Monday, May 2, 2005
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Posting will be light here at danieldrezner.com this week, as I have taken up Kevin Drum's gracious offer to guest-post over at the Washington Monthly site and commnent on the raft of articles in their May issue on the causes behind the democratic stirrings in the Middle East. The contributors include:
No one will be surprised to hear that the Washington Monthly's contributors believe the Bush administration deserves less credit than the Bush administration claims. However, all of the articles combined offer some themes that will provoke some interesting debates. So go check out the articles.
SECOND UPDATE: My second post is up -- on whether funding civil society will aid with democratization.posted by Dan on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM
There once was a house that got crushed by a giant. Immediately some midgets, who had witnessed the crushing, ran to contemplate what had happened. "The house was really unstable," said the one. "The house had not been well-maintained," said the other. "The people in the house had been suicidal: they tore the roof down on top of them," said a third. Buzzing and buzzing, busily thinking of answers, the midgets fought amongst themselves to come up with a proper explanation. Finally they came to a consensus. "Whatever was behind the collapse of the house, it had nothing to do with the giant that just stepped on it." Relieved they merrily drank to their intellectual powers. Giants, you see, they knew not to exist. They were midgets, after all.posted by: Joe on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Enjoy the comment section over there, Dan. If you think we're unruly....posted by: Appalled Moderate on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Of course, if the "giant" could have actually shown some aptitude to rebuild the house, then he might have got some credit for it. Anyone after all can destroy, but it take skill to build.
[PS: Any discussion on this topic really consists of several factors. Elections in Iraq: Yes, Bush responsible. Palestine: No, death of Arafat .. and so on]
"Palestine: No, death of Arafat .. and so"
Bush cant really take credit for the elections in Palestine as such, they were probably inevitable. What the future holds is, of course, the real test. Had Bush allowed Arafat to do whatever he wished with no repurcussions like previous administrations, his replacement would rightly conclude that he could do the same. Now Bush has made it clear that playing both sides against the middle is a nonstarter with this administration. The entire dynamics of the situation has changed. It seems unlikely that Sharon could have made the moves he is making with an administration willing to countenance an Arafat II. The US strong demands for accountability has given Sharon political capital.posted by: Mark Buehner on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
"Had Bush allowed Arafat to do whatever he wished with no repurcussions like previous administrations, his replacement would rightly conclude that he could do the same. "
That is simply not correct. What repurcussions did Bush put on Arafat ? Hardly any, and this came after the Israeli's uncovered proof that he had been involved in arms shipments. The blunt fact is that no other leader commanded the status of Arafat and even Bush had no alternative to Arafat, unless it was Hamas. The only reason that administrations have been willing to deal with Arafat is for that reason (just as Bush is willing to deal with Dawa on Iraq, even though Dawa had a terrorist wing in the past).
Now we have a new leader, who seems to be different. Even when he was just a cabinet member, Abbas did show that he was cut from a different cloth than Arafat. Its not a matter of Abbas realizing suddenly that he couldn't be Arafat, its that he didn't want to be Arafat II.posted by: Stone Walsh on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Thanks for reminding me why comment sections can turn into echo chambers. Congratulations on having resisted the trend here.posted by: Mrs. Davis on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Brave man (or foolish). I would not swim in a river full of crocodiles.posted by: Minh-Duc on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
"What repurcussions did Bush put on Arafat ? "
The only one that mattered. He ignored him and let him wither on the vine. Which he promptly did and did the world a favor by dropping dead. What other option did Bush have without enflaming the Palestinian people to push someone worse forward?posted by: Mark Buehner on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Tried to spur some honest brain storming over there. Couldnt take it. Here was my second (and final) post:
"Well, I tried to have a nice discussion.
There's enough straw men around here to to frighten off every crow ever spawned. Ask a simple question like "what do you suggest as an alternative" and you get:
looting, Negraponte and Bolton, car bombs, artificial limbs for Iraqi children, Oil Minister Chalabi,Holding hands with Crown Prince Abdullah,
Thanks for the inciteful discussion guys. Its a wonder why the American people wont let any of you near a Federal office. The term 'utter incoherence' comes to mind. I dont believe anybody asked 'please list all the things you hate about GW Bush, starting at birth', but if all of that somehow, via some wacko psychological interference pattern is meant to define a strategy _for the future_, well I guess it is just beyond me. We get it, you dont like or trust the Bush administration. Fine. How about some 'ideas'. Just a suggestion. "
posted by: Mark Buehner on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Regretably, the commentary section is generally filled with axe grinders of various sorts, as well as chain yankers.
