Saturday, April 14, 2007


In an American Thinker post by Andrew Walton, he takes us back to the halcyon days following Viet Nam and that icon of the left, George McGovern:

"Do we sit on the sidelines and watch a population slaughtered, or do we marshal military force and put an end to it?" -- Senator George McGovern, August 21, 1978

The "it" McGovern wanted US troops to put an end to was the killing of millions of Cambodians in the late 1970s by the communist Pol Pot dictatorship. Three and a half years after congressional Democrats made that slaughter possible by cutting off all US aid to anti-communist forces with their so-called December, 1974 "Foreign Assistance Act", their leader McGovern had made a complete reversal and was suddenly calling for a new US war in Southeast Asia.

Why is this little-remembered footnote in history relevant today? Congressional Democrats' March vote for phased withdrawal from Iraq is a replay of McGovern's treacherous thirty-five year old script with McGovern consulting from the sidelines. Last November, the sixty-two members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) sat down with McGovern to work out a strategy for withdrawal from Iraq. Those discussions led to the mis-named "Iraq Accountability Act", now heading for a veto from President Bush after passing the House and the Senate in March.

With Congressional Democrats, and a few Republicans, dancing to McGovern's tune, it might behoove them to break out of their December, 1974 mind frame and take a look to August of 1978-forty-four months down McGovern's Southeast Asia timeline.

One more snippet:

What will it take for those opposed to American victory in Iraq to wake up? The jihadis are not a progressive force. Today's anti-war leftists are motivated not to strengthen jihad but to weaken America in order that "progressives" around the world might once again have their day. This key element of the "progressive' value system must be recognized by writers working to defeat them. The examples of McGovern and Browder provide an answer: a reversal will require the jihadi threat to "progressivism" to outweigh the American threat.

This brings me to a post I read at American Future by Marc Schulman and takes us back thru WWII and after. It is a long piece but a few things jumped out at me. He is disecting George Orwell and his thoughts and essays, letters and standing as an avowed socialist but firmly anti-communist and virilent anti-fascist and against totalitarianism. This for one...excerpts from Orwells 1941 essay The Lion and the Unicorn.
In the last twenty years western civilisation has given the intellectual security without responsibility, and in England, in particular, it has educated him in skepticism while anchoring him almost immovably in the privileged class. He has been in the position of a young man living on an allowance from a father he hates. The result is a deep feeling of guilt and resentment, not combined with any genuine desire to escape.

Having disengaged itself from the common culture, the intelligentsia, during a time of war, disparaged patriotism and the worth of venerable English institutions. Its members formed “a sort of island of dissident thought”:

England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution . . . the negative, fainéant outlook which has been fashionable among English left-wingers, the sniggering of the intellectuals at patriotism and physical courage, the persistent effort to chip away English morale and spread a hedonistic, what-do-I-get-out-of-it attitude to life, has done nothing but harm . . .

Marc adds quoting Orwell "
English intellectuals, especially the younger ones, “are markedly hostile to their own country.” In some circles, “to express pro-British sentiments needs considerable moral courage.” The people who should be “the guardians of freedom of thought” were anything but.

The intelligentsia’s verbal assaults on patriotism and institutions were not without consequences. During the last years of peace, the English people suffered “a real weakening of morale.” This contributed to the fascists’ judgment that the English were decadent. The “intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible” for the war.

During the war,

. . . the Nazi radio got more material from the British left-wing press than from that of the Right. And it could hardly be otherwise, for it is chiefly in the left-wing press that serious criticism of British institutions is to be found. Every revelation about slums or social inequality, every attack on the leaders of the Tory party, every denunciation of British imperialism, was a gift for Goebbels. And not necessarily a worthless gift, for German propaganda about “British plutocracy” had considerable effect in neutral countries, especially in the earlier part of the war.

The ideological cover for the Left was pacifism. In response to letters he received from D.S. Savage [4] and other pacifists, Orwell took off his gloves:

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist . . . If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other . . . pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.

Elsewhere in his response to Savage, Orwell averred that he was interested in how pacifists who began with an “alleged horror” of violence ended with “a marked tendency to be fascinated by the success and power of Nazism.” He went on to say that some pacifists “are beginning to claim that a Nazi victory is desirable in itself.”

With just a few substituting of nouns in Orwells writing, such as America with England and Nazi with Jihadists.we can certainly draw some striking parallels as we can with the moves to surrender in Iraq and elsewhere with the happenings in the 70s in SE Asia. Need I say, read both articles and see if you can draw the same parallels.