In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on USNews.com
It was the Russian fairy tale that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The other myths were hard to take, like a 21st-century castor oil, but the Russian one, that tasted more like hemlock. Never in the modern age has the left attempted to create such massive myths in order to gain some tactical advantage.
The left loves to talk about cultural appropriation, yet it engaged in it with a gusto never before seen. At least the old lefties of the Cold War were proud of their communist sympathies, be they pink or red. The old left embraced pacifism, socialism, relativism and assorted sedition proudly. Some were brazen Bolsheviks, while others were quiet social democrats. However, few hid their views if they were in the public eye.
Now, the left has engaged in one of the last desperate moves of a dying philosophy. As indicated in a prior article on these Red Puritans, the aggressiveness and even violence will reach epic levels as the end draws nearer. The inflection point will be when they will appear most robust and assertive.
Today, the left is engaged in five fairy tales which the mainstream media have decided to ignore and treat as new gospel:
We are pro-military, pro-intelligence and we care more than the conservatives do about veterans and their families. As much as no one wants to politicize defense issues, they have always been so. It was the left that in its most extreme incarnation argued for pacifism and disarmament, and in its more “reasonable” forms, wanted to cut defense, collapse the intelligence community, cancel next-generation weapons, eliminate missile defense and hollow out personnel to the breaking point. It was the left that developed and advocated for sequestration, and it was the left that endorsed “mutual assured destruction.” It was they who sponsored a political ideology after the Vietnam War to treat returning American soldiers as criminals. It is one thing to argue a 5-percent cut in defense spending; it is another to sit in an anti-aircraft gun of the enemy.
We all love Ronald Reagan. This is the most personally inflammatory. Now that Reagan has become one of the top 10 most popular presidents in history, the same people that belittled him are suddenly on the Reagan bandwagon. He is even invoked by the very same members of Congress who insulted him in their effort to create a wedge within the Republican Party. Remember the horrific insults hurled at Reagan, the attempt to portray him as a bumbling idiot, mimicking Soviet propaganda of the day portraying him as a war-mongering cowboy, shooting MX missiles out of his six-gun holsters? He was belittled and maligned and the left made it into a two-decade long cottage industry attempting to solidify the view through their teaching, forums and textbooks. There is nothing that Reagan stood for that the left can embrace, and their attempt to hijack his struggle and legacy for their own ends is, at best, disgusting.
We are just realists. The left’s newfound love affair with international relations realism is rich. This was a move started during the presidency of George W. Bush. As Bush endorsed democratic realism in a titanic attempt to merge American liberal values with American realist power, the left felt it had to pivot. No longer could it endorse using American power for human rights, since that mantle had been taken by a conservative president. Worse, Bush was not only successful, but he was also right.
Although some doubled down on a neo-isolationists pacifism, the pragmatic left knew the American people would never endorse it. Instead, it began talking about realism, leading from behind, non-intervention, burden-sharing and questioning crusades for, as Bush called it, “the non-negotiable demands of human dignity and liberty.” This was particularly revolting when it came to the genocide in Darfur or President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. Suddenly, the left found that Machiavellian realism made sense, and we had to work with nations like Iran and Syria because the alternatives were worse.
Once again, it was the same people who had attacked Reagan when he explained that sometimes, when the choice is between the cancer of communism and the headache of authoritarianism, you sometimes had to choose a headache. The wails of moral indignation swallowed Washington for years.
We are anti-terrorist. The left never outright endorsed terrorism, though many were openly sympathetic to the Marxist varieties of the Cold War like the Red Brigades, Baader Meinhoff Gang and Red Army Faction. However, it spent decades preaching about the horrors of the CIA, especially covert action. The left insisted that terrorism was, at worse, a law enforcement problem of sick individuals. It denied and continued to deny the cohesiveness of terrorism or terror networks. Just as it branded as “lunatic” anyone who discussed the Soviet terror network that assisted groups as varied as the Irish Republican Army to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, so now it brands anyone who links the terror network of Iran and also the power of Islamic extremism. It was the left, in its effort to use legal leftism, who was unwilling to get rid of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants in the 1990s, who then bemoaned the Bush administration for not getting him quick enough. Now, members of the left spend their time on trying to convince the world that any act of terror is a random act of a disgruntled loner or two rather than an orchestrated effort in service to an evil ideology. What is old is new again.