To be read for entertainment only....posted by: collounsbury on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Sorry, Dan. You have a great blog & I've a lot of honest rspect for your opinion, which really leaves me befuddled as to what were you really thinking about when you wrote this. It sure wasn't the topic at hand. Your points are really pointless becasue they are completely non-existent in your Drum post. You offer straight opinion, but not in your usual style of supporting fact. & even that opinion is fairly vacant of susbstance. You refer us to earlier posts of your work as if you were too distracted to give the real matter proper thought. Frankly, if your opinions on the the BA's policies & their efficacy hasn't changed since 2003/2004 then I think you should spend some time recapping the last 18 months in Iraq & then repost. I welcome a re-read of your opinion when you're back on 'point'posted by: Jon on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
"Thanks for the inciteful discussion guys."
Brilliant turn of a phrase.posted by: Jody on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
"The only one that mattered. He ignored him and let him wither on the vine. Which he promptly did and did the world a favor by dropping dead. What other option did Bush have without enflaming the Palestinian people to push someone worse forward?"
So he basically did nothing and waited for him to die ? That hardly sounds like a strong positive action for which Bush could claim credit. If arafat had lived another 10 years, could progress have been made.posted by: Stone on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
"So he basically did nothing and waited for him to die ? That hardly sounds like a strong positive action for which Bush could claim credit. If arafat had lived another 10 years, could progress have been made. "
I didnt say it was a strong positive action, I said it was the one course he had that would work in the long term. Engaging Arafat only made him stronger. The man was a liar and a thief, treating him as a legitimate partner that might be reasoned with empowered him. Cutting him out would have sent the Palestinians (if not the entire ME) up in flames. The only logical choice was to put the ball back in the Palestinians court, if they want progress take some ownership in their leadership.posted by: Mark Buehner on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
I like Drum; I enjoy you. But Drum's lynch mob followers aren't worthy. Do your best and know that there are reasonable people out here who respect your voice.posted by: kreiz on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
That is simply not correct. What repurcussions did Bush put on Arafat ? Hardly any, and this came after the Israeli's uncovered proof that he had been involved in arms shipments.
Bush didn't directly "do" anything to Arafat. But what he did do was freeze Arafat out. Unlike our European "friends," who acted as if Arafat were a legitimately elected national leader entitled to the respect due to other world leaders, Bush treated him as a rogue quasi-terrorist. This may not have directly harmed Arafat, but it gave Israel a green light to place him under house arrest, which they did.posted by: David Nieporent on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
What was most disturbing about the post over at Washington Monthly was not the "head injury" post or the "Conservatives are evil poopyheads"-style posts, but the "Kevin, how dare you invite a conservative to post here? I don't want to be exposed to conservative ideas" posts.posted by: David Nieporent on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
That Drum comments section was embarrassing. Jeez.posted by: jult52 on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
I see that Mr. Drum is deleting offensive comments on the new post by Dan. He must have found it embarrassing as well.
I don't ever recall seeing him delete a comment in the past...posted by: Ron on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
"But what he did do was freeze Arafat out. Unlike our European "friends," who acted as if Arafat were a legitimately elected national leader entitled to the respect due to other world leaders, Bush treated him as a rogue quasi-terrorist. This may not have directly harmed Arafat, but it gave Israel a green light to place him under house arrest, which they did."
All all that did was to increase his stature. Incidentally, Bush did prevent Israel from assassinating him.
I don't disapprove of Bush's treatment of Arafat, I disapprove of the claim that Bush took any sort of strong affirmative action in the Palestine issue. If Arafat had lived for another 10 years, we would still have been playing same old, same old.posted by: Stone on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Well, if Kevin had, you wouldn't have seen it, right :-) ?
Look, if Dan had gone to Powerline, he would probably have faced similar idiots (from the opposite side) as well. Instapundit put in a link to a Dan post about aid to Africa and we were immediatedly barraged here with 30 twits claiming that Africa's problems would be solved if we manufactured more DDT.
