For season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen each afternoon I juxtapose book excerpts with a collection of PJ Media’s headlines and links to the 10 most interesting stories I find each morning from other sites around the web. The goal is to make fresh connections between the events of the day and the bigger picture of humanity’s place in the universe. This series’s current focus also begins each day with highlighting the contributions of an important writer.
Last week in discussing the PJ contributors who had most shaped my views, I named Ron Radosh as one of my foundational historical influences. Ron’s books and articles provide a crucial understanding of the nature of communism, the New Left, and their ideological heirs still at work sabotaging our country today.
Today’s figure of note complements Radosh, providing an analysis of Marxism and the Soviet Union’s machinations from the other side.
PJ columnist Ion Mihai Pacepa is a unique figure of 20th century history and he has performed the greatest, most profound of literary accomplishments: his 1987 memoir Red Horizons resulted in the execution of his former boss, the tyrant Nicolae Ceaușescu, and his accomplice wife by the liberated people of Romania. Pacepa is the former head of Romania’s communist espionage division. He was present with Ceaușescu at many of the most consequential meetings of the Soviet bloc. In 1978, after being tasked with arranging a murder, Pacepa chose to defect to the United States. He is the highest-ranking Soviet official to defect.
Since then Pacepa has established himself as the most valuable voice in understanding the effect of Soviet espionage as well as disinformation, the subject of his newest book.
It turns out that the Communists were more interested in confusing us than they were in stealing our technology and spy secrets. Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Attacking Religion, Undermining Freedom, and Promoting Terrorism turns back the curtain on a deeply misunderstood subject that has transformed America and the Middle East in ways that we’re still beginning to comprehend. Disinformation is the process of changing history and sabotaging a culture by flooding it with hateful ideas.
In understanding two disinformation tactics, our understanding of the Syrian conflict transforms. The Soviet Union’s decades of subversion in both the Middle East and America come into alignment. Pacepa describes two tactics which have now grown intermingled. First, the KGB circulated hundreds of thousands of copies of Arabic translations of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the conspiratorial forgery that asserts that Jews run the world and seek to oppress everyone else. The genocidal antisemitism that fuels both Islamist regimes and terrorist groups is a fire that has been stoked by hateful propaganda’s wide distribution for decades.
In the the Western hemisphere the transmission of hatred against America and traditional values shifted. Pacepa explains how liberation theology — the faith of the church Barack Obama chose to attend for 20 years and where he baptized his children — is a KGB invention created specifically for the purpose of getting poor Christians to embrace socialism.
What is the practical effect on the Obama administration’s political decisions from the president soaking in two decades of Communist-inspired, conspiracist propaganda from his self-proclaimed mentor? The president is wholly indifferent to hatred and antisemitism in the Muslim world. Thus the reality of Syria — that it amounts to one Jew-hating barbarian tribe going to war against another — does not register as the slightest problem for him. If he could ignore the antisemitism of his 20-year spiritual mentor, then should it surprise anyone that his administration ignores it on a global stage?
Last week Robert Fisk at the Independent summarized it in one headline: Does Obama know he’s fighting on al-Qa’ida’s side? Yes, of course he does. He’s just so naive about human evil that he doesn’t regard it as a problem. But those who study 20th century history and take in the testimony of Ion Mihai Pacepa will know better…
I’ve decide to shift my routine with these regular link round-ups. In previous weeks I strived to give a broad picture of the stories floating around the web. But now, with a mind toward increasing the number of posts here at PJ Lifestyle, I’m going to narrow my focus more. In addition to providing links to PJ Media’s recent content, each day I’ll select 10 headlines from other sites that I regard as both interesting and as subjects that either I intend to blog about myself or assign to one of PJ Lifestyle’s regular writers. I’ll also try to provide a comment or two on many of the PJM articles. But first, a book excerpt of consequence from this week’s reading:
Sunday Book Reading
Among the great horrors of slavery: A slavemaster’s illegitimate children becoming his property. Page 275 of Thomas Fleming’s The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers on Thomas Jefferson:
PJ Media Story Round Up
Lead PJM Stories for Thursday
I agree with Roger.
