Start with Obama’s claim that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) is not Islamic. Say what? In fact, the so-called war on terror is clearly a war that Islamic jihadists have declared on us. Yet Obama is so hostile to this war that even the subterfuge “war on terror” was too much for him and he purged it from official government statements and replaced it with “Overseas Contingency Operations,” which describes nothing. Why would he do this? To avoid confronting the actual threat from what is obviously the most dynamic movement in Islam today: the jihadist war to purge the world of infidels and establish a global Islamic state. The same impulse to deny this threat can be seen in the Obama administration’s characterization of domestic acts of Islamic terror like the recent beheading in Oklahoma and the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.”
The origin of the Democratic lies that fog the nature of the war against the Islamists and make us vulnerable to their attacks can be traced to the Democrats’ defection from the war in Iraq, the second front in the so-called “war on terror.” “Bush Lied People Died.” This was the disgusting charge with which progressives and Democrats sought successfully to demonize America’s commander-in-chief and demoralize the nation as it went to war to take down the terrorist-supporting monster regime of Saddam Hussein and eventually defeat Ansar-al-Islam and al-Qaeda in Iraq. In fact, Bush didn’t lie about the reasons for taking on the terrorist regime in Iraq, as the Democrats claimed. Democrats, including senators John Kerry and Diane Feinstein sat on the intelligence committees and had access to every piece of data about Saddam Hussein’s weapons and the reasons for going to war that George Bush did. If they had any doubts about these reasons all they had to do was pick up the phone to CIA director George Tenet – a Bill Clinton appointee – and ask him. The reprehensible claim that Bush lied was concocted by Democrats to justify their defection from a war they had just authorized betraying their country in time of war along with the young men and women they had sent into the battlefield.
The Democrats lied in claiming that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that therefore the war was unnecessary and therefore immoral. This was actually two lies in one. In the first place the decision to go to war wasn’t about Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. It was about his determination to build and use weapons of mass destruction and his violation of 17 Security Council resolutions designed to stop him from doing just that. Saddam violated all 17 of the UN resolutions, beginning with those that constituted the Gulf War Truce and culminating in the ultimatum to disclose and destroy all his weapons of mass destruction. His defiance of that ultimatum is why we went to war with him.
But it was the second lie – that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction – that the Democrats used to discredit the president and the war we were fighting. In fact, the Saddam regime did have weapons of mass destruction, including a chemical weapons storage plant recently discovered by ISIS along with 2200 rockets filled with deadly Sarin gas. Here’s the report from the Daily News of July 9, 2014:
“A terrorist group bent on turning Iraq into an Islamic state has seized a chemical weapons depot near Baghdad stockpiled with sarin-filled rockets left over from the Saddam Hussein era… The site, about 35 miles southwest of Baghdad, was once operated by Saddam’s army and is believed to contain 2,500 degraded rockets filled with potentially deadly sarin and mustard gas.”
Not a single Democrat has apologized for the monstrous defamation campaign they conducted around this lie to cripple their president and their country in a time of war.
The Democrats began their sabotage campaign against the war in Iraq in June 2003, claiming that Bush lied when he cited a British report that Saddam was seeking fissionable uranium in Niger for his nuclear weapons program. Two official reports, one by the British and the other by the U.S. Senate confirmed that Bush’s statement was correct, but this was long after the Democrats had so demonized America’s commander-in-chief as a cynical and dangerous liar that his ability to mobilize American citizens to support the war against the Iraqi terrorists was severely damaged. No apologies from Democrats or the media, which abetted their lies, in this case either. Here is a recent testimony about the facts of Saddam’s quest for fissionable yellow cake uranium:
“As someone who led the company that transported 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium – enough to make fourteen Hiroshima-size bombs – from Saddam’s nuclear complex in the Iraq War’s notorious ‘Triangle of Death’ for air shipment out of the country, I know Baathist Iraq’s WMD potential existed.”
Not content with these lies, the Democrats reached into their Marxist pocket for another. The progressive slogan “No Blood For Oil” was a maliciously false claim designed to undermine the moral basis for the war by accusing President Bush of serving the interests of his Texas oil cronies beginning with Vice President Cheney, former president of Halliburton, instead of the American people. In the Democrats’ telling, evil corporations in the Republicans’ pocket pushed the country into a needless and “imperialist” war that cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives. But the fact is that despite spending trillions of dollars on a war that cost thousands of American lives, America got no oil out of the war in Iraq, which has wound up in the hands of ISIS terrorists and the People’s Republic of China. No apologies for this myth either.
Perhaps the most destructive lie that Democrats have used to sabotage the war against the Islamist fanatics is that fighting terrorists creates more of them. Nancy Pelosi actually told 60 Minutes’ Steve Croft that if America left Iraq the terrorists would leave too. The argument has been used by progressives to oppose a serious military effort to stop ISIS in Syria and Iraq rather than having to fight them here at home. But aggressive pre-emptive war against the terrorists in their homelands rather than ours has the opposite effect as the victory in Iraq showed before Obama undid it.
The six-year retreat of the Obama Administration from the battlefields in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and appeasement of the terrorist state of Iran, has created more terrorists than we have ever seen. The weakness displayed by the chief defender of freedom under the leadership of an anti-American president has been a provocation to terrorists. The terror threat diminished under Bush but has grown dramatically under Obama. That is because fighting terrorists does not produce them. ISIS is able to recruit thousands of new terrorists because Islamist radicals are inspired by what Osama bin Laden called “the strong horse,” by beheadings and the slaughter of Christians without a serious reprisal. This is the face of the evil that confronts us, and we better wake up to that threat before it is too late.
Below is a speech given by David Horowitz at the Kohler conference of the Bradley Foundation. It has been revised and edited for publication as an article.
I was born at the beginning of the Second World War into a family of high school teachers who were members of the Communist Party, and therefore were actually part of a vast conspiracy dedicated to the destruction of this country, although they would never have looked at it that way, and so-called liberals would be the first to deny it.
In those days, the schools were old fashioned enough that my parents did not use their classrooms to indoctrinate students as tens of thousands of university professors and even more K-12 teachers regularly do today. It is also an unhappy but hugely important fact that the conspiracy to which my parents belonged has steadily migrated into the heart of the Democratic Party until it now occupies the Oval Office in the person of our president, Barack Obama, and his closest advisors.
The president, his chief operative Valerie Jarrett and his chief political strategist David Axelrod all came out of the same Communist left and the same radical new left as I did, and all have remained heart and soul a part of it. As someone who turned his back on that destructive movement, I can say with confidence that they have not. If a person belongs to an organization or is the supporter of an idea that they come to see as destructive or evil, the first thing they will want to do when they leave is to warn others against it, to warn them of the dangers it represents. If a person does not do this – that tells me that he or she hasn’t left the destructive movement or abandoned the pernicious idea but has just put another face on them. Instead of calling themselves communists or socialists they call themselves liberals and progressives. This camouflage is very old. I never once heard my parents and their party friends refer to themselves as Communists. They were progressives – and registered Democrats.
This is why – to take one disturbing example, I know that Hillary Clinton’s right hand, Huma Abedin, the former deputy secretary of state, and chief foreign policy adviser on Muslim Affairs is a Muslim Brotherhood operative. Huma Abedin’s late father was a Muslim Brotherhood leader, and her mother and brother still are. For 12 years until the moment she was hired by Hillary, Huma Abedin worked for Abdullah Omar Naseef, one of the top three funders of Osama Bin Laden who is still wanted by our government for his role in the 9/11 attacks.
Huma Abedin has never to my knowledge uttered a word of disapproval about the Muslim Brotherhood’s desire to rid the world of Christians and Jews or to bring all infidels under the heel of totalitarian Islamic law. Her spiritual adviser Yusef al-Qaradawi is the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood. Qaradawi has publicly said that the Holocaust of the Jews was God’s punishment for their corruption, and that it would come again, and when it did, “Allah willing it will be at the hands of the believers.” Huma Abedin has not broken her relations with this evil man or dissociated herself from his genocidal remarks. Nor has she opposed the policies enacted by Obama and Hillary, which have supported the Muslim Brotherhood at home and in the Middle East.
