oldschool CxC

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Response to Erik's comment. What to say to nationalism is difficult b/c it's not rational per se, but I gave it a shot.

re: Erik's attacks at Noam Chomsky & Howard Zinn
-- I wanted to address here as well as in my comment :
One of the most interesting & relevant US history books I ever read was by Howard Zinn. I've heard his speeches. He's a hero in our generation. I don't see a need to defend Noam Chomsky either, who is of a similar stature but perhaps even more significant a public figure.

Bush is the one that needs defending, not inspirational speakers on the Left!

I think a better discussion would be -- Why defend a hypocritical internationally disrespected idiot representing greed and 'double think', and why attack 2 people who are well-informed, educated, and respected international thinkers on social issues?

Frankly, you probably don't really care and are just happy wasting my time by making ludicrous posts. But on the off-chance that these are your heart-felt sentiments, I'm willing to try and shine a light on a shocking lack of perspective.


Blogger Erik said...

Zinn and Chomsky are 'respected international speakers'? Maybe, but only by socialists and the like, which is probably why you got your panties in a bunch at my dismissing them as heroes only to naive coeds. Perhaps you are frustrated that these All Knowing Super Geniuses have no real power in America or the world, while the 'idiots' are running the show.

And of course it's typical to assign illicit motives or willful ignorance to the other side rather than acknowledging a mere difference of opinion. Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning.

I take comfort in the facts on the ground, and don't need to project liberal guilt onto the enemies of civilization in order to make them palatable fellow travelers. When you tally the scorecard at the end of the day, I can sleep at night even with Abu Graib, Gitmo, the stupider parts of the Patriot Act, and a ton of tactical blunders. Because that beats by a mile being reflexively anti-Bush and anti-American to such a degree that you align yourself with those who wish to oppress women, oppress religious freedom, oppress entire races, install Sharia law across the entire world, etc., etc., etc.

This campaign to end the Age of Tyrants is one of the more liberal uses of the military in recent history, which is why it's interesting to see lefties contort themselves to find ways to oppose it without outright siding with the jihadists. Doesn't it bother you when Al Qaeda releases a statement decrying 'American Imperialism' and you find yourself agreeing with them? That would give me pause, personally, when they coopt the language of the left in an attempt to split western loyalties and weaken our resolve. Maybe you believe all that horseshit, but I'll extend to you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't. But these are the people you have aligned yourself with, and if that isn't a 'shocking lack of perspective' then I don't know what is.

9:13 AM  
Blogger REkz said...

Wow. This viewpoint is really impressive. The idea that Bush will be the hero that ends the 'age of tyrants' sounds like jingoism to me. (Or Bushit, as the phrase goes.) It's like arguing that Reaganomics crushed the Russians (and ignoring the damage his outrageous deficit spending did to the economy -- although people paid that $$ back w/taxes under Clinton).

re: Zinn/Chomsky comment: I'll make a similar 'sophist' argument -- Bush is a good president ONLY to the most selfish, stupid, and backwards of the USA. His presidency represents perhaps the poorest correspondence of ideals and application of all-time -- although he has yet to re-institute slavery. I'm sure he's itching to do something similar.

So, if Bush hates Tyrants, why is he gaily strolling around, holding the Saudi royalty's hands? Is it b/c of their incredible human rights records?

Why is the USA in Iraq? B/c of oil, bottom line. (To me, Bush is an impresive President b/c he can do all these amazing things WHILE ON VACATION. But then again, seems to me like he's been on vacation his whole life. ) American hawks were happy to have a chance to go in there and take another chunk of the Mid East under American control.

My favorite part of YOUR argument is saying that this is a 'liberal use of the military. I think you are using the word liberal incorrectly. Perhaps it'd be better to say, 'free and easy' use of military power. While I admit I'm not a 'liberal' (I'm a radical, in no way a moderate), using overpowering force against a country that has not taken any hostile action, declaring offensive war that is ruled illegal by 90% of the world, that violates the Geneva convention, and was pre-arranged by a conspiracy of American wealthy power conglomerates -- does not seem to me so 'liberal'.

Re: jihad -- maybe I should realize that a 'jihad' is so much worse than a 'crusade', but for some reason the rationale for that escapes me. Probably b/c much of my ancestors were killed by right-wing Christian religious zealots who's goals were spiritual/racial purity as well. Crusade, Jihad -- what's the damned difference? They're all horrible inhumane acts and should not be practiced in a time when people have enough education to know that violence is a last resort, not a first option.
I also believe the 'jihad' movement would have had less power if American foreign policy wasn't so aggressive/invasive (particularly re: Iraq/Iran), or if the USA had not given billions of dollars in money & arms to the Middle East.

Bush & Co want an enemy so they can take American public $$$ and put it into private hands via 'Defence spending' (aka military $). When the right wingers can get a war to happen, they profit on the privatization of tax $ (by taking a profit cut), by destroying millions of dollars of military hardware and replacing it at a profit. Along with lining their vaults with your tax money, they can institute repressive measures (Patriot Act, support of Minute Men, airport security, national ID cards, profiling, etc) by saying it helps security or the military efforts. Did you ever read '1984'? It's almost here!

What amazes me is that you not only defend these tactics, but what I see as criminal acts, you see as positive acts. Next thing you know, you'll be arguing to me that the 'trickle down' theory is great, that NAFTA is humane, or that non-violent criminals should get maximum jail sentences. What next?

2:49 PM  

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