June 17, 2007

David "Unpatriotic Conservatives" Frum

My new VDARE.com column:

The Axis of Amnesty Is Back, But So Is David "Unpatriotic Conservatives" Frum

By Steve Sailer

As Dr. Frankenstein used to say:

"It's alive!"

Just as I warned last week, the Kennedy-Bush-McCain Axis of Amnesty reanimated their patched-together monster in the Senate … although it's definitely not back by popular demand.

If this bill were a horror movie, it would be House of Wax II … and not a sequel to the Vincent Price original, either, but a remake of the recent Paris Hilton remake.

Or maybe:

Aliens 4
In Washington, no one can hear you scream.

We're going to have to scream loud enough this week before the crucial cloture votes to be heard even in Washington.

The politics of amnesty, however, would make a natural suspense thriller film:

Establishing Shot: Ted Kennedy drives a blushing Republican Party girl down a moonlit dirt road.

Cut to: His car lurches off a bridge.

Pan: Senator Ted swims away while the bubbles from the sunken car die out.

Amnesty is so unpopular these days that even President Bush's old speechwriter David Frum has lately gone on the immigration restrictionist warpath after years largely missing in inaction. In the June 25th National Review, Frum explains "How I Rethought Immigration" way back during the first Bush Administration of 1989-1993. (You can read it online here.)

Frum is wonderfully lucid writer—except, unluckily, on those topics that most engage his personal passions—so it's quite a fine article....

Still, while this is all well and good, it does raise the question: If Frum was so expert over 15 years ago, why was he essentially a no-show in the immigration debates back when his influence was at its peak in the first half of this decade?

(Hint: It's VDARE.COM’s fault!)

[More]


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve --

You are factually wrong on North Korea and Iran and Iraq.

North Korea practices "Juche" the policy of, basically, being an arms factory that sells to anyone to survive. It all stems from Stalin cutting down on Kim Il Sung's arms after the Korean War.

In point of fact no less a neo-con than Muslim Nuke booster and head of the IAEA Mohammed El-Baredi confirmed that North Korea assisted Iran with nuclear designs, material, and people. Iranians were present at the Nuke test of North Korea, there is some debate as to how much Iran has funded their work. It's a matter of record that Saddam had paid Libya to conduct nuke designs and progress as a means of "outsourcing" his nuke program. North Korea's danger of outsourcing nukes for pay was hardly exaggerated. It's damn real.

Of course Pakistan has helped tremendously Libya's well-advanced (before Qaddafi came clean and dumped it after Saddam was pulled from his spider hole) program, along with the North Koreans. Pakistan has also helped Iran as well.

And it's a matter of record that both Iran and Iraq helped facilitate the travel of the 9/11 hijackers without stamping their passports as they transited from Afghanistan. So says the 9/11 Commission.

The Axis of Evil was factually correct: and analogous to the Hitler-Stalin Pact and state of affairs before June 1941. Hitler and Stalin hated each other but could certainly cooperate in feasting on the carcass of Poland. Lil Kim IS selling his nuke expertise (it's how he survives) but Pakistan is likely the larger threat.

Frum was factually correct.

You are also treading close to anti-Semitism in your assertion of some nefarious neo-con (read Jewish) conspiracy. Sharon advised Bush against removing Saddam (he wanted Saddam as a check on Iran). The biggest neo-con is GWB, who believed that "transforming" Saddam's Iraq would make the ME safe for Democracy. But then GWB has always been the return of Woodrow Wilson, right down to the preppy Yale-Aristo background and noblesse oblige (seen with his "Mexicans are people too" stuff. Yes. But they are also poor and thus a burden. Rich old-money aristos though don't care. Bush is like Teddy Kennedy. Both are aristos.)

Frum's obsessions are the same of all the socially liberal, dependent on goodwill of others, pundit class. That is status, the desire to be seen as "not racist" and "enlightened." Asserting Africans and African-Americans have lower IQs is guaranteed to sink the career of any pundit who gets published in newspapers and magazines. Are you unsurprised by this? I doubt Murray could get much of anything published in any Syndication.

You are also wrong about Iraq and the fighting there. There exists no Iraqi patriotism because there is no Iraqi nation. Instead there is a mixture of tribes, sects, and people who all hate their neighbors, and have been killing and oppressing them for generations. Most of the dead in Iraq are Iraqis killed by other Iraqis. Particularly doctors, teachers, lawyers, civil engineers, nurses, human rights advocates, election workers, police, and firemen. The aim being to return Iraq to the tribal way of life seen in the 7th Century. To kill the people who might give Iraq modernity (because tribes cannot survive it).

