December 29, 2004


We are the Neo-N...-lovers

It's curious how US history keeps repeating itself, without anyone learning anything from these repetitions. Used to be anyone who defended African-Americans against those who persecuted, tortured, and lynched them was called a N... lover. Those doing the name-calling did not feel the least remorse for any of the atrocities committed against black people. They hated the people who defended the blacks, though, because they were afraid that talking about the atrocities may, God forbid, stir someone's conscience. The same thing is going on with Iraq. The right wants as many Iraqis (or Moslems in general) to be killed as possible, and they don't care how or why. All they ask is that no-one talk about it. And whoever does talk about it faces the right's full arsenal of invective and worse... And yet the right gets indignant when it is labelled Nazi or Fascist! I could name any number of "conservative" icons who have called, either explicitly or implicitly (they are very clever that way), for the eradication of all Moslems (all 1.2 billion of them), but I won't bother. Their filth is already all over the Internet and the newsmedia for anyone who wants to look the hideous face of American "conservatism" in the eye. And one doesn't even need to look at the "icons" anyway, as any American can testify on this issue on the basis of what he/she hears at work from co-workers, or hears coming out of his/her own mouth.

I could not agree more. America seems headed down a disatrous social path at the momment and all the violence we are spreading around the world with our weapons of mass destruction will surely rebound on itself.
Oh come on. There is no such thing as conservitism, liberalism, fascism, or anything like that. It's all the same, and you are just playing the pointless games everyone else does.

Lighten up.
i am a 52 year old white american male who has raised four daughter with his wife of 32 years. i love my country and have enjoyed my many visits to canada.

i voted for bush.

i assume we disagree on iraq. does this make you hate me ??? when hating starts, two things stop, listening & thinking.

i don't know anyone here in the us that wants to take over the world. we would like a few others to stop flying planes into our buildings, however.

we gave back germany, japan, afganistan, etc... and iraq is becoming more like canada every day...(history repeating itself??) so much for world domination...

when i visited the world trade center after 9/11 it clearified my thinking. you might consider a visit to the usa... to listen and to think.... for yourself

ps-not good to judge 52% of your neighbors by a few nutjob blogs

(can i still not get mashed potatoes instead of frys at kfc up there ??)
Amen. This blog is spot-on. I am a 54-yr-old mother of one. When I was growing up in Phx, AZ white people were as oblivious to racism then as the previous poster is today.
Thanks you, Thomas, Daniel and S.A., for your comments.

Thomas' comment: I am glad you say "the violence ... will rebound on itself," rather than "the violence ... will rebound on us." To my way of thinking, this distinction (if a conscius one) differentiates you from the usual run of Americans, who seem to see an "us" and a "them." It seems to me that you know there is only an "us," which includes the entire human race. The more violence we create in this world, the more violence we'll be faced with.

Daniel's comment: I wish it were only a game, my friend. It is definitely not a game, though. Real people, and not virtual ones, are getting killed in their tens of thousands. The truckloads of bodies of women and children taken to mass graves in Iraq will leave lasting memories of American savagery that will make this an even more violent world.

S.A.'s comment: We do indeed disagree on Bush, but it doesn't mean I hate you. What it means is that Bush and his gang hate both you and me, but, and I hope you won't be offended by my saying so, I think they also despise you for having been taken in by their lies. But, speaking from the point of view of practicality, that gang does not represent the interests of either of us. You may not want to take over the world, but the people you have voted into office do want to take over the world. Take a look at Cheney and his gang's "Project for an American Century." As to planes flying into buildings, are you perhaps one of those people who still believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11, contrary to all the evidence and Bush's own admission? If you are, please just ignore the rest of this. As thousands of others have said, when a crime is committed, you use the resources of the criminal justice system to catch, try, and punish the criminals. Instead, Bush decided to exploit 9/11 to pursue the Afghan oil pipeline project and Iraqi oil. As a result, the small terrorist gang that planned 9/11, which could have been eliminated relatively easily if wiser heads had prevailed, is now a permanent and substantial part of the world's landscape, and, as far as I can see, cannot be elimintaed anymore.
Thank you, Ivy, for your comment. It arrived after I had answered the other three comments. It made me realize that it is not just S.A. who seems oblivious to the issue of racism, but that even I, despite my anti-racist talk, am not always as conscious of its implications as I should be. I forget that racism creates certain assumptions. S.A assumes a lot of things without question. He assumes Americans have something to give Iraqis that is better than what they had before, or what they could have created by themselves had the US not been so thirsty for their oil.
I agree with the blogger.

About getting planes into buildings, it only happened once, and sometimes I think it's strange that things like these haven't happened more often in the US with such a great past when it comes to poking its nose into where the country shouldn't.

