It’s always interesting to me how the right wing reacts to certain articles that espouse ideas that are so close to their own. Most especially when those ideas are from the most hated of enemies, the despised New York Times. Catapulting the propaganda via the right wing blogsphere. From Memeorandum:
Discussion: Power Line, Times of London, Townhall.com, The Atlantic Online, Think Progress, Reuters, The Belmont Club, NewsBusters.org, Villainous Company, rubber hose, No More Mister Nice Blog, TigerHawk, Election Central, Commentary, Wake up America, Althouse, Hot Air, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Lawyers, Guns and Money, Eschaton, The Moderate Voice, BBC, USS Neverdock, Informed Comment, Gateway Pundit, Donklephant, National Review, Connecting.the.Dots, Taylor Marsh, The Carpetbagger Report, BLACKFIVE, The Strata-Sphere, The Sundries Shack, Balloon Juice, JustOneMinute, Weekly Standard, Neptunus Lex, Captain’s Quarters, Flopping Aces, Jules Crittenden, Right Wing News, Betsy’s Page, UrbanGrounds, WILLisms.com, Clayton Cramer’s BLOG, QandO, PrairiePundit, Macsmind, Comments From Left Field, Transterrestrial Musings, Dean’s World, Blue Crab Boulevard, TIME, The Young Turks, Telegraph, Sister Toldjah and INDCJournal
You’ll notice a few similar points repeated over and over: The two writers are “liberals” from a “liberal think tank”, Brookings Institution. Neither is really true. Anyone who thinks that Brookings is liberal hasn’t been paying attention.
This smells of a well organized propaganda campaign if ever there was one. “Liberals say the war in Iraq can be won.” Good headline that. And, it’s great fodder for the spinning masses, who can reverse the direction and turn it into something like: The War The Dems May Lose. Brilliant. But, ultimately misguided. Lies come apart. A lesson that these clowns can’t seem to quite comprehend.
And, this isn’t the first time that Kenneth Pollack, the co-writer of the NY Times article above, has carried water for the Bush White House. He did so in August of 2006 in the Washington Post:
Much as Americans may want to believe that the United States can just walk away from Iraq should it slide into all-out civil war, the threat of spillover from such a conflict throughout the Middle East means it can’t. Instead, Washington will have to devise strategies to deal with refugees, minimize terrorist attacks emanating from Iraq, dampen the anger in neighboring populations caused by the conflict, prevent secession fever and keep Iraq’s neighbors from intervening. The odds of success are poor, but, nonetheless, we have to try.
In essence: “Stay the coarse.”, which was the Cheney Administration mantra, and remains so today. I wonder who sent the e-mail to all of the right wing shills above alerting them to the NY Times article this morning? Nicely done. But, pretty obvious.
Of particular note is how the wingnuts swallow this fish whole. No calls for confirmation of the points in the article, as they’ve done with Scott Thomas Beachamp. Considering that the article is in the evil librul traitorous New York Times, you’d think that would neuter the credibility of the article, right?
Yet, there it is, in black and white and they love it. LOVE IT.
Food for thought. There’s a reason behind it all.
Update 2: Think Progress looks at some of the inconsistent facts from O’Hanlon and Pollack’s article.
Update 3: McQ at The Qando Blog steps up and begins the spin when he writes :
The SNAFU Principle has decided reaction to this particular article today smacks of a conspiracy. The proof?
“You’ll notice a few similar points repeated over and over: The two writers are “liberals” from a “liberal think tank”, Brookings Institution.”
Huh. We’re listed with the conspiratorial cabal, but as I scan the post, the words “liberal” and “Brookings Institution” are nowhere to be found. What, did I miss the memo?
And to seal the deal, to make the conspiracy claim irrefutable, he declares breathlessly in an update:Update: Atrios agrees. So does John Cole, and Glenn Greenwald.
Oh, well run up the white flag, the big three have spoken.
The name of the post? Uh, “The right wing echo chamber has a party”. Yeah, I know … irony impaired. At least the blog lives up to its name.
Of course no mention of the substance of the article, not that any was expected.
Interesting for a couple of reasons.
