[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
When the Obama administration classified the Taliban as “armed insurgents” rather than terrorists, some people were surprised and mystified. These people were shocked and puzzled when the Obamaites called the terrorist attack on Fort Hood a “workplace shooting,” when they referred to terrorist attacks as “man-caused disasters,” and when they referred to Islamofascist terrorists as mere “extremists” (the same term they use for Tea Party supporters).
Likewise, many Americans scratch their heads in confusion when the President wages an illegal war in Libya that empowers Al Qaeda, helps bring an Al Qaeda-favored group to power in Egypt (temporarily, thank goodness), tries to aid ISIS in Syria before being forced to kinda-sorta fight it, and throws open the jail door for Islamofascist terrorists being held at Gitmo.
Some call him a bumbler; they say he’s in over his head and they assume that he wouldn’t do such things if he had had adequate preparation for his duties as Commander-in-Chief. If that’s what you think, you’re not giving him enough credit. He knows what he’s doing. It’s just that his actions are rooted in his background and his core beliefs, and in his membership in an ideological movement about which President Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick , once said: “They always blame America first.”
This effort to downplay the evil of our country’s enemies is nothing new.
Apologizing for murder and hate is just something that American leftists do. It’s in their nature.
Consider the things they said about the communists.
For decades during the Cold War, American Progressives explained to the rest of us that working people were thriving under communism, that communism improved the lot of the poor, that the leaders of communist countries were popular among their people, and that communist sympathizers in the West had their hearts in the right place. Meanwhile, the communists maintained power by torture and by murder—some 100 to 150 million deaths, it appears.
“Communism has never been a threat to me!” declared Andrew Young, who served as U.S . ambassador to the U.N. and as mayor of Atlanta. (Young also said that Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini would one day be considered “a saint.”)
“The outcome of the Vietnam War, both in Vietnam and here in the United States, was a victory for something honorable in the human spirit,” wrote Hendrik Hertzberg, former speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and later the editor of what was then the nation’s leading liberal magazine, The New Republic.
“We are now free of [our] inordinate fear of communism . . . ” said President Carter in a 1977 speech outlining his foreign policy.
“Long live Fidel Castro! . . . Long live Che Guevara! Long live [communist revolutionary] Patrice Lumumba! Our time has come!” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson during a visit to the communist paradise of Cuba.
“Communism got to be a terrible word here in the United States, but our attitude toward it may have been unfair. . . . The communist ideas of creating a society in which everyone does his best for the good of everyone is appealing and fundamentally a more uplifting idea than capitalism,” wrote Andy Rooney of “60 Minutes” in June 1989, even as millions of oppressed people were rising up against their communist masters.
By opposing the communist takeover of Russia, “the Americans did nothing except identify themselves as reactionaries and imperialists,” said Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper’s magazine.
After all, “Communism means no rich and no poor. You’re against racism and foolish national rivalries. That’s what it comes down to,” said the famed folk singer Pete Seeger.
According to world-famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith, “We must not forever be misguided by those who misunderstand the dynamics of revolution and imagine that because the communists do not appeal to us that they are abhorrent to everyone.” Galbraith said in 1984 that the Soviets were enjoying “great material progress.” What’s the Soviets’ secret? “Partly, the Russian system succeeds because, in contrast with the Western industrial model, it makes full use of its manpower.”
Paul Samuelson, whose economics textbook was the standard in U.S. colleges for decades, wrote in the 10th edition that “It is a vulgar mistake to think that most people in Eastern Europe are miserable.” In the 12th edition he asked whether Soviet political repression was “worth the economic gains.”
“There is no doubt that for the masses in Eastern Europe the new [communist] regimes have brought benefits in the shape of land, education, and jobs,” wrote I.F. Stone. On the occasion of Stone’s death, the major media eulogized him as the conscience of American journalism. (It turned out that Stone actually volunteered to work for the Soviets, but they considered him more valuable in his role as an objective journalist.)
