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Tuesday, October 7, 2008 should be remembered as a day when federal judicial arrogance descended to a new low.

Apparently, before being appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton, United States District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina (District of Columbia) learned somewhere along his career path—student at Georgetown University and its Law School, practitioner at the DC Public Defender’s Office, teacher at Howard University School of Law, judge at the DC Superior Court—that Articles I (legislative) and II (executive) of the United States Constitution must succumb to the arrogance of unelected, life-tenured Article III federal judges.

That’s because on October 7th, Judge Urbina decided that the government’s power to hold seventeen Guantanamo detainees had “ceased,” that they were to be transferred to the District of Columbia within four days, that once there they were to be freed, that they were to be relocated in the greater DC area, and that the government better not use immigration laws to harass the illegally-here aliens.

Residents of the District of Columbia were not happy. The Wall Street Journal opined about The Terrorists Next Door. The White House was “deeply concerned by, and strongly disagree[d] with” Urbina’s ruling. Conservatives were outraged, especially at Urbina’s threat to the government that “I do not expect these Uighurs will be molested [!] by any member of the United States government,” arrogantly adding that “I’m a federal judge, and I’ve issued an order.”

Urbina believed he had the power to issue that order because of the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision in the Boumediene v. Bush case, which held that alien unlawful enemy combatants have a constitutional right to use habeas corpus in American federal courts to challenge their detention.

In dissenting from, and lamenting, the majority opinion in Boumediene Chief Justice Roberts asked rhetorically, “So who has won?” His answer anticipated, in part, what Urbina did last week. Roberts wrote:

Not the detainees. The Court’s analysis leaves them with only the prospect of further litigation to determine the content of their new habeas right, followed by further litigation to resolve their particular cases, followed by further litigation before the [United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit] . . . . Not Congress, whose attempt to “determine— through democratic means—how best” to balance the security of the American people with the detainees’ liberty interests . . . has been unceremoniously brushed aside. Not the Great Writ [of habeas corpus], whose majesty is hardly enhanced by its extension to a jurisdictionally quirky outpost, with no tangible benefit to anyone. Not the rule of law, unless by that is meant the rule of lawyers, who will now arguably have a greater role than military and intelligence officials in shaping policy for alien enemy combatants. And certainly not the American people, who today lose a bit more control over the conduct of this Nation’s foreign policy to unelected, politically unaccountable judges. (My emphasis.)

Roberts’s prophesy about the likes of District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina raised yet another question: If the detainees didn’t win, if Congress didn’t win, if the principle of habeas corpus didn’t win, if the rule of law didn’t win, if the American people didn’t win—and, one can add, if the Commander-in-Chief didn’t win—who did?

Earlier in his dissent Chief Justice Roberts suggested the answer, writing that the Boumediene decision is “not really about the detainees at all, but about control of federal policy regarding enemy combatants,” and that “[a]ll that today’s opinion has done is shift responsibility for those sensitive foreign policy and national security decisions from the elected branches to the Federal Judiciary.”

Or, as Chief Justice Roberts put it: “unelected, politically unaccountable judges.” The Judge Urbinas of the federal bench!

Those of us who for years have had a bellyful of such judges and the damage they have done to our social, cultural, economic, political and military institutions today rightly fear that legions of Urbinas are waiting in the wings for appointment to federal courts following an election victory by Senate Democrats and Barack Obama.

Obama adheres to the doctrine of a “Living Constitution.” Those who subscribe to Living Constitution ideology believe that the founding principles of this Nation are passé, that the Declaration of Independence’s ringing endorsement of individual rights and limited government is outdated, that the Constitution’s creation of a representative republic is from a long past moment in history, and that the Bill of Rights is not a restraint on government but rather a source of newly invented “rights.”

If the federal judiciary, let alone the Supreme Court, falls into Obama’s hands (especially with a compliant Senate, let alone a filibuster-proof one), our Nation will surely be crippled, perhaps fatally, in its domestic battle against socialism and our foreign war against Islamofascism.

This is not a charge that I make lightly, but rather one rooted in the words of candidate Obama himself.

On July 17, 2007, Obama made a speech in Washington, D.C. to the country’s leading abortion-meister, “Planned Parenthood.” In the words of NBC reporter Carrie Dean Obama not only “leveled harsh words at conservative Supreme Court justices,” but “he offered his own intention to appoint justices with ‘empathy’.”

“Empathy,” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, is “the projection of one’s own personality into the personality of another in order to understand him better; ability to share in another’s emotions or feelings.”

Thus, we have been unmistakably warned that president-hopeful Barack Obama will appoint Supreme Court justices who will not honestly interpret the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Fourteenth Amendment—let alone on the basis of what they say and meant to those who wrote them—but who, instead, will project their own personalities into others to understand them better; justices who can share in those others’ emotions or feelings.

And who might Obama’s empathy-receivers be?

Obama himself told us in that same 2007 Planned Parenthood speech: “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” (My emphasis.)

It couldn’t be clearer what this candidate for the presidency of the United States admittedly has in store for the federal judiciary and thus for our Nation.

So much for the classical liberal philosophy that was at the founding’s core and in its fundamental documents. From now on, constitutional interpretation Obama-style is to be through the eyes of whom he sees as society’s alleged victims.

Obama’s confession drops the notion of a Living Constitutionalism into yet a lower rung of hell. His confession reveals that while in the past the Living Constitution’s acolytes sought to achieve the amorphous goals of “social justice, brotherhood, and human dignity,” a President Obama will feed the beast with what’s left of individual rights and limited government, all in the name of “empathy”—a code word for something much darker: sacrifice of true constitutionalism to the needs of society’s perceived victims.

This perversion of America’s essence—individual rights and limited government—is collectivism/statism squared. While our Nation has so far been able to survive Living Constitutionalism—though with the recent Guantanamo decisions, especially Boumediene v. Bush, who knows?—we may not be able to survive Obama-appointed federal judges in the mode of Richardo M. Urbina.

