Anti-American or Anti-White?
By • 8/1/07
Buy War Crimes at Amazon
Whatever its outcome on the battlefield, the War on Terror has had at least one beneficial result: a large share of the American public has realized that their elites are biased. Ever since 2002, we have been subjected to a welter of hysterical and inflated complaints about imperialism, the treatment of enemy combatants, wiretapping, and so forth, coming from academics, celebrities, politicians, and the news media. This hateful din has convinced Americans that the perspective of their ruling class is fundamentally skewed.
The bias that Americans are perceiving is the “whites as cancer” myth. As defined in the inaugural article of this site, this myth consists of the belief that:
- Whites are the only “racist” race. That is, they are the only race that has historically believed itself superior to other races; this belief has led whites to treat other races in a uniquely cruel manner.
- White racism and imperialism are the primary explanation for the failings of non-whites.
According to the myth, the Nazis expressed the essence and natural endpoint of Western culture. Accordingly, the elites think America is little better than Nazi Germany and desperately search for parallels. They view America as a country that persecutes minorities, represses freedom of expression, and treats non-whites abroad with the callous cruelty of a master race.
The majority of white Americans can see how crazed this fantasy is. While there are perfectly good reasons to oppose the continuation of the Iraq War and other aspects of the War on Terror, there is no parallel at all between Nazi Germany and a country where airlines can be sued for refusing to let Arabs board and enemy detainees can challenge their detention in the courts. The magnitude of the distortion has led to a whole conservative industry exposing bias in the news media, the entertainment industry, and the academy.
The conservative critique of bias has not yet, however, gone to the heart of the matter. Although the conservatives expose bias everywhere, they call it anti-Americanism without recognizing its racial basis.
Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson’s War Crimes: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy the Military and Lose the War on Terror is a perfect illustration of the strengths and weaknesses of the conservative critique of bias. He gives copious evidence of the elites’ routine and mindless misrepresentations of the U.S. military and the War on Terror. However, he characterizes the anti-war movement as “anti-American and antimilitary”1 while his own examples make clear that it is American whites and the West as a whole that is really under attack. The very word “imperialism,” constantly on the lips of anti-war liberals, places the War on Terror in a distinctively Western tradition.
One of the key fallacies that Patterson exposes is the belief that American non-whites suffer a disproportionate share of casualties in wartime. The implication is that the American military is the product of a racist society that has no concern for minority lives.
The claim has been a liberal stand-by ever since Vietnam. John Kerry in his 1971 testimony before the Senate alleged that “blacks provided the highest percentage of our casualties.” Patterson makes clear that this canard is still beloved of television talking heads.2
The allegation continues to be made about the military. For example, Charles Rangel said, “the disproportionately high representation of the poor and minorities in the enlisted ranks has been documented.” Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11 portrays military recruiters targeting minority areas.3 Such beliefs are one of the bedrock tenets of the campus-protesting crowd: “Our military is racist, homophobic, sexist and screwing people,” said one protester in 2005 at San Francisco State University.4
This piece of conventional wisdom has never been true. Blacks were 13.5 percent of the draft-eligible population during the Vietnam War, but represented just 10.6 percent of soldiers. Today, the racial makeup of new recruits to the military is almost exactly the same as that of the country as a whole.5 Furthermore, blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented among war casualties. Blacks and Hispanics make up 9.5 and 10.5 percent, respectively, of casualties in Iraq, but 15 and 14 percent of the adult population.6
Liberals also view the War on Terror as a white supremacist war in the tradition of Western imperialism. Columbia University professor Nicholas de Genova said at an anti-Iraq War teach-in in 2003:
U. S. patriotism is inseparable from imperial warfare and white supremacy. U. S. flags are the emblem of the invading war machine in Iraq today… . The only true heroes are those who find ways to defeat the U.S. military.7
MIT professor Noam Chomsky, the guru of the anti-war left, also sees the war this way. In Imperial Ambitions, a collection of interviews with Chomsky, the interviewer asks whether the Iraq War is a continuation of Western imperialist policies based on the ideas “of the Herrenvolk and the Master Race.” Chomsky consents without reservation: “Racism is inherent in imperial rule—it’s almost invariable.”8 Columbia professor Edward Said also made the link between the War on Terror and Nazism. U.S. policy, he said, was the work of a “small cabal … avenging the Judeo-Christian god of war.” America was guilty of “reducing whole peoples, countries and even continents to ruin by nothing short of a holocaust.”9
