Showing posts sorted by relevance for query secular demonology. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query secular demonology. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, October 17, 2011

Huge Shout Out to Ladd Ehlinger!

Zilla put the call out for conservatives to stand against evil, and a number of folks have answered the call, joining Zilla's honor roll of moral right.

I've been off the grid, so I'm just now reading all the responses. Ladd Ehlinger responded at his blog with an entry, and I read that first and was moved to write without delay. See "When Flame Wars Spill Offline: Conservative Media Should Stand Up." And my comments there:
Ladd, we've engaged enough times by Twitter that I certainly consider you a friend. The battle is of one big piece. The collectivists go by many names, with the Democrat Party being the most familiar. From there you can go on down to real Marxist-Leninists, the folks so closely tied to the party in power today. Values-wise, they're all the same. Perhaps there are degrees, but it's the obliteration of the individual vis-a-vis the state that's the result. I'm going do a roundup of all the support I've received. I can't begin to thank you all enough. I've been on a high all day and I haven't come down yet. That strength from conservative solidarity is unconquerable, and I hope we sustain it!
The progressives mock and ridicule the notion of secular collectivism, but when I argue that the left's attacks on truth and honesty are "satanic," that's the referential understanding. Marxism is a secular religion. It is a belief system which seeks a totalizing dominion over truth and over those who claim a truth based on universal right. According to Leonidas Donskis, in Forms of Hatred: The Troubled Imagination in Modern Philosophy and Literature:
A world religion, a secular belief system, and a rival civilization, Marxism came into existence as a false secularization of consciousness. Marxism has always rested on a sort of secular demonology, splitting humanity into warring groups and demonizing what it took as agents of exploitation and social evil.

As a kind of secular Church, Marxism succeeded, in a historically unprecedented way, in satisfying the ideological, political, and psychological needs of marginalized and alienated intellectuals scattered around the world. It became the first secular Umma of intellectuals. Moreover, it provided its adherents, those secularly religious radicals and doctrinaires, with a sense of pride --- after all, Marxism made intellectuals a major force in history and a presence in all societies, Marxist and non-Marxist alike --- and also with a spiritual fatherland. Marxism designed the revolutionary-ascetic moral culture, which has always been at odds with all other modern systems of moralization, especially with the liberal and nationalist moral cultures.
Linkmaster Smith, at The Other McCain, responds to developments with a version of this, "They Truly Hate Liberty." But more formally is Lisa Graas, "Is American Power Blog Under Attack From Satan?" Both warn that conservatives, in fighting evil, must stay true to God. Conservatives must live good and decently, for then they will have even more strength to carry them forward. Here is my response to Lisa Graas:
Thanks Lisa. Your advice is welcomed. I live by Him in my actions. None of us are perfect, but I never waver from the truth in my dealings with people, I never bear false witness. I can thus claim a moral position that my opponents repeatedly have made frightening haste to abandon. At my blog I linked the series of workplace attacks I've endured, with a record there of the libelous allegations made against me. Even were these normal political and ideological differences, one must beware the forces of evil lurking about in all the lies. This is what I believe. And in that I believe in God, in that He would have me stand for truth and against the lies. And more, in that all politics for me is moral, I do good by Him if I push ahead for a political vision of goodness and right. Sometimes, I'm told, I might use more care to stay on the side of right. So, I'm working on it. I succumb to emotion at times. But in faith I find strength, for no one should be subject to these campaigns of destruction. Those endlessly and remorselessly working against me are secular demons who live not by His holiness, but by the opposite that attempts to pull the Christian warriors asunder.

Thanks again.
I will be updating and adding new posts --- with links to others blogging on this--- in appreciation for all the support. Please head over to Zilla's if you haven't already. She'll add your link to the honor roll.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Obscenities and the Left-Wing Blogosphere

A couple of weeks back I wrote a post examining the tendency toward profanity among leftist bloggers: "Obscenities in the Blogosphere."

I argued that crude vulgarity has become essentially the lingua franca of the hard-left blogosphere and commentocracy. Widespread profanity appears to provide leftists with some assumed heightened firepower with which to beat down opponents, who are demonized as fascist imperialists intent to exterminate racial minorities and the poor, among other things.

My observations derived from recent experience, as well as the debate surrounding profanty at last month's Netroots Nation conference in Texas.

Well it turns out that Matthew Sheffield at the Washington Times has performed a Google content analysis to determine the relative propensity to profanity between top left and right blog communities: "
Profanity Greater on Liberal Blogs":

Are liberals more profane than conservatives? Online, the answer seems to be yes. Profanity, those taboo words banned from the broadcast airwaves, is a feature of many people's daily lives. It's much less so in the establishment media world. TV and radio broadcasts are legally prohibited from using it, most newspapers (including this one) have traditionally refrained from its usage.

That's not the case with the Web, where bloggers and readers face no such restrictions. That likely comes as no surprise; what may be surprising, however, is to what degree profanity seems to be a feature more common on one side of the political blogosphere than the other....

The top 10 liberal sites (
Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Democratic Underground, Talking Points Memo, Crooks and Liars, Think Progress, Atrios, Greenwald, MyDD and Firedoglake) have a profanity quotient of 14.6.

The top 10 conservative sites (
Free Republic, Hot Air, Little Green Footballs, Townhall, NewsBusters, Lucianne, Wizbang, Ace of Spades, Red State and Volokh Conspiracy) have a quotient of 1.17.
What explains this disparity?

Sheffield hypothesizes that Bush derangement is a precipitating factor. But beyond that, religious belief among conservatives inclines them less toward the use of profanity in their daily lives, and thus in blogging:

Conservatives, especially those who are more religious, are less likely to use profanity in their daily conversation.
This ties in pretty much with the my thesis on the left's secular demonology:

How might we explain all of this? Well, in my view, these folks are essentially Marxist, and at base, we might consider Marxist thought a doctrine of hatred, a secular demonology:

We hate those, whose existence urges us to reconsider our theories and our vocabularies. We hate what places a safe and irresponsible categorization of the world in jeopardy. We hate what threatens the purity and predictability of our perception of the world, our mode of discourse, and in effect, our mental security.

Thus, for the left, rather than consider that vulgarity has no proper place in the respectable exchange of ideas, crude language is a tool to beat down those who would challenge their way of seeing the world, especially those allegedly in the right-wing superstructure of greedy imperialistic designs.