As much as I adore Ron, I disagree with him here — as I tend to do when he drifts toward neoconservatism on foreign policy. I find David P. Goldman’s Augustinian Realism a better approach for the post-9/11 world. Sorry, but I agree with Bryan:
As long as we are citing history, it may be wise to pass over the debates that preceded World War II and look directly at the current war and what this president’s actions have left behind in the here and now. Surely this president’s intentions and actions matter?
President Barack Obama came to power waging war against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He utterly disregarded the threat of radical Islam when he was a candidate for the presidency. He blamed George W. Bush for every ill in the world, and continues that juvenile blame game today. Barack Obama as president has presided over a government that dishonestly downplays the threat of Islamic jihad to comical levels, describing Nidal Hasan’s terrorist attack at Fort Hood as “workplace violence.” His government has gone out of its way to fundamentally redefine Islamist terrorism as “man-caused disasters.” His current director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, dubbed the Muslim Brotherhood, the fountainhead of Islamist terrorism, a “mostly secular” organization. If Obama objected to any of these glaring mischaracterizations, he never showed it. Not once. Clapper was eventually promoted.
The Obama government has carried its fundamental dishonesty regarding the global war on terrorism to its overseas adventures. Obama helped drive Egypt’s secular and pro-American dictator, Hosni Mubarak, from power. Mubarak was replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has since been ousted by the military. Egypt remains on the brink of civil war and could become a massive failed state. The Muslim Brotherhood wages pogroms against Egypt’s Coptic Christians, and Obama’s government says precious little and does even less about it.
I’m sorry, Andrew, but I strongly disagree with you on your first point:
But, in this instance, Obama’s incompetence and political calculation are irrelevant. Either it’s right to attack Syria or wrong. Either it serves an American or humanitarian purpose or it doesn’t. We can’t let our dislike of President Me cloud our patriotic judgment.
Even if we could agree that it was probably in U.S. interests to attack Syria, the fact that we’re saddled with an incompetent commander in chief who has no understanding of how to wage and win a war against evil barbarians is reason enough to oppose this. We don’t gain anything by going into Syria and then Obama sabotaging the war through not fighting it effectively.
Drew, I wouldn’t trust Barack Obama to babysit our Siberian Husky Maura for an hour. Thus, I can’t trust him with a single one of our soldier’s lives even if the cause was just. He’s already demonstrated clearly with Benghazi that when America’s heroes call for help, he will ignore them. As my position has been since before the election: Obama is a career criminal fabulist and an antisemite allied with Islamists, Chicago thugs, and KGB man Vladimir Putin and he should be in jail for his dereliction of duty, not leading our troops into a war whose objective remains unknown.
To go to war under these leaders would be like undertaking to climb K2 with a carload of clowns.
It is little wonder that people think the old system no longer workers. The campaign to repeal the 16th Amendment was launched yesterday. “The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on Census results.” The petition to start the repeal is here. If the Saudis can pay for “the invasion,” maybe they can pay for Secretary Kerry’s State Department as well.
One of the reasons why Congress vested the war power in Congress and the reason why Congress was supposed to have been a large body was to make it hard or impossible to buy off. “The founders envisioned population growth and proposed a maximum ratio of 1 per 50,000, which today would produce a Congress of slightly more than 6,000 members”
Congress made him say that. Treaties made him say that. And 98% of the whole wide world forced Professor Wiggleroom to explicitly state that he might have to reassign some math homework if some bad stuff happened or appeared to be maybe about to happen. Or something.
To which I ask, “Professor Wiggleroom, where is that 98% of the world?”
We have France, sort of. The United States military, if the order is given. And nobody else, including the American people, really seems to give a rat’s ass what happens in Syria. Maybe they would, if Wiggleroom had — oh, I dunno — actually ledon this issue a year ago. Gone to the UN, gone to Congress, hit the bully pulpit, built a coalition. Little things, like that Cowboy Diplomatist did during his 14-month “rush to war” in Iraq. Instead, Wiggleroom finds himself in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of having to lead from the front — and there’s nobody behind him but France, looking nervously for the exit. The president who loves to talk has talked himself into a war — and almost nobody else.
