

The al Deans, lefty MSM and the extreme left are again skewered with facts and their own stupidity. VDH doesn't have any mercy and he is taking no prisioners this time. Read on. To see the original article click on the title of this blog.

Why Not Support Democracy?
Our orphan policy in the Middle East.
Victor Davis Hanson
NR Online
Decemer 22, 2005

Why still no big-font, front-page headlines screaming, “Millions Vote in Historic Middle East Election!” or “Democracy Comes At Last To Iraq” or “America’s Push for Iraqi Democracy Working”?

Besides the politics of gloom — Bush at home and America abroad are always wrong — and the weariness with the violence, there has sadly been too small a constituency for trusting that Arabs should run their own affairs through consensual government.

Remember the ingredients of the good old American foreign policy in the Middle East — the one that operated before the bad-new days of neoconservatism?

One, oil thirst increasingly became the overriding consideration, even in areas like Palestine, Lebanon, or Egypt, where there was very little petroleum, but enough instability to affect the larger allegiance of Islamic oil-exporting nations. Earlier rivalry among Western nations had morphed into collective fear of the ever-growing Chinese-energy appetite — always colored by the specter of past oil boycotts, shooting at tankers in the Gulf, and perennial terrorist threats against the oilfields. So if a nation pumped oil, then its government avoided scrutiny.

Two, anti-Communism was another stimulus, specifically the effort to keep the Soviet Union and its satellites from controlling the Persian Gulf, or using their Baathist surrogates to promote petrol-fed anti-Western terrorism. Much of the mess of the Middle East today derives from a Soviet-style, unworkable, amoral state apparatus imposed upon a traditional tribal society at various times in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen — and our own desperation to support any unsavory autocrat who would stop such Communists. So if a strongman fought Communists, he was O.K. with us.

Three, after the Six-Day War of 1967, we alone supported Israel to ensure that it was not surrounded and eliminated by neighboring Arab autocracies — none of whom had ever held a free election. So if a regime tried to destroy Israel…what else would you expect?

Four, billions of freely circulating petrodollars created creepy ties between Western defense contractors, universities, lobbyists, and think tanks, and illiberal regimes of the Gulf. For every crass Western merchant who insisted on selling advanced weaponry to Arab dictatorships, there was always a subsidized Middle East scholar who could on spec damn American foreign policy and/or excuse Middle East illiberalism. So if a petrocracy spread some cash, it got a pass from the United States.

Five, popular opinion on the Right was swayed by traditional isolationism — none of those crazy people are worth a single American dollar or life — and Cold War realism: we deal with the awful world as it is and let the gods worry about others’ morality. So if all of ‘em stayed over there, that’s all you need to know.

Six, the Left’s multiculturalism was more cynical. Its chief tenet was that no system could be any worse than the West’s. Thus we had no business in applying our moral “constructs” to judge indigenous cultures by criticizing such things as polygamy, gender apartheid, dictatorship, anti-Semitism, or religious intolerance. Arab intellectuals often praised the American Left, but the latter was every bit as intertwined in the old pathological status quo as the most cynical realist. So who is to say that they are brutalizing their own, when we do the same over here?

Most of the time, the American public was oblivious to all this, as long as there were no gas lines and the annual Middle East harvest of American diplomats and soldiers was kept to a minimum. This complacency ended, however, when the Middle East mess that began in November 1979 with the Iranian storming of the American embassy culminated in the attacks of September 11.

Given the past history and current politics in the region, it is no wonder that near-hysterics accompanied America’s radical alternative post-9/11 strategy of attempting to prompt democratic reform — by force in the case of the worst fascistic states like Afghanistan and Iraq, by isolation and ostracism in the case of Syria and Iran, and through often-embarrassing persuasion in the case of the Gulf states, North Africa, and Egypt.

Oilmen feared their infrastructure would be blown up in war or fall into the hands of Islamists if the sheiks fell.

Lobbyists and businessmen could not see why their short-term profits with autocrats were not merely good for the American economy, but could be made to promote the national interest of the United States as well.

Any Leftists who were not simply against anything that America was for feebly argued that democratic reform could only come from within and should arise within the parameters of socialism rather than crass American-style capitalism.

Worse still, the emphasis on democracy came from George Bush, an anathema to the Democrats who otherwise should have supported the new idealism. Anything that went wrong in Iraq was seen as spurring a spike in the polls for Democratic candidates as we entered our third national election since 9/11.

In perhaps the stupidest move in American political history, the mainstream Democratic party got suckered into buying Howard Dean’s shady investments in American failure — and so turned its back on the Iraqi democratic experiment hours before millions went to the polls in that country’s third and most successful free election.

In short, the promotion of democracy has been an orphan policy, without any parentage of past support or present special interests. It proved to be easily caricatured all at once as naïve by the right and imperialistic on the left. Thus on the war The American Conservative is now almost indistinguishable from the Nation.

Only by understanding this labyrinth of competing interests can we see why the most successful election in Middle East history, birthed by the United States, gained almost no immediate thanks or praise, here or abroad.

Yet think of the dividends that are already accruing from this most hated of policies. Voting, along with constitutional rule, a reformed economy, and American military protection of its infancy, alone are undermining both the appeal of the Islamic fascists and precluding a reactionary counter-response by the usual dictators who promise a restoration of order. If the domino trends in Eastern Europe and Latin America are any indication, Iraqi democracy will prove more destabilizing to theocratic Iran than the latter is to the new Iraq. Indeed, the only alternative choice besides the bad one of taking out the Iranian nuclear complex and the worse one of letting it mature to Armageddon, is hoping that democratic fervor spreads across the border from Iraq.

The sight of purple fingers may eventually silence the Europeans abroad and the Left at home. And constitutional governments — even if they voice anti-Americanism as they do in Turkey, or bother our liberal sensibilities as they do in Afghanistan — will be far less likely to attack each other and draw us back in. More importantly, the consistent support for constitutional government relieves us of much of the constant subterfuge and stealthy machinations of supporting this clique or that dictator. Instead, democracy is a transparent policy that reflects American values.

Truly elected leaders of the Middle East will do more to further the interest and security of the United States, and put an end to the al Qaedists, Assads, and Saddams, than all the Saudi Royals, Mubaraks, and assorted kings, generals, and dictators put together.

We don’t need Peoria or even a struggling Eastern European democracy, just the foundations for something that can allow Muslims to follow the lead of those who participate in government in India, Malaysia, or Turkey and accept the rule of law — and don’t strap on bombs to kill Americans with either government help or hurrahs from a disenfranchised mob. And we see results already right before our eyes. After all, there are really only two countries in the Middle East where thousands fight each day against Islamic terrorists who threaten their newly-won freedom — the legitimate governments in Kabul and Baghdad.

So here we have this most amazing paradox of pushing democracy: a policy that is distrusted by almost every entrenched special interest and at odds with every –ism — and yet one that alone can erode Islamic fascism and make the United States more secure. Odder still, the Democratic party at home is the least enthusiastic about the democratic parties in Iraq.

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author, most recently, of A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Popping the al Dean Zit

VDH does what he does so well. Skewer the al Dean Democrats on the sword of truth.

December 16, 2005, 7:10 a.m.
Lancing the Boil
Victor Davis Hanson
NR Online

We quietly keep on killing terrorists, promoting elections in Iraq, pressuring Arab autocracies to democratize, and growing the economy.
For some time, a large number of Americans have lived in an alternate universe where everything is supposedly going to hell. If you get up in the morning to read the New York Times or Washington Post, watch John Murtha or Howard Dean on the morning talk shows, listen to National Public Radio at noon, and go to bed reading Newsweek it surely seems that the administration is incommunicado (cf. “the bubble”), the war is lost (“unwinnable”), the Great Depression is back (“jobless recovery”), and America about as popular as Nazi Germany abroad (“alone and isolated”).

