"Understand the causes
of terror. Yes, we should try, but let there be no moral ambiguity about
this: nothing could ever justify the events of September 11. The action
we take will be proportionate, targeted; we will do all we humanly can
to avoid civilian casualties. There is no compromise possible with such
people, no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror.
Just a choice: defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must.
America has its faults as a society, as we have ours. But I think of the Union of America born out of the defeat of slavery. I think of its constitution, with its inalienable rights granted to every citizen still a model for the world. I think of a black man, born in poverty, who became chief of their armed forces and is now secretary of state, Colin Powell, and I wonder frankly whether such a thing could have happened here. I think of all this and I reflect: yes, America has its faults, but it is a free country, it is our ally and some of the reaction to September 11 betrays a hatred of America that shames those that feel it."
- Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain
think of us as the war's subjects and the Taliban as the war's objects.
We think and act; the Taliban budges or doesn't budge. This framework helps
the Taliban, because only the subjects of a war are expected to rethink
their behavior. In briefings and interviews, reporters often ask Rumsfeld
whether the United States has "miscalculated" or "underestimated" the Taliban
and whether our bombing raids "create new recruits" for the enemy. They
don't ask whether Taliban leaders ought to re-evaluate their behavior in
light of our violent response to their recalcitrance.
- William Saletan, "The Slate"
"In the battle between
against evil, when all peaceful options are exhausted, men of good conscience
must get up and fight. Control of the world cannot be handed over to evil
men by good people too weak-willed to stand up against them."
- Krishna, "The Bhagavad Gita"
"Few in the Middle
East have a clue about the nature, origins, or history of democracy, a
word that, along with its family ("constitution", "freedom", "citizen"),
has no history in the Arab vocabulary, or indeed any philological pedigree
in any language other than Greek and Latin and their modern European offspring.
Consensual government is not the norm of human politics but a rare and
precious idea, not imposed or bequeathed but usually purchased with the
blood of heroes and patriots, whether in classical Athens, revolutionary
America, or more recently in Eastern Europe. Democracy’s lifeblood is secularism
and religious tolerance, coupled with free speech and economic liberty."
- Victor Davis Hanson, "The Muslims Misjudged Us", City Journal.
There is something
truly sickening in the sight of people who call themselves liberals finding
more fault in America than in the brutal, misogynist and anti-semitic dictatorships
now pitted against the West.
The facts don’t seem to matter. America is portrayed as an imperial force dedicated to what a Harvard professor recently described as 'the crushing and total humiliation of the Palestinians'. Yet it was an American president, Bill Clinton, who brokered a deal that offered the Palestinians sovereignty over 98% of the West Bank and Gaza.
America is described as waging a war against Muslims. Yet in almost every recent American intervention - in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan - it was for the sake of the security of Muslims that American soldiers risked their lives.
America is described as relentlessly pro-Israel. But America gives almost as much foreign aid to Egypt and Jordan. America is described as imperialist. But in recently liberated Afghanistan the Americans have done all they can to set up an indigenous government and are pouring millions of dollars into reconstruction.
America is described as unilateralist. Yet, after the worst terrorist attack in modern history, it patiently assembled a coalition to rid the world of Al-Qaeda’s Afghan bases, and has waited 11 years while Saddam has violated almost every term of the 1991 truce.
- Andrew Sullivan, "The London Times"
Those who presume to
think that somehow the massacre of 5,000 Americans was a actually America's
fault are the same sort of people who, in their heart of hearts, thought
Auschwitz served the Jews right.
- Simon Schama, writing in the aftermath of the attacks
# THE UNDERMINERS
case has taken several contradictory directions to date. The first was
that America would "lash out" and had to be tempered in its unreasoned
wrath. When Mr Bush refused to oblige the caricature of a brainless oaf
and a diplomatic alliance for the action was painstakingly built, the objection
moved to the unfairness of attacking one of the poorest nations on earth.
One of the sly tricks doves play against hawks is to suggest that anything that does not go well in a military campaign means that it is an unmitigated disaster. As they aren't in favour of doing anything very much, they can't, by definition, get anything wrong.
