Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
After Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, Iranian protesters filled the streets condemning their own government’s war crime while the Democrats and their media blamed Trump.
“This is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the president of the United States,” Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN.
“This is one of these consequences of this escalation and this state of war that we are in. Having foresight and being able to look at what the consequences are of going to war with Iran, I think, is a serious thing and a responsibility of the present commander-in-chief,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard insisted.
In the worldview of lefties like Speier and Gabbard, Iran isn’t really responsible for anything. The Islamic terrorist state doesn’t initiate anything, it reacts to our provocative actions. When Iran shoots down a Ukrainian plane, that means that America must have done something wrong to cause the attack.
The Left spent the last 40 years insisting that Iran can’t be blamed for any of its crimes because they all originated from America’s support for the Shah. This isn’t just hyperbole. It’s government policy.
Obama told Iran Deal negotiators that, “part of the psychology of Iran is rooted in the sense that their country was undermined, that the United States or the West meddled in first their democracy and then in supporting the Shah.” He urged them to be sensitive to the “defensive Iran that feels vulnerable”.
According to Obama, Iran was developing nukes, not to destroy Israel or create a Shiite empire in the region, but because it was emotionally scarred by the policies of the Carter administration.
Third world foreign policy applied the moral condescension of liberals toward minorities on a global scale. The same social justice mindset that freed underclass criminals from responsibility for their crimes, blaming them on an oppressive society, liberated entire nations of moral accountability.
Iran’s theocracts, like the street corner mugger, are victims of oppression, instead of their agents.
The same simplistic mathematics of social justice divides the world into the oppressors and the oppressed. The oppressors are the strongest and the most capable, the capitalist pigs and the flag wavers of western nations, while the oppressed are anyone who opposes them by any means.
Only the oppressors have moral agency, while the oppressed are reacting to their oppression.
When the Iranian regime shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, it was responding to President Trump’s oppression, and the entire history of American oppression of Iran going back to the seventies.
Iran didn’t shoot the plane down. 40 years of American oppression did. Just as the homeless guy punching an elderly woman in the face didn’t do it. Gentrification and our class system did.
The Iranian regime didn’t do anything on its own initiative. Just as the guy breaking into your car didn’t do anything. He’s a victim of society. So was General Soleimani. And the guy firing those missiles. Oppressed people don’t have any moral agency. Their only moral activity is resistance. And if the resistance kills a whole bunch of Iranian students in the sky and on the streets, that’s understandable.
As a certain Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter once said of Communist mass murders, “To put it brutally – you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Just think of all those folks flying to Canada as more eggs and the IRGC and Soleimani’s old gang as the makers of the omelets of utopia.
The Left responds to an MS-13 beheading in a D.C. suburb or Iran’s missile attacks on a Ukrainian passenger plane with the traditional retort of moral idiots, “What do you expect of oppressed people?”
Oppressed people have no moral agency. They can’t be expected not to hijack planes, murder millions of Cambodian peasants, rape a girl coming home from work in Queens, or knock over a Korean grocery.
Traditional religion believed that we all, barons and serfs, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, have a moral relationship with G-d. The church of social justice rejected this divine relationship, and instead defined morality by our fixed power relationships with one another. And these relationships were defined by group identities, first along the lines of class, then race, gender, religion, sexuality, and an incoming mass of new identities mediated by the evolving system of intersectional victimhood.
The members of the powerful groups were the oppressive sinners and the oppressed were the saints.
The only law was to challenge oppression. Every crime existed within this struggle, the class struggle, the race war, and all the other manifold conflicts against sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, and all the new isms and phobias, their obvious contradictions irrelevant within the greater context.
It doesn’t matter that Iran kills gay people because the real homophobes are white American Christians. Nor does it matter that a black nationalist attacked a synagogue with a machete because the real anti-Semites are white American Christians. It doesn’t matter that Iran shot down a passenger jet filled with its own people because the real ‘jet-shooter-downers’ are President Trump and his supporters.
The bad behavior of oppressed people is a reaction to our oppression. They internalized our homophobia, racism, mass murder of brown people, and when we’re destroyed, they will be purified.
If you understand, as every true lefty does, that America is the source of the world’s evil, then you understand, as House Speaker Pelosi does, that what Iran did to the jet or its protesters, doesn’t matter.
It also didn’t matter how many millions of people Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the rest were killing.
