The Evidence for Neocommunism

Jamie Lewis writes frequently at which I think is the best social commentary resource. His articles are as powerful as those written by Thomas Sowell, Charles Krauthammer, David Broder, David Brooks and George Will. After I read this article when it appeared in October, I set it aside, wondering if it would impact me as much if I read it later. I didn’t even give it to my most enthusiastic recipient of these articles, my oldest son, because its implications are so serious. Re-reading it today I’m even more compelled how badly it needs to be disseminated. All Classical Liberals and Conservatives need to counteract the mounting totalitarian impulse of the Left that has become even more insidous than when the Soviet Union existed.

“Over time, the Democrats became more totalitarian in spirit and practice after the first wave of the New Left started its takeover of the Party in the 1970s and 80s. Half a century ago, true liberal Democrats like Harry Truman told Americans the truth about Stalin and the new Cold War  — and were hated for it by the Hard Left.”

“Anti-Americanism has come roaring back like a bad rash,  flaring up after years of remission. Anti-American rage is pervasive on our Left and the dominant media.”

“In Europe most of the major media — Der Spiegel, Stern, Le Monde, the Guardian, the BBC News — make a specialty of slamming America, with Israel thrown in as the Little Satan.”

“Why do they hate us? It’s truly not our fault. The Euro-Left hates us for winning the Cold War, and for showing capitalist democracy to be far more beneficial and compassionate than any State-controlled society. It still drives them to rage…”

The New Left utilized “affirmative action,” Black Studies and Women’s Studies to bring in new indoctrinated troops, and to drive out objective scholarship from humanities departments. Science and engineering departments tended to be a little more resistant, because they had to deal with facts in the real world. The same seems to be true in business and economics departments.  For honest humanities scholarship the Left substituted frauds like “post-modernism,” “deconstructionism,” and “Critical Theory.” Those were just new labels for the old vinegar. While those hot new ideas are now dying of ennui, their true believers are going back to the old Marxist gospel. What’s that song about the old-time religion? Well, the Left is going back to the old-time religion of Communism. The best proof is that the very word “communism” is now strictly Verboten by the PC Commissars, who don’t want to be exposed.”

“Down the road it’s quite possible that the EU will turn Hard Left, and junk soft socialism. And it’s not impossible that it will turn Hard Right, like the Nazis. It all depends on circumstances.  In France, Dominique de Villepin certainly celebrates a Napoleonic Empire for the future, as he makes clear in his writings.


Thank You, America (written by an Army Commander in Iraq)

Some time ago, I ran into an old high school friend who asked me if I was still in the Army.  After I said yes, he slowly shook his head and asked me how much longer I had to go before I could get out. I am sure that in his mind it is like I am serving a prison sentence counting the days before my release. The truth is that I do not want sympathy. I not only enjoy Army life, I count it a privilege to serve. I frequently receive heart-felt thanks from people I do not even know for serving in the Armed Forces and I appreciate it. Cards, letters, emails and even a standing ovation as I traversed through the Dallas airport going home on leave from Iraq recently. However, I have been feeling lately like I should thank the American people for the honor of fighting for and representing the United States of America.

In the early summer of 2007, an IED detonated on the main street of a neighborhood in our area. A very small food store was the only thing open in the empty streets so I went inside to see if the owner was alright and if perhaps he had seen anything. The owner appeared utterly hopeless and almost in tears as he stood next to his wife. He did not know anything. Months later, the effects of the surge and our counterinsurgency strategy had taken hold. The streets were full of people and that same owner had used a micro-grant to fix up and expand his once lonely store. His grand kids were at his feet as I introduced him to a reporter accompanying me on a walk through the revitalized neighborhood. I had never heard him speak English but this day he looked at me and said, “I tell you , Sir, I love you with all of my heart!”

Right outside of our outpost in southern Baghdad is a dirt poor family of seven with children ranging in age from eighteen months to eleven years. Americans from all walks of life sent us toys and other small items to share with the Iraqi people over the holidays. We thought this would be the perfect family to share some of them with. We stopped by and the kids ran to the trucks. I asked the oldest boy if his parents were home and he said his mom was but that his dad was out picking through the trash. We later learned that he collected soda cans and sold them to make a living.

The children’s mother walked up and was very grateful and in classic Arab tradition insisted that we come into her tiny home for tea. I told her that we could not stay but saw immediately that she was disappointed. She told me that the soldiers never accepted her invitation. I promised her I would return the next day and did so the following afternoon. We arrived and to learn that she had been waiting since early in the morning and made her husband stay home so he could be there. We went inside and sat on the floor but not before she placed blankets under us!