First, McQ seems to think that simply because the words “liberal” and “Brookings Institution” aren’t in HIS posting, that I am wrong, because, you know, I MUST have been talking specifically about HIS blog. Well, no. Sorry, I don’t read it. But, if one is to, oh I don’t know, think about it for a moment, the liberal New York Times, the liberal think tank Brookings… Not a great jump in logic or facts there McQ. Click on some of the dozens of other links I provide, well, it’s pretty obvious. And, it’s quite clear that the word “Liberal” and “Brookings” and “liberal” and “New York Times” go together in the minds of many on the right. Playing childish games doesn’t alter that. But, I’ll give McQ a A for effort. A C- for execution since he falls onto the tried and true “tin foil” hat offensive attack. Poke that puppy with a stick.
Second, I never said it was a conspiracy. I simply said it was a good example of how the echo chamber worked. And, one way it works is via e-mail to a few of the bigger bloggers and it rolls from there. Same thing happens on the left. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s how propaganda is catapulted. Give it a nice kick, and the masses of true believers, like McQ, will eat it up and do all the work. The blogsphere is fantastic in this regard. But, it also shows a level of informational organization (and ideological group think) when so many link to a single article so quickly. Especially when that article is an Op-Ed in the NY Times, it being one of those places that the right loves to link to so frequently, the hub of extremist right wing thought that it is…
My further point was also quite clear: the massive linking was an example of how the right has no compunction about dismissing liberals, except when when fake liberals spout right wing talking points. (See Joe Lieberman) They get pretty gold stars when they can call people who espouse conservative ideas liberals, in some twisted exercise in proving that all liberals were wrong because a select few from the ranks disagree. The Times functions in that way as well. “Read what it says in the New York Times, of all places” is crowed. Add to it the little bit of cognitive dissonance about the NY Times being the citadel of hated liberalism except when it’s spouting right wing talking points… It’s an important observation that is shared by many.
McQ doesn’t address the fact that neither O’Hanlon or Pollack, or Brookings for that matter, are not actually liberal. It’s a misrepresentation that is used to the advantage of the right. Nor does he address the selectiveness of the right in embracing the hated NY Times when it suits their agenda. A clarly propagandistic practice in both instances.
Third, I didn’t address the “facts” in the O’Hanlon and Pollack article simply because I felt that three of the links I provided, Greenwald’s, Think Progress, and Media Matters had already covered that ground more than adequately. Perhaps McQ didn’t click on them or read them, so he was ill informed.
Finally, McQ seems to not understand exactly what the SNAFU Principle is… and gets hung
up on that first word. Pretty typical. It’s a lot of syllables to be sure, and literary. Here’s a clue, McQ. Maybe you should read the book.
So, in the end, it’s rather telling that McQ decides to invoke the tinfoil hat attack, and the condescending attack, when it is plainly clear what I was saying. It must have hit pretty close to the mark to get him all riled up like that, don’t ya think? Maybe he’s just upset cause he never got an invite to the party.
(Correction: For some reason, the WaPo quote that I placed in the final draft reverted back to one I had in a prior draft. The blockquote code in the Memeorandum quote seems to be the culprit. I’ve corrected it.)Read More
– Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.
– Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President’s say-so alone.
– Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.
– Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.
– Engineered the National Security Agency’s warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
– Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.
– Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.
– Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration’s evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq. (Read Fein’s SLATE article)
… to win more votes, give the GOP that edge that it needs, I guess. Any port in a storm, right?
“At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country,” (emphasis added)
That’s Dennis Milligan, chairman of the Saline County Arkansas Republican Party.
I wonder what they call this strategy? The Treason Plan?
This isn’t the first time that members of the right wing have publically voiced support for the terrorists and their agenda in order to further the Conservative agenda. And they wonder why some people think they may have actually planned or had fore knowledge of 9/11? Amazing.Read More
“Go home rag heads! Nuke Iran! Kill ’em all!”
I remember the words, written in chalk on the blackboard in Spanish class my sophomore year in high school, like it was yesterday. That was in 1980, but it could have been today. They were written by a classmate, his reaction to the Iranian hostage crisis which was unfolding. It was not a fringe sentiment at that time. And, it immediately struck me, even then at the age of 16, as entirely not conducive to solving the problem. It was an emotional, ignorant statement based in arrogance, racism and fear.
