Peacenik Paul

-By Thomas E. Brewton

Paul Krugman and his liberal conferees still yearn to play in the sand box with their toys.

In his October 29 column, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman expresses the implicit liberal-PC-multicultural paradigm that all cultures and all peoples are interchangeable. Moreover, that people everywhere have the same thought processes and values as those of liberal-progressives.

Liberals, and presumably everybody other than Republicans, are against war, ergo Islamic jihadists must be misunderstood people who mean us no harm. We have therefore only to be nice to them in UN negotiations to insure world harmony and peace. (see Liberals Still Can’t Connect the Dots)

Mr. Krugman writes:

In America’s darkest hour, Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged the nation not to succumb to “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” But that was then.

To put it kindly, Mr. Krugman is not always too careful about the accuracy of what he writes. His use of the quotation suggests that President Roosevelt was restraining hot-headed Americans who were imagining a war threat. The subject of the phrase was, in fact, the Great Depression.

The full quotation, from the President’s first inaugural speech in March, 1933, is: So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear. . .is fear itself. . . nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

Note, first, that there was no threat of war at the time. Hitler became Germany’s Chancellor just three months before FDR’s speech. And note, second, that President Roosevelt was rallying the people to take action, urging them not to lie down and let history run over them, as peaceniks counsel us today.

Parenthetically, the American people had good reason to fear Mr. Roosevelt’s New Deal, though they could not have known that at the time. Punitive regulation of business, quadrupled taxes, deliberate debasement of the dollar, and continual threats against businessmen paralyzed the economy. Unemployment never averaged less than three times today’s rate before the start of rearmament for World War II in 1940. In 1939, six years after the start of the New Deal, unemployment still averaged almost 17 percent, compared to around 4 percent today.

Mr. Krugman continues:

Today, many of the men who hope to be the next president — including all of the candidates with a significant chance of receiving the Republican nomination — have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns…

Mr. Podhoretz [who is advising Rudy Giuliani], the editor of Commentary and a founding neoconservative, tells us that Iran is the “main center of the Islamofascist ideology against which we have been fighting since 9/11.”…

Do I have to point out that none of this makes a bit of sense?”

For one thing, there isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination…

If so, how do we account for the Muslim Middle East’s extensive relationship with, and emulation of, Fascist regimes in Germany and Italy during the 1930s and 1940s. Those were the experiences that shaped today’s Middle Eastern Muslim leaders’ views. (See Iranian Specifics)

Again, Mr. Krugman:

Beyond that, the claim that Iran is on the path to global domination is beyond ludicrous…

On display is more of his affection for hyperbolic misstatement.

Nobody asserts that Iran seeks global domination. It’s sufficiently worrisome that Iran’s president Ahmadinejad in 2005 declared that Israel should be “wiped off the map,” and that a single terrorist cell funded and protected by Iran has the potential to detonate a nuclear weapon in a crowded American city.

As I wrote in Pull Out of Iraq, Then What?, Iran doesn’t have to dominate the world militarily. Controlling the world’s access to Middle Eastern petroleum will suffice.

Let’s pray that military action against Iran will never be necessary. But let’s also pray that no American President adopts Mr. Krugman’s ostrich posture.

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776

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