On the contrary. when the Obama administration supported the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt, Huma Abedin was our government’s key adviser on Muslim affairs. She was at Hillary’s side when security was not provided to our diplomatic complex in Benghazi and when al-Qaeda fanatics murdered our Ambassador. The murder of Ambassador Stevens led to the most shameful presidential act in our history when the President turned his back on the cries for help of three American heroes who served him and who were in a desperate fight for their lives. It is a time honored American code never to abandon our warriors on the field of battle. But America’s commander-in-chief turned his back on these brave fighting men and left them to die; and then lied to the American people to cover up his crime.
Ever since Barack Obama was elected and began his radical course, American conservatives have been in a state of shock, as though they couldn’t quite believe what was happening. Until then there had been a general collusion in the practiced deceptions of the left as commentators on all sides would refer to unrepentant radicals, and dedicated socialists as “liberals,” and turn half blind eyes to their anti-American agendas. What is “liberal” about the mean-spirited intolerant people of the left, except their attitude to hard drugs, sex, and criminal behavior? Oh yes, and spending other people’s money?
Today the Obama juggernaut is systematically bankrupting our country, and undoing our constitutional arrangements. Its contempt for consultative and representative government is relentlessly on display. This week Senate Majority leader Harry Reid defended his refusal to negotiate with Republicans over Obamacare and the debt in these words: “We are here to support the federal government. That’s our job.” End quote. Forget about representing the people whom our Founders made sovereign. Forget what America is about.
The fact that I had a radical past allowed me to see much of this coming. But even I never thought we would be looking so soon at the prospect of a one-party state. Those words may sound hyperbolic, but take a moment to think about it. If you have transformed the taxing agency of the state into a political weapon – and Obama has; if you are setting up a massive government program to gather the financial and health information of every citizen, and control their access to care; and if you have a spy agency that can read the mail and listen to the communications of every individual in the country, you don’t really need a secret police to destroy your political opponents. Once you have silenced them, you can proceed with your plans to remake the world in your image.
The good news is that the bad five years we have just been through have aroused a sleeping giant among Americans who didn’t see it coming and couldn’t imagine that it would. For the first time since the Cold War, people with a public voice are calling socialists by their right name; conservatives are finally organizing at the grassroots to defend their freedom; and at last we have leaders who are willing to stand up to the thuggery of the left and who have the spine not to back down.
As a sometime Jonah freed from the whale let me offer some intelligence about the political forces arrayed against us. Do not make the mistake of thinking that progressives and conservatives are people who merely differ about practical agendas. There are four defining features of the left, which distinguish it as a movement of individuals who approach politics quite differently from pragmatically-minded conservatives.
The first of these features is their alienation from country: If you ask progressives about their patriotic feeling, they will tell you that they don’t think of themselves first as Americans but as “citizens of the world.” That even has a Harvard imprimatur. They are, in fact, so profoundly alienated from their country as to be in some sense foreigners to it. They are hostile to its history and to its core values, which they see as reflections of a society that has been guilty of racism and oppression on an epic scale. And they are fundamentally opposed to its constitutional arrangements which the framers specifically designed to thwart what they deemed “wicked projects” to redistribute income and share individual wealth.
This is perhaps the hardest feature of their progressive adversaries for conservatives to comprehend. It is difficult to imagine that people as privileged by America’s generosity as Barack Obama and his entourage of despoilers should be so alienated from their country as to feel themselves in it but not of it. And there is no more shocking example of this than Benghazi. No matter what your politics, or what solutions you propose to the problems that confront this nation, ask yourself this: Could you have done what Barack Obama did that night? Could you as commander-in-chief abandon three Americans fighting for their lives under your command? These men had served their country for more than a decade. For seven hours they cried out for help from their government, but you refused to give it.
How, as a fellow American, could Obama have just left these men to die? No one with an ounce of patriotic feeling could. But he did. Even Alexei Kosygin, the Soviet premier of a Communist dictatorship, maintained contact with his astronaut as he burned up in space. But not our president. When the attack on our embassy in Benghazi began, he hung up the phone and went to bed, and then on to a fundraiser with Beyonce and Jay-Z in Las Vegas in the morning. This, with four Americans including our ambassador dead.
As a nation we are now confronted by mortal enemies in Iran and Syria, in Hizbollah and Hamas – enemies who have openly declared that we are the devil’s party and should be erased from the face of the earth. How could an American president deliberately set out to appease such enemies? How in the face of such threats could he reduce our country to an international laughing stock, no longer respected by our friends, no longer feared by our foes? How could he be so cavalier about having failed so miserably to have defended his country’s security and uphold its honor? How could an American commander-in-chief then put himself in a position to be snubbed by the Iranian Hitlerites, which is what they are, and which is what Obama did? How could he snub our Israeli allies and at the same time grovel before our Islamic enemies? But he did. How could he create a vacuum in the Middle East allowing Russia to become the new regional power? How could he make himself an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, which slaughters Christians, and promises the extermination of the Jews and spawns terrorist armies like al-Qaeda and Hamas?
The answer to all these questions is that Obama doesn’t identify with our country. He sees himself as a “citizen of the world,” and a redresser of grievances for the suffering he imagines America has inflicted on our adversaries, including Hitlerite Iran.
The second feature of the progressive left that is key to understanding it is its instinctive, practiced, and indispensable dishonesty. As I previously noted, the Communists in the circles I frequented in my youth never identified themselves as Communists but always as “progressives” and “Jeffersonian democrats” (which is the last thing they were). When I was a young man and Stalin was alive, the goal of the Communist Party U.S.A. was a “dictatorship of the proletariat,” and a “Soviet America.” But under Stalin’s inspiration the official slogan of the Communist Party was “Peace, Jobs, and Democracy.”
The lesson? People on the left may be delusional but they are not stupid. They know what they can say and get away with, and what they can’t. Barack Obama is a born and bred member of the left and not coincidentally is the most brazen and compulsive liar ever to occupy the American White House. What other politician could have successfully explained away the fact that two of his closest political confidantes over a twenty-year period were an anti-American racist, Jeremiah Wright and an anti-American terrorist William Ayers?
There is a marked difference between the radicals of the Sixties and the radical movement Obama is part of. In the Sixties, as radicals we said what we thought and blurted out what we wanted. We wanted a revolution, and we wanted it now. It was actually very decent of us to warn others as to what we intended. But because we blurted out our goal, we didn’t get very far. Americans were onto us. Those who remained on the left when the Sixties were over, learned from their experience. They learned to lie. The strategy of the lie is progressives’ new gospel. It is what the progressive bible – Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – is all about. Alinsky is the acknowledged political mentor to Obama and Hillary, to the service and teacher unions, and to the progressive rank and file. Alinsky understood the mistake Sixties’ radicals had made. His message to this generation is easily summed up: Don’t telegraph your goals; infiltrate their institutions and subvert them; moral principles are disposable fictions; the end justifies the means; and never forget that your political goal is always power.
An SDS radical wrote in the Sixties: “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” The Alinsky version is this: The issue is never the issue; the issue is always power: How to wring power out of the democratic process, how turn the process into an instrument of progressive control. How to use it to fundamentally transform the United States of America – which is exactly what Barack Obama warned he would do on the eve of his election.
The chosen legislative instrument to begin this transformation was Obamacare. It was presented as an act of charity, a plan to cover the uninsured. That was the “issue” as they presented it. But the actual goal of Obamacare’s socialist sponsors was a “single payer system” – government healthcare – which would put the state in control of the lives of every American, man, woman and child. That is the reason that none of the promises made about Obamacare was true, beginning with his campaign lie that Obamacare government health care was not a program he would support. Obamacare will not cover 30 million uninsured Americans, as Obama and the Democrats said it would; Obamacare will not lower costs, as they promised it would; Obamacare will deprive many Americans of their doctors and healthcare plans, as they assured everyone it would not; Obamacare is a new tax, as they swore it wouldn’t be. All these promises Obama and the Democrats made were false because they were only a camouflage for their real goal actual goal, which was universal control.
A third feature of progressives that defines their politics is that they regard the past, which is real, with contempt, and are focused exclusively on a future, which is imaginary.
