Sunday, July 15, 2007

Public Opinion and Victory: a Contradiction?

With the nestling of Postmodern crypto Marxists in the Liberal Left parties the traditional Left has become a far cry from what it was, say ten years ago. The invective at the expense of the nation's common good is taking its toll. I am singling out the United States here, but I might as well be writing about The Netherlands, Britain or Spain. The Postmodern rhetorical rage is everywhere.

Dr Sanity has gone into the psychology and has come up with some serious pathological issues pertaining to Narcissism, the denial over the Socialist shipwreck on the cliffs of economic theory, and heaps of projection and other immature coping strategies.

It can be argued that the Left perhaps had a fatally flawed ideal, going against the very essence of human nature, but that at least their intentions were morally superior. Nick Cohen, author of "What's Left?" and signatory of the Euston Manifesto - an effort to claim the Left's traditional mainstream back from the Postmodern crypto Marxists but committing identical errors - in a recent Pajamas interview paraphrased that image like this:

"More broadly, Cohen laments the loss ... of the core principle of the left, international solidarity with the oppressed ... he regrets that once upon a time amidst the wreckage of the failure of Marxism-Leninism and even mild socialism, the great consoling claim of the left was that it had once squarely opposed fascism. Now, he isn’t so sure ...

"... as ... British leftists in the antiwar movement (are) making common cause with the far right Muslim Brotherhood; Iraqi socialists and trade unionists abandoned or ignored after the fall of Saddam; leftist intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky either denying or playing down ethnic cleansing of nationalists in the Balkans; the socialist Mayor of London hosting and defending preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who had called for the killing of apostates and homosexuals; in parts of the academy, the onset of an extreme relativism which taught that it was racist to oppose sexism in different cultures; the growth of anti-semitism of varying intensity ...

"Cohen tries to balance two arguments ... anger with the flawed policies and incompetence of the Bush and Blair governments, but solidarity with Iraqis as they tried to build something better after decades of tyranny".

But Nick Cohen is a dissenter. It was obvious from the start that - given half the chance - the Left would choose to lose Bush the war: Democrats have been waving white flags from the get go and played the demoralization card more than once, right into the hands of the enemy. Out of spite for Bush which is bad enough, but more importantly, at the expense of American global interest and by extension the free West as a whole, and eventually also at the loss of the spread of democracy in the Middle East, the only political and peaceful means of beating Islamic fundamentalism at home.

Yankee Wombat yesterday had an interested uptake on an article on Tech Central Station Daily, "How Al Qaeda is Winning Even as it is Losing". It's a bit of a technical story, but what it boils down to is this:

"The Coalition and al Qaeda are fighting two different wars. While General Petraeus strangles the insurgent hydra head-by-head, al Qaeda's message of slaughter and despair saps the American public of its will ... A congressionally-imposed defeat in Iraq may be averted by a swing in the polls ... in a hostile media environment ... (this) is difficult, but not impossible, given the substantial American center - Citizens who would prefer victory if given reason to hope. Alternately, Congress could defy the polls. Al Qaeda is running its war on ... bytes of sound and sight. Congress could act on General Petraeus' reports from the ground, rather than broadcasts generated by insurgents."

The West is hampered in fighting a conflict of 4th generation warfare - directed at public opinion - while that public is not led by rationality and common sense, but rather by Counter-Enlightenment anti-reason and anti-Libertarian ideology. As a result emotion, sentiment, impulsive rage, fear and suggestibility have free reign while the old grey mass is having a leave of synapses.

And so the cooperation in the Unholy Alliance, of Western Left Collectivism and Eastern Right Collectivism, are shaping the new world in their totalitarian image at the expense of Liberty, human autonomy and hope for a democratic and peaceful Middle East.

In Iraq meanwhile, just when the surge led by General Petraeus is making substantial progress and the U.S. polls are sliding further, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has had it with the Democrat imposed arbitrary deadlines, a feature entirely alien to Middle Eastern culture.

The whole enterprise suggests as well that on the whole, democracies are peaceful countries simply because it is impossible to properly run a war against ruthless terrorists on public opinion polls and persistent common error. This cynicism begs the next question: who's to reign in the world's bullies?


Justin Halter said...

Great insights, Cassandra. While it is true that opinion polls are low, it may not be an inherent conflict with Long War, but rather the reflection of a President who communicates very poorly. Bush has a strong moral outlook and sense of mission, but he has done incredibly poorly at the charismatic leadership necessary to galvanize a nation. If the next President is Giuliani, as it looks now, expect no weakness from America because of lack of public support.

Cassandra said...

Hi Justin,
It's the Vietnam years redux, isn't it? That war was lost through public opinion. The present enemy knows this very well and is banking on the same outcome. They may well be proved right. Lose a war through lack of the president's public persona? Bush too clumsy, Cheney the devil's spawn, the rest even worse: neo cons! No lack of reasons for irrational hatred if you lose the elections, it seems! Where's the mainstream anyway? They seem to be practically invisible ... Thanks for the comment, Justin! Cheers.