Personally, I have found Dan to be one of the most honest commenters of any kind in the blogosphere. Even when I disagree with him, I find him making sensible points.
posted by: erg on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Dan's second post is up: The trouble with funding NGOs
I'm not sure if he means US-government funding of NGOs to promote democracy is doomed to misdirection, or that NGOs inevitably pander to their donors' ideals, or something else.posted by: Fnord on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Well, if Kevin had, you wouldn't have seen it, right :-)
Dan, does your second piece summarize something like this:
Funding NGOs is neither worthless nor a magic bullet. Natives mistrust the motives of foreign funding, and the funded pander to the funders rather than pursue the stated goals.
All of which I agree with. However, I'm not sure the article shows that the better allocation for US government democracy promotion funds is through military nation-building over NGO support of civil society.posted by: Fnord on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
- "Look, if Dan had gone to Powerline, he would probably have faced similar idiots (from the opposite side) as well"
I doubt it. The tone on the right is far less bitter on these issues. The DDT example may be ludicrous, but its not equivalent to the bile spewed over at Drum's blog. Perhaps you can provide a better example where conservatives abused and ridiculed a "guest" either on a blog, or in some sort of debat Granted, there seem to be only a handful of yahoos, but they are really off the charts.
And, this is clearly a trend that liberals will have to come to grips with. The less power that they have, the more frustrated and angry they will become.
The right may have its idiots, but it also has a far larger share of brainpower, and is much more open to intelligent debate, than the left.
At first I was offended and discouraged by the comments, now I am glad to have read them. Reminds me why I jumped ship a few years back. That said, I think that the effort is a waste of time - but maybe Dan can update us on this when he is done.
posted by: paul on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
All all[sic] that did was to increase his stature.
Perhaps to the Palestinians, but not as much as, say, pandering to him the way Clinton did. The Pals were Arafat junkies. Nothing the US actively said or did, for him or agin' him, was going to change that. Bottling him up and waiting for him to die was the way to go.
And, yeah, Kevin Drum's comment section is a snake pit. Reminds me of LGF's, but on the left.posted by: Achillea on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Perhaps you can provide an example of a right-wing blogger of equal prominence on the right (as Kevin is on the left) who gave up their blog to a leftish writer who took on an intellectual hot button issue, then maybe I could go lookup up on it.
But there are plenty of examples (outside of blogs) of this sort of one-sided attack. For 8 years, the WSJ's editorial page (and remember this is the page of one of the most respected papers in the country) attacked Clinton almost without respite. In fact, I shouldn't stop at 8, they still continued to attack him after that, and still do from time to time. They published a whole book (or maybe more than one) on his attacks, they even accused him at one point of being involved in drug running in Arkansas. They attacked Vince Foster so heavily that it was a contributing factor, and a major one in his suicide, then they had the temerity to run conspiracy theories on Foster's death.
I cited the WSJ above, I could mention Free Republic, NEwsMax, Rush Limbaugh and all the other right wing media that attacked Clinton when the right was out of power.
So much for your nonsense about civilized discourse from the right.
The WSJ's editorial page, supposedly some of the top conservative minds in the country has been busily disproving that for years. One doesn't even have to mention freerepublic or LGF.
Both sides have their idiots, but certainly the right when out of power has not shown any greater brainpower or tendency to indulge in intelligent debate than the left.posted by: erg on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
All all[sic] that did was to increase his stature.
"Perhaps to the Palestinians, but not as much as, say, pandering to him the way Clinton did. The Pals were Arafat junkies. Nothing the US actively said or did, for him or agin' him, was going to change that."
Say what ? You say earlier that Clinton's so-called pandering to Arafat increased his stature, now you say that nothing the US did would change the fact that the Pals were Arafat junkies. In your haste to attack Clinton and Deify Bush, you seem to have shot your own argument in the foot.posted by: Stone on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
I don't know about bitterness, but I would suggest taking a gander at the LGF comments section. Practically every thread has a call to exterminate all Arabs, all Palestinians or sometimes all Muslims. All Hail the civilized non-bitter debate on the right.
While I haven't read the letters in questions, its not unreasonable to presume that readers who read Kevin's blog do so simply to read liberal stuff and are not interested in hearing conservative ideas (not that Drezner is really conservative) there. After all, the millions of people who tune in to Limbaugh don't do so to listen to a liberal or even a centrist point of view.posted by: Jon Juzlak on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Oh right. I forgot about the vaunted right wing media. Lets see. The WSJ, Fox, Limbaugh vs, well, everyone else. Major networks, newspapers and magazines, academia, the "brain trust" of America and the left still can't get a cohesive message.
