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Thought Police By: Ralph Peters
New York Post | Wednesday, August 06, 2008


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 military.

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 left.

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 war criminal.

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 Fort Hood.

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."


Ralph Peters is a New York Post Opinion columnist and the author of "Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World."


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