Monday, October 15, 2007

The Coming 'Stab in the Back' Campaign

The Nation, October 15, 2007 Issue

Eric Alterman

Having exposed their country to the ignominy of certain defeat in Iraq, the Bush Administration and its neoconservative allies are seeking to salvage their crumbling reputations by blaming their critics for the catastrophe their policies have wrought. We are witnessing the foundation for a post-Iraq "stab in the back" campaign.

The tactic--Dolchsto├člegende, which means, literally, "dagger stab legend"--is associated with attacks by German anti-Semites on Jews in the aftermath of World War I and is a familiar response for frustrated American right-wingers when reality fails to live up to their ideological fantasies. Following the inevitable collapse of nationalist China, unhinged accusations of a liberal conspiracy inside the US government that purposely "lost" China to the Commies ruled the foreign policy debate. Consider these words from GOP Senator William Jenner of Indiana: "This country today is in the hands of a secret inner coterie which is directed by agents of the Soviet Union.... [A] secret invisible government...[has] led our country down the road to destruction." The China lobby--the AIPAC of its day--tirelessly policed American politics to insure that no one with national aspiration dared recognize the reality of the Communist Chinese victory.

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