Not much has changed in almost 30 years. Fear, arrogance, anger and racism have all come together, simmering for decades into a pathetically repetitious scenario that threatens to erode our civil liberties and undermine what little debate on these important issues already exists. The current form of those blackboard words is the wanton casualness and comfort level that so many feel with expressing fear and racism, albeit with a more subtle and covert rhetorical bent. While words as forward and obvious as the ones above can get one into hot water, the arrogance, fear and racism still exists. It’s simply expressed differently.
Still, it’s hard not to notice the racism and fear towards Muslims that the recent Pew Poll brought out in a good number of right wing pundits. It’s subtle, but palpable. Unfortunately, those who proffer this subtle racism and fear mongering are entirely clueless that they are doing it.
Allahpundit over at Hot Air thinks that his fear and racism is a “nuance” (a point he repeats several times) and that those who aren’t scared shitless like he is, deeply suspicious of the Muslim population and willing to engage in gross generalities are missing that “nuance”. He attempts to shade this overt belief with a bit of fear mongering. He quotes from Michelle Malkin:
“A few fringe jihadists here, a few fringe jihadists there, and soon you’re talking about bloody real numbers.”
New Yorkers like myself who deal with the threat of terror every time we walk down the street, walk into or near a landmark location, step onto a bus, or down into the subway, and who lived through the worst terror attack on US soil in its short history are not very inclined to raise the draw bridge and yell “the sky is falling” and start looking cross eyed at Muslim men because of a poll. (After all, in 2002 a poll showed that 7% of Americans believed that Elvis was still alive, and another 11% weren’t sure.)
Glenn Greenwald gets to the meat of the polling matter:
The hysteria over the Pew poll about American Muslims continues unabated, with the focus now on the finding that while 80% of American Muslims oppose attacks on civilians in all cases, 13% said they could be justified in some circumstances. The “discussion” illustrates some standard failings of our political discourse.
Michelle Malkin went to National Review to proclaim that the poll “should be a wake-up call, not another excuse for the mainstream media to downplay the threat of homegrown jihad.” Mark Steyn said it demonstrates the existence in America of “a huge comfort zone for the jihad to operate in,” and Jonah Goldberg warned how “significant” this is. On CNN last night, Anderson Cooper was horrified — just horrified — that “so many” American Muslims would support such violence.
The reality, though, is that it is almost impossible to conduct a poll and not have a sizable portion of the respondents agree to almost everything. And in particular, with regard to the specific question of whether it is justifiable to launch violent attacks aimed deliberately at civilians, the percentage of American Muslims who believe in such attacks pales in comparison to the percentage of Americans generally who believe that such attacks are justifiable.
It’s a reality and a given that there are people out there, including Muslims, who want to kill us. Hell, there are American’s sitting next to us on the train who probably want to kill us. America is a violent place. And, that violence is practiced all of the time, every single day, in our cities, in our towns, in our suburbs, on our streets, on our roads, in our homes, in our places of worship, at work and in our schools.
We enact violence upon each other all of the time. Every second of the day. Terrorism is simply an extension of that violence. 9/11 was hyper violence, but at its core no different than sitting in your college cafeteria and having some whacked out loser blow you away cause he decided to play Doom in real life.
Large scale terrorism is an experience we’ve been through, something we can still taste, something we can still remember with clarity and insight. And, while polls are nice if you want to prove a point, they don’t mean shit in the real world.
The real issue here though isn’t the veracity of polling, it’s the reasons behind terror attacks, and if the poll is taken at face value, why a percentage of American Muslim’s would consider a suicide attack valid under certain circumstances is an important question to ask. Not an implausible proposition in my opinion. The question is “why”? It’s the only way to find a solution.
There’s real people and real issues and real danger out there, from psychos with an axe to grind for reasons that run the gamut. In the final equation, since they all threaten our lives, it matters not if their agenda is to kill women who look like the one who spurned him, to kill people of a particular race, or to kill the Infidels. It’s a reality. They are all out there. Get used to it. And, consider, what the hell is going on? What can we do to stop it? Nothing? All questions worth discussing.
