Diana West has performed yeoman’s work in exposing the Soviet-FDR connection in American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character. She has aired out America’s dirty laundry and hung it out to dry. Neocons and other strange creatures attacked her for contradicting their over half-century-old meme that FDR was a blameless dupe of Joseph Stalin and that there were no real Soviet agents and fellow travelers in FDR’s administration.
Such were the number of attacks and the personalities making them that she had to write another book to counter all the lies, misconceptions, academic pufferies, character assassinations, and misrepresentations about her and American Betrayal in those attacks, in a second book, The Rebuttal: Defending ‘American Betrayal From the Book Burners. I followed this ongoing exchange between West and her detractors from Day One. It was similar to watching Cyrano de Bergerac take on a hundred cutthroat swordsmen. I can hear her muttering now, about the caliber of her attackers: “I have been robbed. There are no hundred here!”
There were only poseurs, fakers, pseudo-historians and envious fop-doodles lined up against West. They had a vested interest in silencing her. They attempted to wear her down. Still wish she would go away. She handily demolished them all.
But, what’s a conservative? I’ve never actually received a straight, unambiguous answer to that question from a conservative. What is it that a conservative wishes to “conserve”? Family values? Traditions? The Christian ethos? The welfare state? Our mixed economy of some freedoms and lots of controls? All I can think of is that the most honest answer is: The Status Quo. An un-rocked and leaky boat. Just leave us alone, don’t bother us with principles or really getting our hackles up over Democratic skullduggery. We're too busy enjoying our perks, in the Senate and in the House.
What is it that a neoconservative wants to “conserve”? A neocon is someone who is an ex-leftwing “radical” who finally understood the error of his ways, recanted, and joined the Non-Fight Club.
And now they have another reason to hate West. In her latest column, “Who Is To Blame?” she asks the question: If President Barack Obama is so nihilistic a “leader,” dedicated to destroying this country and abetting the sinking of the West in the face of the Islamic onslaught on civilization, who enabled him? Must we always groan and cuss and go red in the face every time we read of his latest depredations, such as the Iran nuclear deal and other “suicide-by-design” policies?
It’s easy to inveigh against Obama. He’s such a natural target. Who’s to blame for his being in the seat of power to do whatever he wishes?
Who helped to put him in power?
Why, it was the Republicans. The GOP. Surprised?
When I was a teenager, I thought GOP meant “government opposition party.” I know now it means “Grand Old Party.” But is it so “grand”? It’s old, it’s decrepit, it creeps around leaning on the walker of pragmatism, uses a hearing aid called “me too-ism,” and takes the Valium of disengagement to counter any clash with Constitutional issues. Perish the thought that the GOP would have anything to do with private ad hoc groups that expect a Republican to take up sword and shield and wage war on this country’s enemies, internal and external, domestic and foreign. Far be it from most Republicans to demand that Obama adhere to his oath of office. Far be it from most Republicans to even acknowledge the malodorous nature and character of Obama’s regime. Or of Bill Clinton’s. or Jimmy Carter’s.. Or of Eisenhower’s. Or of FDR’s.
Or of either of the Bushes’. Recall that one ad featuring former president George W. Bush: "Miss me?" Well, no, I don't. We shouldn't.
At this perhaps precious moment, then, it is important not to waste the opportunity to assess blame (and, best case scenario, regroup) in yet another aerobic exercise of venting at the Left (self-congratulation). Especially not when we -- our side, not the Left -- are to blame.
I refer to ... everything.
That's right. Whatever it is, it's not really Obama's fault, the DNC's fault, Al Sharpton's fault, even (gasp) the media's fault, etc. Not entirely, to be sure. After all, like Tiggers, Obamas do what Obamas do best. The DNC, Sharpton, the media do what they do best. The Right Wing, however, fails to do what it should do best -- fails to behave according the principles that define it.
West goes on to cite instances of how the Republicans have repeatedly fallen down on the job of truly taking Obama to task, such as impeaching him for, among other things, overstepping his executive power in everything he has ever touched. Better yet, she cites the pragmatism of Republican policies when dealing with political figures, such as both Clintons – Hill and Bill, as West refers to them – who have not been called onto the carpet of justice in any serious way for decades. The Republicans would rather just look the other way from the facts of their multiple offenses, crimes, and major, jail-able misdemeanors.
