1.19.2014 Leave a comment
A political blog written from a left populist perspective
4.17.2013 1 Comment
The rush, one might say the eagerness, to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence. The New York Post quickly claimed that the prime suspect was a Saudi national (while also inaccurately reporting that 12 people had been confirmed dead). The Post’s insinuation of responsibility was also suggested on CNN by Former Bush Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend (“We know that there is one Saudi national who was wounded in the leg who is being spoken to”). Former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman went on CNN to grossly speculate that Muslim groups were behind the attack. Anti-Muslim bigots like Pam Geller predictably announced that this was “Jihad in America”. Expressions of hatred for Muslims, and a desire to do violence, were then spewing forth all over Twitter (some particularly unscrupulous partisan Democrat types were identically suggesting with zero evidence that the attackers were right-wing extremists).
Obviously, it’s possible that the perpetrator(s) will turn out to be Muslim, just like it’s possible they will turn out to be extremist right-wing activists, or left-wing agitators, or Muslim-fearing Anders-Breivik types, or lone individuals driven by apolitical mental illness. But the rush to proclaim the guilty party to be Muslim is seen in particular over and over with such events.
Indeed. It is as though some — many! — Americans find solace in their belief that Muslims commit these atrocities. The belief, even when it produces false claims attributing blame to Muslims, orders the world, providing the believer with succinct categories which can be used to cleanse the world of ambiguity and doubt. It is the other who commits these crimes. ‘We’ do not. ‘We’ are innocent. ‘We’ are pure, good and suffer needlessly. Those others are pure, bad and cause us grief.
This ‘thinking’ reflects a Platonic ontology formed in Hell.
11.18.2012 1 Comment
Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Israel’s operation in Gaza: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.”
Yishai, a reactionary and leader of the Shas Party, is lying, of course. Israel will never “be calm” as long as Palestinians and other Arabs live on land it covets. The quest to achieve a Greater Israel remains intact.
10.26.2012 Leave a comment
Ample ink is spilled over debating whether the US media is biased in favor of Republicans or Democrats. It is neither. The overwhelming, driving bias of the US media is subservience to power, whoever happens to be wielding it.
9.15.2012 Leave a comment
One prominent strain shaping American reaction to the protests in the Muslim world is bafflement, and even anger, that those Muslims are not more grateful to the US. After all, goes this thinking, the US bestowed them with the gifts of freedom and democracy – the very rights they are now exercising — so how could they possibly be anything other than thankful? Under this worldview, it is especially confounding that the US, their savior and freedom-provider, would be the target of their rage.
Greenwald continued with:
Given the history of the US in Egypt, both long-term and very recent, it takes an extraordinary degree of self-delusion and propaganda to depict Egyptian anger toward the US as “ironic” on the ground that it was the US who freed them and “allowed” them the right to protest. But that is precisely the theme being propagated by most US media outlets.
Americans today live in an irrational age and country. Reasonable debate over the issues which trouble us is all but impossible. Enlightenment on crucial matters requires a rejection of common sense and the status quo. “The whole is false.”
8.24.2012 Leave a comment
Readers of the American and British press over the past month have been inundated with righteous condemnations of Ecuador‘s poor record on press freedoms. Is this because western media outlets have suddenly developed a new-found devotion to defending civil liberties in Latin America? Please. To pose the question is to mock it.
It’s because feigning concern for these oppressive measures is a convenient instrument for demeaning and punishing Ecuador for the supreme crime of defying the US and its western allies. The government of President Rafael Correa granted asylum to western establishmentarians’ most despised figure, Julian Assange, and Correa’s government then loudly condemned Britain’s implied threats to invade its embassy. Ecuador must therefore be publicly flogged for its impertinence, and its press freedom record is a readily available whip. As a fun bonus, denunciations of Correa’s media oppression is a cheap and easy way to deride Assange’s supposed hypocrisy.
(Apparently, activists should only seek asylum from countries with pristine human rights records, whichever countries those might be: a newly concocted standard that was conspicuously missing during the saga of blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng at the US embassy; I don’t recall any western media outlets accusing Guangcheng of hypocrisy for seeking refuge from a country that indefinitely imprisons people with no charges, attacked Iraq, assassinates its own citizens with no due process on the secret orders of the president, bombs funerals and rescuers in Pakistan, uses extreme force and mass arrests to try to obliterate the peaceful Occupy protest movement, wages an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, prosecutes its Muslim citizens for posting YouTube videos critical of US foreign policy, embraces and arms the world’s most oppressive regimes, and imprisoned Muslim journalists for years at Guantánamo and elsewhere with no charges of any kind.)
But this behavior illustrates how purported human rights concerns are cynically exploited as a weapon by western governments and, more inexcusably, by their nationalistic, self-righteous media enablers.