Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blame America First…or Blame America NEVER?

I am weary on to death of constantly hearing from reichwing nutters, every time anyone levels any criticism at U.S. policies.
One corollary of this inane argument is the accusation that any criticism of Israeli policies somehow automatically makes one an ‘anti-Semite’. Let’s deconstruct these two arguments simultaneously but separately.

To suggest that criticism of U.S. policy somehow makes one “anti-American” is ludicrous. A policy, any policy, is not the country, much like a flag is a symbol and not the embodiment of the country by any stretch of the imagination. To suggest otherwise is to insist that, for example, an actor is his role By this inane standard, Sir Anthony Hopkins should be incarcerated and restrained like this:

1. Because he played Dr. Hannibal Lechter! If you think about it for even a moment, you can see how ludicrous this is. Of course, if we actually take to heart that the U.S. is actually a “...government of the people, by the people, for the people...”, then we truly must take responsibility for those policies, which necessitates that we criticize policies of the government with which we disagree. If we don’t, then we are responsible for such policies and all the attendant consequences and blowback.

2. In the case of Israel, simply due to the fact that one may take issue with any particular, or even all, policies of the Israeli state cannot in any way realistically be said to be, per se, evidence of anti-Semitism. As is, unfortunately, the case in the U.S., the policies of the state of Israel are not necessarily congruent with the population of Israel. For example, the entirety of the population of Israel do not agree with the settlement project, just as the entirety of the U.S. polity does not agree with the present occupation of Iraq.

3. The main thrust of both groups, the “Blame America First!” reichwing nutters and the “Oppose Israeli policies = anti-Semite”, is to equate disagreement, criticism or even questioning as equivalent to absolute antithesis. The “Blame America First!” crowd, in particular, takes the position that every policy of the U.S., past, present and future, is always right, never to be questioned. However, when one brings up such unsettling questions as the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Native Americans, the chattel slavery of African Americans, the brutal treatment of various immigrant groups (“No Irish need apply”, “No Dogs or Irishmen Allowed”, etc., etc., etc.,), these self same chest thumping uber-patriots dismiss all such behaviors, repeated time and time and time again in our history as ‘aberrations’. Aberrant, as defined by Merriam-Webster is a: “straying from the right or normal way”. However, if a behavior is repeated over and over and over it is no longer a “straying from the right or normal way”; it is the normal way.

In conclusion, it is of utmost importance that, on every occasion when confronted by those who try to denigrate any opinion contrary to the reichwing CW and their own, that we try to educate them to their own ignorance (i.e., “the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness”). Please be gentle in your instruction; most of these nutters simply don’t understand the depths of their own ignorance and the shock of having to deal with reality could push these poor delusional dingbats right over the edge.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lack of Logic and Civility in Discourse…on the ‘Liberal’ Left?

An e-mail discourse with an acquaintance who is a ‘liberal’ Democrat, which started cordially enough, was abruptly terminated once I started challenging some of his internalized memes. Sadly, it is not just this particular acquaintance but many, many other ‘liberal’ Democrats who fall back on the memes generated by the Clinton Administration.

In the second of his e-mails, he points to a State Department Report on Kosovo from 1999 and says:

“According to the State Department, at least 90%(!) of the entire 1998 Kosovar Albanian population were forcibly expelled from their home

Perhaps you dispute this, but this strikes me as justifying NATO's war.

I find his statement that “…this strikes me as justifying NATO's war.” disquieting on a variety of levels. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the then head of the National Security Council and now Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, make the rounds of the Sunday talk shows prior to this Administration’s attack on Iraq, bruiting the meme of “…we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." And yet, after our attack upon Iraq and a most thorough search for that ‘smoking gun’, no such weapons were found. But, according to the ‘reasoning’ of my acquaintance, that statement of Ms. Rice ‘justified’ the Bush Administration attack on Iraq.

Further, this acquaintance is an attorney by trade. Therefore, the idea of there being any ‘justification’ for a war other than a UNSC resolution or serious threat of an imminent attack is totally farcical! This is akin to the nonsensical notion, arrived at by the British parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee, that:

"The NATO military intervention was illegal but legitimate. It was illegal because it did not receive prior approval from the United Nations Security Council...."

The internal illogic of the first sentence is simply stunning! The first definition in the dictionary of the word ‘legitimate’ is: “Being in compliance with the law; lawful: a legitimate business.” So, the ‘great minds’ of the cruise missile Left have had to come up with a sentence that is totally and completely self-contradictory! How can something, anything, be both ‘illegal’ and yet ‘legitimate’?

Yet, this ‘liberal’ Democratic acquaintance would be, and to my knowledge has been at the forefront of decrying Bush’s illegal attack on Iraq because he, too, never bothered to get the imprimatur of the UNSC.

Also, many ‘liberals’ laud such as Gen. Wesley Clark as being ‘honorable men’ while decrying such as Gen. Petreaus as being a ‘war criminal’ and a ‘political general’. And yet one of Gen. Clark’s direct subordinates, Lt. Gen. Michael Short, NATO’s air war commander said:

“Lt-Gen Short told the New York Times Yugoslav civilians had to be made to suffer. “I think no power to your refrigerator, no gas to your stove, you can't get to work because the bridge is down -- the bridge on which you held your rock concerts and you all stood with targets on your heads. That needs to disappear at three o'clock in the morning.” As for targets in Kosovo, Lt-Gen Short said he wanted to “take the monkey off the (bomber's) back.”

Yet, far too many ‘liberals’ laud NATO’s air war on Yugoslavia as a ‘humanitarian’ war. Odd, agitating explicitly for the commission of heinous war crimes hardly seems to fit the definition of ‘humanitarian’! And, it should be noted here that, even excepting NATO’s attack on the Chinese Embassy (an act of war, by any definition), there were far, far too many attacks on obviously civilian structures (hospitals, water purification systems, power systems, schools, private residences) to be classed as ‘collateral damage’. By the way, the definition of ‘collateral’ is: Of a secondary nature; subordinate.

As far as Gen. Wesley Clark himself was concerned, he presided over the massive use of Depleted Uranium weapons during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. As to his being a ‘political’ general, he was “…in charge of NATO's "spin" in the Yugoslavia bombardment. Clark called the destruction of a Yugoslav train filled with civilians by a NATO missile "an uncanny accident." He said the same each time that NATO bombed civilian targets, which happened frequently.” ~ “Gen. Wesley Clark: War Criminal” By MITCHEL COHEN And yet, to this day, he is reverently deferred to as some kind of ‘honorable’ man whose opinions and judgments should be taken seriously.

Again, it needs to be pointed out, simply because Clinton and his administration are, in comparison to the Bush administration, better, that is hardly something to be proud of. A band of syphilitic chimps would show themselves superior to this administration.
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