DESCONSTRUCTING THE LIBERAL MINDSET
— Today’s (Political & Media) “Social Justice” Thought Police … Trying To Prevent Us From Using Common Sense
By Gail Jarvis
Liberals maintain that there is only one side to every story: their side.
Because their political views are a matter of faith rather than opinion,
There are numerous examples of the Left’s dependence on “the end justifies the means” philosophy; but the one that is currently of great concern to us is their tampering with votes (for example, rigging electoral systems to change voting results).
During the 2012 presidential election, we were inundated with reports of voter fraud. Similar reports surfaced before the recent the 2014 mid-term election:
The following three examples are typical of the voting scams we are reading about:
In Chicago’s Cook County, a voter -- using a touch screen voting machine -- witnessed his vote for a Republican being assigned to a Democrat.
In Georgia, a Democratic organization was caught forging voter registration applications.
And in Arizona, a video camera captured a man wearing a a left-wing activist group tee shirt as he entered a polling station with a large box full of pre-marked ballots and began inserting these ballots into voting slots. (When confronted by poll workers, he angrily told them “f—- y—-!”)
As we would expect, Leftist organizations like the Washington Post, Mother Jones, and Slate Magazine, claim that voter fraud is extremely rare, and most accusations of voter fraud are baseless. They dismiss such accusations as “myths."
Yet, I maintain that arguments dismissing voter fraud are another blatant example of the “the end justifies the means” mindset at work.
One technique the Left uses to manipulate the public into accepting its radical social changes is by making the claim: “You can’t turn back the clock.” This semantic device implies that Liberal tinkering with America’s culture is simply the natural progression of events necessary to create a better society. It’s obvious that you can’t turn back the clock; but it’s just as obvious that you can’t turn the clock forward. And this is what the Liberal establishment has been trying to do, especially in its attempts to replace “equal opportunity” with “equal outcomes.”
Government has given special preferences to members of groups that it classifies as “previously disadvantaged.”
For decades, our government has given special preferences to members of groups that it classifies as “previously disadvantaged.” At first we ignored the harmful side effects of these preferences. But we finally realized that contrary to what we were told, preferential treatment for one group eventually results in detrimental treatment for other groups. It’s a contemporary version of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
We’ve robbed Peter to pay Paul for several decades now and there is no end in sight. Preferences were originally meant for black Americans only, but the Left has expanded the definition of what constitutes a victim group.
Preferences were eventually conferred on the LGBT community, and now illegal immigrants receive special preferences.
But the enormous cost of governmental preferences for illegal immigrants is coming out of the pockets of working American taxpayers. And the cost is mushrooming. Preferences are legislated thievery.
Liberal policies are designed to benefit individual groups, not society at large!
In fact, the most common reason politicians propose a law is to appease favored voting blocs.
The need for many proposed laws is often questionable, and they usually fail to produce the benefits promised. Potential harmful side effects are never a consideration. The sad truth is that once a law is implemented -- even if it doesn’t work -- it is never repealed.
Clever political & media spin doctors will try to craft language to make the public think that society is actually better today than it was in the past.
But society isn’t any better, now that all these “social remedies” have been initiated: It’s only changed for the worst:
The real-world unemployment rate is closer to 17%, rather than the government “massaged” rate of 5%.
The unemployment rate of unmarried black males has soared to 70% since Barack Obama assumed office.
Not to mention the record number of black families now dependent on food stamps (which, thanks to legislation by the former Democrat majority in Congress, can be used in lieu of cash to buy such “necessities” as lottery tickets!)
Those on the Left believe that “change” is more beneficial to society than stability. And liberals are always hunting for anything that they can change:
In their minds, change is closely related to what they call “hope.”
Yet recent opinion polls indicate that Americans today are significantly less hopeful than in prior generations.
For several decades, we have witnessed how liberal policies have seriously damaged America.
And these days, the “social justice” thought police are trying their best to prevent us from using common sense.
