US Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley — sacrificed to a liberal delusion

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In his 1964 book the Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism, political theorist James Burnham described the “pathology of liberalism” as a failure to understand what is at stake in confronting totalitarianism.

James Burnham (1905 1987)

James Burnham (1905 1987) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly fifty years later, it seems we still suffer the same pathology. Take the case of  U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, sacked from his teaching duties at the Joint Forces Staff College after offering his class lessons that his ever so sensitive – and politically corrected – superiors deemed offensive to Muslims.

Dooley, it seems, was teaching an elective course entitled Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism. Apparently his superiors judged that he was describing Islam in a negative fashion. They were persuaded to this position aver receiving a letter from 57 Muslim groups upset at his teaching.

Thus, ever quick to adopt the bent position to Muslim whim, the Joints Chiefs of Staff decided the veteran officer – 20 years combat experience, including in Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq — had to go. (You have to wonder where the Obama White House was in all of this.) Indeed, according to some reports, JCS Chairman General Martin Dempsey “personally attacked”Dooley on C-Span on May 10, 2012 during a Pentagon News Conference” – never mind that “the course content, the guest speakers, and the method of instruction” had long been approved by the Joint Forces Staff College.

General Martin E. Dempsey

General Martin E. Dempsey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But then we shouldn’t be surprised. Even though the Islamic world has largely turned its back on President Barack Obama repeated peace gestures, his administration continues to impose the mustn’t-offend-the-Muslim mantra on the American government and its bureaucrats.

The result, as former CIA agent Claire M. Lopez recently observed, is that “all U.S. military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau, and Joint Chiefs are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated order to ensure that henceforth, no U.S. military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive (or just too information.

According to Bob Unruh, a journal with WND World, several Islamic groups, including some with known links to terrorism, “demanded that all government training materials be purged, a mandatory retraining program be instituted and punishment be instituted for ‘bigoted trainers’ who would use ‘biased training materials.’”
The groups, Unruh said,  included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Islamic Circle of North American and Islamic Relief USA.

“Among the information cited as damaging was an FBI report that explained individuals who convert to Islam and suddenly begin wearing Muslim attire, growing beards and travel to Muslim countries could become radicalized.”

“Texts that were deemed biased included Robert Spencer’s The Truth About Mohammed: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion.”

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Dooley, observed: “In order to appease Muslims and the White House, General Dempsey and the Department of Defense rushed to punish LTC Dooley. In the process, they violated … our nation’s core principles of free speech and academic freedom guaranteed by our Constitution.

According to the Thompson, Dooley lectured on radical Islamist ideology, and encouraged students to debate the issues openly, using “prior-approved course content, established guest speakers and doctrinal teaching methodologies.

“After a lifetime of service to his country, he is being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and expediency by the Army he so loyally served . . . and loves.”

There should be no surprise in this. Our post-modern intellectuals have us taught that words like “enemy” are atavistic. We are too cosmopolitan, too sophisticated to think of those who would kill us as enemies; they are only misinformed.

Indeed, after decades of listening to the relativistic catechism of our intellectual elites — Above All, Be Tolerant – westerners are so drained of the capacity to know how to respond to real-world hostility that they almost instinctively surrender.

Burnham argues that this inability or unwillingness to confront the world as it is – yes, there are people who hate the West and want to destroy its culture — is, by and large, a byproduct of western prosperity for which the liberal elites feel guilty because not everybody on the planet enjoys that same “enlightened” prosperity, which they assume everybody wants. (Never mind that some reject the kind of society that prosperity has bred.) He describes this attachment to unreality as a near-suicidal pathology to which the relatively privileged strata of western society is particularly prone.

It is a modern phenomenon born out of frustration at the imperfections of the world. The modern liberal technological project is, ultimately, all about solving the problems of the world: end poverty, feed the starving, end war, make everybody happy. As Burnham puts its: “The guilt of the liberal causes him to feel obliged to do something about any and every social problem, to cure every social ill,” even if he has no certain solution to the problems he confronts.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t conform so readily to liberal utopianism. And this reality, Burnham argues, generates a guilt-ridden sense of failure on the part of the intelligentsia. Instead of asking whether there is some inadequacy on the part of those they think they are helping the “privileged strata” turns the failure of its fantasy for a perfect world inward. The result is a kind of self-loathing that becomes hatred of all things western.

“When the Western liberal’s feeling of guilt and his associated feeling of moral vulnerability before the sorrows and demands of the wretched become obsessive, he often develops a generalized hatred of Western civilization and of his own country as part of the West.”

That, arguably, is what we’re seeing in the current American administration — a kind of self-loathing for Western civilization that, as it seems, has now filtered down to those who are charged with defending the United States.

I call it suicide by delusions. Lt. Col. Dooley is just the most recent victim.

  • Muslim Influence in Pentagon Prevails; Material on Radical Islam “Purged” (
  • Military Leaders Being Chosen For Political Beliefs – Not Military Skills! (
  • Army colonel threatens to sue top general for ‘concealing truth about Islam’ (
  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. Fired for Criticizing Islam at Joint Forces Staff College (
  • Army colonel threatens to sue top general for ‘concealing truth about Islam’ (

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