Inevitable once Saddam died or was killed. Unless you think he'd live forever. At least by being there in force the US has control over events in a critical part of the world (because it's filled with oil). US troops can mitigate the killing, and prevent the place from turning into Mogadishu meets Gaza (where US troops are not, and the killing continues). Heck Zimbabwe with no US troops and Mugabe according to Catholic Charities HAS FOUR TIMES the weekly death rate as Iraq. FOUR TIMES. Due to starvation and general thuggery. No US troops involved.

At least with Saddam gone we don't have him and NutJob racing for nukes. We just have Nutjob to deal with.

Citing Washington is fine if you live in the 18th Century. Last time I looked the world ran on oil, cheap oil. Getting rid of Saddam is worth it for no other reason than to get Iraq's oil on the market in large quantities, even it if takes ten years to do so (as Saudi's oil declines). We don't live in a world where oceans protect us. 9/11 should have taught you that. We don't live in an economically isolated nation (your local Wal-Mart filled with Chinese imports ought to tell you that). We don't live in a world where energy is unimportant (your electricity bill ought to tell you that). Making the BASIC input of the modern economy: energy cheaper is what Iraq is all about. Worth it too, since poverty kills. Cheap energy (oil) makes everyone that much richer.

Neo-cons? Another Wilsonian Liberal impulse. A function of class not ethnicity. Cause the last time I checked GWB wasn't Jewish.

You are just flat out wrong on this Steve. Paleocons are flat dead wrong. We live in an interconnected world, isolationism is even less an option than in 1940, and only by action instead of passive, reactive, and fearful cringing can we at least give ourselves the ability to decide events instead of having them decided for us.

Anonymous said...

Great column Steve. Agree with all your points. It's amazing the foresight that people like Washington had at the time.

daveg said...

Oh, that was a body-blow to Frum with the Godson quote.

Well done Steve!

It is very hard to catch someone exposing their inner thinking in that way in print, when they have so much time to consider what they are writing. But you found a GEM with that FRUM quote on Godson.

These people are so self-absorbed, so - yes, will say it, ethnocentric - that they can't see what they are doing.

Maybe they really are so blind that they don't see their bias and disloyalty. That is no excuse, but maybe their just can't comprehend what being part of a nation means, and why others should not be burdened with their ethnic allegiances.

Ron Guhname said...

First Anon: You blew it. A nice serious comment, then you throw the "Anti-Semite" bomb. Treading close to anti-Semitism is when someone says, I am treading close to hating Jews.

All that Steve is claiming is that a handful of influential guys are obsessive over Israel, in contrast to the vast majority of Jewish Americans who think of America's interests first, and that is many light years away from animus toward an ethnic group.

If you want to be taken seriously, drop the cheap name-calling and stick to the thoughtful points.

Anonymous said...

I was always suprised that the neo-cons have not picked up on the fact that the populace might have been much more lenient in regard to the Iraq War, mistake that it may be, if those same neo-cons were strong-borders hawks instead of invite-the-world globalists.

Nothing is pissing off the average American more than watching towns be transformed into barrios, a declining birthrate for natives, and noticing that he and his kind are literally being replaced here as humanity by the corporate overclass. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing the foresight that people like Washington had at the time.

there was a humour post here not long ago about washington as father of country and mentioned he was a world class writer. and that is true ...his work spans the ages. but it is not 'clever' writing. it is just extremely wise and empty of sarcasm.

but then there was a response post that claimed washington had a 'second rate' mind. and this is the problem!!! we are plagued with the people who forever reject real wisdom. they will always put people such as charles 'intellectual firepower' krathamer above people such as george washington.

it is plain to see that mr frum from canada would heap scorn on the founders if he only could in person!

Mark said...

David Frum, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, National Review and so many others may be coming very late indeed to the anti-amnesty/immigration reform table. But we should be more than happy to welcome them, and there will always be a seat for more. We should be careful, however, if/when any of these "converts"

First anon:
I think you are reading way too much into what Steve was saying. Where do you see the isolationist argument in Sailer's column. Could you quote exactly where you found it.

And is accusing someone of ethnocentric behavior or assumptions wrong if it happens to be true?

Getting rid of Saddam is worth it for no other reason than to get Iraq's oil on the market in large quantities

I have mixed feelings about the war, but we could have easily lowered the cost of oil simply by lifting the embargo on Iraq.

daveg said...

