Delusions of the Liberal Intelligentsia
By Jason Hirthler
As we head into The Chosen One’s second term, it might be useful to explode a few of the chronic myths that cling to the man more tightly than his shadow. Myths that have helped liberal intelligentsia justify its enthusiastic support for this lesser of two evils. Here are the myths as articulated by a young, imaginary, and starry-eyed Obama progressive, momentarily detached from the stampeding liberal herd, just long enough to have a conversation with a leftist on the political fringe…
Myth 1. Now look, Obama wants nothing more than global peace, but Iran is a nation of madcap mullahs looking to nuke Tel Aviv. We have to do something.
Obama is definitely not a peace advocate—unless by peace you mean: peace on our terms. That means a disarmed, defanged, and docile Iran with mullahs in exile and puppet doyen in ascendancy. We take with Iran the same line that Israel takes with the Palestinians. Sure, we want peace—on our terms. Meaning the less Arabs in Jerusalem the better. Meaning a Bantustan province with notional national status. A series of tidy little prison camps strung together by gauntlets of IDF troops. So peaceful at night you can hear the safety switches at the security checks clicking off.
The administration’s posture on Iran has already violated international law—using open threats and coding a few others. (Everybody knows what “all options are on the table” means.) Our sanctions amount to economic warfare visited on little children who can’t define the word sanction. Iran has done nothing wrong. They are within their IAEA rights. There isn’t a shred of evidence they are using nuclear for anything outside the purposes of civilian power. Yet the U.S. and Israel are nuclear states, signatories and serial violators of the Non Proliferation Treaty. Israel has 200 nukes. We have more. Iran has none and they know they would be instantly vaporized if they bombed either Israel or us. They don’t have a death wish. But we are openly threatening to bomb them. We have already carried out acts of war within Iran, including cyber-warfare and assassinations. If Iran had done either inside the United States we would have invaded them instantly and reduced Tehran to rubble. Palestine is so bad there’s not enough space to get into it. And on a side note, we’re rapidly surrounding China militarily, and we’ve infuriated Russia by building a defense shield on its doorstep. There are two kinds of people that claim to crave peace. Those that want peace and those that want peace on their terms. Obama is the latter.
Myth 2. You seem to forget that Obama decided to end the Iraq war and brought all our troops home.
Actually, George Bush did. The man we know as Dubya actually pushed through and signed the SOFA agreement that called for the troop removal. He actually tied off his own war. In fact, Obama pushed hard for a revised agreement that would allow troops to stay on in Iraq, but the Iraqis rejected his efforts. So he’s taking credit for something he didn’t do; he wanted to do the opposite. But we are still leaving tens of thousands of military contractors—mercenaries paid for by our government—behind just to reassure the Iraqi people of our benign intentions. What country wouldn’t want the illustrious Blackwater roaming its streets in blacked-out SUVs, cigar-chomping sociopaths from Texas at the wheel? And don’t forget the Green Zone, that billion-dollar, taxpayer-funded Fortress-on-the-Tigris. Hard to miss from a satellite.
Myth 3. But he ended torture, rendition, and closed Guantanamo!
Regarding Guantanamo, it is still open for business. Obama supposedly didn’t close it because of Congressional resistance, the legal issues involved with bringing ‘enemy combatants’ into the states. I guess even the Department of Justice sometimes stumbles its own nebulous doublespeak. Rendition is still an active program, although it is being—ahem—more closely monitored to avoid prisoner abuses. (I almost used the not-so-laughable euphemism ‘detainee’ by accident.) But that is really beside the point since we’ve created a mirror image of Guantanamo at Bagram in Afghanistan, except that it is larger. Sixty thousand square feet of detention dementia in the heart of opium country.