Yet, reacting with fear and racism to this fact only heightens the perception and gives credence to the idea that anyone should actually be surprised that there are people all around the world, and within the US, who are angry and want to express that anger with violence, believe that violence will serve to shine a light on their cause or that violence will actually bring about some type of change. It’s the same old equation that has knee capped civilization for as long as there have been haves and have-nots, for as long as there have been the powerful and the dispossessed, all battling for preeminence and for a piece of the pie. And, they kill people to get what they want, or simply to make a point. Or both.
Suicide attacks are the tool of extremists who want their piece of the pie. The thought process from the right though, is simply a modern version of writing a racist and ignorant statement on a blackboard, because even if you wanted to, you couldn’t kill every single person who would do harm to the US and its citizens. You simply cannot. Impossible. But, you can get rid of the reasons they want to kill you. The peace process in Northern Ireland is proof of how a cultural and religious war works. And, how it is resolved. Was it resolved by killing off all of the Protestants, or killing all the Catholics?
It is interesting to note though how each time something like this comes out, the usual right wing suspects run to the ramparts and scream “the Jihadists are coming!” from their nicely appointed home offices. And, I really have no patience for it any longer. Because they offer no solutions to the real problems that allow violence to prosper. The complete lack of real discussion on this matter was evident in the reaction to the Virginia Tech campus murders. The question asked over and over was “how could this happen?” And, ultimately, it’s not how. It happens because we allow it to happen. We accept it. The real question is what causes it? And, how can we stop it?
Terrorism is a reality we will live with for a very long time. Domestic terror, international terror, you name it. It’s part of the world we live in. Personally, I have no misconceptions that there are people out there who want to kill me and those around me. There are Jihadists who would kill me because I’m an American, and right wing militants and left wing militants who would kill me just because I’m fodder for their expression of violence. There are those who would kill me for the money in my pocket or just to say they did it.
The truth is: I’m certainly not going to adapt a chicken little approach, nor am I going to compromise my liberties and beliefs, out of fear and racist attitudes towards those who practice a specific religion or want to do me harm. And, that is what alarmists such as Malkin and her ilk advocate. They want us to capitulate to racism, to a totalitarian policy of generalization, in order to control and eliminate what they see as a threat. Of course, the reality is: they can’t eliminate the threat. Like Stalin, they soon find out that the more people you eliminate as an enemy, two more pop up to replace the one you eliminated.
It’s impossible to eliminate everyone who will do us harm. But, it is entirely possible to eliminate the reasons they want to do us harm. Starting with the way the US does business – both economic and political- around the world. The problem is, for the average wingnut, even considering this is blasphemy. They’d much rather advocate locking people up and carpet bombing people and comprising our moral position and compromising our liberties than admit a mistake.
Over at Ace of Spades, the equally scared shitless Ace has issues with the way the media doesn’t focus on the fear and racism like he does:
Personally, I’m a little bit more worried about the 26% of young Muslim males who want to kill me, but it’s good to know that “most Muslims” seek to adopt the “American lifestyle.” (Which may or may not involve killing Americans.)
I’ve no doubt that Ace is worried about a percentage that may or may not be true, and truly believes his chances of getting whacked by a Jihadi are greater than his getting killed in a car crash on his way home from work, or shot in a robbery at the Wal Mart, or by a random car jacking, or one of many many other violent deaths exacted upon him by his fellow American’s, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or what have you. And, he completely under values the importance of anti-Muslim rhetoric, movements and activities in the US:
Get that? US Muslims are doing everything they can to assimilate with bigoted Americans, and yet we deface their buildings.
Can you spot the logical fallacy? It’s not hard to spot the fear based audacity and racist perspective. Muslims are condemned no matter what they do. If they complain about racist and hate crimes, they’re ungrateful and whining.
It’s essential eliminationist rhetoric. And, it has no place in the discussion. Such as it is…
The reality of that Pew poll is that, generally and comparatively speaking, it demonstrates just how unremarkable, assimilated, peaceful and consummately American is the American Muslim population. If anything, support for violence — including against civilians — is notably less than it is among Americans generally. Again, those are just facts. Yet by manipulating the polling data and failing to discuss it comparatively, an impression is quickly solidifying, as intended, that there are throngs of scary and threatening jihadist Muslims — both in our midst and around the world — waiting to launch suicide attacks on us, and that necessitates the euphemistic Malkian “wake-up call.”
