The Best Quotes From Mona Charen’s ‘Useful Idiots’

“Freedom cannot be ladled with a thimble.” — P. 3

“During the course of forty years, Americans had lost more than 100,000 lives fighting two wars against Communist adversaries; we had spent billions on the military and had lived with hair-trigger tension and doomsday scenarios. We suffered all of this because we were determined that the second of two grotesque totalitarian systems that strained the twentieth century would not prevail.” — P. 7

“(During the Cold War) liberals were, almost without exception, inclined to excuse, justify, or ignore the grave sins of our adversaries while always calling down the harshest possible judgement on America.” — P. 11

“Communism was not nearly as evil, most liberals believed, as the false charge of being a Communist. And, though they would probably never admit this openly, the clear implication of liberal/left-wing solidarity behind Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Alger Hiss was that it was more distasteful to make a true charge of communism that actually: to be: a secret Communist.” — P. 15

“If the United States were truly building an empire, for what earthly reason would it choose South Vietnam as the place for which to lay down lives and treasure?” — P. 31

“With a President in disgrace, the antiwar Democrats in Congress could have their way. Starting with the 1974 budget, they refused to allocate another penny to Southeast Asia, and forbade US military action “in or over” Indochina. So much for the threat of air strikes to punish North Vietnamese violations of the peace treaty. It wasn’t enough that U.S. soldiers were out of it. The Democrats in Congress wanted the North Vietnamese to win. And they soon got their way.” — P. 48

“The victorious Khmer Rouge (Red Cambodians) rolled into Phnom Penh and began a systematic war on the entire population so savage that it almost defies description. Estimates of the number of dead range between 1.5 and 2 million out of a nation of 7 million. At least one million were executed and another million died of starvation and disease that were the direct consequences of government policy.” — P. 55

“Under Mao Tse-Tung, an estimated 65 million Chinese were killed by execution, torture, and starvation. Vietnam is held responsible for one million deaths. North Korea is believed to have murdered 2 million. And so the Cambodian ordeal stands out only in proportional terms. The Khmer Rouge were not qualitatively different from other Communists, but they were more rushed. Communists have often been called “socialists in a hurry.” The Khmer Rouge were Communists in a hurry.” — P. 65

“Right-Wing Isolationists of the 1930s had wished to keep America out of foreign entanglements on the grounds that we were too good for the world. Post-Vietnam liberal isolationists saw the world as too good for us.” — P. 81

“In 1921 and 1922, five million people starved to death (in Russia). Later, it would get worse.” — P. 101

“Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader who refrained from enforcing Communist rule by sending in the tanks. This may be why he was the last Soviet leader. The Soviet system was born in violence, committed grotesque atrocities while in power, and maintained itself through force and intimidation. When outright coercion was eschewed, the regime was finished. This was a thrilling development. But it did not earn Mikhail Gorbachev the status of a secular saint. He was only a moderate bully in a system that required a vicious one.” — P. 114

“People are not complete fools (though you might not always be able to recognize this from the editorials of the: New York Times).” — P. 167

“Che Guevara was a cruel fanatic. After Castro made him a commander of a resistance unit, he gained a reputation for harshness. A young boy in his unit was caught stealing a bit of food. Without a trial, the boy was shot on Che’s orders. After the revolution’s success, Che became state prosecutor. In perfect repetition of the Soviet model, he carried out death sentences on many men, including former comrades who refused to shed their belief in democracy. Guevara also holds the distinction of establishing Cuba’s first forced labor camp. In his will, he praised the “extremely useful hatred that turns men into effective, violent, merciless, and cold killing machines.” — P. 176

“When Castro goes, the truth will come out. The vaunted Cuban health care system will be revealed for what it is: a two-tiered system in which the elites, party members, Castro’s inner circle, and cash paying “health tourists” from and Europe and elsewhere receive quality care whereas the ordinary Cuban settles for long waiting lists, poor supplies, shortages of necessary medicines, and crumbling clinics.” — P. 181

“Liberals also seemed to think that because the United States had sometimes backed dictatorial regimes in Latin America, we were disqualified from backing freedom and democracy.” — P. 224

