Sunday, November 27, 2005
I was waiting for Mona's name to pop up
Viet Nam was a military failure that was tagged onto Fonda and the left when the entire military establishment was to blame and rational argument would not suggest otherwise.
Last I heard, Fonda commanded no troops and created no policy. The American Left was not at the wheel, just as it isn't at the moment. Retrofitting the history of our Viet Nam involvement isn't becoming, especially when one of the the biggest reasons -- China -- for our failure has never gone away. Sure, Russia has morphed into something peculiar and perhaps more dangerous than the nation-state it was, considering its nuclear arsenal, but China still remains -- sorry for the cliche -- as inscrutable as ever.
And, Mona Charen is a chicken hawk. Her terms for those who favor world peace are "unenlightened and child-like." She claims adults should "know better" than to think world peace without war is possible. Of course, she was also one of the first to write -- for public consumption -- "shoot the looters" in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. Which is interesting because much of the intelligence afterwards was that New Orleans' problems with looting were blown out of proportion by the media. The scores of dead bodies in the Superdome -- killed and in some cases raped by roving gangs -- made for compelling, but untruthful news. And, if you recall, black people were being branded as looters, while white people who did the same things were said to be scrounging for survival.
And, that is why liberals have to reclaim the nation. There is always another boogeyman, another band of roving looters to fear... to shoot.
Conservatives present so many faces: neo-con, modern conservative, fiscal conservative, Religious Right. But, they lump all of us liberals together as enemy sympathizers, weak-willed, spineless and bereft of ideas.
Addressing the last point, because I disavow the others -- we're not out of ideas, they're simply not being listened to. OK, I can't resist -- if we're enemy sympathizers, who is the enemy? Is it Bush's enemies? Cheney's enemies? Charen's enemies?
Let me float a thought. The "Islamo Facists" CB refers to may be Al Quaeda, Al Jazeer or any of dozens of others, but do you think they represent all muslims any more than Pat "Kill Chavez" Robertson represents all Christians? There are misguided people of every stripe who think the only solution is a final solution. I don't need any more enemies, but conservatives continue to pile them up for me.
And, their solution is to fight fascism with fascism (don't go off point, certainly there are degrees between bombing cafes and bombing abortion clinics). Know where that leads us? Represented by fascists who believe there are segments of the population that can't be trusted to do the right thing. I don't want to be represented by someone who is LESS likely to kill me for my beliefs; I want a government that won't kill me. But, back to Viet Nam, the bon mot of the moment.
If I argue that the Right lost the Viet Nam war does that make me feel better? No. I think America is a great country with fallible leaders who sometimes lead us astray. I feel terribly bad for the loss of life in that war (mostly young and poor men and women). Do I give a rat's ass that Lenin or Stalin or whomever called the American Left "useful idiots"? Nah. At some point, everyone is a useful idiot. If you're being logical in your review of our present situation, the American Right is the best thing that could happen to Arab fundamentalists. The recruiting is easy because they can point to their Christian counterparts and invoke the Crusades, again. Does that make members of the American right traitors? No. But, the fact of the matter is that it is a human response to lash back in kind and their responses perpetuate religious anger from Muslims who believe just a fervently.
Do I hate America? No and I don't feel I have to say that in normal circumstances, but we are in an era of fear. I love the people and places, but I refuse to say we are being represented by good,honorable leadership. We're not.
I refuse to say that war should be a strategy of first resort. Did the left lose Viet Nam? Wow. Interesting question, considering the Hawks totally ruled the coop at that time. What makes me nervous about someone who would craft such a question is that it leads down a slippery slope that creates a new class of enemy. When you say, and I assume honestly believe, a movie star was a central factor in losing a multi-billion dollar war that included hundreds of thousands of troops, almost as many planning sessions and enough firepower to wipe out the nation of Viet Nam, then I get nervous.
Impute that kind of power to conscientious objectors and what happens next?Detainment would seem pretty logical, I mean, after all, you're interfering with a war. What about those really strenuous objectors, who refuse to silence themselves? Execution is a pretty persuasive right wing tool. I am not overreaching here. The right wing seems to have some kind of volume discount deal with the threat of death -- it is attached to almost all of their most cherished concepts. Doesn't the bible say: 'Choose Life'?
And, as far as the war on communism -- it's won. Let it go. Despite Ethel and Julius, America won and still gets to kick Castro in the ass and sell the farm to China. So, I guess the idiots weren't so useful after all.
