21 May 2005


I respectfully disagree. Who knew it was possible?

My esteemed and infinitely respected colleague Craig makes some good points in the belowsaid article. Thomas Friedman does indeed suck and is the sanctimonious piece of shit's sanctimonious piece of shit. Which makes him a perfect fit for the Times editorial page, where he and like-minded and similarly myopic paleoliberals can giggle and compare looseleaf doodles of Bush getting it in the ass from Rumsfeld while sucking Cheney off, and hey, how many of us can claim to have landed his dream job? How it must have saddened these intellectual giants when Secretary Powell fled the Bush-Dick-Colin troika. Especially that bitch Maureen Dowd. What tired Third Reich parallels have you constructed this week, Maureen?

However, fair is fair, and while Friedman by no means gets it right in this column, his suggestion for an alternative reaction on the part of the Administration to the Newsweek debacle is definitely a marked improvement over how we actually responded. I didn't think the hypothetical statement posited by Friedman was as condescending as Craig took it. There are many in the Arab world who feel similarly; that Islamist insurgents are directionless rabble-rousers who, directly and indirectly, hurt other Muslims as much as the Americans do.

But two points are lost here. One is on Friedman's part. The reason White House press hound Scott McClellan laid so heavily into Newsweek and basically ignored the vile inhumanity on the part of the protestors in Afghanistan is this: At this point, American conservatives hate liberals more than they hate terrorists. Especially the press. Conservatives would rather string Bill Clinton up by his good-looking neck than allocate the funds and troops necessary to find Osama bin Laden (we're still looking for him, right?). Note the complete shift of focus right after the election from terror to the judiciary. The slim majority in the United States is now funnelling all its resources and attention into a War on Liberals. Sean Hannity and his coife never even mention Iraq or bin Laden unless it's to decry and divert liberal "spin" on the matter, or to associate Al Franken with Arab extremism. I mean, come on, what's more vital to American interests, stopping bloodthirsty animals from acquiring and employing weapons of mass destruction, or stopping an "unprecedented" filibuster of judicial nominees?

[By the way, on the filibuster issue, that dick Hannity repeats ad nauseum that "in 214 years of the U.S. Congress, a judicial nominee has never been filibustered until now." It's just not true. In 1968 Abe Fortas' nomination was filibustered by Republicans and southern Democrats. This excerpt from Fortas' entry on Wiki is telling:

In 2005 Abe Fortas again became a focus of controversy as the Republicans attempt to change Senate rules to eliminate filibusters of judicial appointments, a plan they originally called the "nuclear option." Democrats cite the Fortas filibuster as a precedent for their more recent filibusters. Republicans have tried to point out differences between their 1968 actions and what the Democrats have done and some even deny the Fortas filibuster ever happened.

Republicans claim it's "unconstitutional." Hypocrisy aside, if filibustering judicial nominees is unconstitutional, why does it necessitate a rule change and a vote in order to stop it? Can't someone just run on to the Senate floor and say "Hey! This is unconstitutional! It says it right here in the fucking Constitution!" End digression.]

What my friend Craig misses is that the propagation of a War on Terror assumes an authority-subject relationship. President Bush was clear enough on that from the outset without explicitly saying it. It's a war on an idea, so the modus operandi is essentially "We, the warriors against terror, say that there are fundamental aspects of the society in which you, the to-be-warred-against, live which must change. Since we are in the position to wage such a war, you will make the changes we deem appropriate and advantageous to our security and power, or be blown out of your silly little mud huts by a storm of missiles. Have a nice day." Condescension is the name of the game here. It's all a matter of the face put on it. Are you going to humiliate these people, by, say, hooking their genitals up to electrodes and defacing their holy book, or make them feel important, give them nice, pressed uniforms and prestigious-sounding titles (Come on, if you knew that the Americans would be taking care of everything, wouldn't you assume the presidency of Iraq if it was offered? How cool!). There are pitfalls to either path but the latter is the most expedient.

Put your helmets on. Once things in Baghdad settle down, we're taking Boston.


Blogger ORF said...

I haven't really read either of these posts yet since a) I didn't read that column yet and b) we already know how I feel about the esteemed Mr. Friedman and so I know I won't agree with most of what you've written, but I wanted to share this link w/ you guys:
I'll report back soon (hopefully) on your writings...

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