The assumption that not doing something is naturally preferable to the risks of doing something is flawed. In 1993 al-Qa'ida tried to blow up the World Trade Centre. In 1998 it attacked the US embassies in Sudan and Kenya. America's mistake was not in doing too much about Mr bin Laden: it was in not acting against him soon enough.
- Anne McElvoy, "The Doves Are Wrong", The Independent. _
"Do these people know
that World War II was more than three years old before the Allies won a
single major battle on the ground against the Germans or the Japanese?"
- Thomas Sowell, "The Underminers"
"Too many people today
compare the United States, not to other countries, but to their own ideals.
No country can pass that test, if only because some people's ideals conflict
with other people's ideals. Even the same person has some ideals that cannot
be realized along with his other ideals. What this means is that the most
privileged people, living in the freest and most prosperous country on
earth, can go around discontented."
- Thomas Sowell, "Enemies Within"
"Just look at the things
they told you that turned out not to be true. They told you George
Bush would go mad instead he showed cool and cleverness in putting together a complex coalition of fighting forces. They told you that bombing would not work, but it broke the Taliban, just as it broke Slobodan Milosevic. They told you the Taliban would fight to the finish, but beating women turned out to be poor training for bearing up under B52 bombers."
- Eoghan Harris, "Do You Want The Facts", The Irish Independent. _
"The prophets of doom
got it wrong. They warned that the terrain and the climate would defeat
the Americans just as it had defeated the British and the Russians. The
said that the war would end in humiliating defeat or inescapable quagmire
- another Vietnam."
- Michael Mulqueen, "The Irish Independent"
"Hypocrisy is the only
word to describe people who live in British freedom, yet support systems
of thought which deny that freedom, or Britain, must be defended. Liberalism
is betrayed by other people who put the comfort of immigrant minorities
before the insistence on an irreducible list of British civic values: democracy,
mutual tolerance, equality of liberty, the rule of law."
- Hugo Young, "The Guardian"
"Today, the Left doesn't
even offer an alternative, just endless nit-picking raised to the level
of an ideology."
– Robert Harris, "The Daily Telegraph"
"Some of the intelligentsia
are yelling louder than ever that they are being silenced. Professors,
journalists and others who have made grossly offensive remarks in the wake
of the September 11th terrorist attack are shocked that other Americans
are criticizing them for it. To them, apparently, free speech means being
free of criticism by others who want to exercise their own free speech
- Thomas Sowell
"To be a prisoner of
war requires that you observe the rules of war. A critical part of those
rules is that you wear insignia clearly identifying you as a member of
a particular army. Al Qaeda did no such thing. Another critical component
is that you obey the laws of war. These terrorists are not soldiers. They
are beneath such an honorific. They are not even criminals."
- Andrew Sullivan
"Why are so many people
who had nothing to say about the Soviet gulags now going ballistic because
captured terrorists are not being treated like hotel guests? These terrorists
are being treated better than they ever treated anyone."
- Thomas Sowell
"Mr. Ashcroft has been
libeled as an insurrectionist, and yet so far our Constitution is intact...
Our military has been denounced alternatively as too cruel and too lenient
- and al Qaeda is now truncated. Guantanamo was called a concentration
camp, but the inmates look stouter and healthier than when they arrived."
- Victor Davis Hanson
The internment of enemy
aliens in wartime was nothing new nor unique to the United States. Moreover,
the quarantine of people exposed to deadly diseases exemplifies the same
principle - irrespective of individual fault or even whether every individual
in the group has actually become infected or contagious. The process costs
of discovering who does and who does not actually have a deadly and contagious
disease can be just too high to take that chance.
The same principle applies when survivors of a shipwreck try to climb out of the water into an already overloaded lifeboat and are shot before they can capsize the lifeboat and drown all on board. It is not a question of individual guilt but of survival.