But the recent midterm elections prove this oratorical sleight of hand isn’t working anymore:
Not only were disastrous economic & foreign policies of the Obama administration soundly rejected at the ballet box; but most exit polls indicated that Americans do not believe that our country is “better off” after six ruinous years of the Obama presidency.
[Gail Jarvis is a Coastal Georgia based freelance writer. Following a career as a CPA/business consultant, Mr. Jarvis now critiques the establishment’s selective and misleading reporting of current events and history. Gail can be reached at: email@example.com]
MY OWN RESPONSE TO THE PRECEDING REPORT:
When will the "caring" activists of the left ever learn? Never have so few individuals with so many good intentions created so much misery for so many people whom they have wanted to help. As the social-engineering debacles of the last half century in the United States have demonstrated, carelessness in "caring" for the disadvantaged in our society only leads to: a glaringly uncaring result.
After all, it was pioneering liberal-left social engineers in the 1940's and 50's who came up with the not-so-creative idea of fighting poverty in American slums by ripping down existing for-profit rental housing and replacing the existing rental stock with the cold, massive, impersonal concrete human stockyards we now know as public housing projects -- the equivalent of urban hell for several generations of the poor in North America.
Not only was poverty not checked by this urban "reform," but the absence of cheap rooming houses and other lodgings for society's marginalized citizens ultimately created the phenomenon of urban homelessness.
And of course, we all know the many wonderful benefits that came with living in comfy, government-subsidized "projects": rampant drug addiction, vandalism, family breakup, gang wars, killings and social decay.
Oh, and did we mention an even more ingrained "cycle of poverty"?
Yet, the obvious bitter fruits of the liberal-left do-gooders' all-knowing beneficence in providing "better housing" for the underclass did nothing to stop further clumsy social-engineering efforts by this lot in future years:
For example, in the 1960's, confronted with the demoralizing "evidence" -- most of it imaginary --- that poor self-esteem and a cycle of "failure" was hindering the educational achievement of poor black students, liberal-left educational reformers set about “dumbing down” the schools in disadvantaged black urban slums.
Unfortunately, the only noticeable result, of this attempt to treat the educational system as a social laboratory, was that (1) standard test scores plummeted in these enlightened educational enclaves; (2) literacy became the equivalent of an endangered species; and (3) student conduct deteriorated dangerously and precipitously, and a unique new "let's stay stupid" ethic (otherwise known as not "going white") evolved among poor black students: harassing any fellow students who showed any desire to get an education in order to improve their lot and break the chains of poverty.
Oh, and did we mention that schools in poor black urban slums quickly became a mirror image of government-subsidized housing projects -- run-down urban fortresses afflicted by the scourge of vandalism, gangs, hard drugs, random violence and social anarchy?
However, not surprisingly, that hasn't stopped the liberal-left cognoscenti from coming up with ever-more innovative ways to waste taxpayer dollars on ever-more destructive "cures" for various real and imagined social injustices through the ensuing years.
The $64,000 question is why?
Well, if I might serve as your interpreter, let me first posit that I think we all should recognize that no matter how intrinsically idealistic and caring today's social "dogooders" might be, they are still human. Therefore, self-interest is bound to intrude, at times, into even the most idealistic of initiatives to help the less advantaged.
In fact, as former community organizer, John McKnight's has pointed out, professional caring in modern society has become just another business, but a business whose true mission is masked (disguised) by its aura of caring & love for those whom it allegedly helps.
Or to put it in his own words:
“It is clear, therefore, that the word 'care' is a potent political symbol. What is not so clear is that its use masks the political interests of servicers. This fact is further obscured by the symbolic link between care and love. The result is that the political-economic issues of service are hidden behind the mask of love.
And as he continues:
“Behind that mask is simply the servicer, his systems, techniques, and technologies -- a business in need of markets, an economy seeking new growth potential, professionals in need of an income”
Most important, from McKight's point of view, this is not a shell game where "helpers" consciously set about to exploit the needy for their own selfish ends.
