Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pilgrimage toward Sanity: Andrew Anthony

Christopher Hitchens was my drinking partner when he first arrived in DC in the early '80s, and he was at our home for many occasions, including one Christmas, while his first marriage started to disintegrate [we had met him through Eleni Meleagrou, his first wife]. He filled me with endless anecdotes of the British left, plus his own elaborate explanations of Watergate and the Greek CIA that sometimes still make sense....[when I'm under self-administered medication!]

But he was to the left of Trotsky back then, and a committed leftist, as I was myself. I introduced him to the Mondale Campaign, where I worked at National HQ back in '84, and the Dems were too straight for CH.

However, 9/11 and the relentless anti-Semitism of the liberal left removed the scales from Hitchens' eyes. At the same time, another committed leftist who had been my renter after I moved into my wife's condo, Fouad Ajami, began a pilgrimage to the sanity of real-world Realpolitik. I was his landlord, but he helped me realize much earlier than Hitchens that the left hates America and works against the US national interest on many levels. Here is Andrew Anthony in the Guardian on his metanoia as the cocoon began to split and his flight toward reality began:
The scale of the suffering, the innocence of the victims and the aims of the perpetrators barely seemed to register in many of the [MSM]comments [on 9/11]. Was this a sign of shock or complacency? Or was it something else, a kind of atrophying of moral faculties, brought on by prolonged use of fixed ideas, that prevented the sufferer from recognising a new paradigm when it arrived, no matter how spectacular its announcement?

In the end I reached the conclusion that 11 September had already brutally confirmed: there were other forces, far more malign than America, that lay in wait in the world. But having faced up to the basic issue of comparative international threats, could I stop the political reassessment there? If I had been wrong about the relative danger of America, could I be wrong about all the other things I previously held to be true? I tried hard to suppress this thought, to ring-fence the global situation, grant it exceptional status and keep it in a separate part of my mind. I had too much vested in my image of myself as a 'liberal'.

The Soros sub-contractors, the KKKossacks, and the Puffington Host should avail themselves of this Pilgrim's Progress from the Slough of Despond of liberalism to a Peggy Noonan vision of morning in America. Ha Ha! Fat Chance! More on "the mugging of 9/11 and how it didn't sink into sick minds here and here.
Kudos for the Guardian for publishing such a thoughtful memoir-in-the-making.

1 comment :

Martin Vennard said...

Hi, I work for BBC World Service radio in London and today (Monday 24th September) between 1pm and 2pm East Coast Time in the States we will be discussing in our programme, World Have Your Say, whether the Iranian president should be allowed to visit Ground Zero. If you would like to take part in the radio discussion please call me at +442075570635 or email me your phone numbers at

Many thanks
Martin Vennard
BBC World Service radio.