But in the real adult world, the economy is red-hot, not mired in joblessness or relegating millions to poverty. Unemployment is low, so are interest rates. Growth is high, as is consumer spending and confidence. Our Katrina was hardly as lethal as the Tsunami or Pakistani earthquake. Thousands of Arabs are not rioting in Dearborn. American elderly don’t roast and die in the thousands in their apartments as was true in France. Nor do American cities, like some in China, lose their entire water supply to a toxic spill. Americans did not just vote to reject their own Constitution as in some European countries.
The military isn’t broken. Unlike after Vietnam when the Russians, Iranians, Cambodians, and Nicaraguans all soon tried to press their luck at our expense, most of our adversaries don’t believe the U.S. military is losing in Iraq, much less that it is wise now to take it on. Instead, the general impression is that our veteran and battle-hardened forces are even more lethal than was true of the 1990s — and engaging successfully in an almost impossible war.
Nor are we creating new hordes of terrorists in Iraq — as if a young male Middle Eastern fundamentalist first hates the United States only on news that it is in Iraq crafting a new Marshall Plan of $87 billion and offering a long-oppressed people democracy after taking out Saddam Hussein. Even al Jazeera cannot turn truth into untruth forever. Instead, the apprentice jihadist is trying to win his certification as master terrorist by trying his luck against the U.S. Marines abroad rather than on another World Trade Center at home — and failing quite unlike September 11.Like it or not, wars are usually won or lost when one side feels its losses are too high to continue. We have suffered terribly in losing 2,100 dead in Iraq; a vastly smaller enemy in contrast may have experienced tens of thousands of terrorists killed, and is finding its safe havens and money drying up. Panic about Iraq abounds in both the American media and the periodic fatwas of Dr. Zawahiri — but not in the U. S. government or armed forces.The world does not hate the United States. Of course, it envies us. Precisely because it is privately impressed by our unparalleled success, it judges America by a utopian measure in which anything less than perfection is written off as failure. We risk everything, our critics abroad almost nothing. So the hope for our failures naturally gives reinforcement to the bleak reality of their inaction. The Europeans expect our protection. The Mexicans risk their lives to get here. Indians and Japanese want closer relations. The old commonwealth appreciates our strength in defense of the West. Even the hostile Iranians, North Koreans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Chinese, and radical Islamists — despite the saber-rattling rhetoric — wonder whether we are naïve and idealistic rather than cruel and calculating. All this we rarely consider when we read of anti-Americanism in our major newspapers or hear another angry (and usually well-off) professor or journalist recite our sins.Al Zarqawi is in a classical paradox: He can’t defeat the American or Iraqi security forces or stop the elections. So he must dream up ever more macabre violence to gain notoriety — from beheading Americans on the television to mass murdering Shiites to blowing up third-party Jordanians. But such lashing out only further weakens his cause and makes the efforts of his enemies on the battlefield easier, as his Sunni base starts to see that this psychopath really can take his supporters all down with him.
The Palestine problem is not even worse off after Iraq. Actually, it is far better with the isolated and disgraced Arafat gone, the fence slowly inching ahead, the worst radical Islamic terrorists on the West Bank in paradise, Israel out of Gaza, and the world gradually accepting its diplomatic presence. The real hopeless mess was 1992-2000 when a well-meaning Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, and Dennis Ross still deluded themselves that a criminal gang leader like Yasser Arafat was a legitimate head of state or that you could start to end an endless war by giving his thugs thousands of M-16s.
The European way is not the answer, as we see from the farcical negotiations over Iran’s time bomb. Struggling with a small military, unsustainable entitlement promises, little real economic growth, high unemployment, falling birth rates, angry unassimilated minorities, and a suicidal policy of estrangement from its benefactor the United States, Europeans show already an 11th-hour change of heart as we see in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and soon in France. Europe’s policy about Iran’s nuclear program can best be summed up as “Hurry up, sane and Western Israel, and take out this awful thing — so we can damn you Zionist aggressors for doing so in our morning papers.”
The administration did not prove nearly as inept in the Iraqi reconstruction as the rhetoric of its opposition was empty. The government’s chief lapse was not claiming the moral high ground for a necessary war against a fascist mass murderer — an inexplicable silence now largely addressed by George Bush’s new muscular public defense of the war. In contrast, we can sadly recall all the alternative advice of past critics across the spectrum: invade Iraq in 1998, but get out right now; trisect Iraq; attack Syria or Iran; retreat to the Shiite south; put in hundreds of thousands of more troops; or delay the elections.Donald Rumsfeld’s supposed gaffe of evoking “Old Europe” is trumped tenfold and almost daily by slurs that depict Abu Ghraib as worse than Saddam, Guantanamo as the work of Hitler, Stalin, or Pol Pot, Bush as the world’s greatest terrorist, the effort to democratize Iraq as unwinnable, and American troops terrorizing Iraqi women and children. Most Americans may grumble after reading the latest demonization in the press of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, but they are hardly ready to turn over a complex Middle East to something like a President John Kerry, Vice President Barbara Boxer, Secretary of State Howard Dean, National Security Advisor Nancy Pelosi, and Secretary of Defense John Murtha — with a kitchen cabinet of Jimmy Carter and Sandy Berger.So at year’s end, what then is happening at home and abroad? For the last three years we have seen a carbuncle swell as the old Vietnam War opposition rematerialized, with Michael Moore, the Hollywood elite, and Cindy Sheehan scaring the daylights out of the Democratic establishment that either pandered to or triangulated around their crazy rhetoric. The size of the Islamicist/Baathist insurrection caught the United States for a time off guard, as was true also of the sudden vehement slurs from our erstwhile allies in Europe, Canada, and Asia. Few anticipated that the turmoil in Iraq would force the Syrians out of Lebanon, the Libyans to give up their WMDs, and the Egyptians to hold elections — and that all the killing, acrimony, and furor over these developments would begin to engulf the Middle East and threaten the old order.In the face of that growing ulcer of discontent, we quietly kept on killing terrorists, promoting elections in Iraq, pressuring Arab autocracies to democratize, and growing the economy. All that is finally lancing the boil, here and abroad — and what was in there all along is now slowly oozing out, making the cure seem almost as gross as the malady.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Today Iraqi's Gave The Left Their Purple Finger, Again!

Voting Extended in Historic Iraq Elections
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Excerpt from FOX News

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Up to 15 million Iraqis — including large numbers of Sunnis, who boycotted the January elections — voted in historic parliamentary elections Thursday to establish a permanent democratic government amid only scattered violence.

I just love the color purple on ones finger and it's effect on the al Dean Democrats and the lefties. Can you say demoralization and defeat?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Saudis Are NOT Our Friends

The Saudi Governement behaves as if they are in a War with the U.S. when speaking in front of an Arabic audience. Just check out for the truth. The house of Saud speaks out of two mouths when it comes to Wahhabism and Islamist Terror. The Saudi Royals use the most digusting spin tactics on the West to give what the appeasers want to hear while condemning Israel, the U.S. and it's citizens as Infidels to be killed whenever possible. The Saudi government's tactic is all about spreading lies and Islamist fundamentalist hatred through it's religous schools and organizations worldwide. When is our government going to take a stand against this intolerable behaviour and fundamental hatred of everything Western and Judeo-Christian.
Mr. Woolsey nails it. Read on. Click on the title to see the article on NR Online.

The Elephant in the Middle East Living Room
Watching Wahhabis.

By R. James Woolsey

Early in November, hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee examined hate literature being distributed in American mosques. This material had been translated and published earlier this year by Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom. (I was chairman of Freedom House at the time and wrote the book's foreword.) The hearings examined these Saudi publications in the context of assessing Chairman Arlen Specter's proposed Saudi Arabia Accountability Act. In addition to the material presented at the hearings, the underlying role of Saudi Arabia's state religion, generally referred to in the West as Wahhabism, deserves expanded attention for a variety of reasons.

Recently President Bush addressed a number of the ideological aspects of this long war in which we are now engaged. As he has put it now on two occasions, "Islamofascism" is one plausible characterization of our enemy. Although this is a major step forward beyond designating "terror" as the enemy (we're certainly at war with more than a tactic, albeit a terrible one) there was still a major element missing in his presentation. The elephant in the Middle East living room is Wahhabism. Over the long run, this movement is in many ways the most dangerous of the ideological enemies we face.

Within Sunni Islam, along with several more moderate schools, there are two varieties of theocratic totalitarianism. Both of these are Salafists, believing that only a literal version of the model of rule implemented in the seventh century in Islam has ultimate legitimacy. Both have the objective of rule by a unified mosque and state; for some this theocracy is personified by the caliph. Different individuals in these movements emphasize different aspects, but generally the common objective is to unify first the Arab world under theocratic rule, then the Muslim world, then those regions that were once Muslim (e.g. Spain), then the rest of the world.

Such totalitarian visions seem crazy to most of us; we thus tend to underestimate their potency. Yet the Salafists' theocratic totalitarian dream has some features in common with the secular totalitarian dreams of the twentieth century, e.g., the Nazis' Thousand Year Reich, or the Communists' World Communism. The latter two movements produced tens of millions of deaths in the 20th century in part because, at least in their early stages, they engendered "fire in the minds of men" in Germany, Russia, and China and were able to establish national bases. Salafists had such a national base for the better part of a decade in Afghanistan and have had one controlling the Arabian Peninsula for some eight decades. They haven't attained the Nazis' and Communists' death totals yet, but this is only due to lack of power, not to less murderous or less totalitarian objectives.

Salafists of both jihadist and loyalist stripe, e.g. both al Qaeda and the Wahhabis, share basic views on all points but one. Both exhibit fanatical hatred of Shiite Muslims, Sufi Muslims, Jews, Christians, and democracy, and both brutally suppress women. They differ only on whether it is appropriate to carry out jihadist attacks against any enemy near or far now — i.e. to murder Iraqi Shiite children getting candy, people working in the World Trade Center, etc. — or whether to subordinate such efforts for the time being to the political needs of a particular state, i.e. Saudi Arabia.

The relationship between the Salafist jihadists such as al Qaeda and Salafist loyalists such as the Wahhabis is thus loosely analogous to that between the Trotskyites and the Stalinists of the 1930's. Trotskyites, like al Qaeda, believed it was justified to use violence anywhere while Stalinists, like the Wahhabis, showed primary allegiance to protecting "socialism in one country", i.e. the U.S.S.R. The fact that this difference was only a question of tactics didn't prevent the Trotskyites and Stalinists from being the most bitter of enemies — Trotsky died in 1940 with a Stalinist axe in his skull.

The "IslamoNazi" Threat
Similarly, al Qaeda launches attacks in Saudi Arabia and the Saudis work with us to capture and kill al Qaeda members who threaten them. In this sense both Saudi government officials and probably even Wahhabi clerics are willing to "cooperate with the U.S. on counter-terrorism." But this cooperation does not negate the fact that al Qaeda and the Wahhabis share essentially the same underlying totalitarian theocratic ideology. It is this common Salafist ideology that the Wahhabis have been spreading widely — financed by $3-4 billion/year from the Saudi government and wealthy individuals in the Middle East over the last quarter century — to the madrassas of Pakistan, the textbooks of Turkish children in Germany, and the mosques of Europe and the U.S. Alex Alexiev, senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, testified before Congress on June 26, 2003, that this is approximately three-four times what the Soviets were spending on external propaganda and similar "active measures" at the peak of Moscow's power in the 1970s.