To understand why this is important, think of progressives as a species of religious fundamentalists planning a redemption. Like fundamentalists they look at the world as fallen – a place corrupted by racism, sexism and class division. But the truly religious understand that we are the source of corruption and that redemption is only possible through the work of a Divinity. In contrast, progressives see themselves as the redeemers, which is why they are so dangerous. Because they regard those who oppose them as the eternally damned. Progressives are on a mission to create the kingdom of heaven on earth by redistributing income and using the state to enforce politically correct attitudes and practices in everyone’s life. They want to control what you do, and who you are, and even what you eat. For your own good, of course.
The fact that they see themselves as saving the world – or “saving the planet” as they would prefer – results in a fourth key characteristic of their politics, which is that they regard politics as a religious war. This explains why they are so rude and nasty when you disagree with them or resist their panaceas (and of course if they had the power, the punishments would be more severe); that is why the politics of personal destruction is their favorite variety, why they are verbal assassins and go directly for the jugular, and why they think nothing of destroying the reputations of their opponents and burying them permanently. And that is why they can perform their character assassinations without regrets – or did I miss Obama’s apology to Romney for accusing him of killing a woman with cancer during the campaign? Why apologize when you did it for the good of a world transforming cause?
To sum this up: Progressives see themselves as an army of the saints, and their opponents as the party of Satan; and that will justify almost anything you can get away with.
An appalling episode of their Machiavellian politics has shaped the international conflict in which we find ourselves currently impotent in the Middle East. The root of that impotence lies in the way Democrats turned the issue of the Iraq war against the Republican president George Bush. The Democrats’ case against Bush was that he acted unilaterally, deceptively and in haste.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The policy to remove Iraq’s government by force was put in place by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, when he signed the Iraqi Liberation Act and fired 450 cruise missiles into that sovereign country. He did it, by the way, not only unilaterally but without consulting anyone.
That was in 1998, which is five years before Bush sent American troops into Iraq. Ten months before Bush did that he warned Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, to obey the Gulf War truce he had signed in 1991 and then repeatedly violated over the next ten years. Seven months before sending our troops into Iraq Bush went personally to the UN and got a unanimous Security Council ultimatum to Saddam. UN Resolution 1447 said: Obey the terms of the Gulf War truce by December 7, 2002 – or else.
Two months before that deadline Bush went to Congress and requested an authorization to use force in the event that Saddam did not voluntarily observe the terms of the UN Resolution, and the Gulf War truce he had signed and then violated. Both houses of Congress including a majority of the Democrats in the Senate voted to authorize Bush to use force in Iraq. He also got an authorization from NATO and he also formed a coalition of 40 nations, including America’s oldest allies, the Brits, to enforce the UN Security Council ultimatum.
Not only was the decision not made in haste, and not made without consultation, as the Democrats claimed. The truth was just the opposite. The process of making the decision to go to war took 10 months and every significant authority was consulted. But once U.S. troops entered Iraq on March 19, 2003, it took only three months for the Democrats to betray them and their president, to turn their backs on the war they had authorized and supported, and claim it was – to use the words of former Vice President Al Gore, “unnecessary, immoral and illegal.” Or in the words of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, “the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.”
Why did the Democrats betray the war they had supported? It was not because of any fact on the ground in Iraq, or any principles Bush had allegedly violated. They betrayed our troops and turned on their commander-in-chief for one reason and one reason alone: to gain political power at home.
At the very moment of their treachery a Democratic primary was in progress. An anti-war Democrat – a Sixties leftist named Howard Dean – was on the verge of winning their presidential nomination, burying other candidates like John Kerry and John Edwards in the polls. Until then, Kerry and Edwards were full-throated supporters of the war. Kerry made a speech on the floor of the Senate in support of the bill authorizing the use of force. He explained why the forcible removal of Saddam was necessary to defend the country and secure the peace.
But that was before the anti-war candidate Howard Dean had surged ahead in the polls. When that happened, and Kerry saw that he was going to lose the party nomination, he decided to switch sides. He turned his back on everything he had said in defense of the war, and the necessity of using force, and he turned his back on our troops in the field, and attacked their commander-in-chief. He did it for one reason, and one reason only. He did it because he saw it as the only way to win the Democratic nomination and have a chance of winning the presidency in 2004.
Kerry and the Democrats betrayed the war they had authorized; they betrayed the young Americans they sent into harms way; they betrayed the country they had sworn to serve. They did it to win the political power they were going to use to change the world. No conservative in his right mind would behave like this. No conservative would regard a political administration in Washington as a stepping stone on the way to a brave new world, and therefore something to justify opposing a war they had authorized and supported.
What were the issues the Democrats used to make their case against the president and the war in Iraq? It didn’t really matter, because the issues were never the issue. The Democrats opposed Bush and the war because both stood in the way of their quest for power.
The Democrats attacked Bush for acting in haste and acting unilaterally. Both charges were false. Worse, the Democrats claimed that the war was about weapons of mass destruction, ignoring the fact that Saddam had violated the Gulf War truce and had failed to comply with sixteen Security Council resolutions attempting to bring him into line, including the ultimatum of December 7. To make their case they claimed that Bush falsified the intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction and lied in order to fool them into supporting the war. This was the biggest lie of the entire war. CIA chief George Tenet was a Clinton appointee. John Kerry sat on the intelligence committees with other Democrats like Feinstein and Rockefeller. The Democrats had access to all the intelligence information that Bush did. Bush could not have persuaded them to support the war by lying about the data, even if he had wanted to.
Why did they accuse him of lying? Because they could not admit the actual reason they had betrayed the war and the young men and women they sent to battle. They did it for partisan political gain. Unfortunately neither the White House nor any Republican had the political courage to hold them to account, and we are all paying the price for that.
For five years the Democrats conducted a scorched earth campaign against their country and its commander in the midst of a war. The harm they did is irreparable. Their sabotage of the war crippled our efforts to prosecute it – for example to follow Saddam’s weapons and generals into Syria, where they had fled; to take the war to Iran which supplied the IEDs which killed most of our troops; to close the border with Syria across which jihadists entered Iraq to fight our troops. The Democrats’ sabotage of the war created the power vacuum in the Middle East, which the terrorists and the Russians have now filled. And it most certainly inflicted casualties on our troops, though no one has had the political courage to say so.
The Democrats sabotaged the war in Iraq for the worst of reasons. They claimed it was for principle, but it was really – and only – to save their political skins.
Once the Democrats recaptured the presidency, it took no time at all for events to expose this destructive farce. Unlike the majority of his Democratic colleagues, Senator Barack Obama had always opposed the war in Iraq. He was against American interventions in sovereign countries, and he was against presidents who acted unilaterally, and in haste. Or so he said.
But when Obama became president and had the power to do so, he invaded Libya: unilaterally, and without authorization, and with no national security interest at stake. And he lied about the cause. There was no prospect of massacres as he claimed, and it was not a human rights intervention. If it were, Libya would not now be in chaos with al-Qaeda resurgent, and in a worse state than before.
Obama’s invasion of Libya was not merely unilateral. It was egomaniacal. Obama consulted no one outside his White House inner circle, not his own party, not the Congress, not the United Nations. Unlike Bush, he acted without constitutional authority and he acted alone. Yet there was not one Democratic leader who stood up for the principles they had all invoked to cripple America’s war against the jihadists in Iraq. Not one Democratic leader opposed the Democratic president, or criticized his aggression. They abandoned the principles of multilaterialism, consultation with Congress, and support from the U.N. because it would have been bad for their leader if they didn’t; it would have jeopardized their power.
The political consequences of the differences between conservatives and progressives is not only not small, it affects the way both sides conduct their political battles. Progressives focus on an impossible future, a utopia of promises, and this justifies for them their unscrupulous means. Issues for them are merely instruments for accumulating political power. Conservatives look to the past as a guide to what is possible and humanly practical, and what is not. Issues for them are problems that need to be fixed, and they take seriously the policies they devise to address them. This puts conservatives at a huge political disadvantage. It causes them to argue policy as though they were debating a party with whom they shared goals and only differed on the means to get there. But that is far from the case.
