Tuesday, September 5, 2006
The (Murder-)Suicide of the West
Last July, while Israel was reducing much of Lebanon's infrastructure to rubble and bombing Christian neighborhoods into blood puddling during its most recent invasion, New York Post columnist John Podhoretz – the unsightly spawn of Trotskyite loins – opined that Israel's problem was that it is simply “Too Nice to Win.”
Too many in the “liberal” West, insisted Podhoretz (an obese, soft-handed child of privilege whose ever-broadening brow has never known the sweat of honest labor) have succumbed to the “universalist idea” that “all people are created equal,” and thus believe that “a war against a country has nothing to do with the people but only with that country's leaders....”
Poddy thus anticipated Alan Dershowitz's axiom that once a country has been targeted by Israel, its entire population should be considered fair game. Like Dershowitz the Dehumanizer, Poddy was willing to apply the same principle to populations targeted by Washington in wars of “liberation”: To resist Washington's humanitarian aggression is to mark one's self as a terrorist worthy of summary liquidation.
“What if the tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn't kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything?” muses Podhortez, a talentless, gelatinous mass of arrogance who, but for the fortunate circumstances surrounding his birth, would be selling knishes from a push-cart rather than prescribing genocidal policies in the Post's op-ed section. “Wasn't the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause of the sectarian violence now?”
Americans, laments Podhoretz – the type of sheltered, insular pseudo-intellectual who looks westward from Lower Manhattan with fear and loathing – are simply too nice to commit mass murder on the scale necessary to win “World War IV.” And if America can't kill so promiscuously and pitilessly, “can Israel? Could Israel – even hardy, strong, universally conscripted Israel – possibly stomach the bloodshed that would accompany the total destruction of Hezbollah?”
The problem is that America and its allies have scruples about perpetrating wholesale slaughter.
This wasn't always the case, Podhoretz wistfully reflects.
“Could World War II have been won by Britain and the United States if the two countries did not have it in them to firebomb Dresden and nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki?” Podhoretz asks rhetorically. “Didn't the willingness of their leaders to inflict mass casualties on civilians indicate a cold-eyed singleness of purpose that helped break the will and the back of their enemies? Didn't that singleness of purpose extend down to the populations in those countries in those days, who would have and did support almost any action at any time that would lead to the deaths of Germans and Japanese?”
Podhoretz is utterly typical of the personality type dominating Bush-era, FOX-ified “conservatism”: He's either performing cadenzas of alarm over “Islamo-Fascism,” or haranguing the public about the supposed necessity of submitting to a variety of Fascism more to their liking. He and his ilk insist that Americans must set aside whatever freedoms and moral scruples the State regards as dispensable, in order to display the “singleness of purpose” necessary to exterminate all who resist the Glorious Global Democratic Revolution.
Oh, and any nation seen as a possible threat to Israel and impediment to its regional ambitions.
As lucky hap would have it, those two groups are, for all purposes, essentially identical.
Podhoretz is too timid to call candidly for the nuclear annihilation of the Revolution's enemies. Michael Coren, a neo-Trotskyite slogan-spewer in Canada, is less inhibited. If “we are to preserve world peace,” fulminates Coren in the pages of the Toronto Sun, the only safe alternative is nuclear war.
“Put boldly and simply, we have to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran,” Coren insists. “Not, of course,, the unleashing of full-scale thermo-nuclear war on the Persian people, but a limited and tactical use of nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's military facilities and its potential nuclear arsenal. It is, sadly, the only response that this repugnant and acutely dangerous political entity will understand.”
This is because “Diplomacy, kindness, and compromise have all failed and the Iranian leadership is still obsessed with all-out war against anybody it considers an enemy. Its motives are beyond question, its capability equally so.... Comparisons to the Nazis in the 1930s are unfair – to the Nazis. Hitler had the French army, the largest in Europe, on his border and millions of Soviet infantry just a few hours march away. Iran has no aggressive enemies in the region.”
The foregoing may be the only example I have found of a neo- “conservative” (the appropriate designation, as used above, is “neo-Trotskyite”) referring, however allusively, to French martial prowess, and it comes as part of an exercise in rhetorical card-stacking intended to make the evil but largely inconsequential regime in Iran appear to be a world-historic menace.
The assertion that Iran has “no aggressive enemies in the region” makes sense only if one assumes that Israel, which has both a nuclear arsenal and a willingness to employ it, can never be accused of aggressive behavior, no matter how many of its neighbors it invades or how often those invasions occur. Coren's assertion implies much the same about the United States, which has 140,000 troops in Iraq and clear designs on military action against Syria and Iran.
