When Communists were the Enemy du Jour -- Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" -- they were the root of all Evil, the Soul-less, God-less Machiavellian Warriors with designs on World Domination who posed a grave, imminent and existential threat to our nation, to everything we held dear. Back then, in the Era of The Communist Enemy, even to suggest that there was anything restrained or unthreatening or at least rational about the Evil Communists would subject one to all sorts of invective -- involving allegations of anti-Americanism and treason and moral relativism and the like -- from the National Reviews of the worlds.
But no longer. Now that the Communist super-villains of yesteryear have been replaced by Islamic Terrorists as today's Prime Enemy, Communists have undergone a radical, retroactive make-over. According to National Review, back then we could afford laws like FISA and we could expect our Government to abide by annoying constitutional guarantees (such as the Fourth Amendment) because those Communist simpletons were rational, sensible, even honorable enemies -- and not very sophisticated.
Identically, and hilariously (in the most perverse way imaginable), some "conservatives" are even arguing that we treated Nazi detainees well during World War II only because -- unlike the primitive (though simultaneously cunning and sophisticated) Islamic mongrels we battle today -- Nazis were honorable Western gentlemen who posed a far less formidible threat and thus could be treated in accordance with civilized norms.
~ Glenn Greenwald, "The conservative vision of America, by National Review," salon.com, October 16, 2007