VDH and the Age of Malice

Saturday, September 30, 2006
Victor Hanson has a very insightful read up on Carter and Stone and their descent into malice.

The Spartans saved Greece and democracy by stopping on the Persians. When it was Carter's turn he failed. I used to feel that he had no real choice, but I am beginning to think it was not the times but the man that was at fault.

There is another disturbing element to Cartesian maliciousness. He asks us to forget all the dilemmas of being President, the necessity of making bad choices when the alternative is usually worse. And, of course, he seems to have amnesia about his own failings that put this country in grave jeopardy. He sanctimoniously lectured us on our Cold War fixation on communism—and got a murderous Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He talked of a post-Vietnam reappraisal in the midst of the Cambodian Holocaust. “Human Rights” was an admirable banner, but did not include any such audit of Sandinista Communists.

He wept for the middle class, but adopted policies that led to double-digit interest rates and inflation, ensuring that only the upscale could borrow for a house or ensure their salaries would keep up with the cost of living. No need to mention his energy policy or gas lines.

Remember the genesis of the Great Satan?

Carter’s Waterloo, of course was the Iranian hostage crisis. It was not just that his gutting of the military helped to explain the rescue disaster. Far more importantly, we can chart the rise of radical political Islam with the storming of the American embassy in Teheran and the impotent response of Jimmy Carter.

Long before George Bush was elected to anything, crowds in Teheran gave us the genesis of the Great Satan and “Death to Carter”. Does he remember that so great was the Iranian Islamist hatred of him, that Iran deliberately delayed the brokered release of the hostages until he was out of office—a lesson that appeasement wins contempt as the additional wage of its failure.

He’s Back—Oliver Stone Unmuzzled and “Ashamed”

After his recent string of movie flops—highlighted by the disastrous Alexander the Great fiasco—Oliver Stone seemed an unlikely director to entrust with a retelling of 9/11. Had we forgotten his praise of Hamas, his odd comparison of the Israeli encirclement of Ramallah to Auschwitz, or his cynical dismissal of the 3,000 dead on September 11 as “a revolt”.

So when Paramount released World Trade Center, and it went tamely into the night, what happened? I know little of Hollywood protocol, but I imagine somewhere in the multimillion-dollar negotiations, either expressed or implied, there was surely the understanding that a recently problematic (and no doubt cash-strapped) Stone could not deviate from his assigned script—and for a prescribed period of time, probably could not comment publicly on 9/11 or world events in general. When millions were involved, there was probably something agreed on like the following, ‘Stay with the party line, shut up, we both make money—and then, and only then, you’re’ on your own.’ Had Stone sounded off about the United States (see below)
on the eve of World Trade Center’s release, he would probably have lost millions.

So much for seeing the movie.


Barry Dauphin said...

To add to VDH’s piece. And while we might want to be cautious at judging every one of Carter’s decisions at the time with the 20/20 hindsight of what we know the consequences to have been, Carter can also avail himself of 20/20 hindsight but still gets it wrong. That is what damns Carter. Not that he made mistakes in 1979-80 but that he still makes the same mistakes having seen the consequences and has never stepped forward to acknowledge the problems created on his watch that nearly everyone thinks were his responsibility. Not only does he want to exonerate the Yasir Arafats and Hugo Chavez's of the world and see them as victims, he wants us to believe he was a victim too. Well, it is one thing to pity a victim and quite another to believe we should "listen" to him for advice. We already listened to him. that's why he was resoundingly thrown out of office and why his successor was a success.

terrye said...

Presidents can not be victims.

gumshoe1 said...

"Presidents can not be victims."

whatever you say,terrye.

just wait'll HRC gets into office
and experiences anything resembling opposition.