The denouement at National Public Radio -- where CEO Vivian Schiller was forced to resign after another NPR executive was caught on video agreeing with hateful statements from a man posing as a Muslim extremist -- prompted me to suggest a historical perspective on the liberal impulse:
What have we learned? A few years ago, it was often said that "9/11 changed everything" and, in some sense, I guess it did. But the change for most Americans -- a long-overdue wake-up call to the threat of Islamic jihad -- was different than the change for liberals like these NPR executives. For liberals, 9/11 was a morality tale about America's alleged sins against the Muslim world, in which America's ally Israel was the villain and al-Qaeda terrorists were in some sense justified in hating America. ("Chickens coming home to roost," so to speak.)
More than 35 years ago, Jeane Kirkpatrick described the essence of liberalism's foreign policy instincts:They said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do -- they didn't blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians -- they blamed the United States instead.But then, somehow, they always blame America firstWhen our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the "blame America first crowd" didn't blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.But then, they always blame America first.When the Soviet Union walked out of arms control negotiations, and refused even to discuss the issues, the San Francisco Democrats didn't blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States.But then, they always blame America first.When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago.But then, they always blame America first.
Some things never change.
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