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.

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