Saturday, May 19, 2007

the more un-American the policy, the more they support it.

* Krugman:
"But the leading contenders for the Republican nomination have given us little reason to believe they would behave differently. Why should they? The principles Mr. Bush has betrayed are principles today’s G.O.P., dominated by movement conservatives, no longer honors. In fact, rank-and-file Republicans continue to approve strongly of Mr. Bush’s policies — and the more un-American the policy, the more they support it.
What we need to realize is that the infamous “Bush bubble,” the administration’s no-reality zone, extends a long way beyond the White House. Millions of Americans believe that patriotic torturers are keeping us safe, that there’s a vast Islamic axis of evil, that victory in Iraq is just around the corner, that Bush appointees are doing a heckuva job — and that news reports contradicting these beliefs reflect liberal media bias.

And the Republican nomination will go either to someone who shares these beliefs, and would therefore run the country the same way Mr. Bush has, or to a very, very good liar."

* the NYT has a good editorial on voting machines - saying that the evoting machines have given us "questionable election results" and that "intentional vote theft... is not hard to do... "

* congrats to Brad, Slate has picked up some of his (2 year old) work

* cnn is running a poll on the frontpage. "Do you think past U.S. foreign policy was a reason for the 9/11 attacks?" Yes is winning 2/1. Lucky that they asked about the past, rather than 'future' US foregin policy...

* George Monbiot was on demnow discussing global warming climate change:
"GEORGE MONBIOT: The Bush administration's handling of climate change is like Trofim Lysenko’s handling of genetics. I mean, this is a complete clampdown on science, allied to a clampdown on democracy, and the two things often go hand in hand. It has been a story of fraud, of deception, of obfuscation, of lies. And the moment you start getting industry lobbyists with no scientific background -- Cooney was a lawyer -- to start editing scientific reports, you have stepped into the territory normally occupied by dictatorships.
And I’m afraid to say that the Clinton-Gore administration in some ways did more harm than the Bush administration, because while Bush has gutted the US response to climate change, Gore and Clinton gutted the international response to climate change. They made sure that the Kyoto Protocol was pretty well a dead letter. They destroyed it as an effective instrument. And so, they destroyed it for everyone.

AMY GOODMAN: George Monbiot, on the issue of a speech you recently gave, where you talked about the axis of evil: George Bush, John Howard of Australia, and Stephen Harper of Canada.

GEORGE MONBIOT: Yes, the axis of evil on climate change. These guys have got together to make sure that there is no effective international action now taken on climate change. OK, there wasn't any being taken anyway, partly because of the US gutting of the Kyoto Protocol before, but --"


steven andresen said...

This came up,

"...cnn is running a poll on the frontpage. "Do you think past U.S. foreign policy was a reason for the 9/11 attacks?" Yes is winning 2/1. Lucky that they asked about the past, rather than 'future' US foregin policy..."

The crowd at the last Republican debate seemed to applaud loudly after Giuliani's response to Rep. Paul's comment that 9-11 was a reaction to our being over there, bombing, stealing, and killing, and so on.

It seemed un-American to that Republican crowd that 9-11 might have been a response to our being in Saudi Arabia, or our support of Israel no-matter-what, or our support for dictators in Moslem countries that cater primarily to American oil companies.

This puzzles me. It seems obvious that if someone comes up and punches my mother in the face, knocking her to the ground, that I would come to her aid and at least beat off her attacker. That the crowd resists the idea that 9-11 was a response makes them seem to be denying that anyone would respond in this way. Granted, there is no justification for my slamming my Mom's attacker up against a wall, and tripping him to the floor, or the elbow I press maybe too strenuously into his throat as I wait, patiently, for the police to find out what's up. But, it seems they either deny that I would feel I needed to use some force to protect my Mother, if not understandable that I would want to punish him for making her scream and bleed onto the floor.

Perhaps the crowd denies the claims that people have made that the United States has done anything wrong or problematical in Moslem countries. Maybe the organization and support of Saddam Hussein, or the Shah of Iran, or Al Queda against the Russians, can all be explained as innocent hijinks, and nothing that should give anyone any reason to want to attack Americans. Republicans, and others, may think that we have done so much to bring them civilization and jobs that they should only be grateful.

Maybe I'm getting too sarcastic to make my point. I just cannot understand how they could object to the basic point that what they did to Americans over here, was because of what we have been doing to them over there.

I can think of arguments that reject this claim. For example, I might argue that "moslem terrorists" didn't really do it. Or, I might argue that they could not have done it unless they got major help from the inside. I might argue that so far we have not attacked anyone who seemingly was involved, as no one on the planes was from Iraq or Afghanistan. They were mostly Saudi. But, I doubt that the Republican crowd would have supported Giuliani because they thought any of these things.

Rather, I think they believe that the United States can do no wrong, and if we do wrong, there is no justifiable reason anyone could have for trying to get back at us for that wrongdoing.

It's sort of like this: The powerful among us use weaker Americans as human shields. The powerful throw bombs and lots of nasty shit into crowds of people standing around in Iraq, or Kuwait, or Iran, or anywhere they want to aggitate. Then when they've provided these people enough that they take out after the powerful here, they usually, instead, hit the human shields. This, of course, is an unjustified and vicious attack of innocent civilians . Sure acts of terror.

No, it wasn't right for the people who've been savaged by the powerful among us to kill or maim innocent New Yorkers, say, or marines in Lebanon, or whomever. It wasn't right because these people never did anything directly to those in the middle east who have attacked Americans. However, I think Rep. Paul would say, one can understand why the Islamic activists killed innocent Americans. The were being held up and in the way so that the Islamic fighters could not get at the powerful in our midst who are truly responsible for all the shit that's gone down. They were unintended targets.

I don't see Rep. Paul making much headway trying to explain his position. I suspect the Republicans believe that the origin of the Islamic hostility toward the United States has nothing to do with whether actions based on that hostility are justified. He's trying to point out that we can understand 9-11 only if we see how their hostility towards us began, whereas the crowd wants to hear nothing about origins.

lukery said...

SteveA, a typically thoughtful post, thanks.

It sure was an amzing reaction that Paul got - from the 'Wingers, and from Giuliani etc.

One interesting thing is that Paul wasn't even making a new or provocative observation - OBL said the same, as did the 911 Commission report and a thousand other venues.

Another interesting thing is that he was immediately cast as either a Truther, or as saying that he thuoght 'America' deserved 911. I wonder why they're so scared of any discussion about 911, and/or Paul himself.

Paul does seem to be making some headway, though. He's even been on day-time telly!