The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: June 2013

Villain and Vampire: Businessmen in Literature


Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last. You spurn’d
me such a day; another time you call’d me dog; and for these courtesies I’ll lend
you thus much moneys?
 
    
Shylock to
Antonio, Act I, Scene III, The Merchant of Venice1.
This article originally appeared
in Reason Magazine in October 1986 (Vol. 18, No. 5). I revisit it here for the
edification of readers who are familiar with Shakespeare and with the dearth in
past and modern literature of stories that regard the businessman as a hero. I
have edited it to correct very minor errors.
_____________________________________________________________________________
I never got to study Shakespeare in high school. By the time I started,
he had been supplanted by J.D. Salinger’s The
Catcher in the Rye
and other contemporary, topically relevant literary
works, most of them forgettable and authored by lesser, meaner minds than the
Bard’s.
Later, I was grateful that I was
spared an introduction to his work then. No doubt it would have been filtered
through the Deweyian strainers of gender consciousness, minority appreciation,
and antiviolence sensitivity and blended in a potpourri of egalitarian mixers. His
plots, characters, the beautiful profundity of his language – the whole broad
landscape of Shakespeare – were left for me to discover without benefit of
interpretation via the National Education Association.
Nor was the subject of the
role of businessmen in literature broached in those generously labeled
“literature” courses. Business didn’t exist in literature. It just
barely merited mention in sophomore history and senior civics, where, if it was
noticed at all, it was portrayed either as a glum spectator to the parade of
the state or as a recalcitrant sheep that needed its hind legs nipped
periodically by the Lassies of the public interest.
“Businessmen” is a
broad category, encompassing bankers, merchants, industrialists, manufacturers –
anyone responsible for the production of material wealth or services. They have
appeared in literature since before the Greeks, but I arbitrarily begin with
Shakespeare, and specifically with his Merchant
of Venice
, because the author and his work are closer to our time, and because
Shakespeare was probably the first major writer to create an important business
character.
The “merchant” of the title is Antonio, not Shylock the
moneylender. Of the two characters, Shylock is the more interesting, if only
for the intensity of his feelings. Antonio is something of a pompous,
profligate windbag and not very convincing as a captain of commerce. Shylock is
a three-dimensional character, even though his overall treatment reflects an
unpopular view of Jews in the Elizabethan and subsequent eras.
Sentiment against usury was
so strong that only Jews were permitted to practice it with near impunity. Shylock’s
legal claim to a slice of the merchant’s flesh served two purposes: It was his
revenge for being maligned in public by Antonio, and it was the central
conflict of Shakespeare’s usual family of conflicts. The ethics of usury may
have even intrigued him, and this might have been his only means of addressing
the subject. In the end, Shylock is compelled to waive both Antonio’s debt and
the pound of flesh, to become a Christian, and to have half his property given
to Antonio. He also must bequeath his entire estate to his daughter and the Christian
she has married against his will. In return, he retains his life and half his
wealth. This was the most justice Shakespeare dared give him in his time.
The businessman has ever
since been ranked with the vampire, the criminal, and the tyrant as a stock
pariah and nemesis of society. It would be fair to say that he has been
accorded markedly less sympathy than the werewolf. Until the 19th
century, the merchant, the entrepreneur, and the banker were all relegated to
minimal roles in literature, usually as minor antagonists or as subjects of
satire. While businessmen made the rise of the West possible, few writers
bothered to explore the possibility that they might have been just as rich a
potential for dramatic expression as lords, vagabonds, or picaroons.
“Go make my coarse
commodities look sleek, with subtle art beguile the honest eye,” urges a
woolens draper in Thomas Middleton’s Michaelmas
Term
(1606). Middleton’s unflattering portrayal of the trader may be taken
as a moderate instance of the esteem in which businessmen were held up through the
Enlightenment. “Shoddy goods” were only an excuse for writers to
ignore the morality of profit and value-for-value trading. In their eyes, the
ethics of created, earned wealth was too contemptible a subject to treat
seriously.
But the power of the
Enlightenment inevitably altered that view. Writers could no longer feign
blindness to or remain incurious about the incredible explosion of wealth and
the rise in living standards spawned by that intellectual revolution. God against
king and king against prince fast faded as handy or exciting vehicles of moral conflict.
The literature that used those themes and that survived were written by such
titans as Hugo, Schiller, and Goethe. The rest has almost vanished from serious
critical attention.
The problem was that most
writers could not conceive of treating the businessman as an autonomous individual
whose problems and conflicts were as uniquely personal and universal as those
of any other highly visible “role model.”  They could not accept him at face value as
they could a king, statesman, cleric, or soldier. A king had has conscience, a
cleric his temptations, a soldier his honor. What could a merchant do that was virtuous? The risks and
rewards of trade, of investment, of innovation – these were actions viewed as
outside the bounds of morality, even though they were the source of a writer’s
quill, foolscap, and fashionable clothes.
The best writers could do was
portray the businessman as an upright, respected, responsible member of his
community, or as an enemy of that community. The novels of the early Victorian age,
particularly those of Charles Dickens, are chock-full of business characters,
some of them “upright” and even admirable, others insatiable, often
charming frauds who prey on a gullible public.
The attitudes of novelists
and playwrights in the early to mid-19th century mirrored those of
such prominent theoreticians as John Stuart Mill and such beaux espirts as John Ruskin and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “I
confess I am not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think
that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on,”
wrote Mill in Principles of Political
Economy
(1848). He described the “success ethics” as one of the
“disagreeable symptoms of one of the phases of industrial progress.”
Ruskin fantasized about how the Industrial Revolution might be disguised, for
example, by designing railway trains to look like dragons, while Coleridge
bemoaned the demise of an “enlightened aristocracy” and the exodus of
the rural poor to the cities and manufacturing towns, away from the ministrations
of a patronizing gentry.
To this day, Europe has never
entirely expelled the vapors of caste. Its culture has yet to allow business to
rid itself of its inferiority complex. But what was happening during this
period in America, which had no philosophy of predestination and no built-in
prejudice against business?
For the most part, America’s preeminent thinkers, intellectuals, and
observers wished that the opposite were true. The outstanding champion of business
was Horatio Alger, whose novels of hard work and success may have helped to
popularize the ethics of individualism but did not explain why that ethics ought to have been a value.
And American novelists and
playwrights did produce business literature. However, just as many of America’s
leading intellectuals, in philosopher Leonard Peikoff’s words, were
“alienated by the basic premises of the country, [and] hostile to the
essential character of its institutions, its traditions, and its people,”2.
 many of the leading novelists, especially
in the latter half of the 19th century, were tongue-tied by the
unabridged individual, by galloping industrial progress, and by a population
that was almost universally unresponsive to their charges that the
“success ethic” was a cruel hoax. What they finally did was abandon
their frontal assaults and launch a literary flanking movement.
In 1884, John Hay published
what was regarded as a major pro-business, pro-success novel, The Bread-Winners. Its convoluted,
saccharine plot is the genteel ancestor of television’s Dallas and Dynasty. A year
later, H.F. Keeton answered it with his antibusiness novel, The Money-Makers, a similarly contrived
work written, however, with much more conviction. In it, Hay’s original industrial
magnate/union organizer, warm-hearted-fellow/conniving rabble-rouser roles were
simply reversed.
In both novels, confused,
sensitive scions of the tycoons are unsure of where their duties lay until outside
events precipitate action one way or the other. And in both novels, these
duties concerned the welfare of others and a heightened sense of noblesse oblige to some segment of
society.
The two major American novelists
of the late 19th century were Henry James and William Dean Howells. James
was the finer, sounder writer. His most acclaimed works are The Bostonians and
Washington Square. But he found America barren of serious subject matter and
viewed Europe as his intellectual and artistic home. He moved to England and, a
year after acquiring British citizenship, died there in 1916.
His friend and colleague,
Howells, though, felt right at home. While not as prolific as Alger and
certainly not as perceptive as James, Howells virtually cornered the market for
“serious” novels of business and success. James, in his novels, specialized
in pitting Americans against “superior” European sensibilities.
In Annie Kilburn (1889), The
Minister’s Charge
(1887), A Hazard of
New Fortunes
(1890), and in many other novels, Howells devolved the creed
that money isn’t everything, that the lower classes have legitimate grudges against
the reigning moral and economic system, and that the pursuit of one’s own
happiness inherently entails injustice and suffering for others. His most
famous work, The Rise of Silas Lapham
(1885), which chronicles the progressive corruption of a successful man as he
seeks to be accepted by Boston society, was a standard subject of study in American
high schools for decades.
What was the answer of American
businessmen to these novels? Many chose to say nothing. Most ignored them as
unimportant. But the muteness was understandable. An explicit ethics
sanctioning capitalism had never been formulated. An explicit political philosophy
separating the state from the individual had yet to be invented.
In the meantime, the only
noteworthy response was Andrew Carnegie’s The
Gospel of Wealth
(1889), in which he asserted that great industrial
enterprises, such as his own, are created by the strong and ruthless (without any
reference to rights). These enterprises, he offered in expiation, are but trusts
administered by the winners of the struggle for the benefit of the public.
These positions were meant to
be the finger in the hole of the dike, but all they did was help to enlarge the
rupture. What followed was a deluge of antibusiness literature. Frank Norris
produced The Octopus (1901) and The Pit (1903); Robert Herrick, The Common Lot (1904) and The Memoirs of an American Citizen
(1905); Jack London, The Iron Heel
(1908) and Burning Daylight (1910); Theodore
Dreiser, The Financier (1912) and The
Titan (1914); and Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906), The Metropolis (1908), and King
Coal
(1917).
Not all of these novelists
urged complete condemnation of the businessman. London’s Burning Daylight and Howells’s Silas
Lapham
, for example, claim that spiritual renewal and moral salvation may
be found through the renunciation of business, finance, and innovation. These and
other redeemed business characters retreat to the wilderness or to old-time
religion or to some other form of passivity. They accept the nostrum that
integrity, honesty, and genius are incompatible with capitalism, which can only
corrupt the truly moral man by inculcating ambition and selfishness.
With the publication in 1943 of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, the game, to paraphrase Shakespeare, was up. Rand
must have taken some pleasure in turning all the standard assumptions on their
heads. Gail Wynand, the ruthless, self-made newspaperman, for example,
unwittingly practices everything that had been preached to businessmen and the
public in the past. He is ultimately obliged to endorse the destruction of his
best friend, Howard Roark, an architect, innovator, and something new in the pages
of literature – a man of independent self-esteem whose soul is not tied to
society, nor crippled by any altruist notion.
On the other end of this
novel’s spectrum of business characters is Hopton Stoddard, the aging,
itinerant millionaire who “found relief in religion – in the form of a
bribe.” When a shaken Stoddard returns from a worldwide tour of religious
shrines – undertaken to find a creed that would forgive him for his dubious business
ethics and shady life – Rand says of him with dark humor that: “He had
returned from his journey, crushed by the universal spectacle of religion, most
particularly by the various forms in which the promise of hell confronted him
all over the earth. He had been driven to the conclusion that his life
qualified him for the worst possible here-after under any system of faith. It had
shaken what remained of his mind.”3. 
In Wynand, she illustrated
the tragedy of a great man who molded his life on a second-hand morality,
altruism, or the “gospel of power.” In Stoddard, she created a foil
who was almost a caricature of previous novelists’ conceptions of a
“redeemed” businessman.  
Gail Wynand’s conflicts are
refined in the character of industrialist Hank Rearden in Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1957), with the difference
that Rearden questions the moral code that is supposed to govern both his business
and his personal life. When he has his day in court – when he publicly rejects
the right of a tribunal to penalize him for having conducted
“illegal” business – we know that his end will not be the same as
Wynand’s.
Atlas Shrugged
was not written exclusively as an answer to any particular antibusiness novel,
but it is important to note an inversion in its characterizations that is a
product of the novel’s radical theme. All the virtues that previous novelists
had asserted businessmen ought to be imbued with – including the primacy of service
over self-interest and the disavowal of the profit motive – are precisely those
possessed by businessmen in this novel who are the heavies, the incompetents,
and fence-sitters. Moreover, they are also the sneaks, the frauds, the cowards,
the looters, and the extortionists, not in spite of their altruist virtues, but
because of them. Among many other
things, Atlas Shrugged developed the
theme that the altruist virtues in men have clung to for centuries are actually
vices, and can turn them into tragic figures, or into monsters.
In terms of the business novel,
was there life after Atlas Shrugged? Yes,
if one concedes that to be comatose, one must first be alive. Business novels
have been published since Atlas, but
overall they perpetuate the altruist-collectivist theme – or no discernible
theme at all.
In retrospect, Atlas Shrugged was a literary supernova
whose light has yet to reach the lifeless pages of modern literature. Our
novelists, critics, and professors of literature have neither the equipment –
intellectual or literary – to grasp that novel, nor the inclination to acquire
it.
Nearly 6,000 miles and 360
years separate a Venetian court of law from a Chicago appellate court and the
verdict against another moneylender, banker Midas Mulligan (one of the earliest
“strikers” in Atlas), who
was ordered to loan his money to men who claimed a right to it because they
needed it. And a whole new philosophy governed his response to the wrong dealt
him by the court. Literary justice was exacted after all – and for much, much
more than a mere pound of flesh.
1.William Shakespeare:
The Complete Works
. Eds. Stanley
Wells and Gary Taylor. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1988. p. 430, lines 24-27.
2. The Ominous
Parallels: The End of Freedom in America
, by Leonard Peikoff. New York:
Stein & Day, 1982. p. 325.
3. The
Fountainhead
, by Ayn Rand. Indianapolis/New York: The Bobbs-Merrill
Company, 1943. p. 362.

