Thomas Sowell

The headline on the cover of the November 12th issue of The New Republic magazine read "Losing the War," and the cover featured a caricature of President Bush in a ridiculous pose, and with a ridiculous expression on his face, winding up to throw missiles. This issue appeared just before the series of stunning victories in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, The New Republic was not unique. Many in the media have been busy predicting a quagmire in Afghanistan or scurrying around to focus on collateral damage from American bombing or repeatedly asking when it would all end, much like the proverbial child on a trip who keeps asking, "Are we there yet?" Do these people know that World War II was more than three years old before the Allies won a single major battle on the ground against the Germans or the Japanese?

More than ignorance is involved here, though there is plenty of that. Whether in war or peace, many among the intelligentsia are in a permanently adversarial stance against this country and its institutions. Wartime just makes this stand out in more stark contrast with the feelings of most other Americans.

You can find American flags flying in affluent communities or in lower income communities, in black communities and in white communities. But you can drive through literally miles of Berkeley, California, without seeing a single American flag flying from a single home. Fire engines in Berkeley were explicitly forbidden to fly American flags, for fear of setting off the campus hooligans there -- until a public outcry caused this order to be rescinded.

While we are rightly concerned about thousands of suspected terrorists allowed into this country under our loose immigration laws, we should never forget our vastly greater numbers of home-grown underminers and potential defeatists or worse. In case we needed to be reminded, Jane Fonda was recently included in a list of the 100 most influential women of our time. American prisoners of war in Vietnam, some of whom were beaten mercilessly for not cooperating with her propaganda visits there to show her solidarity with our enemies in wartime, are not likely to forget her.

Why are people who have been blessed more than others so often in the vanguard of those hostile to American society and Western civilization? Partly it may be because those who are far beyond needing to be concerned about having their material needs well taken care of can only aspire to ego gratifications, such as being one-up on those around them.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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