Saturday, March 24, 2007

Iran and Blaming America First

In light of Iran's capture of British soldiers from Iraqi waters, Pat Dollard reminds us MSNBC's view of Iran:
In this year’s State of the Union address, President Bush warned Iran to stop killing American troops in Iraq or face the consequences. At the conclusion of his speech, Anti-American MSNBC commentators Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews turned to each other and said “Can you believe he’s dragging Iran into this?”. [emphasis added]
Between the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis and the 1996 Khobar Towers attacks, it should be obvious that Islamist Iran is an aggressor. To US liberals in recent decades, however, the US is guilty until proven otherwise. Jeanne Kirkpatrick famously illustrated this with many examples that were current when she spoke about this in 1984:
They said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do - they didn't blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians - they blamed the United States instead.

But then, somehow, they always blame America first.

When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the "blame America first crowd" didn't blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.

But then, they always blame America first.

When the Soviet Union walked out of arms control negotiations, and refused even to discuss the issues, the San Francisco Democrats didn't blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States.

But then, they always blame America first.

When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago.

But then, they always blame America first.

Michael Barone continues on this topic with these observations:
In their assessment of what is going on in the world, they seem to start off with a default assumption that we are in the wrong. The “we” can take different forms: the United States government, the vast mass of middle-class Americans, white people, affluent people, churchgoing people or the advanced English-speaking countries. Such people are seen as privileged and selfish, greedy and bigoted, rash and violent. If something bad happens, the default assumption is that it’s their fault. They always blame America — or the parts of America they don’t like — first.

Where does this default assumption come from? And why is it so prevalent among our affluent educated class (which, after all, would seem to overlap considerably with the people being complained about?).

This matches the common liberal scenario/psychological complex which goes as follows: "We (our group/tribe/country) are guilty. But we (a subgroup/faction) are not really guilty. It is those others (the 'affluent educated class', Reagan, Bush, Republicans) who are guilty. We (the good liberals) are embarrassed to be associated with them and we should apologize to the rest of the world." I have discussed the embarrassment/urge-to-apologize issue before here, here, and here.

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