Look at what happened to Spain (Madrid, March 11th) just because of having a pro-US president supporting Bush's moves. And it was only a move we shouldn't have done. We paid its price... at a high cost.
This all makes me sad. We are so divided because we dwell on the most evil and dark aspects of this world. We are all human, we are all wanting to live our lives the best we can. Why doesn't our focus shift to that?
I voted for Bush, I support our soldiers, but I also love my Muslim friends and want the war to end quickly. If the result of Iraqis being free could be met with no more death, then I couldn't be happier. Let's not lose sight of the true desires of most people.
Interesting blog. I like it. I personally am a Sand - N------ Lover (don't get offended, he and I joke about this "label" a lot). I sleep next to him every night. I love what benefits I get by living in America, but personally I'd rather live in India, because even though the same corruption exists... at least it's obvious. And I believe there is much beauty in that.
I hate the Iraq war.
So many political games that everyone fails to see.
I really wish that someone would come over to troops to America and bomb the hell out of it. Maybe then people could actually complain.
Al S.E.-

I believe you are correct in your suspicions of the American Right. They certainly prosecuted this "war" on lies, exaggerations and false claims. More than likely they want to be able to control and stabilize world oil markets.

Having said this, the Right has not shown any interest in "taking over the world." Your characterization of rampant American racism has some legitimacy in respect to the fringes, but it is interesting that you are not an even-handed critic. Nowhere else in the world is as closed-minded, intolerant, sexist, racist and genocidal as the Middle East. Why is it you only criticize America's right wing FRINGE when the mainstream in the Middle East endorses the same kind of hatred(and much worse!). Let's compare: In America, by law, Muslims and people of all religions and races are free to worship as they choose-or not. What would happen to people trying to practice Christianity, Judaism or atheism in the much of the Middle East? What about criticism of Islam? Yes, America has a shameful past of slavery, but slavery persists in the Middle East today. And the genocide in the Sudan? It has been conducted by Islamic Fundamentalists. Criticizing only the American Right is dishonest. There are a lot of us- at least 47%- who do criticize the Right in America, but their wrongs pale by comparison to the legislated fascism of the Middle East.

However wrong America was to invade Iraq, Sadaam was a genocidal thug. It only seems to bother the body politic of the Middle East when their people die at the hands of "infidels."

America is no doubt responsible for the deaths of many innocents in the Iraq invasion and occupation and a large percentage of Americans are protesting and trying to bring a peaceful end to it all. Meanwhile fascists in Iraq are shooting Iraqi election workers in broad daylight.

America is far from alone in its wrongs and even the majority of those who support the right, do so for what they believe to be noble causes (e.g. democracy, freedom, etc.). Are America's enemies even pretending to pursue high causes? Coming from the left, I am acutely aware of how politically incorrect it is to criticize any political, geographical or religious entities other than those in America. You are right: there is just one "us" in the world- all peoples. Pursuing only America's wrongs does nothing to promote this ideal.
Yeah, he criticises the US, but for one reason, Middle-East countries have wrong attitudes towards women or other countries BUT I think that the point here is how a "great country" like America, which is number one market for the media and everything, supposed to be the land of the freedom, that shows off they had the first Constitution and all that stuff is the first to cover an interest-based war by making false claims. It's a developed country where everything is supposed to be done alright (polls, decisions and stuff) but actually, it has proved to become somehow a Banana Republic where you can steal the election and do whatever you want to other countries in the name of God and supposedly for the well-being of others.

I think that's why he focuses on the U.S., it's the whole point of the story. He's fed up with the U.S. for this and I understand him.
I am not Black, but i like Black people.Just read an interesting blog about Siria, they seem to be doing well, but i am not a muslim.I like America, but the politicians are not America.I like China, which America may be seeing as a potential threat : remember China was the most liked country in the world for a long time, frances bacon said all inventions come from the east.Power has shifted, in the past few centuries.America is only the new kid on the, i am not Chinese-and what is this thing with labels.People only see fault with others, when there is fault with themselves, or another race:this is basic psychology.Whatever America is doing to other countries it is probably doing it to itself.
Fernán ("ZambiekE") has said it all (in response to Anon). I will just add that Americans, especially those who consider themselves progressive, should rid themselves of the idea that they have a right to be the judge, jury and executioner for the rest of the world. There is, unquestionably, a very great deal of everything evil in every country in the world. But those countries don't invade other countries and massacre their populations to create new regimes that are more favourable to their own interests. I will put it differently: If you think America can be a political model for the rest of the world, it is going about it in a very poor way. What bothers the people in the Middle East about the American invasion is that Iraqis are being killed for their oil, but under the cover of creating a democratic regime. And if you think Iyad Allawi is any different from Saddam Hussein, you have another think coming. The only difference between them is that Hussein stopped taking orders from America fifteen years ago. "America's enemies," as you call them, are the people who are opposed to the policies of the US Government. In the same way that Isrealis call anyone who opposes Isreali oppression "anti-semitic," the American Right calls anyone who opposes US oppression "anti-American." It is regrettable that someone like you, who is "coming from the left," has in this regard adopted the Right's rhetoric.
By the way, the comments on this post by Fernán (who is Spanish) have reminded me of the exemplary manner in which the Spanish nation reacted to its own terrorist calamity that occurred on March 11. First, they kicked out the government of the proto-fascist Aznar, who had brought this attack on Spain by supporting the US invasion of Iraq. Second, they prosecuted the specific individuals who had been involved in the terrorist attack. Third, the experience of sharing this trauma gave rise to greater harmony and peace between the various ethnic groups within Spanish society. That is how civilized nations behave.
Al S.E.-

