Sunset of the West
We hear that Guantamo is a Stalag or Gulag; but the real disaster is the rising number of early released killers—so unlike the fate of our enemies caught out of uniform in WWII—who have gone on to kill the innocent, such as the former Gitmo murderer who blew himself and seven Iraqis in Mosul recently. The essence of modern liberalism: agitate to eliminate the theoretical and distant wrong to find alleviation of guilt, then absence of any contrition when in the here and now the innocent are killed for that magnanimity. The ultra liberal always feels good at someone else’s expense.
The Blame Game
Now Gen. Sanchez has a book out blaming Rumsfeld etc. for the botched occupation. I just reviewed Douglas Feith's book for the next issue of Commentary. I tried to read the Tenet, Franks, and Bremmer memoirs (but could not finish them), as well as the "I accuse" volumes of Ricks and the Cobra II authors. No one wishes to defend the occupation, all wish to say it was someone else's fault. For the final verdict--wait decades.
If one were to find out who did not close the gap at Falaise in August 1944, you can find all sorts of "not me" accounts in the memoirs of Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, and various letters of Patton--and the most likely culprit on the American side—Bradley— is the least blamed. So I doubt we will know the full story for decades, and the decision will be predicated on the ultimate fate of Iraq.
One of the most disturbing facts of this war is how various officials in mediis rebus give a party line--and then,when out of office, suddenly offer the opposite take, claim they were coerced or framed, and that now they are finally speaking the truth.
I will read Gen. Sanchez's volume, but at some point I would have wished he had taken some responsibility for the fate of the troops under his command and the pulse of the war. No one was stopping him in 2004 from implementing Petraeus-like tactics over most of Iraq. In the past I have been charitable to him, in the sense that he didn't lose the war, and attrited the enemy despite the dismal news from the front.
I wish I could say all this blame-gaming is new and representative of our 'me' generation, but in fact it is no different from the rehashing of the Civil War and WWII for the next thirty years following those conflicts. Sherman's memoirs caused a near riot; poor Lew Wallace begged Grant to write kindly of him. Eisenhower was hurt by Montgomery's story; and Bradley published two memoirs, and got meaner in the process. Nihil novum sub sole.
Peace at Home Was the Natural Order of Things After 9/11?
We grandstand about “lost liberties” and a “new fascism” due to the elements of the Patriot Act and wiretaps of terrorists, although few Americans can point to any liberty lost since 9/11—only that Americans have not been slaughtered by Islamic terrorists as promised. Note that there is indeed a loss of freedom since 9/11 in the Western world; just ask a European novelist, film-maker, opera-producer, or cartoonist.
If illegal aliens wished to gain public support for their plight, then once again it was a terrible mistake to choose the international communist day of liberation ("Workers of the World Unite!"). When watching some clips of the mostly failed May Day immigration parades in California, I noticed the de rigueur Che posters. That is especially incoherent: immigrants come to a capitalist, democratic society in illegal fashion, and then glorify a communist cutthroat, who, had he had his way, would have ruined North America in the way he and his friends tried in Latin America.
How can one’s feet be so at odds with one’s head. Here is the message of the protestor with the Che placard: the feet say “I’m running as fast as I can from a failed Mexico to get to El Norte,” and the head responds, “I want to arrive in a place with revolutionary social fervor just like Mexico.”
Couric, Stephanopoulos, et al.
Very strange to see the Latino outrage at Katie Couric for simply suggesting in her film piece that anchor babies allow illegal aliens to enter into the entitlement bonanza—reminiscent of the left’s furor at Stephanopoulos. I guess no one ever thought that by creating identity politics and hypersensitive victimization that such things would not be, Frankenstein like, turned on their creators.
Obama’s Folly and Left/Right Brain Racism
The true crime of Obama is the silence about Wright’s grotesque “left brain/right brain” lecture in front of the NAACP. He sort of, kinda disowned Wright due to his National Press Club rants, but was silent about his racist, pseudo-scientific exegesis about genetic differences in learning—and the irony of delivering it in front of the premier civil rights organization.