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Here before us is a Soviet archival document,* a top secret report by a communist apparatchik who had received a delegation of US Senators led by Joseph Biden in 1979. After describing routine arms control discussions, it quotes Biden as telling the Soviets off-record that he did not really care about the persecution of Russian dissidents. He and other Senators might raise human rights issues with their Soviet counterparts, but only to be seen by the public as defenders of human rights, not to have those problems really solved. They would happily take no for an answer.Vadim V. Zagladin, the then deputy head of the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee (the organization formerly known as the Comintern), wrote in the report:

The delegation did not officially raise the issue of human rights during the negotiations. Biden said they did not want ‘to spoil the atmosphere with problems which are bound to cause distrust in our relations.’ However, during the breaks between the sessions the senators passed to us several letters concerning these or those ‘refuseniks’.

Refuseniks were one of the best known groups of oppressed citizens in the USSR at that time: thousands of Jews who were refused exit permissions to emigrate to Israel on various trumped-up pretexts.

Unofficially, Biden and [Senator Richard] Lugar said that, in the end of the day, they were not so much concerned with having a problem of this or that citizen solved as with showing to the American public that they do care for ‘human rights’. They must prove to their voters that they are ‘effective in fulfilling their wishes’. In other words, the collocutors directly admitted that what is happening is a kind of a show, that they absolutely do not care for the fate of most so-called dissidents.

In the same conversation, Biden asked us to ensure that senators’ appeals on those issues are not left unanswered – even if we just reply that the letter is received but we cannot do anything.

Like most secret documents of the Cold War years, this report still remains classified in Russia’s official archives. However, a copy is available in the Gorbachev Foundation Archive in Moscow, where it was deposited by Mr. Zagladin – who himself works for the Gorbachev Foundation since the collapse of the USSR. Under pressure from the Kremlin, the archive had to limit the access to some of its documentary collections. However, Zagladin’s documents (Inventory 3/1) – including the one quoted above – were still available to researchers a few years ago, and that is how we obtained copies.

Of course, when people’s reputations are at stake, a natural question is: how far can we believe a document written by a communist? Other things being equal, if it is Zagladin’s word against a word of a U.S. Senator, one would surely believe the latter. Hopefully, Sen. Biden and Sen. Lugar will fairly soon provide the public with their own accounts of that episode, and then we will be able to compare.

Yet, we should not forget that these top secret documents were never intended to see the light of the day. They were written not for us, but for a very narrow circle of Zagladin’s communist bosses. Indeed, it was his job to deceive simple mortals; but deceiving the Politburo would be both pointless and dangerous. After reading and analyzing hundreds of suchlike reports by Zagladin, one cannot but conclude that he always portrayed his foreign collocutors as tougher, not softer, than they really were. That was natural, because that was safer for Zagladin himself. It was his job to cultivate foreign contacts, which made him to a degree responsible for their behavior. If he reported that someone was pro-Soviet and then the man turned out to be anti-Soviet, Zagladin would be held responsible. That is why he always preferred to err on the other side.

In any case, diplomacy is not so much about what you mean as how you are understood. If you go to Moscow sincerely determined to fight like a lion for human rights, and then leave the enemy with an impression that you don’t care – this is a monumental failure. It hardly matters what Senators Biden and Lugar actually thought about Soviet human rights abuses in the first place. If they really cared for human rights and meant to pressure the Soviets – so much the worse. Be that as it may, they were understood as the document reads. The message which the enemy received from them was this: we don’t care for those whom you keep torturing and rotting in prisons, but we would appreciate if you help us improve our public image.

There was more to it than simply the betrayal of dissidents; for this involved the question of the Senators’ own independence. Indeed, they should have known that every Soviet official who dealt with high-ranking foreigners would see them not as partners, but as potential targets for recruitment, potential collaborators or fellow-travelers. On such occasions, the Soviets always searched for a way to corrupt you. The worst thing you could do was to show the enemy that you depend on him in any way. For any Western politician, telling the Soviets that his public image depends on their good will was the first step to becoming an agent of influence, de facto if not de jure.

Today, it is a fact rather than a possibility that the next U.S. administration will have to lead the free world in the Second Cold War. Respectively, the staunchest critics of Russia’s authoritarianism from recent years – Senators McCain and Biden – are now at the center stage of the electoral campaign. Yet, fighting and winning this new Cold War will require more than just rhetoric. In order to work out correct strategies and tactics, it is more important than ever to analyze the lessons and mistakes of the first Cold War.

* [Top secret document is printed below]

9-20 April 1979 [?]The memo by Vadim V. Zagladin, deputy head of the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee

ON THE BASIC CONTENTS OF TALKS WITH THE US SENATORS

During the official negotiations with the delegation of US senators led by J. Biden and the unofficial talks with the delegation’s head and some members, our collocutors expressed a number of considerations of certain interest.

1. J. Biden, the head of the delegation, said that the mutual understanding that the SALT-2 treaty should be ratified is, basically, achieved in the Senate Commission for Foreign Affairs. However, four reservations should be formulated. The contents of those reservations have already been reported to us by our embassy in Washington.

While commenting on the contents of those reservations, Biden said they should not worry the Soviet Union because they do not concern the substance of the treaty. The only reservation which, in his opinion, may cause our ‘displeasure’ says that the SALT-2 should not prevent the US from providing the defence capabilities of their allies. In practice, the collocutor said, this is a way to confirm the US’ preparedness to keep supplying European NATO members with modern US weapons, with the exception, naturally, of those types which are covered by the treaty itself.

The Senate Commission for Foreign Affairs is going to conclude the consideration of the treaty by the end of September. However, the Senate itself is starting to work on this problem later, possibly on the eve of the Christmas.

2. As for the problem of supplying Western Europe with new types of weapons, including the Pershing missiles etc.;, Biden said that no final decisions had been taken on this issue yet. Those decisions will be taken in December. And a lot there, he emphasised, will depend on the position of the Soviet Union.

During unofficial talks, Biden noted rather cynically that he personally and other members of the US Senate do not very much care about the Europeans’ concerns. The main area of the US citizens’ interest is the security of the US itself. Nevertheless, the feelings of our allies also ‘concern us’, he said. ‘We cannot stop supporting our allies, because if we did that, we would have weakened America’s own security’. Therefore, Biden continued, the Americans will probably have to solve the question of the supplies of the new types of armaments to Western Europe positively in principle. In any case, the majority in the Senate supports that, he said.

