December 17, 2004,
There is much talk of post-election reorganization and rethinking among demoralized liberals, especially in matters of foreign policy. They could start by accepting that the demise of many of their cherished beliefs and institutions was not the fault of others. More often, the problems are fundamental flaws in their own thinking such as the ends of good intentions justifying the means of expediency and untruth, and forced equality being a higher moral good than individual liberty and freedom. Whether we call such notions “political correctness” or “progressivism,” the practice of privileging race, class, and gender over basic ethical considerations has earned the moralists of the Left not merely hypocrisy, but virtual incoherence.
1. There really isn’t a phenomenon like “Islamophobia” at least no more than there was a “Germanophobia” in hating Hitler or “Russophobia” in detesting Stalinism. Any unfairness or rudeness that accrues from the “security profiling” of Middle Eastern young males is dwarfed by efforts of Islamic fascists themselves here in the U.S., in the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Turkey, and Israel to murder Westerners and blow up civilians. The real danger to thousands of innocents is not an occasional evangelical zealot or uncouth politician spouting off about Islam, but the deliberately orchestrated and very sick anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism that floods the airways worldwide, emanating from Iran, Lebanon, and Syria, to be sure, but also from our erstwhile “allies” in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
2. “Imperialism” and “hegemony” explain nothing about recent American intervention abroad not when dictators such as Noriega, Milosevic, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein were taken out by the U.S. military. There are no shahs and Your Excellencies in their places, but rather consensual governments whose only sin was that they came on the heels of American arms rather than U.N. collective snoozing. There really was no secret Afghan pipeline behind toppling the Taliban, nor a French-like oil concession to be had for the United States from the new Iraqi interim government. Many of Michael Moore’s heroic “Minutemen” of the Sunni Triangle are hired killers hooded fascists in the pay of ex-Baathists and Saddamites, along with Islamic terrorists and jihadists who hate the very idea of democracy in the heart of the Arab world. The collective cursus honorum of these Saddamite holdovers during the last two decades gassing the Kurds, committing atrocities against the Iranians, looting and pillaging in Kuwait, launching missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia, slaughtering Shiites and again Kurds, and assassinating Western and U.N. aid workers rank right up there with the work of the SS and KGB.
3. It won’t do any longer to attribute American outrage over the U.N. to a vast right-wing conspiracy led by red-state senators and Fox News. All the standing ovations for Kofi Annan cannot hide the truth that the Oil-for-Food scandal exceeds Enron. Indeed, Ken Lay’s malfeasance never involved the deaths of thousands, while cronies siphoned off food and supplies from a starving populace. The U.S. military does not tolerate mass rape and plunder among its troops, as is true of the U.N. peacekeepers throughout Africa. There can be no serious U.N. moral sense as long as illiberal regimes a Syria, Iran, or Cuba vote in the General Assembly and the Security Council stymies solutions out of concern for an autocratic China that swallowed Tibet. Millions were slaughtered in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur while New York bureaucrats either condemned Israel or damned anyone who censured their own inaction and corruption. Rather than faulting those who fault the U.N., leftists should lament the betrayal of the spirit of the liberal U.N. Charter by regimes that are neither democratic nor liberal but who seek legitimacy solely on their ability to win concessions and sympathy from guilt-ridden Westerners.
4. So it is also time to take a hard look at the heroes and villains of Hollywood, liberal Democrats, and the Euro elites. Many are as obsessed with damning the senile dictator of Chile as they are with excusing the unelected President for Life Fidel Castro. But let us be frank. A murderous Pinochet probably killed fewer of his own than did a mass-murdering Castro, and left Chile in better shape than contemporary Cuba is in. And the former is long gone, while the latter is still long in power.
If the moralizing Left wants to be taken seriously, it is going have to become serious about its own moral issues, since that is the professed currency of contemporary liberalism. Otherwise, the spiritual leaders who lecture us all on social justice, poverty, and truth will remain the money-speculator George Soros, the Reverend Jesse Jackson of dubious personal and professional ethics, and the mythographer Michael Moore. And we all know where that leads…