See also, "The Obscenity of Spencer Ackerman," and "The Commentocracy of Hate."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Andrew Breitbart on the Left's Internet Hooligans

Via Memeorandum, check out Andrew Breitbart's essay on the digital disinformation war leftists have waged on conservatives, "Online Activists on the Right, Unite!":

Uninvited Democratic activists are on a mission to demoralize the enemy - us. They want to ensure that President Obama is not subject to the same coordinated, facts-be-damned, multimedia takedown they employed over eight long years to destroy the presidency - and the humanity - of George W. Bush.

The left ... uses disinformation to inundate the advertisers of conservative-leaning talk shows to intimidate them from financially supporting popular mainstream shows.
Which is what Think Progress is attempting to do with Bill O'Reilly right now.

But what's especially noteworthy for me is Breitbart's discussion of the left's secular demonology, which
I've discussed on this blog many times:

So now that the right is vanquished and thoroughly out of power, why doesn't it learn from its conquerors and employ similar tactics?

The answer is obvious. The right, for the most part, embraces basic Judeo-Christian ideals and would not promote nor defend the propaganda techniques that were perfected in godless communist and socialist regimes. The current political and media environment crafted by supposedly idealistic Mr. Obama resembles Hugo Chavez's Venezuela more than John F. Kennedy's America.

The Huffington Post, Daily Kos and other left-leaning sites benefit from the right's belief that there are rules and decorum in political debate and civic engagement. Of course, every now and then, a curious right-winger will go in and engage in discussion at a left-wing site, but rarely under purely disingenuous and mass coordinated means.

David Brock, John Podesta, am I missing something?

As a prolific consumer of online content, I value nothing more than the sincere expression of opinion that differs from mine. Sometimes I am even moved or swayed from my dogma. But that was not the type of communication that got Mr. Obama elected.

The American right is in a heap of trouble in a media age that doesn't shun the goons and liars that have poisoned the political process and won the American presidency by breaking the rules of fair play. It is time to fight back, but it won't be easy. The enemy is willing to do and say anything in order to win.
One of the left's great representatives of radical secular demonology is here.

See also Saber Point for a discussion of "
The Dirty Online War Against Conservatives."


UPDATE: Robert Stacy McCain has a big, awesome essay on this, see, "Andrew Breitbart Shows Why He's Becoming One of the Most Important Columnists in America Today."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Leftist Depravity Continues with Accusations of Palin Pedophilia

Randi Rhodes has claimed that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is "friends with all the teenage boys" in town, and parents can't let their kids "sleep over" at the Palin home:

Brian Maloney offers some background:

Just how far are lefty pundits willing to go to smear Sarah Palin? On behalf of the "progressive" movement, libtalker Randi Rhodes seems determined to sink to new depths of moral depravity, with the limits of imagination as her only impediment.

Less than a week after her wildly dishonest claim that
John McCain was "well-treated" during his wartime imprisonment in Vietnam, Rhodes is at it again, this time making a strong inference that Palin likes to sleep with teenage boys.

It's further evidence of a widespread smear campaign that involves lefty bloggers, libtalkers and the
mainstream news media. With this gang, the ends apparently justify the means. That there isn't a shred of evidence to back up any of their claims is irrelevant: this is full-scale character assassination.
I'm having an ongoing debate with Dan Nexon at Duck of Minerva over the relative extremes on the right and the left of the spectrum. Dan argues, essentially, that the continuous examples of left-wing depravity are isolated instances and cannot be generalized to "the left."

But as regular readers know well, I've chronicled example after example of the left's intolerance and evil found throughout the netroots, including
top members of the leftosphere who coordinate closely with the Democratic Party and the Barack Obama campaign.

Yesterday, for example,
Daily Kos had this image posted in a now-deleted comment thread:

Daily Kos Happy Twin Towers

You can still read, however, the Kos-hosted diary, "Eulogy Before the Inevitability of Self-Destruction: The Decline and Death of Israel":

As Israel reach the milestone of the 60th anniversary commemoration, its legacy will be showered not with peace and goodwill but revulsion of conscience and damnation.
I could continue around the horn of the leftosphere all afternoon finding examples of Palin derangement, left-wing nti-Semitism, Bush-Cheney demonization, and so forth. But there's no need. I've written about the issue many times, for example, in my essay, "Surrendering Reason to Hate?":

This quest for enemies consumes far left-wing partisans. It is an endless search seeking to delegitimize and dehumanize those who would threaten the safety of a secular, redistributionist world of exclusive false brotherhood and psychological security.

This is why I think there are variations in the propensity to surrender to hate. The left's psychopolitical agenda is "
clothed in darkness." It is this very difficult for them to find that "one good thing" about those with whom they differ.
I wrote that over a month ago, but just this week Camille Paglia made a similar point in discussing the Democratic-left's response to the Palin phenomenon:

The witch-trial hysteria of the past two incendiary weeks unfortunately reveals a disturbing trend in the Democratic Party, which has worsened over the past decade. Democrats are quick to attack the religiosity of Republicans, but Democratic ideology itself seems to have become a secular substitute religion. Since when did Democrats become so judgmental and intolerant? Conservatives are demonized, with the universe polarized into a Manichaean battle of us versus them, good versus evil. Democrats are clinging to pat group opinions as if they were inflexible moral absolutes. The party is in peril if it cannot observe and listen and adapt to changing social circumstances.
None of this is statistical confirmation for a generalized hypothesis on the hard-left's secular demonology. But it's demonstrably clear that folks from top bloggers like Markos Moulitsas and Andrew Sullivan to the nihilists at Sadly No! to TBogg's demonic conservative ridicule-machine are on an endless quest to destroy their enemies with a venomous brew of hate and intolerance.

Barack Obama's collapse from the heights of "Oneness" has only added to this zealotry.


UPDATE: TBogg's here to correct me:

Randi Rhodes left Air America back in April after being suspended by the network. So you just set a new land speed record by being wrong four words into your post.
Yet, TBogg's got no problem with Rhodes' Palin derangement, and of course, no word on the demonic conservative ridicule machine.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Surrendering Reason to Hate?

Rick Moran's morning essay made me think about what I do as an online commentator.

The piece is a lengthy discourse on the craft of blogging. Moran explains his motives and development as an online writer, discussing some of the ups and downs of the trade. Of particular note is his discussion of partisan flame wars and the demonization of the other. Moran is introspective:

If my blog attracted only those who usually agreed with me and thought I was the bee’s knees when it came to commentary, blogging would be a marvelous daily exercise. But there is another side to blogging that most of us never talk about; the relentless, daily pounding of negativism, hurtful epithets, and outright spewing hatred that arrives in the form of comments and emails from the other side as well as other blogs linking and posting on something I’ve written.