Instead, from his point of view, servicers are well-intentioned individuals, who so strongly identify with the caring "face" of doing good, that they cannot let themselves recognize its negative consequences.
This "mask" (identity) of goodness is so important to their sense of self, they can't let themselves see its true face: the exploitation of society's disadvantaged classes, by a credentialed elite, to enhance both (1) this elite’s economic well being & (2) their sense of moral superiority over those whom they help.
In McKnight's words, "removing the mask of love shows us the face of servicers who need income, and a self-serving caring industry that needs growth."
And in pure economic terms, the client is less the consumer of helping initiatives, than "the raw material for the servicing system."
Therefore, even though it might not be the original intention of such liberal “social dogooders”, it doesn't take long for those whom they set out to help to ultimately become commodities in the business of caring -- and for the liberal helpers, by implication, to become the new industrialists of caring.
And ironically, as John McKnight also suggests, many of today's much-advocated social-problem-solving efforts are actually “iatrogenic” -- the equivalent of doctor-created disease.
As first pointed out by German medical iconoclast and gadfly, Ivan Illich, doctors usually prefer to gather the sick in infection-ridden hospitals, where ill patients often contact infectious diseases which make them even more sick than they were when they first entered hospital.
Consequently – from Illich's perspective -- the doctor-prescribed cure, for many hospital patients, is worse than the actual disease that brought them there.
In the same way, most liberal-left social "cures" -- via government-mandated social
engineering -- are iatrogenic-- social "remedies" bedeviled by a multitude of harmful unintended social consequences … created by government agencies recklessly intervening in the private sphere.
The problem is that public intellectuals, of the liberal left, suffer from the hubris of thinking they know more than they do. And over and over again, we are confronted with more grim evidence that mere humans-- even the most schooled and brilliant -- cannot sufficiently control complex social processes to achieve the societal outcomes they desire.
And in the minds of elitist liberal/left “helpers”, only they are sensitive and enlightened enough to care -- which demonstrates their social and moral superiority over others in our society (even those wealthier & more powerful).
It's only one privileged class that benefits from all this caring:
Today’s progressive Washington politicians and bureaucrats, as well as today’s fame-obsessed Hollywood celebrity activists!
Of course, the multi-trillion dollar (Obama deficit) question is whether there is a constructive alternative that will repair the intended & unintended consequences of the “hypocritical oath” taken by such dedicated liberal “society doctors”.
The traditional “liberal” values of America’s founding fathers – especially Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Adams – a perspective which emphasized: the inherent rights of citizens to be happy, and free from the “tyranny” of any elected leader, as well as free from authoritarian overreach by either other body of government (the Senate or House of Representatives).
And just a reminder to today’s current anti-Christian advocates who consistently advocate and litigate for an absolute separation of church (primarily any whiff of Christianity) and state:
The majority of the “founding fathers” were believers in "theistic rationalism" – the belief that (1) “natural religion”, (2) Christianity, and (3) rationalism typically coexist compatibly, with rational thought balancing the conflicts between the first and the second.
And inherent in this belief was the perspective that the primary role of a person's religion should be to bolster personal morality as a fixture of daily life.
So is there any current political perspective that encompasses such “classical liberal” values?
In my opinion, there is:
But surprise! It’s today’s expression of “compassionate conservatism”.
And, from my perspective, what would that entail?
Well, how about the following abbreviated list immediately below?
(1) A celebration of the Anglo-Saxon intellectual roots of the Western liberal-democratic republican tradition (and the still enduring philosophical principles that inspired the revolutionary ethos of America's Founding Fathers);
(2) A real-world answer to the abstract, utopian radicalism of today’s dominant political and media elite.
Most important, is a steadfast belief in a democratic constitutional system in which the “consent and will” of voters (for example in the recent mid-term American elections) determines power, and in which established power exists without oppression (ie., no “witch hunts” by the likes of Louis Lerner -- and the IRS -- against conservative individuals & organizations).
