- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 22, 2004

The more I try to convince myself liberals truly have America’s best interests at heart, the harder it becomes.

Whether it’s the constant chants of “quagmire,” the endless whining about President Bush’s “lies,” or all the contradictory bellyaching about stealing Mideast oil amidst rising gasoline prices, there’s nothing that brings out liberals’ true colors quite like war.

So I’m just going to come right out and say it. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I find myself wondering constantly if liberalism isn’t really de facto anti-Americanism. No, really. I’m not just talking run-of-the-mill Bush hatred here. I’m beginning to believe this is a condition of membership before they issue your club card.

How dare I think such a thing, you ask? Well, before I’m condemned to the gates of hell, let me explain.

Suggestions of this nature always tend to raise the ire of many a liberal, no doubt eliciting accusations of jingoism, “intolerance,” and the like. But regardless of its appearance, this isn’t a cheap ploy to score shock-value points. Nor do I prefer to question the devotion of many Americans to their country. Unfortunately, for many reasons I feel I must.

For starters, the concept liberals despise America — or at the very least denounce American exceptionalism — is obvious to many conservatives. But liberals positively chafe at the idea they’re unpatriotic. You actually don’t even need to accuse liberals of a lack of patriotism for them to go on the defensive.

Consider John Kerry. During the Democratic primaries, Republicans merely needed to cite Mr. Kerry’s opposition to defense systems throughout the years for the senator to accuse them of attacking his patriotism, and for him to remind everyone — again — he’s a war hero. To listen to liberals, you would think we were accusing them of pedophilia. So it kind of makes you wonder: Why all the self-consciousness?

Now, I’m not blatantly accusing Mr. Kerry anti-Americanism. Lord knows I would hate to have to put out that brushfire. Besides, we all know how much the French love America.

So let’s consider some real examples of America-hatred.

When football-star-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman was killed last April in Afghanistan, liberals hadn’t been that excited since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of killing unborn babies on demand. It is hard to explain the irony surrounding the far-left Web sites that condemned Tillman as a “baby killer,” but at least they clarified their stance by celebrating the death of this “dumb jock” who “got what he deserved.” This, however, wasn’t quite as telling as the virtually silent response of the mainstream media to this bile.

On May 12, New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin — no raging right-winger he — criticized Air America, the new liberal “equivalent” of conservative talk-radio, for being “a cartoonish echo chamber” with little more to offer than “crude sex jokes.” He also reported its “rancid venom directed at the president, [Donald] Rumsfeld, Rush Limbaugh, [and] the Catholic Church,” and noted disturbing calls for the torture of Mr. Rumsfeld and the murder of President Bush.

The week of May 1-7, Time magazine ran a Bruce Beattie cartoon of a terrorist (likely Osama bin Laden) driving a tank with its barrel pointed at a submitting American man and his son beside a street sign reading Main Street U.S.A. The caption reads, “Imagine, for a moment, the situation reversed:” The terrorist states: “We’ve invaded to install a government so that you give up democracy. Bonus points for converting to Islam.” This implication of moral equivalence is jaw-dropping. Get it? Democracy is no better than fascist tyranny. The U.S. intentionally targets innocents. America is forcing Muslims to convert to Christianity. Please.

Welcome to 21st century “liberalism,” folks.

In short, the left prefers appeasing instead of confronting terrorists; they would sooner give the U.N. control of our destiny before empowering the U.S. to determine its own fate; and liberal media outlets like CBS and The Washington Post have demonstrated through their publication of the Abu Ghraib prison photos that they’re willing to incite Arab anti-American malice. This malice they now nonchalantly accept from Islamic terrorists as the principal rationale for the beheading of Nick Berg (as if we hadn’t witnessed the barbaric murder and mutilation of our own troops and civilians at home and in Iraq prior to the photos’ release).

The scandal over treatment of Abu Ghraib prisoners is only the latest attempt by liberals to undermine the nobility of our cause in Iraq and the war on terror, as if our soldiers who participated in this atrocity somehow are the rule instead of the exception. Don’t get me wrong, the guards involved in this mess should be tried swiftly and harshly, and they undoubtedly will be. But media refusal to simultaneously introduce the soldiers who actually declined to follow those dishonorable orders at Abu Ghraib shows they prefer to exploit this situation as evidence of the state of affairs in American warfighting and paint the U.S. in the worst possible light.

In the interest of rationality — not to mention quelling potential death threats — I obviously know there are some sensible liberals out there. But you would hardly know it by listening to the prevailing sentiment on the left.

I can even understand why accusations they are anti-American would upset liberals. But considering their behavior, I can’t understand how they can deny it.

TREVOR BOTHWELL

Mr. Bothwell is editor of The Right Report.com. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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