Saturday, December 03, 2005

How the left lost its way

As so often happens, I want to take up a question posed in the comments section of a previous thread. Reader "kcom" expressed puzzlement at the lack of condemnation of Saddam's regime from the left and their failure to see him as a serious problem:

"It is amazing to see such self-proclaimed progressives on the side of preserving totalitarian regimes."

This is the one point that has had me stumped from day one. I just can't for the life of me understand it. I can see being disturbed by or even opposing the war as a solution to the Saddam problem. But what makes my head spin is how many people don't honestly seem to believe there was a Saddam problem.


I'm going to do something I rarely do, which is to recycle part of an old post (Well, it's Saturday, after all--plus, this post was originally written way back in March, when my readership was relatively low, so I think it bears repeating.)

The post was originally called "Dancing in a ring," and it was a response to a similar query posted by Norm Geras, a thinker on the left who did loudly condemn Saddam and support his overthrow, and who was later puzzled by the failure of so many of his colleagues to take a similar position (you may have noticed that in my blogroll, I refer to Geras as a "principled leftist." That, he is).

The following excerpt from my post in response to Norm can also serve to answer the query "kcom" posed, which is essentially the same question:

[Norm asked]: Why do so many "of liberal and left outlook" focus on Bush's supposed crimes, making the Nazi comparison at the drop of a metaphor, and ignoring the far more terrible tyrants around the world for whom the Hitlerian analogy would be more apt? Why indeed have many on the left functioned as apologists for Saddam Hussein, a man whose downfall they should be applauding? When they said they were against tyranny, didn't they mean what they said?...[M]ore deeply, the failure involved in these de rigeur responses, the failure to give due weight and proportion to moral and political realities which matter more than just about anything else matters, is hard to comprehend.

I don't pretend to have a definitive answer. But I do have a response.

First, I offer this quote from Milan Kundera's Book of Laughter and Forgetting:

Circle dancing is magic. It speaks to us through the millennia from the depths of human memory. Madame Raphael had cut the picture out of the magazine and would stare at it and dream. She too longed to dance in a ring. All her life she had looked for a group of people she could hold hands with and dance with in a ring. First she looked for them in the Methodist Church (her father was a religious fanatic), then in the Communist Party, then among the Trotskyites, then in the anti-abortion movement (A child has a right to life!), then in the pro-abortion movement (A woman has a right to her body!); she looked for them among the Marxists, the psychoanalysts, and the structuralists; she looked for them in Lenin, Zen Buddhism, Mao Tse-tung, yogis, the nouveau roman, Brechtian theater, the theater of panic; and finally she hoped she could at least become one with her students, which meant she always forced them to think and say exactly what she thought and said, and together they formed a single body and a single soul, a single ring and a single dance.

We all want to dance in a ring, to a certain extent. It's wonderful to be part of a coherent movement, a whole that makes sense, joined with others working for the same goal and sharing the same beliefs. But there's a price to pay when something challenges the tenets of that movement. When that happens, there are two kinds of people: those who change their ideas to fit the new facts, even if it means leaving the fold, and those who distort and twist the facts and logic to maintain the circle dance.

Now, you might say that leftists didn't have to compromise their beliefs to have applauded the downfall of Saddam Hussein and to have realized that he and his regime were worse (and far more Nazi-like) than George Bush. Indeed, there are many leftists who have consistently said these very things. But there are others---and their numbers are not small--who have not, or who have done it with so much "throat-clearing," as Chris Hitchens calls it, that their statements become virtually meaningless.

What is the difference between these two types of people? I think it has to do with the extent of their devotion to the circle dance, and the hierarchy of their belief system. The former group--what Norm Geras calls "principled leftists"--truly do believe what they say about hating tyrants and tyranny, and this is one of their highest values. They apply it irrespective of where the tyranny originates. But the second group, the terrorist and Saddam apologists, the relentless Bush=Hitler accusers, are quite different. It seems that they feel that their membership in the circle of the left requires them to elevate one particular guiding principle above all else, and that is this: in any power struggle between members of a third-world country and a developed Western country (especially the most powerful of all, the United States), the third-world country is always right.