So, instead of coming up with one, they stamp their feet and invoke Vince Foster.
Anyway, we are talking about today. The WSJ may have been tough on Clinton, but did they ever compare him to Mao or Stalin? Its chic and acceptable to compare Bush to Hitler. If the comparison is not made explicitly by a particular group on the left, it has not been dencounced either.
My main point is, and it obviously just my opinion, that those on the moderate right are much more reasonable than those on (what passes as) the moderate left.
This brings me to Jon's comment. I said that the tone was far less bitter, not that it was not bitter. I stand by this point. Explicit Muslim bashing on the right is far less common than the virulent Bush hatred that is accepted by most on the left. Maybe you should check out that comment section and see for yourself.posted by: paul on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
You were the one who asked me to give an example and I did, and now you claim I'm invoking Foster ? In any case, the appropriate comparison is to see how the right did when out of power and we can see how the WSJ did -- they all but drove a man to suicide.
They compared his policies to communist policies several times.
There were plenty of people who compared Clinton to Hitler. All of the right compared him to Hitler after Waco, Reno was referred to as jackboot Janet.
Furthermore let me repeat something that should be obvious to the meanest intellect. The WSJ is a major respected paper (well, its editorial page is not respected, but the rest of the paper is). The appropriate comparison is thus not to a random leftie group but to say the NYTimes or the Wash Post.
When the NYTimes editorial page calls for Bush's impeachment 2 dozen times, when the editorial page starts publishing editorials like 'Who is person X' in the Bush administration the way the WSJ did to Vince Foster, when the NYC publishes 2-3 books based simply on the editorial page's comments about Clinton, when it accuses Bush of drug smuggling, then maybe you might have a case.
[ Note that I'm referring to editorials here, not op-ed columns -- the WSJ certainly had plenty of virulent columns, and so does the NYTimes]
As for the Washington Post editorial page, it supported Bush on Iraq and has even supported him partly on Social Security.
Even though I didn't post the original message, let me post a response here. The appropriate comparison is not with Muslim bashing, but with bashing of top dem figures. There aren't that many now, but certainly last year the bashing of Kerry rivalled that of Bush. The WSJ editorial page was in fine form, bashing Teresa Heinz for tax evasion because she bought Muni bonds (thereby demonstrating an unbelievably poor grasp of fnance and contradicting the rest of the paper), making baseless accusations against the Heinz foundation and so on.
I can barely imagine what it would have been like if Kerry had been re-elected. We can imagine just a mere part of it from the CLinton hate, when a US senator said that CLinton was said that in assasination if he visited his state. [ And that despite the fact that except for his first year Clinton was largely a centrist, that he was a Southerner and that he defeated a not-very popular among right-wingers president]
posted by: erg on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
To claify it wasn't all of the right, but there were definitely elements on the right who compared him to Hitler after Waco.
Oh, yes, and I remember the WSJ suggesting after the Elian Gonzalez affair that Clinton had been blackmailed by Castro, who had used information from the listening stations of Soviet days !!!posted by: erg on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Good to know that intelligent conservative commentary, without cheap shots at the other side, can be found in the comments sections of conservative blogs like this one. To think of the time I have wasted looking for it on TV (Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, O'Reilly, Barnes...) -- not to mention the typical radio station around the country. But then, who's listening to those.posted by: JS on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
On the idea being pimped supra by some that the moderate [choose your side] is more [less] reasonable in the United States than [the other side].
I have to say as a relative outsider, this is a pretty laughable assertion. There seems to be a fairly even division on nuttiness and sheer vitriol - but it comes in very different styles.
Even if it were true, I may add, if one had a magical way of assessing this, in human reality I doubt very much one can truly assess and it rather does one discredit to pretend to.posted by: collounsbury on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
I think it's good to keep in mind that outrageous partisan invective can be found on both sides and then witness how alienating that rhetoric can be to someone who doesn't necessarily share the ideology of the forum. The tone of the Drum forum comments made me shut my ears to some legitimate points the left has about Iraq and Social Security. Let's be wise and remember that when we encounter left-wing ideas.
Reasonable, respectful disagreement will do more to persuade than hysterics.posted by: jult52 on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
A couple of points and maybe we can wrap this up:
Not to go around in circles, but you say:
"When the NYTimes editorial page calls for Bush's impeachment 2 dozen times, when the editorial page starts publishing editorials like 'Who is person X' in the Bush administration the way the WSJ did to Vince Foster, when the NYC publishes 2-3 books based simply on the editorial page's comments about Clinton, when it accuses Bush of drug smuggling, then maybe you might have a case."
