A left-wing screed by one Rick Perlstein, accusing conservatives of creating a “bed-wetter” nation and decrying the uproar over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia, got a bit of buzz yesterday. McQ at Q&O takes apart Perlstein’s argument that America was more “mature” and “well-adjusted” when it welcomed Nikita Khrushchev in 1959, but has regressed because of the “conservative Republic of Fear.” Writes McQ:
…we were anything but well adjusted and mature. We were an emerging super-power. We were faced with a hostile emerging super-power. Both were armed with nuclear weapons. We were still somewhat under the “Uncle Joe” spell from WWII and saw the USSR as more misguided than evil.
Since then we have come to understand what evil is. We’ve seen it in action and some of us have actually learned from that experience. We no longer feel the need to play footsie with it. We no longer find it necessary, for whatever reason, to attempt to placate it, cater to it, make excuses for it, pretend it is something else, be civil to it, or give it a forum for its poisonous propaganda.
That’s real “maturity”.
That’s actually being “well-adjusted”.
Being an apologist for evil, however, is the same old game that saw its rise enabled in the late ’30s in Europe and its 70 year reign in the USSR. And, as history has shown us, that’s neither a mature or well-adjusted reaction to its presence.
Perlstein suggests that the respectful welcome granted to Krushchev pointed to a confident, mature American character; whereas the rude reception given Ahmadinajad at Columbia was the mark of immaturity. To be specific, he thinks the immaturity comes from the fact that American character has been damaged by years of “conservative rule,” which he says is “rewiring our hearts and minds” in bad ways.
Given that hypothesis, I would have liked to have seen some evidence that conservatives exercise some sort of rule at Columbia. It’s beside the point, however, since the analogy is even more deeply flawed than that: the reception of Kruschev was an act of the United States government, whereas the business at Columbia was an act of a private entity. The actual US government reception was to ignore the visit as much as possible, so much so that Bush played down the Iranian issue in his own speech at the United Nations.
It speaks to the bottomless self-delusion of the thumb-sucking Left that its nutroots bloggers see themselves as the adults and the brave, outspoken opponents of tyranny and evil as the “bed-wetters.” Diana West thoroughly diagnosed “The Death of the Grown-up.” America’s intellectual and moral adolescents are on the side of the jihad apologists, not on the side of the anti-jihad protesters who refused to shut up, make nice, or sip tea with the devil.
And from my column today:
Lost in the debate over the Columbia “debate” are the jumbo-sized jihadi dots connecting Iran to global Islamic terrorism, including 9/11. The 9/11 Commission Report stated in a section on Iran and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that “the evidence of Iranian involvement is strong.”
On Iran and al Qaeda partnerships, the report concluded, “there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers. There also is circumstantial evidence that senior Hezbollah operatives were closely tracking the travel of some of these future muscle hijackers into Iran in November 2000.”
The report said of Iran training al Qaeda that “In late 1991 or 1992, discussions in Sudan between al Qaeda and Iranian operatives led to an informal agreement to cooperate in providing support — even if only training — for actions carried out primarily against Israel and the United States. Not long afterward, senior al Qaeda operatives and trainers traveled to Iran to receive training in explosives . . . The relationship between al Qaeda and Iran demonstrated that Sunni-Shia divisions did not necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations.”
You won’t be surprised, then, to learn that the weekend before Mahmoud arrived at Columbia, foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia met to “stress the need for unity among world Muslims, and called for vigilance in the face of plots hatched by enemies to sow discord among the Shiite and Sunnite Muslims.” No, it didn’t come up in the “debate.”
On my train ride home from Mahmoudapalooza, I spoke briefly with a Columbia University grad steeped in the Ivy League haze of non-judgment. She was upset and embarrassed — not by Columbia president Lee Bollinger’s bone-headed decision to legitimize Ahmadinejad at its World Leaders Forum. No, she was mortified that Bollinger had delivered his face-saving introduction challenging Ahmadinejad.
With childlike naivete, this Columbia alum told me: “I’m frightened by the polarity.” Which about sums up the majority view of academia and the Ahmadinejad excusers on the left:
They are more afraid of standing up and calling out evil than losing the West, their country and their own lives to it.
The moonbat babies are leading a backlash against Columbia’s president Lee Bollinger.
They fear the polarity.