While the mother went to make the tea, her little girl came in and sat down. We asked her how old she was and she did not know. She ran to her mother to ask and came back telling us she was six years old with a big smile. Her father came in shortly after and was thrilled beyond belief that we were in his home to have tea. We shared the only two tea glasses they had. After our visit we took a family photo for them and delivered it framed on Christmas Day.

The experience of war changes people. For some it is a negative change but most manage to absorb the experience and use it to make themselves stronger. I have said goodbye to a mortally wounded soldier in the hospital, spoken to grieving family members of our casualties, and tried to comfort soldiers who just lost their best friend in a single violent moment. I have been under fire, looked insurgents in the eye, and seen corruption up close. I have also seen people emerge from oppression and live with hope for the first time in years. I have seen children reach up and grasp the hands of American soldiers just because they trust them. I have felt the desire to help and then been given the resources to do it. Finally, I have felt the close knit camaraderie that develops when you serve with a group of people fighting for a cause larger than self. Yes, this experience has changed me. I am stronger, more driven, and humbled all at the same time.

Thank you, America.”


Has War Changed, or Have We?

Has War Changed, or Have We?

“Victory does not require achieving all of your objectives, but achieving more of yours than your enemy does of his. Patient Northerners realized almost too late that victory required not merely warding off or defeating Confederate armies, but also invading and occupying an area as large as Western Europe in order to render an entire people incapable of waging war. Blunders were seen as inevitable once an unarmed U.S. decided to fight Germany, Italy, and Japan all at once in a war to be conducted far away across wide oceans, against enemies that had a long head start in rearmament. We had disastrous intelligence failures in World War II, but we also broke most of the German and Japanese codes in a fashion our enemies could neither fathom nor emulate. Somehow we forget that going into the heart of the ancient caliphate, taking out a dictator in three weeks, and then staying on to foster a constitutional republic amid a sea of enemies like Iran and Syria and duplicitous friends like Jordan and Saudi Arabia—and losing less than 4,000 Americans in the five-year enterprise—was beyond the ability of any of our friends or enemies, and perhaps past generations of Americans as well.

But more likely the American public, not the timeless nature of war, has changed. We no longer easily accept human imperfections. We care less about correcting problems than assessing blame—in postmodern America it is defeat that has a thousand fathers, while the notion of victory is an orphan. We fail to assume that the enemy makes as many mistakes but addresses them less skillfully. We do not acknowledge the role of fate and chance in war, which sometimes upsets our best endeavors. Most importantly we are not fixed on victory as the only acceptable outcome.”

Posted December 10, 2007
This article appeared in the Winter 2007 issue of the Claremont Review of Books.

The Insanity of Bush Hatred (an article written by a scholarly liberal)

Our politics suffer when passions overcome reason and vitriol becomes virtue.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

“In short, Bush hatred is not a rational response to actual Bush perfidy. Rather, Bush hatred compels its progressive victims–who pride themselves on their sophistication and sensitivity to nuance–to reduce complicated events and multilayered issues to simple matters of good and evil. Like all hatred in politics, Bush hatred blinds to the other sides of the argument, and constrains the hater to see a monster instead of a political opponent.”

November 28, 2007

Eight Years of Liberal Hatred

By J.R. Dunn

“We often overlook the fact that liberalism is an ideology, and has been since the days of the New Deal. It is not a doctrine or a school of thought, and does not operate by the rational rules required in those cases. It’s an ideology in the sense of a synthetic, politically-based replacement for religious belief, and it operates by the rules of an ideology — irrational, compulsive, and totally divorced from anything outside of the ideological system itself.”

“Hatred, along with fear, hysteria, and conformity, is a basic element of ideological thinking. I know of no exceptions. For the Nazis, the hate-figures were, of course, the Jews. For the Soviet communists, they were a shifting cast of kulaks, socialists, capitalists, Trotskyites and “wreckers” (saboteurs out to destroy communist achievements on the orders of any of the above). For the New Dealers, it was businessmen (as it is today for some Greens).”

“While it was forgotten amid all the adulation following his funeral, Reagan was loathed nearly as much as Bush during his presidential terms. (A critical moment in my political education occurred when I stepped out of my office moments after Reagan was shot in 1981 and saw Americans dancing in the street over the news.) Reagan, of course, was the halfwit who needed to be led around by his “handlers” lest he stumble in front of a bus or hit the wrong button on the nuclear football.”