By way of contrast, Iran – which is ruled, once again, by one of the most loathsome governments on the face of a globe disfigured by dozens of loathsome regimes -- doesn't occupy so much as a meter of territory outside its borders. It is making unremarkable progress in the direction of acquiring a single nuclear weapon.
Tehran does fund and materially support Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, but the claim that it is the world's leading paymaster of terrorism is risible in light of the hundreds of billions of dollars doled out by Washington – much of it used to underwrite the acquisition of terrifying weapons and police-state hardware – to Israel, Egypt, and other governments in the region. And the Pentagon's budget alone is something on the order of twenty times the size of Iran's entire Gross Domestic Product.
Nonetheless, concludes Coren – who fancies himself a Roman Catholic historian of some sort -- a nuclear strike on Iran is a moral imperative: “Better limited pain now than universal suffering in five years. The usual suspects will complain. The post-Christian churches, the Marxists, the fellow travelers and fifth columnists. But then, the same sort of people moaned and condemned in 1938.”
Actually, the apposite historical parallel is to 1945, when American Christians and Patriots condemned the gratuitous atomic bombing of Imperial Japan by the FDR/Truman regime – the most conspicuous act of state terrorism in recorded history. This act of barbarism was condemned by General MacArthur (not noted for being a “fifth columnist” or pantywaist of any sort) and conservative statesmen such as the estimable Ambassador J. Reuben Clark.
“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan,” concluded Admiral William Leahy (an aide to General MacArthur) in a 1950 memoir. The Japanese were already beaten and ready to surrender.... It was my reaction that the scientists and others wanted to make the test because of the vast sums that had been spent on the project .... My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”
James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy during WWII, “had originated a plan to end the war with Japan five and a half months” prior to V-J Day on August 14, 1945, records Cornell Simpson in his book The Death of James Forrestal. Had that plan been implemented, the bombs would not have been dropped, hundreds of thousands of lives would have been spared, and the Soviets would have been kept out of the Pacific War.
“The last point, of course, is why the fellow travellers hurriedly persuaded FDR to reject Forrestal's plan, and why they saw to it that the American people heard nothing about this chance to save untold numbers of American lives,” concluded Simpson, “In May, another move to end the Pacific war was similarly scuttled. The very same month that Germany surrendered, Truman approved a peace ultimatum to Japan, subject to endorsement by the military. But on May 29, General Marshall rejected it as `premature.'”
In what sense would ending the war in May 1945 have been “premature,” when the Japanese leadership had been sending out peace feelers for nearly a year – following the unimaginable horrors of the Battle of Saipan?
In January 1945, the Japanese had quietly provided MacArthur with surrender terms that were, for all practical purposes, identical to those accepted after the terror bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Had those terms “been accepted when first offered, there would have been no heavy loss of life on Iwo Jima (over 26,033 Americans killed or wounded, approximately 21,000 Japanese killed) and Okinawa (over 39,000 U.S. dead and wounded, 109,000 Japanese dead), no fire bombing of Japanese cities by B-29 bombers (it is estimated that the dropping of 1,700 tons of incendiary explosives on Japanese cities during March 9th-10th alone killed over 80,000 civilians and destroyed 260,000 buildings), and no use of the atomic bomb,” writes my friend and colleague John F. McManus.
Tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Japanese (most of the latter civilians) were killed during the six months tacked on to the Pacific War by the Soviet-aligned clique running FDR's White House. These people were killed to prolong the war until the atom bomb was ready to make its debut.
Hundreds of thousands were killed, in other words, so that the State could have an opportunity to kill hundreds of thousands more.
Once the myth of military necessity is disposed of, it becomes clear that the atomic bombing of Japan was unalloyed state terrorism. This is particularly true of the attack on Nagasaki, the site of a monument to 26 Christian martyrs crucified by a 16th century Shogun.
In fractions of a second, the Pagan regime ruling the WWII-era United States incinerated scores of thousands of people, among them most of Japan's embattled Christian population.
In that act – as well as the needless slaughter of tens of thousands of American Christians on Pacific battlefields prior to the bombing -- can be seen a suitable symbolic expression of the true priorities of the “neo-Conservatives.” When forced to choose between preserving the lives of Christians – or, for that matter, innocent people of any variety – and building the power of the State through total war, the neo-cons will choose the latter every time.
More importantly, although they are indifferent regarding the physical survival of Christians, neo-Trots are actively hostile to the preservation of Christian principles (among them the Just War doctrine) that make our society worth preserving. Horrible as it would be to live under Sharia Law, the kind of society the neo-Trots are building would be even worse – assuming, of course, that their deranged drive for total power doesn't prove to be a case of murder-suicide on a global scale.
at 1:16 PM