We all like to think of ourselves as having thick skins and that such criticism rolls off our backs and never affects us. This is the macho element in blogging, one of its more unattractive and dishonest aspects. In this, some of us feel obligated to give back in kind, something I have done on too many occasions to count. Yes, I regret it. And believe me, I have often been the initiator of such ugliness.

Still, there are many bloggers on both the right and left who shame me with their equanimity in the face of the most virulent and nasty personal attacks. Ed Morrissey comes to mind on the right. The folks at Crooked Timber and Obsidian Wings on the left are generally cool in the face of such criticism as well.

But this is not a confessional post where I recognize my sins and ask forgiveness. I am what I am and doubt I will change. Rather, it is my intent to highlight the fact that despite my predilection for using violent language in my defense or to ridicule my political opponents, I have always granted them a certain rough integrity in their beliefs – that they are wrongheaded not evil; that they are arrogant and stupid, not unpatriotic or that they hate America.
Read the whole thing at the link (as well as the great additional resources, here and here). There's some conjecture as to whether longitudinally politics is nastier today than, say, 100 years ago. But one of the essay's payoffs is the (sort-of) suggestion of what-goes-around-comes-around for partisan attack-masters:

Those who accuse all liberals of being unpatriotic or un-American perhaps have no cause to grumble when an equally malicious lie like “racist” is directed at them. But having such an epithet tossed in my direction – especially as it has been done recently – I find to be reflective of a mindset that is terrified of open debate and thus resorts to twisting semantics in order to obscure a flawed critique. They can’t argue the issues so the magic word is applied and debate instantly ceases.
I think the conclusion here - that weaknesses in rational argumentation are remedied by resort to argumentum ad hominem - is basically right, although I'd suggest that the point about arguing that "all liberals" are unpatriotic (or pacifist, or irreligious, etc.), needs a bit of elaboration.

I started blogging precisely to combat the anti-Americanism and postmodern nihilism that had infected debates on America's post-9/11 foreign policy. At first I was a bit surprised when attacked as "racist" (or fascist, or Nazi, or neocon warmonger, etc.). But I soon realized, seriously, that these were people who would do me physical harm if they had the chance, or at least some have said.

But I differ in debate from my antagonists in that I seek to maintain a morality of reason in argumentation. Sometimes I'm sloppy by attacking the "left" in general, but when I deploy terms like "nihilist" it's in the descriptive, analytical sense, rather than as an effort to inflict emotional or psychological pain. In other words, there's a ontological basis to my partisan repudiations. I seek to understand and explain what's underlying the postmodern hatred of the anti-everything sensibilities of the American left.

For example, I'm coming around to fuller understanding of the notion of secular demonology.

While certainly both sides engage in extremist attacks on the other, there appears to be a difference in the attack culture of central players in the partisan debates. Folks like those at Daily Kos and Firedoglake, for example, are the netroots base of the Democratic Party, people who are embraced and recruited in the partisan battles of left-wing establishment politics. This is not true on the right, for the most part. While I'm sure some comment threads at major conservative blogs get out of hand on occasion, it is not the explicit policy of conservatives to demonize their foes (while
Daily Kos openly advocates it).

The most recent outburst of left-wing demonization involved
last week's shootings at Unitarian Universalist Church in Tennessee. The leftists became positively unglued, seeing in Jim David Adkisson a footsoldier of conservative hatred. The actions of a lone, unstable killer became the basis for smearing the entire GOP universe.

Elizabeth Scalia discusses how Adkisson's case illuminates our frequent descents into partisan recrimination:

Initial reports were that Adkisson had “problems with Christians.” Later reports suggested he also had “problems” with “the liberal movement” and with gays. Predictably, people on both the right and left immediately staked out claims of victimhood and identified each other as the true culprits upon whom both blame and condemnation must rain down. “They” inspired Adkisson to kill those worshipers, no, to kill those progressives, no, to kill those … those …

Those human beings.

If you’re wondering who “they” is, “they” is us, losing a little more of our shared humanity every day, as we increasingly insulate ourselves away from the “others” who do not hold the same worldview as we do. We label ourselves as belonging to some respectable group of believers, or agnostics, or liberals, or conservatives, and we live, work, socialize, and blog — as much as life will allow — amongst our “respectable” peers, in our “respectable” echo chambers. We label the “others” as disrespectable and then commence disrespecting.

It begins with name-calling, which seems so innocuous, so sandbox. Well, name-calling is infantile behavior, but it is hardly innocuous. As marijuana is to heroin, name-calling is to diminished humanity — the gateway. It begins the whole process of dehumanization. Call someone a name and they immediately become “less human” to you, and the less human they seem, the easier they are to hate and to destroy. A “fetus,” after all, is easier to destroy than a “baby.”

Thus, George W. Bush is “Chimpy McHitler.” Hillary Clinton is “a pig in a pantsuit.” Barack Obama is “O-Bambi.” Cindy McCain, who has exhibited some
courage and laudable compassion in her life, is reduced to a “pill-popping beer-frau,” and so forth. From there it is smooth sailing down an ever-descending river of hatred, until we are incapable of seeing anything good in the “other,” both because we have willfully hardened our hearts, and because our hate — especially when it is supported by a group of like minds — feels safe and inviolable.

Recently I asked rabid Bush-haters if they could manage to say “one good thing” about the president. Predictably, they could not.

They are capable of sarcasm: “One good thing is he will die someday.” “One good thing is that he can’t serve three terms.” Once, when pressed, someone sneered: “He managed to marry a librarian who could read and explain books to him.”
Scalia notes that both sides do it - both sides are unwilling to find that "one good thing" to say about their political enemies. They're ready to "surrender reason to hate."

While I don't disagree altogether, it seems that most of the recent examples of surrendering to hate can be found on the left, for example following the deaths of
Tim Russert, Jesse Helms, and Tony Snow. Robert Novak's announcement last week of illness offered another opportunity for left-wing demonization.

In contrast, when Senator Edward Kennedy was rushed to the hospital in May, to be diagnosed with a brain tumor, I found
nothing but well-wishing across the conservative blogosphere.

Ben Johnson offered an explanation for all of this in "
Kennedy's Illness, and the Left's." At base, for Johnson, there appears to be a deficit of the soul on the left, an absence of divine grace. This gap removes a prohibitive moral restraint in left-wing partisans and preconditions them to cheer the pain, suffering, and demise of conservatives.

