Yesterday's Victor Davis Hanson column is a great one: "The Merchants of Despair"
Some on the hard left sought to cite our support for Israel or general "American imperialism" in the Middle East as culpable for bin Laden's wrath on September 11. Past American efforts to save Muslims in Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Kuwait, and Afghanistan counted for little. Even less thanks were earned by billions of dollars given to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. The Islamofascist vision of a Dark Age world run by unelected imams — where women were in seclusion, homosexuals were killed, Jews were terrorized, Christians were routed, and freedom was squelched — registered little, even though such visions were by definition at war with all that Western liberalism stands for.
This flawed idea that autocrats supposedly hate democracy more for what it does rather than for what it represents is not new. On the eve of World War II isolationists on the right insisted that America had treated Germany unfairly after World War I and wrongly sided with British imperialism in its efforts to rub in their past defeat. "International Jewry" was blamed for poisoning the good will between the two otherwise friendly countries by demanding punitive measures from a victimized Germany. Likewise, poor Japan was supposedly unfairly cut off from American ore and petroleum, and hemmed in by provocative Anglo Americans.
By the late 1940s things had changed, and now it was the turn of the old Left, which blamed "fascists" for ruining the hallowed American-Soviet wartime alliance by "isolating" and "surrounding" the Russians with hostile bases and allies. The same was supposedly true of China: We were lectured ad nauseam by idealists and "China hands" that Mao "really" wanted to cultivate American friendship, but was spurned by our right-wing ideologues — as if there were nothing of the absolutism and innate thuggery in him that would soon account for 50 million or more murdered and starved.
Ditto the animosity from dictators like Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro. The Left assured us instead that both were actually neo-Jeffersonians whose olive branches were crushed by Cold Warriors, and who then — but only then — went on to plan their own gulags in Vietnam and Cuba.
The always articulate VDH is just getting started as he blasts the critics of the Iraq war. Read the entire piece.