Then Biden meaningfully emphasised (and he was actively supported by Senator Prior here) that if the SALT-2 treaty is ratified before December, and if the Soviet Union makes some demonstrative steps in favour of further disarmament progress before the NATO meeting, the European countries probably may refrain from deploying new types of American weapons in Europe, or at least, postpone the decisions taken on this issue.

To our question on what exactly steps are meant here, Prior answered that, for example, the Soviet government might state it is not going to increase the number of SS-20 missiles any further.

3. Something that caught our attention was that this time, in both official and unofficial talks, the senators would raise more questions about the prospects, about the SALT-3, than the SALT-2. Unofficially, Biden said that ‘the question of the future is more significant to the more serious senators – although not to all – than the question of the present treaty. The thing is (he explained) that many in the Senate consider the present treaty as a kind of an intermediate step, a booster for the further reduction of the arms race. Many in the US are very serious about this, believing it is possible to negotiate the reduction of the level of military confrontation with the Soviet Union. However, at the same time, many people are uncertain whether the USSR will agree to further serious steps of that kind.’

Most questions concerned two subjects. Firstly, whether the USSR would agree to a significant reduction of the number of nuclear missiles at the next stage (the senators were particularly interested in heavy missiles in this connection). Secondly, whether the USSR would agree to the explansion of control and the introduction of ‘more effective methods’ (for example, the ‘black boxes’, which were discussed during the negotiations on the prohibition of underground nuclear tests).

It emerged during that talks that, in spite of all huge work we are doing about this, many statements of Comrade L. I. Brezhnev were unknown to the majority of the senators – for example, his statement that the Soviet Union was not going to make the first nuclear strike against anyone. The relevant texts were given to them, along with some other documents of the CPSU and the Soviet government.

4. It should also be noted that, this time, the delegation did not officially raise the issue of human rights during the negotiations. Biden said the did not want ‘to spoil the atmosphere with problems which are bound to cause distrust in our relations.’ However, during the breaks between the sessions the senators passed to us several letters concerning these or those ‘refuseniks’.

Unofficially, Biden and Lugar said that, in the end of the day, they were not so much concerned with having a problem of this or that citizen solved as with showing to the American public that they do care for ‘human rights’. They must prove to their voters that they are ‘effective in fulfilling their wishes’. In other words, the collocutors directly admitted that what is happening is a kind of a show, that they absolutely do not care for the fate of most so-called dissidents.

In the same conversation, Biden asked us to ensure that senators’ appeals on those issues are not left unanswered – even if we just reply that the letter is received but we cannot do anything. According to Biden, letters of this kind – if they are not addressed to the highest representatives of the Soviet state – sometimes remain unanswered.

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Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday accused Democrat Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists” because of his association with a former 1960s radical, stepping up the campaign’s effort to portray Obama as unacceptable to American voters.Palin’s reference was to Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the group the Weather Underground. Its members took credit for bombings, including nonfatal explosions at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, during the tumultuous Vietnam War era four decades ago. Obama, who was a child when the group was active, served on a charity board with Ayers several years ago and has denounced his radical views and activities.

The Republican campaign, falling behind Obama in polls, plans to make attacks on Obama’s character a centerpiece of presidential candidate John McCain’s message with a month remaining before Election Day.

Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, “Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” She also said, “This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America.”

Palin, Alaska’s governor, said that donors on a greeting line had encouraged her and McCain to get tougher on Obama. She said an aide then advised her, “Sarah, the gloves are off, the heels are on, go get to them.”

The escalated effort to attack Obama’s character dovetails with TV ads by outside groups questioning Obama’s ties to Ayers, convicted former Obama fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Ayers is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He and Obama live in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood and served together on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based charity that develops community groups to help the poor. Obama left the board in December 2002.

Obama was the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school-reform group of which Ayers was a founder. Ayers also held a meet-the-candidate event at his home for Obama when Obama first ran for office in the mid-1990s.

Palin cited a New York Times story published Saturday that detailed Obama’s relationship with Ayers. In an interview with CBS News earlier in the week, Palin didn’t name any newspapers or magazines that had shaped her view of the world.

Summing up its findings, the Times wrote: “A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called ‘somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.'”

Earlier Saturday, Palin spent 35 minutes at a diner in Greenwood Village where she met with Blue Star Moms, a support group of families whose sons or daughters are serving in the armed forces. Reporters were allowed in the diner for less than five minutes before being ushered out by the campaign.

Palin, whose 19-year-old son, Track, deployed last month as a private with an Army combat team, was overheard at one point commiserating with one of the mothers: “Any time I ask my son how he’s doing, he says, ‘Mom, I’m in the Army now.'”

Taking one question from reporters about competing in battleground states, Palin repeated her wish that the campaign had not pulled out of Michigan, a prominent state in presidential elections where Obama leads by double-digit percentage points in recent polls.

“As I said the other day, I would sure love to get to run to Michigan and make sure that Michigan knows that we haven’t given up there,” she said. “We care much about Michigan and every other state. I wish there were more hours in the day so that we could travel all over this great country and start speaking to more Americans. So, not worried about it but just desiring more time and, you know, to put more effort into each one of these states.”

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From the days of ancient Athens, the citizens of democracies have been querulous warriors. Key democratic institutions such as free speech and citizen control of the military ensure that ordinary people take an active interest in the progress of war, freely (and often loudly) offering criticism and demanding results. Such criticism typically expressed impatience with military and political leaders for not doing everything they could to win wars as quickly as possible. Yet as David Horowitz and Ben Johnson argue in their bracing analysis of American defeatism, the antiwar movements from Vietnam to the present conflict in Iraq represent something very different: criticism aimed at expediting not victory, but defeat.

Once a leader of the New Left, Horowitz has become the bête noir of the American Left through his books, speeches, and online magazine Front Page, where Johnson is managing editor. In Party of Defeat, the authors relentlessly expose the cant, hypocrisy, and suicidal self-loathing of what these days passes for progressive thought, which has corrupted the Democratic Party through its radical activist base and compromised America’s security. The Democrats’ attack on President Bush in the midst of a war, the authors conclude, is “the most disgraceful episode in America’s political history.”

