Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Leftists live in a Hollywood fantasy world

Reality is too complicated and threatening for them

It seems to me, for example, that when anti-war types bemoan Iraq as this generation's Vietnam "quagmire," older folks are thinking of the real Vietnam - the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and whatnot - but most anybody under 50 is thinking of Vietnam movies: some vague video-store melange of "The Full Metal Deer Apocalypse."

Take the Scott Thomas Beauchamp debacle at the New Republic, in which the magazine ran an atrocity-a-go-go Baghdad diary piece by a serving soldier about dehumanized troops desecrating graves, abusing disfigured women, etc. It smelled phony from the get-go - except to the professional media class from whose ranks the New Republic's editors are drawn: To them, it smelled great, because it aligned reality with the movie looping endlessly through the windmills of their mind, a nonstop Coppola-Stone retrospective in which ill-educated conscripts are the dupes of a nutso officer class.

It's the same with all those guys driving around with "9/11 Was An Inside Job" bumper stickers. That aligns reality with every conspiracy movie from the past three decades: It's always the government who did it - sometimes it's some supersecret agency working deep within the bureaucracy from behind an unassuming nameplate on a Washington street; and sometimes it's the president himself - but when poor Joe Schmoe on the lam from the Feds eventually unravels it, the cunning conspiracy is always the work of a ruthlessly efficient all-powerful state. So Iraq is Vietnam. And 9/11 is the Kennedy assassination, with ever higher percentages of the American people gathering on the melted steely knoll.

There's a kind of decadence about all this: If 9/11 was really an inside job, you wouldn't be driving around with a bumper sticker bragging that you were on to it. Fantasy is a by-product of security: it's the difference between hanging upside down in your dominatrix's bondage parlor after work on Friday and enduring the real thing for years on end in Saddam's prisons....

Robert D. Kaplan, a shrewd observer of global affairs, has referred to the jihadist redoubts and other lawless fringes of the map as "Indian territory." It's a cute joke but a misleading one. The difference between the old Indian territory and the new is this: No one had to worry about the Sioux riding down Fifth Avenue, just as Burt Reynolds never had to worry about the mountain man breaking into his rec room. But Iran has put bounties on London novelists, assassinated dissidents in Paris, blown up community centers in Buenos Aires, seeded proxy terror groups in Lebanon and Palestine, radicalized Muslim populations throughout Central Asia - and it's now going nuclear. The leaders of North Korea, Sudan and Syria are not stump-toothed Appalachian losers: Their emissaries wear suits and dine in Manhattan restaurants every night. Life is not a movie, especially when your enemies don't watch the same movies, and don't buy into the same tired narratives.

More here



Rather amazingly, a columnist at The L.A. Times has a very windy defence of the Scott Beauchamp hoax at The New Republic. Confederate Yankee however fisks the article point by point. Hugh Hewitt also weighs in.

Government plans don't work: "After more than 30 years of reviewing government plans, including forest plans, park plans, watershed plans, wildlife plans, energy plans, urban plans, and transportation plans, I've concluded that government planning almost always does more harm than good. Most government plans are so full of fabrications and unsupportable assumptions that they aren't worth the paper they are printed on, much less the millions of dollars taxpayers spend to have them written. Federal, state, and local governments should repeal planning laws and shut down planning offices. Everybody plans. But private plans are flexible, and we happily change them when new information arises. In contrast, special interest groups ensure that the government plans benefiting them do not change -- no matter how costly."

The Manky Numpties of Congress: "Manky numpties" is wonderfully expressive Scottish slang used here to mean useless morons, substituting for profanity ever so vile. At least half of the words with which the singular numpty is interchangeable are vile. In actual usage, it is most often preceded by yet another vile word of almost unlimited versatility. If we could offend the Congress without offending our readers, we would do so, for we are currently in such unmitigated and unapologetic contempt of Congress that we would plead guilty without a hearing so as not to interrupt the imbeciles as they continue to immolate themselves on poisonous stakes of their own incompetent design.

Grown-ups can't be left unsupervised: "Think about the underlying assumption: If the federal government disappeared tomorrow, all federal parks, recreations areas, monuments and impoundments would be ... what? Why, they'd be open, since the default setting in this country is that we're free to go anywhere we want, unless some specific regulation to the contrary -- to which we ourselves have given our consent -- is in force. But that's not what our federal masters want us to believe. They want us to presume that we have no inherent right to go to any of these places, that they're closed unless or until some federal official decides to open the gates, check our ID, run us through a metal detector, and 'allow' us to enter, after 'explaining the rules.'"

Where right, left and center agree: "About two thirds of economics professors vote Democratic. In other social sciences and humanities, the vast majority of professors vote Democratic. So we should expect professors to favor Democratic policy positions. But there is one issue that professors, right and left, seem to agree on: It is good to let Americans and people of other countries trade freely."

Intolerance in the name of tolerance: "The Boy Scouts' Philadelphia branch, called the Cradle of Liberty Council, had been renting the Beaux Arts building, which stands on city-owned land, for $1 a year. The city has now ordered the Scouts to pay a `fair market' rent of $200,000 on the grounds that the group refuses to admit openly gay Scouts and Scout leaders...[T]he Boy Scouts, who require a belief in God and therefore also `discriminate' against atheists, are not comfortable with the idea of openly homosexual men leading young boys into the woods. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision (with justices Rehnquist, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas in the majority), upheld the group's right to bar scoutmasters who are openly gay based on the principle of freedom of association... But the state, or in this case the city of Philadelphia, apparently doesn't have to give the Scouts a break on their rent. Isn't it hypocritical, though, to be intolerant in the name of tolerance, to say that it's wrong to disapprove of the lifestyles of others but OK to condemn the religious and moral beliefs of others?..."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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