I've gone even further in suggesting that Marxist ideology - which guides the class conscious, anti-imperialist project of contemporary "progressives" - provides leftists with
a doctrine of hatred, a political demonology to drive the dehumanization campaigns against their opponents:

As a kind of universal secular Church, Marxism succeeded, in a historically unprecedented way, in satisfying the ideological, political, and psychological needs of marginalized and alienated intellectuals scattered all over the world. It became the first secular Umma of intellectuals....

Marxism has always been little more than pseudo-universalism, a false promise of intellectual and moral universalism, for an exclusive ideology, by definition, cannot be universalistic. Far from a symbolic design for human fellowship and peaceful coexistence of societies, cultures, and civilizations, Marxism rests on the assumption of radical evil and also on the quest for enemies.
This quest for enemies consumes far left-wing partisans. It is an endless search seeking to delegitimize and dehumanize those who would threaten the safety of a secular, redistributionist world of exclusive false brotherhood and psychological security.

This is why I think there are variations in the propensity to surrender to hate. The left's psychopolitical agenda is "
clothed in darkness." It is this very difficult for them to find that "one good thing" about those with whom they differ.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Irving Kristol, 1920-2009: Godfather of Neoconservatism

The Astute Bloggers graciously provides the New York Times link, "Irving Kristol, Godfather of Modern Conservatism, Dies at 89." Also, my good friend Ken Davenport has written his own thoughtful commemoration, "Irving Kristol, 1920-2009." Ken focuses on how Kristol's neoconservatism has become the most important critique of modern statist ideologies (and of especially the consequences of post-1960s Democratic Party social policy).

There's lots of commentary at
Memeorandum. See Jules Crittenden, GayPatriot, Power Line, The Other McCain, and Outside The Beltway. See especially John Podoretz's obituary at Commentary, and Robert Kagan at the Washington Post. And Myron Magnet, at City Journal, shares a personal anecdote about Kristol's compassion:

His generosity, especially to young conservatives, was legendary. It was partly a matter of policy, for nurturing the talented and finding them influential jobs is the way to build a movement. But it was even more an emanation of the sweetness of his temper and the depth of his humanity. I was complaining to him about New York’s plague of aggressive panhandlers back in the 1980s, and he said, “If someone is so in need that he asks me for money, who am I to determine what’s driven him to it? I always give something.” The reality he always had before him was the human reality.
You could probably say the same thing about most neoconservatives. These folks, mostly, are former liberals who saw the light. But coming to one's senses doesn't mean abandoning compassion. Neoconservatives have a goodness of vision that's defining, and a propensity to back idealism with power that's frightening to many. Indeed, that's why no other manifestation of conservatism has generated as much hostility among antagonists. One need only to read the comments at Firedoglake's entry to get the feel for how badly leftists want to eviscerate Kristol, but they're ironically constrained by the same morality that's the central plank of the neocon vision: Be good and do good in furtherance of the good society (and don't be afraid of raw power while you're at it). That said, not all of the commentators at the post let their better values contain them, and this remark on the "evils" of the neocon worldview perhaps perfectly captures the left's nihilist zeitgeist:

Neoconservatism visited two disastrous and seemingly endless wars upon us. It engaged in a third, the War on Terror, which wasn’t just seeming but truly was endless by definition. Indefinite detention, rendition, torture, and domestic spying are just a few of its accomplishments. Neoconservatism also helped bankrupt the country, wrecked our image abroad, and damaged our Constitution. It institutionalized the public lie and championed immunity for those neoconservatives, of whom there were many, who broke the law. This is the cobbled together, amazingly unthought out “philosophy” of which Irving Kristol was the godfather.
You can see how comprehensive is that repudiation. But what's most interesting - besides the classic neo-socialist repudiation of the neoconservative worldview - is how the commenter pleads the neocon mindset is an "unthought" philosophy. It's a ridiculous statement, of course, borne of a demonic hatred of the mind that's characteristic of today's hardline leftist ideologies. The comment thus captures both the secular demonology and the secular collectivism that's essential to the base of today's Democratic Party.

As a younger neocon myself, Irving Kristol was less important to my theoretical development than have been the Kagans (Robert,
Frederick, and Kimberly) and Charles Krauthammer.

But I nevertheless often return to Irving Kristol's brief and excellent summation of neoconservative ideology, published at his son William's Weekly Standard, "
The Neoconservative Persuasion." If folks really are unsure about the fullness of the neocon worldview, which is as much a theory of domestic politics as it is one of foreign policy, they can't go wrong spending some time with that essay. And if readers want more, Commentary has made available the magazine's complete archive of Irving Kristol's work from its pages:
We at COMMENTARY will be opening the entirety of his 45-article oeuvre in our archives (from his first contribution, a short story called “Adam and I,” published in November 1946, to his last, a 1994 essay entitled “Countercultures“) for free perusal by all readers. It is a treasure trove, as he was himself an incomparable treasure of a man, an intellectual, and an American. May Bea, Bill, Liz, and Irving’s five grandchildren be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Cross-posted from Right Wing News.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Frontier of American Feminism

This afternoon I confessed, "The main reason I'm so excited about Sarah Palin is in the way she's positively energized the Republican base."

While true, I should add that I'm absolutley blown away, frankly, at
the radical feminist response to Palin's nomination as the GOP vice-presidential running mate.

If you haven't yet, be sure to read Michelle Cottle's case study in the depressing feminist lament, "
A Bad Year For Feminism: Can Someone Please Tell Me What Happened?"

I think women of the contemporary left are
feeling simply violated that a conservative mother from a non-contiguous outback state could credibly claim the mantle as America's top female politician. It has to be a shock, which explains the vehemence that accompanies attacks on any and all facets of Palin's version of the feminine mystique.

But don't take my word for it. Check out
Camille Paglia's perspective, which endorses Barack Obama, but celebrates the audacity of Sarah Palin's gendered power (via Allahpundit):

Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist. In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.
Kay Hymowitz, who we might expect to be more favorable to a GOP-style feminism, in any case, confirms Palin's feminine muscularity:

Whatever Palin’s political impact, her cultural significance is profound. For better and for worse, she introduces a new and likely long-running cultural type to the national stage—the red-state feminist.

Of course, the feminist commentariat, primarily coastal and upper-middle-class, has been quick to deny that Palin is any sort of feminist at all. Yes, Palin can boast political success, activism, authority, and self-confidence in front of an audience of 37 million, and, though less widely discussed (perhaps because so profoundly envied), an egalitarian marriage of the sort that has become the foundational principle of feminist utopia. But in most other respects, especially her position on abortion, she has struck female media types as something more like the Anti-Feminist. She is a “humiliation for America’s women” (Judith Warner for the New York Times) and a tool of the “patriarchs” (Gloria Steinem for the Los Angeles Times).