Some of the most shameless slanders of the U.S. have concerned its treatment of enemy detainees. Here too comparisons to Nazis abound, and not just among marginal figures, but among the high and mighty. For example, Senator Dick Durbin said, on the basis of uncorroborated e-mail on activities at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp:
If I read this [e-mail] to you and did not tell you that it was … describing what Americans have done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by the Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings.10
Durbin’s is only one voice in the chorus of lamentation over Guantanamo Bay. Jimmy Carter has said that the “torture” of prisoners there proves that Americans believe the enemy to be “subhuman.”11
Patterson shows how mild military interrogation techniques actually are. They include horrors like poking detainees in the chest in a “mild, noninjurious” fashion, “light pushing,” and repeating the same question. Even the notorious waterboarding merely consists of pouring water over a detainee to induce a drowning sensation. U.S. soldiers go through the same and worse as part of their training.12
Patterson also documents the news media’s negativity towards the Iraq War. For example, a survey conducted in January 2005 found 1,992 stories on suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks and 887 stories about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers, but only 16 about success in the fight against terrorists and seven relating to positive developments relating to the upcoming Iraqi elections. When Iraqi voters ratified the new constitution in October 2005, the Washington Post put the story on page A13 with the disconsolate headline: “Sunnis Failed to Defeat Iraq Constitution: Arab Minority Came Close.” The stories on the front page were “Military Has Lost 2,000 in Iraq,” “Bigger, Stronger Homemade Bombs Now to Blame for Half of U.S. Deaths,” and “Bush Aides Brace for Charges.”13
This negativity is clearly also based in the “whites as cancer” myth. The news media focus on events like Abu Ghraib that make American troops seem like imperialist oppressors. The New York Times ran no fewer than 50 above-the-fold articles on this troubling, but insignificant, event while burying stories about bravery in battle deep in the paper.14
Patterson illustrates the skewed perspective that underlies such coverage through the example of Eason Jordan, former Chief News Executive for CNN. In 2004, the man told a group of journalists that he “knew of about 12 journalists who had not only been killed by American troops, but had been targeted as a matter of policy.”15 There was never any evidence for this view, and Jordan resigned his post shortly after. However, that a man who believed such things could rise so high in his profession is evidence that journalists are prone to take seriously any kind of slander against the American military.
Anti-war liberals’ insults against their own people have been accompanied by an eagerness to apologize for the other side of the War on Terror. In 2002, Washington Senator Patty Murray defended Osama bin Laden with these words:
He’s been out in these countries for decades building schools, building infrastructure, building day care facilities …, and people are extremely grateful. He’s made their lives better. We have not done that.16
Such absurdities also stem from the “whites as cancer” myth, whose partisans believe non-whites are morally superior to whites, and inevitably blame the latter for the former’s troubles.
It may seem odd to criticize anti-war liberals for bias against whites when so many of them are white themselves. A political ideology supported people with names like Durbin, Carter, Murray, Moore, and Kerry can hardly be explained as a minority attack on majority America. Rather, the motivation behind this movement is anti-ethnocentric snobbery, discussed here and here. Snobs of this variety slander their own people in order to make themselves appear broad-minded and intelligent.
Such snobbery is illustrated perfectly by the views of film and television celebrities, who have regularly stigmatized war supporters as ignorant and parochial, in contrast to their own enlightened cosmopolitanism. Michael Moore said in an interview with a British news paper that Americans were “possibly the dumbest people on the planet.”17 Larry Hagman, who played J. R. on Dallas, called Bush “a sad figure—not too well-educated, who doesn’t get out of America much. He’s leading the country towards fascism.”18
Conservative critics of anti-American bias have accomplished the crucial task of demonstrating to a large share of the public that we live in an Inverted World. They have proved that our elites view America, a country that is shamefully and dangerously indulgent towards non-whites, as the new Third Reich, and at the same time look eagerly for the redeeming virtues of figures like Osama bin Laden. However, the critics of bias have not yet understood the nature of the bias that they are attacking: it is not anti-American, but anti-white. The “whites as cancer” myth still exerts such a powerful sway over the Western mind that the conservatives cannot name it outright and can only denounce it in a mystified form. Hopefully, however, the intense anger provoked by the anti-war movement will eventually force whites to recognize its real motive.