- Thomas Sowell, "Tough Questions"
"It's easy to laugh
at Americans. We often find their politics naive, their patriotism quaint,
their firm belief that they live in the greatest country in the world rather
amusing. They are apparently paranoid and ignorant of the rest of the world,
yet the rest of the world comes running to them at the first sign of a
Americans showed their true qualities in the courageous response to Tuesday's calamity, and shamed their cynical critics. It was in the little things. The fact that people stopped as they ran from the meltdown to talk to the cameras, to bear witness, a sense of civic duty even at this time of crisis. There was the paramedic with a camera strapped to him, who watched the cloud of dust rush at him, sheltered behind a car, and then, on finding that he was not hurt, walked back into hell again to see if he could help anyone else."
- Brendan O'Connor, "Irish Independent"
The Short Doctrine
holds that it is perfectly acceptable for Britain and America to intervene
with massive force against a repressive regime, guilty of ethnic cleansing,
provided that the said regime has never threatened or injured any of our
own citizens, and provided that we have no vital strategic interests in
the area. It is, however, absolutely unacceptable to intervene in any way
against a repressive regime, guilty of ethnic cleansing, especially if
that regime is harbouring the terrorist bases and leaders responsible for
murdering 6,000 citizens of the intervening powers, and threatening to
This is an almost classic example of what George Orwell defined as "double think", or what a psychiatrist would term cognitive dissonance: "to hold, simultaneously, two opinions which cancelled out."
- Robert Harris, "The Short Doctrine", The Daily Telegraph. _
Let us look at American
policies. America conducted three wars in the 1990s. The Gulf War saved
the Kuwaiti people from Saddam. American intervention in the Balkans saved
Bosnia. And then we saved Kosovo from Serbia. What do these three military
campaigns have in common? In every one we saved a Muslim people. And then
there was Somalia, a military operation of unadulterated altruism. Its
sole purpose was to save the starving people of Somalia. Muslims all.
- Charles Krauthammer, "Washington Post"
"Do we want to stop
being hated? Then we need to stop succeeding when others are failing. But,
before we go to that extreme, we need to stop saying that their hatred
proves that we must be guilty of something. All human beings are guilty
of being imperfect. But those who are quick to blame America or Western
civilization are seldom willing to compare our imperfections with those
of others. Instead, they condemn America or the West for failing to come
up to their arbitrary standard, while showering others who fall even further
below those standards with "understanding" in the psychobabble sense.
If we really want to understand, then we can start by understanding that wealth is created, not simply transferred - and that some know how to create more than others. But we also need to understand the poisonous role of envy and resentment, at home and abroad."
- Thomas Sowell, "To Stop Being Hated"
"That was chilling.
Ironically, the idea of the West as destroyer has been pushed down the
throats of students at elite universities, yet we’re the only ones in history
who have gone to such lengths to recover the past, reassemble the jigsaw
puzzle, reconstruct past cultures. Those great stone Buddhas, smashed by
cannon fire, were on trade routes dating from the period of the wandering
hordes that attacked Rome. History will say that the destruction of those
images was an early warning sign of something that was about to happen
- Camille Paglia
"With perverse injustice,
a wave of anti-American verbal nastiness - accompanied by nice, liberal
self-doubt - was triggered by the physical anti-Americanism of September
11th. We hear talk of Coca Cola, MacDonalds and other unpopular icons of
supposed American culture. These are not what I would be sorry to lose,
and they are relatively trivial. Modern America is the principal inheritor,
and today's leading exponent, of European scientific and rational civilisation.
And that means the highest civilisation ever, not excluding the Greeks
When we bend over backwards to see the other point of view and blame ourselves for everything; when we fall over ourselves to sympathise with religious 'hurt', 'offence' and legitimate grievance; when we tie ourselves in knots to avoid anything that could conceivably be misinterpreted as racist, let us keep a sense of proportion. The chips are down, and I suddenly know whose side I am on. A world without Islam would not be an obviously worse world in which to live. You may take that as British understatement if you choose. But a world which had lost enlightened scientific reason (which is at its best in America, and not only because more resources are spent on it) would be impoverished beyond all telling.
An appropriate response to the current atrocity would be for us all to stop being so damned respectful."
- Professor Richard Dawkins
"Far from being the
great Satan, I would say we are the great protector. The United States
rebuilt Europe and Japan after World War II, defeated Communism and fascism
and the only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead."
- Colin Powell, US Secretary of State.
