Dreams of his mother 2

Obama has assured America’s enemies that they don’t have to fear nuclear retaliation if they attack the US, even if they use chemical and biological weapons. He’s pursuing his childish dream – one that his mother probably dreamt  in the late 1960s while she participated in the New Left’s drug-hazy pacifist love-in – of America teaching the world by example to throw away all those nasty nuclear weapons. (See the report of Obama’s new ‘posture’ on nuclear arms use in the New York Times.)

John Hinderaker writes at Power Line:

On its face, that is unbelievably stupid. A country attacks us with biological weapons, and we stay our hand because they are “in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty”? That is too dumb even for Barack Obama. The administration hedged its commitment with qualifications suggesting that if there actually were a successful biological or chemical attack, it would rethink its position. The Times puts its finger on what is wrong with the administration’s announcement:

It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war.

That’s exactly right. The cardinal rule, when it comes to nuclear weapons, is keep ’em guessing. We want our enemies to believe that we may well be crazy enough to vaporize them, given sufficient provocation; one just can’t tell. There is a reason why that ambiguity has been the American government’s policy for more than 50 years. Obama cheerfully tosses overboard the strategic consensus of two generations.

Or pretends to, anyway. Does anyone doubt that the administration would use nukes in a heartbeat if it considered such measures necessary? I don’t. The problem is that when the time comes to actually use nuclear weapons, it is too late. The danger here is not that the Obama administration has really gone pacifist. On the contrary, the significance of today’s announcement appears to be entirely symbolic–just one more chance to preen. The problem is that our enemies understand symbolism and maybe take it too seriously. To them, today’s announcement is another sign that our government has gone soft, and one more inducement to undertake aggressive action against the United States. [All emphases are ours]

We are usually in agreement with the good guys at Power Line. And we agree that Obama is offering an inducement to America’s enemies to “undertake aggressive action”  (the part we have emphasized in bold).

But with those parts that we have italicized we disagree. We don’t think Obama is dumb, even though he is not exceptionally intelligent and is capable of acting stupidly and naively. We think he is ignorant and evil. Because we believe he is full of bad intent and deeply anti-American, we do indeed doubt that  his administration would use nukes, no matter what the circumstances. If he has his way there’ll be no American nukes to use. We don’t think he is just preening, preener though he is.

Could it be any more obvious that he is content to see Iran armed with nukes, but not America?

Could the implications of this be any more frightening?

Post Script: It should be noted that he excepts from his promise  of indulgence countries which are not in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Two countries that have refused to sign it are India and Israel. This means that for as long as America still has nuclear weapons, however few, however old, however degraded, if usable at all they could be used against those two erstwhile allies.

Heaven and Hell (1) 0

What persuaded us to believe that socialism, having begun everywhere so badly, should possess the power to reform itself into something better? To be something other than it has been? To pass through the inferno of its Stalinist tragedies to become the paradiso of our imaginations? – from a letter by David Horowitz

Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it – from ‘Dr. Faustus’, by Christopher Marlowe

Hell is other people – from ‘No Exit’, by Jean-Paul Sartre

*

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the years of the New Left, there was a commune of young revolutionaries in Vienna, housed in a beautiful old building with wide curving stairways and grand halls, monuments to the skills of architects and builders, and to the achievements of owners who had won fortunes in manufacturing, commerce, and the professions round the turn of the twentieth century, in the belle époque.

When the communards moved into one of the spacious apartments – as squatters, not rent-paying tenants – its walls were richly clad with glowing, dark, polished wood paneling. They tore it off. They considered it ‘too bourgeois’. Holes remained where the panels had been pinned into the brick. The communards – every one of them born of bourgeois parents who indulged and supported their idleness, along with the welfare state that the affluent young revolutionaries ached to overthrow – said they liked the damaged look because it ‘proletarianized’ the apartment.

One wall only they had repaired: the holes filled in, the surface plastered smoothly. There they planned to paint a mural. One of them drew a vertical line down the middle. On the left they would depict Hell, and on the right, Heaven.

They started (‘There’s an artist in all of us’, they opined) painting their vision of Hell, but soon became disappointed with the way it was shaping up and decided to hire a professional artist to realize their vision.

The artist, an American, was found, agreed to terms, and arrived on the appointed day with brushes and paints ready to carry out their instructions.

The communards were unanimous on what Hell looked like. It was Vienna; its streets, traffic, monuments, palaces, art galleries, houses, theatres, open-air market, department stores, banks, schools, sports grounds, factories, a prison. There were shoppers, children, prisoners, police brutally breaking up a protest rally, fat men in big shiny cars smoking cigars (‘capitalists’), and so on. Everything had a dingy look, the colors predominantly ‘’like mud, excrement and vomit’, as per the communards’ orders.

It took the painter about a month to finish Hell to their satisfaction.

‘Now,’ he said, moving to the other side of the line, ‘describe your Heaven to me. ‘

‘Um,’ they said. ‘Take a few days break while we think about it.’

They never did come up with a vision of Heaven. It wasn’t that they couldn’t agree among themselves on what it should look like; the trouble was none of them had any idea of it at all.

They paid off the artist with their parents’ money, and the right side of the wall remained permanently blank.