But the crucial point here is that Palin never wanted to be part of Steinem’s club, and in that respect she speaks for many of her sex. The large majority of women—surveys have put the number at somewhere around 75 percent—shy away from calling themselves feminists, even while supporting some movement goals like equal pay. The primary reason for their coyness: feminism’s ambivalence at best, and hostility at worst, toward motherhood and marriage. The refuseniks may or may not remember that Betty Friedan described full-time motherhood as a “waste of human self” and home as a “comfortable concentration camp.” They may or may not be able to quote Steinem on fish and bicycles. But on some level they understand that the framework of establishment feminism has motherhood, and often marriage, as the menacing 300-pound security guard whom men have hired to stand in the way of women’s achievement.

Palin represents a red-state version of feminism that completely deconstructs this framework. Sure, part of the red staters’ identification with Palin is a matter of lifestyle. Blue-state feminists live in big cities and suburbs; Palin lives in South Podunk. Blue staters’ kids play soccer; Palin’s play hockey. They have WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER bumper stickers; she’s a member of the NRA. They dine on sushi; she eats salmon that she caught and gutted. If you’re an Iowa toll collector married to a refrigerator repairman, Palin may well be your gal by reason of her origin and leisure activities alone.
But let's conclude this review with Paglia once again, who nails the secular demonology theme regularly showcased here:

The witch-trial hysteria of the past two incendiary weeks unfortunately reveals a disturbing trend in the Democratic Party, which has worsened over the past decade. Democrats are quick to attack the religiosity of Republicans, but Democratic ideology itself seems to have become a secular substitute religion. Since when did Democrats become so judgmental and intolerant? Conservatives are demonized, with the universe polarized into a Manichaean battle of us versus them, good versus evil. Democrats are clinging to pat group opinions as if they were inflexible moral absolutes. The party is in peril if it cannot observe and listen and adapt to changing social circumstances.
You go, girl!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Misunderstanding Markos Moulitsas and American Taliban

Well, folks might have noticed the photo of Markos Moulitsas' new book at one of my throwaway posts this afternoon. I'm almost done with the book. And I was going to hold off on a review, but folks are speaking out on it now, so what the heck?

As far as I've seen among leftists, only Jamelle Bouie's
actually read the book, and can thus comment on it with at least minimal knowledge. Significantly, we also have Kevin Drum's comments on American Taliban. He endorses the book while announcing no plans to read it at the same time. And note the ideological affirmation and reassurance as well:
I haven't read American Taliban and don't plan to. I figure I already dislike the American right wing enough, so there's little need to dump another load of fuel onto my own personal mental bonfire.
And that's just the thing. "Dislike" for the American right is SOP with these people. So it's interesting that Jamelle Bouie attempts to distance the progressive left from the extremist ravings of Markos Moulitsas. Only problem is that Markos Moulitsas is the progressive left, that is, he's perfectly representative of the extreme neo-socialism that's become mainstream in Democratic Party politics. Moreover, Moulitsas' endorsement of take-no-prisoners secular demonology is simply the going game of the Democrat Party netroots base. So note two things: (1) Why should anyone be surprised at the content of American Taliban; and (2) why should anyone begrudge Markos Moulitsas for putting pen to paper (or to pixels) to lay out the neo-communist critique of the (perceived) contemporary right wing of American politics? This is what these folks do. The book is an outrage to read, sure, but it's an outrage to read any top blog of the current leftosphere? Indeed, Moulitsas' book reads like one long epic blog post at Daily Kos. Fact is, American Taliban started as a blog post in 2006, and then was crafted into a book. It's not scholarly. In fact, there are no footnotes to document the majority of the outrageous claims offered. What's important to note is Moulitsas' tactic of finding the most out-of-the-mainstream personalities and foisting these off as mainstream conservatives. It's a smear-by-numbers approach that at times pulls in top Republicans like Sarah Palin, etc., adds a couple of the more colorful quotes from said personalities, and voilà! You're got the modern conservative movement 100 percent equivalent to the medieval barbarian Taliban, REAL TERRORISTS who cut off noses of Afghan women and behead apostates from the Islamist creed, and not to mention Americans such as Daniel Pearl. It's absurd, of course. But it's not exceptional. And not only that, the MFM has elevated Moulitsas and Daily Kos to the elite media/Democrat Party establishment. THIS IS the inside game on today's left. So again, this should be no surprise.

Let me just give one example from the book, so folks'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Here's the representative quote from American Taliban, from pp. 50-51:

Kos Rage

In the presidential election of 2008, John McCain thought it hilarious to sing, to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann," "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran ..." And the American Taliban's latest enemy de jour, Iran, remains an obsessive target for those who don't believe America has suffered enough war in the past decade. Sarah Palin, for example, thought it would be fantastic as a way for Obama to cynically secure his re-election campaign. "Say [Obama] played the war card. Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decided [to] come out and do whatever he could to support Israel, which I would like him to do, but --- that changes the dynamic in what we can assume is going to happen between now and three years."

These political fundamentalists, whether Islamic or American, have zero problem playing the war card for domestic gain, sending our bravest to die in distant wars as thoughtlessly as they would move pieces around a game of Risk. Such reckless warmongering behavior results in death and destruction, all in the service to their god and their political ambitions.

Yet, as bad as it is when the American Taliban direct such violent sentiment to our external enemies, it is a direct threat to our democracy when aimed at domestic targets.
I've highlighted that last clause, because that really does sum up Markos Moulitsas' thesis and political agenda. To wit: It is not fanatical global jihad that is the greatest threat to the American democracy --- an existential ideological movement that would be sweeping up in triumphant conquest throughout the Third World, and a bit of the First, if it wasn't for American military power standing guard. It is folks like John McCain, a decorated Vietnam war veteran who gave almost six years of his life to North Vietnamese communist torture and imprisonment, and Sarah Palin, a citizen-politician with five kids who was plucked from relative obscurity to be the 2008 GOP running-mate, who now threaten to destroy the American way of life as representative of some kind of domestic warmongering conservative jihad against the heartland. Yeah, you can see perhaps why some folks like Jamelle Bouie might cringe at such non-reality-based diatribes. But Moulitsas isn't an outlier: American Taliban tells us exactly how the left's hardline partisans see the GOP. And American Taliban wonderfully clarifies the scope of political battle for those on the right who actually live a reality-based life, people who know that it's in fact the alliance between Islam and socialism --- at home and abroad --- that is the genuine threat to our prosperity and perseverance. It's chilling but it's fact. The truth is that Markos Moulitsas is not an "embarrassment to the left," as Doc Zero argues over at Hot Air. Markos Moulitsas is the left. And the sooner folks get that lesson down cold, the faster upstanding folks of moral clarity and values will be able to defeat them.