Once learned, this very simple and reductionist principle makes the world easy to understand, and dictates all further responses. If one believes this principle, then oppression and tyranny can go in one direction only, and all evidence to the contrary must be ignored, suppressed, or twisted by sophistry into something almost unrecognizable. But once that price is paid, one can go on dancing in the old circle.

In the quote with which I began this essay, Norm Geras refers to "the failure to give due weight and proportion to moral and political realities which matter more than just about anything else matters." I think the key phrase is "which matter more than just about anything else matters." To those intent on dancing the circle dance above all else, the priorities are different. Apparently, other things matter more.

[You might also want to take a look at this recent post by Sigmund Carl & Alfred on a different aspect of the same subject.]

41 Comments:

At 2:44 PM, December 03, 2005, Anonymous Frank Martin said...

I think there is also an element of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" at work in the minds of many of the left. Anyone anywhere who opposes Bush is given credence, where anyone who supports him is denegrated as a fool.

If Hitler himself came back and was against Bush, there would be many on the left who would excuse the concentration camps as a simple cultural misunderstanding due to our imperialistic desire to impose our own values on the Germanic people and their desire to have an autonomous homeland. "US Out of Normandy" they would shout...




I've always been puzzled by this paradox. I didnt always agree with the left but I admired them in that many of their ideals were oriented towards the general betterment of the conditions of mankind, even if the results decidedly didnt do that. They seem to have given up all the high ideals for the belief that the rebel is has a higher moral standing than the establishment.

The left no longer seems as interested in making a better world as they are in wrecking the current one.

 
At 2:50 PM, December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Left was protesting Saddam's regime while the US and Britain were still selling him weapons. Mr. Martin's idiotic notion that the left would support Hitler over Bush is just another sympton of the right's hysterical belief that people who oppose Bush out of some psychopathic hatred of freedom rather than the fatc that Bush's actual policies are some of the worst this nation has ever seen.

 
At 3:04 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger Kurt said...

In Terror and Liberalism, Paul Berman makes a similar case by talking about the pernicious influence of Chomsky on the left's thinking about international affairs. As Berman explains it--and, I think he does so quite well--there is a belief that all the evils in the world come from the greed for wealth and power represented by America, and a refusal to believe that mass movements in the third world are not necessarily rational or desirable.

 
At 3:29 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger Paul said...

Anonymous, 2:50 pm. "The Left was protesting Saddam's regime while the US and Britain were still selling him weapons." You could fool me that the Left was protesting the tyrants in Iraq. Evidence? In fact, Eason Jordan of CNN admitted to supressing information about the horrors of the regime to maintain access. And your facts are wrong too. From Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, http://www.sipri.org/contents/armstrad/TIV_imp_IRQ_70-04.pdf, we find that from 1974 to 2004 the biggest suppliers of weapons to Iraq were: USSR, 60%; France, 12%; China, 11%; followed by a bunch of Warsaw pact countries. The US comes in at 0.47%, and the UK at 0.18%. This is why so many don't trust the left anymore, they make it up to fit their arguments. Yours is another "fake but accurate" argument.

 
At 4:31 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

...in any power struggle between members of a third-world country and a developed Western country (especially the most powerful of all, the United States), the third-world country is always right.

I would state this somewhat differently: The west is always wrong. One of the expressed aims of some of the left is to tear down liberal western civilization in order to replace it with something "better." As to opposing tyranny, I have known few on the left, from the 60's to the present, who have not been perfectly happy to support or excuse any number of tyrannies. Opposition to tyranny is just political wedge issue, not anything the left generally believes in.

 
At 7:02 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger The Bunnies said...

During the Clinton Administration, the Left and liberals disagreed somewhat in their views on foreign policy. The Left condemned US intervention against Serbia for all the typical anti-American reasons, but liberals largely supported America under a Democratic administration.

Now that a Republican is in office, the Left has largely stopped criticizing pre-Bush American foreign policy, and liberals often seem to hate Bush as much as the Left has hated every president we've ever had. Thus an alliance of sorts has been forged, with each side relaxing some of its views (the Left's hatred of all things American, and the liberals their patriotism) so as to better beat up on Bush.

I really hope this alliance is only temporary.

 
At 10:14 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger Pancho said...

Very nicely put. Membership in the club is more important than what the club stands for.

 
At 10:20 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger The Bunnies said...

