THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ROOTS OF UN-AMERICANISM: Victor Davis Hanson, as usual, is right on the money:
Eschewing any reference to truths of this kind, adherents of postmodernist relativism assess morality instead by the sole criterion of power: Those without it deserve the ethical high ground by virtue of their very status as underdogs; those with it, at least if they are Westerners, and especially if they are Americans, are ipso facto oppressors. Israel could give over the entire West Bank, suffer 10,000 dead from suicide bombers, and apologize formally for its existence, and it would still be despised by American and European intellectuals for being what it is–Western, prosperous, confident, and successful amid a sea of abject self-induced failure.
One is bound to point out that as a way of organizing reality, this deterministic view of the world suffers from certain fatal defects, primarily an easy susceptibility to self-contradiction. Thus, a roguish Augusto Pinochet, who executed thousands in the name of “law and order” in Chile, is regarded as an incarnation of the devil purely by dint of his purportedly close association with the United States, while a roguish and anti-American Castro, who butchered tens of thousands in the name of “social justice” in Cuba, is courted by congressmen and ex-presidents even as Hollywood celebrities festooned with AIDS ribbons sedulously ignore the thousands of HIV-positive Cubans languishing in his camps. Kofi Annan gushes, Chamberlain-like, of Saddam Hussein, “He’s a man I can do business with,” while the ghosts of thousands slain by the Iraqi tyrant, many of them at his own hand, flutter nearby; for this, the soft-spoken internationalist is lionized.
Few have exploited the contradictions of this amoral morality as deftly as Jimmy Carter, who can parlay with some of the world’s most odious dictators and still garner praise for “reaching out” to the disadvantaged and the oppressed. As president, Mr. Carter evidently was incapable of doing much of anything at all when tens of thousands of Ethiopians were being butchered; but as chief executive emeritus, he has managed to abet the criminal regime of North Korea in its determination to fabricate nuclear bombs and lately, having been rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for peace, has brazenly attempted to thwart a sitting president’s efforts to save the world from the Iraqi madman.
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