Take the present debate about a government shutdown. A statement from Boehner’s office explains, “The entire government is shut down right now because Washington Democrats refuse to even talk about fairness for all Americans under ObamaCare.” This is a proposal for compromise and is designed to portray Republicans as reasonable. We’re all part of the same social contract, and we need to give on both sides to resolve the impasse. We’re all interested in fairness, when all is said and done. If individuals were to be given a year’s extension under Obamacare, as corporations already have been, that would be fair. But since when is Obamacare about fairness? That’s a Democratic façade and talking point, courtesy of the Republican Speaker. By way of contrast, this is how the Democrats make their argument: “Republicans are trying to shut down the government so they can prevent us from providing all Americans with affordable healthcare.” In other words, Democrats are standing up for fairness and ordinary Americans, against the selfish Republicans who want deny them affordable care and shut down their government. This is three lies in one sentence. But who do you think wins that vote?
If you want to fight the left you have to fight fire with fire. That means first and foremost you have to hold them to account for hurting the people they are pretending to help. Whose opportunities are going to be wrecked by Obamacare? Health care taxes will go up for those who pay taxes – the middle class – while their incomes will go down. Already Obamacare is cutting the workweek to 30 hours. Whose pocket books do you think that is hitting?
They claim conservatives are conducting a war against minorities; we need to throw the truth back in their faces. We need to tell the people that progressives are the principal oppressors and exploiters of minorities and the poor in this country. Progressives control the inner cities, which are teeming with the nation’s minorities and poor; and they run the broken public school systems that have become dumping grounds for those who cannot afford a private education.
The city of Milwaukee has been run by liberals and progressives without interruption for more than 100 years. What is the consequence of this progressive rule? Milwaukee’s median household income is forty percent below the rest of the country. The black unemployment rate is 27%, three times the national average for everyone. Milwaukee’s population is majority black and Hispanic, and 30% of it lives below the poverty line. A third of Milwaukee’s public school children drop out before they graduate; those who do are barely literate. That’s what progressive policies achieve. Don’t let them forget it.
Conservatives need to put the human disasters of progressive policies in front of people every chance they get. We need to confront progressives with the misery they have created in America’s bankrupt cities, Detroit and Chicago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, St. Louis, and the nation’s capital, and every city they have controlled for 25, 50 and 100 years, without interruption.
Conservatives need to talk less to the voters’ heads and more to their hearts. Government debt is not just an accountant’s nightmare. Debt is a form of economic slavery. If you add up all the taxes Americans pay – federal, state, local, income, sales – Americans already work half the year for government rather than for themselves. Like Obamacare and the political use of the I.R.S., debt is a threat to individual freedom.
Freedom is what our cause is about not just fiscal responsibility. Fiscal responsibility has no emotional appeal except to people who already understand what it means. Fiscal responsibility is a means to an end. The end is freedom, and that is what inspires commitment and sacrifice and the passion necessary to win. Because it speaks to the heart.
Conservatives need to speak up as champions of the little guys, the underdogs, whose lives are being steadily constricted – made less free — by the ongoing destruction of a system that once afforded more opportunity for more people than any other in the history of the world. Conservatives need to speak up for the young whose future horizons are being rapidly diminished as the trillion dollar Obama deficits pile higher and higher. Conservatives need to speak for all Americans whose security under Obama has been degraded to the most dangerous levels since the end of the Cold War.
This is the threat we face, and the sooner we grapple with it the greater our chances to survive it. The most important battle in the world today is not being waged in the Middle East but here at home in the United States. If we lose this battle, everything is lost. But if we will take the measure of the enemies of freedom and prepare ourselves to fight them, we have a better than even chance to win.
Beginning next month, Breitbart News Editor-At-Large Ben Shapiro will be leading the launch of a new project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center: TruthRevolt.org, an activism program designed to “unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases.”
The program is being described as a conservative counterpunch to Media Matters, the Obama-linked organization that focuses on silencing conservatives in the media. “For too long, we’ve played by the Marquis of Queensberry rules, allowing the left to stifle the truth and silence truth tellers in the name of their politically correct narrative. Now we’re taking the battle to their home turf – and we will do so aggressively and unwaveringly, every single day. This is just another avenue for applying Breitbart’s fighting spirit to the battle against those who would destroy what America stands for,” Shapiro said. Shapiro will maintain his position and all of his duties at Breitbart News as well.
One of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s, David Horowitz has become an icon in the conservative movement, famed for his deep understanding of the ideology and strategy of the modern left in America. He has led the Freedom Center since its inception as the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in 1988.
“We could not be more excited to be working with Ben on this project,” Horowitz told Breitbart News. “Andrew Breitbart was a fantastic friend to the Freedom Center and an indispensable warrior in the battle against the anti-America, socialist left and its allies in the universities, the unions and the Democratic Party, and Breitbart News carries on his legacy. We look forward to working with our friends at Breitbart in continuing the fight for America’s future.”
Horowitz and Breitbart worked together on the film Occupy Unmasked, which looked behind the scenes at the institutional left’s control of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Horowitz’s life’s work in exposing the mendacity of the left was a key part of the film. “Occupy Unmasked shows how closely David and Andrew were on their work of exposing and defeating the forces of the institutional left in America. We consider Ben Shapiro’s leading role at ‘Truth Revolt’ to be nothing more than a continuation of that work,” said Stephen K. Bannon, Executive Chairman of Breitbart News.
“Ben Shapiro is a charter member of the Breitbart News ‘Fight Club’ and has been instrumental in the explosive growth the site has experienced over the past 18 months,” said Bannon. “Ben’s ‘voice’ and fighting spirit will also be central in our building out both the site and the company in the years ahead.”
“As was so often the case, Andrew spotted and mentored important conservative voices long before they percolated up to a national level,” said Breitbart News President and CEO Larry Solov. “Ben, who when Andrew met him was a college student at UCLA, is one such voice. Ben has the fight and the intellectual heft to land devastating body blows to the institutional Left and the biased media, which is such a crucial part of what we do here at Breitbart News. We have encouraged Ben to take a leading role with David Horowitz in TruthRevolt to complement his ongoing work at Breitbart News where he will continue to help the grow the company and carry on the fighting spirit and legacy of Andrew Breitbart.”
Shapiro, a mentee and friend of Andrew Breitbart since age 17, became Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News in February 2012. Shapiro, 29, is the New York Times bestselling author of Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America (2013), as well as Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV (2011), Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House (2008), Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (2005), and Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (2004). Shapiro began his career as the youngest syndicated columnist in the nation with Creators Syndicate, graduated Harvard Law School at 23, and hosts The Morning Answer on KRLA 870 in Los Angeles.
Shapiro has been widely praised across the conservative movement. Sarah Palin says that Americans should “consider Ben’s advice about how we must stand up and push back twice as hard against this bullying.” Sean Hannity says to join Ben Shapiro and “fight back!” against liberal bullying. Glenn Beck calls Shapiro a “warrior for conservatism, against those who use fear and intimidation to stifle honest debate. I’ve never known him to back down from a fight.” And Michelle Malkin says Shapiro is “infused with the indomitable spirit of his friend and mentor Andrew Breitbart.” Even the liberal Washington Post, in the aftermath of Shapiro’s devastating destruction of Piers Morgan on national television, conceded that Shapiro is a “foe of extraordinary polemical agility.”
“If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future.” – Madeleine Albright, secretary of state (1997–2001), Clinton administration
It is a judgment on Barack Obama’s timorous, apologetic, and irresponsible conduct of foreign affairs that Madeleine Albright’s words, spoken little more than 15 years ago, now sound as antique as a pronouncement by Harry Truman at the onset of the Cold War, the great challenge America confronted bravely and without equivocation generations ago. Obama has set in motion policies meant to make America far from indispensable – a diminished nation that “leads from behind,” if at all; a nation with a downsized military, chronically uncertain about its meaning and its mission as it skulks in the wings of the world stage.
Albright made her statement about Iraq when Democrats were still supporting their country’s confrontation with the sadistic dictator Saddam Hussein, and before they defected from the war, shortly after its battles were under way. Obama opposed America’s war with Iraq and then opposed the military surge that finally brought victory. As president, Obama presided over the withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq, against the wishes of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who wanted a continuing military presence – withdrawal paid for in the blood of thousands of American men and women in arms. Obama thus turned that benighted nation over to the malign influences of America’s chief enemy in the Middle East, Iran.
