In The Manchurian Candidate, the son of a prominent right-wing politician is captured by the Soviets and brainwashed in a secret Manchurian location. His task is to assassinate a presidential candidate, thus ensuring the election of the demagogic vice-president. Hence, the title “Manchurian Candidate.”
The film has several parallels to current events. The main difference is that in those days, Americans had to be brainwashed into serving enemy interests by psy-ops teams. Nowadays, they come self-brainwashed with some indoctrinative assist from the American educational system.
In the film, a scary lady with leftist sympathies who looks vaguely like Hillary Clinton manipulates her husband into high political office. In real life, a scary lady with leftist leanings who looks vaguely like Angela Lansbury (only scarier) manipulates herself into high political office.
In her case, teams of brainwashers are not required, since she has brainwashed herself into believing that foreign governments are dumping truckloads of cash into her family foundation because she’s such a charming and intelligent woman. And also because Arab sovereigns like nothing better than to do their part to improve the lives of the poor, the hungry, the environmentally underserved, and kids who need braces—in short, the very causes for which the foundation was founded.
Another similarity is that in the film, the Angela Lansbury character has some sort of hypnotic power over her son, the unwitting assassin. Whenever it begins to dawn on him that something funny is going on, she flashes a Queen of Diamonds playing card and he falls into a catatonic state of complete obedience. In the present situation the Angela Lansbury look-alike has merely to flash the gender card and, presto, skeptical voters fall back into line.
There are parallels to other movies as well. Today’s Queen of Diamonds has a secret server in her home so that her exchanges with foreign dono—I mean “diplomats”—can’t be traced. I’m not sure if the server takes up only one room of the palatial house, or a whole suite of rooms. And who knows what’s in the cavern-like basement? It’s all faintly reminiscent of those James Bond thrillers in which the villain’s remote island estate sits atop a vast underground military-industrial complex.
At some point the analogy breaks down. You could still convince a sixties audience that leftists were willing to sell out the country. We, on the other hand, have convinced ourselves that we live in a brave new world where such things never happen—at least, not in modern Western societies. No one would dare to pull a fast one on us because we’re just too smart. We’ve grown up watching CSI, we went to schools that taught critical thinking, and our history texts were written by Howard Zinn. We’ve also been nurtured on relativism, so if it were discovered that Arabs controlled the White House, we would shrug our shoulders and say, “at this point, what does it matter?”
The Clinton-Arab connection actually goes back to the time when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas and worked to secure a hefty Saudi contribution to a Middle-Eastern studies program at the University of Arkansas. But let’s skip all that and fast forward to relatively recent times when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed her longtime aide Huma Abedin as Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department. When it was discovered that Abedin’s family was deeply involved in the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia, very few eyebrows were raised. After all, even President Obama had relatives in the Muslim Brotherhood. So it would have been silly to make something of it.
It’s probably just a coincidence that while working for the Clintons, Huma herself was the assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs which—you guessed it—is a Muslim Brotherhood journal. Before that, and while still interning at the White House, she was an executive board member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at George Washington University. The MSA was the first Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States and George Washington was the first Muslim president. Well, the latter hasn’t yet been firmly established, but it’s just a matter of time until those Saudi-funded Mid-East studies professors at the University of Arkansas and the Saudi-funded professors at Georgetown (Bill’s alma mater) discover the prayer rug in the attic at Mount Vernon. It’s also probably a coincidence that, like her boss, Huma conducted State Department business using her own personal e-mail address, connected, one supposes, to the same master server that served her master so well… er, mistress.
Abedin also worked until recently for the Clinton Foundation. Again, this is no doubt a pure coincidence and, as the old saying goes, it has nothing to do with Islam. Although CSI investigators would have a field day with such coincidences, today’s government officials seem curiously lacking in curiosity. In 2012, Michelle Bachmann and four other House members wrote letters to the Inspector Generals of several government agencies asking them to conduct an investigation into Muslim Brotherhood penetration of the government. They were particularly concerned about Human Abedin in view of her family connections and influential position. They noted that the Clinton State Department had “taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests.”
The request was dismissed by numerous congressmen and senators as “offensive,” “insensitive,” and even “hurtful.” By that time the machinery of the “Islamophobia” industry was already in high gear and it was deemed prudent even by Republicans to defend Abedin and to damn her accusers as McCarthyites.
Still, the case for an inquiry seemed strong. As one McCarthyite, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, observed, even if Abedin was innocent of any wrongdoing, the State Departments own guidelines about foreign family connections would disqualify her for a security clearance for such a sensitive position.