Our Perilous Trust in Government


I possess an enameled tray
that holds five flash drives containing two sets of the texts of my columns, the
texts and artwork of my books, and photos and other images. One set is my
primary source, the other is a backup. I don’t trust my computer or the power
not to fail at some critical juncture in the future. For the same reason, I
periodically backup my computer on an external drive to preserve its operating
systems and other software as a failsafe against my computer being zapped by a
lightning strike, overwhelmed by a power surge, or invaded by a hacker
(government or freelance) to introduce a killer virus.
Of all the likelihoods in the
current political atmosphere, the last one is more credible.
Oh, yes, the government is
just as capable as a punk hacker of infecting one’s computer through unlawful
entry. In the government’s case, if you’ve been targeted for special attention
and monitoring because the term “Islam” or “patriot” or
“individual rights” occurs repeatedly in your correspondence
(red-flagging, it’s called), and wants to haul you into court, it can plant the
incriminating evidence in your computer and you won’t know it until it’s too
late and you’re being led away in handcuffs and a federal prosecutor presents
the “evidence” at your arraignment.
However, on the tray of flash
drives has been reproduced Eugène Delacroix’s “Liberty
Leading the People
.” I have been contemplating it a lot, lately. That
image never fails to make me smile. I can always trust it to give me a morale
boost.
But I ceased trusting the
government many years ago, as I watched it acquire more and more powers over my
life and over all other Americans. The revelations of Edward
Snowden
– traitorously or not – have only underscored that distrust. And I
think that many Americans, taking into account 
the attacks on Snowden
as a traitor, as against his being exalted as a true, liberty-loving patriot,
have been thrust into a purgatory of doubt and mistrust that can only come
about when they have strong, justified suspicions that they are living in a
watershed era.
I frankly do not know what to
make of Snowden. He remains an enigmatic figure who abruptly emerged from
nowhere – in the course of the Benghazi scandals, the IRS scandals, and just
the general reckless, authoritarian tenor of the Obama administration – to
state that the government, via the National Security Agency (NSA), has been
“mining data” from Americans’ emails, phone call records, and so on,
and has been doing so for years.
One would have expected
Snowden to flee to a relatively free political entity, such as Singapore, or
Iceland. Instead, he winds up in Hong Kong, a “special
administrative” area of the communist/fascist Mainland, which censors the Internet,
has millions in its own Gulag, and threatens to invade and conquer Taiwan. Then
he pops up in Moscow.
He might wind up in communist-controlled Ecuador, or even Castro’s Cuba. There are
indications that he may be allowed to stay in Russia by a fascist régime headed
by an ex-KGB officer.
Combine this information
overload with the news about the NSA‘s $2 billion Bluffdale,
Utah facility that is supposed to collect all information on all Americans and
all foreign communications traffic here – is there really a cause for concern?
Yes.

Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy
in Media
(AIM), for example, has inveighed often and rightly against the
numerous depredations of the Obama administration. So I do not understand why
he dismisses any possibility that the Obama and his cohorts would use the NSA
for nefarious, totalitarian purposes. The possibility seems to have escaped him
in his tirades against Snowden and conservatives who champion Snowden. 

On the other hand, Glenn
Greeenwald
, Snowden’s “handler” of the British newspaper The
Guardian, is a committed Marxist dedicated – one might say, working hand-in-hand
with Barack Obama – to knocking down America. Kincaid exposes this journalist’s
political predilections. 

And, on another hand, the NSA has been caught
fibbing
about its alleged exclusive purpose of identifying and tracking down terrorists
and wannabe terrorists. 

So, Americans are faced with a contradiction.
One or the other scenario is true, but not both. Snowden was a Russian or
Chinese mole, or a traitor who has damaged the country’s national security, or
he wasn’t either of these things. He is an individual who doesn’t want to live
in a Big Brother society. But he appears in two countries governed by
totalitarian régimes. Go figure.

I can’t. 

“Data mining” is a program probably
necessitated by the literal prohibition of collecting intelligence on Muslims
and on Islamic terrorists. Excuse me if this sounds “simplistic,” but
if a government agency is charged with protecting Americans from terrorist
attacks is banned from focusing on the most likely terrorist candidates, then
it must collect information on everyone
and hope to identify and catch them that way. Anyone for “Pin the Tail on
the Donkey”? Or a round of blind-folded piñata bashing? 

There is no way to credibly reconcile the
24/7 invasion of Americans’ privacy without restraint or legality and also
protect and uphold the entirety of the Bill of Rights. 

Focusing on a relatively small handful of suspected
terrorists or individuals likely to “go jihad” in this country, would
be a comparatively simpler task. But, no, the Obama administration, following
the lead of President George “Islam was hijacked” Bush, condones the
data mining, because that kind of program meshes nicely with his authoritarian
behavior and agenda and virtually exempts Muslims from surveillance. 

Would Obama use the NSA
data
to his own political advantage? Yes. Observe his record. After all,
his Department of Justice went after a journalist’s phone records, and
participated with the IRS in the targeting of Tea Party groups before and
during the 2012 election. Must we review all the scandals that have surfaced
around the White House since Obama’s second inauguration? And the ones that
preceded it? Benghazi? Fast and Furious? If you hear something “fishy“?
Obama’s associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and terrorist Bill Ayers?  And his whole murky – indeed, opaque – past?

I won’t recount them all here, because the
administration’s “playbook” is beginning to become as thick as Victor
Hugo’s opus, Cromwell,
which is a very long play with a “cast of hundreds” about an autocrat
who would be king if the non-electorate would let him and if he were so
inclined. (I blush in apology for putting the literary giant Hugo in the same
company as the tin pot Marxist, Obama, but I couldn’t resist the analogy. The play,
incidentally, is very good.) 

Scott Holleran published a very penetrating
article on why we should be grateful to Snowden for his revelations, “Snowden
vs. Fascism
.” 

The fascist state,
and that is what America is becoming, is rising based on the false premise –
supported by those on the left and right alike – that we must have government
control of individual rights in order to protect lives and defend the republic
– or, worse in the case of the leftists, to serve the collective and, worst of
all, in the case of conservatives, to serve God, tradition and family.

Moreover:

Liberty is not
contingent upon security – a proper national defense neither requires nor
necessitates surrendering liberty – and individual rights are inalienable, as
America’s founders knew and wrote when they created the United States of
America.

So, as Mr. Holleran points out, should we
really trust our government, and especially the Obama administration, to
exercise restraint and not use the
mined data for its own sinister purposes? As he notes, trusting the government
and Obama to do that is sheer fantasy or perilous wishful thinking. Our government
is already on the road to serfdom – our
serfdom. In his article, “The Government vs.
America
,” he makes an important observation that it isn’t the Tea
Partiers who are “anti-government,” but the government itself, which
is “pro-statism.” 

This is especially important when we learn
that Obama has consulted with the envoys of Islamic jihad on how best to
“get along” with Islam and jihadists. Steve Emerson’s Investigative
Project on Terrorism
has this to report:

The White House’s
National Security Council has confirmed that staffers held a June 13 meeting
with Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, an Islamist cleric who shares leadership of
the International Union of Muslim Scholars, where he is vice-president and the
terror supporter Yusuf al-Qaradawi is president….
‘Like many in the
global Muslim Brotherhood movement who pose as moderates to the press and to
liberal intellectuals by issuing condemnations of al-Qaida,’ it read in part,
‘Bin Bayyah refuses to label the acts of groups such as Hamas, Hizballah or
Palestinian Islamic Jihad as terrorism.’
He has also issued
‘an endorsement of the push by Muslim intellectuals to criminalize blasphemy
against the Muslim prophet Muhammad and Islam,’ the group reported.

We can trust Obama to do one thing, and that is
to sell out our country to Islam – while he “transforms” the country into
an impoverished socialist pigsty. 

So, shall we quote Michael Montaigne about
the heroes of Thermopylae
and compare Edward Snowden with them?

He who falls obstinate in his courage, if he has
fallen, he fights on his knees
(Seneca)… The most valiant are sometimes the most
unfortunate. Thus there are triumphant defeats that rival victories. Nor did
those four sister victories, the fairest that the sun ever set eyes on-
Salamis, Plataea, Mycale, and Sicily – ever dare match all their combined glory
against the glory of the annihilation of King Leonidas and his men at the pass
of Thermopylae.

Or shall we regard Snowden as another Alger
Hiss who has done irreparable damage to the country’s national security, and
curse his name? 

The question will be answered in future
chapters of the Edward Snowden story. Until then, I must defer judgment of the
man. He sounds sincere, says the right things, and I feel grateful that he has
exposed the duplicity of our government. At the same time, I can’t ignore the
bizarreness of his travel itinerary and his close association with Glenn
Greenwald. 

Had the U.S. a rational foreign policy – and
I’m including a policy that would hale back to at least the 1950’s – these
national security issues would never have cropped up. But the fact is that our
irrational foreign policies have allowed the U.S. to paint itself into a
corner. 

I must laugh darkly whenever I hear or read
that the U.S. is a “free country,” because there is very little
freedom left in it. What freedoms we have left exist only by default. Our
policies enabled the Soviet Union to exist for decades, from the 1930’s onward.
Had we let the Germans overrun Russia during WWII, there would have been no
“Cold War” that required the creation of a vast intelligence network
to combat its espionage and incursions and invasions since the end of that war,
because without our unpaid-for assistance, the USSR would have collapsed. 

What “data mining” operations it
would have pursued would have targeted known enemies of this country, and not
“required” the search and seizure of Americans’ personal correspondence
and activities on the chance that terrorists and terrorist plots might be
detected and foiled. (And this data mining failed to red-flag the Boston
Marathon bombers, even with Russia’s advice that the one Tsarnaev brother was a
“person of interest”). 

The Soviets are gone, but now we are faced
with Islam, and our government is now white-washing Islam with the same fervor
it white-washed the Soviet Union in the 1930’s and during WWII. 

It taxes my imagination about how we, who are
concerned about our freedom, can extract ourselves from our authoritarian
conundrum. 

I trust the evidence of my senses and my own
mind when it comes to trusting the government and evaluating its commitment to
freedom – which, at this point, is virtually nil. In the meantime, I have Delacroix’s
magnificent painting to serve as a constant, trustworthy reminder of what,
someday, we may be forced to emulate in spirit and in action.  

Critical Tunnel Vision at The Washington Times


On June 19th, the
Washington Times ran Frank Csongo’s
review
of Diana West’s book, American
Betrayal: The Secret Assault on American Character
. It was a supercilious
review that ignored West’s chief themes, labored under inaccuracies and
fallacies, and generally was meant to discredit West and her book.
I was so startled by its inherent injustice that I wrote the editor asking if
the paper would be willing to run a counter-review. As of this date, I have not
received a reply. Consequently, I address some of Csongo’s errors and
assertions here.
For a discussion of issues
covered in West’s book, see “Our
Enemy Inside The Gates
,” many of them overlooked by Csongo in his
review.
First, Csongo insinuates that
the causes of the Great Depression were a mystery. However, it was caused and
perpetuated by government intervention in the economy. Real economists such as Friedrich
Hayek and Ludwig
von Mises
, among others, have demonstrated that it was the creation of the
Federal Reserve Bank and the passage of numerous regulatory laws that allowed
the government to “redirect” the economy in the direction which
Wilsonite and other Progressives wished it to go – which was socialism by
stealth. The New Deal simply aggravated and prolonged an already skewed and injured
economy. But for Roosevelt’s policies, it would have recovered.  
No, the government didn’t pay
“the salaries of many artists and photographers,” as Csongo asserts.
It took money from millions of impoverished Pauls to give to a passel of
socialistic Peters or “artists” – or hasn’t Csongo ever read or seen
the work of these artists? One notable example is the murals in the ground
floor of the former RCA building in
Rockefeller Center (now the G.E. Building), which were originally done by a
Mexican communist, Diego
Rivera
; what replaced some of them (by José Maria Sert)
aren’t much better; it’s all “socialist realism.”  
As for writers, many who are
now famous had their start in the WPA writers’ program and have
since then been elevated to the broken-down sharecropper’s shack that otherwise
passes for the pantheon
of American literature, including John Cheever, Kenneth Rexroth, Studs Terkel,
and Saul Bellow.
Csongo attempts to make a
distinction between Soviet-style “socialism” and the Roosevelt brand.
He fails because Roosevelt, who didn’t actually want to “save”
capitalism – his saying he did was just rhetorical taqiyya to throw off those who feared he wanted to abolish it –
adopted a fascist policy of regimenting everything he could lay his hands on.
Remember that before Hitler could impose National Socialism on Germany, the
socialism had to exist first; that was the work of Otto von Bismarck. If
fascism comes to the U.S., it will be because a long line of socialist (liberal)
and Republican presidents and compliant Congresses have prepared the way. That line
extends back to Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
In spite of Roosevelt’s
economic policies, the U.S. was on the way to recovery before its entry into
WWII. The war didn’t take the country out of the Depression; it prolonged it
until years after the war’s conclusion. Militarizing the economy and drafting
millions of men into the armed services was not “recovery”; it was
again redirecting the economy to a command economy, complete with price
controls and rationing. Or does Csongo agree with Big Brother that “war is
peace”? Orwell, a socialist, had a better grasp of economics than does
Csongo.
Whether or not Roosevelt was
“naïve” about Stalin and the totalitarian nature of Soviet Russia
doesn’t relieve him of the responsibility of having surrendered half of Europe
to the looting, raping, and destructive Soviets. Csongo does not even touch on West’s
main point of contention: that our foreign and domestic policies were
established and enforced by fellow traveling communists in the government, who
numbered in the hundreds, and by Soviet espionage, which began immediately
after Roosevelt’s diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933. Our
pre-war and wartime foreign policies, as West documents and argues, were guided
and dictated by Stalin’s ideological proxies in our government.
Yes, Europe was betrayed by
Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, Alger Hiss and a bevy of other Soviet and
pro-Communists operating within the government – none of whom Csongo deigns to
discuss. What was Roosevelt’s attitude about the fate of Europe? He more or
less said that the Europeans would just have to get used to the Soviet
occupation. Does Csongo delve into Roosevelt’s first priority, to save the
Soviets from the Nazi onslaught? No. But Roosevelt said he’d rather hamstring
our own military (even before we got into the war) and surrender Australia,
Singapore and the Philippines than delay military aid to the Soviets. You would
think that Csongo would be so startled by this revelation that he would at
least have highlighted it. But, he remained silent.
His review is a puerile essay
that could have been written by a brainwashed public high school student who
has been taught by his teachers that FDR saved the day.
Quite the contrary. FDR left
us a combined political, economic, and cultural legacy that poisons us to this
day.
This is the lesson that Diana
West imparts in her book, but which Csongo failed or refused to see. West began
her project
in an attempt to understand why our government is currently white-washing Islam
– and, in fact, aiding and abetting its depredations and spread. She learned that
this white-washing had a precedent in the white-washing of Soviet Russia.