This underlying Salafist ideology being spread by the Wahhabis is fanatical and murderous, indeed explicitly genocidal. (The president's "Islamofascist" term is thus perhaps understated — the Italian fascists were horrible, but not genocidal. "IslamoNazi" would be more accurate.)

For example, the BBC reported on July 18 of this year that a publication given to foreign workers in Saudi Arabia by the Islamic cultural center, which falls under the authority of the ministry of Islamic affairs, advocates the killing of "refusers" (Shia). The imam of Al-Haram in Mecca, (Islam's most holy mosque), Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, was barred from Canada last year after the translation of his sermons calling Jews "the scum of the earth" and "monkeys and pigs" who should be "annihilated." Materials distributed by the Saudi government to the Al-Farouq Masjid mosque in Brooklyn call for the killing of homosexuals and converts from Islam to another religion.

Ideas Have Consequences
The direct consequences of such murderous teachings extend to the war in Iraq. In November of 2004, 26 Wahhabi clerics in Saudi Arabia published a call for jihad against the U.S. in Iraq. Because of the high religious status of the clerics within Saudi Arabia, the exhortation was widely interpreted as a fatwa, a religious ruling. Several Saudi suicide bombers and other terrorists captured in Iraq have indicated that it was this fatwa that had turned them to terrorism. Said one: "I hadn't thought of coming to Iraq, but I had fatwas . . . I read the communiqué of the 26 clerics ... ." During the battle for Fallujah in 2004 Saudi Sheikh Abd Al-Muhsin Al-Abikan said to the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, "What is happening in Falluja is the result of such fatwas ... [The resistance] is bringing about tragedy and destruction for Iraq, Falluja, and their residents." Nasser Sulayman al-Amer, one of the 26 signers of the call for jihad, admitted recently at a press conference in Kuwait that he had met with Iraqis on this matter. On November 13 of this year the Iraqi national-security adviser, Mowaffak Rubaie said: "Most of those who blow themselves up in Iraq are Saudi nationals."

Lost in Translation
Following the controversy over the 26 clerics' edict the Saudi government retracted it, in a sense. But the only two Saudi officials who released the retraction publicly were two Saudi ambassadors, those to the U.S. and the U.K. And the retractions were issued only in English.

Overbalancing such "retractions" of Wahhabi statements is the fact that Saudi education is turning toward, not away from, Wahhabi influence. In February of 2005 a secularist reformer, Muhammad Ahmad al-Rashid, headed the Saudi Education Ministry. As he was beginning to respond to internal criticism of curricula that incited hatred of non-Muslims and non-Wahhabi Muslims, he was replaced by Abdullah bin Saleh al-Obaid, a hard-core Wahhabi. Controlling 27 percent of the national budget, al-Obaid will have a substantial effect on the views of the next generation of Saudis. His views are illuminated by aspects of his background. From 1995 to 2002, al-Obaid headed the Muslim World League (MWL). According to the U.S. Treasury the MWL's Peshawar office was led by Wael Jalaidan, "one of the founders of al Qaeda." Moreover, the main arm of the MWL is the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). The Egyptian magazine, Rose al-Youssef, describes the IIRO as "firmly entrenched with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization." In March 2002 the U.S. headquarters representing both organizations was raided and closed by federal authorities. One of the officers of the closed branch in Herndon, Virginia, was al-Obaid. The Wall Street Journal describes him as "an official enmeshed in a terror financing controversy."

Thinly Veiled Totalitarianism
Wahhabi ideology is also totalitarian to a unique degree in its repression of women. In 2002 the world press carried stories of an extreme example: Religious police in Saudi Arabia forced some young girls fleeing a burning school back inside to their deaths because they were not properly veiled. This is a fanaticism that knows no bounds.

Words and beliefs have consequences, and totalitarians are often remarkably clear about what they will do once they have enough power. Many brushed aside Mein Kampf when it was first written but it turned out to be an excellent guide to the Nazis' behavior once they had the power to implement it. We ignore the Wahhabis' teaching of Salafist fanaticism at our peril.

The Struggle for Islam
There are two important points we must understand in dealing with this ideology and its teachings.

First of all, the rest of us — Christians, Jews, other Muslims, followers of other religions, non-believers — are under absolutely no obligation to accept the Wahhabis' and their apologists' claims that they represent "true Islam." This is equivalent to the claims of Torquemada in the 16th century to represent "true Christianity." He tortured and persecuted Jews, Muslims, and dissident Christians, burned many at the stake, and stole their property. We are under no obligation to take Torquemada's word that he represented "true Christianity" and would be under no obligation to take the word of any successor should one arise. By the same token, we are under no obligation to accept the Wahhabis' claim to represent the great and just religion of Islam.

Second, it is difficult for Americans to bring themselves to draw distinctions among those who claim they are following the requirements of their religion — we generally do not want to quarrel with others' religious beliefs even if they seem very strange to us. But we must realize that murderous totalitarianism that claims religious sanction is different. We have defeated four major totalitarian movements in the last six and a half decades: German Nazism, Italian Fascism, Japanese Imperialism, and Soviet Communism. Only Japanese Imperialism had a major religious element. Communism however was secular, so our current generation of leaders has little experience with a totalitarian ideology that seeks to hide behind one of the world's great religions the way Torquemada cloaked his murderousness in claims to represent Christianity. This makes it difficult for most Americans to understand IslamoNazism. We tend to regard each person's religious beliefs as a private matter. But we must learn to make an exception for theocratic totalitarianism masquerading as religion.

During the Cold War we had little difficulty in distinguishing between, say, the Khmer Rouge and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, although both called themselves "Socialists." But it is harder for us to bring ourselves to distinguish between those who follow the Wahhabi party line on the one hand and, on the other, brave and decent individuals such the American Sufi leader Sheik Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, who has been warning Americans of the danger of Islamist terror since well before 9/11. We must get over this reluctance to challenge the perpetrators of and apologists for theocratic totalitarianism.

Cold War Lessons
Does taking on Wahhabism and its supporters mean that we must stand opposed to all cooperation with the government of Saudi Arabia, or attempt to change the Saudi regime in short order? No. The needs of statecraft must also be considered. We fought the Communist ideology in different ways from 1917 through the Cold War. But while we were fighting it, for nearly four years during World War II we were close allies of the Soviets, because we needed them with us against Hitler. Over the years we had commercial relations with them (they bought our wheat and Pepsis, we bought their oil) and some of us spent years negotiating arms-control agreements with them, sometimes to positive effect. In short, we worked as the need arose over the years with the Soviet state, but we generally kept up our ideological struggle against Communism, especially after 1947.

We need to keep this history in mind when dealing with the government of Saudi Arabia. The royal family has some reformers in it, including, to a mild degree, King Abdullah, with whom we may make some common cause. We need to work with the Saudi government on reform and, of course, on issues related to oil. But just as we took steps in the 1980s to try to limit Europe's dependence on Soviet natural-gas supplies we would be well advised today to reduce our own oil dependency. And we must never forget the underlying totalitarian ideology of the Saudi state.

How might we undertake to fight this Wahhabi ideology? Again, we should recall some Cold War lessons. By the 1950s, after a congressional attempt to outlaw Communism was struck down by the Supreme Court, and after Joseph McCarthy's attempt to spread guilt by association was defeated, we hit upon several ways to deal with our domestic Communists. We made them register. We infiltrated them with large numbers of FBI agents. We essentially made their lives miserable. It was legal for them and their front groups to exist — indeed they perennially ran Gus Hall for President — and they even recruited some spies for the Soviets. But despite their best efforts they were not a serious force in American life, nor did they succeed in undermining our ability to fight the Cold War. At the same time we made common cause with Democratic socialists around the world, just as we must make common cause today with the hundreds of millions of decent Muslims with whom we have no quarrel.

We should have a frank national discussion about how we may learn from this history and deal with Sunni theocratic totalitarianism — so that we may help it join its secular cousins, Nazism and Communism (and its predecessor totalitarian religious movements such as Torquemada's Inquisition) where they all rightly belong: on the ash-heap of history.

— R. James Woolsey, a former director of Central Intelligence, is co-chairman of the .

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Finger Purple - The Left's Least Favorite Color.

Ah Purrrrrrple!
What a glorious color to behold on one's fingertip. I must say that I will be having a particularly good time on the Purple day of freedom. It's already starting. I spotted at least seven photos of Iraqi's with purple fingers since the wounded and military get to vote first. Now we will again see the tide of purple fingers given freely to everyone who doubted and tried to diminish their freedom. The one symbol that even the Left can't ignore. A Most Magnificent Day will dawn Purple for the Iraqi's and the World. The one single day that no amount of moral relavism, cheap sloganeering, wild conjecture, emotional obfuscating, slanted disinformation or even outright lies from the Left will diminish. That's a fact, Jack.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dean, Kerry & Murtha - Fertilizer Farmers of The DNC

Do these Democrat air heads ever listen to themselves? I think not! VDH does the subject justice and nails these idiots. With this kind of leadership at the DNC, it's going to be a snap for the Republicans in 2006 and again in 2008. Read on. For the actual article, click on the title.

Democratic Implosion
Victor Davis Hansen
December 09, 2005, 9:08 a.m.
NR Online

Can the party of the people be saved from itself?

The idea that we are going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong.— Howard Dean
And there is no reason… that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the — of — the historical customs, religious customs.— John Kerry
The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home.— John Murtha
Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic party, assures us that we cannot win the struggle for democracy in Iraq. He predicts, as proved true in Vietnam, that the United States will inevitably fail. So it makes better sense to flee now, admit defeat, and thus lessen our inevitable losses.