My goal as a free American (feel free to insert platitude here) is to make America a better country by resisting anti-human policies; by not letting suffering be the lot of the poor and disenfranchised; by supporting right and fair policies; by speaking my mind when Halliburton makes a billion dollars because of its connections to Washington insiders and calling Mona Charen's bloodlust exactly what it is. Why? Because I think it is a vanishingly small step between "shoot the looters" and "shoot the left."
| posted by Jae at 7:10 PM |
CB commented at 1:58 AM~
I love Mona because she is so thorough. Her book, Useful Idiots, if nothing else is a reference guide for murderers row. She painstakingly details the real enemy...not Western Liberals, but the murderers, whose principles are leftist. She also documents those westerners, especially from the US, who made statements in support of these murderous regimes, even after their atrocities had been well documented. The title of her book comes from a quote attributed to Lenin, to describe Western reporters or foreign sympathizers who denied the Soviet Police State, they were also called fellow travelers.
Just a few: Stalin built the world's largest prison system - the gulag's and killed 20 million Soviets in "terror famines" designed to subjugate the country. The detail she uses is horrific. She also details how NEW YORK TIMES reporter, Walter Durante, got leftists all charged up with his reporting on the "Soviet Miracle." Western liberals rushed to the Soviet Union only to find murder and mayhem and they were very slow to report back what they had found and then became defensive of the regime.
I won't go into as much detail on some of the others.
Korea - Kim Il Sung killed 2 million, his son, Kim Jong Il, has reportedly starved over 1 million in the North alone.
Mao Tse Tung, the King in sheer numbers of his version of the terror famines, reportedly killing as many as 60 million Chinese.
Ho Chi Mihn, one of my best friends, Greg Nguyen and his family were fortunate to have arrived in D.C. prior to the fall of Saigon, but 800,000 including his family members, jumped into the South China Sea - remember the "boat people?"
She documents Daniel Ortega, Fidel and others and with each of them, there are significant statements and actions in support of these leftist murderers.
The King of all, however, who recieved much liberal support, until they found skulls stacked up by the thousands, was Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge. One man's story was documented in the Killing Fields. Pol Pot moved everyone out of the cities into the country and killed 7 million of the country's 21 million people. He Killed 1/3 of the country's population, destroyed the infrastructure, shools, hospitals, commerce, government institutions, etc.
Coming back to today, I don't beleive all Muslims are evil. However, the genocide in Darfur, may now be complete. The UN suggested a cooling off period before any action against the Sudanese Islamic government. Apparently they put that time to good use to finish off much of the Black African population in Darfur.
Falling asleep now as I type, I may have more later.
Renegade Eye commented at 9:30 AM~
The Vietnam analogy doesn't apply to Iraq. The Iraq 'resistance," is closer to Pol Pot in Cambodia.
If the left lost Vietnam, it is something, to be proud of. There was no winning. It was an unjust war. The Vietnamese refugees, were on the wrong side.
I think you speak much more articulately than liberal leadership. You are not corporate funded. John Edwards just discovered, he didn't get the same data as the administration.
The rightist coalition around Bush, is fragile. The philosophy has been bankrupt since atleast Hoover's time.
Stalin represented the right wing, and nationalist tendencies, in the Soviet Union. Stalin was a rightist. He purged 100% of Lenin's central committee, of the Bolshevik Party. Where was Stalin, while Lenin and Trotsky, led the revolution. Stalin is a rightist and nationist. Mao and Kim IL Song are Stalin's heirs.
Ho Chi Minh is the George Washington of Vietnam. He drove out the occupiers.
You didn't mention Pol Pot. He was propped up by the US, until the Vietnamese, finally overthrew him. Fake leftistism.
Daniel Ortega is a nationalist. Who cares he knocked off some mercenaries?
The USA wants to give back to the Mafia, the casinoes the USA took.
You are right about Sudan. Don't understand why the right, is more articulate on that issue.
Renegade Eye commented at 9:32 AM~
The best part of the war on terror, is that it is anticlerical. Bush didn't go to church on Sunday either.
Olive commented at 12:45 PM~
Sorry, I can’t let this go. CB, you wrote, “Prosecution of wars are rarely perfect, and mistakes are made. Graft and corruption with the amount of money flowing through a country without institutional checks and balances is inevitable…”
You mean, to coin Rumsfeld, bad things happen? I don’t accept that. In the case of CPA con man Bob Stein, it was our own Pentagon that hired this crook (just like it was our own commander in chief that hired a failed Republican congressional candidate and ousted Arabian horse association exec. to head the mother of all first-responders during an era of “imminent” disaster). Stein had been convicted of fraud for making out false billing invoices, costing the company he worked for $1.5 million. If ever there was a case of the fox being put in charge of guarding the hen house, this is it. Not even McDonalds would hire a guy with his resume.
Anyway CB, I’m not talking only about the corruption within the CPA. The uninhibited corruption that I refer to begins at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and merely extends to Haifa Street. The U.S. was a country with institutional checks and balances until one party gained control of every branch of the government and viewed that as a winner-take-all victory. Since that fateful day back in 2001 when the Supreme Court anointed George Bush, we’ve been treated to veritable old-country-buffet of bullying, lies, high crimes and misdemeanors.