What about stepping back a little and asking how it could be that Hillary, with the foreign donors to Clinton Inc. well known in 2009 as giant conflicts of interest (at least), was confirmed as SecState in the first place? The Senate voted to confirm her, 94-2 (GOP Sens. Demint and Vitter were the "no" votes). That leaves a lot of responsibility for Clinton Inc./State conflicts of interest/corruption to go around, and very particularly on the Republican side of the aisle….
We can continue this exercise. For the Clintons' post-impeachment "second" act, we owe everything to the Republican Establishment's Establishment Bush family -- H.W., W. and Barbara, too. It was the Bush family, after all, that lifted Bill from his political nadir where he belonged, joining "charitable" forces, inviting him to Kennebunkport. Remember "the Three Amigos"?
The Bushes took Bill in like the second president-son I hope they never have. They made appearances with this sexual predator/probable rapist at their sides -- he, who traded away US military secrets to Red China for campaign contributions (for which he also should have been impeached and convicted), he who discussed US troop movements in the Oval Office, one hand presumably on the phone, the other on his intern ... .
Hands up! Don’t blame! shout the Republicans. We aren’t responsible for the actions of this kid in the Oval Office, he’s wild and unpredictable and kind of endearing. Besides, he’s black, and if we really tried to clap cuffs on him, there’d be holy hell to pay. West writes:
Step back a little. Who cleared the way for Obama to the presidency in the first place? In GOP silence on the matter of Obama's identity docs, in the party's failure first to seek to settle the matter in the US Senate (where Sen. John McCain, another responsible party, was asked to document his "natural born" eligibility but not Sen. Barack Obama), at the RNC, in the Electoral College, in the House, Senate and elsewhere since, in conservative media silence all along (and worse, derision and enforcement of silence) is death -- the death of the Republic.
Remember, Obamas do what Obamas do best. That is, what should we expect of someone mentored by arch Communist Frank Marshall Davis? What should we expect of lock-step Democrats who, mafia-omerta-style, always keep mum to gain power?
But law and order Republicans? Officials who swear to defend the Constitution? Pundits who echo the same? The all-but-certain crime of the centuries -- the extremely strong appearance of identity fraud in the Oval Office -- has been enabled first and foremost by Americans on the right side of the political spectrum who failed to require or conduct a most basic investigation of Obama's papers….
Seven years later, the fact that Obama and the Left Wing are still in control -- no checks, no balances, ever -- has everything to do with the abandonment of defining principle of the Right Wing. Indeed, GOP responsibility and support for the wreckage solidifies every day that goes by without GOP-controlled Congress drawing up articles of impeachment.
Diana West’s assessment of the Republican Party’s role as an opposition force against Obama is that it isn’t an opposition force. The Republicans are just along for the ride.
Before moving on (No Open Society pun intended) to Phyllis Chesler’s Middle East Forum (and Breitbart) article on the PEN award to Charlie Hebdo and the cop-out dissenters who sniffed their noses at the awardees, let’s define our terms here.
There are two species of evil: the evil that is a predator, and the evil that is empowered by cowardice, compromise, and silence of its alleged opponents. The predator is just fundamentally driven by the desire to loot, kill, to maim, to destroy. Those who murder, rape, maim and destroy out of some psychotic need will always be around. This will serve as a handy moniker for ISIS or the Islam State. And the Taliban. And Al-Qaeda, And other Islamic gangs. But, these particular manifestations of evil needn’t be around. They can be wiped out. Exterminated. Napalmed. Sent packing to their 72 virgins (or raisins, and maybe a glass of Poland Spring water).
Such large-scale evil is fundamentally impotent. It can borrow its power to destroy and kill only if the compromisers, cowards, naysayers, and Let’s-Make-A-Deal, “there’s no need to go to extremes” amoral pragmatists let it commit mayhem. This policy allowed the Soviet Union to survive for half a century. It allowed Mao to conquer China. It has allowed the West to become in thrall to religious totalitarian regimes like Saudi Arabia and Iran. It has allowed ISIS to run riot in the Middle East.
Who doesn’t blink an eye at this devastation? Well, of course George W. Bush and Barack Obama don’t. But neither do their alleged critics in the GOP. They let it happen. They encourage it by their silence. They are partners with the enablers. They are the enablers.
Revisiting Obama’s and Bush’s and Carter’s and the Clintons’ Catalogues of Crimes over and over again tends to dull one’s sense of outrage. West is saying: Let’s turn our outrage on the Republicans, our so-called defenders.