In the end, it’s all they have, IMHO.Read More
As long as oil is in the ground in Iraq, and the US appetite for it is a matter of economic and military might, the US will be in Iraq. The fact that our over reliance upon oil has created a crisis of historic proportions and needent have occurred is the real debate that is being avoided that needs to take place.
The US is addicted to oil and it needs to get off the teet. Period.Read More
It’s sad but also amusing reading example after example of brainwashed right wing propaganda induced scape goating and basic name calling in the effort to intimidate their perceived enemies. And, it has created a problem for them.
The true believer wingnut attacks all opposition to his ideology with the elementally ignorant whining and bleating drawn with their giant crayon. The repetitive point: all opposition is treason, traitorous, or “aiding the enemy”. Over the past six years it’s become so prevailant and deceptive, based in pathetic lies as it is, that wingnuttia is now left with one single position: everyone who disagrees with them is a traitor and thus the enemy. As these things go, it was only a matter of time before the Iraqi people themselves, the very people whom the wingnut saviors claim to be giving the gift of democracy to, became the enemy as well. Paint, meet corner.
It is, of course, the end result of promoting and believing half-assed hate filled screeds and then elavating that idiocy into policy and public practice. They apparently aren’t smart enough to realize the conundrum they have created, nor smart enough not to believe their own propaganda.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Of course, hate is the fuel that is used to add fire to the tactic: attack the opposition and alienate alternative views in the mind of the gullible public . Such a tactic has no basis in logic or in the democratic process. It’s meant to intimidate and appeal to the emotional. From the very first days after 9/11, the tactic has been employed by wingnuts to intimidate opposition. “All opposition to our beliefs is treason.”
In regard to the war in Iraq, the tactic utilizes the following three pronged “argument”: (with recent links as examples.)
1. The “thesis” – Opposing the war in Iraq is treasonous. – DeLay says top Dems close to treason
2. Cut off all discussion – Even the notion of debating the war in Iraq as treasonous, since it is “aiding the enemy” – War debate cited as aiding al Qaeda
3. Attack all specific plans to end the war – If you support applying a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq, that is “aiding the enemy” – WITHDRAWAL DATE FOR IRAQ AIDS THE ENEMY
The common point is that any opposition to the war in Iraq is labeled as traitorous, or “aiding the enemy”. But, this raises a problem:
1. There are Iraqi’s who are against the war in Iraq – Majority of Iraqi Lawmakers Now Reject Occupation
3. There are Iraqi’s who want to apply a timetable – Majority of Iraqi lawmakers call for timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops
What if you are an Iraqi and you oppose the war in Iraq, or you want to debate it, or you are for a timetable for withdrawal?
Are you a traitor? To whom?
Wingnut logic would say: “yes”, since many Iraqi’s opposse their beliefs.
Ain’t logic a bitch?Read More
In referring to Nancy Pelosi’s diplomatic trip to Syria the seminal right wing rag The NY Post headlined it: “W Kicks Nancy’s Assad”, which I thought was more than a bit ironic considering how so many on the right got all Itchy and Scratchy about Pelosi wearing the “Islamic symbol of the subjugation of women”, the evil hajib. It was pile on Pelosi time, and every wanker with a misogynistic appetite went for the white meat, irony or no.
Poor wingnuts. And, the “hate your enemies from a safe distance whilst simultaneiously ignoring those same enemies in order to not give them cridibility” approach has worked so well too. I suppose when you have no credibility, the only tactic is to deny the credibility of others. Well, at least that’s the story you tell when you are hanging out with your ne0-nut boys down on the corner. The important thing is, that your homies don’t know what you are doing when you’re not with them.Read More
Patience is a big thing for Dear Leader. Unfortunately, it seems that patience is only required when it suits him. Shocking, I know. And, consistency is definitely not his strong suit either. It’s a long joke, but stick with it. The punchline is priceless.
In the months ahead, our patience will be one of our strengths — patience with the long waits that will result from tighter security, patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals, patience in all the sacrifices that may come…
I’m a patient man… We will look at all options and we will consider all technologies available to us and diplomacy and intelligence. (Bush in reference to the probable ouster of Saddam Hussein from power.)