Sorry for the double-post, but I gave others hours to post after me, and nobody did, so...

I improperly implied that the left had dropped hits hatred of everything American. Instead, they have simply dropped their criticism of most Democrats. When Clinton was in office, Chomsky & co. ripped on him continually. You will rarely hear the hard left emphasizing the evils of Kosovo now. Likewise, Cindy Sheehan's overt opposition to our intervention in Afghanistan has been kept quiet.

I believe that this is largely so that they can co-opt liberals who might be turned off if they found out that the hard Left loathe even the policies of Carter and Clinton. Still, there is some conflict within the hard left between those who want to use Iraq to radicalize mainstream liberals and those who keep their criticism strictly Bush-oriented.

It seems to me that mainstream liberals are beciming the "useful idiots" of the hard left. After 9/11, mainstream liberals remained patriotic during Afghansitan, despite the hard left. Now, they seem to have switched sides.

 
At 10:32 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger David said...

re Frank Martin's comment: There were indeed comments by "progressive" churchmen in the period just before WWII which are very similar to the things being said today by "progressive" religious leaders about the war in Iraq.

link

 
At 10:51 PM, December 03, 2005, Anonymous Marcus Vitruvius said...

I am unhappily forced to concede that "The Bunnies" has a definite point in his (or her) analysis about the ad hoc alliances which caused the differences of situation between Bosnia and the present situation in Iraq.

It would be illustrative to examine the stances of the Right (vs conservatives, to keep the analogy as close as possible) during the Bosnia situation. I won't do that, because I do not have a sufficiently good memory. I do remember some rather extreme rumblings during the second CLinton Administration about Clinton's actions in Iraq being nothing but smoke and mirrors to detract from his impeachment.

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

However, there is another explanation, which I believe to be valid for other segments. It casts them in a better moral light, but leaves them ultimately, if not tragically, misguided: Start the the premise that anti-war activists are genuinely anti-war as part of a larger position that is genuinely anti-force, anti-coercion, anti-violence, etc.

Couple that with an equally genuine urge to do something morally good in the world.

One is left, logically, with nothing more than moral suasion as a tool. The next step in the analysis is obvious: One can attempt moral suasion on tyrants, and one can attempt moral suasion on liberals, but the effectivity is decidedly not equal. Given that, the only logical choice of action is to ply the arts of moral suasion as hevily as possible in the areas which are more likely to listen.

This is not a new idea. I've seen this referred to as "Looking under the streetlamp," even though you dropped your keys half a block away, because it's easier to see under the lights. I've seen it referred to as "The catastrophic urge to do good," because the strategy is so myopic, and the results so often disastrous. Just the other day, Wretchard of the Belmont Club offered an analysis similar to mine.

I know people who think this way. The reasons are many, of course. Some simply can't imagine that things are that bad and concentrate on the evils they experience directly. They genuinely mean well. Some are simply more concerned with their own moral status than the physical realities of others. They genuinely mean well, too, and that mindset has existed for thousands of years.

But when the chips are down, I believe that even those that mean well are doing great harm in the end.

 
At 10:58 PM, December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the liberals forged an alliance with the far left.

The rest of us were branded "neocons" and chased out.

 
At 11:37 PM, December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If Hitler himself came back and was against Bush, there would be many on the left who would excuse the concentration camps ..."

Get real or shut the fuck up.

 
At 12:11 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous rickl said...

Anonymous 11:37

A little too close for comfort, eh?

 
At 12:16 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous rickl said...

In a nutshell, I think the left truly believes that the wrong side won the Cold War, and they will never forgive the US for that.

 
At 12:42 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

The Left was protesting Saddam's regime while the US and Britain were still selling him weapons.

The Left protested Saddam's regime because the US and Britain sold him weapons (and a lot less than Russia and France did, but the left doesn't care about that)

The Left didn't condemn Saddam for his crimes against humanity, the Left condemned Saddam for working with their enemy, the liberal democratic government of the United States.

The Left condemns Saudi Arabia, not for their involvement in 9/11 and their support of suicide bombing in Iraq, but for their friendship with the Bush administration. The Left doesn't condemn Robert Mugabe for the oppression and starvation caused by his socialist regime, they don't condemn socialist Hugo Chavez for his abuse of power, because these leaders are not working with the enemy - the United States of America.

