Anti-Americanism goes mainstream

“Why do they hate us?” This question is repeated ad nauseam in the press, in intellectual journals, and in the broadcast media. For those on the Left, this question holds a peculiar importance that reveals a deeply felt notion about America and its place in the world today. It’s a fundamental sense that we are wrong in our relation to the rest of the world; and that our country’s moral standing has more than eroded.
It was this spirit – a spirit of national shame – that permeated the 2004 Democratic Presidential campaign, not as an overt doctrine but as a leitmotiv continually punctuating the campaign via angered insinuation, undue disparagement, absurd vilification, and incessant whining. There was the oft repeated canard that we suddenly lost the world’s sympathy, so prevalent for a few moments after the attack of 9/11. There was the silly notion that we alienated all of our allies and “went it alone,” because we did not wait for France. There were charges of willful deception, because our intelligence agencies, like every other country’s, failed to give an accurate snapshot of Saddam’s current WMD programs. And then there was the insinuation that we are the aggressor, having undertook a “war of choice” in defiance of the standards of the ”international community”, supposedly all honorable bastions of the rule of law.
Most of all, Mr. Kerry, with a deep resonant scornful voice, conveyed a sense of moral condemnation and shame – a shame for our nation. Over and over again his moral posturing turned minor practical drawbacks – the loss of a few French troops, the lack of one final UN resolution, or the lost of the world’s “love” – into gross negligence if not outright moral failure. “Why do they hate us?” The tacit message, that he would never overtly acknowledge, is that their hatred is understandable. It’s not something wrong with them; it’s something wrong with us. Whether or not he truly feels that way we can only surmise, but it is clear he is pandering to the far left, his core constituency. Why does the left hate America?
In all fairness, traditional social democrats were not completely ready for this harsh view. This posed a problem for Mr. Kerry as he needed wider support than just the hate-America left. During the last days of the campaign, he emphasized the themes of competency and effectiveness. Now it was only a question of the implementation, rather than a profound moral disagreement or a fundamental difference of purpose. However, this isn’t a flip-flop, as is often said; he holds antithetical positions simultaneously by explicitly denying that there’s a fundamental disagreement while insinuating that we are shamefully fighting a “wrong war” – a morally wrong war – in Iraq. His far left core gets his underlying message, loud and clear, as he explicitly contradicts that message in a desperate attempt to gain late-deciding voters.
Mr. Kerry’s core constituency has distinguished itself for showing more sympathy for the enemy than our fighting men and women. According to the left, the few thugs and jihadists, whose daily terrorist bombings kill scores of Iraqis, are the authentic indigenous freedom fighters – not the 100,000 men in the Iraqi security force trying to bring stability to their country. The terrorists, often called insurgents, hate us for invading their land and justifiably target our GIs, according to the left. “Fahrenheit 911”, which got rave reviews from the Democratic Party from Terry McAuliffe on down, portrays a peaceful Iraq made bloody by America. It’s become so common place to vilify America that one is hardly shocked at the hatred and viciousness displayed over the last year. As I point out elsewhere, in many quarters, it is virtually a cliché to refer to America as being evil.1
Sadly few Democrats will repudiate Mr. Kerry’s message of a shameful America. One exception is Zell Miller.2 On the notion that we are oppressors, not liberators, Zell Miller responds: “But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution. They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.”

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