Tuesday, May 17, 2005 9:20 pm Daniel J. Summers
While on vacation last week, I had the opportunity to finish a book I started over Christmas vacation - Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terror by Ann Coulter. In it, she meticulously (and I mean meticulously - there are 877 footnotes throughout 292 printed pages) details how the left, liberals, Democrats (pick your favorite label); these folks have been wrong about almost every foreign policy decision they've made over the last 50 years. (Today, another revelation occurred that, to me, shows that it hasn't stopped yet - but more on that later.)
The book starts with a look at Alger Hiss and Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy is probably one of the most unfairly maligned people in United States history - especially since, within the last decade, declassified Soviet cables (intercepted by the Venona Project) have proved his allegations true. First, she makes the excellent point that Senator Joe McCarthy had nothing to do with the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC). Instead, his modest job was to identify loyalty risks serving in sensitive positions. He was very good at his job, and identified several people that needed to be moved - not fired, not tried for treason and hanged, just moved out of the sensitive positions where they were currently.
Over the past 50+ years, the left has consistently been for containment, appeasement, and has been more than willing to cede portions of our national security to keep us from having to fight wars. I can't recall who said it, but the gist of it was “If these folks were just stupid, the laws of chance would dictate that they'd occasionally be right!” One paragraph (on page 154 of the paperback edition) summarizes just how duped they were in the Cold War, while debunking the claim that Truman's policies actually won the Cold War, it just took until Reagan's administration for them to work.
To review the record, as part of Truman's yeoman work on the Cold War, he cooperated with the Soviets at the Nuremberg Trials, white-washing their joint aggression with Hitler under the Nazi-Soviet Pact. He looked the other way when the Soviet Union murdered three million Russian prisoners of war returned home by the Allies. On his watch, the Soviet army consolidated its control over nine countries, China became a Communist dictatorship, and tens of millions of people were murdered under Communist tyrannies. Truman defended Communist spy Alger Hiss as a patriot who was framed by Republicans, and he tried to indict Whittaker Chambers for perjury. He refused to remove members of his administration identified to him by J. Edgar Hoover and others as Communist agents, including Harry Dexter White, whom Truman appointed to U. S. representative of the IMF. Among the Soviet spies advising Truman on China was Frank Coe, who refused to answer the question: “Are you a Soviet agent, Mr. Coe?” Soon thereafter Coe fled to Communist China, where he became a top policy-maker to Chairman Mao, helping the Chinese murder tens of millions of their own people. Truman was considered such a dupe of the Communists that the Army refused to tell him about the Venona Project. And that's how Truman won the Cold War!
Ann continues in other chapters to discuss the Bay of Pigs invasion, where we went back on our word by not supporting the Communist resistance there when Castro had very little power; Vietnam, where we were starting to make progress until a Democrat-controlled Congress used Watergate as an excuse to leave before winning; Grenada, where we went in and defeated Communism over a weekend; the Cold War, where an arms race did prove to be the way to bankrupt the Soviet economy; Iraq, where the same arguments once used against Vietnam and Grenada were once again being brought up, but yet we prevailed (not by appeasement, or inspections, but through force); and North Korea, where recent administrations have dropped the ball, but the current one is taking a strong stand.
While those who know Ann Coulter know that she simply delights in shredding the left to pieces, the content of this book is much more important that her amusing delivery method. What this book shows is that, using the 20/20 benefits of hindsight, the left's approach to defending our country only makes us weaker. When the decision was made to not prosecute Jane Fonda for her treasonous actions during the Vietnam War, the message was sent that this country wasn't interested in prosecuting anyone for these types of actions. So, Hollywood and the media have been more than willing to participate in this as well - which brings us to today's happenings.
Last week, Newsweek magazine ran a story that claimed that, as an interrogation technique, the Army had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. This caused riots in Afghanistan, where 15 people have been killed and over 100 injured. Today, they ran another article where they said that their source for that piece of information is now unsure that that's what happened. (Separately, they have claimed that this is not a retraction of the story.) So, what we've got here is an international news magazine including uncorroborated hearsay from a single source in a story, claiming it as fact. I have several problems with this.
- First, didn't Newsweek learn anything from the CBS News / Bush ANG document fiasco? The public deserves better, and our troops on the ground certainly deserve better fact-checking before they have to contain riots for no good reason.
- Second, why was Newsweek so eager to run this part of the story? I believe it's the same reason that CBS News ran with the Bush ANG story - they wanted terribly for it to be true. For all their accusations, it's the left in this country that doesn't seem to realize that the “War on Terror” is not a “War on Islam”. They want us to disrespect Islam, so then they can say they were right.
- Third, this bad decision has placed our military in harm's way. Iraq is not the only place we've got a military presence, training locals to take over their own security. Afghanistan is farther along than Iraq, but we're still there. With claims like this, even if they are true, publicizing them as some scandalous new revelation gives aid and comfort to our enemies. All they need is one story like this to fire them up for days - and now, not only have they given the opposition the morale boost, 15 people are dead because of it. There's no way that either the reporter or the editors will be tried for either treason or murder - but I believe a case could be made for either of those charges.
- Finally, what does it matter if they did do it? I'm not a student of Islam, but as a Christian, I believe the Bible is the holy, inspired Word of God. Any feeble attempt by man to eliminate it is simple futility - others have attempted to destroy God's Word, and have had little success. Flushing paper and ink down a toilet does not come anywhere close to destroying it - only that copy. I would think that Muslims would feel the same way about their holy book - but, I may be wrong. I don't see what it would hurt, though - these terrorists already call us the Great Satan!
If you have the opportunity, pick up Ann's book at the store or library, and read through it. It's a great analysis of conflicting foreign policy over the last 50 years - and, it's fun to read to boot!