Last week, while Israeli forces were doing the dirty work that has to be done to preserve freedom and national existence in a dangerous world, NBC's John Chancellor appeared in Beirut on location as they say--in this case a sunny balcony--to report that the Israeli forces hd been very "savage." They had taken on a new character, that of "Imperial Israel." Thus the defaming of another American ally picks up steam fueled by Americans in high places. Not all our allies are so clinically scrutinized, then diabolized. The diabolizing comes down only on those who actively oppose America's enemies.
But does America actually have enemies in the world? The question brings us to one of the great historic failings of America's foreign policy establishment and of influential Ameicans in general, to wit: the inability or refusal to recognize that America does indeed have enemies, inveterate enemies, people who hate us whether from rational or irrational motives, people who will never negotiate in good faith. Some Americans recognize the inbflexible animosity ofour enemies only after being used as witless tools in the destruction of friendly nations viz., South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Others never learn.
All over the world there are vicious people delighted by any opportunity to lay America low. Pope Leo X used to recall pointedly how his father the worldly and wily Lorenzo de Medici would say "you should understand that those who speak ill of us do not love us." This venerable wisdom is lost on John Chancellor and those like Massachusetts' fresh voice of soi-disant neoliberalism Senator Paul Tsongas. Senator Tsongas presumes to stand on middle ground in Israel's sdispute with the PLO, or in El Salvador's dispute with the terrorists that afflict that woebegone land. Alas, Latin American Marxists do not love us, nor do the members of the PLO. This middle ground is illusory.
The PLO aids, trains, and applauds every anti-American force on earth from North Koreans to North Vietnamese, to Libya, to Cuba, to Nicaragua, to the thugs of the Salvadoran bush. In 1973 a PLO arm murdered the U.S. ambassador to the Sudan and his deputy. The PLO is suspected of murdering the American ambassador to Cyprus (1974) and to Lebanon (1976). It is even suspected of murdering Americans within the United States. It espouses political principles abominable to us. Owing to these principles and to its strategic designs, it rightly perceives us as enemies.
Yet men like John Chancellor and Paul Tsongas find it very difficult to accept the depth of PLO animosity. Much like our right-wing extremists who see communists under every bed, these melioristic americanos see potential friends of America everywhere; and there are aides around President Reagan who agree. Baker & Darman again? My spies are watching.
In foreign policy one must first practice discerment and then face the music. Those who diabolize Israel and El Salvador today display neither discerment nor resoluteness. The PLO is a criminal organization. In 1972 its henchmen invaded Munich's Olympic village and slaughtered 11 unarmed Israeli athletes. In 1974 he PLO seized a Maalot schoolhouse, held over 100 pupils captive, and murdered twenty. In 1978 it waylaid a Tel Aviv bus and massacred thirty-three civilians. It has done much more. It has fired Sam missiles at aircraft. It has highjacked the airplanes of at least eight world airlines. the Civil War it precipitated to gain control of Lebanon left over 100,000 dead.
So far as I know the PLO is the only political organization on earth thatas a matter of policy eschews battle with its enemies' soldiers for attacking its enemies' civilians. now Israel has cornered these dreadful killers and is being diabolized. The PLO has taken refuge in a neutral city, and has used civilians as shields. Faced with defeat it utters blood-curdling oaths. nonetheless influential Americans even in the Reagan Administration urge negotiations.
Such Americans live in blissful isolation. Cushioned by vast oceans and by friendly nations north and south, insulated by American affluence; they do not appreciate the depth of the enmities that exist in this world. Yet the enemies of Western democracy are today more violent, blatant, and ubiquitous than were the pre-war Fascists and Nazis. Moreover Americans can now see some of their enemies' most wicked deeds on television as they take place. This is isolationism more profound than that of the 1930s. . .and less excusable.