As well, it entails fostering maximum liberty and economic prosperity ... as opposed to the violation of human rights by the NSC -- National Security Council – or inept stewardship of the American economy (such as the dramatic drop in the income of middle-class and working class citizens since the beginning of the Obama “monarchy”)
As Czek champion of a true “liberal” state -- Vaclav Havel -- pointed out years ago, the most fascinating and terrifying aspect of Communism was its ability to banish truth from human affairs, and to force whole populations to 'live within the lie.'
And that's not unlike the state of affairs in today’s American society – dominated by political & media elites of the “left coasts” (including New York & California) – where once-celebrated “patriots” could, at any moment, be removed from the book of history (similar to today’s liberal-vetted college & high-school textbooks), and in which truth could not be uttered (just as today’s liberal race-baiters, in America, denounce any opponent -- of today’s “community-organizer-in chief” -- as racist extremists).
If nothing else, Havel reminds us of just how lethal, to everyday existence, were the routinized Communist dictatorships of the twentieth century -- with their “chokehold on ideas, spontaneity and liberty.”
Not too different, I would think, than in the politically-correct America created by the denizens of political thought today (ultra-liberal Democrats) and today’s architects of media hegemony (the “NY Times”, “Washington Post” and national TV networks, excepting Fox News).
So is there a model for a new kind of liberalism that borrows from the principles of America’s founding fathers, and the primal conservatism of the likes of William Buckley and (later) Ronald Reagan?
My answer is (perhaps surprisingly) in the political writings of famed “existentialist”, Albert Camus:
In fact, like many other European intellectual heirs of Heidegger at the end of World War II, Camus philosophically traveled to the very edge of the ontological abyss, and resolutely confronted a black Nietzschean vision of the death of God and the end of all conventional morality (a bleak vision sparked by the horrors of the Nazi era and the complicity of so many “ordinary” European citizens in the cruelties of the holocaust).
But unlike such existentialist contemporaries, as Jean Paul Sartre, Camus did not cope with the “anxiety”, “nausea” and “dread” -- that allegedly accompanied this nihilistic vision -- by taking refuge in the most popular left-wing “isms” of his day.
He voiced opposition to the anti-semitic “show trials” of Joseph Stalin (before Stalin’s fortunate death), and denounced the Soviet invasion of Hungary (after a pro-liberty regime was vaulted into power).
Yet, there’s no doubt that Camus was definitely a man of the political left: He had been raised in grinding poverty in Algeria. And he was briefly a member of the Communist Party in pre-War Algeria.
A REVOLT OF HOPE – THE COMPASSIONATE REBEL:
But unlike Sartre and his pampered middle-class friends, Camus didn’t existentially seek an awareness of “being” by means of a dogmatic ideological mission to redress human misery through the totalitarian Stalinist revolutionary solution (with all the doublethink and violence this ideological undertaking involved).
Instead, Camus — to use his mode of expression — “revolted” against the “no” in life by embracing the “yes” in existence.
And what was that “yes’ in everyday life?
Instead of succumbing to the darkness of the nihilistic vision -- embraced by such still-worshipped Marxist contemporaries as Jean Paul Sartre -- who enthusiastically embraced the “no” in life (rejecting alleged American-influenced “bourgeois” society in Europe) – Camus turned to what he considered to be the “yes” in life — the a-priori light of human existence: OTHERS!
He said “yes” to the intrinsic sense of solidarity he experienced toward his fellow humans (no matter how imperfect they were), all the while striving to accept the “unalterable limitations” of human existence: we all die eventually (health drinks, botox and New Age nostrums, notwithstanding).
Rebellion for Camus was not the inhumane “ends-justifies-the-means” action demanded by the historical struggle for the perfect revolutionary social order — with all the murderous extremes that such a struggle inevitably encompasses.
Instead, Camus’ notion of rebellion resisted the nihilistic call, by affirming the relatedness of self to others and to nature.
One strove to accept the limitations of human existence, all the while savoring every joy in life … while still fighting against every private or government action that brought unjust suffering to others.