To Dean, the constitutional evolution in Iraq and the growth of its democratic security forces follow the doomed model of Vietnamization — another sham transition bound to implode.
In this regard, irony is lost on Dean: After terrible sacrifices, mistakes, and government dissimulation, Vietnamization between 1971 and 1975 finally was working. The American military had largely rid the south of the Viet Cong; a peace treaty had established two sovereign nations; and American ground troops were withdrawn.
Yet the war was later lost mostly because a partisan antiwar Senate, emboldened by Watergate and in hatred of a duplicitous Nixon, cut off most material and military aid to the south Vietnamese. That precluded as well American air support to deter an opportunistic conventional invasion from a calculating northern army that had quickly sized up the politics of the U.S. Congress.
Dean seems to evoke Vietnam without any inkling how close the United States was, after a decade of ordeal, to achieving many of the goals originally envisioned — something like a viable South Korean government that, unlike its Communist counterpart, might have a chance to evolve into a truly consensual society. Much less does he cite the millions who perished, were incarcerated, or sent into exile following the establishment of a cruel Stalinist regime, or the effect of that defeat on the security of the U.S. and its allies, as later demonstrated in Cambodia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central America.
Not long ago, John Kerry was on a Sunday talk show. Without much of a warm-up, he was soon alleging that Americans were terrorizing Iraqis in their homes. Apparently such unproven criticism was meant as a critique of U.S. policy by a former (and future) candidate for president — but it unfortunately came just days before a critical election that may at last smooth the way for democracy in Iraq. One can imagine Sunni rejectionists hoping to derail the elections by proclaiming that even a former American presidential candidate admits that the infidels are “terrorizing our women and children.”
Like Dean, Kerry appears insensitive about the irony: He just lost an election in part because too many Americans recalled his Vietnam-era record of trying to score cheap political points by trashing brave American troops in the field, thanks to his own constant evocation of Vietnam on the campaign trail.
Kerry also called breezily for the resignation of secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in the midst of the war. Unfortunately, Kerry’s subsequent exegesis of why the secretary should be sacked only proved why we are lucky to have Rumsfeld and not Kerry or Howard Dean in a position of administrative responsibility.
Despite the stentorian intonation, Kerry’s new suggestions for what to do in Iraq simply outlined what the United States is in fact already doing: training Iraqis, providing protection for the ongoing constitutional process, talking to regional neighbors, trying to get the Europeans involved in the Middle East, and hunting down terrorists on the Afghan borders. Kerry then admitted — though he did not during the election of 2004 when the war polls were more iffy — that he now regrets his vote authorizing the war against Saddam. All that was missing was a George Romney moment in which Kerry might have revealed that he had been brainwashed — and that almost came when he blamed the administration for giving him misleading intelligence briefings.
Sadder still for Kerry, not long after his embarrassing call for Rumsfeld’s resignation, the secretary of Defense offered a review of Iraq and answered questions at a televised news conference at the School for Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins. Where Kerry blamed others for his apparently now-embarrassing vote, Rumsfeld took responsibility for going to war. He pulled no punches in explaining its ongoing difficulty, and answered tough questions by explaining why and how we are winning.
Contrast the Democratic reactions to respective advice offered by Congressman Murtha and Senator Joe Lieberman. The former is a respected but not nationally known Democratic figure; the latter ran for the vice presidency of the United States. The Democrats gushed over Murtha’s bleak Dean-like assessment that the war is essentially lost and that we must leave as soon as possible. But then when a vote was called on the issue, they voted overwhelmingly not to follow the congressman’s prescription.
In contrast, when Lieberman returned from Iraq and gave a cautiously optimistically appraisal that our plan of encouraging elections, training Iraqis, and improving the Iraqi economy is working both inside Iraq and in the wider neighboring region, he was shunned by Democrats — who nevertheless by their inaction essentially agreed with Lieberman and so made no move to demand an immediate withdrawal. How odd to be effusive over the Democrat whose advice you reject while ignoring the spokesman whose advice you actually follow.
Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Congressman Murtha represent the Democratic mainstream. And that’s the problem. None of them can be characterized as embracing the Michael Moore/Cindy Sheehan fringe, and none are even prone to the wacky grandstanding of Jimmy Carter or Barbara Boxer.
Yet what we get from the national chairman, the former presidential candidate, and the new popular icon — on the verge of the third and final election in Iraq — is a de facto admission that we are losing and must leave.
In the background, old Vietnam-era themes provide the chorus for the growing antiwar sentiment: apparent disdain for the Iraqis, mirroring the way that liberals pooh-poohed anti-Communist Eastern Europeans, Cubans, and Vietnamese; endemic pessimism that does not match the rapidly evolving events on the ground; and political opportunity that an American embarrassment abroad might reverse a long-term and ongoing unfavorable political realignment at home.
When Saddam was removed in a brilliant three-week campaign, few anticipated that the subsequent effort to craft democracy in his wake would evolve into a conflict for the very heart of the Middle East. Most feared that postbellum Afghanistan would be the harder task — given the wealthier and more secular nature of Iraqi society.
Instead the war, as wars almost always do, has morphed into something quite different than expected — a regional referendum on Lebanon, the future of Syria, reform movements in the Gulf and Egypt, about-faces in Pakistan and Libya, and continued pressure on a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. And despite the heartbreak of 2,100 deaths, we are not just winning in Iraq, but on the verge of something far larger, and more permanent: not a return to the ancient caliphate or another dictatorship, but the real chance for the birth of a new Middle East that takes its place at last among responsible nations.
All that was impossible to envision without the prior American removal of Saddam Hussein — now reduced to a pathetic deposed tyrant, railing against his victims and in his misery calling those “terrorists” who did not give him clean underwear. He plays the role of the dying thug right out the pages of Plutarch; all that is missing are Sulla’s worms.
Dean, Kerry, and Murtha are bright and good men who rightly worry that more Americans will die in a far-off place for a cause that they think is now hopeless. But to follow their apparently popular advice would lead to an abject national disaster as well as calamity for their own party. In short, they have become metaphors of why even Democrats are uneasy about voting for Democrats.
More importantly, the Democrats spent the last quarter century, following Vietnam and Jimmy Carter, trying to reestablish their lost fides on national defense (which were once unquestionable in the age of FDR, Truman, JFK, and senator Henry Jackson). If Joe Lieberman cannot save mainstream Democrats from themselves, perhaps the Iraqis who vote on December 15 can.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

Friday, December 02, 2005

VDH scores and makes some very real assertions -The Moral War

Victor nails it again. For those of you not familiar with VDH, he is a renowned military historian, Rhodes scholar and military realist who empirically defines his opinions on the current US military and war on terror situations both in Iraq and worldwide. Victor's opinions are based on precedental military fact, keen strategic assessment and his mastery of military history. These qualities are key to VDH's ability to see though political hubris and emotionalism to the actual empirical truths of this war. Some are offended by his pontification style and the left particularly hates him as they have a problem with guys like Victor that burst their hot air balloons with sharply defined rational thoughts rich in military precision and reality. Read on. Click on the Title for the actual article on NR Online.

A Moral War
The moral onus should have always been on the critics of the war.
Victor Davis Hanson
December 2, 2005