The Left defended the architects of a Communist genocide in Cambodia that killed millions because they were only reacting to the crisis of American imperialism. Communist atrocities in China had likewise been a response to United States foreign policy. Stalin’s crimes, including his alliance with Hitler, were excused on the same grounds, as reactions to American and European policies toward the USSR.
Even Hitler was initially defended as reacting to the unfair burdens imposed by the end of WW1.
That is how we get to the notion that Iran can shoot down a passenger plane and it’s our fault.
The Democrats, the media, academia, and the rest of the train of moral defectives and perpetual resistance members building utopia a million regulations and corpses at a time, consider anyone who opposes America, especially President Trump, to be an ally of their righteous resistance.
In this backward calculus, Iran and China are members of the anti-Trump resistance, the vanguard of the oppressed peoples of the world, while the opponents of these totalitarian regimes, who risk their lives to condemn Xi and Khamenei, are running dogs of the capitalist order, and deserve to be shot.
The oppressors are the oppressed. And the oppressed are the oppressors. Freedom is slavery and slavery is freedom. It’s so simple that you don’t need a PhD level course in Orientalism to understand it.
Just spend a few weeks watching MSNBC until your brain melts.
A century of crimes was excused by progressives who saw a struggle between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. The ‘Them’ were flag-waving bourgeois capitalist scum dedicated to maintaining the existing order. The ‘Us’ was a motley crew that included everyone from western academics and reporters, to mass murdering Communists and, in the latter era, Islamic terrorists who toss gay people off buildings for Allah.
What united the ‘Us’ faction was its opposition to the oppressive order of the United States. The members of this ‘resistance’ might express that opposition by murdering millions of Cambodians, starving Russian peasants, shooting Jews, and shooting down Ukrainian passenger planes, but these are reactions to the oppression of the United States. Or, as Rep. Speier describes them, “collateral damage”.
The worldview that allows for the murder of Cambodians who wore glasses or Iranian students heading to Canada assumes that the only true moral end is a world revolution against the primal evil of capitalism, globalism, neo-liberalism or whatever the current term in vogue for the existing order is.
This new world order will be utopian. It will no longer need to massacre protesters in the streets, starve peasants, and lubricate the gears of revolution, socialist, Islamic, or otherwise, with human blood.
But, until that blessed day arrives, no one who works to overthrow the existing order and usher in the new order can be held accountable for their crimes no matter how many millions of people they kill.
The means of the new world order justify any and all of the murderous ends.
The media feels obligated to protect Iran as a member of the coalition of the resistance to America. And to America’s current reactionary incarnation in the form of President Trump, MAGA hats, and flag pins.
It colludes in mass murder by brutal tyrannies in the name of a better world.
This better world, we are told, will end racism. Yet robbing people of moral agency because they are different has always been the real racism. There is no worse crime than taking away a man’s morality.
When the Left decided to treat foreign countries the way that it related to domestic minorities, it signed off on mass murder, and became unable to offer a single intelligent opinion about the rest of the world. Adopting social justice as its foreign policy lens convinced it that other nations hate us not because they have their own motives and agendas rooted in over a thousand years of history, most of which predates our existence, but that they are reacting to us and that their lives revolve entirely around our actions.
Speier, Gabbard, and Pelosi have no notion of the history of Islam, or the historic impulses that drive the ambitions of a Khamenei, Erdogan, or Baghdadi. Instead, the idea that they are always reacting to the last thing we did becomes the explanation for everything. That is why every critique of Israel’s actions in Gaza ignores the Muslim Brotherhood’s legacy going back almost a century to focus on the blockade.
If you are going to build up America, Israel, or even Europe, into the villains of the world, it’s best not to have a sense of history, or any idea of what the world was like before the existence of the United States of America, the reborn nation of Israel, or, England and France, but to believe that there was a primeval world filled with wise Islamic astrologers, feminist Greek warriors, Native American shamans, and African dryads, who would have lived in peace, but for the coming of the Industrial Revolution.
This idiotic romanticism cultivated by dilettantes into good art and then bad politics and worse science has killed hundreds of millions of people in the faint hope of returning to a mystical feudalism where life expectancy peaked at forty and the average person couldn’t read or survive an infection. It’s bad enough to condemn the developed world to this madness, but attempts to implement these collective agricultural utopias left miles of bodies strewn across the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia.
The twisted road to the idyllic utopia also requires believing that the civilized are the oppressors and that the savages destroying civilization have no moral agency, but that their violence has a moral end.
And anyone who accepts that premise believes that terrorists can do no wrong.