For Camus, the true “rebel” embraced human solidarity, as both means and ends, in a continuing “revolt” against the nihilistic shadow.
The rebel, according to Camus, could feel most alive by transcending the nothingness of being and finding meaning in relatedness to his or her fellows.
BROTHERS IN ARMS:
And within Camus’ humanistic world view, even the unceasing dialectical march of revolutionary history had to come to a halt when confronted by the exigencies of an even more basic a-priori truth of existence — each human’s essential solidarity with and obligation to the other.
Of course, after wading through this somewhat arcane discussion, you’re probably thinking by now: “So what? It’s 2014. Why bother ourselves with outdated writings from more than 50 years ago? Why refight the philosophical & political battles of post-War Europe now?”
The answer is twofold:
First of all, after a careful reading of Camus, it’s not difficult (for me anyway) to come to the conclusion that despite his life-long leftist political leanings, Camus was a philosophical conservative by his natural disposition.
Secondly, Camus is a cautionary literary & philosophical footnote to the post-Heidegger European intellectual quest which has bequeathed to us the intellectual poison of Foucault & Jacques Derrida, and the soul-destroying theorems of deconstruction (all of which are still embraced by today’s empty-headed leftist university elite).
Camus’ writings are an energizing antidote to the paralyzing non-judgmentalism of post-modernist political thought that produced the strange ambivalence (if not satisfaction) of North American intellectuals regarding the events of 9/11 – namely that “imperialist” America got what it deserved.
THE LIMITS OF NATURE & POWER:
As a man of political action, Albert Camus may have adopted the language and world view of European leftist politics as he battled against the social & political injustices of the 1940?s and 1950?s.
But perhaps because his entire identity was so rooted in the practical, real-world sensibility of the working-class surroundings of his Algerian childhood, and his strong identification with the eternal rhythms of nature that dominated life in the seaside surroundings of his birthplace, Camus could not shake an intrinsic “conservatism” in his perception of the dynamics of change in human life.
Like some wise old conservative, even the youthful Camus seemed to have an instinctive SKEPTICISM about the PERFECTABILITY of man or his social institutions – the cardinal sin of today’s contemporary liberal “dogooders”, trying to remake society according to their reality-deprived socio-political fantasies.
AUTHENTICITY–CONFRONTING THE BANALITY OF POST-INDUSTRIAL LIFE:
Just as important, Camus’ literary & philosophical writings offer an alternative intellectual magnet for today’s disaffected young intellectuals.
He addresses the sense of alienation & rebellion still experienced by today’s idealistic young thinkers in the post-modern age — those stubborn young minds still trying to forge an “authentic” path amidst what they view as the absurdity and banality of modern living.
Having confronted death in his many bouts with tuberculosis, and during his participation in the French resistance movement, Camus convincingly tackles the question of living authentically within the modern existential void.
And yet unlike Heidegger’s post-modernist successors, Camus rejects any escape into the moral relativism of post-structural nihilism.
For in the end, Camus recognizes the existence of good and evil in human life ... And in his writings, as in his life, he suggested allying yourself with the forces of good (the light), in the fight against the forces of evil (darkness).
Obviously, this could serve as some helpful advice for President Obama in his feckless, inept attempt to address the dark and evil forces in today’s world: Issis, Vladimir Putin, and Iran (specifically the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons capability).
My answer, then, to finding a substitute for today’s dominant liberal ethos in contemporary America?
Embrace the essentially conservative political and philosophical perspective inherent in the writings of America’s “founding fathers” (for example, James Madison in the “Federalist Papers”), as well as Albert Camus (in “The Rebel” & “The Plague”)!
Nuff said, on these issues, I would think.