The project in Iraq can succeed, and leave its critics scrambling.
Almost everything that is now written about Iraq rings not quite right: It was a “blunder”; there should have been far more troops there; the country must be trisected; we must abide by a timetable and leave regardless of events on the ground; Iraq will soon devolve into either an Islamic republic or another dictatorship; the U.S. military is enervated and nearly ruined; and so on.
In fact, precisely because we have killed thousands of terrorists, trained an army, and ensured a political process, it is possible to do what was intended from the very beginning: lessen the footprint of American troops in the heart of the ancient caliphate.
Save for a few courageous Democrats, like Senator Joe Lieberman, who look at things empirically rather than ideologically, and some stalwart Republicans, most politicians and public intellectuals have long bailed on the enterprise.
This is now what comprises statesmanship: Some renounce their earlier support for the war. Others, less imaginative, in Clintonian (his and hers) fashion, take credit for backing the miraculous victory of spring 2003, but in hindsight, of course, blame the bloody peace on Bush. Or, better yet, they praise Congressman Murtha to the skies, but under no circumstances go on record urging the military to follow his advice.
How strange that journalists pontificate post facto about all the mistakes that they think have been made, nevertheless conceding that here we are on the verge of a third and final successful election. No mention, of course, is ever made about the current sorry state of journalistic ethics and incompetence (cf. Jayson Blair, Judy Miller, Michael Isikoff, Bob Woodward, Eason Jordan). A group of professionals, after all, who cannot even be professional in their own sphere, surely have no credibility in lecturing the U.S. military about what they think went wrong in Iraq.
Of course, the White House, as is true in all wars, has made mistakes, but only one critical lapse — and it is not the Herculean effort to establish a consensual government at the nexus of the Middle East in less than three years after removing Saddam Hussein. The administration’s lapse, rather, has come in its failure to present the entire war effort in its proper moral context.
We took no oil — the price in fact skyrocketed after we invaded Iraq. We did not do Israel’s bidding; in fact, it left Gaza after we went into Iraq and elections followed on the West Bank. We did not want perpetual hegemony — in fact, we got out of Saudi Arabia, used the minimum amount of troops possible, and will leave Iraq anytime its consensual government so decrees. And we did not expropriate Arab resources, but, in fact, poured billions of dollars into Iraq to jumpstart its new consensual government in the greatest foreign aid infusion of the age.
In short, every day the American people should have been reminded of, and congratulated on, their country’s singular idealism, its tireless effort to reject the cynical realism of the past, and its near lone effort to make terrible sacrifices to offer the dispossessed Shia and Kurds something better than the exploitation and near genocide of the past — and how all that alone will enhance the long-term security of the United States.
That goal was what the U.S. military ended up so brilliantly fighting for — and what the American public rarely heard. The moral onus should have always been on the critics of the war. They should have been forced to explain why it was wrong to remove a fascist mass murderer, why it was wrong to stay rather than letting the country sink into Lebanon-like chaos, and why it was wrong not to abandon brave women, Kurds, and Shia who only wished for the chance of freedom.
Alas, that message we rarely heard until only recently, and the result has energized amoral leftists, who now pose as moralists by either misrepresenting the cause of the war, undermining the effort of soldiers in the field, or patronizing Iraqis as not yet civilized enough for their own consensual government.
We can draw down our troops not because of political pressures but because of events on the ground. First, the Iraqi military is improving — not eroding or deserting. The canard of only “one battle-ready brigade” could just as well apply to any of the Coalition forces. After all, what brigade in the world is the equal of the U.S. military — or could go into the heart of Fallujah house-to-house? The French? The Russians? The Germans? In truth, the Iraqi military is proving good enough to hold ground and soon to take it alongside our own troops.
Despite past calls here to postpone elections, and threats of mass murder there for those who participated in them, they continue on schedule. And the third and last vote is the most important, since it will put a human face on the elected government — and the onus on it to officially sanction U.S. help and monetary aid or refuse it.
Saddam’s trial will remind the world of his butchery. Despite all the ankle-biting by human-rights groups about proper jurisprudence, the Iraqis will try him and convict him much more quickly than the Europeans will do the same to Milosevic (not to mention the other killers still loose like Gen. Mladic and Mr. Karadzic), posing the question: What is the real morality — trying a mass murderer and having him pay for his crimes, or engaging in legal niceties for years while the ghosts of his victims cry for justice?More importantly, we can also calibrate our progress by examining the perceived self-interest of the various players, here and abroad.
The Sunnis — no oil, a minority population, increasing disgust with Zarqawi, a shameful past under Saddam — will participate in the December elections in large numbers. They now have no choice other than either to be perpetual renegades and terrorists inside their own country or to gain world respect by turning to democracy. The election train is leaving in December and this time they won’t be left at the station.
Zarqawi and the radical Islamicists are slowly being squeezed as only a war at their doorstep could accomplish. Critics of Iraq should ask if we were not fighting Zarqawi in Iraq, where exactly would we be fighting Islamic fascists — or would the war against terror be declared over, won, lost, dormant, or ongoing, with the U.S. simply playing defense?
Instead, what Iraq did is ensure that al Qaeda’s Sunni support is being coopted by democracy. Jordan, the terrorists’ old ace in the hole that could always put a cosmetic face on its stealthy support for radicals, has essentially turned on Zarqawi and with him al Qaeda. Syria is under virtual siege and its border sanctuary now a killing zone. Bin Laden can offer very little solace from his cave. And somehow Islamists have alienated the United States, Europe, Russia, China, Australia, Japan, and increasingly Middle East democracies like those in Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iraq, and reform movements in Lebanon and Jordan.
Decision day is coming when Zarqawi’s bombers will have to choose either to die, or, like a Nathan Bedford Forrest (“I’m a goin’ home”), quit to join the reform-seeking majority. That progress was accomplished only by the war in Iraq, and without it we would be back to playing a waiting game for another 9/11, while an autocratic Middle East went on quietly helping terrorists without consequences, either afraid of Saddam or secretly enjoying his chauvinist defiance.
Kurds and Shiites support us for obvious reasons — no other government on the planet would risk its sons and daughters to give them the right of one man/one vote. They may talk the necessary talk about infidels, but they know we will leave anytime they so vote. After the December election, expect them — and perhaps the Sunnis as well — quietly to ask us to stay to see things through.
Europe is quiet now. Madrid, London, Paris, and Amsterdam have taught Europeans that it is not George Bush but Islamic fascism that threatens their very existence. Worse still, they rightly fear they have lost the good will of the United States that so generously subsidized their defense — an entitlement perhaps to be sneered at during the post-Cold War “end of history,” but not in a new global war against Islamic terrorists keen to acquire deadly weapons.
Our military realizes that it can trump its brilliant victories in removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein by birthing democracy in Iraq — or risk losing that impressive reputation by having a new Lebanon blow up in its face. China, Japan, India, Russia, Korea, Iran, and other key countries are all watching Iraq — ready to calibrate American deterrence by the efficacy of the U.S. military in the Sunni Triangle. Our armed forces have already accomplished what the British and the Soviets could never do in Afghanistan; what the Russians failed to accomplish in Chechnya; and what we came so close to finishing in Vietnam. They won’t falter now when they are so close to winning an almost impossibly difficult war, one that will be recognized by friends and enemies as beyond the capability of any other military in the world.
The Left now risks losing its self-proclaimed moral appeal. It had trashed the efforts in Iraq for months on end, demanded a withdrawal — only recently to learn from polls that an unhappy public may also be unhappy with it for advocating fleeing while American soldiers are in harm’s way. Another successful election, polls showing Iraqis overwhelmingly wishing us to stay on, visits by elected Iraqi officials asking continued help, and a decreasing American footprint will gradually erode the appeal of the antiwar protests — especially as triangulating public intellectuals and pundits begin to quiet down, fathoming that the United States may win after all.
The administration realizes that as long as it stays the course and our military remains confident we can win, we will — despite defections in the Congress, venom in the press, and cyclical lows in the polls. In practical political terms, only the administration, not the Congress or the courts, can choose to cease our efforts in Iraq. Rightly or wrongly, the Bush administration will be judged on Iraq: If we lose, the president will be seen as a tragic LBJ-like figure who squandered his initial grassroots support in a foreign quagmire; if we win, he will be remembered, in spirit, as something akin to a Harry Truman, and, in deed, an FDR who won a critical war against impossible odds, and restored the security of the United States.
George Bush may well go down in history as a less-effective leader than his father or Bill Clinton; but unlike either, he may also have a real chance to be remembered in that select class of rare presidents whom history records as having saved this country at a time of national peril and in the face of unprecedented criticism. BushÂ’s domestic agenda hinges on Iraq: If he withdraws now, his proposals on taxes, social security, deficit reduction, education, and immigration are dead. If he sees the Iraq project through, these now-iffy initiatives will piggyback on the groundswell of popular thanks he will receive for reforming the Middle East.
Strangely, I doubt whether very many would agree with much of anything stated above — at least for now. But if the administration can emphasize the moral nature of this war, and the military can continue its underappreciated, but mostly successful efforts to defeat the enemy and give the Iraqis a few more months of breathing space, who knows what the current opportunists and pessimists will say by summer.Will they say that they in fact were always sorta, kinda, really for removing Saddam and even staying on to see democracy work in Iraq?
— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Crying Game

I just love Victor's keen sense of irony and timing on this subject. As usual, Victor nails it down so tight no lefty Demo dare debate his positions with actual facts. Read on. For the original article in National Review online, click on the title link.

So near in Iraq, so far at home.
Victor Davis Hanson - NROnline.

"The president misled us." "Still no WMDs." "If I had only known then what I do now…"

This is the intellectual level of Democratic wartime criticism about the Bush administration as we near the third Iraqi election — the one that will finally give faces to the first truly elected parliamentary government in the Arab world.

So what is behind this crying game at home — when we are so close to achieving our goals abroad?

Bad polls and far-worse casualties. With over 2,000 American dead in Iraq, the politicians think their own brilliant three-week war was ruined by George Bush’s 32-month failed reconstruction.

But the Democratic establishment’s anger is even more complicated than that since it is not yet quite sure of the mood of the fickle American people.

True, from the very beginning a small group of leftists has done its best to mischaracterize the effort to remove Saddam Hussein as some sort of Halliburton, “no-blood-for oil,” “Bush lied/thousands died,” “neocon” war “for Israel.” But despite the occasional auxiliary efforts of the elite press, until now there were really no takers in the mainstream Democratic party for the vehement antiwar crowd’s slander for at least three reasons.

One was the crazies. By that I mean that the Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Cindy Sheehan factions have a propensity to go lunatic and say or do anything — like shamefully praising the murdering terrorists who blow apart Iraqi women and children and U.S. soldiers as "Minutemen,” or calling the president of the United States “the world’s greatest terrorist.”

A sanctimonious Jimmy Carter may sit next to the buffoonish Michael Moore at the Democratic Convention in VIP seats, but the inclusion of his name with Rep. John Murtha’s is still apparently considered by liberals to be an outright slander. So up until now invoking Bush as a "liar" and our enemies as "heroes" was considered over the top.

Two, the Democratic left wing was wrong on the Cold War and mostly wrong on Gulf War I. With minorities in the Congress, fearful that they might never again be trusted on national security, and cognizant that both Bill Clinton’s campaign against Milosevic and George Bush’s war against the Taliban had been relatively cost-free, they outdid themselves in calling for invasion of Iraq.

Go back and read any of the statements of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, or Jay Rockefeller about the dangers of Saddam Hussein and the need to take him out. Only then can you understand why the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly, with a strong Democratic majority, to authorize a war.

So up until now, Democrats had an embarrassing paper trail that in the era of Google searches made it hard to claim that the war was Bush’s alone and not their own. Indeed, as long as casualties were considered "tolerable" and the polls stable, most Democrats continued to talk in accordance with their own past votes and wanted to bask in the success of ending the Hussein nightmare.

Three, most Democrats knew the history of the George McGovern pullout campaign of 1972 that ended in disaster for the party at large. It just isn’t smart to lose American wars by cutting out — unless you have a Watergate for cover. Yet so far not outing a CIA employee who was not a covert agent does not make a scandal.

For all the media pizzazz about the peace candidate Howard Dean, the good Dr. had not a prayer of winning either the nomination or the presidency. Indeed, his tenure as chairman of the Democratic party has been a Republican godsend, since, like McGovern, he has the propensity in a single moment of heartfelt sincerity to scare the hell out of the American people.

