You have to be old enough to remember the Second Red Scare to appreciate this. Or maybe not.
Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa, a self-described “old KGB hand,” says liberals are destroying America.
Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community during the years I worked at its top levels. This same strategy is at work today, but it is regarded as bad manners to point out the Soviet parallels. For communists, only the leader counted, no matter the country, friend or foe. At home, they deified their own ruler–as to a certain extent still holds true in Russia. Abroad, they asserted that a fish starts smelling from the head, and they did everything in their power to make the head of the Free World stink. …
…Unfortunately, partisans today have taken a page from the old Soviet playbook. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, for example, Bush critics continued our mud-slinging at America’s commander in chief. One speaker, Martin O’Malley, now governor of Maryland, had earlier in the summer stated he was more worried about the actions of the Bush administration than about al Qaeda. On another occasion, retired four-star general Wesley Clark gave Michael Moore a platform to denounce the American commander in chief as a “deserter.” And visitors to the national chairman of the Democratic Party had to step across a doormat depicting the American president surrounded by the words, “Give Bush the Boot.”…
… For once, the communists got it right. It is America’s leader that counts. Let’s return to the traditions of presidents who accepted nothing short of unconditional surrender from our deadly enemies. Let’s vote next year for people who believe in America’s future, not for the ones who live in the Cold War past.
Now, let’s see if we’ve got this straight. According to Pacepa, Americans must give their leaders unquestioned allegiance, because to do otherwise weakens the nation. Questioning Dear Leader is an act of subversion. This is unlike commmunists, who deified their own ruler. Oh, wait …
Naturally, a whole bunch of right–wing blogs are linking to this with robust approval without noticing the essential un-Americanism of Pacepa’s point of view.
Once more, with feeling:
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” President Theodore Roosevelt, 1918.
McCarthyists and Red Baiters were so afraid of being defeated by a totalitarian police state that they wanted to turn America into a totalitarian police state for protection. They always reminded me of a herd of buffalo stampeding over a cliff. No amount of reasoning could get them to see that they were a more immediate threat to America’s freedoms than the Communists were.
Bottom line: Righties hate our freedoms. Right wingers hunger and thirst for authoritarianism, because real freedom scares them witless. They’re happier with a dictator telling them what to do, and they’re too cowardly to admit it.
Update: See Comments from Left Field.
It’s amazing how blind these people are to their own psychological projection. Let’s rewrite the first paragraph just a little:
“For conservatives, only the leader counted, no matter the country, friend or foe. At home, they deified their own ruler. Abroad, they asserted that a fish starts smelling from the head, and they did everything in their power to make the head of Iraq (Saddam Hussein) stink. Unfortunately, partisans today have taken a page from the old Soviet playbook.” Followed by examples, too numerous to mention, of the endless torrent of hatred and scapegoating from the vast extreme-right noise machine.
Righties are hopelessly small minded and perpetually insecure, and therefore their idea of “freedom” is correspondingly puny. “Freedom” is for them and their pals alone, and everyone who doesn’t think like them or who they find threatening can go to hell.
Bush’s infantile “They hate our freedoms” is in this same category. He was really speaking about right wingers everywhere.
This guy Pacepa is awarded space in the WSJ opinion page? He sounds like my dearly departed father, ranting against the dirty hippies, circa 1968.
Reminds me of an old Cold War joke.
An American and a Russian are arguing which country is better.
The American says, “I can stand on the steps of our Capitol building and yell ‘THE PRESIDENT IS AN IDIOT,’ and nothing will happen to me.”
The Russian replies, “Things are no different in Russia. I can stand on the steps of the Kremlin and yell ‘THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT IS AN IDIOT,’ and nothing will happen to me either.”
Capitalism can be a cruel pimp. He shoulda stayed in Romania and kept his dignity instead of doing tricks in Bush’s propaganda stable. He is a little to overzealous in his expressed love for his American citizenship to be believed. More than life itself?..Nah, I don’t think so.
I wonder what they are paying for the services of an old dried-up and worn-out comrade these days?
One thing that occurs to me is that like Solzhenitsyn and the late John Paul II, Pacepa understands the Soviet system quite well, but he utterly fails to understand the American political system and habits. He thinks dissent against the American status quo is disorderly and unreasonable, but approves of it when it’s directed against an avowedly Communist system. Unfortunately, Pacepa fails to acknowledge when an avowedly capitalist system adopts Communist (and Fascist) style tactics against its political critics. I think the commenters who distinguish between authoritarian and non-authoritarian systems have it right
The righties also can’t deal with the fact that it is the President who has discredited himself.
Pacepa worked for Ceaucescu. Why am I not surprised? So this is the caliber of person making up the Last Lingering Dregs of Bush’s base? Fearless Vampire Worshippers. Groovy.
The lefties left a little truth in Chicago this year. With the “yearly Kos” they had no press. They had very little of the main stream. In fact it may have been reversed. Because the mainstream understood what little tides they could bring to shore. The “webroots” have maxed out. They have been out spent, they have been out thought, they have been out webbed? They have been out wronged? Wait yes the left is right, just listen, you will hear. The web is and will be right, just wait and listen. You will hear unless it is taken away.
That’s eerie. Just yesterday I was writing that I wasn’t sure that anyone had actually won the Cold War, since the new surveillance law strikes me as something frighteningly Soviet, and it seems like all the American values I was taught as a child are obsolete.