-- PREDICTIONS ABOUT OBAMA ADMINISTRATION COMING TRUE: NUCLEAR IRAN, physician ISLAMIC CALIPHATE, symptoms REINCARNATION OF THE SOVIET UNION UNDER PUTIN, AND EMERGENCE OF PERMANENT UNDERCLASS OF POVERTY STRICKEN AMERICAN MINORITIES
By Klaus Rohrich
I’m sure no one is terribly surprised at the recent revelations that the much-hyped “Affordable” “Care” Act (ACA) was passed on the basis of lies and deceit. Or as its architect -- economist Jonathan Gruber -- gleefully told a group of health economists: ignorance afforded a political advantage and the bill was passed because of “the stupidity of the American voter.”
If anyone is surprised at this revelation, then perhaps Gruber’s assessment of Americans was correct. Think about it: a guy comes along and tells you that he can provide the same level of quality and service in a new healthcare program that will at once cover more people, reduce overall costs, deliver better quality of service with better outcomes to boot. And on top of that he promises that you can keep your existing doctor and insurance plan (period!).
To say that anyone who falls for this is gullible is to be overly charitable. During the lead up to passage of this train wreck, more sentient minds questioned the basic premise of the ACA (now better known as “Obamacare) -- pointing out that it was neither “affordable,” nor did it have anything much to do with “care.”
More accurately put, the ACA should now be renamed the “Secret Takeover Of Mindless Patsies” law (STOMP), because that’s exactly what this law was designed to do.
After all, Gruber proudly told at least three “seminars” for other Obamacare apologists that had the Congressional Budget Office been given the straight goods on the law prior to its passage they could have scored the costs vs. benefits of the proposed legislation -- which would have forever doomed passage.
And all this time we thought Obama and the Democrats were just incompetent, when in reality they were planning a total takeover of life in America!
But it’s not like Americans weren’t warned. The vast Right Wing Conspiracy (myself included) railed against this law and cited countless jurisdictions where the government takeover of medical care went awry -- including Canada, the UK, and Cuba.
Saner minds pointed out that no government could provide all the goodies hyped over the ACA. There was talk of (1) ‘death panels’; (2) questions about what would motivate medical innovations if there wasn’t a reward for the innovator; and (3) most important, the impossible arithmetic of adding 15 to 30 million uninsured people for what claimed to be a lower overall cost.
The only conclusion from such jaded and questionable policies?
America’s health-care system, under its current guise, will totally crash and burn, necessitating a government takeover, instituting a single payer system
What else can we expect from the misguided premises underlying this Euro-socialist health-care scheme?
The idea that younger people would willingly A) buy health insurance, since being ill is the last thing on a young person’s mind; and B) that the young would willingly pay more -- so that the old codgers could also be covered -- is preposterous and totally goes against the grain of human nature.
The insurance companies made their deal with the devil believing the President’s sweet talk; and in the very near future they will find themselves in an untenable situation – when the actuarial tables won’t mesh with the realities of Obamacare.
In fact, we are already hearing rumblings of reduced expectations for the coming year, as fewer younger people are choosing not to enroll.
Insurance companies can’t eat that loss because they have shareholders to answer to. So it’s highly likely the system will collapse within the next 24 months.
It’s also highly likely that the collapse of the system was pre-planned, as outlined in Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” – one of the President’s favorite books as a young community organizer.
Ideologues do not care who or how many get hurt, so long as they get their desired outcome.
And if you’re an America-hating left-wing radical, then being able to collapse the system likely seems a pretty satisfying accomplishment.
And it’s not in the realm of health care alone:
Recent news of US Immigration Courts -- remanding the cases of most of the youngsters, who entered America illegally through the southern border -- has increased the Courts’ caseloads by tens of thousand of cases; and it will cost taxpayers billions of dollars, as none of the children have or can afford their own lawyers.
In fact, all of the worst predictions made about this administration are beginning to come true: including a nuclear Iran, an Islamic Caliphate (ISSIS), reincarnation of the expansionist Soviet Union under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, and perpetration of a permanent underclass of poverty stricken Americans (particularly single-family black families).
And remarkable as it seems, impeachment has been permanently taken off the table because of fears of charges of race baiting against a black president (not to mention the nightmare of clueless Vice-President Joe Biden succeeding his boss!).