"The United States
is today neither a superpower nor, as the French have observed, a hyperpower,
but a megapower without historic precedent. The extent to which the United
States dominates the various conventional facets of power - military, economic,
technological, cultural and political - far outstrips anything achieved
by the British, French or Spanish empires.
A singularly unipolar political structure will produce, absolutely inevitably, a unilateralist outcome. Genuine multilateralism requires a multipolar order. If European politicians dislike American unilateralism, therefore, they should ponder the alternative.
It would be an international order in which the United States rested, to borrow from Ronald Reagan, as 'a shining city on a hill' while anarchy reigned supreme in the valleys."
- Tim Hames, "The Times of London" , 15/02/02
Let us ponder exactly
what the Americans did in that most awful of all centuries, the 20th. They
saved Europe from barbarism in two world wars. After the second world war
they rebuilt the continent from the ashes. They confronted and peacefully
defeated Soviet communism, the most murderous system ever devised by man,
and thereby enforced the slow dismantling - we hope - of Chinese communism,
the second most murderous. America, primarily, ejected Iraq from. America
stopped the slaughter in the Balkans while the Europeans dithered.
Now let us ponder exactly what the Americans are. America is free, very democratic and hugely successful. Americans speak our language and a dozen or so Americans write it much, much better than any of us. Americans make extremely good films and the cultivation and style of their best television programmes expose the vulgarity of the best of ours. Almost all the best universities in the world are American and, as a result, American intellectual life is the most vibrant and cultivated in the world.
"People should think," David Halberstam, the writer, says from the blasted city of New York, "what the world would be like without the backdrop of American leadership with all its flaws over the past 60 years." Probably, I think, a bit like hell.
- Bryan Appleyard, "The Times of London"
"We are the United
States of America, a free society and a free nation which has been, and
continues to be, along with a few other comrades-in-arms like Great Britain,
the greatest force for good in the history of the world — even after you
deduct our considerable mistakes and shortcomings. Through our ideas, enterprise,
and generosity we have done more, in the words of Francis Bacon... to relieve
man's estate than any other nation or people in human history. To refute
this is not a sign of sophistication; it is a sign of ignorance."
- Jonah Goldberg, "Who Are We to Judge?", National Review Online.
"The values America
has, sometimes imperfectly, sought to embody, defend and extend deserve
to be applauded. As a nation, the United States is more open, vital, creative,
free, diverse and healthily democratic than any other on earth. European
states may be more stable, earthed and charming. Australia may have much
of America's openness with a healthier population, freer of conceit. Europe's
smaller nations such as The Netherlands and Denmark may have succeeded
in building greater social solidarity while still preserving personal freedom.
But no nation has the sheer innovative energy, the democratic vitality,
the openness to personal growth and the willingness to shoulder burdens
bigger than itself that America has.
America's greatest victories are not won on battlefields, but in our homes, streets and imaginations. Those who deprecate the US's vulgarity and arrogance daily affirm America is best in the trainers and jeans they wear, the coffee and food they consume, the films that let their minds take flight and the books that give their contemporary lives context."
- Michael Gove (or Groves?), "The Times of London", 4 July 2002
"Europeans have not
a clue that we are powerful and influential precisely because, unlike themselves,
we truly are a radically revolutionary society - the only one in history
in which the hard-working and perennially exhausted lower and middle classes
are empowered economically and have fully taken control of the popular
culture to create strange institutions from Sunday cookouts and do-it-yourself
home improvement to tasteless appurtenances such as Winnebagos, jet skis,
and Play Station IIs.
Upon examination, they freely admit that our idea that money, not education, breeding, and culture, determines success, bothers them. Welcome to radical democratic culture."
- Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"
"The European powers
are not all noted for their modesty, but even they should recognise the
lessons of the 20th century. Without American strength, the Kaiser would
have won the First World War after knocking out Russia, and Hitler would
have won the Second.
Israel would not exist. The Soviet Union, however brutal and incompetent, would have dominated Europe. The whole world would be an infinitely bloodier place, with at best rare patches of threatened democracy.
