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The 90-minute hate

In George Orwell’s 1984 Big Brother required his subjects to engage daily in the Two Minutes Hate directed at the evil Emmanuel Goldstein: “The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic…”
Dorothy Rabinowitz watched the Democratic debate in Detroit broadcast by Fox News on Sunday and titles her piece “The 90-Minute Hate” in a fitting homage to Orwell: “Can this unremittingly strident display of Bush hatred–barely lower than the cacophony that comes booming from the crowds of grizzled street activists waving placards that show President Bush’s picture emblazoned on a swastika–be what these candidates think Americans will find appealing, and worthy of their trust? This is their program?”
In his New York Post column “Another Vietnam? No,” Ralph Peters picks up where Rabinowitz leaves off and suggests the Orwellian inversion of reality effected by the Democrats’ criticism of the war effort: “Let’s leave the phony pieties and hand-wringing to the presidential aspirants and celebrity journalists. Here’s the truth…Every lost service member matters, but at the present casualty rate it would take 15 years for our dead in Iraq to surpass the number of Americans butchered on 9/11. Better to fight like lions than to die like sheep.
“Iraq another Vietnam? Hell, even Vietnam wasn’t the Vietnam of left-wing baby-talk politics and campus political astrology. Our Vietnamese enemies represented a mass movement. The Iraqi terrorists represent a small, bloodthirsty movement to oppress the masses. Did Operation Iraqi Freedom create terrorists? No. It terrorized the terrorists. Now it’s flushing them out of their hiding places. We’ll be killing and capturing them for years. But that’s the only approach that works.
“Has the War on Terror made Americans less safe? Despite the dishonest claims of Democratic presidential hopefuls, the answer is an unequivocal ‘No!’ Where is the evidence that we’re in greater danger now? Where are the terrorist attacks on our cities? In this war, the only measurement that matters is the absence of attacks. Since 9/11, our government has taken the war to the terrorists and kept us remarkably safe.”
Tony Blankley makes the same points as Peters in an excellent column with a slightly different emphasis and with a nod to President Bush: “Leadership.” Blankley contrasts Bush and his Democratic rivals: “Whether they know it or not, the Deans, Clarks, Kerrys and all the other politicians and pundits who will find any excuse for inaction or retreat, are, functionally, appeasers. That is a rational policy — if the enemy is appeasable. If Hitler had been content with taking Czechoslovakia, Neville Chamberlain would be seen as a great man by history. And Churchill would have been seen as the mere warmonger he was then called. If, today, the Islamist terrorists are appeasable, then Bush is a fool. If they are not, then we should apply to America, Churchill’s warning to England over 70 years ago: ‘England’s hour of weakness is Europe’s hour of danger.’ And we should be heartened by George Bush’s confident strides in the inevitably bloody march to peace.”
But today’s Emmanuel Goldstein is of course the state of Israel. Mort Zuckerman documents the phenomenon in meticulous detail in a long cover story on the new anti-Semitism for his U.S. News & World Report magazine: “Graffiti on history’s walls.” Zuckerman notes: “The new anti-Semitism transcends boundaries, nationalities, politics, and social systems. Israel has become the object of envy and resentment in much the same way that the individual Jew was once the object of envy and resentment. Israel, in effect, is emerging as the collective Jew among nations.” (Courtesy of Little Green Footballs.)

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