Party of Defeat opens with the Vietnam War-era hijacking of the Democratic Party by antiwar radicals, whose ultimate purpose wasn’t so much to end the war, but to discredit and weaken the political, social, and economic foundations of America. For the radical Left, then and now, “no longer regards itself as part of the nation,” Horowitz and Johnson write. “This Left sees itself instead as part of an abstract ‘humanity,’ transcending national borders and patriotic allegiances, whose interests coincide with a worldwide radical cause.” As such, it must work against America’s interests and success, disguising its activity as “dissent” or a more general antiwar sentiment.

George McGovern, who captured the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1972, embodied the leftist vision of capitalist America as a malignant aggressor responsible for global suffering and oppression. Though Richard Nixon’s landslide victory over McGovern that year ratified most Americans’ rejection of the radical worldview, the Watergate scandal empowered a Democrat-controlled Congress to cease support for South Vietnam and to eviscerate our intelligence agencies. Nixon’s political disgrace also made possible the election of Jimmy Carter, who largely shared the left’s view of a dysfunctional America. Carter, Horowitz and Johnson charge, “cut back America’s military defenses, hamstrung America’s intelligence agencies, and weakened the nation’s resolve.” And Carter abandoned the Shah of Iran, whose overthrow by radical Islamists in 1979, followed by the kidnapping of American diplomatic personnel, marked the first jihadist challenge to America.

Carter’s ineffectual response to this attack invited more, particularly in the 1990s during the presidency of Bill Clinton. Clinton, a much shrewder politician than Carter, understood that appearing weak on national defense was political suicide after the success of Ronald Reagan, whose strengthening of America’s military helped bring down the Soviet Union. Yet for all of his cruise-missile bluster, Clinton still endorsed the fundamental hostility to the military and indifference to national defense that now seem part of the Democrats’ political DNA.

During his tenure, “the analytical and operations branches of the CIA were cut by 30 percent,” the authors point out. Under Clinton, further, “the agency drastically reduced its recruitment of new case officers . . . and closed bases, including the station in Hamburg, where Mohammed Atta’s cell planned 9-11.” The cuts also led to a decline of agents in key Muslim countries. And Clinton “raised the wall between the FBI and the CIA higher than before, which fatally obstructed the efforts to capture the 9-11 plotters,” Horowitz and Johnson report. “As commander-in-chief [Clinton] was generally AWOL on the battlefront with the global Islamic jihad.”

Equally disastrous was Clinton’s failure to understand the motives of the jihadists, treating their attacks as criminal offenses rather than as acts of war. The first World Trade Center bombing, the debacle in Mogadishu, the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the bombings of the embassies in Africa—“Bill Clinton’s response to the four terrorist bombings and the humiliating ambush in Somalia could be summarized as nothing, nothing, failure, nothing, and capitulation.” Aversion to casualties and ingrained hostility to anything other than a symbolic use of military force kept Clinton from responding more forcefully. Nor, despite numerous opportunities, did he authorize the killing of Osama bin Laden, who had declared war on America, and who in numerous writings and interviews explicitly linked America’s vulnerability to its failure to respond to these attacks.

The Carter and Clinton presidencies show that even centrist Democrats must appease the vocal minority of the party’s left wing, since it provides a large number of party activists and delegates, particularly during primaries. Hence just months after the start of the Iraq War—and from the outset of the 2004 presidential primary campaigns—national Democrats turned against a war that they had voted for, and that President Clinton had laid the foundation for in 1998 with the Iraq Liberation Act. Perhaps the most conspicuous example of this shift was the enthusiastic presence of Democratic leaders like Al Gore, Barbara Boxer, Tom Harkin, and Tom Daschle at the premier of Michael Moore’s anti-American fantasy Fahrenheit 9-11 in 2004. Moore’s film exemplified the phenomenon that came to be called “Bush derangement syndrome,” but mainstream Democrats also played a role in distorting the historical record concerning the Iraq War.

Party of Defeat includes a compelling reprise of the reasons why America went to war against Saddam Hussein. UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which declared Hussein in “material breach” of 16 previous UN resolutions enforcing the truce that ended the Gulf War, effectively legitimized military action against Iraq once Hussein ignored the 30-day deadline for complying with the resolution. Moreover, President Bush’s case for removing Hussein focused on WMD programs, not stockpiles. Though no WMD stockpiles turned up, the report of the Iraq Survey Group, made public in October 2003, indeed established the existence of WMD-related programs and equipment, laboratories and safe houses concealing equipment from UN monitoring, research on biological weapons, documents and equipment related to uranium enrichment, plans for long-range missiles, and evidence of attempts to acquire long-range missile technologies from North Korea. “It was Saddam’s refusal to observe the arms-control agreements designed to allow UN inspections and prevent him from building weapons of mass destruction that made the war necessary,” Horowitz and Johnson explain.

Yet these facts have been obscured by partisan attacks on the president’s decision to invade. Never mind that the invasion was ratified by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq that Congress passed in October 2002, and which listed several casus belli besides WMDs. Even before then, prominent Democrats like Al Gore and Jimmy Carter were attacking the Bush Doctrine mandating preemptive action against terrorist threats. The first critical distortion that gave traction to the war’s opponents was the uproar over minor diplomat Joseph Wilson, who had been sent to Niger to investigate a British intelligence report finding that Hussein was attempting to purchase yellowcake uranium. In the summer of 2003, Wilson alleged in the New York Times and The New Republic that he had told the administration that there was no truth to the report before Bush repeated its findings in his 2003 State of the Union speech. As Horowitz and Johnson note, “The charge that Bush had lied about the Niger uranium deal provided a way for those who had previously supported the war to find common ground with the party’s radicals who had opposed it.”