Far from shouldering his responsibility as the commander-in-chief of America’s global War on Terror and embracing it as this generation’s equivalent of the Cold War, Obama showed his distaste for the entire enterprise by dropping the term “War on Terror” and replacing it with an Orwellian phrase – “overseas contingency operations.” Minimizing the Islamist threat to the United States is not an oversight of the Obama administration; that is its policy.
It should not have been difficult for Obama to make the nation’s defense a priority when he became America’s commander-in-chief in January 2009. The American homeland had already experienced a devastating attack, which terrorists have been constantly trying to repeat. The number of foreign states openly supporting terror has steadily risen during Obama’s tenure. The most dangerous Islamist regime, Iran, is building nuclear weapons, while Washington dithers over pointless negotiations. As secular governments give way to Islamist regimes in Turkey, Egypt, and Iraq, and with the Taliban on the rise in Afghanistan and an American withdrawal imminent, the parallels to the early Cold War are eerie, the implications equally dire. Yet instead of policies that put U.S. national security first and are pursued without hesitation or apology, Obama’s time in office has been marked by retreat and accommodation and even support of Islamist foes – most ominously of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which swept aside an American ally with Obama’s help and is busily creating a totalitarian state.
Obama’s Foreign-Policy Disasters
In the four years since Obama’s first inauguration, almost three times as many Americans have been killed in Afghanistan as in the eight years of the Bush administration. Withdrawal, not victory, has been Obama’s goal from the outset, and now it is the only outcome possible. During the Obama years, there have been more than 8,000 Islamic terrorist attacks on “infidels” across the globe, a 25 percent increase over the number when the fighting in Iraq was at its height. In the face of this bloody and intensifying Islamist offensive, Obama has tried to convince the American people that the war against al-Qaeda has been essentially “won” – by him – and that the terrorist threat is subsiding. Denial of the war that Islamists have declared on us, and of the threat it represents, is the heart of the Obama doctrine and has guided this nation’s policies for more than four years.
Obama’s desire for rapprochement with the Islamist regime in Iran has prompted the administration to drag its feet on the sanctions designed to halt Tehran’s nuclear program. For the same reason, the president and his administration were silent when hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran to call for an end to the dictatorship and were met by an orgy of violence from the mullahs’ thugs. Because of the White House’s moral and political timidity, its denial of the Islamist threat, and its conviction that America (presumably an even greater predator) has no right to condemn another nation, Iran reached its tipping point and went the wrong way.
The administration’s denial was glaring also in its response to the massacre of 13 unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood by an Islamic fanatic and terrorist, Nidal Malik Hasan, who three and a half years later still has not been brought to trial. Hasan infiltrated the American military and, despite open expressions of hatred for the West, was promoted to the rank of U.S. Army major. The Obama administration’s Kafkaesque response to an obvious case of Islamist violence against the U.S. was to classify the terrorist attack as an incident of “workplace violence,” and thus to hide the fact that Hasan was a Muslim soldier in a war against the infidels of the West.
This inability to name our enemies was on display again on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, as jihadists staged demonstrations and launched attacks against American embassies in Egypt and other Islamic countries. In Libya, al-Qaeda terrorists overran an American consular compound and murdered the U.S. ambassador and three brave staffers. The attack took place in a country that had recently been destabilized by Obama’s own intervention to oust its dictator. Again, Obama had denounced a military intervention in Iraq as senator; that intervention, unlike his Libyan adventure, had been authorized by both houses of Congress and a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution. As president, Obama had invoked the principle of non-intervention to justify his passivity in the face of atrocities in Syria and Iran. But in Libya he conducted an unauthorized invasion of a country that posed no threat to the United States and was not, as Syria is, in alliance with the mullahs of Iran and the terrorists of Hezbollah. The chaos that followed Obama’s Libyan intervention led directly to the rise of the local al-Qaeda, which planted its flag atop the same American outpost in Benghazi it later destroyed.
The events in Benghazi were a stark revelation of the consequences of a foreign policy without a moral compass. The battle over the embassy lasted seven hours. Although the Obama learned about the attack shortly after it began, and although the embattled Americans inside the compound begged the White House for help, and although U.S. fighter jets were stationed in Italy only an hour away, the president, in one of the most shameful acts in the history of that office, denied help by leaving his post, so that only silence answered their desperate calls. The president and his administration then went into cover-up mode, lying to Congress and the American people, pretending for weeks afterward that the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Mohammed video, whose director they then threw in jail.
Before his overthrow, the dictator Moammar Qaddafi warned that his demise would unleash the forces of the Islamic jihad not only in his own country but throughout North Africa. This was a prophecy quickly realized. In the aftermath of Obama’s intervention, al-Qaeda in Mali took control of an area twice the size of Germany. In Tunisia and Egypt, jihadists emerged as the ruling parties, with the acquiescence and even assistance of the Obama administration. In Syria, a savage civil war metastasized unimpeded, killing tens of thousands and eventually pitting a fascist regime allied with Iran against rebel forces largely aligned with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
As these disasters unfolded, the White House not only did not oppose the Islamists but armed and enabled them. Obama had previously intervened in Egypt, the largest and most important country in the Middle East, to force the removal of its pro-American leader, Hosni Mubarak. He then promoted the Brotherhood’s ascension to power by portraying it as a “moderate” actor in the democratic process. As the Middle East situation deteriorated, the Muslim Brotherhood became the chief beneficiary of America’s financial, diplomatic, and military support. This same Brotherhood was the driving force behind the Islamist surge, the mentor of Osama bin Laden and the leaders of al-Qaeda, and the creator of Hamas. Rather than being quarantined, the Brotherhood-dominated government in Cairo has received hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid and F-16 bomber jets from the Obama administration that had facilitated its rise to power.
Appeasement of Islamist Enemies
To allay concerns about the emergence of the Brotherhood, Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, uttered this justification for its acceptance by the White House: “We believe… that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency.” In these words, Clinton was referring to an organization whose spiritual leader, Yusef al-Qaradawi, had recently called for a second Holocaust of the Jews, “Allah willing, at the hands of the believers,” and to a party that was calling for the establishment of a Muslim caliphate in Jerusalem and for the destruction of the Jewish state. Soon after Clinton’s endorsement, the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected Egypt’s new leader and was referring to Jews as apes and pigs. Secure in the support of the American administration, he wasted no time in abolishing the constitution and instituting a dictatorship with no serious protest from the United States. Senator John Kerry, shortly to be Hillary Clinton’s successor as secretary of state, had visited the new dictator only months before this destruction of Egypt’s civic space. Kerry assured the world that the new Muslim Brotherhood regime was “committed to protecting fundamental freedoms.”
As in Egypt, so in Syria. Both Clinton and Kerry promoted the ruthless dictator Assad as a political reformer and friend of democracy just as he was preparing to launch a war against his own people. (Meeting with Assad, Kerry called Syria “an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.”) Shortly thereafter, the dictator began a series of massacres of his own population. Obama ignored the resulting tens of thousands of fatalities and the international calls for a humanitarian intervention – just as he had ignored the desperate struggle of the Green Revolution in the streets of Tehran three years earlier. The chaos in Syria has now led to the emergence of al-Qaeda as a leading actor among the rebel forces, under the revealing name “the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.” The very name indicates the potential scope of the disaster that the Obama administration is presiding over in the Middle East.
Republican Retreat On National Security
Until the “new politics” presidency of Jimmy Carter, the Democratic party during the Cold War would never have tolerated such abject capitulations to totalitarian forces. And when Carter showed such doubt and denial, the Republican party could be counted on to defend the morality of American power and carry the fight to the enemy. The Republicans did so with the conviction that they were expressing the deepest convictions of the American people.
In domestic politics, the American people preferred Democratic promoters of the welfare state to Republican proponents of fiscal restraint. The same electorate switched its vote, however, when the issue was protecting the American homeland. While voters made Democrats the majority party in the people’s House for 38 of the 42 years of America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union, in 28 of those years they elected a Republican to be their commander-in-chief. Moreover, three of the four Democrats who did make it to the White House – Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson – were militant anti-Communists and military hawks who on national-security issues held views indistinguishable from those of Republicans.