President Bush is running short on patience with Iraq, he told reporters Tuesday morning. ‘It appears to be a re-run of a bad movie,” Bush said. ‘[Iraqi President Saddam Hussein] is delaying. He’s deceiving. He’s asking for time. He’s playing hide-and-seek with inspectors. One thing is for certain — he’s not disarming.”
“Iraq had a weapons program…. Intelligence throughout the decade (of the 1990s) showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we’ll find out they did have a weapons program.”- President Bush.
“I think there’s an interesting lesson here on patience… The president has it. He will continue to have it.” – Former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer referring to Bush’s attitude towards finding WMD’s in Iraq.
Though experts have raised questions about the significance of the ties between Saddam Hussein’s former government and al Qaeda, Bush said that “al Qaeda and other global terror networks recognize that the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s regime is a defeat for them.” Calling that broader conflict a “test of our perseverance, our patience and our will,” an impassioned Bush said the “stakes could not be greater,” adding: “Our only goal, our only option, is total victory in the war on terror.” Bush made no concession to those who have argued that the administration should devote more troops and money to Iraq’s rehabilitation. (emphasis added) […]
As top White House aides have done in recent weeks, Bush today likened the effort to transform Iraq and the Middle East to the reconstruction of Germany and Europe after World War II, which he called a “massive undertaking” that “took years, not months.”
Bush said the United States will not spend “years and years” in Iraq as a new government takes shape.
“We are now about three years into the war against terrorism,” Mr. Bush said in a commencement address at the Air Force Academy. “This is no time for impatience and self-defeating pessimism. These times demand the kind of courage and confidence that Americans have shown before.”
President Bush pleaded for Americans’ patience Wednesday on what he conceded was “a very discouraging day” of death and violence for U.S. troops in Iraq. He urged Iraqis to defy terrorist threats and vote in Sunday’s elections.
Bush held a White House news conference hours after more than 30 American troops perished in a helicopter crash in western Iraq and insurgents killed five others in the deadliest day yet for U.S. forces. The deaths pushed the American toll above 1,400.
Unwavering in the course he has set, Bush pledged: “We’ll have the troop levels necessary to complete the mission. And that mission is to enable Iraq to defend herself from terrorists — homegrown or terrorists that come in from outside of the country.” He made clear that Iraq is nowhere near ready to handle its own security, and he talked about U.S. involvement over the next year. (emphasis added)
Responding to growing unease over the war in Iraq, President Bush laid out a stay-the-course “strategy for victory” Wednesday and urged Americans to muster the “time and patience” to carry it out.
Bush conceded that victory is “going to take a long time” and the United States “will not put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it can bear.” He also noted, however, that the United States won’t wait indefinitely for conditions to improve in the war-torn nation.
“My administration will carefully consider any proposal that will help us achieve victory,” he said. “We’ve got patience but not unlimited patience.”
A subdued and at times humble President George W Bush delivered his seventh State of the Union speech to a skeptical audience this morning, pleading for patience over Iraq because “it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle”. Describing an Iraq riven by a “tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal” he conceded “this is not the fight we entered in Iraq but it is the fight we are in”. Most Democrats sat stony faced as he urged: “So let us find our resolve and turn events towards victory.”
President Bush on Monday said his decision to send more troops to Iraq has yielded some “hopeful signs,” but he told the country that more time is needed to determine whether the strategy is successful.
The headline is a bit hyperbolic, but it means to serve a point. It seems that the reaction over at Little Green Footballs to the report that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had plans on the board to assassinate former President Jimmy Carter has been, to put it bluntly, less than patriotic. (According to Greenwald, Charles Johnson at LGF has disabled direct links to the post at LGF. ) It seems that the comments at LGF are rife with support for the assassination of Carter. Not a great surprise to this longtime observer of the nest of fascists at LGF. This type of confused reaction permeates the right. Notes Glenn Greenwald:
Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air expressed this confusion:
“[Mohammed] confessed to 29 plots in all, including the Richard Reid shoebomb plot and planned assassinations of the pope and . . . Jimmy Carter?”
These extremists come to believe their twisted rhetoric that Democrats are on the side of Al Qaeda and so they literally can’t understand why Mohammed would want to assassinate his own allies like President Carter.