That Wilson was a Democratic political activist and foreign-affairs adviser to John Kerry’s presidential campaign raised no red flags with a media that took his assertions on faith and relentlessly publicized them. By the time the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had investigated Wilson’s claims and debunked them a year later—indeed, Wilson’s actual report “lent more credibility,” as the Senate committee put it, to the existence of an Iraqi uranium deal—it was too late. The “Bush lied” mantra had won media validation and provided the antiwar activists with a potent weapon. Just how potent became clear with the meteoric rise of Vermont governor Howard Dean, whose early front-runner status in the 2004 presidential primaries forced Democratic contenders like Senators John Kerry and John Edwards—both of whom had voted in favor of removing Saddam—to tack left. Meanwhile, an increasingly overwrought Al Gore, while sitting out the presidential race, contradicted his long public record of advocating regime change in Iraq.

The press played a significant role in facilitating the cycle of sensational charges based on distorted evidence. Later investigations repudiated many of these allegations, but could not undo the damage done to public perceptions. The Abu Ghraib prison scandal is a case in point. “What would normally be counted as a minor incident in any war,” Horowitz and Johnson maintain, “was elevated to a national and then a global scandal by editors determined to exploit it without regard for its potential impact on the national interest or the security of American troops in Iraq.” The New York Times, which often sets the agenda for the rest of the mainstream media, ran 60 days of stories about Abu Ghraib, filled with ridiculous comparisons with the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war and with Saddam’s horrific crimes: “It was exactly the kind of psychological-warfare campaign that would normally have been conducted by an enemy propaganda machine,” Horowitz and Johnson observe. So, too, with the lurid charges of abuse of the prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, many of which were read on the Senate floor by Dick Durbin, who compared American officials there with Nazis and the genocidal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot. By the time 12 official investigations had debunked such claims, the media-stoked perception that Guantanamo was some sort of gulag of torture and abuse had achieved the status of fact, thus providing another propaganda weapon for our enemies.

On issue after issue—the alleged number of Iraqi children killed by sanctions, the inflated number of civilian casualties in the war, the looted Iraqi artifacts, the celebrity of Cindy Sheehan, the media exposure of clandestine intelligence-gathering programs, the attacks on General David Petraeus—Horowitz and Johnson document how the truth, and America’s security, were sacrificed to the ideology of radical activists, the partisan needs of the Democratic Party, and the liberal shibboleths of the mainstream media. Worse yet, America’s enemies took up these charges and incorporated them into their own propaganda (a frequent Al Qaeda tactic, as documented in Raymond Ibrahim’s The Al Qaeda Reader). For example, Osama bin Laden in a fatwa quoted epidemiologist and wannabe Democratic Congressman Les Roberts’s ridiculous toll of 650,000 civilian dead in Iraq—a figure that is twelve times the actual total by 2005. And the Iranian ambassador to the United States answered charges that his country was aiding terrorists in Iraq by alleging that “America had invaded Iraq on false pretenses” and was now making Iran the scapegoat.

Horowitz and Johnson draw a sobering conclusion: “The decision to attack the morality of America’s war effort has dealt a severe blow to the American cause. It has undermined American unity in the face of the enemy, profoundly damaged the clarity with which the war is understood, and diminished Americans’ ability to defend themselves.” In this important presidential election year, Party of Defeat is essential reading.

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“Get this one,” says billionaire T. Boone Pickens in his latest TV ad, “Iran is changing its cars to natural gas and we’re not doing a thing here. They’re doing this to use less oil and sell it for $120 a barrel. We can switch our cars to natural gas and stop sending our dollars to foreign countries.”

Readers of this column know better than to take at face value the marketing of the so-called “Pickens Plan.”

So what’s the full story behind Iran’s move, and what would be the impact of switching our cars to natural gas?

Although Iran is a major oil and gas producer, it lacks oil-refining capacity and must import about 50 percent of its gasoline. To be less vulnerable to international pressure concerning its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decided to reduce Iran’s reliance on imported gasoline.

He started with rationing in May 2007. But that quickly led to violent social unrest.

Ahmadinejad then decided to convert Iran’s new car fleet to natural gas. So 60 percent of Iran’s car production this year — about 429,000 vehicles — will be dual-fuel-ready, capable of running on both gasoline and natural gas.

But contrary to Pickens assertion, Iran isn’t trying to use less oil: It’s trying to use less imported gasoline — and only to thwart a possible international gasoline embargo.

Though hardly a role model for energy policy, should we nevertheless follow Iran’s lead with respect to natural-gas cars? Just what would that mean to you and to our economy?

While the natural gas sold for auto fuel is as much as 50 percent less expensive than gasoline — at least for now — the cover charge to get into a natural-gas vehicle can easily erase any savings.

A new natural-gas-powered car, such as the Honda Civic GX, for example, is almost 40 percent more expensive than a conventional Civic ($24,590 versus $17,700).

While tax credits can reduce the cost by thousands, somebody — either you and/or taxpayers — will be paying the difference.

If natural gas fuel saved you, say, $2 per gallon, then you’d have to drive 124,020 highway miles or 82,680 city miles to break even on fuel costs against the $6,890 purchase price premium.

You can convert an existing car from gasoline to natural gas, but the costs are daunting.

Converting a car to dual-use (as in Iran) costs between $6,000 to $10,000. Converting a car to run on natural gas only is about half as expensive.

Even so, the conversion has to be done correctly or, in the worst case, you risk leaks that could turn your car into an improvised explosive device. And if your car is altered without proof of EPA certification, you might not get any of the all-important conversion tax credits.

Then there’s the inconvenience. Though their fuel tanks are larger — which, incidentally, reduces trunk space — natural gas cars have less range.

While a new Honda Civic can go as far as 500 miles on a tank of gasoline, the GX’s range is less than half of that — and, currently, there are only about 1,600 natural-gas refueling stations across the country, compared with 200,000 gasoline stations.

If your home uses natural gas, you could buy a home filling station at a cost of about $2,000 plus installation. While home filling stations can further reduce fuel costs to substantially below $2 per gallon, the devices take about 4 hours to replenish the fuel consumed by only 50 miles of driving. So much for gas-and-go.

Moving past the personal expense and inconvenience, the broader implications of natural-gas cars are worrisome.

The U.S. currently uses about 23 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year. Like all commodities, the price of natural gas is supply-and-demand dependent.

