Do Liberals Know There is Evil?
by Richard H. Shulman
Ideology helps determines what people believe and whom they support. Some of my liberal friends, as fine as one can hope to know, also tend to assume more decency in adversaries than I believe warranted. Exploiting people's inclinations, politicians promise what audiences like to hear. Audiences assume that those promises, if put into law, would work. Would they?
Let's consider in that context just two issues:
(1) The media that urges negotiations; and
The New York Times is a major source of my friends' news and
opinion. I read it too, but am dubious about its rendition of holy
war. More than a decade ago, I spent two years studying the subject,
before writing about it.
In those days, few writers were tendentious, as they are today. They were scholars. I emerged from my study versed in the context and the historical record against which to weigh statements by politicians and accounts by newspapers.
The New York Times has many magazine-like sections of general interest, but it is not a news paper –– it seeks to mold public opinion by slanting its presentation. Times bias is of false statements, misleading figures, or omissions that survive readers' correction and are one-sided in favor of the Arabs, in headlines, photographs, news items, and editorials. Too much one way for coincidence.
Many of my articles, perhaps hundreds, analyze Times bias
against Israel. The bias started long ago, when the publishers were
Reform Jews. They worried about being accused of dual loyalty.
Accordingly, they distanced themselves from Jewish causes. Hence they
downplayed the Holocaust.
TIMES BIAS IS SUBTLE, PERHAPS SEEMING EVEN-HANDED.
Even-handedness, itself, is a form of bias when one side is the
aggressor. The Times may even advocate a step "for Israel's own
good." Correspondent Anthony Lewis used to do that, when he wasn't
A few of the standard Times propaganda techniques that favor
the Arabs: (1) Plant the impression that Israel seized "Arab land"
in 1967, by omitting the story; (2) Falsely labels Abbas "moderate"
or "peaceful," though he is a jihadist who is intransigence in
negotiations and advocates violence;
WHAT ABOUT NEGOTIATIONS? When I was young, liberals were
anti-Communist. They had learned that negotiations with the Nazis made
gains for the Nazis and negotiations with the Communists made gains
for the Communists, and setted nothing.
Experience with earlier totalitarian imperialists is applicable to contemporary totalitarian imperialists, the Islamists. However, the people who call themselves liberals these days have not assimilated the lessons.
My friend puts it, "One has to negotiate with one's enemies." It's
more complicated than that. I think that in her basic decency, she
doesn't recognize the basic indecency of fanatical, aggressive,
totalitarians. She knows Western idealism and ways of thinking and all
its faults. She does not know that the Arabs and other Muslims have a
different way of thinking.
The US and proxies have negotiated for years with N. Korea, Iran,
Iraq, and the Palestinian Arabs. Nevertheless, liberals accuse the
Bush administration of failing to negotiate. They also accuse it of
lying. Don't they realize that their accusation that he fails to
negotiate is not true? Bush found that negotiating with such enemies
What kind of governments and societies are those of N. Korea, Iran, Iraq, and the Palestinian Arabs? N. Korea follows an ideology that causes mass-starvation and shoots dissenters or puts them into a gulag.
The Iranian people disapprove of their rulers, except for their nuclear development for "prestige." The rulers shut down dissenting newspapers and candidates, train and arm terrorist militias to destabilize countries in the Mideast, and advocate nuclear war for the benefit of Islam.
Both Iraq and Iran were anti-Zionist. Iraq committed aggression
and fostered terrorism abroad. In its war on Iran, both countries
bombed each other's cities, and Saddam poison-gassed Iranians. He also
used poison gas against his Kurds, in an attempt to wipe them out.
The Palestinian Arabs devote their schools, media, mosques, and children's camps to jihad. Their preachers, including those in the so-called moderate area, regularly call Jews apes and pigs, to be destroyed. (Traditionally, Islam let Jews live if they paid a special tax and accepted inferior status. The Islamists have turned to genocide.)
Are those people with whom we can negotiate peace? Are you kidding? They don't believe in peace. Let us not be deluded about that!
There comes a time when such enemies become a menace that must be stopped. The results of negotiating rather than stopping such rogue states were that N. Korea developed nuclear weapons, Iran is about to, Iraq was rearming after Gulf War I, and the Palestinian Arabs came to agreements all of which they violated, including their persistence in propaganda that defames the Jewish people racially and advocates their mass-murder.
The Bush administration does not give up on negotiations with the
P.A., but that is to its discredit. It persists because it hopes to
pressure weak Israeli regimes to cave in to Arab demands. Would peace
come from putting the Arabs in control of strategic Jewish territory?
Less than the previous peace agreements brought peace.
When I mention the results of negotiations with N. Korea, Iran, Iraq, the PLO, the USSR, and the Third Reich, liberals fall silent. Psychologically, it is a form of intellectual dishonesty to maintain silence in the face of an argument that demonstrates the fallacy of one's position. An intellectual discussion should come to grips with the issues, not just recite one's points.
I make the mistake of presenting a case, instead of asking the liberals to make theirs beyond mere assertion. I should ask them questions, so they have to find reasons for their assertions or abandon them.
Here is a key question. After a decade of negotiating with Iran,
during which Iran made many agreements, broke all it promises, and
continues to develop nuclear weapons with which it threatens Israel,
what more could the US say to persuade Iran to end its bellicosity and
its nuclear development? My friends have no suggestions for our
diplomats. What might persuade fanatical enemies?
WHAT ARE WE TO DO? Just criticize the Bush administration (and give
a free pass to the Clinton administration, because Clinton was a
Democrat)? War, they not prohibit. Help Iranians overthrow their
government and regain their liberty and moderation? Oh, no, we should
not do that, the liberals say, though, somewhat self-contradictorily,
they blame the US for supporting some dictatorships. Impose sanctions?
I don't have a formal ideology, just ideals of justice, basically, Jewish ideals. I share with my liberal friends an abhorrence of genocide. We want the genocide in Sudan ended. They complain that the Bush administration does not do much about it and they complain that it does not work much with other countries about such matters. They are misinformed, by The New York Times.
What's the real story? The US brings up in the
UNO many issues about oppression, but China and Russia keep the
Security Council from acting on it and few other countries join the US
on it. Darfur is one such issue. Do the liberals conclude that the US
does speak out, and that the UNO is useless? No, they condemn Pres.
If the US made war on Sudan, what military forces would we draw on? Ours already are stretched thin. Do liberals suggest raising larger forces? No. Then how would we stop the genocide?
Consider the genocide we did stop. We stopped Saddam from wiping
out millions of Kurds and Shiites in Iraq. Do my liberal friends take
comfort in that achievement?
The irony is that the nicest of well-meaning people can get us conquered by mass-murderers.
Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several
web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear regularly in
Religion and History
If using this material on another site, please provide a link back to my site.