The Left has only fought dictators for the crime of allying with the United States because they only oppose liberal democracy. For all their effort, what has the left accomplished in the past few decades? Absolutely nothing. Nothing positive, anyway. The Left is still fighting the cold war, a war they lost a long time ago. It's time for them to stop wasting their time and find something useful to do, like basket weaving or pottery.

 
At 12:56 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous rickl said...

maryatexitzero:

It's time for them to stop wasting their time and find something useful to do, like basket weaving or pottery.


Trouble is, they don't want to do something "useful". They want power. Period.

 
At 12:59 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger antimedia said...

Basket weavers and potters everywhere rise in protest against this scurrilous association.....

 
At 2:42 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Darrell said...

I feel kind of embarressed for them actually, all the causes the left used to stand for are left to us paleo-cons to carry on.
Freedom? Nope. Best to have those brown people under tight control, Saddam knew what was best for them.
Gay Rights? they behead gays over there.
Womens rights? cant have those pesky women voting or driving cars now can we?
The hypocrisy just drives me up the wall.
Everything they ever stood for is null and void by their actions.
The left did protest before sadamm fell, they protested how our inhuman sanctions were killing millions. Remember that? This while saddam was building palaces and bribing world governments with his oil for food money.
As I remember the right was up in arms over Bosnia, the issue I remember was putting US troops under NATO command. The first time in history that they tried to make us were blue helmets.
Overall I think it all boils down to thinking rather than feeling.
It feels good to oppose the war even though they want to kill as many Americans as possible, it just feels good.
I think David Horowitz's theorys need some serius consideration.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/089526076X/qid=1133682065/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-5084139-2645529?s=books&v=glance&n=283155
If those nice people who cared so much about everyones well being new who they we lining up with, I wonder if it would make a differance.

 
At 3:17 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger USMale said...

At bottom, consciously for many and unconsciously for many, what the Left is about is hatred of America. Their only enemies are domestic, those who love America, as it has been and is, not some utopian improved America which is really the EU in North America. So they have no hate for anyone else, only excuses and avoidance.

Living in San Francisco, among liberals all the time, while I hear frequent hysterical condemnation of Bush, I never, never, never hear one bad word about Islamic murderers. That says it all to me.

 
At 4:05 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 2:50 PM, December 03, 2005, Anonymous said...

"The Left was protesting Saddam's regime while the US and Britain were still selling him weapons."

What weapons were those?

"Mr. Martin's idiotic notion that the left would support Hitler over Bush is just another sympton of the right's hysterical belief that people who oppose Bush out of some psychopathic hatred of freedom rather than the fatc that Bush's actual policies are some of the worst this nation has ever seen."

Really? The left, in regards to Iraq and Bush, sounds a lot more like Carl Schmitt than Karl Marx.

 
At 4:48 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Foobarista said...

I still think there is a strong language component to the modern left that confounds and confuses it. Many on the left come from language-oriented fields, and have been imbued with the moral relativism at the core of post-modernism - which, IMO, is all about getting tangled in language and logic and ignoring the physical world - and get hung up with a sort of wierd logical calculus of words. For example, the statement "Saddam tortured, we had Abu Ghraib's torture, therefore we equal Saddam" would make sense to many on the Left (and is "logically true"), but is obviously false once you leave the realm of text and actually look at physical reality.

Chomsky, who made his name in linguistics and the mathematics of languages (especially machine language theory which underpins much of modern computer science), is so trapped by this sort of logic that he can't see just how silly it is.

I've found that the further people are from language-intensive fields, the less likely they will be leftists.

Sorry if the above isn't terribly coherent...

 
At 7:45 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Mr K said...

Hmmm, I think theres a slight problem in certain of the commenters (a mistake not made in the original post), where there is absolute hatred of the left. For example
"The Left protested Saddam's regime because the US and Britain sold him weapons (and a lot less than Russia and France did, but the left doesn't care about that)

The Left didn't condemn Saddam for his crimes against humanity, the Left condemned Saddam for working with their enemy, the liberal democratic government of the United States.