What I feel now isn’t amusement and it isn’t shock. It’s shame. It’s red-faced, staring-down-at-the-floor shame for my country that an irresponsible man-child such as this should lead it.
The sad truth: no one ever taught Obama how to be a man. He was a child abandoned by both his father and mother so they could pursue their quest for social justice in the third world. And we wonder why he’s bumbling into Syria…
PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page
While I wish my Jewish colleagues well as their new year begins, I look forward to them being back. Jewish holidays always cause me to miss my friends.
I enjoy Jenji Kohan’s shows – Orange is the New Black and Weeds are both funnier and more entertaining than most of what’s on today — but it’s too bad she lets her cultural Marxist biases and their accompanying sympathy for criminality creep into her work.
Many thanks to the guys at PowerLine Blog for being perpetually awesome.
As I argued on Twitter: this psychologically broken loser is not a feminist. He’s a postmodern Marxist pseudo-feminist just trying to get laid.
New at PJ Lifestyle This Week
How the mighty have fallen. At one point Dave Chappelle was on top of the comedy world. Now he can’t even finish a stand-up set anymore. So sad.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing Susan continue to expand on the biblical feminist themes that she developed in her Girls series. This is what real feminism is — not the personal ad placed by the confused Matt Graber.
June 6: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1
June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls
June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?
June 30: Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn
July 7: Sex for Girls’ Sake: Porn, Art, or Both?
July 14: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect
July 21: Her Body, Herself: The Right Size & Shape of Girls
July 28: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish
August 4: Girl on Girl Action: Girls and the Female Gaze
August 11: Girls on Boys: The Body Politic of Goddess Feminism
August 18: Girls: As Famous as their Daddies
August 25: 5 Uncomfortable Truths About Girls
I agree with Becky’s predictions.
Make a point to follow Becky’s write-ups on Washington D.C. restaurants and Susan’s exploration of New Jersey’s under-appreciated wine scene.
And these writing ritual debate posts from Charlie Martin and Sarah Hoyt are a delight:
Emphasizing again: Paula has convinced me that when the day comes to raise my own children, they will be home-schooled. Period. Start following her articles and she’ll convince you too.
Another example of a manifestation of the tactics discussed by Pacepa in Disinformation to undermine religion. In his critique of Aslan, Spencer reveals the flaws in the Iranian apologist’s attempt to recast the founder of the Christian faith as a Che Guevara-style radical.
New at PJ Tatler Today
PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston
PJM’s Washington D.C. Editor Bridget Johnson
And here are my picks for other fascinating stories around the web,
The Ten Most Interesting Stories I Found Floating Around the Web Today That I Might Blog About Later or Assign To Someone Else:
At News Aggregators
Most of them will, yes. The Democratic Party’s motto since its founding with Aaron Burr’s murder of Alexander Hamilton: Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted.
Having grown up in a Democrat household I know precisely how Obama will be remembered: in the same terms that Baby Boomer liberals still reminisce with fondness about Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. All of the Democratic Party’s failures for the last 50 years have been rewritten. And where they can’t be, particularly with Jimmy Carter, they’re dismissed as “well, he was just too nice and too good of a person to overcome those Republicans sabotaging him…”
Most of today’s conservatives and Republicans — particularly the older generations in positions of power and influence — just don’t go back deep enough to try to understand the real nature of their political opponents. Democrats and progressives descend from Romanticism, the emotional, nature-adoring, counter-enlightenment that rejected capitalism and classical liberalism. Thus, they do not embrace rational thought. The cult of Obama is a kind of circular logic, manifested from postmodernism’s conquest of academia and the subsequent dripping into the popular and political cultures. Because every fact is perpetually in doubt and one man’s fact is another man’s opinion, there’s always another reason to avoid unpleasant truths and retain a degree of intellectual self-respect.
Wagner cited some of the items in that group’s charter that led some to believe the organization is anti-Semitic. “I have nothing to do with that,” Paul said. “Sounds to me like you have me on here to bash Catholics.”
“There have been a lot of folks that have been involved with your campaign, supporters, newsletters that have been accredited to you that have strong anti-Semitic, racist undertones,” Wagner said.
Paul said that he has been dealing with accusations like these his whole political career. “When people disagree with your ideas they have to destroy your character,” Paul insisted.”
