The Long-Hoped-For Bullet

An exceedingly excellent article in the New Yorker (surprising, given the lessons contained within) on the trial of Khmer Rouge killer Kaing Guek Eav a.k.a. “Duch” as seen through the eyes of journalist Thierry Cruvellier. The setup to the interview of Cruvellier has this interesting nugget:

Duch wasn’t one of the masterminds, but he was their zealous servant, and he was entrusted with the command of S-21, the prison where Khmer Rouge cadres were sent to be purged. The purges were constant. While ordinary Cambodian civilians were killed on an industrial scale and without ceremony, it was Duch’s mission to insure that everyone held at S-21 was broken down until they confessed to counter-revolutionary crimes—working for the C.I.A., say, or for the K.G.B., or for both, even though most prisoners had never heard of either agency before Duch’s torturers went to work—and then he had them slaughtered.

Duch didn’t expect to survive the revolution: he had sent most of his own mentors to their deaths, and, by the logic of S-21, his time, too, would come to confess and be condemned.

Thankfully, America is not Cambodia and no one is being put to death for their beliefs, but the mentality behind the likes of Duch is alive and well in the West where on a daily basis, celebrities, athletes, politicians and other members of the glitterati are forced to apologize for their beliefs and made, one way or another, to abandoned those beliefs for that of the Ayatollahs of Pop Culture. No, no one is killed in the literal sense, but nevertheless, America is home to a bloodsport of ruining lives that are lived out in the grand arena of fame and fortune. Many point out the folly of going along with such authoritarian actions for, ultimately, no one will be safe from the politically correct gulag. Duch always suspected the tables would be turned on him one day, and yet, it all made sense to him.

Where does this mentality come from? Another interesting snippet where Cruvellier is asked about left-wing vs. right-wing tribunals:

“There is a historical lineage between the far left and the human-rights movement. In the nineteen-sixties, after Stalin’s terror was widely acknowledged; in the seventies, after Solzhenitsyn’s denunciation of the Gulag; and then, finally, in the eighties, after the horrors of Pol Pot were fully revealed, many Western intellectuals moved from the discredited and disgraced Marxism-Leninism to the ideals of universal human rights. As opposed to the boredom of prosaic reforms, advocating for human rights is, in its own way, another grandiose and poetic enterprise where we, as a people, fight against exploiters. As the French philosopher Raymond Aron astutely noted, human rights, as a political philosophy, is based on a notion of purity. It’s not about taking responsibility for a decision “in unpredicted circumstances, based on incomplete knowledge”—that’s politics, said Aron. Instead, human rights function as a refuge for utopia.

“What was interesting to observe at the Khmer Rouge tribunal was that former Western Maoists or fellow-travellers were not transformed, when they became disillusioned with Communism, into skeptical minds. They now presented themselves as human-rights defenders. The appeal of “pure” ideologies seemed irresistible to them. Revolutionaries get indignant about police abuse or ruthless capitalism, and then forgive, in the name of the revolution, every injustice they had otherwise denounced. Interestingly, the moral indignation of human-rights activists can suddenly be silenced when institutions that they helped create and that were supposed to exemplify their ideals—such as international war-crimes tribunals—start violating the very principles they have claimed to stand for. They say that criticism would serve the “enemies” of justice. They begin to accept that the end justifies the means. Double standards widely apply. The drive that often made them efficient when they worked in a hostile environment now, when they are empowered, transforms into an intransigence that can make them very insensitive to realities that don’t fit their ideological paradigm. International tribunals can be a harsh reminder that injustice and unfairness are not incompatible with humanist intentions.”

Ruminate on that.

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JFK’s Teen Lover Gives Up The Goods

So one of JFK’s mistresses has broken her silence with a new book. Once Upon a Secret is written by Mimi Alford, an intern in the press office during the Kennedy presidency. JFK took her virginity and used her as his play-thing whenever Jackie was away.

The main tidbits of note:

-JFK told her during the Cuban Missile Crisis: “I’d rather my children red than dead.” That’s interesting considering Kennedy was something of a cold-warrior but when faced with the possible death of millions I suppose that’s a thought that would enter anyone’s brain (no, that’s not an assassination joke). Still, it’s something for historians to chew on.

-JFK had her “relax” some of his friends including Dave Powers, but she wisely passed up the chance to “relax” Ted Kennedy. If I were her, I’d consider this the best decision I ever made.

-At one point, Mimi thought she was pregnant and the Kennedy team was working on setting up an abortion which at the time was illegal. The social conservatives will no doubt want to bat this one around.

Ultimately, it’s just not what it used to be. It’s 2012 and finding out about more JFK affairs is like finding out how Julius Caesar took his coffee. We’re pretty much past the point of caring.

Howard Zinn’s Legacy Revealed

With the recent death of Marxist scholar Howard Zinn, his FBI file has been released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As was suspected, Zinn was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party of the USA. You may be saying, ‘so what?’ Well, number one, he always denied it. And number two, he was a member not during the 1920s and 30s when you could make the excuse you were an idealist…he was a member long after the jig was up. Thus, he knew exactly what he was getting into and any talk over his career about wanting democracy and freedom was a routine lie. To think millions of school children were forced to read A People’s History of the United States.

Anywho, Robert Stacy McCain has done yeoman’s work going through the file. Here’s a taste:

What is important to note here is that Zinn evidently joined the Kremlin-controlled CPUSA not during the “Popular Front” era of the 1930s — when many idealists were seduced — but after the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in which Stalin cruelly and cynically sacrificed Poland to the Nazis. Zinn was a card-carrying Commie who advocated Marxism-Leninism after the Red Army’s ”Iron Curtain” occupation of Eastern Europe, after the treachery of the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss had been revealed, and even during the height of Stalin’s anti-Semitic “Doctors’ Plot” purge!

[snip]

Some of the “So what?” reaction — “Zinn was a commie? Big surprise.” — is kind of annoying. Not everyone is grasping the significance of Zinn actually joining the CPUSA circa 1946-53, when the Soviet Union was in the grip of Stalin’s paranoia and America was awakening to the nuclear terror of the dawning Cold War.

If you have the time, RTWT.

Has Oliver Stone Finally Jumped The Liberal Shark?

His name has become synonymous with the world “conspiracy.” This director of films like JFK, Nixon, Platoon and others has made a career of directing films about history as he sees it. In Oliver Stone’s world, the only reason we don’t live in a liberal utopia is because of right-wing conspiracies that persist in every facet of America life. You could almost call it Conspiratorial Calvinism.
Anywho, his latest piece of dreck, South of the Border, a love-letter to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, is apparently so over the top in its love of left-wing totalitarianism that even the Village Voice can’t choke it down. (Hat tip: Big Hollywood) They can’t quite go all the way, however, and qualify the review with the opening line: “So one-sided that it nearly validates what the Right says about Hollywood’s liberal crusaders…”

From a paper like the Village Voice, that’s as good as it gets. Has Oliver Stone finally jumped the liberal Hollywood shark?

The Cloward-Piven Strategy Of Orchestrated Crisis

This is a post from James Simpson in the American Thinker back in late September, but it’s making the rounds in the Blogosphere as of late. You should take the time to read every world. Here’s a taste:

The Strategy was first elucidated in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation magazine by a pair of radical socialist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. David Horowitz summarizes it as:

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Cloward and Piven were inspired by radical organizer [and Hillary Clinton mentor] Saul Alinsky:

“Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

RTWT.

Ted Kennedy’s Legacy

Yes, Ted Kennedy is gone and it’s time to move on, but I think we need one more look at one of his biggest crimes…collusion with the Soviets. Power Line has the story.

Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”