The Left condemns Saudi Arabia, not for their involvement in 9/11 and their support of suicide bombing in Iraq, but for their friendship with the Bush administration. The Left doesn't condemn Robert Mugabe for the oppression and starvation caused by his socialist regime, they don't condemn socialist Hugo Chavez for his abuse of power, because these leaders are not working with the enemy - the United States of America.

The Left has only fought dictators for the crime of allying with the United States because they only oppose liberal democracy. For all their effort, what has the left accomplished in the past few decades? Absolutely nothing. Nothing positive, anyway. The Left is still fighting the cold war, a war they lost a long time ago. It's time for them to stop wasting their time and find something useful to do, like basket weaving or pottery."

The left is certainly not on voice. Unfortunately elements such as the socialist worker in the UK distribute such flyers as "bush- #1 terrorist", which do nothing to help the argument. They're the sort of people who, if you are arguing something, you really want them to join the other side because they tend to hurt the argument of whoever they are supporting.

Yes, there are left wing people who hate America exclusively, but I think you'll find even they condemn zimbabwe (as to Hugo Chavez, I'm afraidI'm not welll informed enough to comment). I do condemn all opressive regimes.

Next

"Living in San Francisco, among liberals all the time, while I hear frequent hysterical condemnation of Bush, I never, never, never hear one bad word about Islamic murderers. That says it all to me"

I think that is a little unfair. Surely we all agree that Islamic murderers are bad- personally I see no particular point in telling everyone that murder is bad- I suspect they already know. The reason many focus on Bush is A-not everyone agrees that he IS a bad leader, so we wish to make the argument that he is and B-it's much easier to affect a democratic nation than some extremist who will never hear of it.


I do agree that some of the left are horribly misinformed, but some commenters here are willing to tar us all with the same brush. A tad unfair, perhaps?

 
At 9:08 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Easy enough to claim to oppose all totalitarian regimes. But the action, now, that's the key.
Action by the US against totalitarian regimes...?
As in Iraq? Reagan's work against the USSR?
It's in which action the left supports, not in lame "we do that, too" claims after the fact that the truth comes out.

Bill Whittle, in his essay, "Sanctuary" goes on at length about the left.
Interesting questions, plus a couple of telling encounters.

 
At 9:10 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

The left is not misinformed. The relevant information is junior-high stuff and widely known.

The left lies.

They know better.

 
At 10:49 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Kurt said...

the bunnies makes an excellent point. We don't even have to look as far as the Middle East to see the left embracing murderous thugs because doing so is a way for them to oppose America. You don't even have to look as far afield as Venezuala. The fact is, many leftists still revere Che Guevara and speak positively of Castro. Tell them the truth about Che or Castro and they'll accuse you of spouting propaganda.

ricki has it right; the left is still upset that the U.S. won the cold war.

 
At 11:21 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger David said...

foobarista--"I still think there is a strong language component to the modern left that confounds and confuses it"...I completely agree, but think that postmodernism, Chomskyism, etc represent only a small part of the explanation.

There are large numbers of people--journalists, professors, entertainers, certain kinds of consultants--for whom words represent the reality of their daily professional lives. Even without any PM theories, the mental universe inhabited by these people has to be very different from that inhabited by, say, a tool-and-die maker, an electrical engineer, or even a computer programmer, who must deal with things that are what they are and aren't subject to verbal manipulation.

 
At 11:24 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous davod said...

Kurt:

You forget. The US did not win the cold war. The Soviets decided to give up of their own accord.

 
At 11:26 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger David said...

Several anonymous comments have taken issue with the assertion that "if Hitler himself came back and was against Bush, there would be many on the left who would excuse the concentration camps as a simple cultural misunderstanding due to our imperialistic desire to impose our own values on the Germanic people.."

If this claim is so ridiculous, then how do you explain the actual words of "progressive" churchmen in the late 1930s and early 1940s:
**
Condemnation of Hitler, according to a leader in the United Church of Christ, was a "short-circuited, adolescent hatred of individual leaders." And a Unitarian minister in New York said that "If America goes into the war, it will not be for idealistic reasons but to serve her own imperialistic interests."
**
link

 
At 1:35 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger The Bunnies said...

Anonymous 1137 (not that I ever get an answer when I ask a questioin like this, and s/he may be long gone anyway), when is the last time you've seen a liberal complain about the concentration camps in North Korea?

