Here is a paragraph, that is the central defense of the religious sensibility, from Mr. Douthat’s essay of November 23,2013 titled ‘Puddleglum and the Savage’:
In effect, both Huxley and Lewis looked at a utilitarian’s paradise — a world where all material needs are met, pleasure is maximized and pain eliminated — and pointed out what we might be giving up to get there: the entire vertical dimension in human life, the quest for the sublime and the transcendent, for romance and honor, beauty and truth. Continue reading
Mr. Frum’s essay of November 26,2013 titled ‘Hillary Clinton’s Iran Trap’ provides a perfect propaganda opportunity for attacking both the current Democratic front runner of 2016, and President Obama’s Iran agreement, not to speak of the gratuitous ‘Professor Obama’ dig. The charge of hypocrisy hangs heavy in the air. Never let an ‘opportunity’ pass by, without thoroughly exploiting it’s political potential, rule number one in Frum World. Mr. Frum’s political allies like Ms. Jennifer Rubin equated a potential attack on Iran by Israel as a ‘Defense of the West’, while Mr. Krauthammer likened the Iran agreement, in the stark terms of ‘Munich’. Those kind of political hysterics -Mr. Frum is a more adept, even sophisticated propagandist, in locating his critique of the Iran agreement in a politically holistic way, by using Ms. Clinton’s past pronouncements on the Iranian Problem. While ignoring in the most blatant self-serving way, the situation as being fundamentally changed in the wake of the agreement. Political opportunities are manufactured by propagandists like Mr. Frum.
Jennifer Rubin’s column for November 22, 2013 titled ‘Who will Defend the West’ is a faint echo of Cold War rhetoric. This was written before the Iran accords were reached a few days later. Here is a telling paragraph:
Whether or not a deal is struck few expect Iran to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions. It may be the tiny Jewish state (albeit one with a first-rate military) in a sea of Arab lands that steps up to the plate to defend itself, its Sunni neighbors and the West. Winston Churchill, in his 1921 visit to what was then Palestine, may have been prophetic when he said, “I believe that the establishment of the a Jewish National Home in Palestine will be a blessing to the whole world, a blessing to the Jewish race scattered all over the world, and a blessing to Great Britain. . . . The hope of your race [the Jewish people] for so many centuries will be gradually realized here, not only for your own good but for the good of all the world.” Israel would quite literally be doing just that if forced to strike Iran. (The man who pointed this out to me and wrote a definitive work on Churchill and the Jewish state, Michael Makovsky, visitedthe current prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is himself a Churchill buff, this fall.) Let’s pray it doesn’t come to that. Continue reading
Page 45 footnotes.
“78) Also, of course, congenial electoral outcomes: ‘The Marshall Plan sent a strong
message to European voters that American largesse depended on their electing
governments willing to accept the accompanying rules of multilateral trade and fiscal conservatism’, while at the same time sparing them drastic wage repression that might otherwise have caused social unrest: McCormick, America’s Half-Century, pp. 78–9; Offner, Another Such Victory, p. 242. That the actual economic effect of Marshall aid on European recovery, well underway by the time it arrived, was less than advertised, has been shown by Alan Milward: ‘Was the Marshall Plan Necessary?’, Diplomatic History, April 1989, pp. 231–52. What was critical was its ideological, more than its material, impact.
79) See the definitive account in Carolyn Eisenberg, Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944–1949, Cambridge 1996, passim. The case that us reneging on the reparations promised the ussr at Yalta—not only eminently justifiable, but perfectly feasible—was the decisive act in launching the Cold War, is made by Stephanson, Kennan and the Art of Foreign Policy pp. 127–32. In his view, the us refusal after mid-1947 to engage in normal diplomacy was the defining element of the Cold War, and must be seen as a ‘development of the concept of “unconditional surrender”, taken directly from the Civil War’, and proclaimed by Roosevelt at Casablanca: see ‘Liberty or Death: The Cold War as American Ideology’, in Westad, ed., Reviewing the Cold War, p. 83. More powerfully and clearly than any other writer, Stephanson has argued that ‘the Cold War was from the outset not only a us term but a us project’. For this, see his ‘Cold War Degree Zero’, in Joel Isaac and Duncan Bell, eds, Uncertain Empire, Oxford 2012, pp. 19–49.”
Katrina vanden Heuval tweeted a link to this essay by Mr. John G. Taft at the New York Times of October 22, 2013, titled The Cry of the True Republican. Ancestor worship is quite a marvel to confront in such a heavy dose, it makes one feel an acquaintance with a feudal mentality utterly foreign to the American notion of the self-made man. The essay itself is kind of potted history of the Taft contribution to the American Story, of the necessity of political dynasties and family largess. It does seem to manifest an arrogant and self-congratulatory tone that grates against the American Grain, a kind of inappropriate royalism? Continue reading