Facts Are Meaningless

July 27, 2008

A history professor of mine once told the class that “facts are meaningless.” (Never mind, of course, that in order to actually believe this, you must concede that at least one fact as meaning….)

Barack Obama agrees:

ABC’s Terry Moran asked Obama whether – “knowing what you know now” – he would reconsider his opposition to last year’s surge of U.S. troops in Iraq.
“Well, no,” Mr. Obama replied.

He even ignores facts in prepared speeches, as Jeff Jacoby points out:

“People of the world,” Obama declaimed, “look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.” But the world didn’t stand as one during the Cold War; it was riven by an Iron Curtain. For more than four decades, America and the West confronted an implacable enemy on the other side of that divide. What finally defeated that enemy and ended the Cold War was not harmony and goodwill, but American strength and resolve.

And John Bolton:

Perhaps Obama needs a remedial course in Cold War history, but the Berlin Wall most certainly did not come down because “the world stood as one.” The wall fell because of a decades-long, existential struggle against one of the greatest totalitarian ideologies mankind has ever faced. It was a struggle in which strong and determined U.S. leadership was constantly questioned, both in Europe and by substantial segments of the senator’s own Democratic Party. In Germany in the later years of the Cold War, Ostpolitik – “eastern politics,’ a policy of rapprochement rather than resistance – continuously risked a split in the Western alliance and might have allowed communism to survive. The U.S. president who made the final successful assault on communism, Ronald Reagan, was derided by many in Europe as not very bright, too unilateralist and too provocative. 

 

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