Saturday, August 23, 2003

Replaying the Tet

The leftwing media has hit upon the possible winning strategy of describing every event in the world as a setback for the Bush Administration. Both the attack by Hamas on a Jerusalem bus and the Israeli retaliatory execution of the perpetrator are portrayed as setbacks. The American acceptance of a United Nations refusal to guard its headquarters is a setback. The American attempt to improve cooperation with the UN to prevent further attacks is a humiliating admission of its indispensable legitimacy. The Afghan arrest of dozens of Taliban only proves that the threat has grown larger. Ten thousand wholly avoidable deaths due to a French heat wave illustrate the American culpability for Global Warming. Given this, it is hardly surprising that the Jews are about to be sued by the Egyptians (hat tip Across the Atlantic) for escaping during the Exodus. Yet despite the apparent inventiveness of the 'setbacks', the concept is wholly derivative. The Big Lie is a tactic as old as the Left itself. One in which they repose much confidence. In 1968 the press portrayed the disastrous North Vietnamese Tet offensive as a Communist victory and bluffed the real victors into retreating from the battlefield. Surely they can do it again?

Two problems stand in the fabulist's path. The first is that while the North Vietnamese had no ability to chase a retreating US army back to California the jihadists will almost certainly follow a withdrawing America right back to the streets of New York -- and London and Sydney. The second is the existence of alternative sources of news that make it impossible to sustain a  Walter Duranty-like lie for very long. A fiction cannot be maintained when reality can make an imminent appearance. Perhaps if the Internet had never been invented by Al Gore.

It is the propaganda of the deed -- the classic nihilist description of terrorism -- that really threatens the Leftist media campaign. The pen, however mighty, is ultimately less convincing than a bomb in the face, and it is this, not American so-called propaganda, to which the Left has no answer. It was Hamas, not Ariel Sharon's pathetic rhetorical skills, which defeated the once dominant Labor Party in Israel. It was Bali, not John Howard's dubious public presence, that set him streets ahead of his political rivals in Australia. And it was September 11 that ensured that Al Gore could never again run against George W. Bush.

Yet worse lies hidden in the political consequences of the fact that Islamists, now unable to damage American forces, are now concentrating on soft targets, like the UN building, European tourists in the Sahara, the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, the Pickering nuclear power plant in Canada. It means that a tidal wave of homicidal violence, pent-up, defeated and unable to reach its target, will be now be redirected against the Egged buses of the world. Paris may now be in greater danger than New York. This is will prove absolutely fatal to the peddlers of the fiction that 'the United Nations will protect us' and there is nothing the Leftist press can do about it.

Those seeking an historic parallel will recall that in September, 1940, after finding itself unable to destroy the RAF, the Luftwaffe switched from the attacking air bases to striking major cities. The Blitz -- the shift to soft targets -- was really the first admission that the German air force had lost the war over British skies. It was also the last nail in the coffin of British fascism. And just as the Islamic Blitz will be ineffective against the wellsprings of it's enemies strength, it will prove devastating to the editorial shennanigans of its apologists. In the end, the truth destroys the lie and the Communist collapse mocks the myth of the Tet victory.