That’s analogous to having a family member that sexually abuses your children, but you don’t want to press charges because he’s family.
Don’t say you weren’t warned!
[Klaus Rohrich is senior columnist for “Canada Free Press”. Klaus also writes topical articles for numerous magazines. He has a regular column on retirementhomes.com, and is currently working on his first book dealing with the toxicity of liberalism. His work has been featured on the “Drudge Report”, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and “Lucienne.com”, among others. He lives and works in a small town outside of Toronto and is an avid student of history.
Klaus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org]
A LESSON FOR THE CURRENT OCCUPANTS OF THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE
-- ALL THAT IS REQUIRED FOR EVIL TO SUCCEED IS FOR THE GOOD TO DO NOTHING ... AFTER ALL, healing YOU CAN FOOL SOME OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME, medical AND ALL OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME, BUT YOU CANNOT FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME!
By Alan Caruba
Just a reminder to modern-day liberal academic revisionists:
Pearl Harbor is not ancient history. It’s part of my history, and that of many others who were alive at the time. I was just an infant, but the Japanese sneak attack on our Hawaii naval base led to early memories of being on trains filled with young soldiers, many of whom did not live to return home.
The attack was on December 7, 1941; and a day later in a speech to Congress, Franklin Delano Roosevelt called it a “date that will live in infamy.”
War was declared on Japan, and on its ally Nazi Germany.
Four years later both enemy nations were conquered, largely due to America’s capacity to gear up to provide everything our armed forces needed.
And it was won, too, because it was a war to protect freedom from authoritarian, anti-Democracy enemies.
A new book, “Blinders, Blunders, and Wars: What America and China Can Learn”, has been published by the Rand Corporation, a corporate monolith which describes itself as a “research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthy and more prosperous.”
An independent, non-profit organization, the Rand Corporation was formed after World War II to connect military planning with research and development decisions.
This book is a study of the history war, focusing on eight typical strategic military blunders.
As David C. Gompert, the lead author of the book and senior fellow at Rand notes: “Leaders who blunder into war tend to have unwarranted confidence in their ability to script the future and control events. They favor information, analysis, and advisers that confirm their beliefs over those that contradict them. In essence, blinders cause blunders.”
Does anything in the preceding quotation remind you of America’s current president!?!
While Americans are still debating whether we should have gone to war in Iraq in 2003 or whether our troops should have been withdrawn by 2011, the cold fact of Islamic aggression has seen President Obama reluctantly (but inevitably) reintroduce and increase our “boots on the ground.”
Of course, enemies cannot be ignored. At best they can be “contained” until, like the former Soviet Union, they collapse or change in some fashion.
But, in turn, naively following the paradigm of our current negotiations with Iran -- fooling ourselves into thinking that they do not harbor extremely dangerous intentions -- could be fatal!
The authors of the Rand study call Japan’s decision to bomb Pearl Harbor “a blunder of the highest order.” It followed a succession of decisions which Japan’s (primarily military) leadership had made to invade China and southern Indonesia in the quest to secure the oil and raw materials it needed for its industrial sector.
And we should remind younger readers that, in that era, the Japanese saw themselves as a people superior to others in Asia and the world. As Herbert Feis, the author of The Road to Pearl Harbor, wrote: “The Japanese people came to believe that the extension of their control over this vast region was both natural and destined.”
World War II had its roots in the sanctions meted out to Japan and Germany after World War I. In Japan’s case, its invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937 put the U.S. on guard and produced American sanctions that included halting exports – to Japan -- of scrap iron, steel & aviation fuel, as well as arms, ammunition & critical raw materials.
In addition, America additionally began to build up its naval forces; and ultimately it was a wise decision (Pearl Harbor notwithstanding).
The attack on Pearl Harbor sealed Japan’s fate. On December 7, 1941, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto -- commander of a carrier task force north of Hawaii -- ordered the attack.
