Alexander's Column

Useful Idiots: Back in style!

Mark Alexander · Mar. 30, 2007

“Nothing is so contagious as opinion, especially on questions which … beget in the mind a distrust of itself.” –James Madison

In addition to last week’s anti-American marches marking the fourth year of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a gaggle of Hollywonk Glitterati have proven, once again, that idiocy has no limits.

I am referring, of course, to the loudest of the “useful idiots”, AKA Sean Penn, Rosie O'Donnell, Charlie Sheen, et al., ignoble apologists for socialist political and economic agendas.

While the motives of this trio of limousine-lib national-security experts comport with those of certain Demo-gogue traitors on Capitol Hill, their rants are even more incoherent than those of Barbra Streisand, Ted Turner and Hanoi Jane Fonda.

First up, Sean Penn, whose last major excursion into public-policy matters was his comedic Katrina recovery effort when his “rescue boat” had to be rescued because it was taking on water. Penn has now teamed up with ultra-Left politicos like Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters – members of the “Out of Iraq Caucus.”

At a rally last week, Penn told a group of disheveled protestors, “You [President Bush] … and the smarmy pundits you have in your pocket can take your war and shove it! Let’s unite not only in stopping this war, but in holding this administration accountable.”

Barbara Lee – she of the solitary “no” vote against removing the Taliban from power in Afghanistan – spoke on behalf of her cadre who voted against additional funding for American troops in Iraq, saying, “We can’t afford to spend one more dime or lose one more American or Iraqi life on this illegal and un-winnable war.”

Penn added, “The money that’s spent on this war would be better spent on building levees in New Orleans and healthcare in Africa. Iraq is not our toilet. It’s a country of human beings whose lives that were once oppressed by Saddam are now in Dante’s Inferno.”

“Dante’s Inferno”? Perhaps Penn has read Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century poem, Divine Comedy, but missed Professor Miguel Asin Palacios’s scholarly 20th-century analysis, “Islamic Eschatology and the Divine Comedy.” It may be more accurate to equate Saddam’s reign of terror (or “oppression” according to Penn) with Dante’s Inferno. But I digress.

Penn’s patent accusation is that America’s Armed Forces have condemned the Iraqi people to a life of torture and misery – but he “supports the troops.”

Speaking of torture and misery, ABC talkinghead Rosie O'Donnell took Penn’s assertions even deeper into fantasyland this week. O'Donnell, who apparently moonlights as a mouthpiece for the mad mullahs of Iran, told her ever-shrinking TV audience, “I have one thing to say [about the 15 British sailors and marines being held hostage by Iran’s outlaw regime]. Gulf of Tonkin.” (Many historians believe that the reported attack on a U.S. Naval vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 was staged so that Lyndon Johnson could justify increased military action against Communists in North Vietnam.)

Apparently, O'Donnell has divined that the 15 Brits are sacrificial pawns in a staged event intended to justify an attack on Iran.

O'Donnell, who has been a vociferous opponent of OIF, believes there is a much deeper conspiracy originating with 9/11 – this from her blog: “At 5:30 p.m. on 9/11/2001 WTC7 collapsed. Fire brought down a steel building, and reduced it to rubble. The fires in WTC 7 were not evenly distributed, so a perfect collapse was impossible. … [WTC 7] contained offices of the FBI, Department of Defense, IRS (which contained prodigious amounts of corporate tax fraud, including Enron’s), US Secret Service, Securities & Exchange Commission (with more stock fraud records)…”

O'Donnell insists that 9/11 was part of a grand conspiracy by the Bush administration and “Big Oil” to wage war in the Middle East, with the objective of controlling and profiting from oil. “Big Rosie” supports her claim by insisting that those “steel buildings” could only have imploded if secondary explosives were used – as if Operation Enduring Freedom against al-Qa'ida jihadis wouldn’t have been justified had the Twin Towers somehow withstood the barbaric attack.

Of course, O'Donnell’s claims have been thoroughly debunked by every engineer who has studied the collapse, and most recently by Popular Mechanics magazine.

The principal peddler of the conspiracy theory that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks is activist Charlie Sheen, a theatrical protestor. His theoretical assumptions make Oliver Stone’s “JFK” look like a straight-news documentary.

Sheen insists that the 9/11 hijackers could not have succeeded without the Bush administration’s complicity: “It seems to me like 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory. It raises a lot of questions.”

Sheen plans to narrate a 9/11 propaganda film called “Loose Change,” which may be distributed with help from billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. This film is a moron-friendly version of Michael Moore’s infamous Fahrenheit 9/11. “It’s a story that needs to be told,” insists Sheen. “It’s a story about the truth, and the truth needs to be exposed. It’s not just me, not just the Hollywood community [that] is standing up saying what you have given us doesn’t make sense.”

What doesn’t make sense is Penn, O'Donnell, Sheen and the “true believers” they have amassed – at least on first pass. But the explanation for their break with reality is wrapped up in the collective Pathology of the Left.

In effect, adherents to conspiracy theories are so insecure in their person that they can’t handle the truth. Thus, they become fanatical devotees of “alternate realities,” about which they believe they possess special knowledge and insight, which, in turn, creates a comfort zone for them.

Consider a widely circulated 9/11 conspiracy diatribe entitled “9-11: Can You Handle The Truth?” As with the aforementioned video, “Loose Change,” this invective purports that the 9/11 attack was a U.S. conspiracy. Ironically, in the first line of his thesis, the author writes of those who believe the government’s account of 9/11: “A religious like fervor cemented by fear and denial prevents most people from acknowledging facts and easily-exposed misrepresentations…” Ironic, because he has just described himself and those who subscribe to his thesis with a “religious like fervor cemented by fear and denial.”

(Of note, the pathology underlying conspiracy adherents is quite similar to the cult pathology of those who tenaciously cling to Albert Gore’s global warming theories.)

As for Penn, Sheen, O'Donnell and their fellow crackpots, may they sleep well tonight knowing that our Armed Forces are forever on the frontlines, forever vigilant, forever defending their right to regurgitate such rubbish.

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