Thus the savvy strategy as the casualties grew was to quibble, ankle-bite, and offer empty platitudes like “Get the U.N. back there,” “Get NATO in,” and “Get the Arab League on board,” rather than offering an ad hoc alternative plan of leaving Iraq in the style of Vietnam, Lebanon, or Mogadishu.

Two of those reservations have now vanished, as George Bush’s flight suit; the museum looting; Saddam’s public dental exam; the embalming of the Hussein boys; naked pictures from Abu Ghraib; a supposedly flushed Koran in Guantanamo Bay; rants on the Senate floor; the Scooter Libby indictment; comparisons of the U.S. military to Saddam Hussein; Nazi Germany; Stalin; and Pol Pot; the broadsides of Joe Wilson; Richard Clarke; General Anthony Zinni; Brent Scowcroft; Lawrence Wilkerson, et al.; lies that our soldiers targeted Western journalists; the meae culpae of prominent former war supporters from Francis Fukuyama to George Packer; white phosphorus; leaks about supposed CIA torture prisons abroad — along with mostly silence from the embattled administration and U.S. combat dead exceeding 2,000 — have changed the political calculus.

So Democrats have overcome two caveats. First, they are beginning to sound like Michael Moore while distancing themselves from Michael Moore. Second, they have come up with a clever escape ploy from their own previous rhetoric. Yes, they voted for the war, but the intelligence they had was “not the same” as the president’s. And besides, they were merely senators who fund wars, while George Bush was the commander-in-chief who directs them. “He started it — not us” may be the stuff of errant boys on the playground, but it apparently offers a way out of past embarrassing speeches and votes. Even more clever, they now claim that voting “to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq” in October 2002 is not quite the same as actually authorizing a war in March 2003.

Consequently, the Democrats are now inching toward jettisoning their final reservation and embracing the Howard Dean cut-and-run position. Still, shrewd pros like a Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, or Chuck Schumer are not quite there yet for two other understandable worries. The polls say Americans are tired of the war, but not yet ready to quit and give up on all that has been achieved, leaving brave Iraqi reformers to ninth-century beheaders and suicide-murderers.

Second, these more astute Democrats are not sure that the Iraqi gambit might not work, especially with the December election coming up, the public trial of Saddam, the growth of the Iraqi security forces, and the changed attitudes in Europe, Jordan, and Lebanon. Many talk a lot about Vietnam circa 1967 but deep down and in silence most have mixed emotions about Saigon 1975.

For now Democrats stammer, sputter, and go the Bush shoulda / coulda route — not quite ready to take the McGovern sharp turn, forever waiting on polls and events on the ground in Iraq, always unsure whether peace and democracy will come before the 2,500th American fatality.

Yet as they hedge — on television praising Congressmen Murtha who advocates withdrawal, but making sure they vote overwhelmingly on the record to reject his advice — they should consider some critical questions.

First, are the metrics of this war in the terrorists’ or our favor? Are the Iraqi security forces growing or shrinking? Are elections postponed or on schedule? Are Europe, Jordan, Lebanon, and others more or less sympathetic to a war against Islamic terrorism in Iraq? Are bin Laden, Zawahiri, and Zarqawi more or less popular or secure after we removed Saddam? Is al Qaeda in a strengthened or weakened position? Is the Arab world more or less receptive to democracy in the Gulf, Egypt, Lebanon, and the West Bank? And is the United States more or less vulnerable to a terrorist attack as we go into our fifth year since September 11?

I ask those questions in all sincerity since the conventional wisdom — compared to the true wisdom and compassion of those valiantly fighting the terrorists under the most impossible of conditions — is that we are losing in Iraq, our enemies are emboldened, and the Arab world has turned against us. But if we forget the banality of New York Times columnists, the admonitions of NPR experts, and the daily rants of a Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, or Al Gore, more sober and street-smart Democrats are in fact not so sure of these answers.

So these wiser ones wait and hedge their wagers. They give full rein to the usefully idiotic and irresponsible in their midst, but make no move yet to undo what thousands of brave American soldiers have accomplished in Iraq.

What exactly is that? Despite acrimony at home, the politics of two national elections and a third on the horizon, and the slander of war crimes and incompetence, those on the battlefield of Iraq have almost pulled off the unthinkable — the restructuring of the politics of the Middle East in less than three years.

And for now that is still a strong hand to bet against.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Lefty MSM Club Gets The Purple Finger.

AP, Reuters, NYT, CNN, CBS, ABC and all of the other daily leftymoron blogs just got the purple finger, again, for the second time. Iraqis turned out in even greater numbers to vote for freedom and against all of the naysayers, terrorist sympathizers and Islamic terrorists. Al Qaeda might as well al quita or just sulk off and die. The Iraqi people will choose their own destiny, now. But don't think everything is just rosy yet. The Iraqis will need our help to defeat the terrorist insergency. We got a long way to go yet in the War on Islamic Terror. Right up to Bashad's door in Syria is probably not too far away for our Marines. Semper Fi.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Confusion And Dispair In the Leftist Camp - When Good News Strikes

It seems that the noise factor over the Iraq war from the left has died down a bit. Depression has set in over the realization of being so very wrong on all fronts and not being as smart as the guy they hate the most. The following is a great opinion piece on the whys.
Read on. To see the original article, click on the title of this post.

When Good News Strikes

March 08, 2005, 7:49 a.m.
Rich Lowry - NR Online
Glum liberals’ try coping with a changing world.
If the world that Democrats have been living in lately were made into a reality disaster show, it would be called “When Good News Strikes.”
One of the inconveniences of political debate is that occasionally reality intrudes to invalidate a given position no matter how much its partisans want to believe it. This is what has been happening recently to the argument that the invasion of Iraq produced an irrecoverable mess. Although surely setbacks still await us in Iraq and the Middle East, stunning headlines from the region have left many liberals perversely glum about upbeat news.Schadenfreude has faded into its happiness-hating opposite, gluckschmerz. Liberal journalist Kurt Andersen has written in New York magazine of the guilty “pleasure liberals took in bad news from Iraq, which seemed sure to hurt the administration.” According to Andersen, the successful Iraqi elections changed the mood. For Bush critics, this inspiring event was “unexpectedly unsettling,” since they so “hat[ed] the idea of a victory presided over by the Bush team.”The legendary liberal editor Charlie Peters confessed to his own attack of gluckschmerz: “New York Post columnist John Podhoretz asked liberals: ‘Did you momentarily feel a rush of disappointment [at the news of the Jan. 30 Iraq election] because you knew, you just knew, that this was going to redound to the credit of George W. Bush?’ I plead guilty …” On his show the other night, comedian Jon Stewart — half-jokingly — expressed a feeling of dread at the changes in the Middle East and the credit President Bush will get for them. “Oh my God!” he said. “He’s gonna be a great — pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, ‘Reagan was nothing compared to this guy.’ Like, my kid’s gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it.” Stewart is badly in need of the consolation of a yet-to-be-written pop theological tract, “When Good Things Happen to Bad Presidents.”The Democratic foreign-policy expert who was Stewart’s guest that night, Nancy Soderberg, tried to comfort him, pointing out that the budding democratic revolution in the Middle East still might fail: “There’s always hope that this might not work.” There is historical precedent for that, of course. Liberal revolutions failed in Europe in 1848 and Eastern Europe in 1968. What is an entirely new phenomenon is liberals calling such reverses for human freedom — half-jokingly or not — occasions for “hope.”Soderberg added: “There’s still Iran and North Korea, don’t forget. There’s hope.” The way Bogart and Bergman “will always have Paris,” liberals now tell themselves they “will always have Iran and North Korea.” No matter the good news anywhere else, these nuke-hungry rogue states will provide grounds for bad-mouthing Bush foreign policy. But these two intractable problems won’t seriously detract from Bush’s world-changing accomplishment should he succeed in transforming the Middle East.Some liberals are reluctantly giving him his due. The New York Times surveyed the fresh air sweeping the region and concluded, “The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit.” Liberal commentator Daniel Schorr remarked: “During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said that ‘a liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region.’ He may have had it right.”Has the administration gotten a few fortunate breaks in the Middle East lately? Well, yes. Asked how he seemed to make so many lucky saves, the great Montreal Canadien goalie Ken Dryden explained that it was his job to be in the right position to get lucky. By toppling Saddam Hussein and insisting on elections in Iraq, while emphasizing the power of freedom, Bush has put the United States in the right position to encourage and take advantage of democratic irruptions in the region.And so we have created the conditions for being pleasantly surprised by the positive drift of events in the Middle East, or unpleasantly surprised — depending on your politics.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What Will Happen To Hezbollah When Syria Leaves Lebanon?

The recent world pressure on Syria to exit Lebanon may have unintended consequences. I found a letter on NR Online to Jonah Goldberg from a Lebanese Christian living in Lebanon that is pretty mich right on in my estimation and mostly is a good thing.

