Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hope in A Defection Recollected

Last night I had the dismal experience of encountering Michael Moore on the TV, evidently addressing attendees of the first annual Paul Wellstone Memorial Dinner. This time he was attempting to suggest some sinister Republican plot to explain the anonymity of most of the suicide-murder-bombers currently at work in Iraq. He pointed out that in the case of Palestinian bombers, their identities are well-publicized, and that somehow we knew the names even of the 9-11 hijackers within DAYS of the event. So, he asks, how’s cum we don’t know these current suicide killers? [Regarding the quick identification of the 9-11 terrorists, my brother has wisely pointed out that those individuals left a huge trail of data to be gleaned by the many hundreds of investigators likely to have poured over airport security tapes and computer records of all the flight bookings and ticket sales. Presumably, terrorists in Iraq are not required to have a major credit card to purchase C-4 or steal a vehicle.]

Does he think somehow Karl Rove is capable of suppressing the identities of these people we can’t keep from bombing and murdering? Does a Jihadi etiquette book he alone knows about explain the subtext implied in the detonation of high explosives and the resulting redistribution of human flesh, anonymous or otherwise? Does he expect us to believe that the bombings are somehow more authentically an expression of indegenous anti-occupational outrage because the bombers’ ID’s are not widely broadcast? Is he saying maybe the bombings are actually being done by Americans who just want us to think it’s the terrorists so we stupid peasants will hate Iraqis, just like the jets that crashed into the WTC maybe were actually remotely controlled by Americans in black helicopters hovering at high altitude just so we would hate all Arabs and Muslims and let BusHitler give all the oil to Halliburton?

Mr. Moore’s line of reasoning works only if every murderous Islamic Jihadist in every place round the world had been publicly identified in exactly the same celebratory way as some of the Palestinian Suicide-Murderers. That is, if every Islamic radical thought the same way, subscribed to precisely the same set of Rules of Engagement, and followed the same Imams, and arose from identically the same economic and social milieu.

This is absurd on the face of it. To address plainly an issue that needs to be retired, Michael Moore is a Moron. There are Shi’a suicide-murderers and Sunni suicide-murderers. There is Hamas, Al-Jihad, Palestine Islamic Jihad (Al-Jihad Al-Islami fi Filastin) with its Shaqaqi Faction and Shalla Faction AlQuds brigades, Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites, International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders, Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad Fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (a recent name given for the group captained by Abu Musab Zarqawi), Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Fundamentalist Brigades, Abu Nidal Organization, Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Unitarian Jihad, Hizb’ollah and the PLO and the PLA and al Qaeda (Jama'at at-Tawhid wa’l-Jihad) and Black September and Abu Sayyaf and Jaama Islamiyah and the Saddam Fedayeen and a hundred and more other splinter groups with differing agendas and internecine conflict. They murder each other as viciously and relentlessly as they murder innocent bystanders, Jews, Christians, and followers of Bahá’u’lláh. There have been plenty of terrorists who have managed to blow themselves up anonymously, and others whose identities were only revealed by police investigation.

It also depends on the tiny little item that many of the bombers may not have even KNOWN they were intended to die in the blast. There is no evidence that every single truck bomb that explodes was driven by someone who had willingly made the choice of suicide. It is likely that in many cases, drivers are duped, drugged, lied to, coerced, bullied, extorted, or have their families or children threatened, to persuade them to drive a truck to a certain location. Bombs can very easily be detonated remotely, by a person safe from harm, while the driver may even be unaware of the plan.

Exploding vests are a little more problematic that way, but I could imagine terrorists telling a person his children will be slaughtered unless he agrees to blow himself up. Terrorists slaughter children routinely, to accomplish all sorts of goals, but always to intimidate people to do things they don’t want to do, or refrain from doing something clearly in their own self interest.

But there goes Mister Moore, spewing his own absurd accusations, which the most elementary examination can refute. He cares not. It is equally disturbing to consider that he actually believes the half-digested bovine fodder he spews, as to think he’s only just cynically spouting lies he is certain his admirers will never test against reality.

I take some comfort in remembering that there are after all, a lot of people who can finally see through lies, and logically sort out what must be true, in spite of endless lies, repeated endlessly.

In September of 1976 Russian Mig-25 fighter pilot Viktor Belenko had grown sufficiently disenchanted of the communist dictatorship that he decided to decamp, and flew his high-performance fighter jet to Japanese civilian airport at Hakodate, Hokkaido. In a virtuoso performance resulting from his elite training, native intelligence, and desperation, he defeated Russian anti-aircraft home defense radar, missile batteries and pursuing fighters, as well as Japanese air defense jets, and landed with just seconds of fuel to spare after flying from a Russian airbase near Vladivastok and across the Sea of Japan.

U.S. aviation technology experts examining this first example of an operational Mach 3 fighter, expected to be humbled by new technology. Instead they found the jet was a sturdy workhorse, using vacuum tubes for the radar, cable and pulley mechanical links for the flight controls, and welded steel for the fuselage and wings rather than any exotic new metallurgical coup.

This speaks eloquently of two things, one long appreciated, the other kept quiet as long as possible by the Soviet Government. The first is the confirmation of Russia’s long tradition of brilliant military and aviation engineering, making the best use of available technologies, materials, and utilitarian principles. The second was the desperate economic and technological self-mutilation the soviet system imposed on itself. President Carter and all his henchmen seemingly missed this monolithic insight. His successor did not, and capitalized on it with supreme success.

What sticks with me, years after reading his life’s story (written with the assistance of author John Barron) is the insight he must have provided to American debriefers to the precipitous downhill slide in Soviet society. He described a number of horrifying details that gradually convinced him the Soviet government was systematically, daily, in all aspects of its business, lying to the people:

...Unmarked doorways off main thoroughfares, which served as private entries to the lavish and elegant department stores reserved exclusively for the elite “nomenklatura” — i.e., factory managers, favored artists, members of the ruling class, general officers of the military and some of their favored subordinates, etc. Meanwhile, most citizens only had access to drab “magazini” with limited selection even when fully stocked.

...Arriving at a new apartment building expecting to move in with his bride, only to find that the structure was literally being strapped round with steel bands to prevent it collapsing from poor workmanship.

... Learning to check the date of manufacture on all appliances, after finding from bitter experience that items produced in the last week of the month might have screws pounded in place with hammers by workers pressured to meet arbitrary quotas, while items produced in the first week of the month usually suffered from haphazard assembly resulting from vodka used to celebrate meeting last month’s quota.

...Riding a crowded bus, witnessing a teenage gang callously stab a female passenger and melt away at the stop, leaving her to bleed to death before the antiquated ambulance arrives.

...Sitting idle many days at the Russian air base, unable to fly jets disabled by ground crews that had used the flight-hydraulics alcohol for their recreational drinking.

But the most astounding item, the one that Belenko said finally convinced him his government had been lying, was the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He realized that after all his government had said about how the U.S. government enslaved its people, that in fact, the outrage of common citizens seemed to have forced the leader of the country to step down, without a bloody coup.

Sooner or later, the delusional leftists will be outdistanced by their audience’s personal growth. The lesson of the fall of the Soviet Union shows that lies cannot sustain an illusion forever. The people who applaud them, eventually will look around themselves and begin to notice the gulf between what they see and what Moore has told them.


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