In your initial post you stated "The right wants as many Iraqis (or Moslems in general) to be killed as possible, and they don't care how or why. All they ask is that no-one talk about it." This is simply not supported by any evidence. And there are many of us who risk the "invective" for doing so. Name an instance of an "insurgent" prosecuted as a war criminal. American war criminals would Middle Eastern heroes in many quarters. You concede that there is evil in all countries as though this truth makes all countries equal in this respect, but somehow America is more evil. This is a lie of omission. And you say that "those countries" don't invade others? Once again, this is not even close to true. Check your history, recent and distant: "those countries" do a lot of invading.

ZombiekE rightly chides America for claiming greatness and failing this standard, but it is not America who pursues conflicts "in the name of God." America is a nation "of the people, by the people," and as such is flawed. What is the excuse for the brutal regimes who claim to act in the name of God?

The problem is that neither the right nor apologists for Middle Eastern tyranny can face the whole truth: America is a better model for people to freely pursue their lives, but that does not give it the right to impose its will on others.

And Al S.e., I would not call critics of America enemies of America. I do believe that your exclusive, specific criticism of America reveals a one-sidedness. If you believe that Iyad Al and Sadaam are equivalent, other than Sadaam's (heroic?) resistance to America, then you ignore Sadaam's hundreds of thousands of victims. Perhaps these crimes don't warrant a mention from you as they were not perpetrated by America.

The "invective" I receive is not exclusively from the right. In general, it comes from people who are very partisan. You can use quotation marks around my claim to be from the left all you want, but true-thinking lefties are opposed to both the American occupation of Iraq AND the kind of tyranny people like you defend by ommision.
All I can say is that I feel very disturbed by the fact that even many American liberals seem unable to see the truth about what their government has done and continues to do in the world. May "God" help us all.
Being a US citizen today is hard, I am entrenched in the heiness activity of our elected government. I do avidly feel that the violence committed by the American government will be revisted. Violence begets violence. I have never forgotten that phrase. However, it is hard not to take it personal because I didn't and still do not support my government's behavior. Our nation is divided. It is quite obvious from our election. Half supported Bush and half did not. I am scared of the "Right." I watch, unsure of what I can do at this time, as our perceived rights erode. Honestly, Bush is dumber than a brick. Cheney and his cronies are a scary bunch. I fear for us all and the world. America is indeed plagued by issues, but I don't feel America is the only one.
Thanks, Bodhi, for your comment. True American liberals who are forced to endure living in Dubya's America have the sympathy of every progressive person in the world. In any case, we are all, whether American, Canadian, or of any other nationality, complicit in Dubya's being the most powerful politician in the world. What makes us complicit is our complacency and self-regard. Instead of actively working to improve politics, we have left politics to the politicians. Instead of actively working to make this a better world, we have cared only about our own backyard. The end result? A complete fool named George W. Bush (AKA Alfred E. Newman) is President of the United States of America, a pompous lunatic is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a shipping millionaire who cares not a whit for the common person is the Prime Minister of Canada, and so on and so forth. In my opinion, the old formula of "Think globally, act locally" is still the way to go. We must get involved in our local and national politics, and at the same time think of the effects of our country's actions and policies on other countries. So I would say it is irrelevant whether violence begets violence or not. Even if violence did not beget violence, it would still be inexcusable. It is fundamentally wrong to impose one nation's interests on another nation, period. That is what the US is doing and has done for over a century, and that is what all progressive Americans should oppose.
How can you criticize the USA when you don't even live here? The media blows the racism and hatered in this country way out of poroprtion. In reality, the people who create racial tension (of any color) are a very small minority of the general population. Really, in day to day life, the US is not very different from Canada.

How can you call conservatism "hideous?" I can respect the fact that you disagree, but you don't need to blast it with a hateful remark. As far as I can tell, everything you know comes from heresay. Name one conservative icon who wants to eradicate 1.2 billion Moslems.

I would like to stage the argument that the conservatives in the US are simply trying to make the world more peaceful and more civilized. Yeah, a lot of people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as a by product of this goal, but I don't think that makes it wrong. There are violent and hateful people everywhere, it's unfortunate that that is what the world media focuses on.

