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War Leaves Left Exposed


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Events in Iraq have forced the Monitor to put off until next week a column devoted to the late Michael Kelly. This week’s offering is something of a meditation on liberals, America, the war, truth…call it the Monitor’s way of thinking out loud.

The war has once again brought into sharp relief the undeniable reality that for many liberals, America is always the villain – no matter the context or the details – whenever it uses its armed might, especially under the command of a Republican president.

This large and influential segment of American liberalism, writes The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol, “includes the Teddy Kennedy wing of the Senate Democrats, the Nancy Pelosi faction of the House Democrats, a large majority of Democratic grass-roots activists, the bulk of liberal columnists, the New York Times editorial page, and Hollywood. These liberals – better, leftists – hate George W. Bush so much they can barely bring themselves to hope America wins the war to which, in their view, the president has illegitimately committed the nation.”

Hyperbole? Here’s a little admission from Salon.com executive editor Gary Kamiya: “I have, at times, as this war unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong. Wished for the Iraqis to be more nationalistic, to resist longer. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen. I’m not alone: A number of serious, intelligent, morally sensitive people who oppose the war have told me they have had identical feelings.”

And here’s George McGovern, the biggest loser in the history of American presidential elections, baying at the moon in the current issue of The Nation: “Appearing to enjoy his role as commander in chief of the armed forces above all other functions of his office, and unchecked by a seemingly timid Congress, a compliant Supreme Court, a largely subservient press and a corrupt plutocracy, George W. Bush has set the nation on a course for one-man rule.”

Next, the ravings of Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair and, by every indication, political nitwit extra-ordinaire: “You really have to work at it to create a situation in which Saddam Hussein is looked upon as less of a threat to world peace than the U.S. president. In his little

more than two years on the job, George W. Bush has proved himself to be more than up to the task.”

So it goes for today’s liberal intelligentsia and left-wing activists, and can anyone tell them apart anymore? Arthur Schlesinger Jr. – whom one is tempted to call a former historian for the simple reason that he’s now spent more than half his long life shilling for the Kennedy family in particular and the Democratic party in general – likens the U.S. liberation of Iraq to the
Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the blame-America-first actor Ed Asner detects “a strong streak of racism … whenever we engage in foreign adventures. Our whole history in  regime change has been of people of different color.”

And just how far does The New York Times take its pathological distaste for President Bush? Remember those moving images of jubilant Iraqis kissing the American president’s likeness on photos and posters the day it was clear that Saddam was history – Wednesday, April 9? TV news outlets replayed the scenes over and over during the 24 hours immediately following the fall of Baghdad, and newspapers across the country (and around the world) featured still photos, both color and black and white, in their Thursday editions. But not the so-called paper of record (still regarded as such only by those who confuse comprehensiveness with accuracy).

By the Monitor’s count there were 32 photos from Iraq in that Thursday’s Times, ranging in their particulars from the toppled statue of Saddam to looters in the streets to wounded and dead Iraqi civilians to Iraqis waving American and British flags – but not a single, solitary one that showed the gratitude directed specifically at President Bush by celebrating Iraqis.

The omission was all the more glaring given the inescapable fact that the day’s events were attributable solely to Bush’s laser-like focus on deposing Saddam – a focus maintained in the face of relentless objection and derision from the international Left, the Arab world and virtually the entire populations of Manhattan, Berkeley and other similarly self-infatuated outposts of American enlightenment.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com 

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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