Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Why They Hope We'll Lose

We and others have often made the claim that the left actually is hoping for an American defeat in Iraq. This seems preposterous to some and obvious to others, and it raises the question why they should feel this way. There are at least three reasons, I think, that lead people on the left to cheer every American setback and essentially to call for our surrender:

First, a defeat in Iraq would be a crushing defeat for Republicans. The left hates Republicans in general and Bush in particular and would rather see this country stymied in its greatest international undertaking since WWII than see either Bush or the Republicans get credit for having pulled it off.

Parenthetically, why they hate Bush is another interesting question which deserves an answer. Some of it is due to their bitterness over the 2000 election, but in large part it's because of their embrace of the sexual revolution. The perpetuation of the radical shift in sexual mores of the last forty years, a religious obligation for leftists, requires unfettered access to abortion on demand. Bush has made it clear that he will appoint judges and justices who do not share that enthusiasm. His greatest crime in their eyes, therefore, is the threat he poses to abortion rights and thus to the ability of individuals to treat sex as a form of recreation.

Indeed, we can take this analysis one step further and point out that it has always been part of the leftist agenda, going back at least as far as Marx's Communist Manifesto, to destroy bourgeois marriage and thus traditional notions of the family. Sexual license, gay marriage, and easy divorce are three vehicles the left seeks to employ to this end, and Bush not only opposes them, but is perhaps the only real political obstacle standing in the way of the public accepting the first two as it has the third.

Second, a defeat in Iraq would make us more reluctant to use force in the future. It would, like Vietnam, chasten us for a generation and make the use of military power much more difficult for future presidents. This prospect has a great deal of appeal for pacifists who are already deeply resentful that we used the military in Iraq in the first place.

Third, the secular left, simply put, hates America. They hate America because America is religious and they despise religion. They hate America because America promotes capitalism and they despise capitalism. They hate America because we have a checkered history and they see evil as a stain inherent in the fabric of our nation and its people. Mostly, though, they hate America because they themselves are Americans and they hate themselves.

They are burdened with guilt and self-loathing, and they project onto their nation the sins and impulses, real or imagined, that they find in their own souls. Hatred for America becomes a form of expiation for the guilt they feel for being American.

There may be other reasons why the left yearns to see the United States brought low by the sixth-century savages against whom we struggle, but in any such list these three surely rank near the top.

Racist Assumptions

La Shawn Barber calls our attention to this cartoon in the Indianapolis Star intended as commentary on a case in Indianapolis' Marion County Juvenile Detention Center where nine guards are accused of raping six teenage female inmates:

Here's a photo of the guards, or at least those whose photos were published:

So why did the cartoonist and the Star assume that if someone was a rapist he must be white? Imagine if the cartoon showed a black guard when all the accused were in fact white. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be picketing the Star's offices and demanding reparations.

Sounds like the racists at the Indianapolis Star need a little consciousness-raising.

Speaking of racists, now that mayor Ray Nagin has his wish that New Orleans be a "chocolate city" isn't it just a little ironic that he's had to call in a mostly white National Guard to keep the city from spiralling into chaos?

Andrew's Growing Wearisome

Andrew Sullivan looks more foolish with every passing day. In a recent post he quotes from lefty writer Ron Suskind's book a passage that purports to relate a discussion that George Bush had with CIA Director George Tenet concerning the harsh interrogation of a captured terrorist. Sullivan has no idea how accurate the passage is, he has no idea what the nuances were, or what the full context was, yet on the basis of it he proclaims that:

This shallow, monstrous, weak, and petty man is still the president. God help us.

Andrew's name-calling is as childish as it is distasteful. Why does Sullivan think Bush shallow? Because he hasn't read the books Sullivan has? Why is he monstrous? Because he's determined not to let his critics deter him from using harsh measures on terrorists who may have information that could save the lives of our sons and daughters?

Why Sullivan thinks Bush weak or petty is impossible to imagine except perhaps that these were the most unkind adjectives which came to his mind. One thing that Bush has not been throughout his presidency is weak, and even many of his enemies have been impressed with how gracious and unpetty he has been to them.

Andrew Sullivan, who has never had to bear anywhere near the weight that George Bush has had to shoulder, is certainly in no position to call Bush weak. Indeed, a man whose greatest accomplishment is constructing arguments in support of a state blessing of the desire of some men to have oral and anal sex with other men looks rather buffoonish calling a president who has in four years liberated 50 million people from tyranny "shallow," "weak" and "petty."

So what was it, exactly, that elicited this puerile outburst from Andrew? Sullivan quotes from a review of Suskind's book:

Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?" Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety - against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

Mind you that this is from a review of a book whose claims are based on second and third hand information written by a man who is not eager to pen a positive portrayal of the administration. Throwing caution to the wind, however, and accepting it all at face value, Sullivan vents his outrage that a mentally disturbed man would be subject to the illusion he was drowning, loud noise, bright lights, and sleep deprivation.

Sullivan assumes that because the terrorist, like probably most terrorists, is mentally unstable that he therefore cannot be expected to know of any plots against American lives, but this is asinine. Simple-mindedness is not equivalent to ignorance.

Moreover, it's not clear to me why these measures, as unpleasant as they are, should be considered torture. Is it torture to frighten someone into thinking they will be harmed? Is it torture to make them uncomfortable? If so, if that is to be our standard of torture, then we have put ourselves in the position of having to say that it is absolutely wrong to fight against terrorists in the first place or to take them prisoner because neither of these is possible without causing them either fear or discomfort or both.

Sullivan may (if he has run out of vile epithets to hurl our way) reply by saying that we are free to do what we must until the terrorist is no longer a threat to us, but once in custody he is no longer a threat and should therefore be treated as gently as possible consistent with preventing him from becoming a threat again.

Generally speaking, I would agree with this, but a terrorist is not just a threat when he is able to harm us by what he does. He's also a threat if he's able to harm us by what he doesn't do. In other words, threats can be active or passive. Consider a scientist who has discovered a cure for some terrible disease, say avian flu or a childhood cancer, but refuses to divulge his knowledge so that much terrible suffering could be ended. Instead, he states that there are too many people in the world, and therefore he is going to keep quiet about his cure until millions die off. I would argue that that scientist is directly responsible for the suffering and deaths of everyone who perishes from the plague because he had knowledge that could have, and would have, saved their lives but refused to share it. He is in a position similar to the terrorist in custody who refuses to disclose information that would save lives. Both the scientist and the terrorist are passive threats to the lives of others, and the terrorist in custody is therefore not significantly different from the terrorist in the field.

At any rate, Andrew Sullivan's simplistic approach to these problems and his willingness to verbally stomp upon and smear those who disagree with him is growing increasingly wearisome and odious.