Friday, March 26, 2010

How to Treat Friends

When the elderly president of Czechoslovakia, Dr. Emil Hacha, visited Adolf Hitler in the late winter of 1939, his country had already agreed to measures designed to placate the dictator. The Czech cabinet had banned the communists and booted out all Jewish school teachers. The Czechs were fully prepared to make other concessions.

But Hitler was no about to accept any further conciliatory gestures. He had already abandoned any pretense of diplomacy because his real intent was to render Czechoslovakia powerless. He was determined to take the country over by force.

But before Hitler gave the aged and probably senile Hacha Germany's ultimatums, the dictator completely humiliated him. Hacha was not summoned into Hitler's presence until 1:15 A.M., at which time, after Hacha had groveled before him begging for mercy, Hitler exploded. Hacha had no choice but to sign a document of surrender and give in, the dictator fumed. Annihilation awaited if the Czechs dallied.

When Hacah and his envoy protested, Hitler stormed out of the room and handed Hacah over to Goering and Ribbentrop, who browbeat the confused and ailing president, finally bludgeoning him into signing the death warrant for his country at 3:55 A.M., March 15, 1939. [The fuller story of Dr. Hacah and Hitler can be found in William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, pp. 444-448.]

The treatment of Dr. Hacah is a lesson in how authoritarians treat their enemies.

Who would ever have believed similar tactics of humiliation and browbeating would be used by our administration against a long time friend and ally?

Though not as severe a beating as was administered to Hacha; nonetheless, our president gave US long time friend and ally a good hard smack in the face, humilating and dismissing Bibi Netanyahu as if he were an upstart lackey. While unlike Hacha, Netanyahu neither fainted nor caved in, the behavior of our president reeks of Chicago style thuggery. It has the unsavory smell of authoritarianism.

By now most observers of the political scene know the story. Jim Hoft of PajamasMedia quotes Adrian Blomfield of The Telegraph:

Benjamin Netanyahu was left to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have supper with his family, it emerged on Thursday. The snub marked a fresh low in US-Israeli relations and appeared designed to show Mr Netanyahu how low his stock had fallen in Washington after he refused to back down in a row over Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.

… (Mr. Obama) immediately presented Mr Netanyahu with a list of 13 demands designed both to the end the feud with his administration and to build Palestinian confidence ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Key among those demands was a previously-made call to halt all new settlement construction in east Jerusalem.

When the Israeli prime minister stalled, Mr Obama rose from his seat declaring: “I’m going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls.” As he left, Mr Netanyahu was told to consider the error of his ways. “I’m still around,” Mr Obama is quoted by Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper as having said. “Let me know if there is anything new."

Obama's behavior toward the head of state of one of our most trusted and valuable allies goes beyond ignorance and immaturity. Our president acted as tyrants and thugs behave, not as the leader of the most powerful nation in the free world should behave.

Mr Hoft adds:

The ritual humiliation of the Israelis is an absolute disgrace, and yet another example of how the Obama administration views its allies with indifference, contempt, and at times outright hostility. It is extraordinary how far the Obama team has gone out of its way to grovel to state sponsors of terrorism, such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Muammar Gaddafi, while kicking America’s friends in the teeth.

It is no wonder Obama's approval rating within Israel has fallen to single digits.

There are many disturbing lessons to be drawn from our president's treatment of Israel. None are good.

But the chief lesson to be learned is that the new realpolitik of the current administration continues to minimize our friends while courting our enemies.

European leaders may shrug and wait it out until a friendlier administration works to repair the damage done by our current administration.

But for Israel, the minimzation of her standing and the thuggish behavior of our president could well be catastrophic as the fire breathing nations who surround her see an opportunity to increase their hostility and gain legitimacy to their complaints that Israel and the Jews should not exist at all.

Just as bad, the stinging repudiation of Israel as a prime ally and friend could well stoke the fires of anti-semitism, not only in Europe, where the brush fires of antisemitism are fast turning into bonfires of hatred similar to those of the 1930's, but also here in the US.