Added: Digby hasn't read the book either, but still feels confident in claiming:
Markos has written a polemic called "American Taliban" in which he draws an ironic comparison between the far right in American politics and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He isn't saying they are interchangeable. That's ridiculous. Obviously, one exists within a secular Western democracy with a rule of law and the other well ... doesn't.
No, Digby, American Taliban's whole point is that the American religious right is perfectly indistinguishable from the Taliban of South Asia --- and the "American Taliban" is the bigger threat to the U.S. than global jihad. Folks really need to read this book and quit lying about what is or isn't said there. Digby is right up there with Markos Moulitsas as a crazed leftist demonologist who wants a revolution to topple the traditional bases of American politics, if not the constitutional regime itself. Don't be fooled by these people. THEY ARE ALLIED with the Taliban, al Qaeda, and global jihad to destroy American freedom. It's plain as day. I write about it all the time. But naturally very few are willing to call it for what it is, and forget about the MFM. They're in the tank. And unsurprisingly, Digby, in a previous post, isn't shy about endorsing the "American Taliban" theory of politics (even though she's not even read the book):
The inconvenient truth here is that these people are dangerous because their worldview is dangerous. Lethal even. And somebody has to have the guts and to call them on it in their own terms. This "tired genre" of "our opponents are monsters" has been decidedly dominated by one side and the consequences have been grave. We have a fight on our hands and the only real question left is whether anyone on our side is willing to wage it.

Game on, as far as I'm concerned. Knowing one's enemies is half the battle, and these folks are putting the intel right in our laps.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On Death and Decency: The Absence of Divine Soul on the Contemporary Left

I was saddened with the news of Edward Kennedy's diagnosis of brain cancer. While I deeply disagree with Kennedy's politics, I've long admired him for tirelessly carrying the moral flame of his slain brothers.

I've noticed a number of conservative bloggers who've had wonderfully kind things to say about the stricken Massachusetts Senator, for example:

* Debbie at Right Truth sent Kennedy her best wishes: "I wish him and his family nothing but good wishes and good health."

Jules Crittenden sent his as well: "Ted K has a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. Unclear as yet what that means. Best to him and his family."

* Scott at
Powerline had these words: "Our heart goes out to him and his family as he struggles with his current illness."
I too wish the Kennedy family well, as do most Americans, I'm sure.

It's thus troubling to read FrontPageMagazine's report, "
Kennedy's Illness, and the Left's":

THE MEDIA KEEP REMINDING US OF THE ISSUES THAT DIVIDE us as a nation: Iraq, different approaches about reviving the economy, socialized medicine, the role of mankind in global warming, gay marriage, social issues, and many others. As Ted Kennedy’s recently diagnosed brain tumor demonstrated, Right and Left are also divided based on whether they display basic human decency when misfortunes befall a member of the other side. The American people seem to be fundamentally cleft about how they treat news of an opponent’s impending death in a conservative manner – with prayer – or a leftist one – with champagne and hate mail.

The Right Way to Greet Death

Immediately upon learning of the diagnosis, Kathryn Lopez posted a blog on National Review Online headlined
“Oh No,” adding, “Our prayers obviously...” The May 19 edition of National Review Online carried an article entitled, “Praying for Senator Kennedy.” As of early yesterday morning, the post on Little Green Footballs announcing his illness had 1,036 comments. Here are a few representative samples:

“Well I wish him the best. If a cure is not possible, then as many quality months with his family as are possible.”

“I disagree with Senator Kennedy's politics, but he is a fellow American and a fellow human being so I sincerely pray for his recovery and wish his family well.”

“Prayers for the Ted and Kennedy family. Much strength and peace for them in the coming days.”

The Soros-funded Media Matters, try as it might to find evil right-wingers celebrating, found only a clip from Michael Savage. The average conservative, however much he disagreed with Ted Kennedy, wished him well.

Not "Rest In Peace": "Rot In Hell"

This could be contrasted to the hatred the Left has vented toward so many of those who opposed its agenda. One could begin with its reaction to the death of Kennedy – the Rev. Dr. D. James Kennedy. The late minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church was one of the least political of all national Christian spokesmen, but when he passed away last September, the DailyKos announced: "
Another Hate Merchant Meets His Maker." "This won't be a long diary, but another of the first wave of Mega-church hate peddlers has died," the diarist stated. "He and Jerry [Falwell] and Ron [Reagan] should have plenty to talk about for enternity, [sic.] comparing notes and anecdotes. I won't even get into where, since I'm basically a Humanist." Naturally, the Left had similar thoughts about the death of Jerry Falwell almost exactly one year ago. Amanda Marcotte, former employee of the John Edwards presidential campaign, immediately blogged:

“The gates of hell swing open and Satan welcomes his beloved son. Jerry Falwell's dead. Guess god [sic] — notice the small 'g' — liked the ACLU better after all.” Ms. Marcotte was far from alone.
Hating More Than “Religious Right Pharisees”

The humanists didn’t show much humanity at the passing of Charlton Heston last month, either. The loving Left at Democratic Underground wrote such epitaphs as:

If “liberal” means giving every mean-spirited bastard in the world a break solely on the account that they are a fellow homo sapien?… feeling any sense of loss that some sorry piece of shithumanity such as C Heston has checked out? Then sign me out. I am glad that he is no longer breathing the same air that you and I share. Just tell me the address to where I need to mail my “Liberal” card.

Can’t say I feel sorry for Charlton Heston. From all I heard he was as rightwing as they come.

So glad to hear some good news for a change. - I hope that spreader of misery spends all his glory days around the eternal flames of hell with ol’ Raygun talkin’ ’bout how they really fucked this country - oh they probably won’t even remember, lol. How about we quit glorifying someone just because they had the good sense to DIE.

NOW will somebody pry his cold, dead hands from that frickin’ penis substitute?

he had it coming. - I had no empathy for the aging Nazis, either.
One did not have to actually do anything offensive to the Left to incur its wrath. After 9/11, NFL star Pat Tillman gave up his salary to defend the United States in Afghanistan – the War on Terror that leftists claim to support. He was killed there. Learning this, the Urbana, Illinois, chapter of Indymedia wrote, “Pat Tillman is gone good riddance.” The Portland Indymedia site ran the headline, “Dumb Jock Killed in Afghanistan.”