Phyllis Chesler’s “145 American Writers Think Honoring Charlie Hebdo is ‘Islamophobic’” takes those 145 writers to task in the Middle East Form (and under a different title on Breitbart). Chesler is the author of numerous books on censorship and related subjects.
On April 26, 2015, six PEN “table hosts,” all highly regarded writers, publicly protested PEN’s decision to give an award for “Freedom of Expression Courage” to these courageous survivors. This award, to be given on May 3rd, is separate from the literary prizes.
By April 30th, the six (Peter Carey, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, and Taiye Selasi) were joined by one hundred and thirty nine authors who signed a petition of protest. In all, this represents only 4% of their membership.
Intercept has the full list of the 139 authors who joined the original six “dissenters.” I don’t know who most of these people are. I recognize only a few of their names. One supposes they’ve all written books. I know that Russell Banks, for example, is a hack novelist and short story writer who’s spent a lot of time in writers’ colonies. Francine Prose? Until now, I’d never head of her. The “disassociators” – I looked up some of their literary credits, all yawners – are mostly dreggish idlers at the keyboard with little else to communicate but their ennui and boredom and overall displeasure with the world. They are true, bottom-of-the-barrel scriveners and tyros who presumably comprise the literary establishment.
Salman Rushdie, a writer who knows what it is to pay the price for having criticized Islam and is also a former President of PEN had this to say: They are “six authors in search of character.” He is right. They do not know how to stand up to the false charge of “Islamophobia.”
Thus, one hundred and forty five authors have decided to shame PEN—publicly, and at the last minute—in order to make an “anti-Islamophobic” political statement which renders every critic of Islamic gender and religious apartheid, and every critic of Islamic terrorism, that much more vulnerable.
I’ll say right up front that I’m an Islamophobe. I fear Islam. I also fear rattlesnakes, typhoid, food poisoning, and other life-threatening things. But Islam is special. It is of human manufacture and it is, according to its sacred texts, especially the Koran, a predator. It is an ideology programmed by its premises to conquer or to kill. It is anti-mind, anti-life, anti-values. That most Muslims aren’t active predators like ISIS, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other such gangs, is irrelevant. Your average Friday-go-to-mosque Muslim is already dead – upstairs. He of the head-banging ritual is prohibited from thinking and questioning. And I think most Muslims are comfortable with that condition.
But one doesn’t expect that of Western writers and of the Western intelligentsia. Those two groups are already “conquered.” So is the Western news media.
Chesler gives us an example of our intelligentsia’s deconstruction of a simple issue:
One of the six protesting table hosts, novelist Francine Prose, has written in The Guardian:
The ‘narrative’ of the Charlie Hebdo murders—white Europeans killed in their offices by Muslim extremists—is one that feeds neatly into the cultural prejudices that have allowed our government to make so many disastrous mistakes in the Middle East. The First Amendment guarantees the right of the Neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois but we don’t give them an award.
Leave it to a Marxist to bring up race and even insinuate that dead horse, European colonialism. And, of course, the Muslims who massacre anyone are “extremists,” even though they quote chapter and verse from the Koran in their tweets and hashtags and emails. The Nazis who ran the concentration and extermination camps were “extremists,” if we go by Prose’s measure. The other Nazis? They were all-right guys and snappy dressers who wanted to do good for their country. They’re blameless.
There’s such an intellectual and moral disconnect here that it can't be grasped except by sending a probe to the Kuiper Belt that encircles the solar system.
The thousands of members of PEN comprise the American and Western literary establishment. It is distinctly of a leftist persuasion. The “professional” membership list is exhaustive. Scanning the dozen pages of the membership, I recognize just a handful of names. I quit the Mystery Writers of America because of its internal politics. I let my membership in the Author’s Guild lapse because it was of no help or assistance in my fight against a publisher that bilked me out of royalties and committed other contract-violating actions; all it could do was commiserate. I have no interest in joining PEN, no matter how benign its intentions of furthering freedom of expression. Here is one reason why, and Phyllis Chesler provides it in her column. I don’t think a writer who produced plotted, non-Marxist, non-deconstructed novels would be welcome or would find much company in it.