The irony is twofold: It’s not only as Glenn states that right wing extremists can’t believe that a terrorist would want to assassinate a “Liberal ally”, it is also that they are literally supporting the terrorist agenda (the assassintion of a former US President) of one “sworn enemy” (the terrorists) to “fight” their other perceived “sworn enemy”: everyone who disagrees with them. Of course, this contradiction is entirely lost on them, being so completely immersed in an ass backward ideology rooted in hatred.
Continues Glenn Greenwald in his post entitled “Support for al–Qaida plots on large right-wing blog”:
Here, one of the largest right-wing blog communities which pretends to be opposed to Al Qaeda is expressing support for Al Qaeda murder plots against former U.S. Presidents. The significance is overwhelming and self-evident, and many American journalists have shown how commendably eager they are to transcend partisan differences and rise up in righteous condemnation against this sort of “sick” bile.
And, several important factors distinguish this story from the HuffPost story, making it more meaningful. Unlike Huffington Post, which deleted the comments in question, Johnson has left them on his blog. Even more significantly, Johnson actively and regularly deletes comments he does not like, which lends some credibility to the notion that he approves of these comments, or at least does not find them sufficiently offensive to delete them, the way he does with scores of other comments.
It is worth restating that if the shoe were on the other foot and the comments on a Liberal website were calling for the assassination of a former US President – George H.W. Bush for example- you can be damn sure that the lizturds at LGF would be wetting their pants over it, Little Grubby Fingers trembling as they typed each word, calling for Liberals to be swinging from the trees for expressing such “traitorous” views. The headline would read something like: “Liberal website supports assassination of US President”, or something akin to it. We’ve seen this before. Last week, Bill Maher said:
“But I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn’t be dying needlessly tomorrow.”
Maher’s statement above was misrepresented all over the right wing blogsphere variously as:
On Saturday, the website NewsBusters.org posted a story under the headline “Bill Maher Sorry the Assassination Attempt on Dick Cheney Failed.”
There’s just one problem: As a fair reading of the show’s transcript makes clear, I never said those words. Still, over the weekend, dozens of websites, mostly right wing, picked up the story (with headline intact) thus proliferating the myth that comic Maher somehow advocates the whacking of our Veep.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve never joined the Dick Cheney Fan Club. But what I said Friday — and what I believe — is that the Vice President has presided over a bungled execution of a war in which thousands of our bravest continue to die. And I believe that were he not in power, our troops would likely come home sooner. But I don’t wish him dead. Ironically, I made my comments during a discussion about Free Speech, which is one of the chief reasons that I love my country.
It’s patently clear according to the transcript, (March 3, 2007) that Maher was being entirely hypothetical and not calling for the death of the VP. Regrading Cheney’s importance to the war, you can agree or disagree, but it is pretty clear this is Dick Cheney’s War. It is entirely possible that if he were not the VP – resignation, health reasons, he chose someone besides himself to be VP in 2000- that the war may not have happened the way it did. I don’t agree with that point of view, but it is a hypothetical.
The tactic employed by the right wing sites that misrepresented Maher’s statment is a form of “controlled controversy”, a well established GOP propaganda trick intended to create controversy where none exists in order to maintain disarray. That is: Keep your enemy focusing on defense so the offense suffers.
It flows both ways. What are the wing nuts up in arms about? Rosie O’Donnell’s latest rhetorical bait.
Hate is the bait. It has become abundantly clear that the right wing hate machine has done its job well. Any perspective that opposes them is the enemy, and any perspective that supports them – even a perspective from the terrorists they propose to be so against- is to be embraced.
This is important to note. For the ideological battle ground is shifting and drifting on the right. It’s no longer about good versus evil. It’s about “us versus them”. The problem is the “them” that so many of the right wing and especially the 101 fighting keyboardists choose to engage in a fight is anyone who disagrees with them. It has become entirely about hate and ideology rather than about what is best for the nation and the planet as a whole and what should be done to insure a stable Iraq and bring US soldiers home.
This development is the result of two forces coming together: the ongoing GOP tactical warfare on all opposing ideology has collided with the complete and utter failure of incompetent, ill planned, and implemented policies that were and continue to be based upon an ideology of racism over racial tolerance, competition over cooperation, merit over equality, power politics and militarism over pacifism, dictatorship over democracy, exclusiveness over inclusiveness, common sense over theory or science, pragmatism over principle. (At the risk of provoking Godwin’s law, this litany is adapted from here.)
