Deliver us from Evil
I finished Sean Hannity's new bestseller a while back and finally got around to posting this review on Amazon.
It would be easy to dismiss Sean Hannity as just another in a long line of long-winded, conservative pundits interested only in self-promotion. That's what I figured about his latest work. In fact, I only bothered to read this book because I'd nothing better to do while at the beach. It's a quick read - and much better, and more chilling, than I'd anticipated.
Hannity devotes the first fifty pages to Nazi Germany. In one of the best, terse summaries of the Holocaust that I've ever read, he boils down the central failings of the left's inability to understand evil. When Neville Chamberlain returned from meeting with Hitler promising "Peace in our Time", it cemented the role of appeasement when dealing with despots. Tens of millions of needless deaths later, we can boil it down this way: appeasement -- when negotiating with evil -- is a precursor to mass murder.
Moving on to the Cold War, Hannity points out the flaws of treating the Soviets as anything but evil. Estimates put the world-wide death toll of communism at around 95 million. That's 95 million people murdered through pogroms, death camps, and starvation.
Yet the left, led by Jimmy Carter, was "in shock" when the Soviets rolled into Afghanistan. And, further, by failing to support the Shah of Iran (who, while a violator of human rights, was infinitely better for the Iranian people and stability of the region), paved the way for Saddam Hussein's war with Iran and the Middle East conflagrations in which we must engage today. Nicaragua, the gutting of the CIA, and other monumental gaffes were all due to a Carter administration that could not comprehend evil... and that it cannot be appeased.
This, of course, led to the Reagan administration, whose intolerance for evil was famous. When Libya's agents murdered Americans in Berlin, Reagan pushed for an immediate response. The left, led by none other than John Kerry, equivocated. After Reagan bombed Qaddafi, Kerry wrote, "...there are numerous other actions that we can take, in concert with our allies, to bring ... pressure to bear on countries supporting or harboring terrorists." Reagan's results stand. Qaddafi folded his hand, and because the current administration crushed the A.Q. Khan nuclear parts network, Libya has reentered the international community.
Hannity then moves onto the UN and 'the fraud of multi-lateralism' (another tenet of the left). As a peacekeeper, the UN required five months to raise 3,000 troops for Rwanda. As the situation dissolved, it passed resolutions. It embargoed arms shipments. Meanwhile, 800,000 Rwandans were murdered and 2,000,000 became refugees... all while president Clinton, Albright, and General Wesley Clark hemmed and hawed. The UN is a beauracracy, torn by conflicting interests, corruption and ill-will towards the U.S. As Hannity conclused, "...the Democrats will pound away with... politically motivated questions: Did we have to go to war? Should we have waited a little longer? Did the president shade the truth?.. The American people should ask a different question: When it came to protecting American lives, and preserving freedom around the world, whom do you trust to get the job done?"
The final section of the book describes the post 9/11 world and the threat of terrorism. Rare voices from the left join in to support the president's aggressive pursuit of evil: Koch, Cuomo, Miller. But they are the exceptions. The left has turned the pursuit of evil into a political game, when in reality the stakes could not be higher. Hannity closes with his perspective on the fallacy of the left's willingness to hedge every argument for political gain... and what the future holds, on a country-by-country basis. He closes, "...we cannot prevail tomorrow without courageous leadership today. Our leaders will choose how we meet the challenges of the future -- with strength and conviction, or with cowardice and accommodation."
The only nitpicks I have relate to Hannity's tendency to associate religious beliefs (and, specifically, Judeo-Christian theology) with a "correct" sense of morality. My belief is that morality -- good and evil -- should not be tied to religion if we are to walk in lock-step with the true spirit of the American founders. We are hopefully not engaged in a religious war. We are locked in a war with evil incarnate: the other side believes that anyone who fails to think as they do deserves to die. It is high time for the left to recognize that we are dealing with evil. And history's lessons are quite clear. Appeasement means disaster, especially in this, the nuclear age.
Which party do you trust to pursue evil to the ends of the earth?