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Friday, December 16, 2005

IRAQ'S ACHIEVEMENT: The post-humanitarian left can't be bothered with celebrating the Iraqi people's electoral victory, any more than they were willing to allow themselves to be concerned with Saddam's rape rooms. Nope — these are the people who in 2001 worked hard to tally how many civilians died in Afghanistan as a result of America's post-911 efforts against the Taliban. If the number of civilian casualties exceeded the number of people killed in the attacks on the Twin Towers, American action in would be unjust. That the contemporary American left is primarily anti-American is self-evident, but it's worth noting that this is not true of all national radical moments. For most of the imperial years, French leftists were as proud of their Frenchness as were French conservatives. The great American baritone Paul Robeson hated Franco's fascism and embraced communist ideas, yet he claimed to do so as an American patriot. His "Ballad for Americans" wasn't great music, but Robeson's pride in being American was on full display; the ballad was not a hymn to alienation. Here's the point: On this day after the election — not surprisingly in the least — MoveOn.org leads with a request for funds to run a TV commercial demanding that all American troops leave Iraq by a date certain. Not a word about the brave Iraqis who risked everything for a purple finger; everything that falls short of perfection in Iraq is America's fault. It's worth noting that vast numbers of Sunni Moslems who boybotted previous elections cast ballots yesterday in droves. The Iraqi Islamic Army, an anti-American milita group, actually safeguarded the polls. "Sunni 'insurgents' are more committed to a peaceful, stable, democratic Iraq than the American left," notes Ben Johnson at Front Page Magazine. Meanwhile, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi announces her party won't even take a stand on Iraq in the 2006 elections. Translation: We don't care enough about Iraqi freedom to want to help advance it; but if the situation goes to hell we want to be in a position to say we told you so. Again, no surprise — it's nothing new. In his novel I Married a Communist, Philip Roth spoke of "the combination of embitterment and not thinking." This is all the resentment-driven American left is now — not much different, interestingly, from what the John Birch Society represented, back in the 1950s.