Logo for Joe Sobran's newsletter: Sobran's -- The Real News of the Month

 You Must Remember This 

May 17, 2007 
RememberingAm I the only one who still remembers Manuel Noriega? He’s one of the reasons we have a Department of Defense. When he was running Panama, the first President George Bush (am I the only one who still remembers him too?) decided he was such a threat, like Hitler (of course you remember him!), that we had to invade Panama. Remember? The Panamanians do.

Today's column is "You Must Remember This" -- Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.RememberingWell, we faced a stark choice. We could fight them down there, or we could fight them up here. President Bush didn’t hesitate. It runs in the family.

RememberingAs Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (whose name, at least, you surely remember) once observed, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Only one more generation to go! All the Bushes, if you ask me, are as eloquent as whoopie cushions.

RememberingThe senior President Bush was suspected, if not exactly accused, of anti-Semitism by the distinguished anti-Semite hunter Norman Podhoretz. The Podhoretzian definition of anti-Semitism is admittedly pretty comprehensive, roughly coterminous with mankind (he tends to say “anti- Semite” where most of us would say “homo sapiens” or “featherless biped”), except for a tiny sliver, who are mostly, one gathers, self-hating Jews. (If Podhoretz ran a charm school, most of the young ladies would graduate with cauliflower ears.)

RememberingOf course there are gradations of anti-Semitism, running all the way from the bellowing Hitler at one extreme to the sly Ivy League critics of Israel at the other, with Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, the pope (any pope), and Britney Spears falling somewhere in the middle. Not that they’re really all that different, and neither, at least to the Podhoretzian mind, are you.

RememberingAnti-Semitism is worse than misanthropy, of course. Bombing a city is merely misanthropic, whereas telling crude Jew jokes is anti-Semitic. Don Imus can explain the difference.

RememberingAnd then there is homophobia, the benighted belief that anal intercourse with strangers is in any way immoral, unnatural, or unsanitary. It is to be carefully distinguished from violence against homeless people, or hobophobia. By now there must also be a special word for the hatred of gay homeless people, a national problem, but I’ve been out of academia so long I don’t know what it is.

RememberingHave we mentioned pedophobia? This is the bigoted view that it’s wrong for adults to have sexual relations with children. Except when the adult is a Catholic priest. Then it is a praiseworthy view. But even priests should be allowed to be women, or marry women, or both. That didn’t come out quite right, but I think you know what I meant to say.

[Breaker quote for 
You Must Remember This: How can we forget?]RememberingAs Christopher Hitchens points out, the Catholic Church has a long record of promoting war and also opposing it, and likewise promoting pedophilia and also condemning it. You can see why he’s upset that a church with such a sanguinary past is now against the Iraq war, which he favors.

RememberingListening to Hitchens (if he does), the Pope must feel like King Lear’s Fool: “I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are. They’ll have me whipped for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipped for lying; and sometimes I am whipped for holding my peace.”

RememberingAtheists can be hard to satisfy. Does anyone remember Stalin? He and Trotsky just could never seem to satisfy each other, and Hitchens, when I knew him years ago, was a Trotskyist, though I guess he has lately become disillusioned with Trotsky too. Well, who wouldn’t? How about a little credit for those of us — ahem! — who never had any illusions about him in the first place?

RememberingI also remember when Hitchens was humbly beseeching the Sandinista thugs to pretty please permit a little free speech in their little kingdom. Why didn’t Noriega command that kind of deference from our bold, bad-boy dissenter? Well, neither did Mother Teresa. If every word he spoke were true, his demeanor would still be a lie.

RememberingAnyway, reading the economist Henry Hazlitt in college, I realized that war is, morality aside, a huge waste of money. I’m no pacifist, mind you. When the jihadist camels are massed on our borders, I’ll grab my musket as fast as the next man.

RememberingThe people who begin wars always lose them, and rightly so. Always, without exception. We know this because that’s what the winners tell us when a war (alias “defense effort”) ends. Has any victor ever said, mopping his laurel-bound brow in relief, “Golly, we were lucky to get away with starting that one”? Is that what Lincoln said? I think I’d remember if he had.

RememberingWhen I started this column, that’s what I meant to say. As you probably sensed.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2007 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
a division of Griffin Communications
This column may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of Griffin Internet Syndicate

small Griffin logo
Send this article to a friend.

Recipient’s e-mail address:
(You may have multiple e-mail addresses; separate them by spaces.)

Your e-mail address:

Enter a subject for your e-mail:

Mailarticle © 2001 by Gavin Spomer
Archive Table of Contents

Current Column

Return to the SOBRANS home page.

FGF E-Package columns by Joe Sobran, Sam Francis, Paul Gottfried, and others are available in a special e-mail subscription provided by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. Click here for more information.

Search This Site

Search the Web     Search SOBRANS

What’s New?

Articles and Columns by Joe Sobran
 FGF E-Package “Reactionary Utopian” Columns 
  Wanderer column (“Washington Watch”) 
 Essays and Articles | Biography of Joe Sobran | Sobran’s Cynosure 
 The Shakespeare Library | The Hive
 WebLinks | Books by Joe 
 Subscribe to Joe Sobran’s Columns 

Other FGF E-Package Columns and Articles
 Sam Francis Classics | Paul Gottfried, “The Ornery Observer” 
 Mark Wegierski, “View from the North” 
 Chilton Williamson Jr., “At a Distance” 
 Kevin Lamb, “Lamb amongst Wolves” 
 Subscribe to the FGF E-Package 

Products and Gift Ideas
Back to the home page 


SOBRANS and Joe Sobran’s columns are available by subscription. Details are available on-line; or call 800-513-5053; or write Fran Griffin.

Reprinted with permission
This page is copyright © 2007 by The Vere Company
and may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of The Vere Company.