Ted Rall: The Worst of the Worst

The execrable cartoonist
Ted Rall has made a made a career of slurring the dead. Shortly after Reagan’s death, Rall told a reporter Reagan was in Hell “turning crispy brown right about now.” Rall called Pat Tillman an "idiot." He also berated the victims of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and their families as Nazis, and portrayed the grieving wives left behind after 9/11 as money-grubbing media hounds in his cartoon "Terror Widows."

We, the Living

Leftists are not always content to wait for the targets of their hatred to die. Often, they wish – and occasionally, pray – for it when conservatives take ill. (Undoubtedly, one of the few times leftists glance heavenward.) When Dick Cheney’s heart began acting up in November 2006, Huffington Post columnist Tony Hendra offered "
A Thanksgiving Prayer for Dick Cheney’s Heart – and a Few Other Favorite Things."The blasphemous entry begins:

I give thanks O Lord for Dick Cheney's Heart, that brave organ which has done its darn-tootin' best on four separate occasions to do what we can only dream about. O Lord, give Dick Cheney's Heart, Our Sacred Secret Weapon, the strength to try one more time! For greater love hath no heart than that it lay down its life to rid the planet of its Number One Human Tumor.
Cheney had to have his heart electrically shocked to correct an abnormal rhythm days later.
There more examples at the article, from the folks who wished upon Americans "a million Mogadishus."

But note this:
Leftists lack the religious grounding to recognize everyone as a divine soul and a tradition that teaches them to “hate the sin but love the sinner.” The faith of the Left is a political faith, not a religious one, their politics The Politics of Bad Faith, their God The God that Failed. As they share a secular religion, they promote a secular demonology: those who fight for The Cause are not “on the side of the angels” – they are the angels. For all their charges that President Bush is a Manichean, it is they who stand at the Battle of Armageddon and fight for the Lord. Those who stand in their way are not good people misled; they are Beelzebub in gray suits. “Progressives” can no more offer quarter to such people in death than in life. Their opponents’ deaths are not a tragic diminishment of humanity; the bell only tolls to signal the end of a round.
This is another reason why I abandoned the Democratic Party.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sarah Palin and Going Rogue

This is going to be quite a week for the politics of personal destruction. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's autobiography, Going Rogue, is out today. Ms. Palin's whirlwind book tour begins with a high-profile appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as a very personal interview with Barbara Walters, portions of which will appear this morning on Good Morning America. ABC's Kate Snow has a story, "Game On: Palin Book Blitz Begins: Former McCain Aides Rebut Claims in 'Going Rogue'."

One thing to watch out for is whether critics of Ms. Palin have actually read her book. On yesterday's
Fox News Sunday panel, Liz Cheney offered the best comments because she said she'd actually read portions of the book. Along those lines, check out Melanie Kirkpatrick's book review, at the Wall Street Journal, "Her Side of the Story":
She discusses her coming of age in the "new frontier" state of Alaska; her personal faith journey; her experiences with marriage and motherhood, including two miscarriages, a special-needs child and a pregnant teenage daughter; and the free-market convictions that have guided her political career. As a politician, she comes across as a prodigious worker capable of mastering complicated issues—not least the energy policies that matter so much to Alaska's economy—and of building bridges to Democrats.

Through it all, Mrs. Palin emerges as a new style of feminist: a politician who took on the Ole Boy network and won; a wife with a supportive husband whose career takes second place to hers; and a mother who, unlike working women of an earlier age, isn't shy about showcasing her family responsibilities. She writes with sensitivity and affection about her gay college roommate, and she confesses her anguish when she found out that she was carrying a baby with Down syndrome. That experience, she says, helped her to understand why a woman might be tempted to have an abortion. This is not the prejudiced, dim-witted ideologue of the popular liberal imagination.
Perhaps the most important issue raised by Palin's reemergence this week at the center of national politics is, again, whether she's qualified for the presidency. Of course, by just having run as a major party vice-presidential nominee she's broken perhaps the ultimate threshold, although people will continue to attack her as an undignified backwoods hick. Significantly, there's probably an inverse relationship between Sarah Palin's prospects and the radical attacks against her. Not only is the left's rabid demonization of Palin perhaps the best indicator of the former Alaska governor's viability, but the deeper the levels of leftist secular demonology, the higher Palin's favorables among moderates are likely to go.

We still have over a year until the 2012 campaign gets seriously under way. During that time, Ms. Palin will no doubt be continuing her aggressive self-marketing. There's no one on the right who inspires more passion from the faithful, and that's pretty much what it takes to win the presidential nomination. So, Palin just needs to keep chuggin'. Things are going her way.

(And don't put too much faith in these early public opinion polls, for example, Gary Langer's, "Sarah Palin: Rogue for President?" Palin's got lots of time to work her wonders with the American public, and I can guarantee that the left's demonization campaign will only work to increase Palin's favorables over time.)

More at

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Business as Usual at Daily Kos

Here's Markos Moulitas, on Twitter, using the murders of three Pittsburgh police officers as grist for political snark:

When we were out of power, we organized to win the next election. Conservatives, apparently, prefer to talk "revolution" and kill cops.
As Captain Ed notes, "Markos Moulitsas twittered his list to blame the shooting on the conservative movement, and apparently joke about the murders."

Recall that Moultisas and Daily Kos have longed claimed to represent
the "mainstream" of the Democratic Party. I've written previously about Moulitsas' representative secular demonology. But check out Caleb at Red State, "Kos & Kompany: Cop Shooting Equals Twitter Fun:

Diaries and comments at DailyKos indicting conservatives as inciters of murder are utterly commonplace. And not just at DailyKos. To a whole wing of the Democrats it’s axiomatic that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck cause violence. I’m reminded of a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, wherein he and his panel claim that the invective and hyperbole of conservative pundits is so excessive and that it invites harm on Obama, and then equate Glenn Beck with Nazi sympathizer and apologist Father Coughlin. Yes, all in the same segment. Yes, Keith “YOU’RE A FASCIST, SIR” Olbermann.

It’s very telling. Calling conservatives Nazis isn’t even hyperbole to their minds. But calling Obama’s socialist policies socialist is an incitement to murder.
There's more at Memeorandum.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ackerman Wants Bush Dead, Not to Mention a New Counterinsurgency Plan

I've received an e-mail notification from the Center for Independent Media directing me to Spencer Ackerman's new piece at the Washington Independent, "Recasting the War on Terrorism: A Progressive Coalition Wants Obama to Be More Than the Anti-Bush."

