Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cold hubris: like Father (or Big Brother), the Left knows best

The Left likes to position itself as the champion of the underdog, the third world, the downtrodden, the oppressed.

Until, that is, someone from one of those countries has the temerity to disagree with the party line.

Just as the Left like to think every African-American in America automatically ought to be a Democrat--and, if not, that person is obviously to be ridiculed as a fawning tool of the Right (or, if you like, in less PC terms, an Uncle Tom or Aunt Jemima)--so it believes it has the answers for all the suffering people of color round the world.

That, by the way, is one of the reasons the Left hates--positively hates--neocons. Neocons actually have a competing theory about what to do about the third world, and it runs highly counter to that of the Left: it actually involves freedom, liberty, and protection of their rights within a democracy.

Whether the neocon dream is any more achievable than the dream of the Left (and I happen to think it is, because it is more attuned with the strivings of human nature) or any better morally (and I happen to think it is, because it is more respectful of individual and human rights) I'm not going to discuss here. That's another topic for another time. My point is that it's a vision for the third world that competes with that of the Left, and therefore cannot be countenanced by that Left.

To the Left, there's almost nothing worse than an apostate. Neocons are viewed as apostates (some of them actually are; I personally, was never on the Left but always a mere Democrat of the liberal persuasion). Apostates who originate, or even still live, in third-world countries are a tricky proposition for the Left, as well. One would think that their membership in a minority group or race would get instant approval. But the contrarian nature of their viewpoints trumps race any day, and must be fought against with vigor. The gloves tend to come off.

Witness the following exchange the other day in the comments section, between Leftist commenter and troll DonkeyKong and commenter Huan, a Vietnamese-American. It was lengthy, so I won't reproduce most of it here, but if you want to read the whole thing yourself go to the comments of this post on the State of the Union address.

Huan wrote:

As a Vietnamese expat and refugee from the US betrayal and abandonment of South Viet Nam, and knowing how the press misrepresented the progress of the war, i would say that Neo-Neocon is among the growing number of Americans who actually are coming to understand what really did happened to South Viet Nam 30 years ago.

But DK does not. I would recommend he starts by reading Vo Nguyen Giap.

"Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."
If Americans understood, America would weep in shame.

DonkeyKong (DK) responded thusly:

Haun, after the US fought for 10 years, expended 275 billion, and 58,000 of it's countrymen, why did your government fall in 4 months (January 1975-April 1975.)

We did'nt betray you.

Oh I know, if we had only stayed another six months we would have won.

I think DK's comment above encapsulates in a rather dense and representative packet ("dense" in more ways than one) the combination of ignorance and overwhelming arrogance exhibited by many (not all) on the Left.

DK trashes the feelings of a Vietnamese refugee about the American betrayal of Vietnam in 1974-5 (whatever happened to the Left's tender regard for feelings?), as well as Huan's take on history. It's not so much the disagreement--it's certainly possible to disagree with a Vietnamese-American about Vietnam, merely on the merits of the case, and to argue facts.

But do it in a respectful way. The element of juvenile taunting is unmistakable here, and especially reprehensible because--any way you look at it, any side you favor--the subject involves a tragedy of major proportions for the people of Vietnam as well as the US. In fact, more of a tragedy for the former than the latter.

The story of why the South Vietnamese government fell in four months is the point. I've written about it often (also see this for some background). But DK and his ilk aren't interested in looking at that sort of thing. They know, they just know; better than articles by officers who were there, and most definitely better than Huan, an actual Vietnamese refugee but one who--like so many others--isn't cooperating by parroting what DK wants to hear.

DK writes, dripping with sarcasm:

Oh I know, if we had only stayed another six months we would have won.

That's not only a taunt directed at Huan, but at all those very threatening (and deluded, according to Leftist thinking) Vietnam "revisionist" historians--myself, of course, included (please read this post for a fuller discussion of Vietnam revisionist history). The idea that Vietnam might not have been a hopelessly lost cause at the end, worthy only of abandonment, threatens the Leftist "narrative" (love that word!) so strongly that it must be fought off at all costs, no matter where it originates, even from a Vietnamese-American. Or, rather, especially from a Vietnamese-American.

And what's that "we" all about in Donkey Kong's comment, anyway, when he writes "if we had stayed only another six months?" It seems that DK is unaware that the important "we"--our fighting forces--had left Vietnam years earlier (see this post that features a chart illustrating the pace of Vietnamization and the withdrawal of US fighting forces). What precipitated the downfall of South Vietnam was the withdrawal of our money, not ourselves.

After all that time, it really did come down just to money. Filthy lucre. And not a whole lot of it, either. As President Ford wrote at the time:

In South Vietnam, we have consistently sought to assure the right of the Vietnamese people to determine their own futures free from enemy interference. It would be tragic indeed if we endangered, or even lost, the progress we have achieved by failing to provide the relatively modest but crucial aid which is so badly needed there.

"Relatively modest but crucial aid"--that's what it was all about, DK. Money. Money, weariness, and propaganda from the likes of you.

And people like me to listen to it, and to be taken in by it, to my sorrow. Like Huan says, at least I have the decency to weep in shame. What's your excuse? Too young to remember?

This time, I'm not weeping. I'm writing.

I'll leave the final words here to Huan, however, who addresses Donkey Kong in this way:

...but apparently you are incapable of learning from mistake, rather sticking with cold hubris, as you and your ilk are about to repeat the same mistake, abandoning the millions of iraqi to islamofascism and emboldening others to act against the US.

doesn't matter how many suffers, as long as their skin is different, as long as they don't meet your desired standards, as long as it is not in the news.

there is no shame to being ignorant, but it is shameful to cling to blind ignorance and let other suffer instead of you.

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