All they have is their hatred, and they will use it to avoid dealing with the ramifications of their failure and the impending loss of their power.
In December of 2005, the progressive blogsphere was abuzz with a prescient post by James Wolcott on this matter of right wingers dreaming about killing those they hate:
This one sentence amid all that writhing distemper leapt out at me:
“May he [i.e., me] be kidnapped by ‘insurgents’ in Iraq then appear on an ugly net broadcast. I wonder, if in the moment before the knife started sawing into his fleashy neck if he might rethink his opinions on the GWOT.”
He later corrected the spelling to “fleshy,” lest anyone think I possess a flashy neck.
This sentence leapt out not only because it was directed at yours truly but because it fits a pattern of measel spots I’ve discerned.
More and more the right wing militant “anti-idiotarians” (as they deludedly think of themselves) have been relishing the prospect of antiwar figures undergoing the Daniel Pearl treatment. They keep bringing it up as the retribution that’ll deliver certain choice heads on a platter. In a sick irony, Daniel Pearl’s marytrdom has provided a negative inspiration to certain super patriots professing to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.
I wrote at the time:
Such dreaming of violence is a form of blood lust, of course. Something which is seen on both sides of the political spectrum, evident in games, film, television, literature and real events. As Sideshow notes:
Everyone is linking Wolcott’s Headhunters for a reason: He makes a really good point about the lust for violence that erupts from the right-wingers when they talk about liberals.
Yup. Personally, I don’t think wingers are traitors, nor do I fantasize about their heads being lobbed off by a tree hugging terrorist. The worst I think of wingers is that they are wimps and hypocrits.
As I’ve said many times before, I”ll fight to the death to protect a wingnuts right to be wrong.
It still holds true. Yet, I can’t help but notice the blind ideological idiocy as well as the moral and ethical shame of supporting a plan to kill US President Jimmy Carter that was thought up by the terrorist who may have killed Daniel Pearl.
Glenn Reynolds watches way too much “24”. Now he’s advocating fighting terrorism with… terrorism. The Carpetbagger puts him straight.
The hypocrisy is really but one symptom of the total mess that the GWOT has always been from a rational perspective. The wingnut propensity for calling anyone who disagrees with their idea of going after terrorists with terrorism a “terrorist sympathizer” is the bookend to the wingnut mindset. The cherry on top is their overt willingness to eliminate those they see as the “enemy”, that includes anyone who disagrees with them, is something we should all be vigilant about. When pundits begin using fabricated quotes in major news outlets whilst calling for the hanging of an US Senator for being against their policies, it’s gotten rather serious.
If you haven’t read David Neiwert’s series on this wingnut movement, you should. It’s a long and informative read, and definitive. Well worth the time.
We are living in dangerous times to be sure. And, not all of the danger comes from those abroad who wish us ill will. There is danger to us from those next to us who would have us killed to further their power and ideas.
It goes without saying that such fascist practices are not American in any way shape or form. That said, you won’t hear calls for their deaths here.
I am convinced that the reason so many wingnuts bleat endlessly about their fellow Liberals being traitors is precisely because many of them realize either subconsciously or intellectually that they are the traitors.
Who sold arms to Iran? Who sold chemical weapons to Iraq? Who has supported a war policy that has comprimised Homeland security and the strength of our military?
It is a basic tactic of the fascist to divert attention from their own foibles and crimes by accussing their enemies of crimes and foibles.
I’ve no doubt that Liberals bare a certain amount of the blame for the situation that we as a nation now find ourselves in. But, it’s entirely telling that you don’t see Liberals running around calling wingnuts traitors and calling for them to be hung. And, an argument could be made that those currently in power and their supporters are indeed traitors. One example, and there are many.
We did not lead the charge to war and oversee and support it when it was so obvious that it was going to be an utter failure.
Lke most wingnuts who supported a doomed policy, David Brooks is looking for some type of apology from the Left. It’s just another way of blaming the left for seeing the truth that the right refused to see. It’s just another way of attempting to hoist blame for the loss of the Iraq War upon the Left.
The Carpetbagger brings this one home.Read More