December 4, 2009

Harsh Words For Harsh Times

Andy McCarthy explains (below) the mess we're in today better than anyone we know. And yes, it's a mess, and neither the so-called "Left" or "Right" know what they're doing. Actually, we take that back - they know what they're doing, and what they're doing is playing politics with national security.

The "Left" is represented by a community organizer who's in way over his head (especially in matters of national security) and has never had to make a decision in his life. After all, community organizers organize, they don't decide.

The "Right" is represented by a politician who believes "surge" is a one-size-fits-all solution. After all, it worked in Iraq (for now...) so why wouldn't it work in Afghanistan, right?

No one on either side of the aisle is asking the hard questions - like, we're sending more troops to Afghanistan, but what exactly are they going to do there, and more importantly, how are they going to do it with those ridiculous Rules of Engagement we have in place - and no one on either side of the aisle can see beyond their own political noses.

There's a reason we shun political labels (besides our natural aversion towards groupthink) and the current mess is a perfect example why. Who in their right mind would want to be associated with any of clowns we have in DC today, on both sides of the aisle?!

National Review Online  |  December 4, 2009

Alinsky Does Afghanistan
Obama's radical inspiration would have loved his speech on the war.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

If there is one word that captures President Obama's much-anticipated Afghanistan speech, it is "cynical." Yes, the speech was also internally contradictory, counter-historical, and premised on fatally flawed assumptions about Islam and the Afghan people. Cynicism, however, is the defining feature of Obama speeches. This one was no different: from its use of the United States Military Academy as a prop to its concluding assertion that "our resolve is unwavering" . . . after the president had spent the preceding 40 minutes in full waver mode.

There are two things to bear in mind in considering any Obama speech, and they go double for those that touch on national security.

First, the president is an Alinskyite, so steeped in the ideology of the seminal community organizer that he became a top instructor in Alinskyite tactics for other up-and-coming radicals. As David Horowitz explains in an essential new pamphlet, Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model, Alinksyites are fifth-column radicals. They have, in substance, the same goals as open revolutionaries: overthrowing the existing free-market republic and replacing it with a radical's utopia. That's why Obama could befriend such unrepentant former terrorists as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and take inspiration from Jeremiah Wright, a black-liberation theologist. But Alinskyites are more sophisticated, patient, and practical. They bore in, hollowing out the system from within, appropriating the appearance and argot of mainstream society. Their single, animating ambition is to overthrow the capitalist social order, which they claim to see as racist, corrupt, exploitative, imperialist, etc. Apart from that goal, everything else — from the public option to Afghanistan — is negotiable: They reserve the right to take any position on any matter, to say anything at any time, based on the ebb and flow of popular opinion. That keeps them politically viable while they radically transform society. Transform it into what, they haven't worked out in great detail — except that it will be perfect, communal, equal, and just.

The second thing to bear in mind is that the president is a power politician who shrewdly reads the vulnerabilities of both his opponents and his backers. He knows conservatives want to support both our troops and presidential initiatives that at least seem supportive of our vital interests. That makes conservatives a cheap date for Obama. He feels free to run down Bush and to tar our history: "We are not as young — and perhaps not as innocent," he told the cadets at West Point, "as we were when [Franklin] Roosevelt was president." He also frames national security as a distraction from his more important work socializing our economy. He knows that as long as he is tepidly supportive of a military mission — even one that neither aims to achieve nor can possibly achieve victory over America's enemies — conservatives will not only overlook the slights; they will anxiously commend him and help the New York Times take the lash to those who won't.

The president also knows the Left has no place else to go. They'll grumble about "escalation." We'll get the occasional Michael Moore outburst. But as Horowitz observes, this is the same theater that has gone on for decades. Alinsky's principles hold that open radicals unwittingly betray the cause by honestly urging their radicalism on a society that doesn't want it. The trick, which Obama has internalized, is to masquerade as a concerned but benign member of that society and speak in high-minded abstractions – "our values," "social justice," "equality," "dignity," and the like. That way, you sell yourself as a well-intentioned leader but, upon acquiring power, determinedly shift Leviathan toward your own radical conception of values, justice, equality, and dignity.

It is a long march, and compromises — like surging troops in order to withdraw troops — have to be made along the way. But those compromises keep Alinskyites politically viable. As Ayers has found in his second act, as an "education reformer," that's a better prescription for success than blowing up the Pentagon. Explaining that he was still a "revolutionary, but just a more effective one," Van Jones — a former avowed Communist who became Obama's friend, fellow Alinskyite, and "green jobs czar" — put it this way in explaining why he now works within the system: "I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends." As Horowitz notes, "It was the Alinsky doctrine perfectly expressed."

Placed in this framework, President Obama's West Point speech was totally predictable. During the presidential campaign, he and his party cynically raised the Afghanistan mission to a noble calling, not because they thought it really was one but because it made their political attack on the war in Iraq more effective. Now, Obama is cratering in the polls and his party is in even worse shape. At this point, they can't afford to abandon the noble calling: Even the legacy media couldn't protect them from the fallout, which would have intensified when the Taliban overran Karzai — right about the time we headed into our 2010 midterm elections. So we can't leave, but we can't wage war either. The Obama Left can tolerate, barely, the appearance of waging war, if that's what it takes to prevent rank-and-file Democrats from revolting. But the president's base has no interest in defeating anti-American Muslims.... more here.


[Comment Rules]
We welcome your comments, but please comply with our Comment Rules. You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment. Comments will display your Username and location.

Log In »

Not a member? Register here!