Two waves of Japanese aircraft -- 353 in total -- damaged all eight battleships in Pearl Harbor: However, although four were sunk, two of them were raised eventually – with six, of the eight, ultimately returned to service later in the war.
Significantly, America’s three aircraft carriers were at sea on routine maneuvers; no U.S. submarines were destroyed; and a third wave of attack was not ordered by Yamamoto due to fuel shortages – meaning that remaining port facilities -- such as dry docks, ammunition dumps, power stations, and fuel storage facilities -- were not destroyed.
Most important – as Herbert Feis points out in his monograph -- Japan’s (military) leaders had seriously misunderstood Americans:
“America instantly took a war footing. Six months later, at Midway, Japan sought to finish off the American carriers. Instead, aided by code breaking and some luck, planes from three U.S. carriers sank four of the six Japanese carriers that had struck Pearl Harbor.”
The arrogance and miscalculations of the Japanese leadership ultimately led to the loss of 2.3 million of their citizens; the firebombing of its major cities; the invasion of Okinawa (and the loss of thousands of Japanese soldiers’ lives in their suicidal defense of the island); and finally the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs.
The Rand study has lessons for America today. “Japan saw the United States as having weak will and capability. The U.S. military had been allowed to deteriorate over a twenty-year period; isolationism and neutrality reflected America’s interwar mood.”
Today, our military is as small or smaller than it was at the beginning of World War II.
Not only that, but our President -- elected on the promise to remove our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan -- is having second thoughts, all the while he is foolishly emptying out our detention center in Guantanamo, returning its inmates to the battlefield in the Middle East ... most of them likely to return to the Islamo-fascist assault on American interests there, and ultimately America itself.
Is it any wonder that, after six years in office, Barack Obama is about to appoint his fourth Secretary of Defense?
And a reminder again for those too young to remember: We have been in a state of war with Islamic fascists for many years, after the traumatic events of September 11, 2001. And they have even declared themselves to be the successors to the ancient Islamic State (caliphate) that once successfully ruled an Islamist empire that stretched from the steppes of Asia to the borders of modern-day Austria – governed of course by traditional sharia law, which is barbaric in its anti gay and anti-female customs.
And what can learn from all of the preceding “commentary”?
There have been three generations of Americans born since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and that is time enough for many of them to either never have learned or to have forgotten the lessons of that traumatic event in our history.
Yet, the Obama administration has done everything in its power to deflect any anger toward the Muslim fanatics currently beheading American citizens in the name of their holy jihadist war: We are constantly warned by the President – and his mainstream-media proxies -- to avoid unfair “Islamophobia.”
But to avoid another contemporary sneak attack on the homeland, you have to know who your enemy is and why.
And yet, despite the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, we have now dangerously let our guard down again (particularly in the years since Barack Obama assumed office as President).
Yet, the lesson of Pearl Harbor is that we cannot make that same mistake for a very long time to come!
[Alan Caruba has a daily blog called "Warning Signs":
Mr. Caruba can be reached at: email@example.com]
MY OWN THOUGHTS ON THE PRECEDING GUEST EDITORIAL BY ALAN CARUBA
What may be the most important lesson from Pearl Harbor (especially these days), is that nothing is metaphorically impossible for the American people when they are united in a “mission” (not purposefully divided – for political purposes – by a feckless and self-serving narcissistic leader like Barack Obama).
After all, gaze back historically at the 1,366 days between December 7, 1941, and September 2, 1945—and the speed with which the Axis powers (Japan and Nazi German) were reduced to ashes by the determined industrial output of American workers (male and female) – working on assembly lines that manufactured unprecedented numbers of ships, planes, tanks, and other war materiel, for American soldiers – America’s “Greatest Generation”.
They were a “can-do” generation who refused to take “no” for an answer.
Unlike America’s current leaders, they did not put off until tomorrow what needed to be done today.
So let’s hope that the new Republican-dominated Congress, in January 2015, will begin emulating their example in combating America’s current military, economic and political ethics problems!
Nuff said, I would hope.