Again, Obama et al. are systematically destroying race relations. Had any other African-American ran who made it a point to make race irrelevant, it would have advanced conciliation. But what Obama accomplished is the following: to demonstrate that the outrage over the Bell Curve, Imus, Michael Richards, etc. was merely politics, not based on principle or substance, since Wright, to either approval or silence, has trumped them all; to demonstrate by his “clingers” comments, “typical white person” cast-off sneer, Michelle no-pride speech, etc. that there must be two standards of acceptable speech, and that “victims” cannot be “victimizers” no matter what they say.
I don’t think I’ve heard or read more white cynicism in my entire lifetime. And it is a sort of “I’m tired” attitude, in which, after what Obama has said and done, the white middling class no longer cares all that much about minority angst, since it senses that minority leadership is hypocritical and shows a hatred of whites as voiced by Wright and euphemized by Obama. We owe all that to our first trans-racial candidate.
And because Obama either could not or would not tell the truth, the so-called typical white voter now believes not that he was inexperienced or clumsy, but in fact silently shares the Wright world view that peeps out in Michelle’s speeches, Barack’s off-the-record remarks, and was fully voiced long ago by Michelle’s Princeton thesis.
BO (Before Obama) my use of "white voter", which is used routinely by the media these days, would have been considered too racialist for polite usage; but AO (After Obama) it is perfectly acceptable (again, cf. "typical white person").
I think, nevertheless, that most black churches would reject Wright and privately most African-Americans are getting tired of Wright, and concerned that Obama is blowing what was a golden opportunity to run as a post-racial candidate, whose record and performance would make race irrelevant, not essential to his identity.
I think this is the current Democratic insider position:
Obama is a disaster. Yet, we’re stuck with him, and if we were to dump him at the convention (in the manner that for decades conventions used to do just that with primary leaders), African-Americans would sit out or worse, and leftists and students would try another 1968. In that calculus, they will probably nominate their McGovern and be willing to lose the fall election.
Final Note on Wright
I posted this today on the NRO corner:
Why the Obama Pass?
I think we have sort of reached an impasse on Rev. Wright. Most Americans, I think, accept the following realties. Obama, by what he wrote in his memoirs, by what he said when he spoke in his early campaign speeches, by his frequent praise of Wright, and by his 20-year presence in front of, and subsidies to, Wright knew exactly the racist and anti-American nature of his odious pastor.
But many also seem to accept that they have invested too much in Obama and have come too far to accept anything that might end his candidacy. (Hence their hysteria over the Wright “smear”.)
In other words, privately they acknowledge:
—that their candidate made a devil’s bargain with a racist to create an authentic black persona in order to jump start a political career in Chicago;
—that their candidate was so inured to de rigueur anti-American speech from his church days, black-liberationist friends, assorted reverends, and former radicals like Ayers, that he never really thought things that Wright said were all that big a deal — hence his deer-in-the-headlights approach to the initial scandal and serial hedging. After all, in Obama’s adopted world, his church really isn’t “particularly controversial;”
—that their Obama messiah is hardly a new politician, but instead a very gifted and charismatic actor, who, in skillful fashion, can talk about utopian politics but then backstep, hedge, and get away with more than anyone since Bill Clinton in his prime in 1992 (one of the reasons that those two dislike each other so is that they are so much alike) — and that is not such a bad thing after all.
So while Obama is hurt in the primaries, and perhaps mortally so in the general election (the white working classes have a long memory), he will probably get the nomination, because his base will overlook all the above: they despise George Bush, will do anything to prevent another Republican in the White House, are tired of the Clintons, and feel Obama offers them symbolic capital, making them liked abroad and free of guilt at home.
Bottom line: unless Obama was caught on tape nodding as Wright screamed his obscenities at the United States, or an angry and spiteful Wright produces some letter, e-mail, etc. that reveals a kindred soul in Obama, or Michelle gives another speech “from the heart” about how hard she has struggled and how in return she has had no pride in this country, or there is another off-the-cuff, but recorded sneer at the white working class (50/50 chance on all four counts), I think he will weather the current storm and get the nomination. Obama evokes pure emotion and raw politics now, and logic, honesty, and accountability have little to do with his nomination bid.
05/02 05:13 PM