How many antisemites does Ron Paul have to embrace until so-called conservatives wake up and stop tolerating him and his minions?
Right of Center News and Opinion Sources:
I will not forgive David Frum for his attacks on me, a shocking and dishonest character assault which prompted First Things to ask in October of 2010, “Does David Frum’s Moral Compass Need Calibrating?”
A fantastic blog post from my pal R.J. highlighting a very inspirational interview from Billy Corgan proclaiming that God was the future of rock ‘n’ roll. Make a point to read it.
R.J., you might be interested to know that the Smashing Pumpkins’ newest album Oceania is their greatest yet, and it’s because of God. It’s my favorite album in years. Why? Because it’s clear from it that Corgan’s return to God over the past decade has mirrored my own. On the very first track of the album Corgan sings the most powerful Biblical magick spell of all time, one I’ve written about before that God gave to Moses, and that forms the ritual foundation of my Judeo-Christian Hermetic practice.
God right on!
Krishna right on!
Mark right on!
Let’s ride on!
Let’s ride on!
Seriously, R.J. and my other Jewish and Christian friends: don’t be afraid of the mystical side of your faiths. They prove God’s existence for all who genuinely practice them. For others like me — who were burned in some way by traditional, church-going religious practice — private mysticism offers another path back to the Bible and the God of Israel.
At National Review:
6. Hans A. von Spakovsky, reviewing Mark Levin’s New book: Amendments for Liberty
The same is true of music and lyrics. You can talk to a drumbeat and call it music. You can hit the same chord ad infinitum and call it music. You can scream almost anything and call it music. Doggerel becomes lyrics. Half notes, full rests, rhyme, meter — all that is irrelevant, to the degree it is even still remembered. That is why we often see our performers just stop singing for a few moments in a daze; the dead beat goes on without their constant mindless input.
Your Daily Dose of Postmodern Pop Culture Polytheism News and Opinion [Celebrity Gossip, Entertainment and Other Nonsense]:
Just the person whose opinion of the case I was wondering about said no one ever!
Left of Center News and Opinion Sources:
Might as well conclude with a laugh after a post loaded with links to the darkness around the world.
Even people who didn’t watch “The Wire” kind of know something about the guy you played. What do you make of that character really entering the mass psyche?
You know, I never really, never in my wildest dreams, did I think something like that would happen with that character. I mean I came into “The Wire” very, very late — season 3, I believe. I think I did an episode in season 1 and maybe another episode in 2, but those are basically like being at a cocktail party or something like that. And then they started writing this amazing stuff for me and I just kind of ran with it, but I couldn’t see it at the time I was doing it and never really paid much attention to it until much, much later when people started coming up to me, and I always thought it sort of would go away at some point, but it seems like it’s intensified, to be quite honest.
I think Clay Davis was one of those characters that people just, they love to hate, and I think some people kind of got a certain joy out of watching the way I kind of maneuvered myself through this maze of politics with a certain audacity and pompousness and yet there was something very believable about it, probably because when you read about certain people — and there’s a few of them out there — you are sometimes overwhelmed by the hubris and the audacity that they go about running government and business and then they start to relate it to small things, say, in their own communities and things like that.
Morning Book Reading
Why anarchism and Marxism ally. Both reject Rule of Law and imagine a world defined by struggling against a shadowy conspiracy of elites responsible for all your problems. Page 37 of Emma Goldman’s Anarchism and Other Essays:
See the first eight weeks of reading and headline round-ups:
- 18. Monday, August 5: ‘War, and Preparation for War, Are the Normal Conditions of Mankind, While Peace Is Extremely Rare.’ – Michael Ledeen
- 19. Tuesday, August 6: Muslim Brotherhood Operatives Have Infiltrated America’s Political and Cultural Institutions to Conquer Us from Within
- 20. Wednesday, August 7: First We Define Anti-Americanism, Then We Crush It Again Even Harder
- 21. Thursday, August 8: The United Nations is a Corrupt Failure That Does Not Unite Nations
- 22. Friday, August 9: No to Corporate Neoconservatism, No to Paleo-Libertarian Anarchism, Yes to Augustinian Realism