The Axis of Evil was factually correct

By definition, an analogy cannot be "factually correct," so your statement shows you don't know what you are talking about.

All analogies are imperfect.

The axis of evil analogy is particularly wrong, however, for a variety of reasons, including: size of the members of this "axis," location, level of cooperation, abilities and ideologies, just to start.

So, we can ignore your first "fact."

daveg said...

[The civil war in Iraq was i]nevitable once Saddam died or was killed.

So Frum, Kristol, Wolfowitz etc. should have known that when we invaded Iraq it would lead to civil war. They should have known it would not be a "cakewalk."

Do you think they did know that civil war was "inevitable" and just didn't tell us?

Sharon advised Bush against removing Saddam (he wanted Saddam as a check on Iran).

Ah, but Netenyaho pushed for war with Iraq on the pages of the WSJ. Olmert said the Iraq war was good for Israel.

At least with Saddam gone we don't have him and NutJob racing for nukes. We just have Nutjob to deal with.

Come back to reality my neocon friend. Saddam didn't have nukes and wasn’t getting any. Saddam. Never. Had. Nukes.

This is reality. Come join us.

Heck Zimbabwe with no US troops and Mugabe according to Catholic Charities HAS FOUR TIMES the weekly death rate as Iraq.

So as long as the US causes fewer deaths than are occurring somewhere else we are OK. How very Israelogical of you. (Why are you focusing on Israel when other Arab nations are so much worse!)

And, Zimbabwe a) is not costing us US lives and b) not costing US dollars. That matters to me. Maybe not to you, but to me it does.

It does, however, raise the question why the neocons are not calling for us to stabilize Zimbabwe. I guess some lives are more important than others.

drawbacks said...

In Godson's case, it's not implausible to guess that one thing that inclined him to sympathise with Ulster Protestants may have been his noticing that both they and Israelis were embattled and disliked by the biens pensants of London and Europe. (Many Northern Irish Republicans like to proclaim their similarities to and solidarity with Palestinians, so he'd hardly be the only one to make the connection.)

Fred said...

Steve Sailer:

1) You write that Frum's views on foreign policy are informed by "ethnocentric obsessions", while his views on immigration (with which you largely agree) are not. Isn't this a little inconsistent with previous comments of yours about American Jewish pundits? You've (rightly) blamed the support for open-borders among some American Jewish pundits on ethnocentric nostalgia (e.g., Tamar Jacoby); by this logic, Frum's opposition to the current immigration bill could be seen as evidence that he is not driven by "ethnocentric obsessions". The support for the war in Iraq among many non-Jews (e.g., Bush, Cheney, a majority of Americans at the time of the invasion) and the opposition to the war by many Jews (e.g., Sen. Russ Feingold, the three quarters of American Jews who voted against President Bush) suggest that "ethnocentric obsessions" may not have been the most compelling reason for Frum to have supported the war in Iraq. It seems more likely that he bought into his former boss's Wilsonian ideas.

2) You seem to protest a little too much Frum's disdain of Vdare's articles about black IQ inferiority and McDonald's theories about the nefarious influence of Jews on Western civilization. Had Vdare's main goal been to convince as many Americans as possible to oppose open-borders immigration, it would have helped its case by keeping a tighter focus on that topic and saving most of the blacks and Jews stuff for other forums. It's not Frum's fault that, at this key moment in the immigration debate, Vdare has been marginalized by some of its non-immigration articles.

3) It was decent of you to acknowledge that "...the great majority of American Jews are as patriotically focused upon America's welfare..."

Fred said...

First Anon:

You have some cogent points, but the war-for-oil argument sounds as silly when advanced by a war supporter as it does when advanced by a war opponent. You generally do not need to invade an oil-producing country to get that country to sell you its oil: even odious regimes (e.g., Venezuela's) are happy to sell it to us -- after all, they need the cash.

Spending $500 billion (so far) to ensure "cheap" oil makes no sense either, especially when the supply of oil could be expanded more cheaply (e.g., by drilling in ANWR or off of the CA and FL coasts).

It seems clear -- particularly from reading Bush's 2003 Iraq speech at the American Enterprise Institute -- that the main motivation behind the Iraq War was a Wilsonian quest to steer the Arab world toward democracy as an antidote to jihadism. In hindsight, it might have been cheaper and more effective (if certainly more cynical) to simply knock off Saddam and then leave expeditiously, letting the power gap incite a Shia-Sunni sectarian war to let jihadism implode on itself for a few years.

