February 20, 2008
The Paranoid Style in Democrat Foreign PolicyBy James Lewis
This is one of those stories I hope is not true. When I wrote "An October Surrender?" about the apparent Hillabama outreach to Damascus, I was raising a question. I didn't know the answer, and I still don't know whether the Democrats are trying a preemptive surrender in the Middle East, even before the presidential election. (See also "Samantha Power and Obama's Foreign Policy Team")
It just seemed odd that Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's calamitous National Security chief, is suddenly flying to Damascus along with money man Hassan Nemazee from the Clinton campaign. That follows Nancy Pelosi's trip to Bashir Assad in Damascus in April of 2007, and Steny Hoyer's meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt at the same time.
The Muslim Bro's are the wellspring of Sunni terrorism; the Iranians are the folks behind Shiite suicide bombers.
That's an awful lot of Democrats suddenly chorusing kumbaya with the people who spend their lives chanting "Death to America!" -- especially when none of the Democrats have a constitutional role in US foreign policy. It looks like amateur night in Damascus. Or do presidential campaigns always send out their own foreign diplomats these days? I thought we had a State Department for that.
But I didn't realize just how paranoid and enraged the Democrat foreign establishment has become. Not about our nation's enemies, but about Americans like you and me, plus anybody with an (R) before their name. My mistake.
We've known for thirty years about the October Surprise conspiracy theory, peddled by Jimmy Carter's White House official, Gary Sick. I didn't know that Professor Sick's Middle East center at Columbia University now takes money from George Soros' Open Society Institute. Our good buddy the former Gyorgiy Schwartz is helping to fund the biggest White House conspiracy peddler of the past half century. Interesting, nicht wahr? I wonder what they teach their students over there.
I remember Madeleine Albright as SecState for Bill Clinton -- with highlights like waltzing with brutal dictator Kim Jong Il for the TV cameras, while tens of thousands of his starving subjects marched by in the street below. Albright was a moral disaster. Not just intellectually wrong; she was deeply flawed morally. It's just incomprehensible how a well-informed diplomat could literally dance for the world's cameras with the most evil little SOB in the world, and never notice anything amiss. She knew that little SOB was killing hundreds of thousands of his people that year by deliberate starvation. She knew he was going for nukes. Everybody in the world knew those things -- if they cared to know. It was the precise moral equivalent of dancing in public with Hitler or Stalin, right in the middle of the Holocaustor the Gulag. It was unspeakably shameful.
That brought to mind other examples of Democrat amnesia and denial in foreign affairs. Like Clinton advisor Anthony Lake, now on Obama's team, who became a laughingstock when he said he didn't think Alger Hiss was guilty of spying -- even after the Soviet archives were opened up. Lake was supposed to become SecState, but lost all support on Capitol Hill when that report made the rounds. The Alger Hiss scandal was fifty years ago. Call it multi-generational denial on the foreign policy Left.
Zbigniew Brzezinski himself has been hotly denying the Carter Administration's plain responsibility for bringing the Mullahs to power in 1979 -- people who have been drilled from early childhood to hate us as corrupt infidels, and who were very, very clear about it to their followers before they ever came to power. Apparently nobody in the Carter foreign policy apparatus did the most basic research on Ayatollah Khomeini, like reading his writings or listening to his sermons, which were circulating in Iranian bazaars on audio cassettes. Evidently they just never bothered to check on this guy.
The Shah of Iran was a vigorous modernizer and pro-American; the Mullahs are throwbacks to the tribal cruelty and savagery of the 7th century. Carter and his team couldn't tell the difference. As Andrew Young, then Jimmy Carter's UN Ambassador said at the time, they just thought the Ayatollah was some kind of gentle saint, the Mahatma Gandhi of the Mysterious East. Well, Khomeini went on to order the execution of thousands of his fellow revolutionaries belonging to the Mujahedeen Khalq, he established a torture regime, and he started his own Hitler Youth, the Basiji, who still specialize today in beating anti-regime demonstrators to a bloody pulp and in humiliating women for wearing un-Islamic dress. And hanging people by the neck off tow trucks.
