08 Dec 2006

Seeds of Intellectual Destruction

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J.R. Dunn explains how leftist ideology delegitimizes American military effort and ensures defeat.

It began with Afghanistan, starting only a month after the attacks, and built up from there. Moore, the Dixie Chicks, Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, Durbin, Murtha… The list could go on for page after page, all of them speaking in identical terms, all repeating the same code words – Halliburton, blood for oil, Abu Ghraib – all tearing into their country in a fashion unseen even in the Vietnam era.

And where the trendsetters have led, the public has followed. If the polls can be trusted (a bit of a leap, it’s true) something like over half the American people believe that the War on Terror, far from being a response to an unprovoked and atrocious attack, is a war of aggression fought on behalf on industrial capitalism in the form of George W’s oil buddies.

This is not a natural response. Countries fighting legitimate defensive wars don’t suffer this kind of erosion of public support in the midst of hostilities. Particularly as involves a war that began with an atrocity committed against fellow countrymen, an atrocity that could be (and eventually will be) repeated at any time. Such a reaction should not have occurred.

The reason it happened this time was the result of fifty years of conditioning that any and all American activities overseas, whether diplomatic, commercial, or military, are fundamentally illegitimate. American wars, no matter what their cause or nature, are viewed through the same prism, one created on the left for the purpose of undermining the country’s commitment to the Cold War, but useful in any context. Call it the “Imperial” or “Hegemonist” doctrine. Simply put, it holds that no American war (and little in the way of any interaction on the international level) is ever justified. All such ventures are wars of imperialist aggression, commonly carried out against helpless innocents in defiance of the wishes of the American people (at least the true American people – that is, left-wing Democrats), on behalf of secretive, sinister interest groups…

Unlike most left-wing doctrines, this one is not a European import but fully home-grown. It was incubated in the universities, developing over several decades in response to U.S. efforts against the Soviet Union.

Our fatal flaw involves our national will, our apparent inability to take on any necessary task, however lengthy, dirty or unpromising, and finish it satisfactorily. Our enemies have noted this and target it as a matter of course. Our friends – to perhaps stretch a term – have learned to manipulate it to their advantage.

As we have seen, this is no natural turn of events. There is nothing inevitable or unavoidable about it. It is entirely synthetic, the byproduct of an effort by our intellectual elite to serve an ideology now long dead. Our belief in ourselves as a nation, in our role and mission on the international stage, has been undermined for fifty years and more. There is not a level of society, from day laborer to corporate CEO, who has not been touched by this dogma. Not a single institution (with the professional military perhaps excepted) has been unaffected.


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