The Anti-War “War on Terror”


Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania
had always been at war with Eastasia.
And a moment before, in George
Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four,
Oceania had been an ally of Eastasia, and at war with Eurasia.1. It
would be deemed a thoughtcrime to know and think otherwise.
And it’s a virtual
thoughtcrime today to say that we are at war with Islam, or even to suggest
that Islam is at war with us. Two presidents
said so. At the very most, we’re only making “War on Terror.” We are fearful
of Islam’s “extremists,”
not of the ideology of Islam itself. So, once we identify (playing an
intelligence version of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”), foil and stamp
out the “extremists,” we’ll be okay and safe and able to get on with
our lives.
Right.
When we engaged Japan and
Nazi Germany in a life or death conflict, we did not call it the “War on
Kamikazes” and the “War on Blitzkrieg.” The phrase “War on
Terror” makes little sense and such a “war” will make little
headway if we do not remove régimes that fund and endorse attacks on this
country. We defeated the Shinto régime that sent the Kamikazes against us and
we defeated the Nazis who perfected Blitzkrieg. And then the Kamikazes stopped
coming and so did the V2 rockets and Tiger tanks and the whole Wehrmacht. If we
hadn’t destroyed our enemies’ capacity to make war, and physically, militarily refuted the efficacy of their ideologies,
we’d probably still be fighting Japan and Germany. Or sued for a negotiated
peace on our enemies’ terms.
Which is what we are
effectively doing with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Suing
for peace
.
The weapons and tactics employed
by the Japanese and Nazis were indeed intended to strike “terror” in
soldiers facing them and in civilians. But to divorce those weapons from the régimes
that employed them in war is a perilously futile and foolhardy exercise in
evasion. And that is precisely what we have done with the “War on
Terror.”
The “War on Terror,”
on one hand, is an accurate term for the self-blinding policy the U.S. has
engaged in for far too long. On the other hand, it is dishonest, cowardly, and
evasive. We don’t blame the ideology. Heavens, no. Islam is a
“religion,” and a “religion of peace.” Never mind the
historical record that it has never been a “religion of peace” in its
1,400-year existence. At least, not the “peace” as the West understands
it.
No, we blame the
“extremists.” The term “extremist” is a smear term intended
to vilify anyone who acts on fundamental principles. The American Revolutionaries
were “extremists” who fought for freedom. Islamic jihadists are “extremist”
“freedom-fighters” – that is, they fight against freedom, for Islamic
ideology is anti-freedom. Anti-liberty. Anti-mind.  
Stuka dive bombers and the
launchers of V2 rockets and divisions of German soldiers are the
“extremists” of Nazism. Japanese soldiers in banzai charges and
suicidal Kamikaze pilots are the “extremists” of Shintoism.
The phrase “War on
Terror” is a tautological oxymoron. Consider the phrase “war on
poverty.” What does it mean? Nothing. All it does is conjure up an absurd
picture of SWAT teams going into slums, guns blazing, to replace steel kettles
with Krups coffee makers, and paper plates with Waterford china. The “war
on drugs” is no less absurd, as is the “war on obesity” and
every other “war” the government has declared. Including the
“War on Terror.”
Modern
English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by
imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary
trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to
think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration: so that
the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern
of professional writers.2.
The phrase “War on
Terror,” from the very beginning, spread by convenient imitation because it
helped to obfuscate the irresolution of
our political leadership to identify and challenge our enemies. Thinking clearly
about Islam is not our leadership’s goal. It prefers muddied waters.
I grew tired of the phrase
“War on Terror” years ago because I saw that adopting it and the
policy behind it only guaranteed its indefinite continuation, with no end in
sight. That policy allows our current enemy, Islam in all its manifestations,
to conduct unlimited war against us, whether it’s in the form of suicide
bombers or kitchen pressure cookers and other forms of “terror,” or
the stealthy introduction of Sharia law in the U.S. or the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation’s attempts to gut the First Amendment with Hillary Clinton’s and
Barack Obama’s blessings, so that clear thinking would be prohibited and
punished.  
We have conducted a limited
war against, not the ideology, but against its death-loving agents and
“soldiers.”
Would we have the kinds of
controls and spying and political establishment that we have today, had we
removed those régimes at the very beginning? No. There’d be no TSA, no DHS, no government
nosing into Americans’ phone calls and emails, no government “red-flagging”
what it deemed offensive speech, no government surveillance of our private
speech and behavior conducted behind the guise of “national
security,” no government imposing suicidal Rules of Engagement on American
troops in a war that never occurred. Because that war would’ve been concluded
decades before, with Islam crawling back into its life-hating mosques, fearing
to poke its head outside ever again lest it be shot off.
There’d be no mosques in America,
either, and no Muslims streaming in to help the Brotherhood populate and conquer
America. There’d be no CAIR or ISNA or MSA or any of those Brotherhood front
organizations. Any attempt by Islamic enemies to establish Islamic “Bunds”
or “civil rights” advocacy groups in America would be discovered,
ferreted out, and dissolved.
The agents of a totalitarian
ideology – for that is what Islam is, a totalitarian ideology – working to
supplant the Constitution with Sharia law, however stealthy, would not be
tolerated. We tolerate the Amish, and Buddhists, and even the Baptists because those
people are not proposing to impose their will on everyone else. It is only Islam
and Muslims.
No 9/11. No 7/7. No Madrid or
Bali bombings. No Boston Marathon bombings. None of it. The costly and
mind-deadening siege culture we have been living in for the past fifteen or so
years would never have congealed around us and asphyxiated us. We wouldn’t have
even had to endure the plane hijackings and massacres and terrorism of the
1960’s and 1970’s, for Islam would have been trounced, defeated, and its nose
rubbed in the dirt a decade or so before.
We’d have an FBI that would
fight the enemy with both eyes wide open.
Muslims coming to America would
be ex-Muslims wanting to escape the fetid, murderous hellholes of Islam. Mexicans
wanting to come to America would want to undergo the usual naturalization process
and leave their crippled, failed country behind, as well.
Neither of the Islam-respecting
Bushes would have been elected. The Clintons would have remained in Arkansas to
lord it over people whose cars are on cinder blocks. And glib-talking Barack Obama
would probably have weaseled his way into Chicago politics instead of being
tapped by the Marxists in the Democratic Party to become their point man for
the socialization of America.
There’d be no Obamacare, or
TARPs, or “Stimuli,” nor Obama and Michelle “Minnie the
Moocher” giving the country and Americans their middle fingers as they do
a poor impersonation of the Roosevelts and fly off on their million dollar
vacations. We would never have heard of them, except when the next Chicago corruption
scandal erupted on the front pages.
Obama isn’t
“mismanaging” the “War on Terror,” either, as some of his
critics are alleging. His policies are consciously designed to cause us to lose
it. He is a nihilist and I cut him no slack. His foreign policies complement
his domestic policies, which are designed to destroy the country under the
rubric of “transformation.” Obama may enable Islamic régimes to come
to power in the Mideast and North Africa because he has an envious affinity for
those régimes. He is enabling the Marxists and Democrats to “reform”
the country so that it is multiculturally humbled and unexceptional.
I know that others in the
past have made the very same points I make here, but that doesn’t ameliorate my
disgust with the phrase “War on Terror” because that phrase means
absolutely nothing.
Islam must be dealt a mortal
blow. The only way to defeat Islam is to cut off its heads as well as its
hands.
But someone might object: But…but…that
would mean taking out the Saudis, and Iran, and the UAE, and Qatar, and
Pakistan. Yes, it would. These were actions the U.S. ought to have taken ages
ago, beginning with that looting, medieval dynasty of the Saudis. It might even
mean using tactical nuclear weapons. But the longer we do not remove régimes and
states that sponsor terrorism, the longer the “War on Terror” will go
on. As a country, we cannot afford a perpetual and indefinitely extended
stalemate. No country has ever survived that kind of “war.”
The late John David Lewis, in
his seminal work on the means and ends of warfare, wrote:
Those
who wage war to enslave a continent – or to impose their dictatorship over a
neighboring state – are seeking and end that is deeply immoral and must not be
judged morally equal to those defending against such attacks.3.
And it is not a stalemate we
are facing. It is an incremental retreat lead by the internal enemies of this country
in the face of the Left’s totalitarian agenda allied with the Islamic blueprint
for conquest. These allies are copasetic in their means and ends.
A commander’s
most urgent task is to identify this central point [an enemy’s ideological and
moral strength] for his enemy’s overall war effort and to direct his forces
against that center – be it economic, social, or military – with a view to
collapsing the opponent’s commitment to continue the war. To break the
“will to fight” is to reverse not only the political decision to
continue the war by inducing a decision to surrender, but also the commitment
of the populations to continue (or to restart) the war.4.
This is precisely the policy
that has been adopted by “Islamists” against the U.S. and the West. They
know that the U.S. and the West have no “will to fight,” because the U.S.
and the West have sabotaged their own ideological and moral strength with
pragmatism, subjectivism and multiculturalism. Philosophically, politically, to
use an analogy from the Battle of Gettysburg, we have right and left flanks, but
no center in the Union position. General Lee attacked the center, thinking it
was weak and would collapse. He was wrong. He paid the price.
Our flanks are superfluous,
because they exist to defend the center composed of pragmatic, unprincipled
mush. Our enemies are pouring through that center and striking at our flanks. And
that is why we are paying the price and collapsing.
Lewis wrote:
There
is no single strategic pattern, no universal “theory of war,” and no
moral “rules” divorced from context or purpose to emerge from this
book. The major point is to take moral
ideas seriously
.5. (Italics
Lewis’s)
The “War on Terror”
will not end until we abandon that anti-concept and adopt the morally correct
idea that we are engaged in a War Against Islam.
 
1. Nineteen
Eighty-Four: Text, Sources, Criticism,
by George Orwell. (1949) Edited by
Irving Howe. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1963. p. 121.
2. “Politics and the English Language,” in All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays,
by George Orwell. Compiled by George Packer. New York: Mariner Books/Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt, 2008.  pp. 270-271.
3. Nothing Less
Than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History
, by John David Lewis.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. p. 3.
4. Ibid, p. 6.
5. Ibid, p. 10.  