There are death camps in our world today in which entire families are gassed to death, and not a single voice on the left ever so much as mentions it.

Until this changes, I think you're all hypocritical as hell.

 
At 1:46 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

there are left wing people who hate America exclusively, but I think you'll find even they condemn zimbabwe

Aside from a few geniunely anti-totalitarian leftists, most condemn zimbabwe by blaming imperialism, colonialism, Bush and Blair for everything - and by condemning Mugabe for not being socialist enough...


it's much easier to affect a democratic nation than some extremist who will never hear of it.

"Extremists" like bin Laden parrot leftist rhetoric all the time. Obviously, they do hear of the Left's anti-American diatribes - and they use them to their advantage.

The left knows that they're doing this, and they keep giving giving the 'extremists' more material. Wonder why..

 
At 2:54 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Paul made a good comment, that struck with much force. It was quite convincing.

Countered the integrity of the Left with the souless pity of the media that they champion.

Using facts to counter the distortion that we were the ones supporting Saddam's weapons projects.

All in all, it is like a fencing match. Attack, and defend, parry, and riposite.

The fake liberals are usually the ones who are much stronger in terms of word smithing skill. But there are those with both the strength and the skill fighting for true liberty.

A lot of them are in the military, and thus their voices were constrained in Vietnam, but not in the Age of the Internet.

Be afraid, for the fighters of true liberty now have more experience in psychological wars than the fake liberals. We have the help of Neo-NeonCon, we have the help of Special Forces Psych Ops teams, and their conventional military counterparts, and we even have the aid of loyal citizens of the United States like Victor Davis Hanson.

The Left is going to get quite a fight on their hands if they believe they can roll over the rest of us with their platitudes, excuses, and distortions.

They have not the strength to fight the war of words to a conclusion. Their will is weak, frail, and battered by Vietnam and doubt.

Doubt, is the psychological killer supreme.

We will make the Left doubt, even if it kills them.

For that is the price of cementing the loyalty of the underdogs, the Iraqis, the Kurds, the Shia, the Jews, the Afghanistanis, and the rest of the world's shitted upon humans. FOr them to have no doubt in us, we must purge our own, and that means purging the domestic enemies of the United States of America.

The Hitler scenario is quite amusing. It is almost as if the Left cannot concieve of supporting Hitler, perhaps because Hitler was their idol that betrayed them, eh? Does the Left never forget a betrayer then?

They certainly did not forgive Hitler after he attacked Stalin, when they certainly did support him when he was naming himself Chancellor with his Socialist thugs.

Emperor Palpatine, now perhaps do I know where Lucas Arts found his inspiration for that character.

In conclusion, the Left deserved to be betrayed by Hitler, because such scum that works with a man like him deserves crucifixion and staking most of all among the creations of this universe.

 
At 4:24 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger kcom said...

I'm the kcom mentioned by Neo-Neocon and I have to say that Norm Geras is my intellectual hero. (I probably discovered her through him or vice versa, way back when.) I'm sure his views and mine diverge greatly on many issues since we come from different sides of the political spectrum, but on this issue he as been a steadfast beacon of light and hope, calling people home to the better angels of their nature. It's quite apparent from his posts and his private correspondence that he is at a loss as to why people he wants to respect and should be at home with have wandered so far afield into apologias for terrorists, thugs, and oppressors.

 
At 7:51 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

kcom,

It's quite apparent from his posts and his private correspondence that he is at a loss as to why people he wants to respect and should be at home with have wandered so far afield into apologias for terrorists, thugs, and oppressors.

I like normblog, but it is quite apparent that Norm was a bit naive about his chosen political affiliations. I mean, same old same old, and he is surprised and hurt? It's not like this sort of hypocrisy has not been SOP on the left, going back, lo, these many years to at least the October coup in Russia.

Horowitz eventually discovered the same as Norm is discovering, but at least David had the excuse of being raised as a red diaper baby.

 
At 8:46 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Tom Grey said...

The Left is caught in their own version of Kerry's Lie about Vietnam.

Desired policy: Out now.
Policy taken: Out now (as of 1974, cut off of funding).
Result: end of war -- SE Asian genocide.