I am not trying to condem what you are doing. I truly respect your point of view, I am just trying to shed light on this subject from another angle.
Thanks for your comment, "Zealott." I don't know whether you noticed that in my post I put the word "conservative" in quotation marks. Conservatism, whatever merits it may have had, was hijacked by the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan a quarter of a century ago. I refer you to Thatcher's famous quote: "There is no such thing as society." Respect for society was a sine qua non of traditional conservatism. What has reigned as conservatism in English-speaking countries since then has very little to do with the philosophy and practice of conservatives prior to 1980. Its domestic and international wings are referred to as "neo-conservatism" and "neo-liberalism," respectively. As I have said elsewhere in this blog, their agenda has penetrated so deeply into the American psyche that it does its dirty work quite unconsciously. For example, if the 9/11 event had happened in any other Western country, the blame would have been fixed on the actual culprits, who were probably not more than a couple of hundred individuals. Instead, the US government chose to declare a “crusade” (to use Bush's hastily withdrawn word), and many of the Republican rank and file interpreted the event as carte blanche to discard any pretence to civility that had been forced on them until then. Moslems, Arabs, dark-complexioned people, or just anyone they didn't like to begin with was now fair game. But, as I said, Americans are no longer conscious of it. To become conscious of it again is probably going to require something as large as the Civil Rights movement. As it is, Americans have become blind to the fact that racist content has become a normal part of their newspapers and television programs. A part of the unconscious racism is the cavalier attitude towards the over 100,000 deaths in Iraq. The usual American response is “Well, it's war!" I wonder how Americans would have responded if 100,000 Americans had been killed. Another part of it is the failure to condemn the invasion of Iraq in the first place. Millions of Americans have been battling against this trend. Few of them call themselves conservative. Rather, they are a segment within the maligned liberal camp.
Ahhhh, I feel safe now that I have found the intelligent side of the world. ;) It is beyond me how anyone can think this war is acceptable. Allow me to quote someone, will you? “As much as possible, the reality of war is kept at a distance from the American people, which is a shame. My own belief is that the pain of war should be much widely shared. That would help guard us against wars that are unnecessary, and ensure a more collective effort in those that are inevitable.” – Bob Herbert

You see, we went into this war with our eyes and ears closed to the reality of the real reason behind it all. The shame in all this is that the American people still think that us being there is okay. Do you not for one second ever wonder why we are still there? Does that question not cross your minds, EVER? First we invaded because Iraq had WMDs. When that wasn't found, the next excuse was "Iraq was planning to acquire resources to build WMDs". Then, when that wasn't proven, it's now "the people of Iraq did not like their leader so it is up to us to remove him and let them vote for someone they like." Assuming that this excuse is accepted, who the h*ll are we to go into another man's country, take it over and overthrow their government? As much as I despise this so called president of the US, I don't want anyone coming into our country and overthrowing our government and removing our president because they have NO RIGHT to do this and neither do we.
Thanks, Bella, for your comment, and for the compliment. If you feel safe because of having "found the intelligent side of the world," imagine how relieved people like me feel when a comment such as yours tells them that lunacy has not overtaken the entire US body politic.
Woah! I didn't expect such a response from my premise. Let's move on, I am personally getting tired of trying to figure out who's right and who's wrong and who's lying and who's telling the truth (it's too much like work).

It is interesting that you mentioned that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan "highjacked" the term "conservative." There is no doubt in my mind that if I had been an adult during the time of Kennedy or Roosevelt I would have been a Democrat. Those guys had constructive values and were leaders. That is what is important to me. See, Democrat, Republican, Conservative, and Liberal are just sounds -- they mean nothing, they are just logical containers we put certain like-minded people into, the names themselves mean nothing. A conservative today would have been considered a liberal 40 years ago and vise-versa (at least in the USA).
I beg to differ, "Zealott." For one thing, I think political thought is possibly the most entertaining hobby there is. I don't think of it as "work" at all. You are, in a sense, quite right that the labels "conservative" and "liberal" have fluid definitions. The reason they are fluid, though, is not that they don't meant anything. Rather, the reason is that the underlying reality that they serve to cover up and ideologize keeps changing. In other words, reality is fluid. In the 1930's, the Democratic Party moved to the left. The reason was that if it had not moved to the left, the entire politico-economic system would have lost its legitimacy. FDR moved to the left, not for the sake of the American people, not for the sake of the Democratic Party, but for the sake of protecting the interests of the powerful individuals that both parties serve. For similar reasons, both parties have been moving to the right for the last thirty year or so.
I hope you don't mind that I copied your post in my "Sampler" blog.
I don't mind it at all, Gethky. I am pleased that you found the post interesting.
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