Given that the most durable lesson of postwar electoral history was that Democrats win national elections on domestic policy and that Republicans win on national security, it seems incomprehensible that the Obama administration has been able to degrade American power virtually without Republican opposition. At the Republican party’s 2012 convention in Tampa, its nominee, Mitt Romney, failed to mention the Islamic jihad and devoted only one sentence to the fact that, in order to appease America’s enemies, Obama had thrown Israel, America’s only dependable ally in the region, “under the bus.” Romney did not mention Obama’s role as enabler of the Muslim Brotherhood or the millions of dollars his administration had given to the Palestinian jihadists on the West Bank and in Gaza, whose official goal was the destruction of Israel and its Jews. He did not mention the calls by the Islamist leaders of Egypt and Iran for the destruction of the Jewish state and the completion of the job that Hitler started.
Romney devoted exactly two sentences to Obama’s appeasement of the Russians and his abandonment of America’s Eastern European allies, which were harmed by the president’s reneging on America’s commitments to their missile defense. About the Korean peninsula, a flashpoint in national security and a theater for the current administration’s diplomatic dithering, Romney said nothing.
While Romney failed to confront a vulnerable Obama on national-security issues and gave Obama a pass on his shameful betrayal of his embassy in Benghazi, no other Republican campaign was likely to make the holy war that Islamists are waging against us, and Obama’s feckless national-security policies, a focal point of their attack. At one time or another, there were ten Republican candidates for the nomination that Romney won. Each of them participated in at least three of 20 public debates; two of the candidates participated in all of them. There were candidates for social conservatism, candidates for fiscal responsibility and job creation, candidates for libertarian principles and moderate values. But there was not one Republican candidate whose campaign was an aggressive assault on Obama’s disastrous national-security decisions and how they had imperiled America’s interests and its basic safety.
The extent of the Republican retreat on national security was dramatized by an incident that took place a few months before the election. In a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general, Representative Michele Bachmann and four other Republican House members asked him to look into the possibility of Islamist influence in the Obama administration. The letter expressed concern about State Department policies that “appear to be a result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.” The letter then listed five specific ways in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had actively assisted the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascent to power in Egypt, producing in the Middle East a decisive shift toward the jihadist enemies of the United States.
The letter specifically asked for an inquiry into the activities of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and principal adviser on Muslim affairs. It was a reasonable, indeed a necessary, request. Members of Abedin’s family – her late father, her mother, and her brother – were all identifiable leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. For twelve years prior to being hired by Hillary Clinton, Abedin herself had worked for an organization founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef – a major Brotherhood figure, a close associate of Abedin’s mother – one of the three principal financiers of Osama bin Laden, and a man dedicated to promoting Islamic-supremacist doctrines. A second figure with Muslim Brotherhood ties occupying a high place in the Obama administration was Rashad Hussain, deputy associate White House counsel, who had responsibilities in the areas of national security and Muslim affairs. And there were others.
In other words, people with high-level Muslim Brotherhood connections occupy positions of influence in the Obama administration on matters related to national security and Muslim affairs – at the same time Obama’s policies have encouraged the dramatic rise of the previously outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East. Yet when the congressional letter surfaced, Bachmann and her colleagues came under savage attack as McCarthyites and “Islamophobes,” whose request for an inquiry was itself deemed un-American. These attacks came not only from the Washington Post, leading Democrats, and such well-known apologists for Islamists as Georgetown’s John Esposito, but also from Republicans John McCain and John Boehner. Without bothering to address the facts the Bachmann letter presented, McCain said, “When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches vicious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are, in ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poor because of it.” In other words, Bachmann and her colleagues were bigots. Said Boehner: “I don’t know Huma, but from everything that I do know of her she has a sterling character. Accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.” In other words, asking reasonable questions about a woman with undeniable ties to the Muslim Brotherhood who stands at the center of American policy was more dangerous than allowing those ties to remain unexamined.
In the hands of today’s leftists, the terms “McCarthyite,” “Islamophobe,” and their equivalents are not descriptions of a political pathology but rather bludgeons wielded to shut down inquiry into behavior that may be harmful to the United States. Instead of rejecting these slurs as they are used to invoke a brutal cloture on a matter of national security, Republican leaders participated in the successful effort to suppress the debate.
The Betrayal of Iraq
Why this lack of conviction on a matter combining internal security and foreign policy, traditional pillars of Republican strength? The answer can be found in the way the Republicans allowed themselves to be intimidated and then silenced as the Left put forth its version of “the lessons of Iraq.” The moment when Republicans lost the national-security narrative – and abandoned their role as defenders of the homeland – came in June 2003, just six weeks after the Saddam regime fell. That month, the Democratic party launched a national television campaign claiming that Bush lied to the American people to lure them into a war that was “unnecessary,” “immoral,” and “illegal.”
Until that moment, the war in Iraq had been supported by both parties and was regarded by both as a strategic necessity in the larger War on Terror. Removing Saddam’s regime by force, moreover, had been a specific goal of U.S. policy since October 1998, when Bill Clinton, a Democratic president, signed the Iraqi Liberation Act.
In his time on center stage, Saddam launched two aggressive wars, murdered 300,000 Iraqis, used chemical weapons on his own citizens, and put in place an active nuclear-weapons program. He was thwarted only by his defeat in the first Gulf War. As of 2002, his regime had defied 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to enforce the Gulf War truce and stop Iraq from pursuing its ambition to possess weapons of mass destruction. In September 2002, the U.N. Security Council added a new resolution, which gave the regime until December 17 to comply with its terms or face consequences. When Iraq failed to comply, Bush made the only decision compatible with the preservation of international law and the security of the United States: He prepared an invasion to remove the regime and the weapons of mass destruction it was reasonably presumed to possess. The Iraqi dictator was provided the option of leaving the country and averting war. He rejected the offer and the U.S.-led coalition entered the country on March 19, 2003. (I recounted the story in Unholy Alliance.)
The use of force in Iraq had been authorized by both houses of Congress, including a majority of Democrats in the Senate. It was supported in eloquent speeches by John Kerry, John Edwards, Al Gore, and other Democratic leaders. But just three months into the war, Democrats turned against an action that they had authorized and began a five-year campaign to delegitimize it, casting America as its villain. It was a fundamental break with the post–World War II bipartisan foreign policy that had survived even Vietnam.
With the support and protection of Democratic legislators, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the major TV networks now undertook a relentless five-year propaganda campaign against the war, taking relatively minor incidents like the misbehavior of guards at the Abu Ghraib prison and blowing them up into international scandals, damaging their country’s prestige and weakening its morale. Left-leaning news media leaked classified national-security secrets, destroying three major national-security programs designed to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. (For more on this, see my work with Ben Johnson, Party of Defeat, and Douglas Feith’s War and Decision.) Every day, the New York Times and other left-leaning media provided front-page coverage of America’s body counts in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped to fuel a massive “anti-war” movement, which attacked America’s fundamental purposes along with its conduct of the war. The goal of these campaigns was to indict America and its leaders as war criminals who posed a threat to the world.
The principal justification offered by the Democrats for their campaign against the Iraq War was that “Bush lied” in order to persuade them to support an invasion that was unnecessary, illegal, and immoral. This claim was the only way Democrats could explain the otherwise inexplicable and unconscionable fact that, for domestic political reasons, they turned against a war they had supported, following the lead of an anti-war primary candidate, Howard Dean, who appeared to be on his way to winning their presidential nomination. It was only then that Kerry and Edwards, the eventual nominees, reversed themselves on the war; they were followed by the entire party, which saw a partisan advantage in attacking Bush over an increasingly difficult situation on the battlefield.
The claim that Bush lied was false. Bush could not have lied to Kerry or the congressional Democrats about WMDs in Iraq, because Kerry and other Democrats sat on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and had access to the same intelligence data that Bush relied on to make his case for the war. When the Democrats authorized and supported the war, they knew everything that Bush knew. The claim that he lied to get their support was itself the biggest lie of the war. Its only purpose was to hide the Democrats’ own perfidy in abandoning the nation’s mission for partisan gain, and to discredit the president and turn the country against him, at whatever cost, in the hope of winning the 2004 election.