Let’s review. My top ten:
10-GOP lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, and Tom DeLay aide, Michael Scanlon, receive $82 million from several Indian tribes, in exchange for access to lawmakers.
A… receives a five-year, $7 billion no-bid contract for services in Iraq.
B…overcharges the army (aka tax-payers) for fuel in Iraq to the tune of more than $60 million.
C… (along with other companies), is alleged to have paid more than $100 million in bribes to Nigerian officials for a natural-gas-plant deal. This, when Cheney is CEO.
D… counts money recovered from project overruns as revenue, before settling the charges with clients.
E… may have been doing business with Iran while Cheney was CEO.
8-Tom DeLay's political action committees, Texans for a Republican Majority, take illegal corporate contributions for the campaigns of Republicans running for the Texas Legislature in 2002. The new Republican Legislature redraws Texas' U.S. congressional districts to favor the GOP.
8b-Tom DeLay gets the FAA to find the plane carrying Texas Dems, who left the state in an attempt to thwart the the redistricting plan.
7- GOP pays a Virginia-based firm, GOP Marketplace, to jam the Democratic Party phone bank with continuous calls for 90 minutes.
6- Fake news...
A... Bush administration produces fake news reports to sell its programs.
B...Bush administration pays Armstrong Williams $240,000 to talk up No Child Left Behind.
5-Black Box Voting. Ohio.
4-Bush and company lie...
A… to congress, making false statements about Iraq's military capabilities.
B…about yellow cake. The documents upon which they based their lie were easily recognizable as forgeries.
3-The Downing Street memo reveals that Bush and Blair secretly agreed to invade Iraq long before WMD’s inspections had even begun.
2- Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay torture, sanctioned at the very top and administered by private American corporations is blamed on foot soldiers.
1-Someone – we still don’t know who – outed Valerie Plame. What makes this outrageous is, not a sudden liberal love affair with the CIA, but that 1- the outing was in retaliation for her husband’s non-compliance with the Bush war scheme and 2-her specialty was WMD’s. So while these neo cons were filling our heads with visions of mushroom clouds over NYC on the one hand, they were selling down the river an employee whose job it is to know the status of such things
Sadly, this is but a partial list. Feel free to add your favorites.
CB commented at 1:27 PM~
Jae & Renegade,
I re-read the original post and comments. A couple of things, whenever possible, I try to point out where we have agreement. Although it doesn't appear that by tenor or direction that we are often in agreement, but we truly are. If for no other reason, being born here provides commonality of experience (McDonald's, Starbucks, paved roads).
I think where sincere people differ is in the significance placed on one issue or another and degree. Was Vietnam occupied by the French? Yes. Is being occupied ever good? For a time maybe, but not really. Is representative government superior to an "enlightened elite" governing? Yes. I have ample evidence to support that.
I'm not imune from the use of hyperbole, actually I think of myself as clever and provacative with some of the tastier uses. However, I've got to call you guys on some of yours. Ho Chi Mihn vs. Washington? How many Americans did Washington drive into the Patomic or the Atlantic for that matter? Did he own slaves? Yes. Was that hypocritical, given the premise upon which the nation was founded? Certainly. Was it rectified for those who suffered? No. How about for their descendents? I'll answer it this way, would you rather be born in East St. Louis, IL or (take your pick of countries) West Africa?
I will concede that Stalin was not a classic Marxist, but he came to power on that premise. Although Lenin died and Trotsky was exiled (even though he opposed Stalin) post Stalin, the Soviet Union tried to implement, Marxist reforms that failed, as they must, under the weight of its own bureaucracy. Well you say, China hasn't collapsed. China is importing from the most capitalist place on earth, Hong Kong, much knowledge, reform and wealth. They are also stealing industrial and military secrets on a massive scale. By the way, I did mention Cambodia and Pol Pot, but my reading of this history (aside from some isolated low level policy goofs) we opposed the Khmer Rouge from the beginning, but didn't finish them off when we had the chance because of our involvement in Vietnam and because there was little international appetite for doing it (which informs our current dilemma with Iran and to a lesser extent N. Korea).
One of my frustrations about the discussion of anything conservative v. liberal is degree. To suggest that "American fascism" (defined by abortion clinic bombers-parenthetically, as opposed to abortionists who have killed more than any bomber or bin Ladenist) compares to what islamo fascists blowing up innocents around the world are doing, or to Pat Robertson, who is as dangerous as my son's rubber duck, is interesting.