After all, never has this country had a president who is more overtly hostile to Israel, who surrounds himself with so many anti-semitic sycophants and who is so ready to give severe qualifications concerning the legitimacy of the Jewish nation and its claims to its land.

All the more reason to vote him and his cronies out of office.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Caligula's Horse and our Congress

It's probably fair to say that by the time the emperor Caligula made his favorite horse Incitatus a senator, the glory days of the Roman senate were long past. What was once an august deliberative body had already gradually been diminished by the overweening control of powerful, godlike emperors. The final humiliation reducing the senate to the status of a horse's ass didn't really matter.

But the US House of Representatives and the US Senate have suffered an even worse fate than gradual strangulation by a series of divine rulers. US leaders have not been the primary reason for congress' present reduction to irrelevancy, try though they might.

On the contrary, the US Senate and House of Representatives have done themselves in. By voting for the current health care bill, both bodies of congress have consigned themselves to irrelevancy. Both have become as moribund and ineffectual as the Roman Senate under Caligula. That is because both have handed over their law making and regulatory powers to a vast bureaucracy they themselves have just created.

It's not that there aren't bureaucracies already existing which are, by and large, dead weights on American society. Self-perpetuating, regulatory and controlling nightmares have already been inserted into the societal fabric.

But the bureaucracy just created and about to be signed into law creates a monstrous organization controlling just about every aspect of American's lives. Even more to the point, the giant agency about to be put into place will busy itself, like every other agency, making rules and regulations. The new self-perpetuating health care bureaucracy, along with others still to be put into place, will make endless rules, laws and regulations. Americans will have no or little say concerning the new regulations, for it is truly difficult, if not impossible, to make agencies and bureaucracies accountable to the will of the people.

The above means Congress will gradually be put out of business. It will become largely symbolic as the newly minted bureaucracy takes its place.

In addition to the plethora of new laws and regulations spewed forth by health care bureaucrats and appointees, a newly empowered president with the capacity to hire and fire said appointees will preside over the bureaucratic nightmare, increasing his say over the country's destiny without the tedium of dealing with fractious deliberative bodies.

But perhaps even more importantly, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have, by passing the health care legislation, proved themselves irrelevant because they now are not representative bodies. To put it bluntly, by passing a health care package odious to the majority of the American people, our representatives and senators have shown they no longer represent the will of their constituents, but are bought and sold to the wheelers and dealers complicit with the White House.

The upshot is that being elected a senator or representative no longer matters as far as the voice of the people is concerned. It no longer matters who is elected because the point of being elected was to represent the people who vote, and that rather important commission has no more relevance. While thankfully no one will have to see the fake torments and supposed agonies of conscience of a Bart Stupak or a Mary Landrieu, Americans have suffered what might be an irreparable loss; namely, no one will be speaking for them. In such a scenario, no individual's vote for his or her representative matters, as all representatives are become merely interchangeable faces and ineffectual, gutted zombies rubber stamping the status quo.

In sum, as of yesterday, congress voted itself out of power. It made itself as irrelevant as Caligula's senate. The power has gone elsewhere. It has gone to the White House, a privileged cabal of appointees and to the new bureaucracies.

The result? Power no longer belongs to the people.

Welcome to the brave new world of 2010.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

PC and Multi-Culturalism are Destroying the US Military

Political Correctness and Multi-culturalism Are Destroying the US Military: The ideological seeds that contributed to the destruction of the Wehrmacht have implications for the US military today

On June 22, 1942, in a surprise attack that flabbergasted and confounded even the wily Josef Stalin, German armies raced across the border of Russia determined to crush the nation and expand Nazi domination. That they did not succeed in so doing is one of the providential miracles of history for which the world may be profoundly grateful.

Historians have been studying the causes of the Nazi defeat for decades, and most concede that if it were not for the incredible heroism of the Russian people and the entrance of America into the war, Russia would have fallen to the Nazi war machine.