* If Bush commits impeachable offenses, I have no doubt that the NY Times will put their 2 cents in. The WSJ did not impeach Bill Clinton. Congress did.
* Vince Foster's story is tragic, but come on, people are excoriated in the press every day, and don't kill themselves. To pin his suicide on the WSJ is a little extreme.
Anyway, I'll grant you that the right can be mean and nasty, and we could go back and forth on right v left media - Michael Moore v Sean Hannity and all that. Both are distasteful as far as I am concerned.
But the original issue for me was that I just don't see the level of hatred and anger on the right that I see on the left. Today. This is clear to me in the Drum blog's response to Dan. Now you might be able to find similar rhetoric in the threads at LGF and other right, but this does not seep through to moderate conservatives like I think it does on the left. My own family, dyed in the wool Democrats, as I once was, compares Bush to Hitler for God's sakes. And these are very intelligent people.
And, I think it is ironic that we are having what I see to be a heated, but civil exchange (you may or may not agree), on a moderately conservative site. Where does this happen on the left? You obviously feel comfortable enough to come here without insulting people, and I think that is great. If you have suggestions about where I can go to do the same on the left, I'm all ears. Honestly.posted by: paul on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Although mostly OT to Dan's post, one comment I found quite troubling was this one.
I spent a couple hours yesterday going through the links provided and found them to document the comment with very credible sourcing.
Now that is frightening.posted by: Carl on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
You do know that they can track you very easily through your posts, don't you? Just keep quiet about this and we'll all be ok.
posted by: Number 3 on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Carl, had you been reading blogs on the other side you would have known about this for a long time.
Coming to visit as I do from that other side (don't worry, I will not stay long) I will readily agree that things would be much better if angry and uncivil posts were absent everywhere, and I am offended by them as much as anyone here. (More, actually, because it is harder to accept that people who think as you do can be so crass).
But as I suggested in my previous post here, the reason may be that there is very little expression of the more liberal views on MSM, despite the myth of MSM liberalism. We get the extreme range of conservative views (from Brooks to Limbaugh and beyond) on TV and radio, but very little to the left of Mark Shields. This creates a lot of bottled-up anger in many people, and they try to vent on the liberal blogs. I don't condone it, but I understand it.posted by: JS on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
You can't compare Powerline to those hyenas.
No freaking way.posted by: Cutler on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
But as I suggested in my previous post here, the reason may be that there is very little expression of the more liberal views on MSM, despite the myth of MSM liberalism.
Well, kind of.
MSM liberalism is real, but IMO it's the squishy soft leftism of people who tend not to think about stuff in depth. 'Cliche leftism', if you will- "it takes a village", etc.
What annoys righies like myself isn't that so many in the MSM have such opinions- they have the same right to their opinion that I have- it's that they're not up front about it. Many journalists (not columnists) think they have to pretend to be objective, so that leftism is usually expressed via subtle disdain for the other side, and it's a constant drip drip drip drip...
It gets to you after a few decades.posted by: rosignol on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
My view from the center is that both extremes are almost identical. If you block out names of the media you couldn't tell left wing rants about the MSM from right wing rants about MSM.
However, the foul insults and refusal to even listen to slightly different opinions is more dangerous for the left. One comment above noted that the writer had abandoned the left in part because of the irrationality of their retoric. I feel the same way.
As long as the level of dialogue is along the lines of the "head injury" comment, comparing Bush to Hitler, and calling US voters stupid, the left is not going to bring anyone along. They are not acting like they want to win elections.
Kudos to both Drum and Drezner for the rare give and take that actually makes people think and could change some minds.
Regarding head injuries: the preferred way to talk to these liberals is with a baseball bat.
I wonder if I could sell a book based on that?posted by: AC on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Thats rich. Oh, I get it. Ann Coulter sent that message, hilarious!
I think that the real preferred method of assault is usually a pie. There are also a fair number of rocks thrown through business windows at the liberal protest love-ins. Pacifism rules!posted by: paul on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Third post -- [Yes] the Iraq war [did] spur the democratic reforms that we've recently seen sprouting in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Middle East." and "Arab democratization is in its very, very early stages, and could pop like a balloon. Even if it succeeds, in about a decade it would not be surprising if there was a counter-wave of authoritarianism."posted by: Fnord on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
rosignol, I mentioned some high-profile right-wing media names in my previous post (Limbaugh, Coulter, etc.). And of course 98% of talk radio is right-wing to the point of McVeigh extremism. What lefty names can you think of in the media?
