The Progressive Assault on the Legacy of Independence Day

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Flickr

Photo via Flickr

Independence Day is a good time to revisit the foundations of our political order, especially given the long record of Barack Obama and the Democrats’ disregard for the Constitution. The members of the Continental Congress who met in Philadelphia in July 1776 sought their independence from England in order to recover their rights that had been violated by a tyrant, and to establish political freedom and autonomy so that those rights could be protected from further erosion. For a century now the Progressive ideology has insidiously undermined that legacy of autonomy in a slow-motion revolution that aims to “fundamentally transform America.”

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How Obama Lost the Middle East

The president put politics and ideology ahead of preserving hard-won gains in the region. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

In his first term, Barack Obama all but declared victory in America’s Middle East struggles.

As he precipitously pulled out all U.S. peacekeepers from Iraq, the president had his own “Mission Accomplished” moment when declaring the country “stable,” “self-reliant,” and an “extraordinary achievement.”

Those claims echoed Vice President Joe Biden’s earlier boast that Iraq somehow would prove Obama’s “greatest achievement.”

After the death of Osama bin Laden, and during Obama’s reelection campaign, the president also proclaimed that al-Qaeda was a spent force and “on the run.”

But what exactly was the new Obama strategy that supposedly had all but achieved a victory in the larger War on Terror amid Middle East hostility?

Fuzzy euphemisms replaced supposedly hurtful terms such as “terrorism,” “jihadist,” and “Islamist.” The administration gave well-meaning speeches exaggerating Islamic achievement while citing past American culpability.

We tilted toward Turkey and the Palestinians while sternly lecturing Israel. Military victory was caricatured as an obsolete concept. Leading from behind was a clever substitute.

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The Language of Despotism

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Long before 1984 gave us the adjective “Orwellian” to describe the political corruption of language and thought, Thucydides observed how factional struggles for power make words their first victims. Describing the horrors of civil war on the island of Corcyra during the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote, “Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.” Orwell explains the reason for such degradation of language in his essay “Politics and the English Language”: “Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”

Tyrannical power and its abuses comprise the “indefensible” that must be verbally disguised. The gulags, engineered famines, show trials, and mass murder of the Soviet Union required that it be a “regime of lies,” as the disillusioned admirer of Soviet communism Pierre Pascal put it in 1927.

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Don’t Mess with Messiahs

Whenever things go wrong, it’s the fault of those obstructionists in Congress.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

In Search of What You Resent

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

By Eddriscoll.com via PJMedia

By Eddriscoll.com via PJMedia

The Maliki government in Iraq fueled anti-Americanism as it systematically destroyed the coalition government that the Americans had created and protected by the surge. Maliki, who had once been hunted by the genocidal Saddam Hussein, in a sense was a creation of the United States and its commitment to consensual government in Iraq. So was the pluralistic idea of a Shiite majority for the first time gaining ascendency on the principle of one person, one vote — and through the blood and treasure of American soldiers during the surge. No foreign leader in recent memory has been so lucky to have an American patron.

By 2011, Maliki thought he could pose to Iraqis with cheap anti-Americanism while bluffing the Obama administration into agreeing to a status of forces renewal agreement that both sides knew was in their mutual interest. But the fool Maliki did not realize that politics for the Obama administration (“ending one war, winding down another”) was even more a first principle than it was for Maliki. The result is Obama pulled every American out of the hard-won and stable Iraq (“stable” is Obama’s characterization, not mine alone), found his reelection narrative, and now Maliki is close to losing his country.

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Looking Back at Iraq

It is historically inaccurate to say the war was cooked up by Bush alone.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Obama’s World Disorder

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Image credit: Zoriah

Image credit: Zoriah

Amid all the talk of the isolationism that supposedly characterizes the Obama administration’s foreign policy, we forget that since World War II, the global order has largely been determined by U.S. engagement. The historically rare state of prosperity and peace that defined the postwar world were due to past U.S. vigilance and sacrifice.

Germany in the last 150 years has been at the center of three European wars, winning one, losing another, and destroying much of Europe and itself in the third. Yet present-day Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. It is a global leader in high technology and industrial craftsmanship. For seventy years Germany, even after its second historic unification in 1989, has not translated such economic preeminence into military power, much less aggression. In fact, the strategic status quo of postwar Europe—with Britain and France, and their relatively smaller and weaker economies, as the continent’s two sole nuclear powers—remains mostly unquestioned.

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Melancholy Lessons from Iraq

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Wikicommons

Photo via Wikicommons

The unfolding collapse of Iraq’s government before the legions of al Qaeda jihadists is the capstone of Barack Obama’s incompetent and politicized foreign policy. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), armed with plundered American weapons and flush with stolen money, is consolidating a Sunni terrorist state in eastern Syria and northern Iraq, replete with mass executions, sharia law, and the beheading of violators. With revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling the Shia faithful to arms, a vicious civil war between Shia and Sunnis will likely intensify in the coming days. But whoever wins, the fallout for our security will be disastrous – a Shiite “crescent” from Aleppo to Mosul allied with Iran, which looks ever more likely to be nuclear armed, and a safe haven for terrorist training camps to prepare “martyrs” for attacks against the West. And our allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all will to various degrees find their own security and interests impacted by this administration’s criminal foreign policy negligence.

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The Federal Octopus

Federal agencies now exist not for the public good but for their employees’ benefit and Obama’s agenda.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Decline of Western Civilization in a Few Paragraphs

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

Photo by Eddriscoll.com via PJMedia

Photo by Eddriscoll.com via PJMedia

Every once in a while, a criminal case — consider the O.J. trial — reflects the immoral course of our current trajectory. Here is an ongoing local criminal case that pretty much sums up what is happening to our culture, laws, and society at large.

Perla Ibeth Vazquez, 27, is now on trial in these parts. On Oct. 21, 2011 (a mere two-and-a-half-years ago?), she was drunk, drove, and killed, according to the Fresno Bee [1], one “Frank Winslow, 54, a family man and truck driver for Foster Farms who was only a few miles from home when he was killed on Highway 168 near Ashlan Avenue.”

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