But it is seldom noted the Nazi version of political correctness played an enormous role in bringing the German armies to their knees. German military success was hindered by the racist ideology which put at the forefront of the military agenda the drive for Aryan purity, which purity was to be achieved by the extermination of Jews and Slavs.

With a few notable exceptions which would later translate into plots to assassinate Hitler, the German military was gradually absorbed into the political and ideological milieu engendered by Nazism, becoming not only a weapon for Nazi expansionist goals, but also an instrument to achieve the racial purity Hitler longed for. Prussian ideals of absolute loyalty to country and ruler were made to include Nazi ideological goals.

There was, in other words, a dual agenda comprised of military victory over the Russian armies but also victory over racial "pollution."

German army units that had thrust forward with incredible speed and determination into the very heart of Europe rushed headlong into Russia, but they were now accompanied by einsatzgruppen, special units designed to exterminate non-Aryans. As long as the Nazi blitzkrieg moved with the astonishing rapidity and success rate it had enjoyed in Europe, the einsatzgruppen could work without impeding the advance of the German armies. But as the war wore on, it became apparent that conventional and racial warfare could not co-exist without bogging down the army's military goals.

Gradually the twin goals of military victory and extermination of racially undesirable elements became so intertwined that in combination with stiffer Russian resistance than expected and the onset of the famed, brutal Russian winter, the German armies were slowed and eventually halted.

So it happened that the drag of ideological warfare was part of Hitler's "Waterloo." Because ideology trumped military strategy and sapped morale, the might of the German army was vitiated. While shedding oceans of blood in battle and in extermination campaigns, the army itself was suffering a vampiric suctioning of its life blood in the form of Nazi political correctness. The famed disciplined hierarchy of the German army broke down into a bloody anarchical melee.

Lessons for the US Military

US military forces face the prospect of being weakened from within by ideological forces as surely as the Wehrmacht was weakened by the absorption of Nazi ideology. While it is true there are far subtler ideological forces at work within our military than the odious racial ideology of Nazism; nonetheless, as with the Wehrmacht, ideological purity tests foreign to the ideals of the American military have been and are being introduced into its ranks, assuring its gradual vitiation. The US military is presently subject to and weakened by the ideologies of political correctness and multi-culturalism, both of which are inimical to a strong military, which, if it is to remain effective as a fighting force, requires strict adherence to its own longstanding traditions and ideals.

While remaining under civil authority, the military must be free to live and act according to the principles it articulates. It must have its autonomous sphere of authority, hierarchy and discipline. If it is forced to absorb and to obey the current politically correct thinking that is the hallmark of our current administration as well as of academia, it is bled of strength, compromised in its principles and subject to revisionist thinking.

In fact, it is in danger of not being the military at all.

For those unfamiliar with US military ideals, they are those of warriors devoted to God, country, the branch of the military to which one belongs, acceptance of the hierarchy of command, unflinching obedience to superiors and steadfast loyalty to one's unit and fellow soldiers.

Add to those ideals self-effacement and denial of individual privilege in the interest of protecting the innocent and vulnerable of one's country. All of the above mean that the individual soldier's "rights" as defined by the current civilian climate of opinion are freely suspended for the sake of unity--a unity necessary for fighting; a unity that melds all soldiers together as one force.

For instance, the honor code of the US Marine Corps outlines the general principles by which our military stands and by which it is led. Every action of any given Marine is guided by the honor code, by service to one's fellow citizen accompanied by prayer to God. Even the use of the Marine's gun is subject to a strict protocol of honor.

The above ideals necessarily preclude privileges and special exceptions required by the agendas followed by special interest groups defined by race, gender, national origin, or sexual behavior, all of which must be submitted to ideals and goals that sacrifice individual demands for the sake of the unifying, transcendent ideals that define a unified fighting force.

There is no room in the military for soldiers who think of themselves primarily as victims of societal sins; sins which must be rectified at the expense, vitiation or outright jettisoning of the universal moral code which defines the soldier's duty.