Let's not forget that, in the period before and after the last war, 70% of the US public thought that Iraq was behind 9/11. Despite official retractions (spoken in very low voice), about half the people still believe it. And Cheney still claims it. Why doesn't the supposedly left-wing media cry foul? When Dan Rather made that stupid mistake, he was excoriated and quickly dispensed with. What happened to all those on Fox "News" that have been making the case about the Iraq - 9/11 connection? Or about the fact that the CIA was minimizing the Iraqi WMD threat? How many of these people have been fired?
Jack, you say you couldn't tell left wing rants about the MSM from right wing rants about MSM. You are talking about rants about MSM, but the question is, where is this left-wing MSM? I don't see it.
Let's not forget the OK City Bombing (right-wing extremism) and the fact that Evolution still cannot be tought in many places in this country. The US is in much greater danger from right-wing extremism than from anything from the anemic left.
And regarding the "head injuries" post, I don't approve of it. But for those of you who did not bother to read it, the writer was complaining about people who ignore the casualties of war when it is convenient. The first part of that comment read: Dan: Are you going to cover the car bombs issue? How about the issuance of artificial legs for Iraqi children? Any discussion about the number of dead Iraqis due to "liberation"? And when are you enlisting? There is nothing so disgusting and nauseating as chicken hawk Repuke chicken shit cowards discussing how noble our war is.
It is easy to look back in history and get outraged by the famous silence of Germans and others when their countries were doing bad things. "Where was the outrage?" Well, many on the left happen to think that many people are being killed and maimed today for not good enough reasons, and our government doesn't much care. And when its excuses prove to be falso, they switch excuses. There is a good chance that those who prefer not to pay attention are closer to those who also kept silence in 1940s in Germany. That is the context of "head injuries".posted by: JS on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Most of this discussion is reasonable, but that last post was just so stupid it makes my head hurt.
Conservative radio = Timothy McVeigh?
2005 America = 1940 Germany?
Very silly.posted by: paul on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
No Paul, 2005 America is not equal to 1940 Germany.
But if your sensitivity to unwarranted killing and maiming will not be aroused until the level of 1940s Germany is reached, then there is something wrong with you. And that was the point of the comment.
As for McVeigh -- yes, I believe that right-wing radio (which is pervasive) has a lot to do with people like him, the abortion/olympics bombers, and the militia nuts who made a tactical retreat after OK City. Urbane conservatives like yourself have nothing to do with this, I know, but the point is that the majority of the media that reach large portions of the US public are on the extreme right wing. And there is no such thing as left-wing, or even mainly liberal, media at all in the US. Even PBS is now being run by Republicans.posted by: JS on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
Yes, I noticed the the Republicans recently got their operatives involved with Arthur and Frontline recently. Scary stuff. I don't let my kids watch either show anymore.
Lets recap. Republicans run PBS. The Moonies run the government(as implied in your seemingly humorous response to Carl's post). And Bill O'Reilly is a front for right wing militias.
Anything in the above paragraph that you disagree with JS?
(cue circus music)
As for McVeigh -- yes, I believe that right-wing radio (which is pervasive) has a lot to do with people like him, the abortion/olympics bombers, and the militia nuts who made a tactical retreat after OK City.
McVeigh was pissed off about the Branch Davidian BBQ- I hope you remember that- and thought the guy who wrote "The Turner Diaries" was predicting the future.
Blaming OKC on talk radio is profoundly ignorant. It's not right-wing talk radio's fault BATF was incompetent and a bunch of people burned to death. It's not right-wing talk radio's fault that Janet Reno 'accepted responsibility' for the disaster and didn't resign. It's not right-wing talk radio's fault that an FBI sniper shot an unarmed woman at Ruby Ridge. And it'd not right-wing talk radio's fault that a racist author went and wrote a book about apocalyptic race riots back in 1978- was there such a thing as right-wing talk radio back then?
But somehow, you think "And of course 98% of talk radio is right-wing to the point of McVeigh extremism." Ok, fine, everyone has a right to their opinion. What I want to know is why don't you think that any of those other events had anything to do with it?posted by: rosignol on 05.02.05 at 09:10 AM [permalink]
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