Category Archives: Politically correct

If You Are With Us, We Are Against You

Douglas Murray: If You Are With Us, We Are Against You –

Help me understand. Is there something here or am I just being snookered?


You’re either with us or against us, George W. Bush once said. A simple statement of political fact.

Some nations tend to be broadly favorable toward your world view and thus broadly favorable to you. Others can be said to be broadly hostile to your world view and therefore hostile to you. But how people laughed back then.

To many people in Europe and America, saying “You’re either with us or against us” was just impossibly ridiculous. How un-nuanced. How basic.

Yet how much more ridiculous the era is that we are now in. It appears that there is a new motif among Western governments. It remains the case that regimes are still either for or against us. But those who are for us we are now against. And those who are against us we are now for. Just how much weirder is that?

Take events across the Middle East and North Africa. In the summer of 2009 the streets of Iran were filled with young Iranians demanding the right to have a say in their future. The regime had spent 30 years as an implacable foe of Europe and America—sponsoring hatred and terrorism around the world. And what did the Western governments do when this regime looked fragile? Nothing. An internal matter for the Iranian government, don’t you know. Shame to get involved. Don’t want to seem like we’re lecturing anyone.

For 30 years Hosni Mubarak had run Egypt. He oppressed his political opponents and his human-rights record was bad. But by and large for 30 years he managed to keep Egypt a key regional ally of the Western democracies and sustained a difficult peace deal with Israel.

Well more fool Mubarak. What an idiot. Because the minute that the people arrived on the streets of Egypt demanding more of a say in their future than a cooked election every few years, the Western leaders suddenly found their voices.

President Obama was straight off with calls for an “orderly transfer of power,” which is diplomatic-speak for asking Mr. Mubarak if there was anything particular he wanted in his obituary. And as the protests continued the statements got stronger. At one point during the protests, British Prime Minister David Cameron seemed to be making a statement every couple of hours calling on President Mubarak to stand down. British Foreign Secretary William Hague even found time out of his busy schedule of criticizing Israel to make statements on Egypt. Mr. Mubarak may have been a bad friend, but he was more for us than against us. And when push came to shove the Egyptian people pushed and Mr. Mubarak’s allies shoved.

But perhaps that was a one-off. Perhaps the Obama administration and others were caught off-guard with Iran. Perhaps after Egypt the situation had changed and people-power plus diplomatic pressure would be the new order of things. Except that the riots then came to Libya.

If you wanted to single out one figure in world politics notable for barking, sustained hatred and intransigence toward the West you couldn’t have invented a figure better than Moammar Gadhafi. When he wasn’t funding and arming terrorist groups like the IRA or bringing down Pan Am flights over small Scottish towns, he was inciting anti-Western rage in the region. A stated opponent of Western democracies, no one should have been anything but delighted when regime-change protests finally arrived on the Libyan streets. But those protestors met a different reception, not just from the troops but from Western politicians.

They discovered the truth that the Iranian people were reminded of in 2009. Real hardcore dictatorships, as opposed to merely authoritarian regimes, don’t bother with press freedom and human rights nonsense. Government troops fire mortars and live-rounds into the crowds safe in the knowledge that dictatorships can install media blackouts which ensure there are none of those awkward snuff-videos for Western television stations to play on a loop.

This is the way regimes like Iran and Libya behave and no one can be surprised. But what should be surprising is the reaction of Western governments. Because what happened in Whitehall and Washington when Gadhafi’s troops went onto the streets and started killing people? When this real villain and enemy finally looked like he could be overthrown by popular demand? Well David Cameron said the mortar-bombing and live-firing on Libyan protestors was “appalling” and muttered something about the need for reform in Libya. But you had to go to Libya’s own defected deputy ambassador to the United Nations to hear calls for real change.

With Libya, as with Iran, when a real enemy started looking fragile, America and her European allies decided not to push too much. Perhaps President Obama and European leaders really have fallen for a sort of 1960s school of politics: There’s no such thing as an enemy, just a friend you haven’t made yet. Whatever is going through their heads, their publics should be aware of the possible consequences.

The protests that have taken place in recent weeks seemed to come from nowhere. But they will go somewhere. Some patterns are emerging. With Gadhafi trying to hold out and the regime in Iran gearing up for another season of executions, a new status quo could be emerging. It could yet be worse than the old one. It seems possible that the better regimes in the region will have fallen while the worst regimes will survive. Regional leaders old and new will learn something from that.

The leaders of the free world should have only one message. Any people anywhere who desire to overthrow a dictatorship to have genuine representative governance will find us on their side. And we will not merely explain this to our friends. We will make it also clear to our enemies. The statements should be plain. The days of Gadhafi and the mullahs are over. Time’s up, chaps. Game over.

Mr. Murray is director of the Center for Social Cohesion in London.


The Man with a Flag…

Remember the Guy that Wouldn’t take the Flag down in his yard? (God Bless Him and all the other Men and Women who fight for our country.)

On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg — probably didn’t make much news back then.

Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano , Italy , Van T. Barfoot,
who had enlisted in the Army in 1940, set out to flank German machine gun
positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced
through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned
with 17 prisoners of war.

If that wasn’t enough for a day’s work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

That probably didn’t make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a Congressional Medal of Honor.

What did make news in November 2010 was a neighborhood association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole were

He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn’t take it down. Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.

“In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference,” Barfoot told The Associated Press.

As well he should.

And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to
read his Medal of Honor citation.
It indicates he’s not real good at backing down.

Van T. Barfoot’s Medal of Honor citation:

This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano , Italy . With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks.
From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank.. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot’s extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of point blank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.”

If you read this but don’t pass it on – guess what – you deserve to get your butt kicked! I posted this because I didn’t want to get MY butt kicked and I wanted to let Van T. Barfoot know I appreciate him.




More Right-Wing blather…

Notable & Quotable –

British journalist Melanie Phillips writing at

Now Hague is at it again. With the Arab world convulsed by the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt and with the acute danger that such instability will result in the region lurching even further into Islamic theocratic tyranny, the British Foreign Secretary’s response is—to bash Israel. Never mind that the uproar in Egypt and Tunisia, along with the nervousness in Jordan and Saudi Arabia that their regimes may also be swept away by rising extremism, demonstrates the utter absurdity of the claim that regional tranquillity depends on resolving the issue of “Palestine.” [Mr.] Hague makes a point of declaring that the casualty of the unrest will be… the Middle East peace process.

Never mind that this process has stalled because [Mr.] Abbas and co won’t even negotiate. Never mind that even these so-called “moderates” insist they will never accept Israel as a Jewish state, and thus refuse to renounce their nine-decade long war of extermination against the Jewish presence in the land. Never mind that they continue to incite their people and their children to hate Jews and murder Israelis. Hague knows that Israel is to blame.