“The proposed liberal solution was always negotiation. Just as they believed in nuclear arms negotiations for their own sake, they believe in a “peace process” with without regard to what its consequences might be….It was impossible for any peace plan to fail in their eyes, since lack of progress was nearly always interpreted as evidence that new talks were now “urgent”.” — P. 224

“Of the three nations that so preoccupied the United States during the 1980s — El Salvador, Grenada (briefly), and Nicaragua — all are now free and democratic. Had liberal policies prevailed, it is questionable whether any would be free today.” — P. 227

“It seemed to gall many American reporters that the people of Eastern Europe were so desperate to be rid of a system (Communism) that liberals considered to be, in many important respects, superior to the United States.” — P. 233

“Some time in the not too distant future, Fidel Castro will die, and without him, the Communists will most probably be toppled. When that happens, the bitter cruelty that Communism has imposed on the Cuban people will at last come to light. And the attitudes of American liberals toward that regime will be revealed for what they are — a disgrace.” — P. 245

“Just three days after the hijacked planes exploded into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, leftist demonstrators took to the streets of Washington, D.C. carrying placards and handouts saying, “No Eye for an Eye,” “No More War,” and “No Further U.S. Violence.” Even when the financial district of New York had taken a direct hit with thousands murdered, the leftist impulse was to condemn “U.S. violence.” — P. 245

“It isn’t objectivity or neutrality that journalists like (David Westin, president of ABC News) guard so jealously. They don’t hesitate to condemn their country when they think censure is justified (namely constantly). No, what shames them among their peers is to be caught sympathizing with their country, or indulging in patriotic feelings. Still, those feelings did surface after September 11 — if only briefly. (After all, if the French were momentarily pro-American, it isn’t altogether surprising that liberals were as well.)” — P. 251

“There is no “squelching of dissent” in the United States. Certain people who were not used to it were merely criticized. That is evidence of free speech, not its absence.” — P. 253

“President Clinton is part of that cohort of American liberals who have been so marinated in cynicism about their own country that they find it difficult to discern evil in anyone else. These “internationalist” liberals criticize other nations only when they are allied with the United States (Israel, El Salvador, Chile), or when their sins are reminiscent of America’s (South Africa). And even at a moment when the U.S. was clearly the wounded party (9/11), clearly the victim (that most cherished of liberal categories), liberals like Bill Clinton were unable to switch gears and offer the United States total sympathy. In their universe, when a Third World people are arrayed against the United States, the former have the right of way.” — P. 257

“Christian doctrine to one side, the world is a fallen place — a roiling, corrupt, unstable, vicious, and unpredictable place — at least in many places. Absent American leadership and strength of mind during the twentieth century — it could have been infinitely worse.” — P. 257

“Antifascism came as naturally to liberals as breathing — which is as it should be. The Nazis, in the more than half century since their defeat, have become synonymous with evil in our intellectual and cultural life — again, just as it should be. And yet the Communists, whose crimes were nearly comparable (and the debate about which was worse is shabby and irrelevant), have never even entered the evil category for liberals.” — P. 261

“Time and time again throughout the latter part of the Cold War, liberals chose a morally perverse pose. They would seek to find any suspect motive or impure act on the part of the United States rather than confront the staggering scale of destruction and misery being wrought by our adversaries.” — P. 261

“Imagine for a moment that the skewed liberal version of reality were correct — that the great threats facing the world until 1991 were American militarism, support for “right-wing dictatorships,” and supposed indifference to poverty. Wouldn’t that be a comfortable place to live? Why, we could solve all of our problems with world town meetings and community initiatives! With just a bit of attitude adjustment on the part of Americans, racism, aggression, nuclear weapons, human rights abuses — all would disappear. This solipsism was thus dangerous. If not for the fortitude of other Americans, it is very doubtful that the Cold War would have turned out as it did.” — P. 261

“One of the most celebrated heroes of American history, Charles Lindbergh, saw his reputation shredded due to his failure to perceive the monumental evil of Nazism. Yet American liberals who committed the identical sin vis-a-vis the Communists — and demonstrate in ways small and large on an almost daily basis that they still do not get it — have paid no price in credibility for their appalling judgement.” — P. 262

Great Liberal Cold Warriors: would make for a very short book.” — P. 262

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