Oh, yes, and the Ayatollah got into a major war with Saddam Hussein, which killed a million people. That's what the Jimmy Carterites achieved by enabling the Ayatollah to overthrow the Shah. Some saint. And yet, Calamity Jimmy Carter and Brzezinski still deny responsibility today, three decades later; and they still counsel patience, patience -- the regime is bound to become a liberal dream as soon as it gets nukes. Any day now.
So denial and selective amnesia are not new on the diplomatic Left. They've lost the crucial realism of Cold War liberals, who realized that we had real enemies in the world. Henry "Scoop" Jackson was a Democrat, but he didn't think Republicans were his worst enemies; he thought the Soviets and Red China were. Would any ambitious Democrat dare to say that in public today? Reality-based liberals were purged from the Party after 1968, just as Senator Joe Lieberman was purged a couple of years ago, for failing to toe the Party Line.
Madeleine Albright hasn't changed. Just recently she told a conference in Doha that
Has anybody told Osama? What's that big gaping hole doing in downtown Manhattan where the Twin Towers used to stand? Sheikh Osama Bin Laden just misunderstood Islam! Maybe he will allow himself to be instructed on his religion by Ms. Albright.
How about Imad Mughniyeh, who blew up US Embassy in Beirut in 1983? He didn't know about the real Islam either? How about the Prophet himself, who routinely practiced tribal genocide and mass rape as a praiseworthy method of desert warfare? How about the famous Muslim head-chopping conquests of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey, Central Asia, India, Byzantium, Spain and Eastern Europe? Has Ms. Albright ever read a history book? Must have missed that class in college, I suppose.
Liberalism does incomprehensible things to people's minds. However, I didn't know that Albright's latest book, timed to come out in January for the election season, strikes out at President Bush as "one of the worst presidents in American history." This is the official word from a SecState with nothing but failure in her past. Albright is the longest-serving Democrat SecState alive, their highest-ranking diplomat. Around the world, all the other diplomats and kleptocrats are reading her book today to see where a Democrat president will take this country. In Moscow, Vlad "The Poisoner" Putin is reading it. It's modestly titled "Memo to the President-Elect." In Tehran, Ahmadi-Nejad is having it translated into Persian for his bedtime reading. Oh, and that President-Elect in the title would be Ms. Albright's bosom buddy Hillary, or in the worst case, Barack Obama.
Albright's book is excerpted this week in the London Arab newspaper Dar Al-Hayat, according to the Syrian press agency SANA. The headline reads: "Albright: Bush is the worst President in American history." Our sworn enemies must be rolling on the floor. (To them it's so funny that a woman is stabbing George W. in the back, and poor George just has to take it. Can't keep his own women in submission. What a joke!)
For a former SecState to strike out at an American President in this fashion in an anti-American foreign-language newspaper is simply unprecedented. No American diplomat would have done that in Pravda or Iztvestiya during the Cold War. But the lady is quoted by the Syrian press as writing that "... the war on (sic) Iraq was the biggest mistake in the history of US foreign policy." That will sure strengthen our troops who are in daily combat with child-murdering truck bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If a Democrat gets into the White House they will have no negotating position left, because their highest-ranking expert, Ms. Albright, has just told the world what she will advise them to do: Surrender everything our soldiers have sacrificed to win.
Now ask yourself: If you were Ahmadi-Nejad, wouldn't you just ignore President Bush for the rest of 2008 and wait for a Democrat to get elected? Just go to the beach until November, and come back tanned and rested to bargain from strength when the pushovers are in power in the US. The Islamofascists are the toughest bargainers in the world; their biggest fanatics never compromise -- never, never, never. They're taught to martyr themselves first. Ayatollah Khomeini himself was ready to die when he realized he would have to stop the war with Iraq, which killed a million people. Ahmadi-Nejad's favorite mob chant is "martyrdom is powerful." And Madame Albright has just given them exactly what they want, and published it in Dar Al-Hayat to make sure they notice our pathetic little white flag fluttering in the wind.