The global dangers from terrorism are now a threat to our remarkable peace and prosperity in Europe. The United States has both the power and the will to lead the world coalition for peace. There is no alternative, no other benign superpower waiting in the wings. No other country has the defence technology, no other country has the power or determination.
The United States is the leader upon which we depend for security. Some exaggerated US self-interest, a few rough edges of diplomacy, a blunt Texan willingness to state uncomfortable truths, seem a small price for Europe to pay."
- William Rees Mogg, "The Times of London"
"The United States
was attacked by theocratic fascists who represents all the most reactionary
elements on earth. They stand for liquidating everything the left has fought
for: women's rights, democracy. And how did much of the Left respond? By
affecting a kind of neutrality between America and the theocratic fascists...
However bad the American Empire has been, it is not as bad as this. It
is not the Taliban, and anybody - any movement - that cannot see the difference
has lost all moral bearings... inequalities in wealth had nothing to do
with Beslan or Bali or Madrid, if you care about wealth distribution, please
understand, the Taliban and the al Quaeda murderers have less to say on
this than even the most cold-hearted person on Wall Street. These jihadists
actually prefer people to live in utter, dire poverty because they say
it is purifying. Yes, they have many grievances. They are aggrieved when
they see unveiled woman. And they are aggrieved that we tolerate homosexuals
and Jews and free speech and the reading of literature."
- Christopher Hitchens, in an interview with Johann Hari
"Right here in Union
Square, two days after 9/11, there was a demonstration of people saying
we got what we deserved. I was sickened — it was like saying a rape victim
had it coming because she dressed provacatively. That's when my passion
for politics reignited."
- Evan Maloney, maker of "Brainwashing 101"
The CIA funded Afghans
fighting for their country against the Soviets, but virtually all of that
CIA money went through the ISI, Pakistan's feared intelligence service.
The money was earmarked for seven different factions of the resistance
— all of them Afghan. Meanwhile, the Saudis funded a separate and parallel
program for Muslim radicals drawn from across the Muslim world. Bottom
line: Bin Laden was funded by the Saudis, not by us. I interviewed all
three of the CIA station chiefs responsible for managing the Afghan war.
All denied that any CIA money went to any Arabs, let alone bin Laden.
- Rich Miniter, author of "Disinformation", on "National Review Online"
Noam Chomsky's Method : David Horowitz takes on one of the leading critics of US foreign policy, and by extension, common anti-american arguments. _
Scheer Deception : Spinsanity.Com reveals how LA Times writer Robert Scheer started the myth that the US gave aid to the Taliban for its anti-drugs position. _
"We have always been
aware of the phenomenon of anti-Americanism. America was to blame for all
the ills of the world. Other countries are poor because it is rich. Peoples
are oppressed because it suits American purposes, or because America can't
be bothered to liberate them. They are like the Jews in having become the
scapegoats of choice for half the planet. Corrupt rulers, and would-be
rulers, blamed the woes of their peoples on the Jews. So too do today's
rulers and would-be rulers on the Americans."
- David Quinn, "Blaming America", NationalReviewOnline.
"The fashionable idiocy
that haters must have justifications is one of those ideas that George
Orwell said only an intellectual could believe - because no one else could
be such a fool. What did the Jews ever do to Hitler?"
- Thomas Sowell, "The Haters"
"Seeing old newsreel
footage of civilian rallies in Tokyo in 1938 and at Nuremberg at about
the same time is still chilling. Millions of Japanese and Germans - the
elderly, children, women young and old - seem to be blood drunk on militarism,
screaming chants of victory, mesmerized with the belief that their armies
in China and in eastern Germany were invincible, the vanguard of even greater
victories to come.
But by 1945 humbled diplomats huddled in a burned out Tokyo and Berlin with their American advisors to craft democratic constitutions - humane blueprints still in force today.
Force, then, has a way of making people change. Yet pundits wrinkle their brows and then pontificate that 'violence breeds violence', and that hatred has become so deeply embedded that real peace is impossible."
- Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"
The outrages of September
11 were not the acts of the poor, the desperate or the downtrodden. The
poor have tangible needs: They want jobs, trade and opportunity. Terrorism
has traditionally been the weapon of the privileged, the idle, the romantic
and the arrogant.