Switching just 10 percent of the U.S. car fleet to natural gas would dramatically increase our consumption of natural gas by about 8 percent (1.9 trillion cubic feet) — an amount that is slightly less than one-half of all current residential natural gas usage and one-quarter of all industrial usage.

The price ramifications of such a demand spike would likely be significant. The current cost advantage of natural gas over gasoline could easily be reversed. Our move toward energy independence could also be compromised.

Domestic production of natural gas has not kept pace with rapidly increasing demand. Consequently, about 15 percent of our natural gas must now be imported.

Without more domestic gas drilling, additional demand will need to be met with natural gas imported by pipeline and in liquefied form from the very same foreign sources that T. Boone Pickens rails about in the context of oil.

In its most recent annual outlook, the U.S. Department of Energy projects that the U.S. natural-gas market will become more integrated with natural-gas markets worldwide as the U.S. becomes more dependent on imported liquefied natural gas — causing greater uncertainty in future U.S. natural-gas prices.

The natural-gas supply problem will be additionally magnified if significant greenhouse-gas regulation is enacted.

Here’s how: Currently, when natural gas gets too expensive, electric utilities often substitute coal or cheaper fuels for power generation.

Under a greenhouse-gas regulation scheme, however, inexpensive coal might no longer be an alternative because of the significantly greater greenhouse-gas emissions involved with its combustion.

Utilities, and ultimately consumers, could easily find themselves at the mercy of natural-gas barons — like T. Boone Pickens himself, a large investor in natural gas.

Is that the real “Pickens Plan?”

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We are living through an age of liberal betrayal, but David Horowitz and Ben Johnson can only see a part of it in their new book, Party of Defeat. For them, the Left’s treason is of an old-fashioned kind: giving comfort to the enemy in a time of war. In the lucid style of a relentless prosecutor, they lay out ample evidence to support the charge. I could go through it all with you. A grateful Osama bin Laden paraphrasing Michael Moore’s excuses for tyranny, the Democratic congressmen trying to ensure the US Army lost the second Iraq war, MoveOn.org being cheered on by those same senior Democrats for denouncing General Petraeus as ‘General Betray Us’ when he worked-out a strategy for winning the second Iraq war…the case for the prosecution is long and convincing.

But although I can envisage a Democrat Senator or an editor on the New York Times being unnerved by an unfamiliar puncturing of their righteousness, I can also imagine liberals rallying robustly. To the authors’ assertion that the Left has undermined the American cause and diminished America’s ability to defend itself, they could reply that although the Left was wrong about the surge, it was right to argue that the second Iraq war was an ill-conceived, ill-prepared adventure. To argue against bad policy is no treason, they might say, but a democratic duty.

Horowitz and Johnson concede the point, although with reluctance. For my taste, they display a touch too much jealousy for the supposed advantages enjoyed by the strong man or reigning psychopath in authoritarian regimes. ‘A democracy at war is faced with problems dictatorships find avoidable,’ they sigh. ‘Its citizens have a responsibility – as the Left never tires of repeating – not to abandon the freedoms they are defending.’ Yet even Horowitz and Johnson pull back from the ugly implication of their complaint and conclude, that ‘criticism of every war, including the one in Iraq, is warranted’.

Given that concession, their targets may wonder where the problem lies. Even if Horowitz and Johnson can make what they said sound hysterical, paranoid or dumb in retrospect, they had good grounds for believing what they said at the time. The charge of betrayal doesn’t stick when the authors admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction worth talking about and that the Bush administration’s failure to prepare for the carnage of the occupation was shameful.

I’m sure conservative readers would not buy this defense. Having seen liberal opinion here in England go berserk during the war, I don’t buy most of it myself. All I am saying is that Horowitz and Johnson’s liberal opponents will think they can dismiss the arguments of this book.

But they cannot dismiss a deeper liberal betrayal. As conservatives, our authors can’t quite grasp its nature although the evidence screams at them from the first to last page.

They begin with of a portrait of George Soros – and I’m grateful to them for showing me that contrary to meritocratic theory a man can become very rich while remaining remarkably stupid. The financier was enraged by George W. Bush’s statement after 9/11 that countries had to choose whether they were going to help America or provide safe havens for terrorists. ‘Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make,’ Bush said. ‘Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.’

Bush’s doctrine was unexceptional – a leader would be guilty of a dereliction of duty if he did not treat those countries which harbored those who would slaughter his fellow citizens as ‘hostile regimes’ – but it was not allowed to stand. First his opponents pretended that the he had said ‘you’re either with us or against us’ – an unforgivably crass notion to their minds that challenged the central belief of postmodern liberalism that moral problems are never black and white only blurred shades of grey.

Then Soros got to work. The Hungarian billionaire whose speculations on the money markets fund the supposed left-wingers at moveon.org declared: ‘When I hear Bush say,

“You’re either with us or against us,” it reminds me of the Germans. It conjured up memories of the Nazi slogan, “Der Feind hoert mit” (The enemy is listening). My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me.’

They did not sensitize him sufficiently, and not only because fuehrers do not observe constitutions, as a rule, or retire to Texan ranches when their term limit expires. Bush was not an inheritor of the totalitarian tradition, but America’s enemies most assuredly were and are. Radical Islam takes the Nazi’s Jewish conspiracy theory. It also seeks to destroy what rights Muslim women have and kill homosexuals, free thinkers, Muslims who change their faith or challenge their interpretation of Islam, and, of course , all non-believers and idolaters. Meanwhile Baathism in Iraq was not only based on the Fuehrerprinzip but so emulated the model of 20th century totalitarianism it gassed the ‘impure’ Kurdish minority. The targets of Islamists and Baathists are many, but they include the traditional friends of rich western liberals: trade-unionists, feminists, democrats, journalists, intellectuals and free-thinkers.

Yet Soros and the millions like him cannot acknowledge the victims of Islamo-fascism or offer them the smallest support. In their liberal anxiety to denounce their government they betray liberals and liberalism.

