AFTER a lecture to the Marine Memorial Association last week, a
reporter thrust a mike toward me and asked if I thought I should be
tried for war crimes for my columns in The Post supporting our
The reporter - who avoided revealing what outlet he was with -
thought he was being wonderfully clever, but what fascinated me about
the silly encounter (it was in San Francisco, after all) was how
unintentionally revealing it was about the shameless hypocrisy of the
Think about it: For expressing my views to readers like you on
these pages, hardcore leftists believe I should be put on trial as a
It tells you all you need to know about the extreme left's view of the First Amendment: Free speech is great, as long as it's their
free speech (or extreme pornography). But dissenting views must be
censored. The more effective the opponent, the more important it is to
shut him down.
The extreme left loves to pretend it stands for freedom. It never
has and never will. From the Reign of Terror in Paris onward, its core
agenda has been the tyranny of egomaniacal intellectuals. The hard left
hates an open debate - especially these days, when it's out of new ideas.
The left pretends that campuses should enjoy freedom of
speech, yet activist students shout down, harass and even attack
speakers whose views they dislike. That's brownshirt behavior, folks -
as surely as show trials are Stalinist.
Hardcore leftists never welcome a freewheeling debate - they'd rather force
their beliefs on the rest of us. It's an article of faith for the left
that folks like you and me are too stupid to know what's good for us
(we're so dumb, some of us even believe in God).
For many years, the left's tactic was to pretend to care about
average citizens. In the last century, the motto was the "dictatorship
of the proletariat" (still a dictatorship, of course). Then, when
American workers showed no interest in the Sovietization of Michigan,
outraged leftists retreated into the Dictatorship of the Intellectuals.
Now we have the would-be dictatorship of the pseudo-intellectuals.
The stunning hypocrisy of the march-in-step left was brought home
to me again on Sunday while I waited in a green room for a C-Span spot.
The show preceding mine featured a young woman, Mahvish Rukhsana
Khan, who's published a book about the poor, innocent, kitten-loving
prisoners at Guantanamo. Her interview climaxed with the claim that
Guantanamo is the equivalent of the Holocaust.
I guarantee you that no one from MoveOn or DailyKos questioned that outrageous comparison. (Nor did the patsy interviewer challenge it.)
The Holocaust's victims were 6 million innocents. The
handful of prisoners at Guantanamo are accused terrorists. Guantanamo
has no gas chambers; prisoners aren't forced into slave labor. They
aren't tortured or starved or shot. And their trials are open to
members of the press.
The truly outrageous aspect of such comparisons is that the
American left, with its Stalin-redux willingness to rearrange history,
neglects to mention that, outside of Japan, all of the 20th century's great totalitarian regimes had roots on the political left.
It wasn't just Lenin and Stalin whose propaganda machine prefigured MoveOn. Nazi is an acronym for "National Socialist." Read Mein Kampf. It isn't a tribute to free-market capitalism, folks. Mussolini was a populist. Mao was a leftist, as was Pol Pot. The last century's worst censors and book burners all emerged from leftist ideologies.
At the moment, the American left evokes our Communists in 1939, who
contorted themselves to justify the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between
Stalin and Hitler. As this column recently pointed out, Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home!
disappeared from the political scene the instant Obama called for
sending those troops to Afghanistan and Pakistan, instead of back to
For the hardcore left, the party line always trumps conscience. MoveOn isn't new - it's just Pravda with poor punctuation.
The more I think about that proposed war-crimes trial, the more
excited I get. If we could just delay it until President Obama invades
Pakistan, he and I could share the prisoners' docket together.
Of course, the charges he'd face would be far worse, given that
Saddam Hussein was a genocidal dictator and Pakistan's a democracy. But
the left is right: We can't let war crimes go unpunished.
Ralph Peters' latest book is "Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World."