“East Germany is the communist world’s vaunted economic success story,” according to Ferdinand Protzman of the New York Times. Communist Party boss Janos Kadar was “the most popular politician in Hungary,” according to John Cochran of NBC. Howard K. Smith, the longtime anchor of ABC News, wrote that, “Whatever may be said of the communist governments north of Greece, they have instituted constructive economic programs and brought considerable economic benefits to the poorest layer of society.” Labor leader Walter Reuther once signed a letter, “Yours for a Soviet America.” Critic Edmund Wilson said, “You felt in the Soviet Union that you are at the moral top of the world.”
Former Time correspondents Theodore White and Annalee Jacoby wrote that the Chinese communists “alone have given effective leadership to the peasant’s irresistible longing for justice in his daily life.” Christian Science Monitor reporter J.D. Gannon called Nicaragua’s communist dictatorship “a government socially committed to the needs of the poorest,” and in 1989, CNN’s Steve Hurst said of Afghanistan, “It’s the women of this country who have the most to lose if this Marxist revolution fails.”
Mass murderer Fidel Castro “gave all of us who are alone in this country . . . some sense that there were heroes in the world,” said best-selling author Norman Mailer. New York Times reporter Herbert Matthews, whose reporting played a major role in bringing Castro to power, said Fidel has “strong ideas of liberty, democracy, social justice, the need to restore the Constitution, to hold elections . . .” (The Times’s support for the monster Castro was famously satirized as a mock advertisement for the paper’s classified ad section in which the despot declared: “I got my job through the New York Times.”) George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic nominee for president, wrote that Castro was “popular among his own people. Though we may wish he would see the world our way, his own scale of values weighs social and economic equality far more than civil liberties.”
McGovern called North Vietnamese tyrant Ho Chi Minh “the George Washington of his country.” Ho’s “character was certainly sterling. . . . Just because somebody is a communist doesn’t mean he doesn’t have personal integrity,” said former New York Times correspondent Seymour Hersh. Said Tom Hayden, famous as a student radical, as a California legislator, and as one of Jane Fonda’s husbands, declared, “I see [the fall of South Vietnam] as something we’ve all been working toward for a long time . Indochina has not fallen; it has risen.” Attorney William Kunstler said, “I don’t believe in criticizing socialist [communist] governments publicly, even if there are human rights violations.” (A top Kunstler associate would later be convicted of aiding Al Qaida terrorism.)
ABC’s Ted Koppel called a book by reporter Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame “A testament to courage: the courage of some unabashed trade unionists and civil rights workers, Leftists and yes, American Communists, who fought for principles that we now take for granted.” Karen deYoung, who covered foreign affairs for the Washington Post and is now the paper’s associate editor, said, “Most journalists now, most Western journalists at least, are very eager to seek out guerrilla groups, leftist groups, because you assume they must be the good guys.”
During the Cold War, when these intellectual giants looked at communists, they saw agrarian reformers working for the poor; they saw principled peacelovers standing up to the imperialist United States and especially to that ol’ debbil Ronald Reagan. When the Cold War ended in victory for the U.S. and the Western alliance, the same bunch declared that Reagan’s military buildup, his space-based defense (which they ridiculed as “Star Wars”), his policy of arming anti-communist freedom fighters, and his deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with Gorbachev’s change in the direction of Soviet policy, or with the ensuing collapse of communism in Europe.
The oppressed people of Central and Eastern Europe rose up against the communists, and put on display the audacious wealth siphoned from the poor by the Communist Party elite, and set free countless political prisoners who proceeded to tell the world how the communists really dealt with members of the working class.
Today, Obama-style American elitists, members of the world’s most privileged one percent of one percent, lecture the rest of us that we must, as Hillary Clinton urged, empathize with our enemies. (“Smart power,” she said, means “Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand and in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.”) They lecture us that we must not go overboard in opposing the beasts who murder teenagers for watching a soccer match, who seize scores of schoolgirls and sell them into slavery, who systematically perform sexual mutilation on women, and who exterminate homosexuals by throwing them off tall buildings.
They don’t hide what they are. They reveal their true natures in the words they choose to use or not to use… if only we will listen.
Some of this material appeared previously in a column by Steven J. Allen and Richard Viguerie.