Austin Bay

For decades, the Blame Amerika Crowd has made a media living alleging attacks on American citizens, U.S. embassies and U.S. territory are somehow, someway provoked by the U.S. The "America Is Guilty" smear would be a laugher except the major TV networks and The New York Times give this baloney headline credence, especially when a Republican is president. Heavens, tenure in entire departments of sociology and literature is predicated on promoting this narrative.

This band of blitherers spouts Marxist Cold War anti-American propaganda revamped for the Global War on Terror. See, the Cold War was America's fault, and great leftist minds of yore told us so. Like today's apologists for "misunderstood" terrorists, the Soviet Union had committed fans. In 1984 (George Orwell was prescient, wasn't he?), John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, "That the Soviet system has made great material progress in recent years is evident both from the statistics and from the general urban scene ..." Don't snicker. Until the Berlin Wall cracked in 1989, a linked clique of "elite intellectuals" made a living spilling similar hooey.

A strong case can be made that perceived American weakness and its usual handmaiden, an apologetic and feckless American foreign policy, encourage our enemies.

The Soviet Union's decision to invade Afghanistan in December 1979 (this week is the 30th anniversary of that attack) followed a year of foreign policy failures and boggling diplomatic blunders by President Jimmy Carter and his administration.

Carter was ambivalent about the Shah of Iran, and dithered as his regime teetered and fell in early 1979 to Islamic revolutionaries led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. That November Khomeinists attacked the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took hostages. The event demonstrated Carter's utter spinelessness. The Shah had served as a "counterbalance" to the Soviet Union in central Asia. With the Shah kaput, the Russians had an opportunity to achieve a historical goal, extension of Russian controlled territory to the Indian Ocean -- the goal of the drive into Afghanistan.

Carter's weakness permitted the rise of both Khomeini's Islamic revolution (and its Islamist terrorism) and encouraged Soviet aggression. Moscow lost in Afghanistan, but the Afghan hornet's nest of warlords, terrorists and innocents in the crossfire remains. Now the Khomeinists are building nuclear bombs.

Obama has kowtowed to Iran's mullahs. Both Carter and Obama act as if they find American power to be a moral embarrassment instead of a means for defending our lives and our vital interests.

Austin Bay

Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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