Jillian Becker   December 16, 2009

Posted under Articles, communism, Europe, Miscellaneous, Religion general, revolution by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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Lessons of the fall 0

Melanie Phillips writes:

Twenty years ago today, supporters of freedom and human rights cheered and wept for joy as the Berlin Wall was torn down by jubilant young Germans.

To so many, that heady day seemed to herald the emergence of a better world. The spectre of communism had finally been laid to rest. Liberty had triumphed over tyranny.

The end of the Cold War even led some to proclaim that this was ‘the end of history’ — which was to say that liberal democracy was now the dominant and unchallengeable force in the world. However, the 9/11 attacks on America tragically proved this to be absurdly over-optimistic. The eruption of radical Islamism revealed that, while the West may have been rid of one enemy in the Soviet Union, another deadly foe had risen to take its place.

So much is, sadly, all too evident. But what is perhaps less obvious is that communism did not just vanish in a puff of historical smoke.

The Soviet Union was defeated and fell apart, for sure. But the communist ideology that fuelled it did not so much disintegrate as reconstitute itself into another, even more deadly form as the active enemy of western freedom.

Soviet Communism was a belief system whose goal was to overturn the structures of society through the control of economic and political life. This mutated into a post-communist ideology of the Left, whose no-less ambitious aim was to overturn western society through a subversive transformation of its culture. …

The collapse of communism was actually a slow-burning process. Its moral and political bankruptcy became obvious decades before that glorious Berlin day in November 1989. … But as communism slowly crumbled, those on the far-Left who remained hostile towards western civilisation found another way to realise their goal of bringing it down. This was what might be called ‘cultural Marxism’. It was based on the understanding that what holds a society together are the pillars of its culture: the structures and institutions of education, family, law, media and religion. Transform the principles that these embody and you can thus destroy the society they have shaped.

This key insight was developed in particular by an Italian Marxist philosopher called Antonio Gramsci. His thinking was taken up by Sixties radicals — who are, of course, the generation that holds power in the West today.

Gramsci understood that the working class would never rise up to seize the levers of ‘production, distribution and exchange’ as communism had prophesied. Economics was not the path to revolution. He believed instead that society could be overthrown if the values underpinning it could be turned into their antithesis: if its core principles were replaced by those of groups who were considered to be outsiders or who actively transgressed the moral codes of that society.

So he advocated a ‘long march through the institutions’ to capture the citadels of the culture and turn them into a collective fifth column, undermining from within and turning all the core values of society upside-down and inside-out. This strategy has been carried out to the letter.

The nuclear family has been widely shattered. Illegitimacy was transformed from a stigma into a ‘right’. The tragic disadvantage of fatherlessness was redefined as a neutrally-viewed ‘lifestyle choice’.

Education was wrecked, with its core tenet of transmitting a culture to successive generations replaced by the idea that what children already knew was of superior value to anything the adult world might foist upon them. The outcome … has been widespread illiteracy and ignorance and an eroded capacity for independent thought.

Law and order were similarly undermined, with criminals deemed to be beyond punishment since they were ‘victims’ of society …

The ‘rights’ agenda — commonly known as ‘political correctness’ — turned morality inside out by excusing any misdeeds by self-designated ‘victim’ groups on the grounds that such ‘victims’ could never be held responsible for what they did. …

This mindset also led to the belief that a sense of nationhood was the cause of all the ills in the world, precisely because western nations embodied western values. So transnational institutions or doctrines such as the EU, UN, international law or human rights law came to trump national laws and values.

But the truth is that to be hostile to the western nation is to be hostile to democracy. And indeed, with the development of the EU superstate we can see that the victory over one anti-democratic regime within Europe — the Soviet Union — has been followed by surrender to another.

For the republic of Euroland puts loyalty to itself higher than that to individual nations and their values. It refused to commit itself in its constitution to uphold Christianity, the foundation of western morality. …

We agree with most of what she says, but not with the value she places on the Christian religion and Christian morality. We do not believe that the greatness of Europe is due to Christianity. We share with Edward Gibbon the opinion that Christianity brought a thousand years of darkness down on Europe. What made Europe great was the Renaissance and the Enlightenment: the rediscovery of Greco-Roman civilization, the displacement of a deocentric by an anthropocentric world-view, the rise of scientific enquiry, the revival of the Socratean questioning of ideas in general, the ideal of personal liberty, the triumph of rationality. In other words, by the loosening and finally the casting off of the shackles of religion, even though Christianity, in proliferating variety, continued to exert a malign influence on Europe’s history for some centuries after Spinoza and Hume crippled it.

The dark ideologies of Leftism and  Islam cannot be overcome by the darkness of another religion, but only by reason. Physical force may be necessary, and should not be shirked when it is. But victory in war – as victory in the Cold War demonstrated – is not sufficient if the ideology lives on, whether openly or incognito under new names. It is the argument that must be won, however hard it is to change by reason a view that has not been arrived at by reason. Reason’s victory is enormously aided by its practical achievements in science and technology. Even the dark-age Muslims extant in our world want vaccinations, organ-transplants, aircraft, telephones, television, computers, the internet, refrigerators  – and also, ever more determinedly and dangerously, nuclear weapons. The West failed to keep those out of the hands of Communist and Muslim states, which is why war may be necessary again quite soon. Our side, the side of reason, demands that our weaponry should always be more advanced than the enemy’s. As long as we can innovate, we can win. Innovation is the child of freedom and rationality.