The Education of Robert Mueller


Imagine for a moment that I
have been elected a U.S. Senator for the state of Virginia, replacing one of
the two roll-with-the-punches Democrats who vote the straight Party line, and I
am on the Senate Judiciary Committee which is holding a special hearing on the
reported misconduct of FBI Director Robert Mueller over a
variety of issues, including the IRS probes Mueller denied knowledge of, and
the state of intelligence and law enforcement of the Bureau in combating Islamic
jihad and identifying and arresting homegrown
Islamic terrorists. I have been given carte
blanche
by the Committee chairman to interrogate Mr. Mueller on these and
related topics.
Picture me on the committee
dais, and Mr. Mueller at his table sitting next to his own legal counsel, a wonkish-looking
fellow with round spectacles. Mueller has been sworn in and the chamber has
quieted down. The only other sounds are the occasional whirl and click of a reporter’s
camera and the soft, almost inaudible staccato whisper of the stenography
machine of the Committee’s reporter.  
SEN. CLINE:  Thank you, Mr. Mueller. Let’s proceed with
our questioning.
MR. MUELLER: Yes, sir.
SEN. CLINE: Mr. Mueller –
when were you appointed Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
MR. MUELLER: In September,
2001, by then President George Bush.
SEN. CLINE: On September 4th,
about a week before 9/11, I should note. So, all in all, you have been in that
office for about thirteen years. Your previous careers in law and in the
military have already been entered into the record, so we won’t review that
information. Now, do you think you have performed your duties as Director
faithfully, in accordance with your oath of office?
MR. MUELLER: Yes, sir. I do
think that.
SEN. CLINE: Fine. You are of
the Christian faith, I assume.
MR. MUELLER: Yes, sir.
SEN. CLINE: Which one?
MR. MUELLER: I have been an
Episcopalian all my life, as were my parents.
SEN. CLINE:  Then you must be familiar with the Ten Commandments,
formally known as the Decalogue. These Commandments also occur in the Hebrew
Bible and are alluded to in the Koran.  I
am referring to Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:4-2.
MR. MUELLER: Yes, sir.
SEN. CLINE:  Just for the record, could you recite a few
of them for the committee?
(Mueller glances in
bafflement at his legal counsel. His legal counsel looks equally baffled, but
shrugs his shoulders and nods.)
MR. MUELLER: (Slightly
amused) Well…Thou shalt not kill….Thou shalt not steal….Thou shalt not cover a
neighbor’s wife, or his house….Honor your parents, and Sundays or the Sabbath….Thou
shalt not lie, or bear false witness….Or make graven images….Or swear….
SEN. CLINE:  (Holding up a hand.) All right. The Committee
is satisfied with that answer. Do you read the Bible, sir?
MR. MUELLER:  Now and then. I must admit I can’t remember
the last time I did. Not as regularly as I should.
SEN. CLINE:  Would you agree that the Ten Commandments are
the foundation of Judeo-Christian morality?
MR. MUELLER: Yes, sir, but I
have heard there has been some disagreement over that.
SEN. CLINE: (Smiling
benevolently at Mueller.) I agree with you, Mr. Mueller. I confess I am one of
the dissidents on that matter. However, that is beside the point. (Pauses to
turn over some papers in front of him.) All right. Now, Mr. Mueller, I am going
to pursue a novel line of questioning. Were you aware that the Bible, as well
as the Hebrew one, not to mention the Koran, in which there are vague
references to the Commandments, was a work-in-progress for centuries, having
been edited, adumbrated, and revised by numerous scholars and interpreters and
other notables? There are at least half a dozen “authorized” and
popular versions of the Bible, the most recent the English Standard which has
come down to us today, which is roughly based on the King James Version. (Cline
waves his hand.) There is a Cockney Bible, and a Bowdlerized Bible, in which
all the prurient references were excised from the text, especially from the Old
Testament.
MR. MUELLER: (He blinks in
incomprehension, and answers with hesitation.) No, sir. I was not aware of it.
SEN. CLINE: (With barely
contained amusement.) And, as the story goes in all three doctrines, Moses
climbed Mount Sinai, disappeared into a fog, and a few days later emerged with
two stone tablets with the Commandments inscribed on them. That is, more or
less, the story. Am I correct?
MR. MUELLER: That is correct,
sir, if I remember correctly.
SEN. CLINE: You do. Now,
allow me to pose a hypothetical event. Suppose a new book of the Bible,
heretofore unknown to the Christian, as well as to the Judaic and Islamic
faiths and worlds, is discovered in the stacks of the British Museum, or in the
Bodleian Library at Oxford, or in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Let us for the moment
call it the Book of Robert.
(Subdued laughter in chamber.
Mueller and his legal counsel, however, look nonplussed. Senator Cline waits
for the laughter to subside and continues.)
Its discovery understandably causes
universal sensation and concern. Now, after careful study and examination of
the text of the Book of Robert, biblical scholars and other authorities
determine that it was written or recorded some centuries after Exodus and Deuteronomy. And its Ten Commandments abrogate
the earlier ones. These new Commandments condone murder, theft, dishonesty,
rape, slavery, and other crimes. In fact, they are the converse of the
originals. Further, an admonishing advisory in the Book of Robert categorically
warns that the new Commandments render the older ones null and void, and that
it is incumbent upon Christians to abide by the new ones. This dictum, of
course, also obviates the pacific nature of the New Testament, as well, and not
only redefines the contemporary understanding of Christianity, but calls for a
new name for it, the peaceful homilies of Jesus Christ having been all but negatived
in the Book of Robert. (Pauses.) What would you say to that, Mr. Mueller?
MR. MUELLER: (Frowning in
disgust.) That is a preposterous idea, sir.
SEN. CLINE: Is it? Why do you
say that?
MR. MUELLER: It’s a
blasphemous and irreligious idea. And disrespectful.
SEN. CLINE: But not
unprecedented. Although the idea is apocryphal, there have been private
organizations in the past, such as the British Hellfire Clubs, that mocked the
Bible and the Christian faith. And Thomas Jefferson, for example, removed all
the parts of the Bible that he agreed with and put together his own much
reduced version. Many of his contemporaries called his action blasphemous, as
well, but I don’t think his reputation has suffered much. 
MR. MUELLER: I…have heard these
stories, sir.
SEN. CLINE:  I am happy to hear it. Furthermore, as far as
precedents are concerned, it is done
in the Koran.
MR. MUELLER: I don’t follow
you, sir.
SEN. CLINE: (Under his
breath, “I didn’t expect you would.”) 
I think you will, sir. This won’t take long. Well, let’s hear some
examples of what I’m talking about here. Now, advocates of Islam claim it is a
“peaceful” religion. Indeed, it is true that once Islam’s purposes
are accomplished, it will be “peaceful.” Would you happen to know
what those purposes are, Mr. Mueller?
MR. MUELLER: Just that its
believers can live in peace, sir. That’s as I understand it. And without
discrimination or harassment or stereotyping or defamation.
SEN. CLINE: (Shaking his
head.) No, sir. By that – and Islamic authorities, in addition to the Muslim
Brotherhood and other Muslim organizations in this country, and in Europe, all
concur on its meaning, and will bear me out – by that is meant that once the
world is under Islamic rule, then jihad
will be pointless and unlawful, because all of Islam’s foes will have been
converted, subjugated, or vanquished.
MR. MUELLER: (Frowning,
shaking his head.) That isn’t what they mean, sir. Why, President Bush himself,
the day after 9/11, said that Islam wasn’t about terrorism, it meant peace. He
said that at the Islamic Center in Washington, standing with a group of Muslim
representatives.
SEN. CLINE: (Smiling.) Yes,
he did. And they were all Brotherhood representatives, too.  But, let me read for the record exactly what Mr.
Bush said
that day. (Turns some pages, adjusts his glasses.) Ah, here, and
I quote: “These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental
tenets of the Islamic faith.  And it’s important for my fellow
Americans to understand that. The English
translation
is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote
from the Koran, itself:  In the
long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do
evil.  For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to
ridicule
.” (Looks down at Mueller.) That was from Sura 30, verse 10. I should
point out that Mr. Bush’s quotation – and I don’t know who gave it to him –
places a period after the second instance of “evil.” The next clause
is treated as a separate sentence. I don’t think that was a typographical
error. In the original,
however, there is only a semicolon after the second instance, forming a
complete sentence, which changes the whole meaning of the quotation. Which
arguably makes it as violent a verse as any other to be found in the Koran.
MR. MUELLER:  (Looking angry.) You’re playing with periods
and semicolons and grammar just to change the meaning, sir, and I must protest
SEN. CLINE: It’s the
punctuation that changes the meanings, Mr. Mueller, not I. But – let’s examine
some other instances of later verses, verses that negate the meaning of the
earlier verses. (Cline turns some pages before him and reads calmly without
inflection or stress.)
Sura 64, verse 12: “Obey
God then and obey the Messenger (that being Mohammad), but if you turn away no
blame shall be attached to our Messenger, for the duty of our Messenger is just to
deliver the message.” (Cline shrugs and grimaces.) A rather vague
imperative, addressed to a simpleton, I should think.
Here’s Imam Muslim ibn
al-Hajjaj al-Naysaburi about a Sunnah in the Hadith: “Whoever kills a
person who has a truce with the Muslims will never smell the fragrance of
Paradise.” And, another: “Whoever hurts a non-Muslim citizen of a
Muslim state hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys God.” That’s from
Bukhari, a Muslim scholar.
And, another: “He who
hurts a non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state, I am his adversary, and I shall
be his adversary on the Day of a Judgment.” Again, Bukhari. Al-Mawardi:
“Beware on the Day of Judgment; I shall myself be complainant against him
who wrongs a non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state or lays on him a responsibility
greater than he can bear or deprives him of anything that belongs to him.”
(Cline puts aside the
quotations, and addresses Mueller.) Now, Mr. Mueller, did you notice any
significant qualifications in those quotations?
MR. MUELLER:  No. I can’t say that I did.
SEN. CLINE:  In al-Naysaburi’s quotation, he mentions a truce, the Arabic term being hudna, or a temporary cessation of
hostilities to buy time to regroup in order to renew an attack with a better
advantage. I doubt he was referring to a break time during a chess match. And
in the last three quotations – and I could have gone on with dozens more – the
non-Muslim who mustn’t be harmed is a citizen
of a Muslim state
. In a Muslim state a non-Muslim is a dhimmi, or an infidel who has accepted the political authority of Islam over him. Search as one might through
similar verses, one can find no such restraining order about non-Muslims in non-Muslim states. Now, what do you make
of that, sir?
MR. MUELLER: (After a
hurried, whispered huddle with his legal counsel.) I don’t know what to make of
it, sir, except I think you are putting words into the mouths of Muslims.
SEN. CLINE: The words I cited
come from authoritative texts, Mr. Mueller. Those were the words of revered
scholars and commentators through the ages. Furthermore, I should also remark
that there isn’t a single verse in either the Koran or the Hadith that does not
imply a global Islamic hegemony, that
is, a state in which Islam has the upper hand in all matters, over all men.
There is no other context in which to construe the verses or sayings,
regardless of their counseling violence or mercy. I will further remark that
any Muslim quoting one of the earlier “peaceful
verses as the final word, does so at the risk of being accused of blasphemy and
inviting retribution. Let’s sample a few more Sura from the Koran:
From Sura 8:12, “Allah
will throw fear into the hearts of the disbelievers, and smite their necks and
fingers.”
From Sura 72:15-17, “The
fires of hell will be fueled with the bodies of idolators and unbelievers. They
will experience an ever-greater torment.”
From Sura 4:56, “Those
who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins
are roasted through, we shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste
the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power.”
Shall I go on, Mr. Mueller?
There are even worse verses. My clerk prepared six pages of them. You and your
legal counsel are welcome to a copy.
MR. MUELLER: (After another
whispered conference with his legal counsel.) I suspect that you have
cherry-picked your verses, sir, and so I have nothing to say about them.
SEN. CLINE: If I have
cherry-picked my verses, sir, then I have practically denuded the tree.  Now, let us turn to the purpose of this
hearing. I will ask you this, Mr. Mueller: Would you regard Islam primarily as
a religion, or an ideology?
MR. MUELLER: (Almost
defiantly.) I regard Islam as primarily a religion, with some of its
regrettable verses serving as an excuse for some individuals to use violence. I
do not regard it as an ideology in the least. President Bush, bless his heart,
said Islam was hijacked by extremists.
SEN. CLINE: What is an
“extremist”?
MR. MUELLER: Someone who
takes a teaching too far, or literally, to a criminal extent.
SEN. CLINE: So, an “extremist”
is someone who takes a teaching seriously enough to act on it?
MR. MUELLER: Yes, because he
misinterprets the teaching.
SEN. CLINE: I can cite a
number of Sura that instruct Muslims to slay or enslave non-believers, Jews,
apostates, homosexuals, and disobedient wives and daughters. How could so clear
a language be misinterpreted? Shall we blame the “extremist,” or the
teaching?
MR. MUELLER:  It’s a matter of interpretation, that’s all.
SEN. CLINE: Mr. Mueller, I
ask you this because you have a law degree from the University of Virginia:
Would you call the Constitution of the United States – that is, the original
Constitution, minus later, egregious, and contradictory amendments – the law of
the land, one that governs the actions of American citizens?
MR. MUELLER: (Looks
thoughtful for a moment, then answers with confidence.) Yes, sir, I would call
it that.
SEN. CLINE: Would you agree
that the Constitution is not so much a set of rules by which Americans should
conduct themselves, as a document that defines the limits and the limited powers of government, so that Americans’ liberty
may be preserved and enjoyed?
MR. MUELLER: (After a moment,
frowning, and unsure of where this is leading.) Generally speaking, yes.
SEN. CLINE:  So, the Constitution as envisioned and
written by the Founders did not so much govern the actions of Americans, as it set
boundaries between them and the government? I include, of course, the Bill of
Rights.
MR. MUELLER: (With wry
contempt.) That’s one way of putting it.
SEN. CLINE: That’s the only
way to put it, sir. So, one could not say that the Constitution is by any means
totalitarian in nature? That is, it doesn’t
prescribe every particular or concrete action or behavior or custom that an
American citizen may take or follow without fear of penalty?
MR. MUELLER: (Frowning again,
looking disgusted.) Like I said, that’s one way of putting it.
SEN. CLINE: And is not Sharia
law the jurisprudential guide of Islam, governing all the actions of its
followers?
MR. MUELLER: Yes, as I
understand it, that’s what it is. But –
SEN. CLINE: And if you
understand that much, would you not agree that Sharia law is the implementation
of a totalitarian ideology? That it is as unlike the Constitution as water is
unlike lava?
MR. MUELLER: You’re putting
words into my mouth!
SEN. CLINE: You mean I’m
asking you to concede a point, Mr. Mueller. One needn’t believe in Islam to be
governed by Sharia law as a subject, as a dhimmi.
I will remind you that one of the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood is to replace
our Constitution with Sharia law. This has been said in this country on
numerous occasions by Brotherhood members. (Pauses to leaf through some papers
before him.) Now, we are coming to the nub of my questions, Mr. Mueller. If you
had been Director of the Federal Bureau during World War Two, would you have
instructed your personnel to not
identify enemy Nazi agents, for fear of offending domestic and foreign Nazis,
yet still expect your people to foil their plots and apprehend them?
MR. MUELLER: (Looking
flustered, and wags a finger at Senator Cline.) You’re not getting away with
this line of questioning, Senator! It’s wholly inappropriate! (Mueller consults
with his legal counsel.)
SEN. CLINE: And had you been
Director in the1950’s, would you have instructed your personnel to not identify Communist agents and their
schemes, for fear of insulting Communists foreign and domestic?
MR. MUELLER: I refuse to
answer that question. Those are different times you’re talking about!
SEN. CLINE: As Director of
the FBI, you in 2012 instructed that all training materials be purged
of all references to Islam and Muslims, together with all terms associated with
jihad, yet expected your personnel to
detect and foil acts of Islamic terrorism in this country, and even overseas.
From whom did that order come, Mr. Mueller?
MR. MUELLER: It came from the
Attorney General. It wasn’t my decision.
SEN. CLINE: So, instead of
resigning in protest, or publically opposing the order, you stayed on, and
helped to blind an agency charged with defending this country against enemy
action? In point of fact, you, sir,
were charged with defending this country from enemy designs and attacks.
MR. MUELLER:  It wasn’t my decision. It was a policy
decision. I don’t make such decisions.
SEN. CLINE: That, sir, is
obvious. (Reaches for another paper.) I read here a statement made by Clare
Lopez, a senior fellow of the Clarion Fund and the Center for Security Policy,
an expert on strategic intelligence and defense policy matters, and a former
employee of the CIA.  She is also a
deputy director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Team and an instructor for U.S.
Special Forces. And, I quote from a recent article of hers published this June,
National
Defense vs. the Ideology of Jihad
.” (Adjusts his glasses again.)
“It is impossible to
avoid the conclusion that the deliberate blinding of our homeland security
defense capabilities, perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in close
cooperation with the witting, willing assistance of our own national security
agency leadership – ” (Pauses to glance at Mueller.) – which includes you, sir – “is propelling the U.S.
towards catastrophe.” (Cline pauses to turn a page.)  Further on in her article, she writes,
“The methodical blinding of the intelligence community, its seventeen
aggregated agencies, and security and law enforcement units across the country,
is the unavoidable result of this kind of ‘outreach’ to jihadists, who are
determined to outlaw consideration of Islamic ideology as a motivating factor
for terror attacks.” (Puts the paper aside.)  I will refrain from declaiming on my distaste
for the term “homeland,” as that is my only reservation about Miss
Lopez’s statements. But, I should like to know if you, Mr. Mueller, concur with
her statements, or disagree with them.
MR. MUELLER:  I know about Lopez. She’s a right-wing
agitator sick with Islamophobia.
SEN. CLINE:  You appeared to be comfortable with the
policy of emasculating this country’s ability to defend itself against our
sworn enemy, Islam. Perhaps you are also comfortable with abetting censorship,
which is what is meant by “outlawing consideration of Islam
ideology.”
MR. MUELLER:  We are not at war with Islam. Two presidents
have said that, sir.
SEN. CLINE: Then two
presidents were wrong, Mr. Mueller, and you have served under both of them. The
first time Mohammad raised his sword to convert or slay or enslave
non-believers 1,400 years ago, that was the beginning of Islamic jihad, which has not ceased since then.
I might add that many scholars even question the existence of such a person,
and that the details of his life are just so much fantastic folderol. Now, who
instructed the Attorney General to communicate that policy to you, Mr. Mueller?
MR. MUELLER:  I refuse to answer. I will not entertain that
question. It’s politically motivated.
SEN. CLINE:  (Removes a sheet of paper from his notes.) May
I remind you of your oath
of office
, sir? (Reads from the paper.)
“I
will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all
enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to
the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or
purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of
the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” I lay special
stress on “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” (Puts down the paper.)
I will also remind you, sir, that you are under oath in these proceedings, as
well.
MR. MUELLER:  You do not need to remind me. Are you
insinuating that I’m lying?
SEN. CLINE: No, sir. I’m
suggesting that you’re not as forthcoming with answers as you are required to
be in this chamber. You were not forthcoming about the farcical role of the FBI
in investigating the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in
Benghazi. I’m suggesting that you ignored the warnings of the Russians about
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s newfound Islamic “extremism.” I’m suggesting that
you never investigated the Boston mosque which both Tsarnaev brothers attended,
one, as Mr. Gohmert
pointed out in the House hearing the other day, which was founded by a jihadist now serving time in prison –
MR. MUELLER: I’ll tell you what
I told him, sir, that we investigated that mosque
four days before the Boston bombing –
SEN. CLINE: Yes, I know. As
part of the FBI’s “outreach” program, Mr. Mueller. But Huggy-Bear
“outreach” is not the same thing as a criminal investigation or
rooting out Islamic terror cells or “sudden jihad” terrorists that these mosques seem to spawn. I would
like to know what you think of President Obama’s “outreach” to
terrorist organizations. He seems to think that Al-Qada is a branch of the
Rotarians, that Hamas is affiliated with the Mummers, and that the Muslim
Brotherhood is a college fraternity. And, fantastically enough, that neither
Al-Qada nor Hamas have anything to do with Islam. I suppose you and he think
they’re staffed with Free Masons.
MR. MUELLER:  (Scowling furiously.) Mr. Obama knows what I
think of his policies.
SEN. CLINE:  I’m sure he does, and he very likely invites
you to his frequent rounds of golf, too. My time is almost up, Mr. Mueller.
Your testimony has been interesting but not illuminating. Per the Committee’s special
subpoena, you will be required to appear here again tomorrow at 10 a.m. The
subject is, after all, your misconduct these twelve or so years, misconduct
which, given the negligence your department has exhibited lately, together with
your own acquiescence to a futile, perilous, and, if I may so, treasonous policy of accommodation
granted our enemies, can in all probability be joined with the charges of a
violation of your oath of office, and dereliction of a duty you voluntarily
assumed. Tomorrow, I think we shall focus on your parts in Benghazi and the IRS’s
enemies list. You are dismissed, Mr. Mueller.
MR. MUELLER:  (Angrily, standing with his legal counsel,
his face ugly with the malice he showed Representative Louis Gohmert.) I’ll see
you in hell, first!
SEN. CLINE: Now, now, Mr.
Mueller. No more of those dirty looks. Behave like an adult, please. (Rises as
he collects his papers, smiles at Mueller, and shrugs. He turns to the
Committee Chairman.) Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for indulging me.