- Mark Proudman, "The National Post"
The hostility which
these regimes, and the terrorists they sponsor, feel towards the West is
existential. It cannot be assuaged by more international aid, a reordering
of the world financial system, a new peace plan for the Palestinians, the
signing of the Kyoto treaty or any other of the panaceas for soothing away
world tension peddled by the new Left or old Arabists. As with Nazis and
the Communists, they hate us for what we are, not what we do. And that
hatred, being molten, is dynamic. It cannot be limited by lines in the
sand, or constrained by diplomacy. Just as it is in the nature of totalitarians
to hate so it is endemic to them to attack, to expand, to export their
- Michael Gove, "The Times"
Breeding Terrorism : Lost amidst the predictable cries of poverty and injustice breeding terrorists are their real origins in affluent Saudi Arabia. (Steyn, NP, 4/10/01) _
Every liberal twit
talks about the danger of "over-reaction" to the Taliban, when the actual
danger is, and has for some time been, one of under-reaction.
- Christopher Hitchens
Did we not aid the
grisly Taliban to achieve and hold power? Yes indeed "we" did. Well, does
this not double or triple our responsibility to remove them from power?
- Chistopher Hitchens
Perhaps, like me, you
have been receiving various communications about the true meaning and motive
for the immolation of the World Trade Centre. Or perhaps you have been
reading the odd speech, or even Guardian letter, interpreting the wishes
of the hijackers and the deep grievances that underlay their actions. I
have a standard practice that I follow with such messages or such analyses.
"Dear Sir or Madam," I reply. "You claim to have information about what
was already in the minds of the death squads on the morning of September
11 2001. May I express the hope that, before communicating this valuable
intelligence to me, you conveyed it to the proper authorities. Indeed,
may I have your assurance that you have already done so? If, on reflection,
you now decide that you did not have any advance intelligence of these
actions, would you very much mind keeping your idiotic opinions to yourself."
Try it. It works every time, by letter or in conversation.
- Christopher Hitchens, "Murder Was Their Only Motive", The Guardian.
Ask me, and I'd say
that the "motive" for such an action was to kill as many innocent people
as seemed feasible, while spending some quality time in the company of
the other innocent people who were being kidnapped for the purpose of murder.
Press me further, and I'd say that the political or theological agenda
was the vindication of a primeval fundamentalism. (Ask me for my evidence,
and I would point out that perhaps 700 Muslims were burned alive in New
York on September 11 last. My comrades at the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination
Committee tell me that New York's Yemeni community alone is mourning 200
missing.) Since the death squads had some knowledge of the area, and of
American society, they can hardly have imagined that they were hitting
only unbelievers. But the believers were the wrong kind of Muslim, or were
otherwise expendable. That, by the way, is what fundamentalism means.
- Christopher Hitchens, "Murder Was Their Only Motive", The Guardian.
"It is also impossible
to compromise with the stone-faced propagandists for Bronze Age morality:
morons and philistines who hate Darwin and Einstein and who managed, during
their brief rule in Afghanistan, to ban and to erase music and art while
cultivating the skills of germ warfare. If they would do that to Afghans,
what might they not have in mind for us? In confronting such people, the
crucial thing is to be willing and able, if not in fact eager, to kill
them without pity before they can get started."
- Chistopher Hitchens
"After September 11,
2001... quite a bit of the left... thought jihadism was in some way an
expression of anti-imperialism. There was the reflexive view that somehow
the jihadists must represent a grievance or protest against poverty or
oppression. Everybody knows what the grievances of the jihadists are —
they're very easy to identify. They grieve for the loss of the caliphate.
They're not anti-imperialists — they're pro-imperialists. There's an empire
they lost and want back. They're offended — deeply, grievously offended
— by the sight of an undraped woman or the existence of a Shiite Muslim,
or a Christian, or a Jew. These things they consider to be offensive. They
believe God gives them the right to erase these things. Let's not understate
the fact that they do have deep-seated grievances. But to hear this ventriloquized
on the left as some sort of perverse populism was too much for me."
