The Progressives Go to “War”

No matter what he says or thinks, Obama is not at war with any American enemy. And there’s no remote possibility he will defeat that enemy or reduce any threats to our physical safety and well-being. Why?

It’s the progressive ideology of the president, the secretary of State, and everyone in our government at present.

A guiding principle and attitude of the progressive ideology is, “No one culture is any better than another.”

Another assumption of progressivism is that in any potential conflict, the bigger and stronger of the two adversaries — by virtue of being stronger — is automatically and always wrong.

These are the two assumptions Obama struggles to bear in mind as he attempts to launch some kind of military offensive against the Islamic states of the Middle East (now referred to as ISIL).

In his speech last night, Obama said it himself:

ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.

This is such a stunning level of evasion that I almost can’t say anything.

How do you divorce the ideology of Islam from the people who rape, pillage, murder and behead in its name? I doubt that Obama would divorce the ideology of racial superiority (racism) from Nazism, if a Nazi state were overtaking the Middle East. He would not –and could not, with credibility — launch an offensive military attack against a Nazi regime while claiming, “It’s not about Nazism.” He would (rightly) condemn the attitudes of racial (white/Aryan) supremacy just as harshly as the military or terrorist acts done in their name.

To divorce ideas and beliefs from the actions of the people animated to practice brutality rationalized by those ideas is equivalent to attacking disembodied entities, or mindless robots. It’s an absurd contradiction in terms. Mindless robots do not start wars or plot terrorist attacks. They do so for reasons. Those reasons may be irrational, prejudicial and totally evil — and they should be named as such, not downplayed or ignored as irrelevant.

Yet Obama, given his progressivism, has to rationalize his actions somehow. If he were to stay consistent with his view that Islamic ideology — and the totalitarian form of government Islam gives rise to — is no morally or intellectually different from America’s, then he would have no business fighting them at all, much less launching an offensive. So the only thing he’s left with is, “It’s not about Islam.”

He might as well be apologizing to the people he’s about to drop the bombs on.

Progressives don’t like to go to war. It’s not that they hate violence, as any rational or decent person does. It’s that their premises of moral and cultural relativism — their false belief that all practices, actions and beliefs are morally the same — make any attempt at self-defense futile.

On September 10, 2001 (hours before 9/11), here’s what another progressive, former president Bill Clinton, said:

“I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden — he’s a very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him — and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn’t do it.”

Notice the unearned guilt in this statement. Clinton assumes that if the United States defends itself against a known and mortal enemy, and some people die in the process, than the United States is just as guilty as the enemy who started it.

This would be true if the United States had initiated the attacks. But the United States is clearly only defending itself, just as it did against Hitler and the Japanese in World War II. While a decent country spares the lives of as many people as possible in a war, it still does what it has to do in order to survive. Because if that decent country goes down, and the dictators win, then the entire world will be enslaved (or murdered) anyway. Advocates of freedom, individual rights and private property don’t start wars; dictators do. And they’re the ones to blame for any casualties, because without their initiation of violence there would have been no war in the first place.

I’m not suggesting that anyone, including a free nation, is infallible; and I’m not claiming that everything done by the United States — a mixed economy and semi-free nation, not a fully free one — has always been morally right. But I do maintain that the difference between the comparative freedom and justice of the United States (and Israel), even now, versus the mindless totalitarian brutality of fascist-racist-religious Islam requires no more than a second’s moment of reflection.

There’s no way Clinton could even think this unless, not so deep down, he felt that the United States really has no right to defend itself. Why? Because the United States is just as guilty as its enemies. There’s no moral distinction, there’s no right or wrong, there’s no good guy or bad guy … we’re all bad.

This is the way, I suspect, that a lot of progressives feel about their freedom and their country. But should the rest of us, who do not feel such undeserved shame and humility, pay the price of their neuroses? Under Obama particularly, we don’t have much of a choice.

It’s worse than futile to take on an enemy like totalitarian Islam with such an attitude. It’s downright dangerous. You stir up that enemy by making targeted strikes, only on the condition that nobody other than the enemy itself gets killed — and that if somebody does die, you’re deeply ashamed. If that had been the premise of President Harry Truman, or others in American history, we would not be living under the semi-freedom we still enjoy in America today. You can rest assured that the ISIL radicals and others who support them are laughing at Obama’s speech, for entirely valid reasons as well as reasons fueled by their evil and irrational hatred of all things non-Islamic.

By the way, where are the protests and shouts in the streets — and from the rooftops — of the supposed majority of peace-loving advocates of Islam who seek separation of church and state and equal individual rights for people of all faiths, or no faith? I’ve been waiting my whole adult life to hear of such a movement, but there’s not so much as a squeak that I can discern. Yet Obama is counting on us to believe this when he tells us this war has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

Progressivism and cultural relativism are stupid, wrong ideas. But they’re also dangerous. We’ve put in charge of our military and government people who — no matter what they may claim — have no remote capability of defending us.


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