There are many gruesome scenes in Party of Defeat none more so than the moment when a blogger with the Daily Kos, Democratic candidate and self-proclaimed ‘Mayanist poet’ called Jeeni Criscenzo flies to Iraq to schmooze with the Sunni remnants of Saddam’s regime and the political wing of the Shia death squads of Muqtada al-Sadr. One of the Sheikhs she met eulogized the mass murderers of al Qaeda. ‘These young men who came here from other Muslim countries are very brave. They left their homes and comfortable lives to protect Muslims,’ he cries. No they didn’t they left their homes to slaughter Muslim Iraqis including liberal Iraqis who had every right to expect the support of the American and European lefts.

It may not be a surprise that Ms Criscenzo could not see what was in front of her nose, but it is flabbergasting that George Soros, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and the New York Times shared her myopia. Their behavior calls into question what it means to be liberal in America and Europe, and what it means to be conservative as well.

Now what with one thing and another, American conservatives must be feeling a little bruised at the moment, so I hope they don’t think I’m nagging when I say they should take more notice of the ideological shifts around them. In the Arab world and beyond, people who are liberal and remain liberal are being betrayed by liberal Westerners simply because their suffering cannot be blamed on America.

The case Ayaan Hirsi Ali illustrates my point. She experienced abuse and forced marriage, renounced Islam and embraced feminism and atheism. She was, in short, a classic liberal heroine, the more so because psychopathic misogynists were trying to kill her.

The attack on her liberalism in the West, however, was not led by traditional conservatives but by liberals – Dutch leftists, Oxford dons and contributors to the New York Review of Books, who hated her for challenging the stereotypes of their reactionary multi-culturalism, and denigrated her in the most patronizing manner they could devise. In the end, she found a haven with the American Enterprise Institute. What we used to call ‘the Left’ had rejected her and offered nothing more than formulaic criticisms of those who would murder her, so she turned to what we used to call ‘the Right’.

I know from the last time she spoke in London that her commitment to feminism and atheism is undiminished. Has then she shifted from Left to Right or have all the liberals who criticized her? Is the American Enterprise Institute, which came to her rescue ‘conservative’, and the New York Review of Books, which demeaned her, ‘liberal’, or is it the other way round? These questions are becoming pointless because the conflicts of our time are draining old labels of meaning.

I can say with confidence that more will follow Hirsi-Ali, but only if conservatives accept the liberal values liberals are so thoughtlessly discarding.

I’m not sure if David Horowitz and Ben Johnson can take the necessary next step. Because they are patriots first and foremost they write with great brilliance and rigor on the liberals’ betrayal of country but cannot appreciate their betrayal of liberalism and of all those suffering at the hands of anti-American and anti-liberal totalitarian movements.

I expect that this is a criticism that neither gentleman is used to hearing, but the trouble with their critique of American liberalism is not that it goes too far but that it does not go far enough.

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With their stony silence in the midst of Russia’s brutal attack against the Republic of Georgia, the organizations that spearhead the contemporary “peace” movement have spoken volumes about the true nature of their core motives. They are united, above all else, by their unwavering conviction that a racist, imperialist United States is the chief wellspring of evil on earth—guilty of unspeakable and unrivaled atrocities, past and present, foreign and domestic.

The “peace” for which these groups agitate generally requires the U.S. and its close ally, Israel, to refrain from defending themselves against enemies sworn to their destruction—all in the venerated name of “peace,” of course. By contrast, these champions of “nonviolence” rarely have a word to say about the military pursuits, however unjustified or heavy-handed, of America’s (and Israel’s) adversaries. This assertion is entirely demonstrable if we examine how some of the leading “anti-war” organizations in the U.S. reacted to America’s post-9/11 invasions of Afghanistan (in 2001) and Iraq (in 2003), and then compare those reactions to the non-response to Moscow’s current offensive.

After 9/11, Global Exchange, headed by the pro-Castro radical Medea Benjamin, advised Americans to examine introspectively “the root causes of resentment against the United States in the Arab worldfrom our dependence on Middle Eastern oil to our biased policy towards Israel.” And after the subsequent U.S. incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq, Global Exchange impugned the Bush administration for having “responded to the violent attack of 9/11 with the notion of perpetual war … [which] led to the killing and maiming of thousands of civilians.” “We must insist that governments stop taking innocent lives in the name of seeking justice for the loss of other innocent lives,” said Benjamin.

And what has been Global Exchange’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Georgia? Unbroken silence. Since the launching of that attack on August 8th, Medea Benjamin’s group has issued only one press releasea promotion for an August 13th event titled “We Want More from Our S’mores.” “Fans of this summery [chocolate] treat will unite in support of Fair Trade Certified farmers,” said the release, “while condoning the persistent problems of chronic poverty in cocoa-growing communities …”

In other words, while thousands of Georgians lay dead, and tens of thousands more have fled their Russian attackers, Global Exchange is talking about chocolate. Interesting.

United For Peace & Justice (UFPJ), led by another pro-Castro socialist, Leslie Cagan, has similarly opposed America’s every military measure since its founding in 2002. Some of its anti-war rallies in 2002 and 2003 drew hundreds of thousands of participants. But today, while Russia’s proverbial boot is poised upon Georgia’s proverbial throat, Cagan and her cohorts are focused entirely on urging their supporters to make plans to gather at the sites of the Democratic and Republican national conventions (in Denver and St. Paul, respectively), to “send a strong and clear message to party candidates: the war and occupation of Iraq must end now!”

Moreover, while chastising the United States for continuing “to rely on the threatened first use of nuclear weapons as the cornerstone of its national security policy,” UFPJ has had nothing whatsoever to say about Russia’s recent threat to use nuclear weapons against Poland as punishment for that country’s missile-defense accord with the U.S.

Code Pink for Peace, headed by Jodie Evans (a great admirer of Hugo Chavez) and the aforementioned Medea Benjamin, in 2003 sponsored a delegation of fifteen American women who traveled to Baghdad to publicly denounce a greedy America’s “war for oil.” In conjunction with Global Exchange and United for Peace & Justice, Code Pink in 2004 helped establish Iraq Occupation Watch, whose objective was to thin out U.S. forces in Iraq by persuading soldiers to seek discharges and be sent home as conscientious objectors.