- Christopher Hitchens, interviewed in "The Common Review"
As for the idea that
Israel is the root cause of the emergence of al-Qaida: Bin Laden's gang
emerged from a whole series of tough and reactionary battles in Central
and Eastern Asia, from the war for a separate Muslim state in the Philippines
to the fighting in Kashmir, the Uighur territories in China, and of course
Afghanistan. There are hardly any Palestinians in its ranks, and its communiqués
have been notable for how little they say about the Palestinian struggle.
Bin Laden does not favor a Palestinian state; he simply regards the whole
area of the former British Mandate as a part of the future caliphate. The
right of the Palestinians to a state is a just demand in its own right,
but anyone who imagines that its emergence would appease — or would have
appeased — the forces of jihad is quite simply a fool. Is al-Qaida fomenting
civil war in Nigeria or demanding the return of East Timor to Indonesia
because its heart bleeds for the West Bank?
- Christopher Hitchens, "Slate Magazine"
Noam Chomsky sought
earnestly to convince me that Vaclav Havel, by addressing a joint session
of Congress in the fall of 1989, was complicit in the murder of the Jesuits
in El Salvador that had occurred not very long before he landed in Washington.
- Christopher Hitchens
# WISDOM FROM THE PAST
"There is a minority
of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to
be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist
propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the
other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual
pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval
but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States.
Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence
used in defence of western countries.
Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me.'"
- George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism," 1945.
"Before you can even
talk of world reconstruction, or even peace, you have got to eliminate
Hitler, which means bringing into being a dynamic not necessarily the same
as that of the Nazis, but probably quite as unacceptable to 'enlightened'
and hedonistic people. What has kept England on its feet during the past
year? In part, no doubt, some vague idea about a better future, but chiefly
the atavistic emotion of patriotism, the ingrained feeling of the English-speaking
peoples that they are superior to foreigners. For the last twenty years
the main object of English left-wing intellectuals has been to break this
feeling down, and if they had succeeded, we might be watching the SS men
patrolling the London streets at the moment... The energy that actually
shapes the world springs from emotions - racial pride, leader-worship,
religious belief, love of war - which liberal intellectuals mechanically
write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely
in themselves as to have lost all power of action."
- George Orwell, "Wells, Hitler, and the World State."
"The mentality of the
English left-wing intelligentsia can be studied in half a dozen weekly
and monthly papers. The immediately striking thing about all these papers
is their generally negative, querulous attitude, their complete lack at
all times of any constructive suggestion. There is little in them except
the irresponsible carping of people who have never been and never expect
to be in a position of power."
- George Orwell, "England Your England", 1940.
of the Left were the loudest in demanding that the Nazi aggression should
be resisted at all costs. When it comes to a showdown, scarce four weeks
have passed before they remember that they are pacifists and write defeatist
letters to your columns, leaving the defence of freedom and of civilisation
to Colonel Blimp and the Old School Tie, for whom Three Cheers."
- JM Keynes, "The New Statesman", Oct 14 1939
"I venture to say that
what is bad in the candid friend is simply that he is not candid. He is
keeping something back - his own gloomy pleasure in saying unpleasant things.
He has a secret desire to hurt, not merely to help. This is certainly,
I think, what makes a certain sort of anti-patriot irritating to healthy
citizens. I do not speak (of course) of the anti-patriotism which only
irritates feverish stockbrokers and gushing actresses; that is only patriotism
speaking plainly. A man who says that no patriot should attack the Boer
War until it is over is not worth answering intelligently; he is saying
that no good son should warn his mother off a cliff until she has fallen
over it. But there is an anti-patriot who honestly angers honest men, and
the explanation of him is, I think, what I have suggested: he is the uncandid
candid friend; the man who says, 'I am sorry to say we are ruined,' and
is not sorry at all. And he may be said, without rhetoric, to be a traitor;
for he is using that ugly knowledge which has allowed him to strengthen
the army, to discourage people from joining it... The evil of the pessimist
is, then, not that he chastises gods and men, but that he does not love
what he chastises, he has not this primary and supernatural loyalty to
- GK Chesterton, "Orthodoxy"
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