Republicans didn’t lose control of the national-security narrative simply because Democrats betrayed a war they had authorized, however. Republicans had the option of standing fast, as they had done since the attack on Pearl Harbor. They lost control of the narrative because they never held the Democrats accountable for their betrayal. They never suggested that the Democrats’ attacks on the war were deceitful and unpatriotic, aiding our enemies and risking the lives of our troops in the field. The Bush White House failed to defend itself from the attacks, and the Republicans as a whole failed to expose the Democrats’ lie and to describe their reckless accusations as the disloyal propaganda it clearly was. “Betrayal” and “sabotage” – the appropriate terms for Democratic attacks on the motives of the war – were never employed. Republicans did not accuse Democrats of conducting a campaign to demoralize America’s troops in the field, even when Kerry during a presidential debate called it “the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” (How did that sound to a 19-year-old Marine facing down Islamic terrorists in Fallujah?)
The Republican Failure and the American Future
The Republicans’ failure to defend their president and the war turned a good war into a bad one. It turned a disloyal opposition into a patriotic movement. It crippled America’s ability to protect other people’s freedom and defend its own. If the war against a dictator like Saddam Hussein was illegitimate and immoral, then American resistance to any outlaw states could be portrayed – and opposed – as reckless and unjustifiable aggression.
In failing to fight the political war over Iraq, Republicans lost their legitimacy as the party that had always taken the hard, sometimes unpopular steps to protect national security, as they did in the mid 1980s when they held the line against Soviet efforts to support Sandinista subversion and subject El Salvador to a bloody Marxist guerilla war. Losing – and to some degree failing to fight – the war over the war in Iraq is why Republicans are mute today in matters of foreign policy and why they have not challenged Barack Obama’s dangerous course of appeasement and drift, particularly in the Middle East.
The Joint Chiefs had suggested that a military presence of 20,000 troops in Iraq was necessary to keep it free of Iran’s control, but the demand for such a presence became problematic when the Republicans allowed the Democrats’ narrative of “Bush lied, people died” to succeed. When 2008 presidential candidate John McCain suggested that maintaining troops in a postwar Iraq was a prudent measure, candidate Obama attacked him as a warmonger. “You know,” Obama said, “John McCain wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years.” This refrain became a constant theme of the winning Obama campaign – Republicans are warmongers, and dangerous.
That is why three years later, when Obama withdrew from Iraq, no Republican dared accuse him of betraying the Americans who gave their lives to make Iraq independent, even though Iraq as a consequence fell under the sway of Iran and was providing air space for Iranian weapons headed for Syria..
How far America has fallen since Madeleine Albright called us the indispensable nation that stands taller and sees farther becomes ever more apparent with each new international crisis. We are not only losing the war with enemies whose stated goal is our destruction, we are led by a political party that constantly finds excuses not to take these enemies seriously, and never has to account for its disgraceful conduct because its potential opposition is mute. The only way to reverse this trend is to mount a campaign to put Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood at the forefront of the political debate, and to educate Americans about the real dangers we face. Americans need to become aware of the Islamic-supremacist threat, of the malignant designs of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of the disasters that may lie ahead because of the Obama administration’s policies of appeasing and enabling our enemies’ evil ambitions.
The next time a nutty Leftist calls you a racist, or Homophobe just remember that they have moral superiority! Of course, this is an absurd assumption on their part, and their actions, like launching vicious personal attacks at anyone that disagrees with them, point out that their moral superiority is just a mask for their bigotry. Stacy McCain has a great post up about this that you should read.
In my Thursday account of the connections between Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin, I noted that within half an hour of Judge C.J. Vaughey’s ruling in Tuesday’s Maryland court hearing — which resulted in the arrest of Aaron Walker — a photo image of the ruling was Tweeted by @AnonyOps. This is a Twitter account “Rauhauser is suspected of using,” I reported, and @AnonyOps subsequently denied this suspicion.
Very well, then — yet we have no explanation of how @AnonyOps obtained that photo first, and this still demonstrates a connection that seems more than coincidental. Selah.
Not content merely to deny being Rauhauser, however, @AnonyOps then put up a blog post denouncing Aaron Walker as “Islamophobic” and calling me a ”white supremacist.”
Such accusations, you see, are part of the belief system by which the far Left justifies its lawless radicalism: Because their enemies are all, in one way or another, guilty of political ThoughtCrimes (a category that the Left is always willing to expand and re-define as necessary), the Left need not be scrupulous as to the means by which it advances its goals.
If you buy into the premises of their argument, then the conclusionlogically follows that any outcome other than the complete triumph of the Left — the extermination of all resistance — is unacceptable, and whatever foul, unjust and illegal actions are necessary to accomplish that triumph can be justified.
Thus, the infamous radical slogan, “By Any Means Necessary,” which is ultimately a totalitarian formula. David Horowitz, who saw through the Left’s amoral nihilism, once mentioned the humorous sign that a Berkeley businessman put in his shop window after radicals gained control of that city’s municipal government: “That which is not mandatory is prohibited.”
Go read the rest, it is powerful. I commit a great deal of time on this blog trying to hammer home the truth about the Left. That truth is this, the Left wants absolute and total control of everything. They seek to tell you what to eat, what you can drive, how to raise your kids what you can think, say, write, and read. McCain is right, the Left truly believes that their way must be forced achieved by any means necessary, morality never enters into it for them. The cold fact is that Leftism=Totalitarianism.
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This may be the golden age of presumptuous ignorance. The most recent demonstrations of that are the Occupy Wall Street mobs. It is doubtful how many of these semi-literate sloganizers could tell the difference between a stock and a bond.
Yet there they are, mouthing off about Wall Street on television, cheered on by politicians and the media. If this is not a golden age of presumptuous ignorance, perhaps it should be called a brass age.
No one has more brass than the president of the United States, though his brass may be more polished than that of the Occupy Wall Street mobs. When Barack Obama speaks loftily about “investing in the industries of the future,” does anyone ask: What in the world would qualify him to know what are the industries of the future?
Why would people who have spent their careers in politics know more about investing than people who have spent their careers as investors?
Presumptuous ignorance is not confined to politicians or rowdy political activists, by any means. From time to time, I get a huffy letter or e-mail from a reader who begins, “You obviously don’t know what you are talking about…”
The particular subject may be one on which my research assistants and I have amassed piles of research material and official statistics. It may even be a subject on which I have written a few books, but somehow the presumptuously ignorant just know that I didn’t really study that issue, because my conclusions don’t agree with theirs or with what they have heard.
At one time I was foolish enough to try to reason with such people. But one of the best New Year’s resolutions I ever made, some years ago, was to stop trying to reason with unreasonable people. It has been good for my blood pressure and probably for my health in general.
A recent column of mine that mentioned the “indirect subsidies” from the government to the Postal Service brought the presumptuously ignorant out in force, fighting mad.
Because the government does not directly subsidize the current operating expenses of the Postal Service, that is supposed to show that the Postal Service pays its own way and costs the taxpayers nothing.
Politicians may be crooks but they are not fools. Easily observable direct subsidies can create a political problem. Far better to set up an arrangement that will allow government-sponsored enterprises – whether the Postal Service, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Tennessee Valley Authority – to operate in such a way that they can claim to be self-supporting and not costing the taxpayers anything, no matter how much indirect subsidy they get.
As just one example, the Postal Service has a multi-billion-dollar line of credit at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Hey, we could all use a few billions, every now and then, to get us over the rough spots. But we are not the Postal Service.
Theoretically, the Postal Service is going to pay it all back some day, and that theoretical possibility keeps it from being called a direct subsidy. The Postal Service is also exempt from paying taxes, among other exemptions it has from costs that other businesses have to pay.
Exemption from taxes, and from other requirements that apply to other businesses, are also not called subsidies. For people who mistake words for realities, that is enough for them to buy the political line – and to get huffy with those who don’t.
Loan guarantees are a favorite form of hidden subsidies for all sorts of special interests. At a given point in time, it can be said that these guarantees cost the taxpayers nothing. But when they suddenly do cost something – as with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – they can cost billions.
One of the reasons for so much presumptuous ignorance flourishing in our time may be the emphasis on “self-esteem” in our schools and colleges. Children not yet a decade old have been encouraged, or even required, to write letters to public figures, sounding off on issues ranging from taxes to nuclear missiles.