MORE HEZBOLLAH [Jonah Goldberg]
I've gotten several emails along these lines:

Dear Jonah,
I read about you asking for an argument as to why Hezbollah would not control Lebanon if Syria withdraws. I am Christian Lebanese and here is my take:
1- Syrian presence is not keeping Hezbollah in check but is giving it a role beyond its natural size.
2- The support of Hizbollah is limited to a part of the Shiite community which has a plurality but is still a minority in Lebanon.
3- Any attempt by Hizbollah to expand beyond Shiite areas will unite all Lebanese against it. Hizballah knows that the West will arm the Christians and Druze against Hezbollah in such an event. Hezbollah will never attempt such a thing.
4- Most Hezbollah supporters are not interested in living under Islamic law but only in the social benefits Hezbollah gives them and which is paid for by Iran. Hezbollah gave up enforcing Islamic law even in areas it controls. It's all about money. If the money flow is turned off, Hezbollah will shrink to a fraction of its size.
5- The Lebanese Parliament has 128 seats divided 64-64 Christian-Muslim. On the muslim half, the Shiites get only 27 seats. This the theoretical ceiling of Shiite power. Today they only have 12 seats.
6- In a free Lebanon, Hezbollah will not have the power to continue its fight against Israel. The Christians will call for peace with Israel. The Druze and Sunnis will say not before peace in Israel-Palestine is achieved. But Christians, Druze, and Sunnis will oppose Hezbollah exposing Lebanon to Israeli retaliation. The net result will be the return to 1949 armistice agreement. It is the Syrian presence that allowed Hezbollah go against the will of the majority. Without Syria, Hezbollah's hands are tied.
Thank You

Friday, February 25, 2005

Merchants of Despair - The New Democrats Under Dean

Yes. It's Victor again. He is saying what I have been thinking every since the 2000 Presidential Election. It's also why you can't ever have a reasonable debate or discuss other possibilites that are real world with the lefty crowd that seems to dominate the Democrats these days. Dean is determined to turn all of the Democratic party into the types that Victor describes perfectly in this article. Read on. To see the original article, click on the title of this post.

Merchants of Despair
Sort of for the war, sort of...
By: Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

Much of the recent domestic critique of American efforts in the Middle East has long roots in our own past — and little to do with the historic developments on the ground in Iraq

1. "It's America's fault."Some on the hard left sought to cite our support for Israel or general "American imperialism" in the Middle East as culpable for bin Laden's wrath on September 11. Past American efforts to save Muslims in Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Kuwait, and Afghanistan counted for little. Even less thanks were earned by billions of dollars given to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. The Islamofascist vision of a Dark Age world run by unelected imams — where women were in seclusion, homosexuals were killed, Jews were terrorized, Christians were routed, and freedom was squelched — registered little, even though such visions were by definition at war with all that Western liberalism stands for.
This flawed idea that autocrats supposedly hate democracy more for what it does rather than for what it represents is not new. On the eve of World War II isolationists on the right insisted that America had treated Germany unfairly after World War I and wrongly sided with British imperialism in its efforts to rub in their past defeat. "International Jewry" was blamed for poisoning the good will between the two otherwise friendly countries by demanding punitive measures from a victimized Germany. Likewise, poor Japan was supposedly unfairly cut off from American ore and petroleum, and hemmed in by provocative Anglo Americans.
By the late 1940s things had changed, and now it was the turn of the old Left, which blamed "fascists" for ruining the hallowed American-Soviet wartime alliance by "isolating" and "surrounding" the Russians with hostile bases and allies. The same was supposedly true of China: We were lectured ad nauseam by idealists and "China hands" that Mao "really" wanted to cultivate American friendship, but was spurned by our right-wing ideologues — as if there were nothing of the absolutism and innate thuggery in him that would soon account for 50 million or more murdered and starved.
Ditto the animosity from dictators like Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro. The Left assured us instead that both were actually neo-Jeffersonians whose olive branches were crushed by Cold Warriors, and who then — but only then — went on to plan their own gulags in Vietnam and Cuba.
2. "Americans are weak."Before we went into Afghanistan, we were hectored that the country's fierce people, colonial history, rugged terrain, hostile neighbors, foreign religion, and shattered infrastructure made victory unlikely. We also forget now how the Left warned us of terrible casualties and millions of refugees before the Iraq war, and then went dormant until the insurgents emerged. At that point it resurfaced to assure that Iraq was lost and precipitate withdrawal our only hope, only to grow quiet again after the recent Iraqi election — a cycle that followed about the same 20-month timetable of military victory to voting in Afghanistan.
Now a new geopolitical litany has arisen: The reserves are "shattered"; North Korea, Syria, and Iran are untouchable while we are "bogged down" in the Sunni Triangle; a schedule for withdrawal from Iraq needs to be spelled out; there is no real American-trained Iraqi army; the entire Arab world hates us; blah, blah, blah...
In 1917, "a million men over there" was considered preposterous for a Potemkin American Expeditionary Force; by late 1918 it was chasing Germany out of Belgium. Charles Lindbergh returned from an obsequious visitation with Goering to warn us that the Luftwaffe was unstoppable. Four years later it was in shambles as four-engine American bombers reduced the Third Reich to ashes.
Japanese Zeroes, supposed proof of comparative American backwardness in 1941-2, were the easy targets of "Turkey Shoots" by 1944 as American fighters blew them out of the skies. Sputnik "proved" how far we were behind the socialist workhorse in Russia, even as we easily went to the moon first a little over a decade later. The history of the American military and economy in the 20th century is one of being habitually underestimated, even as the United States defeated Prussian imperialism, German Nazism, Italian fascism, Japanese militarism, and Stalinist Communism.
Nor in our more recent peacetime were we buried by stagflation, Jimmy Carter's "malaise," Japan, Inc., and all the other supposed bogeymen that were prophesized to overwhelm the institutional strength of the American state, its free-enterprise system, and the highly innovative and individualistic nature of the American people.
3. "They are supermen." When suicide murderers dominated the news of the Intifada, followed by the car bombers and beheaders of the Sunni Triangle, many in the West despaired that there was no thwarting such fanatics. Perhaps they simply believed more in their cause than we did in ours. How can you stop someone who kills to die rather than merely dying to kill?
That Ariel Sharon in two years defeated the Intifada by decapitating the Hamas leadership, starting the fence, announcing withdrawal from Gaza, and humiliating Arafat was forgotten. In the same manner few now write or think about how the United States military went into the heart of darkness in Fallujah and simply destroyed or routed the insurgents of that fundamentalist stronghold in less than two weeks, an historic operation that ensured a successful turnout on election day and an eventual takeover by an elected Iraqi government.
So this paradox of exaggerating the strength of our weaker enemies is likewise an American trademark. Spiked-helmeted Prussians were considered vicious pros who would make short work of doughboy hicks who had trained with brooms and sticks. Indeed, the German imperial army of World War I may have been made up of the most formidable foot soldiers of any age. Still, it was destroyed in less than four years by supposedly decadent and corrupt liberal democracies.
The Gestapo was the vanguard of a new Aryan super-race, pitiless and proud in its martial superiority. How could soda-jockeys of the Depression ever fight something like the Waffen SS with poor equipment, little training, and a happy-go-lucky attitude rather than an engrained death wish? Rather easily as it turned out, as the Allies not only defeated Nazism but literally annihilated it in about five years. Kamikazes were also felt to be otherworldly in their eerie death cult — who, after all, in the United States would take off to ram his Corsair or Hellcat into a Japanese ship? No matter — the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Army Air Corps were not impressed, and rather quickly destroyed not merely the death pilots but the very culture that launched them.
4. "We are alone."George Bush was said to have alienated the world, as if our friends in Eastern Europe, Britain, Australia, and a billion in India did not matter. Yet the same was said in 1941 when Latin America, Asia, and Africa were in thrall to the Axis. Neutrals like Spain, Argentina, and Turkey wanted little to do with a disarmed United States that had unwisely found itself in a two-front war with the world's most formidable military powers.
By the 1950s we seemed to have defeated Germany and Japan only to have subsequently "lost" China and Eastern Europe once more. Much of Asia and Latin America deified the mass-murdering Stalin and Mao while deriding elected American presidents. The Richard Clarks and Joe Wilsons of that age lectured about a paranoid Eisenhower administration, clumsy CIA work, and the general hopelessness of ever defeating global Communism, whose spores sprouted almost everywhere in the form of Nasserism, Pan-Arabism, Baathism, Castroism, and various "national liberationist" movements.
5. Why?Why do Americans do all this to themselves? In part, the nature of an open society is constant self-critique, especially at times of national elections. Our successes at creating an affluent and free citizenry also only raise the bar ever higher as we sense we are closer to heaven on earth — and with a little more perfection could walk more like gods than crawl as mere men.
There are also still others among us who are impatient with the give and take of a consensual society. They harbor a secret admiration for the single-mindedness of the zealot in pursuit of a utopian cause — hence the occasional crazy applause given by some Americans to the beheading "Minutemen" of the Sunni Triangle or the "brave" "combat teams" who killed 3,000 on September 11.
Finally, the intellectual class that we often read and hear from is increasingly divorced from much of what makes America work, especially the sort of folk who join the military. They have little appreciation that the U.S. Marine Corps is far more deadly than Baathist diehards or Taliban remnants — or that a fleet of American bombers with GPS bombs can do more damage in a few seconds than most of the suicide bombers of the Middle East could do in a year.
It is wise to cite and publicize our errors — and there have been many in this war. Humility and circumspection are military assets as well. And we should not deprecate the danger of our enemies, who are cruel and ingenious. Moreover, we should never confuse the sharp dissent of the well-meaning critic with disloyalty to the cause.
But nor should we fall into pessimism, when in less than four years we have destroyed the two worst regimes in the Middle East, scattered al Qaeda, avoided another promised 9/11 at home, and sent shock waves of democracy throughout the Arab world — so far at an aggregate cost of less than what was incurred on the first day of this unprovoked war. Car bombs are bad news, but in the shadows is the real story: The terrorists are losing, and radical reform, the likes of which millions have never seen, is right on the horizon. So this American gloominess is not new. Yet, if the past is any guide, our present lack of optimism in this struggle presages its ultimate success.
A final prediction: By the end of this year, formerly critical liberal pundits, backsliding conservative columnists, once-fiery politicians, Arab "moderates," ex-statesmen and generals emeriti, smug stand-up comedians, recently strident Euros — perhaps even Hillary herself — will quietly come to a consensus that what we are witnessing from Afghanistan and the West Bank to Iraq and beyond, with its growing tremors in Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, and the Gulf, is a moral awakening, a radical break with an ugly past that threatens a corrupt, entrenched, and autocratic elite and is just the sort of thing that they were sort of for, sort of all along — sort of...
— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the
Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Diversitoids - Are you one?