I'd forgotten that Ms. Albright has a paranoid streak, too. Four years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported,
It's the Gary Sick fantasy again that Republicans are using war and our national enemies to manipulate US elections.
And then there's Senator John Kerry, who came out with the very same idea after he lost the election in 2004. He said that Osama Bin Laden's videotaped sermon in October of 2004 cost him the election. According to Geraldo Rivera, Kerry said that he lost because of "... that Usama tape - it scared them [the American people]."
How's that for paranoid? That must mean the Republicans were telling Osama to release his video just in time for the election. Who knew the Republicans had that kind of clout with Osama? It also means that Kerry thought American voters were too stupid to realize we were at war in 2004.
Now -- remember Algore the Prophet? As the New York Times wrote in 2004,
Four presidential elections and four conspiracy theories. It's not just Albright and Sick. This joke is wearing thin from too much repetition.
Apparently Professor Brzezinski, who is now off to Damascus representing the Obama campaign, must really believe the infamous October Surprise theory, which had Bush 41 flying to Paris in an SR-71 stealth plane for the sole reason of telling the Mullahs to keep their US diplomats chained up good and tight, until Ronald Reagan got elected. That's the only reason why Jimmy Carter was defeated in 1980, according to the Sick theory. That story sold nicely on the paranoid Left, but it was discredited in two separate Senate and House investigations in 1992 and 1993.
The trouble is that some of these folks -- maybe all of them? -- seem to believe that stuff. Jimmy Carter himself has never allowed reality to influence his own ideas about foreign policy, and today blames Israel (as well as Ronald Reagan) for his dismal performance in office. When Speaker Pelosi flew off to see Bashir Assad, Carter publicly applauded. What's all that old constitutional nonsense about separation of powers again?
So we have a foreign policy establishment on the Left that explains its repeated failures by fantasies about Republican plots and conspiracies. That is appalling because we depend crucially on our diplomats being in touch with reality. Does it sound like these people are in touch?
If the foreign establishment of the Left routinely falls for paranoia, the United States is in big, big trouble. If they win the presidency in 2008, the Dems might sell out whatever American troops have won on the battlefield. After all, Islamic terrorists are not the real enemy, according to Ms. Albright. But even if they don't win the election the Dems still have huge influence on the Federal bureaucracy: State, CIA, even the Pentagon. Any Republican president will be sabotaged, because those bureaucracies are staffed by the students and acolytes of the Left. The left controls the New York Times and the Washington Post, which play the daily spin to American bureaucrats every morning with their breakfast coffee. The whole thing is like a giant dysfunctional family, split by murderous suspicions that are constantly played up by the opinion makers.
Perfectly normal people can learn how to be paranoid, as social psychologists have often shown. All they need is a psychological barrier between themselves and the real world, and it's even possible just to suggest such a barrier. Gossipers do it all the time by spreading distrust through slanderous stories. Pathological social organizations are created by such reality barriers, all the way from small families to giant corporations. So you don't need to be clinically paranoid to be functionally paranoid, living in a hall of mirrors where suspicion is rife. Just look at the Kos kids and the Huffpost. Hell, just look at the NYT Op-Ed pages. These are not just wild-eyed radicals, howling at the moon, and shunned by all; they are mainstream Democrats.
The trouble with paranoids is that they act out of their fantasies, not reality. If the Democrats are indeed sending Brzezinski to negotiate with Assad and Iran and their tame gangsters, they could be motivated by that same set of imagined fears --- that the GOP Meanies are planning another October Surprise, which worked so well for Reagan and Bush I & II. In their minds, back-door negotiations with America's enemies got three Republican presidents elected in four different elections.
That's crazy -- but if you believe it, why not try some backdoor tricks yourself? It's is a whole different road to Damascus, just to protect yourself against your real enemies, the Republicans.
As I say, I hope it's not true.
All the same, keep a sharp eye out, just in case.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/