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Present Danger

Exclusive commentary by Greg Lewis / WashingtonDispatch.com
April 8, 2003

Liberals are invariably against the expenditure of federal money for the cleanup of toxic waste sites, particularly those sites which are the result of industrial activity from which some "boss" or group of "bosses" (to revive trade union cant from the 1930s) made a profit, then got away scot free by closing the businesses when the toxic waste liability threatened to become too expensive to manage. They inevitably say that the business owners and officers should be made to pay. While I don't necessarily disagree with this conclusion, let me say right here that this may be the first instance in recorded history in which a liberal has ever actually said that someone should be held accountable for his or her actions.

Among the reasons for that has to do with the fact that the present is, to all appearances, anathema to liberals. You can never get a liberal to talk about what's happening right now; or if you can, you can never get a liberal to tell the truth about it. (The fact that ur-Liberal Bill Clinton is unclear about the meaning of the word "is" is a pretty good indicator of this group's sense of the present.) For that matter, rarely can you get from a liberal a cogent analysis of the past. Even when a liberal is engaged in the favorite activity of liberals (that is, mouthing false and destructive ad hominem criticisms of conservatives), he or she will almost never reference current events.

That's because things are rarely as bad as they need to be for the liberal worldview to have any meaning. Reportage on the War in Iraq is a perfect example. On the evening of Wednesday, April 2, Wolf Blitzer understated the success of the American troops' advancement toward Baghdad by 50 percent, reporting that our forces were more than 30 miles from Iraq's capital while Fox News, getting it straight from the Pentagon's mouth, let us know that we were inside the 20-mile perimeter around Baghdad. In the song "Lay Down, Sally," Eric Clapton complains about a lady he can't understand: "I got a woman callin' love hate." Well, "We got media callin' success failure."

Early on in the Iraq War — that is, after about four days of televised news that so distorted then-present events toward the Weenie/Liberal point of view that no thinking American with any experience of the world (let alone anyone who has ever been in military combat) could take it seriously — it was clear that this war was one whose reportage was going to be difficult not to construe as embarrassing. After that first weekend, in which embedded reporters got us close to the massive and extraordinarily rapid advance of coalition troops to within about 60 miles of Baghdad with fewer than two dozen good-guy casualties, most liberal reporters and commentators were ready to throw in the towel on our behalf. It was the Black Knight scene from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" revisited, with Saddam Hussein losing arms and legs faster than he could keep track of, while the American press and broadcast media repeatedly asked, on Saddam's behalf, if the U.S. was ready to give up yet.

In order to have even a remote chance of being heard by most Americans, the Left orthodoxy requires that liberals either falsify and distort what has happened and is happening, or talk about things that haven't happened yet but which are certain to happen unless Americans pledge their autonomy, their votes, and a substantial portion of their personal fortunes (however large or small) to the liberal cause so that liberals can take over and prevent the disasters that are sure to occur in the future if their plans are not implemented. Liberal "political thought" represents tautology at its finest.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can take a look around (if they can get past CNN and MSNBC and ABC and CBS and NBC and The New York Times and The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times) and see that things aren't what they would have to be if the predictions that liberals would have us buy into had even a remote chance of coming to pass. We are, of course, not even within earshot of losing the war; in fact, the war is already over, and America has won. The long-awaited uprising of Iraqi citizens against their Ba'athist oppressors — the lack of which uprising the liberal media have heretofore pointed to as yet another sign of the unjustness of the war — signals that the end is here. And, contrary to the liberal spin, it is the Iraqis (and not the Americans) who are perpetrating murder on Iraqi civilians.

There is an upside to the liberal misrepresentation of what's going on in the war in Iraq. It can be argued that it keeps the vaunted Arab "street" quiet. So much of the reportage from U.S. media is so negative and pessimistic that there's a good chance the Arab world may share the delusion that the U.S. is getting its butt kicked. And if the U.S. is getting its butt kicked, what is there for the Arab "street" to demonstrate against? No self-respecting Arab militant, having been raised on a steady diet of lies which glorify fascistic governments, could ever believe that the American press would do anything but glorify the American effort, and that, if they're not doing so, things must be really bad for the U.S. The liberal disinformation campaign also seems to be having the effect of appeasing the U.S. anti-war movement: There's not nearly the motivation to take to the streets to protest the war when the media are doing the job of protesting it so well themselves.

Never mind that Saddam Hussein is not with us any more. (That was not, by the way, Saddam Hussein mingling with the masses over the weekend.) In the past 24 hours his henchmen would have tortured or murdered (if they meet a quota derived by dividing the total number of Iraqis tortured and murdered by the number of days Saddam has been in power) more than 200 Iraqi citizens. The fact that they ignore that is just one more case of the Left, its position on industrial waste cleanup notwithstanding, refusing to hold a perpetrator responsible for his crimes.

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