Yeats’ lines that ‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity’ has never seemed as apposite. The world is healthier, wealthier, more egalitarian, better educated and more just than ever before. The scientific-industrial revolutions and the Enlightenment that originated in the West rescued us from the Hobbesian state of nature that made life nasty, brutish and short. The orgy of self-flagellations to do with genocidal pasts, irredeemable systemic racism and soul-destroying misogyny that supposedly stains all Western societies is therefore baffling. No country or society is perfect, but really? This ugly caricature fits no Western country that I am aware of and I know quite a few from direct exposure.
Who will fight to defend this ‘evil’ existing order in Western societies under savage attacks from social justice activists? Why would Americans help defend Ukraine’s sovereignty when the President has opened the US southern border to mass invasion by illegal immigrants? Few of the passionate immigrant critics seem eager to go back to the imagined paradise back in their countries of origin. We condemn slavery by today’s values but this was hardly confined just to the West which played no small role in its eradication.
The anti-scientific push has taken such a turn that a man must be treated as a woman if he so affirms and those who insist biology trumps ideology get punished. The best riposte to such idiotic rubbish is: ‘I too was a man trapped inside a woman’s body. Then I was born’. Radical feminists are trapped in a prison of their own ideological construction that a woman can do anything a man can, only better. Wedded to this idée fixe despite hard physical evidence to the contrary, to admit the biological superiority of trans males who outperform women in sports that put fitter, stronger and faster people at decisively competitive advantage, would create cognitive dissonance.
Biden has nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court vacancy. When Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement, Biden said he would be picking a black woman, thereby excluding over 90 per cent of Americans from consideration. By elevating gender and ethnicity as the determining criteria for nomination, he blessed sexism and racism, as he did earlier with his running mate and UN ambassador. Both have already shown that virtue-signalling choices have real-world consequences.
Why would a young white man, reviled by society and the political, cultural and economic establishments for inherited privilege and discriminated against in educational, job and promotion opportunities, join the military to put his life on the line for country? When the very qualities that make a good warrior are derided as toxic masculinity?
Men have dominated the soldierly profession throughout history, everywhere. The instinct to protect women is hardwired in male genes. Yes, most cultures also celebrate the occasional woman warrior heroines who stand out precisely for their rarity. When a terrorist goes on the rampage on city streets, a few brave men might try to tackle him. Remember United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed on 9/11? Todd Beamer’s famous last words were, ‘Let’s roll’. Fellow-passengers in that final act of valour were all men. No one, absolutely no one, makes judgements on female bystanders who don’t intervene.
Of the Russian and American presidents, one regularly struts the world stage, the other occasionally shuffles to the podium. One thunders his threats, the other mumbles blame-shifting excuses for doing nothing. One has tried to infuse his military with a warfighting focus and ferocity to intimidate opponents, the other is preoccupied with promoting a woke agenda. Can you guess who is which leader?
On the day that Russia launched the biggest conventional attacks in Europe since 1945, Nato put up a ‘Diversity is our strength’ video boasting, ‘we embrace diversity and thrive on it by cultivating inclusion in all its forms’. Last year, a Pentagon report warned of the threat from white supremacists inside the military; the Defense department tweeted that Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE) goals ‘are necessities’ in the US military. DIE is clearly an apt acronyn! A CIA recruitment video showcased a 36-year-old ‘woman of colour’, ‘intersectional’ and ‘cisgender millennial’ employee; General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the teaching of critical race theory in the military academies and appeared to link ‘white rage’ to the storming of the Capitol on 6 January; Admiral Michael Gilday defended sailors being advised to read Ibram Kendi’s book How to Be Antiracist; and the US Embassy in Kabul, capital of a deeply Islamic country, flew a Rainbow Pride flag to mark June as ‘Pride Month’. US aid money had funded a master’s course in gender studies at Kabul University. Milley claimed the shambolic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August – all exit and no strategy – was ‘a logistical success’. Not to mention the abiding images of maskless Taliban fighters who had driven out the mighty US so humiliatingly.
Where the Americans lead, the Brits faithfully follow. On 24 February, as Russian forces attacked Ukraine, the Telegraph reported that Britain’s spies had been urged to check their ‘white privilege’ and avoid using words like ‘manpower’ that can cause offence. ‘Strong’ and ‘grip’ can ‘reinforce dominant cultural patterns’. Who knew? A Whitehall spokesman defended the guidance as ‘fundamental to the national security of the UK’. The Ministry of Defence operates an ‘LGBT+ Network’ Twitter account. Are we all ready to welcome Jamelia Bond to save Kyiv?
Have Russian soldiers received mandatory sensitivity training in white privilege, misogyny, transphobia and correct pronouns? You really couldn’t make this stuff up on The Great Awokening. A story in the New Woke Times on the 24th had the title ‘Another casualty of Russia’s invasion: Ukraine’s ability to contain the coronavirus’. On the 21st, former secretary of state John Kerry fretted that a war in Ukraine would generate ‘massive emissions’ and distract from ‘a united effort to try to deal with the climate challenge’. When reality came knocking in Ukraine, Nato was a day late and a dollar short in response. How about we focus more on creating a lean, mean and lethal fighting machine that wins wars by defeating enemies, with less emphasis on fostering a DIE social service agency to win the hearts and minds of our citizens. Perhaps our military academies should recruit a few Taliban generals who know how to fight to win.
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