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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

THE PYRRHIC "VICTORY" OVER THE SOVIET UNION




BY MICHAEL LINN JONES

It is repeated often enough that Ronald Reagan "won" the Cold War. True, his defense policies helped push them over the edge; an edge the Soviet economy had brushed against for decades. But if one were to give proper credit for presidents who "won" the Cold War, we'd have to start with Harry Truman and go right through to George H.W. Bush. Each of those men maintained the patient but remorseless bulwark against the totalitarian regime once headquartered in the Kremlin.

Those not around in those decades would find it hard to fathom what people lived with on a daily basis. The worst case scenario was a full-blown nuclear exchange which would have made moot any point about who was right or wrong since everyone would be dead. It was a very real thing; a threat that somehow people lived with yet still managed to carry on.

But then, it might be fair to ask if those born since 1990 do not indeed have a better understanding of living with the threat of the yoke of totalitarian government.

It is a misnomer to refer to the collapse of the Soviet Union as the "collapse of communism." To do so ignores the fact that the people of China, North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam live under communism. It's not quite two decades since the fall of the Soviet Empire, and yet here we are as a nation (and economy) in hock up to our eyebrows to China; a communist nation providing debt relief for a society that thinks itself some kind of "victor" over their form of government.

It might be said that the Cold War began in earnest in 1949. That was when China was "lost" to the communists. It was also then that the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb. The Korean War would shortly follow in 1950. Communism WAS a real threat to the national security of the United States.

That, however, did not prevent the usual twisting of facts and reality by certain politicians for their own personal gain. The greatest alarmist in the early 50's was Senator Joe McCarthy, one of the all-time nihilists to serve in government. He pushed an atmosphere of fear and suspicion that lasted for years. Hence, the term "McCarthyism" to describe that era.

One example of how wacked out things were then was an experiment carried out by a political science teacher. He had his students re-word the Bill of Rights into modern language and sent them out to sign a "petition." Said petition was, of course, nothing more than what was already in the Constitution.

Amazingly (or not so amazingly if you study human behavior) very few people would sign it. It was too "controversial" for most people to sign onto. It would have put them outside the stream of acceptance, which was very important in those days. Individuality was not encouraged to say the least.

So here we are, again, at the start of a new Cold War. Calling it a "Global War on Terror" is a misnomer. It is, in fact, a war on freedom. On the face of it not many of us would argue that some freedoms might have to be "temporarily" forgotten in the overall struggle against a menace.

I don't know if you've noticed, but it seems as though every single one of the candidates for the presidency, whatever their party, do not speak of personal freedom. Oh, they might if we're talking about lowering taxes on the suffering top 1% of income earners. But not within the context of the "land of the free" America that we still worship in rhetoric but do our best to erase in deed.

There is always some group somewhere that insists that it cannot in any way, fashion, or form...be offended. And government power exists for the sole purpose of stamping out perceived affronts. And it's all so wonderful because people idiotically assume that THEIR agenda will never be touched. Too many people fall for that line of goat manure about some corporate or government entity being "on your side."

That is not so. A power granted to government by the governed is rarely returned. Government exercizes power for the benefit of itself. True, some may benefit financially but not within the realm of freedom.

This new Cold War, like the original, has a clear beginning; September 11, 2001 to be precise. Many agendas that had laid dormant burst forth like rotten Spring flowers seeking cross-pollination. And what did we do, as a people? We snored on.

This is what bothers me about the current crop of substandard candidates for the White House. NONE of them ring a bell of freedom, except to illuminate what they perceive to be a good lever for acquiring votes. It is NOT from the heart.

The fall of the Soviet Union led to a presumed sense of superiority; one that indicated no need to continue to compete with another ideology. That was the first, and perhaps biggest mistake.

