KING was a strong and clearrnvoice for freedom,” declared PresidentrnGeorge W. Bush during a Martin LutherrnKing, Jr., Day commemoration. Hisrnnominee for attorney general, JohnrnAshcroft, proudly proclaimed duringrnSenate testimony that, “By executive order,rnI made Missouri one of the first statesrnto recognize Martin Luther King Day.”rnThese are strange words from self-describedrnconservatives, even of the “compassionate”rnstripe.rnAlthough the Supreme Court nullifiedrncongressional antidiscriminationrnmeasures in the Civil Rights Cases ofrn1883, the counterconstitutional phenomenonrnrecrudesced in Titles II andrnVII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Thernless-than-scrupulous Warren Court validatedrnTitle II through the CommercernClause in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. UnitedrnStates and Katzenbach v. McClung. Arnnefarious nexus connects these provisionsrnto such contemporar)’ statutes as thernAmericans with Disabilihes Act and thernproposed Employment Non-DiscrinrinationrnAct, which would criminalize discriminationrnon the basis of sexual orientation.rnThey form a regulatory lattice thatrnrestricts federalism and proprietary discretion.rnIf one individual exemplifies the antidiscriminationrnapparatus, it is MartinrnLuther King, Jr. He extolled the studentrnsit-ins that confused trespassing with thernadvance of justice and spearheaded therndrive for Tides II and VII. King’s antiproprietaryrnactivism reached full bloomrnin the social-democratic rhetoric of hisrnlast vears. His 1967 presidential addressrnto the Southern Christian LeadershiprnConference contained such nonsense as:rn”[T]he kingdom of brotherhood is foundrnneither in the thesis of communism norrnthe antithesis of capitalism but in a higherrnsynthesis. It is found in a higher synthesisrnthat combines the truths of both.”rnIn 1953, Russell Kirk argued that thern”Persuasion that freedom and propertyrnare inseparably connected” is one of thernsix canons of conservative thought—anrnaffirmation that has fallen on hard times,rngiven the philo-King sentiments of GOPrnleaders. (A video prologue to Bush’s acceptancernspeech at the 2000 RepublicanrnConvention featured King.) An Americanrnright that countenances the EqualrnEmplovment Opportunity Commissionrnand related legislation is at best philosophicallyrnincoherent. At worst, it becomesrncomplicit with leftist projects underrnthe banner of “bipartisanship.” ThernCiceronian malum turpe that Paul Gottfriedrnattributed to the American right inrnthese pages (“Martin Luther King, Jr., asrnConservative Hero,” April 1997) has onlyrnintensified.rnThere is a scene in Mel Gibson’srnBraveheart in which William Wallacernand his men are honored after defeatingrnmassive English forces at the Battle ofrnStirling Bridge. After the ceremony,rnbickering ensues over tides claimed by arnScottish nobleman. Wallace and hisrnmen begin to walk out. Wlren asked by arnnobleman what he intends to do next,rnWallace replies that he plans to invadernEngland. The nobleman laughs andrnexclaims, “Invade? It is impossible!”rnWallace retorts, “Why? Why is that impossible?rnYou’re so concerned witli squabblingrnfor the scraps from Longshanks’rntable that you’ve missed your God-givenrnright to something better,” His words applyrnall too well to those conservatives whornthink their freedom lost unless they makernobeisance to the partv’ of His Majesti,- Lincolnrn—and now, the Rev. Dr. King.rn— Mvfes KantorrnG E O R G E W. B U S H is already underrnpressure not to “forget our global responsibilities.”rnThe usual suspects have takenrntheir cue from a January 3 WashingtonrnTimes article by the paper’s militar)- correspondent.rnBill Gertz, who is notoriousrnfor obtaining and publishing classifiedrninformation. Gertz, citing a Defense IntelligencernAgency report from last summer,rnclaimed that Russia was “movingrntactical nuclear weapons into a militaryrnbase in Eastern Europe for tiie first timernsince the Cold War ended” in “an apparentrneffort to step up militan,’ pressure onrnthe expanded NATO alliance.” Gertzrncalled the alleged “movement” of “battlefield”rnnukes —”tactical” warheads usedrnon artillery shells, short-range missiles,rncruise missiles, and torpedoes —the fulfillmentrnof Russian “threats” to respondrnto NATO expansion.rnGertz’s article prompted official Russianrndenials and set off a wave of Russophobicrninternationalist blather at ImperiumrnCentral, otherwise known as “ourrnnation’s capital.” State Departmentrnspokesman Kenneth Bacon claimed that,rnif the Russians had moved the nukes intornKaliningrad (a Russian enclave on thernBaltic Sea sandwiched between Polandrnaird the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia,rnand Estonia), it would “violate” a “pledge”rnto keep the Baltics “nuclear free.” (Wiatrnabout the post-Cold War understandingrnbetween Russia and the West that NATOrnwould not expand eastward?) On CapitolrnHill, Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-NY),rnoutgoing chairman of the House InternationalrnRelations Committee, called therncharges “an alarming development thatrnthreatens the new democracies of Centralrnand Eastern Europe.” Gilman saidrnthe reports “underscore the need tornpromptly [sic] enlarge the NATO alliancernto include” the Baltic states. ThernWashington Times followed up the Gertzrncharges with a Januar)’ 4 editorial by JessicarnEugate of the Council on ForeignrnRelations. Eugate called on Bush torn”push forward with the historic process ofrnNATO enlargement” and argued thatrnRussia must demonstrate that she is “genuinelyrnwilling” to “work with the West”rnto avoid being isolated.rnMeanwhile, a Kremlin spokesmanrncalled the charges a provocation designedrnto justify further NATO expansion.rnIn addition to the Baltic states, thernNATOcrats are eyeballing Georgia, a futurernunified Rumania (reincorporatingrnMoldova, including the Slavic—and pro-rnRussian—Dniester region), and Ukrainernas potential NATO members, moves thatrnwould isolate Russia and stoke furtherrnfears of Western domination in this onceproudrnnation now threatened by Islamicrninsurgency in the South, the collapse ofrnits industrial and technological infrastructure,rndemographic decline, and thernrefusal of Western creditors to write offrnSoviet debts. Many Kremlin watchersrnare claiming that a cabal of spies, militaryrnbureaucrats, and ex-KGB officers is alreadyrnworking up a “mobilization” planrnfor taking charge of the economy’s “commandingrnheights” as a response to chaosrnand external threats.rnThe return of Russia as tire “Evil Empire”rnwoidd suit both the Kremlin inilitarv/rnsecurity apparatus and Western globalists.rn”Himianitarian interventions” willrnlikeh’ not be enough to keep the NATOrnalliance together, especially now that thernEuropeans arc seriously looking at creatingrntheir own defense forces. Meanwhile,rnPutin is considering deep militar)’rnstaff cuts and reductions in strategic armsrnthat the Kremlin cannot afford anyway.rnWhat’s a Russian military bureaucrat torndo? The ball is now in Dubya’s court.rn— Denis Petrovrnl o Siihscrihern(800) 877-5459rnMARCH 2001/7rnrnrn