Imagine a restaurant and seated at every table are representatives from the world, including al Qaeda and the Baathists. Everyone is served soup prepared by the best of what their countrymen have to offer. The American representative (a liberal)complains to his wait person (pc because it's a liberal), that there is an eyelash in his soup. Once he gets over his disgust and looks up, he sees that every other bowl of soup contains, horsehair weaves or rastafarian dreadlocks, or bouffant wigs. Yet, when he returns to his countrymen, he complains bitterly of the eyelash. I don't want an eyelash in my soup either, but a little perspective may be in order.
CB commented at 1:49 PM~
I love you darlin' (the g dropped for affection-an adopted Nashvillian term of endearment-or condescension...for you endearment)but the house is on fire and you're worried about the beans overcooking. Much of your top 10 list, I don't concede, starting with 10 and working to 1(Abramhoff is a crooked lobbyist and so is Scanlon, but he is a former aide, not current...I could go on with these all the way through Valerie Plame who was not covert and therefore could not be "outed") but they are beside the point. Although I will say this about 2000. I don't like Richard Nixon for a lot of reasons (probably none of which would come to mind for you) but he at least had the class to not challenge the outcome of his loss to Kennedy (although there was ample evidence of corruption especially in Chicago that would have given him Illinois and the election). One more stab at this. Following the election, the AP, Reuters, CNN, USA Today and many other news outlets gained access to ALL of the Florida ballots, including the disputed ballots. Each outlet hired teams of accountants to go over the ballots after they were made available to the public. Not only did Bush win, according to their tallies, he won by a much wider margin than initially appeared to be the case. This information was reported but received scant attention.
The real issue is dealing with the people who have the same mentality that caused innocent people to jump more than 100 stories from burning buildings in south Manhattan.
Olive commented at 4:46 PM~
Olive commented at 4:47 PM~
"Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned his office today after pleading guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery and tax evasion in a political corruption case."
Haven't you had enough yet?
Renegade Eye commented at 5:48 PM~
I've been begging Olive to have her own blog.
This is how political dialog should be. Stand up for your believes. Nothing is gained in what is called bipartisanship.
I'm part of a different dialog. I became political during the Vietnam war. The Dems were the party of that war. I'm an outsider, opposed to liberalism and conservatism.
I'm in the company of three articulate, fine writers.
CB commented at 10:25 PM~
Olive, Renegade Eye;
Olive, there are lots of isolated cases of bad behavior but they are not linked, exclusive to one political party (Charles Schumer's CURRENT staffers illegally trying to obtain access to Michael Steele's credit report)nor anything new in Washington. I say again, these things are not on the point, but especially with De Lay, Frist and Libby (and attempts to get Cheney, Rove and Bush) point to, what conservatives have termed, the "criminalization of politics" as a tactic to regain power. It won't work. I am writing my exigesis on the dim outlook for Democrats for the foreseeable future because of the methodologies of coalition construction which produces no vision that can be rallied to by those who identify with the party and more importantly with those they hope to attract. I've already given too much away.
However, Olive, I agree with Renegade Eye, you should be writing in your own blog! You have the talent. If my friend would get off his butt, he should write a book, but he's too busy aquiring those capitalist profits, avoiding taxes and looking for bargains...you know, the American way.
smartyspark commented at 1:54 PM~
It seems that avian flu is not nearly as dangerous as the case of intellectual masturbation that seems to be running rampant in the dialogue. Although, there is a certain amount of self-gratification that comes (no pun intended) with this verbal fourplay, very little actually gets accomplished in the way of transforming the world to make it a better and safer place for everyone.
We can certainly attempt to classify each other like some scientist who's discovered a new political species. But labels only perpetuate stereotypes and, as smart people, we know how often stereotypes are just astoundingly inaccurate.
The best part of opposing viewpoints is the opportunity to find creative solutions to problems. Differing perspectives enables one to look at a problem from various angles. Very often, though, nothing happens because the fun is in the discourse and no work actually gets accomplished.
After all, do lofty intellectuals really want to get their hands dirty or do they prefer to just criticize the ones that are in the trenches doing the best job they can with what they have? Sometimes it seems a whole lot easier to fix a problem from a distance. Don't we all have loving friends and relatives that know what's best for us and freely offer unwanted advice that has nothing to do with anything?
We can talk until the mushroom cloud blocks the sun, all believing to the fervent end that we are right and the other person is wrong. Polarized diatribe accomplishes not one damn thing. Compromise, now that's a word to be taken to heart.
As soon as the playing parties are willing to find a way to go beyond the "I'm right and you're wrong" stance, amazing solutions to the issues that the common man and woman face every day in trying to make sure their families have food, shelter, education and a healthy quality of life will be discovered. That is certainly not just an American dream, but a hope for humanity.
So, now that you have, once again, enjoyed the intellectual "O", what are you willing to do to make the world a better place to live?
Want to ?
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