In stark contrast to these unambiguously anti-American measures, Code Pink has buttoned its lip about the Russian invasion of Georgia. Rather, its chief concern currently is for the U.S. to engage in “diplomacy with Iranthe same Iran that has pledged its divine commitment to wiping both America and Israel off the face of the earth. A military strike against Ahmadinejad’s nuclear program would be unacceptable, says Jodie Evans’ group, because “Americans will not stand for ongoing war, occupation, and killing.”

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) excoriated the Bush administration after 9/11 for “embracing militarism and unilateral preemptive military strikes to answer threats to U.S. interests”; for “undermin[ing] the foundations of international law, arms reduction treaties, and diplomacy in the post-World War II era”; for refusing to allow America’s “military supremacy to be challenged, as it was during the Cold War”; and for creating “an atmosphere of threats and intimidation that encourages other countries to pursue military solutions.”

If you look for AFSC’s comments about the Soviet invasion of Georgia, however, you’ll come up empty. But perhaps you’ll find comfort in discovering that this “peace” organization continues to exhort Americans “to write to their congressional representatives” and demand that they “defund the war in Iraq.” The top story on AFSC’s website today applauds the California Legislature’s recent adoption of a resolution (co-sponsored by AFSC) aimed at preventing health professionals from engaging in coercive interrogations of detainees at Guantánamo and other U.S. military prisons. “The resolution calls attention to the intolerable dilemma that torture presents when those who are supposed to be the healers in our society are involved in the abuse of prisoners,” said AFSC regional director Eisha Mason.

International ANSWER, controlled by Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center and the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party, organized massive protests against the looming U.S. attack on Iraq in 2002 and early 2003; some of those events drew more than a half-million attendees. The threat of war was first and foremost on ANSWER’S mind.

And today, with Russian tanks rumbling over the Georgian landscape, ANSWER’s focus remains steadfastly, and exclusively, fixed on America’s alleged transgressions. The predominant slogans on its website are these: (a) “U.S. Out of Iraq & Afghanistan Now!”; (b) “Stop Threatening Iran!”; (c) “Full Rights for All Immigrants! Stop Raids & Deportations!”; (d) “Money for Jobs, Health Care & EducationNot War!”

Peace Action, whose Executive Director Kevin Martin has condemned America’s “shameful status as arms merchant to the world,” had lots to say when the U.S. was contemplating retaliation for the 9/11 attacks. Seven days after the fall of the World Trade Center, Peace Action Board member Rania Masri wrote that any U.S. military action against Iraq would be unjustified because during the 1991 Gulf War, American troops had “massacre[d]” more than 200,000 Iraqis. “And the massacre continues,” said Masri. “… Every day, approximately 150 Iraqi children under the age of five die due to the effects of sanctions.” Less than three weeks lateron October 7, 2001—Peace Action issued this statement vis a vis America’s military retaliation against Afghanistan:

“We urge the president … instead to seek an end to terrorism through international legal cooperation. Treating the heinous acts of September 11 as an act of war, and waging war in response, will only escalate the violence and loss of life. The … perpetrators of the crimes should be brought to justice through the international legal system.… Terrorism will only be defeated by a long-term commitment to building democracy, respect for human rights, and economic and social development in impoverished areas of the world.”

Today Peace Action is soundless regarding Russia’s incursion into Georgia. The organization’s only audible message consists of its ever-so-familiar mantras: (a) the U.S. must lead other nations by example toward “nuclear abolition”; (b) Americans must “tell Bush to stop beating the war drums”; and (c) the “unjust” war in Iraq must be brought swiftly to a close.

Sojourners, a Washington, DC-based Christian evangelical ministry, published a March 2003 article declaring that a U.S. war against Iraq “would be unjust and immoral”; “would dishonor our nation, disregard morality, and violate international law”; and would represent “a drive for cheap oil and for increased control over the oil-producing world.” “We urge all U.S. military personnel,” said Sojourners, “… to refuse to participate in this immoral war.”

Yet Sojourners has been mute as regards the current Soviet bombing campaigns in Georgia. The organization’s focus instead is on the notion that America has corrupted its own “national soul” by engaging in “torture” against captured terrorists in recent years.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) issued a post-9/11 statement that read, in part: “[O]ur country has to address the reasons behind the violence that has now come to our shores.… As long as U.S. foreign policy continues to be based on corporate exploitation and military domination, we will continue to make more enemies in the poor, underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

What, you may wonder, does this same organization say about the current Russian offensive in Georgia? Not a thing. Instead it is actively promoting an upcoming “seminar on organizing for justice for Vietnamese and U.S. Agent Orange victims” who were harmed in Southeast Asia three to four decades ago. Says VVAW:

“As the U.S. backs out of Iraqsomehow, but not nearly soon enoughthere will be an opening for the U.S. government to redeem its self image by doing something real for Vietnam. Now it’s up to the U.S. people! Our ability to win this struggle is part of healing the wounds of war with Vietnam and also assuring that current and future victims of U.S. chemical warfare receive the justice and compensation they deserve!”

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has consistently condemned America’s military presence in Iraq, asserting that “this illegal war” has destabilized “the entire Middle East region” and destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure, “politically and physically.” “The Bush administration created the so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ to instill fear as the premise for U.S. foreign policy,” said WILPF. “Basic human rights are being curtailed in the U.S. and abroad to propagate this lie.”

But as regards the Russian invasion of Georgia, WILPF, like its aforementioned comrades in the “peace” movement, has elected to swallow its tongue. Focusing instead on events that took place more than six decades ago, the WILPF website currently features “Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days a lamentation over the atom bombs that America dropped on Japan to end World War II in August 1945.

This, then, is the modern “peace” movement. Its members are bound to one another by their common hatred of America more than by any shared commitment to “peace.” Their overriding objective is to relentlessly demean and discredit the United States for its every failingreal and imagined, ancient and current. This tactic is intended for one overriding purpose: to gradually, incrementally demoralize the American people, and to convince them that their society is so loathsome as to be utterly unworthy of defending with any vigor. Meanwhile, as Russian forces overrun a tiny neighboring nation that is friendly to America, the so-called champions of “peace” refrain from whispering even a syllable in protest.

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