Regarding your anti-Semitism charge: it won't score you any points with the anti-anti-Semites on here, and in any case, Sailer cleverly immunized himself from that charge by asserting the patriotism of the majority of American Jews in his essay.

James Kabala said...

Frum's book on the Seventies (published in 2000) was the first place I (then a naive twenty-year-old) read a good and forceful criticism of the 1965 immigration act. I certainly haven't been following his journalism devotedly enough to know how often he has broached the topic since, but I have a feeling that the claim that he was AWOL on immigration might not hold up to a rigrous scrutiny. Does any isteve reader have time on his hands a Lexis-Nexis subscription?

Anonymous said...

The oil within the borders of Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq. It does not belong to Dick Cheney and his friends.

I never read the 9/11 report. But anon's commnet about the 9/11 report reeks of the discredited writngs of a journalist-Lori Mylori?-who is only taken seriouisly by the neocon war criminals.

Israel has 400 nuclear weapons: Iran:0 Just thought I put things into perspective.

The US invasion of Iraq has sent the following message to every nation on the planet:get your hands on nuclear weapons or the US will invade and kill your civilian population.

aceflyer said...

re: "Anonymous"

How surprising to see someone hide his ethnicity as he argues the Neocon case. Kinda makes Steve's point, doesn't it?

Lots of blather which attempts to conflate Iran, Iraq, and Korea, but of course not a single word on Steve's ACTUAL ASSERTION (Iran & Iraq are enemies who don't cooperate).

So says the 9/11 Commission.

LOL! This is the same commission that said the White House put no pressure on the CIA, even though the CIA ombudsman said that there was more pressure than he had seen in 32 years on the job.

Brian said...

RANDOM QUOTE

"I’ve always thought it was best for Israel for the U.S. to be generally engaged and generally strong, and then the commitment to Israel follows from a general foreign policy."

(William Kristol to the Jerusalem Post, July 27, 2000)

James Kabala said...

Frum has written a lengthly reply to Sailer's article. I don't agree with all of it, but it does confirm the suspicion I had earlier and readers should be aware of its existence.

http://frum.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTlhYmUzNGRkOWUwYWNmMWNjZWU4NmQ1NTM0MWQzNGY=

Anonymous said...

"Paleocons are flat dead wrong. We live in an interconnected world, isolationism is even less an option than in 1940, and only by action instead of passive, reactive, and fearful cringing can we at least give ourselves the ability to decide events instead of having them decided for us."

So roughly how many more countries will we have to invade or bomb before we can feel safe? Are we going to sorta maybe get cheap oil from those countries in 10 years too? Maybe we could invade North Korea, spend a few trillion, and get cheap electronics from them when they catch up to South Korea. The American people have had enough with this "easy" war. How do you think a real war will go? We don't have the time, money, or people for many more of these. The US just might have to figure out a better way to deal with non-threats and real threats alike.

Russell said...

Aceflyer,

Half the commenters here use "Anonymous," apparently out of laziness. But the one who does it and toes a pro-war line is only doing so to hide the fact that his name is Moshe Zionistberg and he's getting secret cables from AIPAC?

That's the real problem with Jew hang-ups. No other dislike of a particular group distorts one's mental capabilities so badly. Just like PC, it makes you stupid.

ben tillman said...

You are also treading close to anti-Semitism in your assertion of some nefarious neo-con (read Jewish) conspiracy.

Honest people don't care whether their statements are anti-Semitic; they care only whether they're true.

The charge of anti-Semitism is nothing more than a threat. It has no moral dimension as the accuser and the accused necessarily belong to (or are) separate moral communities. Instead, it's just a blunt reminder that the Jewish community has the power to punish anti-Semites, i.e., those who do not believe that every conflict of interest between the Jewish community and non-Jews must be resolved in favor of the Jewish community.

That's all anti-Semitism is: a rejection of the "Chosen People" doctrine.

Svigor said...

That's the real problem with Jew hang-ups. No other dislike of a particular group distorts one's mental capabilities so badly. Just like PC, it makes you stupid.

Either that's a tautology, or you're trying (not so subtly) to conflate criticism of jews with "jew hang-ups."

In other words, what do you say to people who criticize jews and don't show any irrational behaviors?

That's the trouble with the defend-the-jews-reflexively thing; it makes you use some of the dumbest arguments ever.

staash said...

"Frum is wonderfully lucid writer—except, unluckily, on those topics that most engage his personal passions—so it's quite a fine article."

This post is as old as sin, but I just wanted to say, "nicely done".