Among the things that bothered us in this affair is that it's deemed first-rate, Pulitzer-worthy journalism when a major newspaper prints classified information that our enemies find useful, but when the commander-in-chief authorizes the release of declassified material to defend his administration's position it is treated as a betrayal of the public trust, if not an impeachable offense.
When the New York Times last December revealed that the National Security Agency listened in on communications between terrorist suspects abroad and U.S. residents, or when the Washington Post ran a story about the existence of CIA prisons where the worst terrorists were being held and interrogated, the information aided our enemies.
But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other congressional Democrats had no problem with such unauthorized releases of classified information, even if they helped al-Qaida. The information, after all, could be used as ammunition for attacks on the president and his policies.
But they are shocked, shocked, that Bush would declassify information that proved Bush right and former Ambassador Joe Wilson was wrong on the issue of whether, as Bush asserted in his 2003 State of The Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Let's move on to the next sickening "scandal" that is designed to render America's fight against terrorists like Zarqawi completely impotent. Here is one intelligent response to it:
Is the US military allowed to have an information warfare strategy? Or is every effort we make to assist the Iraqis secure their country and win some hearts and minds to be exposed, ridiculed and countered by the media? I have stood on the tiny coral outcrop called Ie Shima where Ernie Pyle, the GIs best friend, died near the end of WWII. With him may have died the last time the press and the military felt like they were on the same team.Do you begin to wonder what side they are on? How much death and mayhem will such bias enable? And this is all, once again, the expression of desperation on the part of the left, because they are losing the battle of ideas; and they know that history is going to be very very hard on them.
The press alternates between complaining the administration and the military aren't doing enough for the Iraqis, and complaining about everything they are doing. I think it would be self-evident that publicizing the depravity of a foreign terrorist who is responsible for many of the deaths of their countrymen, might help spur resistance to the insurgency.
Bob at One Cosmos had this to say about the etiology of the behavior we observe in today's "progressive" movement:
However, one far-sighted observation of the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion is that many modern human groups are every bit as primitive. While they might have a veneer of civilization, their more basic function is to structure existence and to allay anxiety. You see this, for example, in very obvious cases such as the NAACP or the ACLU.Read it all.
Clearly, these groups once had an instrumental purpose, but now their only purpose is to provide a cognitive structure for the world of the people who belong to these groups, and to reinforce the structure through contact with like-minded people. It's not even a pleasant world. Rather, it is a dark, paranoid, and conspiratorial world.
And yet, the paranoid world of the far left is preferable to the ambiguity of the the real world. In fact, I shouldn't even say "ambiguity," for does anyone acquainted with reality think for a moment that Representative Cynthia McKinney is a victim of white racism? Or that President Bush is imposing a fascist theocracy?
Human beings have an amazing capacity to deny change and to live in the past.
Scratch a leftist who has to cope and adapt to a the reality that has rejected all of his fundamental premises, and you will find someone experiencing high anxiety--or even outright panic. That is because his world is crumbling all around him. All that he once believed was true has been shown to be a utopian fantasy. In response to this awful reality, the left has moved easily from what might have been "progressive" ideas to "retrogressive" ones; and abandoned whatever principles that once may have motivated them--all in order to hold onto an ideology whose horrorific legacy can be seen all over the world.
To hold onto this legacy, no lie is too absurd or far-fetched; no fantasy only their emotions represent truth; and reality is merely play-dough for their childish fantasies and utopian dreams. Interrupt today's leftist at his play, and you provoke the "affect storm" we conservative bloggers have all come to know if we are unfortunate enough to be linked to by any lefty blog or site:
A number of commenters tried to engage the "arguments" that the Angry Cadre had left, but to little avail. The problem is that the subject for most of the commenters is closed. Bush lied, the war has been mismanaged, there were no WMD, etc. All these tropes have been endlessly repeated by many in the media and many politicians and public figures, and are not up for discussion; they are accepted as revealed truths and no amount of evidence to the quandary will even evoke an acknowledgment that other interpretations of the data are plausible or likely. Which raises the question of why so many felt the need to make such comments. Certainly, the comments, many of which were overtly insulting and obnoxious, were not designed to convince. They were also clearly not designed to invite discussion. Almost none of the comments referred to the subject of the post, the inevitability of further conflict based on the hardening and devolution of images of the opposing sides. The conclusion I arrive at is that most of the negative comments represented a type of Affect Storm.
Affect Storms are triggered by intense anxiety, often over existential questions. The left (apologies to Raw Data for my shorthand; here I am including that 20% of the population that is overtly Communist, Socialist, Progressive, and Ultra-liberal; they are over-represented in Academia and the MSM, as well as certain precincts within the Democratic party) faces existential danger from several directions. They are overtly threatened by Islamic fascism, which hates almost everything they stand for, notwithstanding the uncomfortable alliance of convenience between some on the far left and the Islamists. The threat to Western Civilization, which supports them and nourishes so many on the left, even those who have the most animus toward it, is real and even when denied, is ever-present. Another threat is more subtle. There has been a trend away from the ideas that the Left has championed, and which have been on the ascendant in the West for over 30 years, and this is reflected in the increased challenge to the MSM opinion makers from the Internet (which is actually more economic than political) as well as the weakening of the baseline support for the Democratic party in a country that to many appearances has been becoming more "red."
Both ShrinkWrapped (whose entire post you also need to read) and Gagdad Bob are absolutely correct. At the bottom of all this is an existential anxiety that dominates the behavior of the left in general; and in many Democratic leaders.
It is this high anxiety that has stimulated much of the paranoia, the delusions, and--of course--the rampant denial that is so characteristic of today's progressive elites.
There is no middle ground for them to stand on; because they know that their ideology and everything they believe will live or die--depending on whether Bush is successfull in the Middle East and at home or not. Having no real ideas or alternatives with which to counter Bush's policies or the wave of freedom and democracy that has been unleased; they have resorted to the distortions and lies that are continually recycled. You see, they can still at least temporarily alter people's perceptions of reality.
That is why it is hilarious that they even have the gall to critique the military for using psychological operation to fight the enemies we face. They have rather different ideas about who the enemy really is.
And they are in a fight for their very existence.
[P.S. I predict that when the current cycle of lies plays out, the next thing up on their agenda will again be....KATRINA. Wait for it.]