Which Side Are You On?

by Roger L. Simon

I used to be proud to be an American because our country—for the most part anyway—stood firm against the totalitarians of the world. We were, indeed, a beacon to the nations in that regard.

It’s now the reverse. We feed them.

That began to a great degree under the Obama administration and has grown under the current administration.

Everywhere you look—China, Venezuela, Iran, even Russia because we are essentially financing its war on Ukraine through energy policies—you find the United States on the wrong side of the equation, on the side of the despots against the people.

I was reminded of that by a Dec. 2 article in The Times of Israel—“Does Khamenei’s niece slamming his ‘child-killing regime’ mark beginning of the end?“ It begins:

“When the children of the Iranian elite–known locally as Aghazadeh–are loudly and publicly attacking the basic principles of the revolutionary regime and calling for international action, you know that the ruling elite is cracking and the regime could actually be heading for collapse.

“This week, Farideh Moradkhani, the niece of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, lashed out at her uncle’s regime, branding it “murderous and child-killing,” and called on the international community to stop supporting it.”

I would like to think the author of the piece, Avi Davidi, isn’t being unduly optimistic—we’ve heard about the end of the vicious theocracy many times before—but maybe this time, it could actually happen. We can only hope.

But the point is where in all this is the United States—the folks who stormed Omaha Beach, risking life and limb to an extraordinary degree, to rid the world of Nazism? Living under a government that secretly makes oil deals with the mullahs as they do with the communist oppressors in Venezuela, propping both up, while at the same time telling themselves and others that they are doing all this to rid humanity of “global warming.”

No, they’re not. They’re doing this for reasons of greed and the most errant political ambition.

Meanwhile, in China, mass protests continue against lockdowns and the regime itself in the world’s most powerful communist state ever, dwarfing the former Soviet Union at its height.

Where is the United States as the people in the world’s most populous country struggle against pervasive oppression, turning human beings into automatons, that, because of technology, was unimaginable even a few years ago?

Mum’s the word from our administration.

The old left-wing anthem ironically applies more than ever—“Which Side Are You On?”—but the context and meaning have flipped. In fact, it has done a direct reversal in more ways than one as the left and liberals have become supporters of the very people they used to say they adamantly opposed.

At least when we were cooperating with Stalin, there was a decent excuse—a more potent enemy on the march who had taken over most of Europe.

Now, there is no excuse.

As with many putative statements by famous men and women, the alleged quote by the 18th-century Irish statesman Edmund Burke—“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”—may be apocryphal.

Burke did, however, definitively say something similar in his “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents”:

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

An unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle— eloquent, though daunting, words that accurately reflect our times. Burke’s advice that “the good must associate” also is more timely than ever.

It’s the best recommendation I have seen so far to make us proud to be Americans again—not just in a song, but in reality.

First published in the Epoch Times.


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