Our schools begin promoting presumptuous ignorance early on. It is apparently one of the few things they teach well. The end result is people without much knowledge, but with a lot of brass.
Had enough of fat cat Barack Obama, his jet-setting wife and his multi-millionaire Chicago consigliere/real-estate mogul Valerie Jarrett attacking the “rich”? Well, brace yourselves. You’ll be hearing much more from the White House about the “wealthy few” who aren’t paying their “fair share” as Obama’s re-election campaign doubles down on class-war demagoguery.
As usual, there’s always a set of immunity charms for the privileged friends and family of the ruling class. When it comes to all the Green Robber Barons who’ve reaped an obscenely unfair share of billions of tax dollars from the Obama administration, the envy trumpeteers will be quieter than a nest of mute church mice.
The Romney campaign has been hitting Newt Gingrich hard over the 1990s ethics case that resulted in the former Speaker being reprimanded and paying a $300,000 penalty. Before the Iowa caucuses, Romney and his supporting super PAC did serious damage to Gingrich with an ad attacking Gingrich’s ethics past. Since then, Romney has made other ads and web videos focusing on the ethics matter, and at the Republican debate in Tampa Monday night, Romney said Gingrich “had to resign in disgrace.”
In private conversations, Romney aides often mention the ethics case as part of their larger argument that Gingrich would be unelectable in a race against President Obama.
Larry Sand’s article “No Wonder Johnny (Still) Can’t Read” – written for The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, based in Raleigh, N.C. – blames schools of education for the decline in America’s education. Education professors drum into students that they should not “drill and kill” or be the “sage on the stage” but instead be the “guide on the side” who “facilitates student discovery.”
This kind of harebrained thinking, coupled with multicultural nonsense, explains today’s education. During his teacher education, Sand says, “teachers-to-be were forced to learn about this ethnic group, that impoverished group, this sexually anomalous group, that under-represented group, etc. – all under the rubric of ‘Culturally Responsive Education.'”
Abe Greenwald of Commentary magazine tweets: Is there any chance that Mark Steyn won’t use the Italian captain fleeing the sinking ship as the lead metaphor in a column on EU collapse?
Oh, dear. You’ve got to get up early in the morning to beat me to civilizational-collapse metaphors. Been there, done that. See page 185 of my most recent book, where I contrast the orderly, dignified, and moving behavior of those on the Titanic (the ship, not the mendacious Hollywood blockbuster) with that manifested in more recent disasters. There was no orderly evacuation from the Costa Concordia, just chaos punctuated by individual acts of courage from, for example, an Hungarian violinist in the orchestra and a ship’s entertainer in a Spiderman costume, both of whom helped children to safety, the former paying with his life.
Newt Gingrich’s ardent admiration for Franklin Delano Roosevelt owes more to the latter’s unflinching wartime leadership than his welfare-state policy prescriptions. This week, though, the former Speaker is also undoubtedly in accord with FDR’s aphorism, “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” To his great credit, Newt has made an enemy of CAIR.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, that is. The nation’s best known cheerleader for radical Islam – or, as Fox News compliantly puts it, “the largest Muslim civil liberties group in the United States” – has issued a blistering press release that labels Gingrich “one of the nation’s worst promoters of anti-Muslim bigotry.”
The New York Times, which played a key role in getting convicted and unrepentant murderer Kathy Boudin a parole, has now published a similar massive plea posing as a news story for her accomplice, Judy Clark. The piece is maliciously titled “The Radical Transformation of Judy Clark” as though Clark, understanding the heinous nature of her crime which left 9 children fatherless, is prepared to renounce the life that led to it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Of course Clark is in her sixties now and regrets her separation from the infant she abandoned to commit the crime (her last crime not her only crime). Her daughter is now 31 and she would obviously like to be able to share the kind of life with her that her victims cannot share with their dead fathers.
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A completely disgusting display of hatred, bigotry, and, frankly, decidedly pro-terrorist sentiments! And it is taking place all across America! Video via An Old Broad
Again, the “tolerant Left” is leading the charge of hatred, and fomenting and EXCUSING violence and terrorism! Moral retardation in it’s most disturbing form. What else can you say about people who carry banners saying PEACE at rallies where attacks on Israeli civilians are excused? Note what the woman who David Horowitz questions at the 4:55 mark of the video. She APPROVES of hunting down Jews, as the leader of Hezbollah has called for.
These students are evil, some, maybe most, are likely too stupid and misinformed to even realize they are supporting terrorism, but, make no mistake, many of them KNOW FULL WELL what they are supporting. Hamas, and Hezbollah can attack Israel on a daily basis, and these cretins say nothing, or, even go so far as to justify these acts of barbarism. But if Israel dares defend itself, they launch into outrage mode, screeching about human rights.
As I said, these miscreants are EVIL! They are the same fools who speak about Social Justice, and shout “Power to the People”, yet they support nations that oppress women over truly free countries where women actually are free. They are the same people who loathe our military, and regularly spit on this nation while USING the liberty our military defends, and that our nation protects!
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….Q & A PART 1
….Q & A PART 2
….Q & A PART 3
And there are not just a few of them either.
I’m not exactly sure if it’s denial, or simply defining communism down. Probably a bit of both, but it could also be actual ignorance. At communist Henry Farrell’s Crooked Timber, for example:
There’s a few Marxists left in academia (like me, although being in math what parent would notice or care…?) but in all honesty the idea that someone’s kids could be indoctrinated into communism is sadly even” more absurd now than it was then. Anyway I’d guess that in 1951 there were even fewer communists on campus than today – the Legion didn’t need actual examples to create the spectre of the (Jewish, as has been mentioned) communist undermining the moral and character of American youth.
Folks should check the whole post for the context.
And then check the videos at Big Journalism, “Taking Bets On Whether the Media Will Cover Marxist Union Instruction,” and Robert Stacy McCain, “Why Aren’t You Homeschooling Yet?”
Lots of communists on my campus, which I’ve documented many times, and will continue to do so.
David Horowitz will be speaking, and he, perhaps better than anyone, understands the threat of radicalism
Donald Douglas calls it a barn burner, so you know it is good!
I’ve just walked down a street filled literally with thousands of Moslems of exactly the kind many people are seriously arguing do not exist. I saw them with my own eyes, as I have every day for the past five years. With so many other questions in the world, why waste time debating this? Book a ticket to Istanbul, spend an afternoon here, have a lovely time, drink some tea, meet friendly, tolerant, warm, welcoming Moslems (mostly), and see for yourself. They exist! They’re my neighbors and my friends! Babür, is there anyone at our gym, for example, who would not describe himself as a Moslem? Would any member of our gym endorse terrorism, honor killing, forcing me to wear the hijab, or subjecting me to a dhimmi tax? The idea is so absurd it’s beyond discussion — and yet we’re discussing it.
Yes, this is good. And I think it’s important. Every once in a while I have Muslim students in class, and we have thoughtful discussions. But they are such a small minority that we don’t get a critical mass of opinion to sort out variations in opinion within the Islamic community. So, call me agnostic on the kind of experience Claire Berlinski’s having. More immediate to me is David Horowitz’s experience. I have had a few similar to this, in my engagement with the ANSWER Coalition. And this kind of experience is a good test. When Muslim come out to denounce Hezbollah, that’ll be a good step toward identifying and working with the moderates Claire champions. Meanwhile, see, “The War Against the Jews at UC San Diego“:
I have come to believe that the biggest issue in dealing with Islam is this. There are MANY great Muslim people, and there are, sadly, tragically, many Muslims who are radical, the thing is how do we identify and know who the good Muslims are? We are a society based in large part on freedom of religion, so where do we draw the line? We are a nation fighting an evil enemy, Islamist terrorists. Where do we draw the line on how to ID and destroy terror threats and cells located here?
Tough questions indeed, but we gain nothing by blindly following the path the Left seems intent on taking, there is no moral relativism between radical Islam and fundamentalist Christianity. There is nothing but peril in the idea that we must put blind “tolerance” above common sense either. The biggest aid we could have is for those good and decent Muslims to speak out against Jihad, and against terrorism, and against those who support implementing Sharia Law here. Those Muslims are as welcome here as any other faiths are. Terrorism is as much their enemy as it is ours, and they have as much to benefit from its defeat as any other American.