There is no room for campaigns and fights for individual "rights" and privileges that are not shared by the entire fighting force. There is only room for fighters; for heros devoted first to God, country and the constitution.

Current political correctness and multi-culturalism are pernicious to military unity because they are intrinsically divisive. They focus on the individual and splintered groups rather than on overarching unity. When a soldier thinks of himself primarily as an aggrieved member of a minority entitled to special privileges, he automatically is disloyal to the military hierarchy, as he sees the strict military command and fixed hierarchy as a barrier to the establishment of his personal goals and individual rights.

Examples of the dangers of political correctness and multi-culturalism

For instance, if a soldier is thinking primarily about her grievances as a woman, she divides herself from her male fellow soldiers and creates a sub-hierarchy of demands and expectations as relates purely to her and other women, not to the overall unit.

That is why it is insanity to put women on submarines with men and expect the two sexes to operate as one unit. It simply will not happen. The requirements of women are quite different than men, and military protocol would have to take note of and enforce the subset of requirements specifically geared toward women. The result would mean that the whole unit's code would have to be re-worked within what can only be broadly categorized as civilian expectations and guidelines. Those guidelines are most often formed within a radical overt or quasi-feminist framework of rules and regulations concerning not only women's special physical needs but also a convoluted protocol established to protect women from any hint of sexual harassment.

One can only imagine how such elaborate protocol between the sexes would work out when both are housed undersea for months in the equivalent of a large tuna can. One certainly can imagine and expect the fracturing of unity as the men were handed out a Chinese menu of regulations relating to treatment of the opposite sex while being exhorted to follow the rest of military protocol to the letter.

But one thing is certain: Nothing but trouble and divisiveness will result as the unity necessary for an effective fighting force is placed under extreme duress and perhaps entirely dissipated.

One final example of the rotten fruit of multi-culturalism and political correctness as concerns the US military: The case of Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan's case has been thoroughly examined and commented on. It is not the intent of this piece to review the shootings at Fort Hood. Nonetheless, his actions exemplify the Achilles' heel of multi-culturalism as it relates to the US military.

The grip of current politically correct thinking concerning the supposed equality and non-violent character of all faiths and religious viewpoints in Hasan's case hit the rock of reality. In fact, Hasan's personal religious views were violently incompatible with the ideals of the US army. Indeed, he placed himself in opposition to the Army from the onset of his career. The principles of his brand of religion superceded loyalty to his nation, to its constitution and to his oaths as a soldier. His religious ideology came first. In the end, Hasan thought of himself primarily as a jihadist bent on the destruction of the very nation to which he had pledged his loyalty.

All Americans know the horrible result.

The Hasan case demonstrates the ideals of multi-culturalism are in direct opposition to the ideals of the US military, which simply cannot incorporate disparate and opposing ideological forces within its body without being weakened and destroyed as surely as the Wehrmacht. The US military must require and enforce adherence to its stated ideals, its chain of command and its hierarchy if it is to remain an effective, unified fighting force.

If the US military continues to seek to incorporate the competing ideals of political correctness and multi-culturalism within its ranks, it is inviting suicide of the armed forces by treasonous bloodletting from within.

As the weakening of the Wehrmacht by ideology demonstrates, no military divided against itself can stand. If the US military does not wish to suffer a fate similar to armies which crumbled within, it must stand up for its traditions and ideals.

It must fight for its life.

--Fay Voshell

Ms. Voshell is a free lance writer living in Wilmington, DE. She holds an M.Div. From Princeton Theological Seminary, where she was awarded the Charles Hodge Prize for excellence in systematic theology. She is also one of the Delaware GOP's "Winning Women, Class of 2008.

(I would like to acknowledge my debt to authors too numerous to mention. But I am particularly grateful to Peter Hass, whose Morality after Auschwitz provided much clarification concerning the dual ethic driving the Nazi forces in their Russian campaign.)