The embarassing, sophomoric malice of Obama-administration foreign policy

This is what happens when the academic Left runs American foreign policy.

For those who’ve lived under a rock for the past four-plus decades, the American academy has been characterized by two prime impulses: one substantive, the other stylistic. First, there’s the substantive claim that the problems of the world can largely — if not entirely — be traced back to America’s sins and the sins of our Western allies, most notably Israel. These sins have caused the peoples of the world to accumulate a long list of “legitimate grievances,” and the problem of anti-American or anti-Israeli violence is therefore best dealt with by dealing with the underlying grievance. Thus the fury at George Bush and the steadfast belief that it was American foreign policy and not a particular strain of Islamic theology that fanned the fires of jihad. Thus the fury at Israel when it asserts its right of self-defense, even to the point of blaming the rise of the Islamic State on Israeli/Palestinian relations, when the Islamic State is fighting its wars against Shiites, Kurds, Yazidis, and Americans.

Next, there’s the sophomoric, malicious style of campus rhetoric, where stigma is the preferred method of argument. It’s hard to overstate the propensity towards name-calling even of “elite” academics, and the culture of the academy is one where groupthink is enforced and reinforced through vicious rhetoric. Their opponents can’t be merely wrong. Instead they are racist, bigoted, homophobic, or — despite professed love of the disabled — “Aspergery.” The arrogance is overwhelming, and the fake tough-guy posture of name-calling elitists is laughable to everyone but themselves.