The Fatal Fallacies and Foibles of Race


Review: Intellectuals and Race, by Thomas Sowell
With the calm, objective, and
nearly disinterested panache he is noted for, in Intellectuals and Race* Thomas Sowell dissects a broad range of
fallacies that have surrounded the touchy and often contentious subject of
race. In this latest volume he doesn’t miss a trick, and covers as succinctly
as possible the whole gamut of why “minorities” over the ages – and
not just blacks, but Malays, poor whites in Britain, Jews, Arabs, and other
ethnic and subcultural groups   – have shown little evidence of making
progress in the 20th and 21st centuries in terms of
standards of living, cultural assimilation, literacy, and so on, while others
have sped ahead of other groups.
Sowell discusses two main
schools of thought that have tried to explain and justify the phenomena, and why both have simply exacerbated,
perpetuated, and even created the problems.
In the late 19th
and early 20th centuries, the Progressives in the U.S. patronized blacks,
Jews, and Southern and Eastern Europeans immigrating to the U.S. as groups that
had to be taken care of, even though many Progressives believed that, because
of their genetic makeup or their “native intelligence,” no measurable
improvement could be made by these groups on their own. They were seen as
innately or genetically incapable of rising to the intellectual, cultural and
moral standards of the country they lived in or came to. Many writers of the
early Progressive period advocated laws that would prohibit the immigration of
races or groups who were claimed to be morally degenerate, congenitally diseased
or nearly subhuman.
Statistical studies abounded
with findings that attempted to “scientifically” correlate the causes
of the lack of improvement among these groups. But Sowell lays down the law
early on:
Intellectuals
on opposite ends of the spectrum in different eras have been similar in another
way: Both have tended to ignore the long-standing warning from statisticians
that correlation is not causation.
(p. 22, Italics mine.)
In short, the numbers, percentages
and proportions are a consequence of other factors, and not their a priori cause. Racial friction,
discrimination, and exclusionary policies enforced by a majority may cause some
minorities to fail and others to advance in terms of employment, literacy, and
economic comfort. Conversely, majorities can be the victim of racial friction,
discrimination, and exclusionary policies if a minority is bestowed political
power through venal and manipulative politicians and governments (e.g.,
affirmative action policies).
The ultimate responsibility
for the causes of crime, immorality, irrationality, low intelligence and other
deleterious consequences, Sowell points out, is the individual, who can allow himself to be influenced by
external and internal factors.
Several writers (or
intellectuals) advocated the sterilization of blacks, Jews, and Slavs
(eugenics) to protect the “race” from being dragged down to the
levels that would cause crime, anarchy and the dissolution of civilization.
Most of these studies premised their findings, conclusions and recommendations
on genetic or racial determinism.
In
Britain, as in the United States, leaders and supporters of the eugenics
movement included people on the left, such as John Maynard Keynes, who helped
to create the Cambridge Eugenics Society, as well as H.G. Wells, George Bernard
Shaw, Harold Laski, Sidney Webb and Julian Huxley. Sidney Webb said, “as a
nation we are breeding largely from our inferior stocks.” (p. 27)
Sowell writes about one
leading American Progressive intellectual:
Another
prominent contemporary economist, Richard T. Ely, one of
the founders of the American Economic Association, was similarly dismissive of
blacks, saying that they “are for the most part grown-up children, and
should be treated as such.” Professor Ely was also concerned about classes
that he considered inferior: “We must give to the most hopeless classes
left behind in our social progress custodial care with the highest possible
development and with segregation of sexes and confinement to prevent
reproduction.” (p. 31)
Ely, continues Sowell, was
typical among Progressives in his politics.
Richard
T. Ely was not only a Progressive…he espoused the kinds of ideas that defined
the Progressive era, years before that era began. He rejected free market
economics and saw government power as something to be applied “to the
amelioration of the conditions under which people live or work.” Far from
seeing government intervention as a reduction of freedom, he redefined freedom,
so that the “regulation by the power of the state of these industrial and
other social relations existing among men is a condition of freedom.”
While state action might “lessen the amount of theoretical liberty”
it would “increase control over nature in the individual, and promote the
growth of practical liberty.” (p. 31)
Sound familiar? Yesterday’s
Progressives are today’s liberals, socialists, and wannabe tyrants. Increased
and increasing “control over the individual,” regardless of a
person’s race or ethnic origins, has been the dominant trend in politics in the
20th and 21st centuries.
Sowell devotes particular
attention also Madison
Grant
, a wealthy Progressive conservationist and author of a popular book The Passing of the Great Race (1916), in
which he discussed the origins and geographical distribution of the “Teutonic
Nordics” and predicted their submersion by the presumably less morally
inclined and slothful “Alpine” and the “Mediterraneans.”  His book became Adolph Hitler’s
“Bible.”
Despite
its international influence, The Passing
of the Great Race
offered extremely little evidence for its sweeping
conclusions. The great bulk of the book was a historical account of Alpine,
Mediterranean and Nordic peoples in Europe and of the Aryan languages. Yet most
of Madison Grant’s sweeping conclusions and the policies he recommended were
about America – about the “inferior races among our immigrants,”
about the need for eugenics and for “laws against miscegenation.” He
asserted that “Negroes have demonstrated throughout recorded time that
they are a stationary species and that they do not possess the potentiality of
progress or initiative from within.” (p. 27)
Sowell delves into the
political responsibility for much of the dissension and strife between
“minorities,” in politics, and in the culture at large. The later
Progressive movement eventually abandoned “genetics” as an
explanation for minority stagnation and concocted the necessity for
“equality” of results as the only solution, blaming a group’s social
or economic environment for the endemic problems.  
A
much more common pattern has been one in which the intelligentsia have demanded
an equality of economic outcomes and of social recognition, irrespective of the
skills, behavior or performance of the group to which they belong or on whose
behalf they spoke….Seldom are any of these assertions backed up by empirical
evidence or logical analysis that would make them anything more than arbitrary
assertions that happen to be in vogue among contemporary intellectual elites.
(p. 44)
Although Sowell does not
specifically attribute the conflicts between majorities and minorities to a
manifestation of collectivism or
tribalism,” that is what he discusses throughout his
book. In citing the growing power of ethnic identities throughout Europe, he describes,
for example, the artificial conflict between Czechs and Germans.
A
very similar process occurred in the Hapsburg Empire, where the Germans in
Bohemia were an educated elite and where Czechs there who wanted to rise into
that elite could do so by acquiring the German language and culture. But a new
Czech intelligentsia …promoted Czech cultural nationalism. Czech nationalists,
for example, insisted that street signs in Prague, which had been in both Czech
and German, henceforth be exclusively in Czech…Symbolism – including
intolerance toward other people’s symbols – has often marked the efforts of
ethnic intelligentsia. (p. 45)
Moreover, Sowell notes that:
In
various periods of history, the intelligentsia in general and newly educated
people in particular have inflamed group against group, promoting discriminatory
policies and/or physical violence in such disparate countries as India,
Hungary, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Romania, Sri Lanka, Canada, and Czechoslovakia. (p.
47)
Islam is not discussed by
Sowell in his book, but we can observe the political clout wielded by minority
Muslims and their advocacy groups in Britain, Europe, Canada, and the U.S., in
which this minority has succeeded in requiring that the majority accede to and
conform to their frankly primitive beliefs and sub-culture, that non-Muslims
adapt to Islamic mores and practices, and not Muslims adapt to the largely
secular culture to which they have immigrated.
Sowell discusses at length
the fact that blacks in the late 19th and early 20th
century, especially those who had generational roots in Northern urban centers
of the U.S., did not experience much discrimination, lived in mixed race
neighborhoods without friction, attained middle- and upper-class economic and
social levels, and, academically, often scored better than whites in test
scores and did just as well as whites in schools. Moreover, when black
immigration from the South began in the early 20th century to these
same urban centers, generationally established blacks largely voiced the same
complaints as whites about the behavior, social and moral norms, and crime that
the Southern blacks brought with them.
Jews and Irish, Sowell also
notes, had the same parallel experience and, ultimately, the same complaints about
Eastern and Southern European Jews and Irish immigrants.
Multiculturalism seeks to
reduce all cultures to the same nonjudgmental level and the same value. The key
to understanding the government and intelligentsia-imposed phenomena is to
grasp that it is the superior culture – the one that has produced science,
technology, prosperity, and the arts – that is the culture that is allegedly
the arbitrary, subjective, and “imperialistic.” By multiculturalist
anti-standards, an Alaskan totem pole is the esthetic and spiritual equal as Michelangelo’s
“David,” a rap song loaded with obscenities and malevolence is the
equal of a Rachmaninoff symphony, and a witch doctor using herbs and chants is
the equal of a brain surgeon.
One does not read or hear of
the advocates of a superior culture proposing to bring black, Iraqi, Mexican, or
Muslim culture up to the standards of the superior culture. It is always the
reverse: the champions of the inferior culture using the superior culture as a
measure to engulf and destroy.
Discussing the attacks on
college admission tests and other measures of intelligence and abilities, and
answering the charge by the egalitarian intelligentsia that these tests are racially
biased and do not take into account the failures (or an individual’s “cultural”
values) coming from invidious cultural and moral environments, Sowell makes a very
important point:
If one
chooses to call tests that require the mastery of abstractions culturally
biased, because some cultures put more emphasis on abstractions than others do,
that raises the fundamental questions about what the tests are for. In a world
where the ability to master abstractions is essential in mathematics, science
and other endeavors, the measurement of that ability is not an arbitrary bias. A
culture-free test might be appropriate in a culture-free society – but these are
no such societies. (p. 69)
I would argue that there are such cultures, the Islamic one being
a notable instance, the current liberal, multicultural “culture”
being another, with their mutual ends being to obliterate Western culture and
civilization.
In a chapter titled
“Race and Cosmic Justice,” Sowell tackles the “social
justice” argument that attempts to excuse what one could call
“reverse racism,” that is, of blacks, Latinos, or even Muslims blaming
a Western, secular society for all the purported discrimination, exclusionary policies,
and other ills these groups claim victimhood of, and subsequently resorting to
politics to “correct” the perceived injustices, or to violence. In this
attack on reason and values, the government and the Progressive/liberal
intelligentsia have become an invaluable ally on the side of the destroyers.
Sowell distinguishes between
“external” and “internal” influences that can cause individuals
to join or remain in a group, especially if they have failed to make any
progress in a purportedly “racist” society. Individuals who make that
choice condemn themselves to continued failure, which simply perpetuates their conundrum
and exacerbates their complaints and grievances.
If the
dogmas of multiculturalism declare different cultures equally valid, and hence
sacrosanct against efforts to change them, then these dogmas simply complete
the sealing off of a vision from facts – and sealing off many people in lagging
groups from the advances available from other cultures around them – leaving nothing
but an agenda of resentment-building and crusades on the side of the angels
against the forces of evil – however futile or even counterproductive these may
turn out to be for those who are the ostensible beneficiaries of such moral
melodramas. (p. 108)
I highly recommend Sowell’s
book because it offers numerous insights into how the race “problem”
has and has not been approached by our intellectual leaders. It largely has not
been approached in the least rational manner except with agenda-governed
fallacies and knee-jerk foibles guaranteed to perpetuate the problem our
intellectuals supposedly wish to
rectify.
* Intellectuals and Race, by Thomas Sowell. New York: Basic Books,
2013. 184 pp.