The Left supported policies that resulted in genocide. And yet they claim "Moral Superiority".

Denial and guilt.

 
At 1:35 AM, December 05, 2005, Blogger camojack said...

Three lefts make a right...

 
At 5:01 AM, December 05, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

The Left has made a virtue of political expediency. They laid down with the Communists for years and are doing the same thing now with Islamofascists. The point is to denigrate and weaken America by any means possible.

 
At 12:25 PM, December 05, 2005, Blogger kcom said...

"I mean, same old same old, and he is surprised and hurt? It's not like this sort of hypocrisy has not been SOP on the left, going back, lo, these many years to at least the October coup in Russia."

I'll just hit you with two old sayings in response to that:

Better late than never.

- and -

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The important point is that he is coming from the inside. They can't dismiss him as some neocon intruder into their cozy little world. He's proving that just because you're "of the left" doesn't mean you have to be a terrorist apologist.

 
At 1:50 PM, December 05, 2005, Anonymous copithorne said...

Now you might think it wouldn't take much alteration of their beliefs for those on the Right to be concerned about the death of 2,100 of their fellow citizens, the maiming of 15,000 of their fellow citizens, the stealing of $250 billion from future generations, the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, the destruction of America's armed forces and reputation in the world.

But not only are they untroubled by these things. Tellingly, they can't even imagine another person who would be. They can't even imagine an American who would value the lives of their fellow citizens.

Now why would this be so? I really don't pretend to have an answer. A psychologist might posit that the inability to even imagine other people being concerned for their fellow citizens is an symptom of sociopathy. I prefer to see that their lack of concern is part of a group trance I call the circle dance...

 
At 3:02 PM, December 05, 2005, Blogger TalkinKamel said...

copithorne:

Those on the Left do not seem to have been much affected by the deaths of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Suicide bombings, perpetrated against Israeli civilians didn't seem to bother them at all---many on the Left said they were justified!

They weren't bothered by the thousands of Iraqis mudered by Saddam, the Americans killed in numerous embassy bombings, and aboard the US Cole during the Clinton Administration. They supported the war in Kosovo, even without UN approval.

Heck, the Left isn't sorry about the Vietnamese who were killed, forced to flee their country or buried alive in "re-education camps" after the Vietcong took over.

Yet now, we're supposed to believe they're the ones with a conscience?

 
At 5:56 PM, December 05, 2005, Blogger kcom said...

"Now you might think it wouldn't take much alteration of their beliefs for those on the Right to be concerned about the death of 2,100 of their fellow citizens,..."

"But not only are they untroubled by these things. Tellingly, they can't even imagine another person who would be."

I would posit just the opposite. We are overwhelming the ones troubled by the deaths of American soldiers. People of your type are simply using them as political footballs to advance an agenda. Your concern for actual soldiers seems minimal. You care about numbers and not about individuals. How many milblogs do you read, how much money have you sent to the USO or other organizations that support soldiers' real needs, what have you done to make their jobs easier? Funny but they don't seem to count you doing everything you can to undercut their mission as "supporting" them.

We understand their bravery and their willingness to takes risks on our behalf. We honor them for their sacrifices and the decision they made to volunteer. They (and we who support their mission) realize they are making those sacrifices for the greater good. They know that people who came before them did the same for them and for all of us. I would suggest that we understand what they are risking (and in some cases, giving) their lives for whereas you have proven yourselves clueless. People honoring an idea bigger than themselves and willing to risk their very lives to achieve it is outside the life experience provided by your stunted world view.

 
At 5:40 AM, December 06, 2005, Blogger RickInNY said...

It seems to me that there are four basic arguments against the US military campaign. Three have elements of legitimacy, and can be debated on merit, logic, and reason. Those three arguments are advanced by the principled pacifist, the conservative isolationist, and the pragmatic realist. I do not subscribe to any of the three, but their adherents can at least make for a civilized discussion.
On the other hand, the forth argument, advanced by the more deranged members of the left, is a full scale opposition to Bush (for the sake of argument, the Bush haters) regardless of circumstance. By extension, there is an implicit rejection of all things Western, the US, capitalism, and Israel.
I have always been fascinated by the paradox of the left, claiming the mantle of liberalism while rejecting the foundations allowing its advance.

 

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