I know all of you just love the term "diversity". But what does it mean to be a Diversitoid? John Derbyshire explains. Warning! Humor and opinion ahead. Not for the faint hearted Diversitoid. Read on. To see the original article, click on the title of this post.

Down Among the Diversitoids
February 22, 2005, 2:54 p.m.
John Derbyshire
National Review Online

Derb and the pod people.
I was to be on a panel discussion at
the AAAS annual meeting in Washington DC. I mis-remembered the time, though, thinking the event was at 11 A.M., when in fact it was at noon, so I had an hour to kill. Wandering around the conference center idly, looking for something interesting, I came across a meeting hall with an easel outside saying GENDER AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN ACADEMIC SCIENCE. Thinking this might be right up my street, I peered inside. About 30 people were listening to a woman lecturer. The people had their backs to me and were clustered at the far end of the room, facing the speaker. I went in and sat in one of the empty rows at the back.

The woman, whose name I think was Leslie, was 40ish, with very slightly African-American coloring and appearance, and gray hair frizzed out in a large obtuse isosceles triangle like the girl in the Dilbert strip. She was speaking about some court case in Kentucky. A woman college teacher had been denied tenure and sued her employer. Apparently she had lost the case. Leslie was analyzing why. "The biggest difficulty is proving intentional discrimination..." (Especially, I imagine, when it hasn't occurred.) Leslie's entire address was addled with diversity-speak clichés: "respecting differences"..."inclusivity"..."fostering a diverse environment"..."truth to power"...
I lost interest after a minute or so and began to scrutinize the audience. Around half of them were men. These men, who were all white, divided into two subgroups. The larger subgroup consisted of older guys in jackets and ties. The smaller was younger and more obviously campus-resident: beards, ponytails, natural-fiber shirts and sweaters, sneakers or peculiar-shaped shoes, no ties of course. The women were mostly middle-aged or older. Two of them were black — much blacker than Leslie. Several (though neither black woman) had the cropped, truculent look of the modern lesbian. I don't think any of them was wearing makeup.
Leslie finished with her analysis of the court case, which had apparently come up in the context of an audience question. She announced the end of questions and introduced the next speaker.
This was a pleasant-looking fiftyish white woman named JoAnn Moody. Ms. Moody is a big name in the world of diversity, I soon gathered. She has written
a book on the subject. This book is highly thought of by diversicrats, to judge from the Amazon reviews.
Ms. Moody was obviously an old hand at the Diversity Seminar game. First she had us all (I had decided to join in here) move the chairs round into a horseshoe arrangement. Then she distributed a printed, single-sheet "scenario" and instructed us to read it.
The "scenario" was a brief, imaginary conversation between three people, all "European-American males," comprising the search committee looking to hire "a director of finance for a large public university in Virginia." The three committee members were a Progressive, a Reactionary, and a neutral Chairman. That was not what Ms. Moody's scenario called them, but that was plainly what was meant to be conveyed by their words. Two candidates for the finance position are discussed. One is Tom, another "European-American male" with a Harvard MBA. The other is Mary, a single black woman with an MBA from "a second-tier school."
Reactionary of course wants to hire the Harvard guy: "He's got to be sound; he's just that type of guy... He reminds me so much of Mervin... Now there was a finance director to hold up as a standard..." Progressive wants to give some special consideration to Mary: "I'd like to make sure that our interview takes at least two hours... It'll take us some time to really feel comfortable with her..." Reactionary disagrees. He thinks all candidates should get precisely equal treatment. "I am gender-blind and color-blind. All I care about is excellence. And we'll know it when we see it..." He then wonders aloud whether Mary, who is single, would be comfortable in the "family-oriented" town.
After we'd all read this little tale — it covered two sides of a standard quarto sheet — Ms. Moody led a discussion. What was going on here? She asked. "Why, it's the Good Ol' Boy network," offered one of the black women, to nods of agreement. "They just want to hire someone like them." Similar comments followed. Ms. Moody played the neutral reflector, skillfully guiding the discussion from one diversi-cliché to the next, occasionally prompting us with the approved word or phrase from the diversi-liturgy. "So," she murmured, after a few exchanges, "we could say that a European-American male from a prestigious school comes with extra points, as it were. Right?" They all nodded. A couple of them jotted down the words in notebooks. Extra points. As it were.
Sitting round in the horseshoe like that, I got a closer look at my fellow participants. The women were, of course, the most enthusiastic. The whole affair, in fact, was running on estrogen. The general atmosphere was that peculiar mix of insistent niceness and angry menace that women are so good at. We are frail, sweet, and sorely oppressed, and you had better be nice to us... OTHERWISE WE WILL SMASH YOU TO PIECES. There was much talk of "sensitivity" and "understanding"; words like "efficiency," "measurement," "standards," came up only as pejoratives. The idea that excellence could be quantified was greeted with unanimous scorn and laughter. A person foolish enough to let slip the word "objectivity" was quickly hooted down by the others. There is no such thing as objectivity! I made a quiet, uncollectable bet with myself that I was the only person in the room with a degree in anything more mathematically rigorous than sociology.
Underneath all the soothing talk about "inclusiveness" and "sensitivity" I began to spot some darker waters flowing. Someone raised Reactionary's comment about being "gender-blind and color-blind." This occasioned a great burst of laughter. "That's what they always say!" "Of course it is!" I am perfectly certain I was the only person in the room thinking the thought: What if it's true? But of course, to these people, it cannot ever be true. As one of the black women said: "Nobody who's lived in the United States can be gender-blind and color-blind." What about me, who has lived only half my life here? Best not ask. One of the fundamental axioms of the diversity ideology is the innate selfishness, cruelty, and dishonesty of white males everywhere. Useless to dispute it. Of course that's what you would say! You're one of them!
The men were more interesting studies than the women. The older guys with jackets and ties looked cowed and didn't say much. The younger ones, the ones with earth shoes and collarless natural-fiber shirts, seemed almost as keen on diversity as the women. What brings a man, particularly a "European-American male," to an affair like this? I wondered. In the case of the older, PC-whipped-looking guys, the answer was probably just the determination to find out where all the "diversity" landmines are planted, so they could make it to retirement and pension in one piece. Good luck to them. But what about these younger ones? They really seemed to believe this stuff. What was driving them? The hope of making some easy pickups from among liberated no-commitment women? I looked round again at the women. No, not that, definitely couldn't be that.
I suppose the most charitable explanation would be misguided patriotism. This is, after all, a diverse nation, and will remain so. Those are facts. We do all have to get along somehow, and it is possible these young male diversicrats believe that by mouthing this vapid cant and submitting to these petty humiliations, they are helping to preserve and improve the nation — a sort of sacrificial masochism. Somehow I couldn't make myself believe this. Masochism, sure, but patriotic? Just looking at those men, it was hard to see any of them flying a Stars and Stripes from his mountain bike. What, then? Just a cynical desire to hold on to a well-paid and undemanding job? No, they didn't seem at all cynical. Very few people are as good at acting as these men would have had to be to be practicing cynicism in that room. They were sincere. They believed the diversity stuff, including all the stuff about how rotten and wicked and malicious they, we, "European-American males," are inside. They really believed it all. They loved Big Sister. I had fallen among pod people.
There was, it seemed to me, something horribly ignoble about these young men. To yield not just meekly but enthusiastically to the stripping away of their privileges, real and imagined; to acquiesce so whole-heartedly in their dispossession, seemed so...unmanly. Not that they looked particularly unmanly in themselves. One of them was large and muscular — though it was the cosmetic muscularity of the gym, not anything intended for actual — ugh! — physical work. (I hasten to add that there were no obvious indications that he might belong to a behavioral minority group.) So why was he jeering along with the others at the mention of "objectivity"? Why did he hoot along with the rest at "gender-blind and color-blind"?
I began to long for
Bertrans de Born to ride in on his destrier and cut a swathe through us with his broadsword, howling blood, war, and mayhem. I began to long for anyone or anything, in fact, that might bring with it some spirit, some courage, some damn-your-eyes contrariness, some masculine insolence, some testosterone. All right, we "European-American males" had it all our own way for too long. All right, we beat up on blacks and shut women out of our clubs. It was wrong, wrong. We are guilty, guilty. All right, the world of tomorrow, in fact of today, is a woman's world. All right, all right, all right: but... couldn't we at least go down fighting?
For a wild moment I had the impulse to stand up and say something outrageous in the style of
Ali G . "'Scuse me, Missus Muddy. Wot wid all dese colored folk and lezzies yous wantin' to give all da good jobs to, isn't you afraid dat yous white race maybe might die out?" I didn't have the nerve, of course. In any case, I was dressed all wrong: business suit, white shirt (good honest polyester!) and tie.
Besides, part of me had been sucked into the thing. I am more than usually susceptible to
Stockholm Syndrome at the best of times. A diversity seminar is the worst kind of place for a person with that weakness. The diversity ideology is, as Peter Wood pointed out in his fine book on the subject (which I reviewed here) "a closed loop of thought and experience. Once one enters this loop and accepts the main propositions of diversity, it is difficult to see out of it."
Diversity is, in short, a cult; and I started to feel that if I hung out in that room much longer, I should be in need of some serious deprogramming. In any case, it was time for my own event. I snuck out quietly, leaving the pod people all ululating in happy unison at someone's mention of Larry Summers.