Our Enemy Inside the Gates


Review: American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, by Diana West
Where to begin?
In American Betrayal *, Diana West begins in 1933.
In the name of establishing historical
causo-connections, I would have begun in 1781, when Prussian philosopher
Immanuel Kant published his Critique of
Pure Reason
, a brain-cracking treatise which relied on reality to prove
that reality was unknowable. That is, by reading his book, a real thing in your
real hands, you were expected to agree with Kant that real things were only
rough reflections of things whose “essences” existed beyond the
evidence of our benighted, warping senses, in some other realm. Kant counted on
everyone not noticing the contradiction and not seeing the ease with which his
elaborately constructed mare’s nest could be exploded.
No contemporary, I gather,
ever confronted Kant and said, “Herr Professor! If what you say is true,
then this book is just a shadow, and the print in it, and all your words, too!
What could they mean? How could they be true? Are your words noumena,
or mere phenomena?”
But no one ever did confront
Kant with his contradictions, fallacies, and cerebral legerdemain, except some
Hegelian hair-splitters, and the Western world has been the worse for it.
1781. Just
as the American Revolution, a product of the Enlightenment, was winding to a
close with the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, with reality-loyal
Americans winning their freedom from the British monarchy, Kant published his Critique, whose ideas, if not opposed
and refuted, were guaranteed to destroy the freedom of their heirs. The
Founders, as they later debated in Philadelphia the means and ends of a true
republican government that would guarantee men’s freedom from each other, were
not aware of the incubus that was birthing across the Atlantic and which would
eventually infect American political philosophy with the syphilis of
collectivism, moral relativism, and statism in the 19th century.  
Kant was an enemy of the Enlightenment.
Diana West, among her other arguments, contends that the political and
intellectual leaders of the West by 1933 had abandoned reason and all
Enlightenment ideas. Nay, with very few exceptions, they became as hostile to them
as Kant ever was.
West begins in 1933. Of what
significance is that year?
Adolph Hitler became
Chancellor of Germany and Reichsstatthalter of Prussia on January 30th,
1933. From August 1934, he would be Führer of Germany until his suicide in
April 1945.
Democrat Franklin D.
Roosevelt became the 32nd president of the United States on March 4th,
1933. He would remain in that office until his death in April 1945.
On November 20, 1933, at
Roosevelt’s urging, the U.S. recognized the Soviet Union. West writes:
The
West’s decision to recognize the USSR – and its determination to keep
recognizing it, no matter how much lying and acquiescence to betrayal that
entailed – did more to transform us than any single act before or since. The
profound diplomatic shift – part Faustian bargain, part moral lobotomy – didn’t
just invite the Soviet Union into the community of nations. To make room for
the monster-régime, the United States had to surrender the terra firma of
objective morality and reality-based judgment. No wonder, then, that tens of
thousands of Dreyfus cases in Russia meant nothing to the “conscience of
the civilized world….
Because
the Communist régime was so openly and ideologically dedicated to our
destruction, the act of recognition defied reason and the demands of self-preservation.
Recognition and all that came with it, including alliance, would soon become the enemy of reason and
self-preservation….
…It
was here that we abandoned the lodestars of good and evil, the clarity of black
and white. Closing our eyes, we dove head first into a weltering morass of
exquisitely enervating and agonizing grays. (pp. 195-196)
In short, the U.S. government
had by 1933 lost the capacity for making moral judgments. It cringed like a
coward when asked to make one, and hissed and spat like a rabid animal at the
mere suggestion of it. It still does when the subject of Islam comes up.
Recognition of the Soviet
Union not only granted the murderous Communist dictatorship a moral sanction,
it also opened the gates to the wholesale Soviet infiltration and subversive
activities of its agents, American sympathizers or “fellow
travelers,” and members of the Communist Party USA. The Soviets never
honored any of the terms of that recognition.
The precedent had been set.
We can see the insidious parallels today in our government’s refusal to
withdraw moral sanctions from Islamic régimes and its tolerance of
terrorist-founded and terrorist state-funded organizations like the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) within
our own borders.
In March 1933, Harry Hopkins,
a veteran of former New York Governor Roosevelt’s welfare programs, on
Roosevelt’s invitation joins the new administration, at first running the
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the Civil Works Administration
(CWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In this pre-war period he
also established the National Youth Administration (NYA) and the Federal One
Programs for artists and writers. 
In May 1940, Roosevelt makes
Hopkins his first counsel in all matters pertaining to Europe and the new war. Hopkins
moves into the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House, his office and residence for
the next three and a half years. Hopkins not only advises Roosevelt on foreign
policy and war issues, but directs Lend-Lease, a program conceived by Armand
Hammer, a notorious Sovietaphile, ostensibly created to aid the British in
their fight against the Nazis, but actually intended to aid Josef Stalin and
the Soviet Union.
Between 1932 and 1933,
millions of Russians starved to death as Stalin’s government confiscated
harvests in the brutal forced collectivization of Russian agriculture. Millions
more would perish over the decade from starvation, from being sent as slaves in
the Gulag, in mass executions, and in political purges.
But 1933, writes West, was a
crucial year in American history. In reprising the statements of historians and
commentators about the wrongness of recognizing the Soviet régime as a
legitimate government, given the known
horrific consequences of forced collectivization, she states:
Dennis
J. Dunn agrees with historian David Mayers, who has argued that the failure of
the U.S. government under Roosevelt to reckon with the profound crime of the
Terror Famine in negotiations over recognition made it – us – “a passive
accomplice to Stalin in the Ukraine.”
I
agree. Which makes 1933 the year of America’s Fall (p. 243)
Diana West steps up to lectern
and confronts Professor Kant with some very incisive and inconvenient questions
of her own. Who really won World War II? Was it really America’s “Good
War”? Did the “greatest generation” fight to rid the world of
one toxic dictatorship only to enable another to take its place? How is it that
the only
beneficiary of that war was the Soviet Union, which acquired an Eastern
European empire? Were Americans conned, scammed, and robbed throughout the
government-perpetuated Depression and then during the war? Who was really
establishing American foreign policy in the 1930’s and 1940’s: Roosevelt, or
Stalin through Harry Hopkins, who had Roosevelt’s ear 24/7, and countless
Soviet agents and traitors embedded in our government dedicated to selling
secrets, altruism, self-sacrifice and welfare statism?
Hopkins, West suggests, was
the Soviets’ most important agent in the U.S. government. Whether or not he was
“recruited” or “co-opted” by the Soviets, or was a
volunteer agent, West was not able to determine with certainty. He is referred
to in Soviet cables as “Agent 19.” The KGB boasted that he was the
Soviet Union’s “most important agent.”
West performs a yeoman’s task
and gets to the “essence” of that whole sorry and tragic period,
proving in her narrative that the reality of our relationship with the Soviets is knowable, and moreover, that its “essence”
was ugly, scary, and shameful.  I would
add, pertaining to all the actors in
that period responsible for what West calls the “Big Lie,” criminal
and treasonous.
What precedes and follows West’s
statement is not for the weak of stomach or faint of heart. With a meticulous
and excruciating fealty to the truth, and after exhaustive and often
frustrating research (because many documents that once existed and that were
evidence of the government’s complicity were destroyed or had simply vanished from
government archives), West paints a picture of not only FDR’s complacency
towards Soviet totalitarianism, but Harry Hopkins’s contribution to the fall,
as well, in addition to that of a legion of liars, fabricators, Communist
moles, agents, and spies who populated government positions.
If you think the Benghazi
cover-up is a classic case of desperate political back-pedaling, official lies
and semi-lies, face-saving, and walking away from reality, that episode is
merely a miniature of the colossal con pulled on the whole country by Roosevelt
and his minions from 1933 onward.
West covers several main
subjects, among them the extent of Soviet espionage against the U.S. and the
extent of Soviet infiltration in our government, an infiltration so common and
ubiquitous in numerous Depression Era and wartime agencies that the government
was literally top-heavy enough to cause the ship-of-state to list ever Leftward.
The government was so saturated with lefties and Communists that they became
the de facto architects of domestic and foreign policies.
West dates the beginning of
the end of a fairly solid and reclaimable constitutional republic – reclaimable
from Wilson’s Progressive precedents of a central bank, the income tax, and
becoming the world’s moral policeman, moves which put the country on the road
to incremental serfdom – from 1933, when the U.S. recognized the U.S.S.R. as
“just another system of government,” not much different from our own.
Roosevelt, West explains,
believed in the “convergence” of our system of government and that of
the Soviets. Aside from buttressing his collectivist programs of the New Deal
welfare state, the “convergence theory” enabled Roosevelt to be
essentially an apolitical pragmatist.
There
was…one point of ideology that Roosevelt does seem to have fervently embraced,
which historian Dennis J. Dunn believes made him an ideologue after all. FDR,
Dunn writes, seized on the theory of “convergence” as it applied to
the United States and the USSR, the idea being that capitalism and Communism
would take on enough characteristics of the other to “converge.”
…As
Dunn explains it, the convergence theory “held that Soviet Russia and the
United States were on convergent paths, where the United States was moving from
laissez-faire capitalism to welfare state socialism and the Soviet Union was
evolving from totalitarianism to social democracy.” (p. 192)
There’s that Hegelian/Marxist
“dialectical” evolutionary force that was somehow ineluctably moving both sides toward
“convergence” so that, to the casual observer, when the melding
occurred, there wouldn’t be a dime’s or kopek’s worth of difference between the
two countries. Human volition and action would have nothing to do with it,
neither in acts of Congress nor in executive branch decrees nor in Supreme
Court decisions. “Convergence theory” assumed the cognitive powers of
a somnambulist. It would “just happen.” Don’t blame us, counter the
advocates of that theory and others. We have nothing to do with it. It’s just
“history.”
It would be unfair to both
West and her book to attempt anything here other than highlighting some of the
revelations she discusses at length throughout American Betrayal. Here are some of them:
Lend-Lease
Much of West’s story focuses
on the organized massive theft and redirection of American war productivity to
the Soviets that occurred under Lend-Lease. But how did it really begin? As
noted above, it was the idea of politically ambidextrous businessman Armand Hammer whose financial
and commercial relationship with the Soviets dated back to 1921. (His father, Dr.
Julius Hammer, a socialist and later a Communist, named him after the Socialist
Labor Party of America’s symbol of an arm and hammer.)
Worried that a Nazi attack on
the Soviet Union would jeopardize his interests in the Soviet Union (and no one
in Washington believed the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, signed on August
23rd, 1939, would last), he met with Roosevelt in the White House on
November 28th, 1940 and sold the president and Hopkins on the idea
of establishing a government entity that would be responsible for aiding the
British in their war with Germany (Hopkins later claimed the idea came to him out of the blue), but would actually
help Stalin prepare for the expected abrogation of the
“non-aggression” pact and enable him to withstand the invasion with
American help.
It should be noted that this
“pact” prepared the way for the co-invasion of Poland by both the
Nazis and the Soviets on September 1st, 1939, the spark that began
World War II. Both regarded the pact as a temporary truce (in Islam, a hudna contrived to buy time); Stalin
wanted to eventually conquer Europe; the Nazis drooled over the oil fields of
Baku and the prospect of endless lebensraum.  Armand Hammer, who died in 1989, was a
walking exemplar of the political “convergence” subscribed to by
Roosevelt, a Republican who contributed to Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential
campaign, and was a frequent visitor to the White Houses of Presidents Reagan,
Carter, and George H.W. Bush. He had met and was on friendly terms with every
Soviet dictator but Stalin.
Hitler signed the first
operational directive to invade the Soviet Union on December 18th,
1940.
On March 11, 1941, Congress
passed the Lend-Lease bill, and on June 22nd, Hitler invaded Russia.
Roosevelt appointed Hopkins as head of Lend-Lease.
West details just how much
Lend-Lease aided the Soviets. When the U.S. finally entered the war on December
7th, 1941, Hopkins and Lend-Lease gave aiding the Soviets the first
priority in planes, tanks, small arms, munitions, Liberty ships, military
machine parts, and other materiel, including food, clothing, medical supplies,
etc. – over the U.S.’s own warfighting
needs
. While Americans had to make do with rationed sugar, butter, meat,
tires and gasoline, the Soviet government received these things free, without
condition, and without interest (on a “loan” which was not expected
to ever be paid back by the Soviets, and never was). The Navy and Army had to
wait until Soviet quotas were filled before being able to take delivery on
their own weaponry and supplies.
Harry Hopkins
said so, and Roosevelt agreed. West also investigates the likelihood that
Hopkins aided the Soviets in acquiring not only information regarding the
Manhattan Project to produce the first atomic bomb, but facilitated, through
Lend-Lease, the Soviets receiving the actual physical components, such as
cadmium rods and uranium, allowing Soviet scientists to fashion their own bomb,
first tested in 1949. (pp. 122-123)
West writes about the political
power Lend-Lease gave Roosevelt and his “co-president,” Hopkins. Lend-Lease
was
…sold
to the American public as a means to keep the United States out of war in
Europe – as a substitute for U.S.
military involvement, not a means by which to enter the war…The legislation
endowed the president with unprecedented powers to bypass the Senate and other
checks and balances. For example, Lend-Lease allowed FDR to set the terms of
the most massive U.S. expenditures in foreign aid history and their repayment,
or nonrepayment. Who, then, needed a Senate to advise and consent on related
treaties? The State Department, too, took on attributes of a governmental fifth
wheel as Hopkins helmed Lend-Lease and
U.S. foreign policy from the White House.  (p. 134)
Among other things, Singapore,
the Philippines and Corregidor fell to the Japanese because all the war
materiel that could’ve saved Americans and the British was instead sent to
Russia under Lend-Lease, and FDR and his advisers knew it. Douglas MacArthur
had to beg Washington for planes and naval support and relief, but the Soviets
came first. Roosevelt said, “I would rather lose New Zealand, Australia or
anything else rather than have the Russian front collapse.” (pp. 46-47)
The Office of War Information (OWI)
West devotes many pages to
how the Office of War Information, staffed and controlled largely by Communist
Party members, contributed to the white-washing of Soviet Russia, to make
“Papa Joe” Stalin and his dictatorship palatable to the American
public. Aiding them in this propaganda and agitprop were the press and
broadcast luminaries. The overall mantra was: Stalin and Russia were the
“good guys,” put upon by the “bad guys,” the Nazis. Stalin
and his régime never did a bad thing, they just had a “different”
political system, which shouldn’t be judged because of the millions it wiped
out of existence (those millions never mentioned). This effort ranged from standard
pep-talky government propaganda to wartime newsreels to Hollywood movies. The
standing orders from the OWI especially were that in no instance was the
totalitarian nature of Soviet Russia ever to be revealed, discussed, or even
insinuated.
A book about novelist Ayn
Rand’s testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 concerning
the propaganda film Song
of Russia
(1944) is revealing in and of itself. Rand’s testimony was
solicited because she had escaped Soviet Russia in 1926 and had first-hand
knowledge of conditions there. Concerning the lies propagated by the
government, one committee member asked her why she objected to the U.S. allying
itself with the Soviets to defeat Hitler. Rand answered:
That
is not what I said. I was not in a position to make that decision. If I were, I
would tell you what I would do. That is not what we are discussing. We are
discussing the fact that our country was an ally of Russia, and the question
is: what should we tell the American people about it – the truth or a lie? If
we had good reason, if that is what you believe, all right, then why not tell
the truth? Say it is a dictatorship, but we want to be associated with it. Say
it is worthwhile being associated with the devil, as Churchill said, in order
to defeat another evil which is Hitler. There might be some good argument made
for that. But why pretend that Russia was not what it was?**
Why pretend, indeed? Because
the government didn’t want to risk alienating Americans from the war effort. It
wouldn’t be good for “morale.” They might stop buying War Bonds, and
demand an end to rationing. They might object to being in league with a devil
that wanted to collectivize them, too.
Katyn Forest Massacre
                                                      
