Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dolchstoss Alert

In our war against Islamo-fascist terrorism, we face enemies both overt and covert. The overt enemies are, of course, the terrorists themselves. Their motives are clear: They hate our society because of its freedoms and liberties, and want to make us all submit to their totalitarian form of Islam. They are busy trying to wreak harm on us in any way they can. Against them we can fight back, as we did when British authorities arrested the men and women who were plotting to blow up a dozen airliners over the Atlantic.

Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness.


Michael Barone 8/21/06


Every state must have its enemies. Great powers must have especially monstrous foes. Above all, these foes must arise from within, for national pride does not admit that a great nation can be defeated by any outside force. That is why, though its origins are elsewhere, the stab in the back has become the sustaining myth of modern American nationalism. Since the end of World War II it has been the device by which the American right wing has both revitalized itself and repeatedly avoided responsibility for its own worst blunders. Indeed, the right has distilled its tale of betrayal into a formula: Advocate some momentarily popular but reckless policy. Deny culpability when that policy is exposed as disastrous. Blame the disaster on internal enemies who hate America. Repeat, always making sure to increase the number of internal enemies.

Kevin Baker, Harper's 7/14/06

26 Comments:

Anonymous Kevin Wohlmut said...

Didn't George Carlin once do a comedy routine about how everything became complicated over time: "shellshock" became "battle fatigue" became "post-traumatic stress disorder"... "toilet paper" became "bathroom hygenic tissue"...

Now we have "WMD" becoming "weapons-of-mass-destruction-related-program-development-activities"... and "Al-Qaida" and "Osama" morphed into "Islamo-fascist-terrorist-covert-unconscious-homefront-sympathizers."

Talk about mission creep!

8/22/2006 5:27 PM  
Blogger chris_from_boca said...

yep. the hippies have spoiled all the good wars.

8/22/2006 5:37 PM  
Anonymous R W said...

Wow, take a gander at the comments for the Barone article: Most range from the merely stupid to the overtly racist but the unifying thread is certainly dolchstoss: the urge to find a scapegoat, to blame someone, anyone other than "us," for perceived failure -- I say perceived because it is not always clear what the failure is or even if there really is one when judged objectively thus the rage expressed in many of the comments appears strangely ungrounded, very real but connected to something other than the actual topic of discussion.

There is also a surprising amount of antipathy for the kind of freedoms that make a democracy worth living in but which, apparently, should be the first thing to go because these freedoms somehow detract from our ability to fight our enemies (just why this should be true and what we are fighting for after they are gone is never coherently addressed).

We've certainly got more than "islamofascism" to worry about it seems. As "The Kingfish" was reputed to have once said, "If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag" and judging by the Barone site that wrapping is progressing without a hitch.

Pedant's note: I've seen the above quote attributed to Sinclair Lewis with "and carrying a cross" added but can't find any source. Come to think of it though the source attributing the quote to Huey Long is not the most reliable either so, never mind; it's a solid and accurate statement regardless and one sweep through Michael Barone's comment section will demonstrate that beyond any reasonable doubt.

8/22/2006 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Barone is essentially retreading the 'either with us or with the enemy' path and it's as much a logical fallacy today as it was when first uttered by the Emperor in Chief nearly 5 years ago. By asserting this manichean test into the debate, there can be no further debate because to take issue with Barone's assertions is to prove his falsely grounded point.

That said: as an American who traces his lineage back to the colonies and tribes, I believe in the essential vision of the Founders. I believe the United States, in our greatest moments, can be a home for enlightened thought and action.

I do not believe the administration shares these values put forth by the Founders nor a respect for the Republican form of government empowered by our Constitution. The failures to uphold the Constitution are many and expanding.

The inaction before, during and after Katrina is the antithesis of 'goodness' but rather an example of the bad faith that radiates from the heart of our current 'leaders'.

The inability to bring OBL to justice betrays any sense of faith in our society as envisioned by Barone and his cohorts.

The willingness to idly watch as Lebanon is turned to rubble over the welfare of two Israeli soldiers is not a viable demonstration of our 'faith' and 'goodness' but rather a time consuming ploy being used to advance the failed Bush Doctrine.

And how does the Bush Doctrine square with International Law? Not well at all. Barone and his cohorts would dismiss International Law as being inapplicable to U.S. leadership but in fact our Constitution recognizes treaties struck with other nations as the "Law of the Land"

That said (and I could go on ad infinitum) I wish someone would drive a stake through the intellectual conceit of 'Islamofascism'. What was a socialist movement in the early years of the 20th Century became a coalition of government and corporatist interests by the 1930s. Fascism as we know it is all about state control, absolute adherence to ideological doctrine, unfailing allegiance to the leadership and their circle of interests and a deadly intolerance of dissent.

Barone's labeling of Muslim extremists as "...fascist" is rather the pot calling the kettle black. They may be deadly, they may be intent on raining violence upon innocents and collaborators alike, but they are not 'fascists'.

Fascism is powerful, corporate elite propagandists calling writers like me 'covert enemies'.

If Barone and his peers had the intellectual honesty to look at the origin of Islamic extremism they might find the actions of the national security state apparatus in destabilizing, overthrowing and installing Middle Eastern governments to be of great influence. Is this the 'mission' from which we cannot rest until we achieve 'victory'?

8/22/2006 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if only the four earlier posters could be running us foreign policy, how bright things would be for the planet....love this blog!

8/22/2006 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since bush openly says that iraq had nothing to with 911

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/08/21/bush-on-911/

and this guy says his people 'immediately' sent their condolences...where are all the islamofascists coming from???

http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/world/0605/transcript.lemonde.letter/lemonde.4.html

...maybe south lebanon but they only seem to bump off foreign soldiers on their soil most of the time...strange

8/22/2006 11:58 PM  
Anonymous nyhmr said...

Mr. Barone's last paragraph where he mentions "the elite young men", doesn't that also apply to Cheney, Bush, Quayle, etc...?

8/23/2006 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

think islamofacist means anyone who went to university in najaf

8/29/2006 5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Famous last words of Roman Emperor Valens 378 AD : "Where did all the barbarians come from?"

Geo.W. Bush 2006 AD : "Where did all the Islamofascists come from?"

8/30/2006 10:14 PM  
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