Chesler included this illuminating and instructive note:
PEN is one of the two major American groups which represent authors; The Author’s Guild is the other group. PEN is funded by many including Amazon.com; The Ford Foundation; Hachette Book Groups; The Mellon Foundation; The Kaplen Foundation; The Lannan Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; and Soros’s Open Society Institute. This documents that PEN is a mainstream powerhouse, and what they do matters.
Any literary or artistic group that takes money from the government is immoral or morally rudderless. Worse, any literary or artistic group that takes money from George Soros is damned a priori. Barack Obama, our saboteur extraordinary, was backed to the hilt by Soros from the very beginning. Soros’ Open Society Institute is in PEN’s top four contributor brackets. See PEN’s funding link for the Brunswick stew of corporate and foundation “angels.”
What Soros has always had in mind as an “open society” would be, in practice, a “closed” society – a society gagged and fettered by “authorities” in and out of government, a “society” much like our literary establishment today. Only much worse, because it would have government clout to enforce the status quo.
Todd Gitlin at Tablet also published a critique of the PEN imbroglio, “PC Thought-Bots Embarrass Themselves with PEN Boycott,” wrote:
PEN, the organization of writers, decided to give a Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage award to Charlie Hebdo—that is, to those of its staff who were not massacred by the Islamist Kouachi brothers on Jan. 7. So, of course hell broke loose.
But these days, darts are flying. A letter of dissociation signed by a good number of well-known writers, including Russell Banks, Peter Carey, Teju Cole, Deborah Eisenberg, Lorrie Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, and Wallace Shawn, declares that there is a critical difference between staunchly supporting expression that violates the acceptable, and enthusiastically rewarding such expression.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons were characterized as satire and “equal opportunity offense,” and the magazine seems to be entirely sincere in its anarchic expressions of disdain toward organized religion. But in an unequal society, equal opportunity offense does not have an equal effect….
To the section of the French population that is already marginalized, embattled, and victimized, a population that is shaped by the legacy of France’s various colonial enterprises, and that contains a large percentage of devout Muslims, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet must be seen as being intended to cause further humiliation and suffering.
One wonders how the signatories know that the Mohammad cartoons are “intended to cause further humiliation and suffering.” Intended? Might they not be intended, rather, to challenge an interpretation of Islam that bans depictions of the Prophet, and thereby to offer Muslims (or anyone else) an opportunity to rethink what their faith requires of them?
Wallace Shawn? Who’s he? You mean you don’t remember his stellar performance in that memorable yak-fest. My Dinner with Andre? Or anything else he’s credited with doing?
PEN, however, is akin to pole dancers whose reward for its members’ literary performance is to allow all kinds of lascivious creatures to stick money into their thongs.
So, who is Francine Prose, anyway? Her novels, every one of them, is Marxist-Feminist-Deconstructionist rubbish, all published by major mainstream publishers (Athenaeum, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins, Pantheon, St. Martin's Press).
Unfortunately, Charlie Hebdo will no longer publish caricatures of Mohammad. Perhaps PEN will award it a White Feather recognition for submitting to Islam.
Cartoonist Luz, who drew Charlie Hebdo's front cover picture of Mohammed following the massacre of the satirical weekly's editorial team by jihadists in January, has told a French magazine he will no longer draw the prophet. "I will no longer draw the figure of Mohammed. It no longer interests me," he told Les Inrockuptibles magazine in an interview published on Wednesday. "I'm not going to spend my life drawing (cartoons of Mohammed)."
"The terrorists did not win," Luz told Les Inrockuptibles. “They will have won if the whole of France continues to be scared," he added, accusing the far-right National Front of trying to stir up fear in the wake of the attacks.
Well, yes M. Luz, the terrorists won. They’d much rather you focus your satirical attention on those in France who object to the country being taken over by those nearly five million “marginalized, embattled, and victimized” Muslims. Never mind the Muslim crime gangs, the numerous “no-go” Muslim enclaves throughout France, the Muslim assaults on Jews, Muslim rapes of non-Muslim Frenchwomen, being a Muslim on French welfare, and the annual car-burnings by Muslims. None of that has anything to do with Islam or Mohammad.
So, on one hand we have neocons attacking Diana West for telling the truth about our best and brightest traitors and their Republican enablers. On the other hand, we have not a few dozen American PEN writers who’d rather not congratulate Charlie Hebdo for “offending Muslim sensibilities.”
The squawking you hear is coming from the chicken coop of American culture.