After Hitler and Stalin had
devoured Poland in 1939, both went about “cleansing” Poland of its
government and military elements, with the Nazis targeting Polish Jews. We are
accustomed to watching videos of the Polish cavalry facing German tanks, but we
are rarely informed that in the spring of 1940 the Soviets murdered between 15,000
and 22,000 Polish officers and policemen in Katyn Forest to remove any chance
of the Poles resisting the Soviet occupation.
Initial blame was put on the
equally blood-thirsty Nazis, but it was the Nazis
who discovered
the mass graves after capturing that region from the
Soviets, and who brought in several American and British POWs to see for
themselves (hoping to put a chink in the American-Soviet alliance), among them
Americans Capt. Donald B. Stewart and Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. Stewart
later testified before a Congressional committee about what he saw, and Van
Vliet wrote two memos, one of which was put into an Orwellian memory hole – by Alger
Hiss in the State Department.
This information was relayed
to Roosevelt, so he and Hopkins knew about the massacre. They suppressed the
information. The country would not learn about it until 1950, when Stewart
delivered his testimony. Russia would not confess to the massacre until 1990.
Diana West discusses this
whole shameful episode in her ground-breaking book. (pp. 202-218)
The Nuremberg Trials
Another issue that sent Diana
West off on a wholly justified tear was the hypocrisy of the Nuremberg Trials, two
sets of them between November 1945 and October 1946, with the U.S. conducting
separate trials in its occupied zone in Germany. Two Soviet judges sat in
judgment of their fellow killers, the Germans, alongside their American, British
and French colleagues, and one Soviet chief prosecutor argued that justice be
meted out to the Germans in the dock. The presiding Soviet judge, Major General
Iona Nikitchenko, had previously presided over some of the notorious show
trials in the1930’s during the Great Purge.
But all the judges at
Nuremberg took part in a conspiracy of silence about the enormity of guilt shared
by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the way of massacres, purges, beginning
WWII by invading Poland with Germany, and policies of extermination. West noted:
The
fact is, not a jot about the Soviet criminal case came to judgment at Nuremberg
– not the NKVD massacre of some twenty thousand Polish officers known as the
Katyn Forest Massacre (charged to the Germans), not the forced
“repatriation” of some two million Soviet-claimed refugees, which
occurred thanks to essential assistance from British and U.S. troops – our very
own war crime – which was still underway in Germany and elsewhere even as
Nuremberg unfolded. (p. 55)
No one was supposed to raise
so much as an eyebrow, if the ghastly details of Nazi depredations described
during the trials seemed to resemble the ghastly details of Soviet
depredations. The Soviets commit such crimes? Perish the thought. And thought
did indeed perish.
Stalin’s insistence on a “second front”
The conduct of the war was
more or less dictated by Stalin and adapted as necessary by Roosevelt and his
Hopkins-picked general military staff, which included Generals Dwight D.
Eisenhower and George C. Marshall. Stalin’s idea was, first, to prolong the war
as long as necessary, in order for the Soviets to better defend itself against
the Nazis; and second, that the British and Americans should open up a
“second front” by invading France. Winston Churchill, increasingly
the odd-man-out in the triumvirate, argued fruitlessly to open up the new front
by invading through the Balkans or through Italy, the better to cut off Soviet
advances into central Europe. Unlike Roosevelt, he had no illusions about
Stalin’s master plan and motives.
Both Roosevelt and Stalin
knew alsowhat Churchill was certain would happen if the Soviet armies
were able to overrun Eastern Europe and also Germany: those countries would
remain under Soviet rule. Roosevelt, the “great liberator,” was
comfortable with the idea. West writes, quoting Francis Cardinal Spellman’s
recollections from his September 3rd, 1943 meeting with Roosevelt:
“The
European people will simply have to endure the Russian domination in the hope
that in ten or twenty years they will be able to live well with the
Russians,” Spellman recounted FDR saying at this pre-Tehran, pre-Yalta
moment. Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bessarabia, the eastern half of
Poland, Czecho-Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Germany – FDR conceded all to Communist régimes or Soviet
protection! What is most weird and most disturbing about Roosevelt’s obdurate
fatalism is that the entire Red Army at this time was still inside the USSR. (p. 266)
Of course Roosevelt’s
“fatalism” saved him the necessity of making a moral judgment. That
was moral relativism at work, his “convergence” kicking in to relieve
him of all responsibility for the certain misery and deaths that were sure to
follow a Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Don’t bother me, don’t bother me.
I don’t want to know.
And so Eisenhower became
Supreme Allied Commander and began planning D-Day.
German overtures to end war in 1943 rejected
Integral to understanding why
Stalin wanted his “second front” is West’s revelations that not only
was there an extensive German underground dedicated to ridding the country of
Hitler and ending the war – an underground the U.S. refused to assist or aid
in any way – but that Roosevelt, beholden to Stalin, rejected several overtures
from high-ranking German officers to kill or incarcerate Hitler, establish a
provisional, non-Nazi government,  and
sue for peace – but on the condition that German forces released from fighting
the British and Americans be free to repel the Red Army from Germany and other
regions then held by the Nazis. The war could have ended in 1943, long before
the costly D-Day invasion through France in June 1944. Had that surrender
happened, D-Day would never have taken place. It wouldn’t have been necessary.
Churchill, sympathetic to the
idea, was helpless. Stalin wanted Germany reduced to rubble.
A German surrender in 1943 would
have been premature for Stalin and spoiled his plans to conquer as much of
Europe as possible without bumping into Anglo-American forces coming from the
west. He insisted on a “second front” and Roosevelt obliged him, with
Churchill’s strategic advice shunted to the side as irrelevant.  All the men in the conspiracy to stage a coup d’état against Hitler were
subsequently executed by Hitler’s henchmen, including Admiral Wilhelm Canaris,
chief of German military intelligence, who had been aiding British intelligence,
and who was baffled by Roosevelt’s resistance. 
(pp. 282-286, pp. 308-309)
The repatriation of Russians
and Europeans to the Soviets by British and American forces, on order from
Washington, was another shameful episode discussed by West, one not known to
very many Americans. Ordering General Patton to stop his pell-mell drive so
that the Red Army could take Berlin is a bit of history that hasn’t been
covered up. There is the issue of tens of thousands of American and British POWs
in German camps being “liberated” by the Red Army and subsequently
incarcerated in Soviet labor camps.
There is one pre-war episode
not mentioned by West but which has always stuck in my mind, one I read about long
ago as a teen and which inaugurated my suspicions that WWII was not entirely
conducted as I’d read in history books. This was story about the S.S.
St. Louis
, which left Hamburg, Germany in May 1939 with 900 Jewish refugees
escaping Nazi persecution. After being turned away by Cuba, the ship called on
Miami, Florida. No one was allowed to enter the country because of an annual
quota on immigrants. After being rebuffed by the Canadians, as well, the ship
sailed to Antwerp, where many of the passengers were taken in by Britain, Belgium,
France, and the Netherlands.
When the Nazis invaded the
Continental countries, there was no escape for the remaining 620 passengers
taken in by those countries. It is estimated that 254 of them died from one Nazi
reason or another.
My point here is that the U.S.’s
ersatz immigrant quota system denied all those passengers a chance to survive
and live. Today, we allow the virtually unlimited immigration of Muslims, and
are contemplating allowing millions of illegal Mexican aliens, under the rubric
of “amnesty,” to remain here to better ensure a Democratic victory in
2016. This is a form of “convergence” not even Roosevelt could have
contemplated or imagined. He opened the gates to one form of enemy; Obama and
his minions continue to open them to another.
Diana West has done this
country a favor by putting between two covers the record of a long, disgraceful
period in American history. She will not receive very many thanks or
compliments for having done so. She is likely to be reviled and smeared, when
it is Franklin D. Roosevelt’s person and record that should be reviled, together
with the Soviets’ top agent, Harry Hopkins.  
Moral and political
relativism, she demonstrated, allowed the U.S. to tolerate the Soviets and
their murderous totalitarian régime in the Red Decade, and then become an
“ally” with it to crush a rival totalitarian régime, that of the
Nazis. It inoculated Roosevelt, a political pragmatist with strong left-wing
premises, against knowledge of the terrible and freedom-destroying nature of
Communism, while, au contraire, at
the same time allowed him and his agents to decry the terrible and freedom-destroying
nature of Nazism.
West’s book initially began
as an enquiry into why 9/11 was met with the government’s ambivalence and
delusions about the nature of Islam. Observing the inroads Islam and Sharia law
were making in the U.S.,  she was certain
that Islam was not so much a primitive religion as an all-encompassing
totalitarian ideology, one as committed to conquest and slavery as had been Nazism,
Communism, and Shintoism. If the government had raised the hue and cry about
the evils of Nazism, why not about the evils of Islam?  
Because Roosevelt, Hopkins,
and their allies in the State Department and other government entities
practiced their own brand of uncritical “outreach” to Communism and
the Soviet Union.
Her search for an answer led
her to discover and uncover, as far
as the surviving records permitted her, all the lies and truths about
Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, Stalin, Communism, and the real reasons why the U.S.
was drawn into a war whose only real victor was the Soviet Union. No hue and
cry was ever raised by anyone in power about the evils of Communism, she
discovered. Why not? And those few who did raise the hue and cry were mocked,
smeared, marginalized, discredited, ignored, and banished from serious
discussion. Why?
What would permit our
government, the leader of the “free world,” to participate in and
perpetuate the suppression of the truth about Communism and the Soviet Union,
and to enlarge the area of the unfree world with an insouciant cry of
C’est la vie?
What would motivate it to con Americans year after year and throughout a
devastating war?
If our national character is
defined as one of incorrigible individualism and freedom from fiat or arbitrary
coercion, what had happened to it?
These were the questions she
sought answers to.
One answer she learned was
that by 1933, our government had indeed reached another kind of
“convergence,” one in which truth and liberty met power-lust at a
vector point and were demolished by a craving for power over men as a means of
having power over reality, and that such power-lust would readily discard all
principles and all commitment to upholding not just the Constitution, but the
value of freedom. West does not go into the history of that growing power,
which can be traced back to certain ideas and actions taken by men in
government in the 19th and early 20th centuries to
implement those ideas, and advocated by numerous groups, the most prominent of
which were the Progressives.
On one hand, the culprits did
not value the truth. On the other, they feared its power and went to
extraordinary lengths to suppress it, erected ideological barricades to block
it from public knowledge, and punished those who spoke the truth or threatened
to tell the truth.
It’s all here in American Betrayal. Read it at your own risk.
West’s lesson to Americans:
Reality can’t be redacted, buried, fabricated, falsified, or omitted. Her book
is eloquent proof of it.
* American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character,
by Diana West. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2013.
**Ayn Rand and Song of Russia: Communism and Anti-Communism in 1940s
Hollywood
, by Robert Mayhew. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2005. pp.
188-189.

Kill Bill Killian’s Assault on Freedom of Speech

As I noted in my last column,
The
Stinking Badges of Our Federales

(June 2nd), the Department of Justice is again on the attack against
freedom of speech. The occasion for this guerilla attack is a talk to be given
by United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee Bill Killian
during an event sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee.
 
His talk will be about civil
rights
restrictions on speech in the “social media” as it applies
to Muslims – that is, speech that criticizes Muslims and Islam, not speech by
Muslims that could be defined as “bigoted” or “hateful” –
and there is far, far more of that than there is of the occasional
nose-thumbing of Muslims and Islam.  It
will be about “inflammatory speech,” which could mean anything, even
a scholarly disquisition on the origins and practice of Islam. Judicial
Watch
reports that the event, called “Public Disclosure in a Diverse
Society,” will
feature
the region’s top DOJ official, who serves as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern
District of Tennessee, and an FBI representative. The goal is to increase
awareness and understanding that American Muslims are not the terrorists some
have made them out to be in social media and other circles, according to a
local newspaper
report
. The June 4 powwow is sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory
Council of Tennessee.
The
area’s top federal prosecutor, Bill Killian, will address a topic that most
Americans are likely unfamiliar with, even those well versed on the
Constitution; that federal civil rights laws can actually be violated by those
who post inflammatory documents aimed at Muslims on social media. “This is an
educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion
and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian says in the local news story.
“This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the
consequences are.”
So, civil rights laws will be
“interpreted” to identify “harmful” statements made on Face
Book and other social media and help the DOJ and the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to lodge suits against anyone expressing his
freedom of speech if it offends Muslims and Islam.
Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs is on the warpath and is
urging readers near and far to assemble in Manchester, Tennessee to vigorously
demonstrate opposition to Killian’s trial balloon of selective censorship in
favor of Muslims and Islam.
You
must stand up. Now. No one is going to do this for you. Only YOU can save you.
I strongly
urge every Atlas reader, twitter and Facebook friend who can be in Tennessee to
join us in a major demonstration for free speech on June 4th at 5:30pm
Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd, in
Manchester, Tennessee
. Change your plans, get off from work — go. Tweet
it, Facebook share, get the word out.
AFDI,
SIOA, and other major organizations will be rallying for free speech. On June
4th, an event titled “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” will be
held from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center,
147 Hospitality Blvd, in Manchester, Tennessee
. Speakers for the event are Bill Killian, U.S.
attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the FBI special agent who
runs the Knoxville office.
Instead of my explaining the
importance and ramifications of a successful trial balloon, here are Geller’s own
words
about the stealthy attempts to pare away layers of our First Amendment
protections:
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________________________________________
Obama’s DOJ Sharia
Offensive: Seeks to Criminalize Free Speech on Social Media posts that offend
Muslims
How is this any different
than Islamic law in, say, Turkey (Obama’s favorite and most trusted ally)? In
October, 43-year-old Fazil Say went on trial in Turkey for
“denigrating” Islam for a series of tweets earlier that year. In one
of his messages he had retweeted a verse from a poem by Omar Khayyám, in which
the 11th-century Persian poet attacks pious hypocrisy. This is the same thing.
If the DOJ pursued the
vicious, offensive, racist, antisemitic tweets directed at me (and others) by
Muslims and leftists, they would be pursuing little else. But they wouldn’t and
they shouldn’t.
Note to the Justice
Department — we will fight you on this every step of the way. We will drag
your dhimmi asses all the way to the Supreme Court. This is Sharia enforcement,
and we are not going to stand for it.
“DOJ: Social Media
Posts Trashing Muslims May Violate Civil Rights”
Judicial Watch, May 30, 2013.
In its latest effort to
protect followers of Islam in the U.S. the Obama Justice Department warns
against using social media to spread information considered inflammatory
against Muslims, threatening that it could constitute a violation of civil
rights.
The move comes a few years
after the administration became the first in history to dispatch a U.S.
Attorney General to personally reassure Muslims that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is
dedicated to protecting them. In the unprecedented event, Attorney General
Eric Holder assured a San Francisco-based organization (Muslim Advocates) that
urges members not to cooperate in federal terrorism investigations that the “us
versus them” environment created by the U.S. government, law enforcement agents
and fellow citizens is unacceptable
and inconsistent with what America is
all about.
“Muslims and Arab Americans
have helped build and strengthen our nation,” Holder said after expressing that
he is “grateful” to have Muslims as a partner in promoting tolerance, ensuring
public safety and protecting civil rights. He also vowed to strengthen “crucial
dialogue” between Muslim and Arab-American communities and law enforcement.
Evidently that was a
precursor of sorts for an upcoming Tennessee event (“Public Disclosure in a
Diverse Society”) that will feature the region’s top DOJ official, who serves
as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and an FBI
representative. The goal is to increase awareness and understanding that
American Muslims are not the terrorists some have made them out to be in social
media and other circles, according to a local newspaper report.
The June 4 powwow is sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council of
Tennessee.
The area’s top federal
prosecutor, Bill Killian, will address a topic that most Americans are likely
unfamiliar with, even those well versed on the Constitution; that federal
civil rights laws can actually be violated by those who post inflammatory
documents aimed at Muslims on social media. “This is an educational effort with
civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom
of religion,”
Killian says in the local news story. “This is also to inform
the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”
The DOJ political appointee
adds in the article that the upcoming presentation will also focus on Muslim
culture with a special emphasis on the fact that the religion is no different
from others, even though some in the faith have committed terrorist acts,
Christians have done the same. As an example he offers that the worst terrorist
attack in the U.S. prior to 9/11 was committed by American Christians in
Oklahoma City. He also mentioned the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting last year
in which another Christian, an American white supremacist, fatally shot six
people and wounded four others.
“Some of the finest people
I’ve met are Muslims,
” Killian said,
adding later: “We want to inform everybody about what the law is, but more
importantly, we want to provide what the law means to Muslims, Hindus and every
other religion in the country. It’s why we came here in the first place. In England,
they were using Christianity to further their power in government. That’s why
the First Amendment is there.”
Over the years the Obama
administration has embarked on a fervent crusade to befriend Muslims by
creating a variety of outreach programs at a number of key federal agencies.
For instance the nation’s Homeland Security covertly met with a group of
extremist Arab, Muslim and Sikh organizations to discuss national security
matters and the State Department sent a controversial, anti-America Imam (Feisal
Abdul Rauf) to the Middle East to foster greater understanding and outreach
among Muslim majority communities.
The Obama Administration has
also hired a special Homeland Security adviser (Mohamed Elibiary) who openly
supports a radical Islamist theologian and renowned jihadist ideologue and a
special Islam envoy that condemns U.S. prosecutions of terrorists as
“politically motivated persecutions” and has close ties to radical extremist
groups.
The president has even
ordered the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to shift its
mission from space exploration to Muslim diplomacy and the government started a
special service that delivers halal meals, prepared according to Islamic law,
to home-bound seniors in Detroit. Who could forget Hillary Clinton’s special
order allowing the reentry of two radical Islamic academics whose terrorist
ties have long banned them from the U.S.?
______________________________________________________________________________