We lurk in restaurants, waiting to be offended by someone using tobacco. We delight in those fast-food companies getting hammered for the fatty foods. Not only do we have "zero tolerance" for kids bringing aspirin to school, or drawing pictures of a gun, we have zero tolerance for kids, period. We must have instant adults....childish behavior is now unacceptable, even from children.

We live in an era of self-righteous prohibition that is nothing more than national navel-gazing. Yet it goes beyond that. Two examples come to mind. The first is Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC) whose rhetorical question about the Patriot Act, "If you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to worry about?" exemplifies a blindness to the dangers of expanded government power. What Ms. Myrick does not understand is that it all turns on what the word "wrong" means.

The other example comes from the Fox show COPS. I rarely watch it but it was one of those times when I couldn't look at a monitor very long or read a book, either. I see this policeman (in Broward County, Fla....it always seems to be in Broward County) cruising along.

He says something that stuck with me..."It's my business to get into other peoples' business." He pulls over a woman with a boombox system for being too loud. Then the 'ole "mind if I have a look in your car?" and within minutes he's found a whopping 22 grams of marijuana, the driver is handcuffed, weeping on the sidewalk.

I didn't feel safer watching this. It felt creepy. It was creepy because I had this flashback to the film "Dr. Zhivago." Zhivago is ripping down a wooden fence for firewood. His family is freezing. A policeman arrests him, telling Zhivago that he "has the right" to do so. Zhivago responds, "You have the authority, not the right."

I was raised with the notion that there are written laws (authority) and unwritten laws (the morally right and wrong). In the almost two decades since the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States has increasingly abandoned the unwritten for the written only. We've become obsessed with authority while placing the human condition in a straitjacket.

What a victory over totalitarianism. We are becoming that which we once defeated. Welcome to the brave new world, comrades.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Tom said...

Two quick comments:

I strongly dislike George Bush and his policies, but even I don't think that the Patriot Act (and smoking bans, etc.,) equate with totalitarianism.

Calling China a communist nation is rather questionable, given how fully they've gone over to capitalism. Even their political systems, while still not free, is moving away from Maoist totalitarianism.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Muslims Against Sharia said...

Muslims Against Sharia Urge Support for Sue Myrick's "Wake Up America" Initiative

Wake Up America

1. Investigate all military chaplains endorsed by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was imprisoned for funding a terrorist organization.

2. Investigate all prison chaplains endorsed by Alamoudi.

3. Investigate the selection process of Arabic translators working for the Pentagon and the FBI.

4. Examine the non-profit status of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

5. Make it an act of sedition or solicitation of treason to preach or publish materials that call for the deaths of Americans.

6. Audit sovereign wealth funds in the United States.

7. Cancel scholarship student visa program with Saudi Arabia until they reform their text books, which she claims preach hatred and violence against non-Muslims.

8. Restrict religious visas for imams who come from countries that don't allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy.

9. Cancel contracts to train Saudi police and security in U.S. counterterrorism tactics.

10. Block the sale of sensitive military munitions to Saudi Arabia.



Muslims Against Sharia urge every American to send a letter of support to Congresswoman Myrick. Sample letter is provided below.

==========================

The Honorable Sue Myrick
230 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1976
Fax: (202) 225-3389


Dear Congresswoman Myrick,

As an American who is concerned with the issue of terrorism, I applaud your efforts to prevent radical Islam from infiltrating American society. I wholeheartedly support your "Wake Up America" plan, as well as other initiatives of the Anti-Terrorism Caucus. You bring honor to the title of United States Representative.

Groups in America such as CAIR and MAS and groups overseas like Hamas and Al-Qaeda need to be shut down for their support and/or perpetration of terrorism. We hope that people recognize this threat to our society, and as well, recognize what you are doing to stop it.


Sincerely,


Signature
Name
Contact info (optional)

==========================

Please print out, sign, and mail or fax this letter to Congresswoman Myrick at the address / fax above. Feel free to modify the letter as you see fit.
http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/04/muslims-against-sharia-urge-support-for.html

10:11 PM  

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