But then, again, a lot of people in sensitive positions don’t seem to qualify for a security clearance. For example, if all your closest relatives were leftists or communists, if your chief mentors were, respectively, a member of the Communist Party and a radical left-wing preacher, and if you used to hang out with known terrorists, you probably couldn’t get a job as a night watchman at an auto parts warehouse. On the other hand, if someone with the same background throws his hat into the presidential ring, he can become Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, and get to set foreign policy.
He also gets to appoint Secretaries of State. It shouldn’t be any surprise if they turn out to be the kind of people who can’t be bothered with security checks. Such people seem to live in an ethereal realm that puts them above suspicion and above conflicts of interest. Normally, when a Secretary of State receives tens of millions in donations from countries that support the spread of a radical ideology, it would be a sign that something is terribly wrong. For an analogy, ask yourself if you would keep someone on at your firm if she had access to sensitive trade secrets and yet received huge gifts from rival corporations while conducting company business on her private server.
You would probably get rid of her pronto. But that’s only if you apply the normal rules of logic—which apparently don’t apply to Secretaries of State appointed by President Obama. If you applied such logic, you might also think there was something awkward about the fact that current Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter is married to an Iranian who has extensive family ties in Iran. As Kenneth Timmerman points out, the FBI usually won’t grant security clearance to “individuals who are married to nationals of an enemy nation or have family members living in that country, for fear of divided loyalties or, more simply, blackmail.” Of course, you would have to be some kind of conspiracy nut to think that having vulnerable in-laws in Iran would in any way compromise Secretary Kerry’s negotiations with the representatives of a country whose leaders routinely indulge in “death to America” rhetoric.
Undoubtedly, the President consulted with his senior adviser Valerie Jarrett about the matter. Since Jarrett was born in Iran and spoke Persian as a child, she would, by current standards of expertise, be assumed to have deep insight into the Persian mind. She could have assured the president that “Great Satan” and “Death to America” are typical of the rhetorical exuberance that characterizes the rich and vibrant Iranian culture. Moreover, she could have allayed any concerns about blackmail. Anyone who has studied “Cliff Notes on Islam” knows that blackmail runs counter to the deeply held beliefs of the mullahs.
Jarretts’ family left Iran when she was five, but apparently those five years were enough to qualify her as an expert on Iranian affairs. According to Discover the Networks, it was revealed in 2012 that for several months, Jarrett “had been leading secret negotiations with representatives of Iran’s Supreme leader… in an effort to normalize relations between the U.S. and Iran.”
The mind spins at the –what’s the word?—the audacity of it all. But the curious thing is not that there are people in high places willing to put self-interest ahead of the national interest. Such people are always with us. The curious thing is that the American people and the American press accept it with such equanimity. During the Obama-Clinton-Kerry-Jarrett-Abedin years, Russia seized the Crimea, ISIS seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, the Taliban re-established itself in Afghanistan, allies stopped trusting us, enemies were emboldened, the Middle East was set on fire, and the Army was drastically reduced. Oh, and the way was cleared for Iran to have nuclear bombs. Future generations—if there are any—will wonder what we were thinking.
What we were thinking, they may discover, goes something like this (in shorthand brain language): “Mustn’t think that! Mustn’t say that! Not nice! What will people think!” You’d have to go back to the Victorian era to find another society with so much concern for propriety of thought and speech. Thomas Sowell put his finger on the phenomenon in a recent editorial. When it comes to matters of survival, he observed, we have “put questions of etiquette above questions of annihilation.”
He’s right. A sort of suicidal etiquette that chokes off common sense has grown up in our society. Under the rules of the new etiquette, we aren’t allowed to say that the Emperor has no clothes. We dare not even point out that the Emperor and his ministers appear to be throwing open the gates to the enemy.
Let’s see: The people of the United States elect as president a man they know very little about. When it becomes obvious that he has deep leftist sympathies combined with deep Islamist sympathies, they elect him again. He, in turn, appoints one Secretary of State who is beholden to Arab largesse, and then, after she steps down, he replaces her with a man who practices folk-song diplomacy and has close family ties with Iran.
The Manchurian Candidate? On one level, the current situation is so full of farce, that a serious drama like The Manchurian Candidate couldn’t do it justice. If you were to make a movie of the current mandarin mess, it might be better to play it for laughs—an Austin Powers-type spoof or something along the lines of Abbott and Costello meet the Manchurian Candidate.
On another level, the situation is so fraught with apocalyptic dangers that only a deadly serious doomsday film—something along the lines of Fail Safe—could bring home the enormity of our current folly. In any event, there’s a title ready made for it. If the first Obama election could be called Death Wish I, and his re-election, Death Wish II, then the election of Hillary Clinton would deservedly merit the title, Death Wish III—The Final Chapter.
William Kilpatrick is the author of Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Visit his site, turningpointproject.com, for more of his commentaries.