First thoughts?

Well, no shit Sherlock, if you'll pardon the expression. I don't normally resort to
urban slang, but since Ackerman's a wannabe punk hipster with a supremely disgusting repertoire of profanity, so I'm sure readers will understand.

For the substantive record, Ackerman should be known by his words, for example
this passage from July:

The Iraq war is and has always been an obscenity, a filthy lie born of avarice and lust for power masquerading as virtue. This is what imperialism looks like. But the age of empire is over. The same hubris that led Bush into the Iraq disaster led him to miscalculate, again and again, over how to entrench it. But now he is impotent, unable to impose his will, and the nakedness of his attempted imposition has led the American and the Iraqi peoples to wake up and end his nightmare. May his war-crimes prosecutor be Iraqi; may his judge be American; and may he die in the Hague.
I wrote of Ackerman's post at the time:

This is the highest stage of moral relativist anti-Americanism, topped-off with a flourish of abject secular demonology.
And given our potty-mouthed Flophouse freak's piece today, delivered to me via my blog profile contact-information (the editors really need to check my archives before sending stuff out to American Power), I have no reason to suspect Ackerman's abandoned his nihilism. He writes, for example:

Buoyed by high expectations for the first year of Barack Obama’s administration, an informal coalition of progressive national-security and civil-liberties experts are urging the president-elect to redefine the war on terrorism.

Eight years of the Bush administration’s approach to counterterrorism have yielded two open-ended and bloody wars; a massively expanded security apparatus, and spending on defense far outpacing outlays on domestic programs, even during a crisis-plagued economy.

Yet while liberals have spent much of this time opposing the Bush administration’s agenda, many of their proposals for Obama go beyond merely rolling back President George W. Bush’s policies — withdrawing from Iraq, shuttering the Guantanamo Bay detention complex, abolishing torture — to offer new areas of emphasis, like stabilizing Afghanistan, an Arab-Israeli peace and a re-envisioned balance between security and liberty.

Through white papers delivered to the Obama transition team, new reports and interviews with reporters, this loose affiliation of progressives is saying it has a real opportunity to recast the U.S. effort against terrorism in fundamental ways.

Consistent with the broader progressive agenda of achieving global security through multilateral cooperation, economic development and respect for human rights, the past few days have seen a series of proposals urging rejection of the Bush administration’s militarism. To the degree these various progressive groups have a concerted goal, it’s to influence the transition with specific liberal ideas for new directions in the war on terrorism.
You can see why one might hardly be dumbstruck in reading this, given the quadrillions of bytes of BDS spewed over the last eight years of the current adminstration.

But more than that, MSM reporting is even highlighting the building leftist backlash to Obama's centrism. For example,
today's Los Angeles Times reports that the antiwar left is worried that Obama's selling out the antiwar surrender enthusiasts to the "people who supported the war from the beginning," a reference to folks like Senator Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

The left wants nothing less than the utter emasculation of American power, with increasing "multilateralism" the buzzword for legitimizing the extreme globalist internationalism of the contemporary left. The flaky imprimatur of the "Washington Independent" does nothing to sanitize the disastrously relativist agenda of Ackerman's "loose affiliation of progressives."

The truth is we're losing in Afghanistan right now because of the weak-kneed nature of the current multinational force.
As Michael Yon wrote last week, de facto victory is at hand in Iraq, notwithstanding the likelihood of the odd deadenders mounting spasms of nihilist mayhem on the Iraqi people. But Afghanistan needs an infusion of resolve, not a progressive coalition of the sniveling:

A new president will soon begin to make critical decisions about Iraq and Afghanistan, the economic crisis at home, and countless other matters. While the Iraq war began, then boiled, and finally cooled before President-elect Obama will be sworn into office on January 20, 2009, the Afghanistan-Pakistan spectacle is just getting started. He was always a fierce opponent of our involvement in Iraq. And, as with so many Democrats in the Senate, he argued frequently, during the campaign, that we should have been focused on Afghanistan all along, because it is the real incubator of the international terrorist threat. Timing being everything, our new president will get his wish. Afghanistan now moves to center stage. The conflicts in Afghanistan and between Afghanistan and Pakistan have the simmering potential to overshadow anything we’ve seen in Iraq. Here are a few things I hope he understands:

Our enemies are winning. The enemies know it. We know it. Who are they? The Taliban, with its deep local roots, is enemy number one. Al-Qaeda is hanging around to make trouble. Some Paks, who don’t want to see a thriving Pushtun state on their border, are our enemies. They fund and shelter the Taliban even though we rely on them to help us defeat it. Nothing is straightforward in this part of the world. We have other enemies in Afghanistan who hate the Taliban.

Most of our allies are not very helpful. With the exception of the British, Canadians, Dutch, and a few others such as the Aussies, we are not fighting this with an “A-team” of international allies. With a few exceptions, our allies on the ground are comprised of several dozen countries that mostly refuse to fight. The bulk of NATO amounts to little more than a “Taliban piñata.” The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is proving nearly worthless and provides no credible threat to armed opposition groups (AOGs) in Afghanistan. Most of the NATO member countries seem to break out in a cold sweat at the mere mention of “Taliban.” They piled in when the war looked easy and largely humanitarian. But now that it’s getting harder and more dangerous, they would like to pile out.

To ensure that we have influence over the outcome, we need more soldiers in Afghanistan, and fast. They need to be U.S. forces, British, Canadian, and Aussie; we cannot depend on NATO in general and they don’t know how to fight anyway. Unless President-elect Obama knows some kind of magic spell, he will not be able to persuade most NATO countries to do the right thing. Springtime 2009 will likely bring very heavy fighting in Afghanistan. We will not have credible negotiating positions while we remain outgunned by a bunch of old rifles and dinged-up RPGs.
Yon pinpoints the resources needed to finish the job: more firepower and the will to use it - something not likely to be realized with the progressives' mushy calls to "legitimize" a beefed up deployment through the utopian defense bureaucracies of "NATO countries."

The leftists will continue to wet their shorts as long as the coming Obama administration makes concessions to the realities of military power.

The fact that the same people who pushed for an American defeat in Iraq are now hoping to "multilateralize" the deployment in Afghanistan shows that Obama is indeed moving right, and this in turn is one of the most reassuring signs that Obama's earlier campaign pledges were largely junk fodder for the masses, and that perhaps he's actually shortened the daylight between his ill-considered antiwar nonsense and the precepts of actual foreign policy responsibility.

That same responsibility, of course, is something of which Spencer Ackerman knows nothing.