That was a thing of beauty. It was like one last chance to ply his craft just to prove to himself that he’s still got it. He pushes all the Right’s buttons with a smirk and an admiring nod to his comrades the Swift Vets for Truth. Thinking to himself with some satisfaction for the sheer improbability of it, that Stalin may get the last laugh.
Where were articles, and sentiments such as this, when Clinton was President?
I think that you’re oversimplifying. His point is that people are more likely to believe in smut than holiness, and that people have been trained to enjoy consuming smut about the US by people who oppose the US. I haven’t noticed any military trials for atrocities committed in Chechnia, for example; have you? There was a lot of media attention focused on citizens thinking that Saddam was behind 9/11 somehow. Is it valid also to be alarmed by the idea that one-third of American’s think it may have been an inside job?
Dan — you’re the one who is oversimplifying. Did you read any of those rightie posts? Terrifying stuff. They’re still calling John Kerry a traitor, based on their own fevered misreadings of history. They’d lynch him if they thought they could get away with it.
The eagerness with which righties seek authoritarian government while screaming they are fighting for “freedom” never ceases to amaze me.
I haven’t noticed any military trials for atrocities committed in Chechnia, for example; have you?
What does that have to do with the post? Are you saying we shouldn’t criticize George Bush because at least he’s not as bad a despot as Ramzan Kadyrov? I hold America to a higher standard than that.
Is it valid also to be alarmed by the idea that one-third of American’s think it may have been an inside job?
That is disturbing, but also beside the point.
Do you not find anything authoritarian about the Nanny State? I don’t think at all that the one-third is not germane to the argument. It is a symptom, like Beauchamp. I am not at all saying that we shouldn’t criticize Bush. We should. BUT we need also to consider what we don’t much pay attention to, don’t we? That seemed to be part of the leftist response to the Beauchamp kerfuffle.
Kerry’s told too many whoppers to warrant my respect. Are you saying that there’s such a thing as KDS? I’ll grant that. We all have our confirmation biases. Is Pacepa writing in good faith? That is a matter we must commend to our judgments, which are constrained, in all instances, by our beliefs.
This is what get me: “America’s commander in chief.” Uh, the President (ANY president) is not MY “commander in chief” — that is a designation of a particular role the president (an ELECTED official) has in relation to the MILITARY, not the citizenry. I am so sick of hearing Bush being called the “commander in chief” in relationship to US citizens. He is NOT. He is the “commander in chief” only to those who are currently serving in the military. This is a blatant mis-representation of the president’s role!
Okay. America’s military’s commander in chief. Feel better?
Dan- You were disturbed by Kerry’s “whoppers.” How do you feel about Bush’s whoppers, which could fill several books. Two examples will suffice: claiming that Saddam kicked out the weapons inspectors (he didn’t) and, just recently, stating that Iran has publicly claimed that it wants to acquire nuclear weapons (it hasn’t).
Gen. Pacepa was NOT a KGB hand. He was the Director of Ceausescu’s D.I.E. (Foreign Intelligence Directorate), the Romanian equivalent of CIA.
He defected while accompanying Ceausescu in an official visit in West Germany and only hours later was transported to the US in absolute secrecy aboard a military plane.
Once in the US Pacepa was debriefed by the CIA for quite some time. His ex-boss the romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu put him on trial and sentenced him to two death sentences – in absentia, of course.
As a three-star general, Pacepa was the highest ranking intelligence officer EVER to defect to the West. The treasure trove of information he provided upon his arrival in the US helped President Reagan to understand the tactics and strategies of disinformation employed by the Soviets in the Cold War. Later on, Pacepa becomes one of the most trusted intelligence advisers to President Reagan, convincing the President to push forward arming America with new weapon systems, to challenge the Soviets and not to back up to their threats.
The rest is history, and most Americans have no idea the debt of gratitude we owe to Mr. Pacepa.
Do you not find anything authoritarian about the Nanny State?
OK, folks, we got a live one here. Brainwashed to the bone.
Son, what “nanny state”? If you are referring to a government that provides social services that We, the People, WANT it to provide, I see nothing authoritarian about that. This is what’s called “republican government.” On the other hand, a government that refuses to provide even basic services that We, the People want and need because of a cadre of blinkered and corrupted ideologues THAT is, IMO, something like dictatorship.
BUT we need also to consider what we don’t much pay attention to, don’t we? That seemed to be part of the leftist response to the Beauchamp kerfuffle.
If you had any clue what was REALLY behind the “Beauchamp kerfuffle (sic)” I suspect you’d be a tad more subdued about who is not paying attention to what. Also regarding the “lies” of Kerry — holy crow, are you ever innocent. The “Swift Boat” smear was one Big Lie, and you swallowed it, whole. I feel sorry for you. But you’re the sort of person who’s trying to turn the U.S. into a totalitarian state, not us “lefties.”
That is a matter we must commend to our judgments, which are constrained, in all instances, by our beliefs.
I prefer judgments that are constrained by reality and facts, thanks. Now take your propaganda and move along.
ElKafir — So you’re saying Pacepa was lying when he called himself an “old KGB hand”? Thanks for the info.
The man may have many admirable qualities, but what he said in that op ed is still un-American.
And now that we’re drawing attention from righties, I’m going to close comments. I don’t need the aggravation.