The Stinking Badges of Our Federales

“Badges?
We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any
stinking badges!”
Alfonso Bedoya as Gold
Hat, the Mexican bandit, to Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
We are fast approaching the
day when men with badges can regularly spy on you, arrest you, collect private
information about you, and even jail you without so much as a warrant. In fact,
that day is already here. There are legions of government bandits armed with
stinking badges and guns and little else. They are employed by the IRS, the
DEA, the ATF, the TSA, the U.S. Park Police, and the FBI – all under the
jurisdictional umbrella of President George Bush’s too-German sounding gift to
the nation, the Department of Homeland Security, cum Abteilung der Heimatland-Sicherheit.
Name a U.S. civilian agency
or cabinet department,
and it likely has a SWAT team on call ready to take down a 5-year-old toting a cap
pisto
l or command Google
or Facebook to hand over records of their subscribers’ identities and
activities.
They are the first line of
offense – no, that’s not a slip of the keyboard, I meant offense – of a federal government that has become authoritarian and
is on its way to becoming totalitarian. When that day comes, they won’t need no
stinking badges, either. You’ll be theirs for the taking. I doubt the Gestapo
or the KGB wore name tags and first flashed their gold shields before accosting
their victims.
But even a gang of
weapons-toting, riot-equipped goons armed with a warrant isn’t necessarily any
better than vigilantes come to hang you high, because the warrant isn’t
necessarily correct or right. It will probably have been issued by a
liberal/left/Progressive judge who is copasetic with a totalitarian agenda.
Of course, there is the NSA
and its $2+ billion data
storage facility
in Utah that will capture and keep every phone call, email,
weblog posting, and other electronically generated communication
in this country which the government deems necessary to seize and analyze in
the interests of “national security.”
But, what are in the interests of “national
security” anymore?  It’s a broad term
that could be taken to mean not just collecting intelligence to defend this
country from its enemies. I highly suspect it also means to protect the status
quo of a welfare state and the current political establishment from criticism
and opposition. I think all the data collection on private citizens’ political
preferences and personal habits points to a government whose stomach is
grumbling hungrily and loudly for total control.
The recent IRS
scandals
surrounding the years-long Alinsky-style profiling, targeting, and
isolating of conservative, patriotic, pro-Israel, and religious organizations
seeking tax-exempt status under IRS rules is one example. The DOJ’s legalized theft
of Fox News reporter James Rosen’s phone records is another instance together with
the raids on the Associated Press’s phone files, as well, all signed off on by
that master of dissimulation,  Attorney
General Eric
Holder
.
Let us not forget Cass
Sunstein
, former administrator of Office of Information and
Regulatory Affairs
where he displayed his penchant for censorship. He retired
from the Obama administration to join the faculty of Harvard Law School in a
double professorship. Sunstein’s legal philosophy is that federal judicial
decisions should conform to the executive branch’s perquisites of power, and
that one’s freedom of choice should conform with whatever the federal
government has deemed to be good for the individual. It will offer you A, B, C,
and D, and you are “free” to choose one of those, but nothing else in
the alphabet. He calls it “libertarian paternalism.”
Nor should we forget Janet “workplace
violence” Napolitano, head of the DHS,
who has also exhibited a desire to detect and rein in any individual or
organization whom she and her fellow statists deem a threat or potential threat
to the status quo of the political establishment. Its $15 million study of
“hot spots of terrorism,” conducted at the University of Maryland,
focused on “right-wing extremists”:
The
study says right-wing extremists are “groups that believe that one’s personal
and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or
that the threat is imminent.”  Further,
right-wing extremist groups “believe in the need to be prepared” by taking part
in “paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism.” Groups may also be
“fiercely nationalistic” and “suspicious of centralized federal authority.”
Right-wing
extremism also involves a belief in “conspiracy theories that involve grave
threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty,” the study claims.
Interestingly,
in an oversight that is not explained, the
report barely mentions radical Islam
. Instead the study lumps religious
terrorist groups into one category and describes them as “groups that seen to
smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers, impose strict religious
tenants or laws on society (fundamentalists), forcibly insert religion into the
political sphere.” [Italics mine]
Americans have every right to
be suspicious of expanding federal authority and credit conspiracy theories.
Conspiracy theories, however, no matter how credible, as a rule discount the
role of an unopposed political philosophy. Bandits needn’t conspire to steal
liberties or subjugate men when they encounter no opposition to their
depredations. Nature will not tolerate a vacuum, nor will statists, liberals,
leftists, and Progressives.
The story circulating like
wildfire around the Internet and weblogs at this moment is that Bill Killian,
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, will on June 4th
address a meeting
sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee on civil rights
restrictions on speech in the “social media” as it applies to Muslims
– that is, speech that criticizes Muslims and Islam, not speech by Muslims that
could be defined as “bigoted” or “hateful.” It will be
about “inflammatory speech,” which could mean anything, even a
scholarly disquisition on the origins and practice of Islam. Judicial
Watch
reports that the event, called “Public Disclosure in a Diverse
Society,” will
feature
the region’s top DOJ official, who serves as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern
District of Tennessee, and an FBI representative. The goal is to increase
awareness and understanding that American Muslims are not the terrorists some
have made them out to be in social media and other circles, according to a
local newspaper
report
. The June 4 powwow is sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory
Council of Tennessee.
The
area’s top federal prosecutor, Bill Killian, will address a topic that most
Americans are likely unfamiliar with, even those well versed on the
Constitution; that federal civil rights laws can actually be violated by those
who post inflammatory documents aimed at Muslims on social media. “This is an
educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion
and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian says in the local news story. “This
is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the
consequences are.”
So, civil rights laws will be
“interpreted” to identify “harmful” statements made on Face
Book and other social media and help the DOJ and the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR) to lodge suits against anyone expressing his freedom of speech
if it offends Muslims and Islam.
The
DOJ political appointee adds in the article that the upcoming presentation will
also focus on Muslim culture with a special emphasis on the fact that the
religion is no different from others, even though some in the faith have
committed terrorist acts, Christians have done the same. As an example he
offers that the worst terrorist attack in the U.S. prior to 9/11 was committed
by American Christians in Oklahoma City. He also mentioned the Wisconsin Sikh
temple shooting last year in which another Christian, an American white
supremacist, fatally shot six people and wounded four others.
Worldwide, there have been
over 20,000 acts of Islamic terrorism since 9/11. Killian, in an effort to
“diversify” acts of terrorism, can only cite two incidents of
non-Muslim committed acts of terrorism, that old fall-back, Timothy McVeigh and
the Sikh temple shooting.
The Organization of Islamic
Cooperation, which the U.S. government is only too happy to cooperate, as well,
is pressing on with its plan to have the U.N. criminalize any speech that
“defames” or “denigrates” religion or belief in a religion.
While the wording of Resolution 16/18 implies any religion, the chief objects
of the resolution are Islam and Muslims. Deborah Weiss, in her FrontPage column
of February 28th, “OIC
Ramps UP ‘Islamophobia’ Campaign
,” reports that
The
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has long been on the forefront of the
Islamist mission to establish the equivalent of Islamic blasphemy laws in the
West.  Now, during its 12th Islamic Summit held in Cairo
February 7-8, 2013, the OIC set forth new and creative ways to silence, and ultimately
criminalize criticism of Islam.
That would include cartoons,
unflattering or not, of Mohammad and Muslims, newspaper and weblog commentaries
about Islam, and scholarly studies of Islam. Presumably it would also include
Face Book and other social media remarks made by subscribers about Islam and
Muslims.
One
of the OIC’s primary aims for at least the last fourteen years has been the
international criminalization of speech that is critical of any Islam-related
topic, including Islamic terrorism, Islamic persecution of religious minorities
and human rights violations committed in the name of Islam.
Since
1999, the OIC has set forth UN resolutions that would “combat defamation of
religions.”  These resolutions condemned criticism of religion, but in the
OIC’s interpretation, it applied only to Islam.  True statements of fact
constituted no exception.
The OIC is not concerned with
unflattering or inflammatory speech about  or portrayals of Christians, atheists, Hindus,
apostates, Jews and other non-Muslims. Muslims would be exempt from the
“law” and have the freedom to defame and denigrate infidels without
worry of recrimination or prosecution.
Most European countries,
including Britain, already have such laws on their books and readily arrest and
prosecute violators of speech laws that express some form of opposition to the
Islamization of their countries. These laws were created at the behest of
powerful Islamic organizations in those countries, and also by dhimmified politicians
fearful of Muslim riots lest “Islamophobes” not be punished for
opposing or criticizing Islam and the wholesale invasion of their countries by Muslims
– an invasion by invitation of political leaders beholden to multiculturalism
and “diversity.” The recent spate of arrests by British authorities
of Britons who have expressed their anger or contempt for Muslims and Islam,
after the hacking-to-death of a British soldier by Muslims in London, are cases
in point.
The U.S. is not far behind
and virtually the only thing stopping the criminalization of freedom of speech
against Islam and Muslims is the First Amendment. The same forces are at work
in this country through organization like CAIR, the ICNA (the Islamic Circle of
North America), and their numerous sister organizations. Weiss reports that:
In
2011, at the State Department’s request, the OIC drafted an alternative
resolution that was intended to retain freedom of expression and still address
the OIC’s concerns about alleged Islamophobia.  The result was Resolution
16/18 to Combat Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief.
But
the OIC had some very creative interpretations of the language embodied in the
new resolution.  By its manipulation of words such as intolerance and
incitement, giving new meanings to what many thought was plain English, the OIC
made it clear that it had not dropped its ultimate goal of protecting Islam
from “defamation.”
Hillary Clinton is one of the
chief promoters of the OIC’s push to suppress American hostility towards Islam
and to gag Americans when it comes to telling the truth about Islam. Through
the auspices of the State Department, she attended an OIC convocation in
December 2011 in Washington D.C. held to discuss how to do an end-run around
the First Amendment.  Clinton has
demonstrated numerous times her willingness to accommodate Islam (in the
Benghazi issue, she has proven she is willing let jihadists and terrorists get away with murder). At that high
dudgeon meeting of Muslims and secular enemies of freedom of speech, there to
instigate the “Istanbul
Process
,” Clinton pontificated:
In
the United States, I will admit, there are people who still feel vulnerable or
marginalized as a result of their religious beliefs. And we have seen how the
incendiary actions of just a very few people, a handful in a country of nearly
300 million, can create wide ripples of intolerance. We also understand that,
for 235 years, freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of
our democracy. So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and
collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all
people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of
peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support
to do what we abhor.
For the OIC, however,
“peer pressure” and “shaming” won’t be enough. The OIC
wants the U.S. to enact laws that conform to its end, which is the designation
of all critical speech about Islam as “hate speech.” The OIC wants laws
with more enforceable teeth in them than in a sorority rush. Clinton knows
this. It doesn’t make a difference to her. The law will not apply to her.
Had enough of Islam? Then
we’ll turn to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the
white-haired doyenne of compulsory health care. Michelle Malkin in her May 3st
article, “Obamacare
‘Navigators’: Another Sebelius Snitch Brigade?
” wrote:
U.S.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius controls a $54 million
slush fund to hire thousands of “navigators,” “in-person
assisters” and counselors who will propagandize and enroll Obamacare recipients
in government-run health insurance exchanges. This nanny-state navigator corps
is the Mother of all Community Organizing Boondoggles. It’s also yet another
Obama threat to Americans’ privacy.
A
reminder about Secretary Sebelius’ sordid snooping history is in order here. In
August 2009, HHS and the White House Office of Health Reform called on their
ground troops to report on fellow citizens who dared to criticize their federal
health care takeover. Team Obama issued an all-points bulletin on the taxpayer-funded
White House website soliciting informant emails. Remember? “If you get an email or see something on the Web about health
insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov,”

the Obamacare overlords urged.
Most Americans already
thought that something was very fishy about Obamacare, and so many sent that
message to flag@whitehouse.gov that
the site had to be taken down.
However, what is a
“navigator”? It has nothing to do with Columbus discovering America.
It has much to do with government snoops rifling through your personal history
to determine whether or not you deserve medical care under socialized medicine.
That is a discovery of a different nature.
Obamacare
navigators will have access to highly personal data from potential
“customers” to assess their “needs.” That means income
levels, birthdates, addresses, eligibility for government assistance, Social
Security numbers and sensitive medical information. They’ll be targeting both
individuals and small businesses. Anyone they can lay their grubby hands on.
Who’s getting the navigator grants and training? “Community groups”
in 33 states that naturally include socialized medicine-supporting unions and
Saul Alinsky-steeped activist outfits.
All in all, the foregoing isn’t
even half of what is going on in the way of the government’s stealthy
encroachments on freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and your life as an
independent individual free from government coercion. If it doesn’t scare you,
or at least cause you to think twice about the state of the country,
you are either on the side of the bandits, with or without stinking badges, or
brain dead.

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