Monday, February 09, 2009

2 US soldiers were announced dead over the weekend (NYT forgets)

In today's New York Times, Marc Santora offers "Iraqis Say U.S. Patrol Killed Girl, 8, in Crowd." Saturday in Karbala, US troops (part of a convoy) fired into a crowd:

Jassim Hassan, a 25-year-old college student, described a scene of chaos and confusion. "I don't know how all of this happened and I can't remember a thing, because everything was so fast and sudden," he said.
After the short burst of gunfire, the 8-year-old girl, Sa'adiya Saddam, collapsed on the ground by her wailing mother, witnesses said.
Her brother, Hussein, also 8, said: "We didn't notice the Americans before the gun shooting started. My sister fell immediately, swimming in her own blood."

And that's really all the article has to offer on the incident so it quickly turns into a summary piece. The New York Times had no article in Sunday's paper filed from Iraq. Point? For a round up, Santora's forgetting two US military deaths, one announced Saturday, the other announced yesterday. The paper has reported neither. I don't believe al-Maliki's 'overture' to former Baathists who have left Iraq (and I doubt they do) but Santora's got time to bore us with his non-reporter embellishments on that topic and he can't cover the basics of 2 deaths announced over the weekend?

In other news, the Kurdistan Regional Government notes the AP report that begins, "The prime minister of Iraq's Kurdistan Region accused the Arab-dominated national government Saturday of trying to use troops to seize control of the disputed city of Kirkuk, escalating tensions between Iraqi Kurds and the Arab leadership in Baghdad."

Switching from news to nonsense (or worse -- and this isn't related in anyway to the KRG, to be clear):

That's when Christians began supporting a new rationale for killing Iraqis: that any Iraqi who resisted the U.S. invasion or occupation was a terrorist and, therefore, okay to kill. Since terrorists were bad people, the argument went, it was okay to support the killing of Iraqis who were resisting the invasion and occupation of their country.

That's the kind of garbage, above, that really has no business circulating among the left. And I thought the thing to do was to ignore it. The first e-mail to the public account on this garbage, Jacob G. Hornberger's "Christian Support for Killing Iraqis," resulted in me trashing it and moving on to the next e-mail. But five visitors have e-mailed the public account sure that this is the sort of thing we'd be interested in applauding. We're not.

First off, it's stupid. It's stupid and written by a stupid person. It attacks American Christians throughout and seems completely unaware that many Christians were against the illegal war. What you have is bigotry expressed by Jacob G. Hornberger and he thinks it's okay because he's aiming it at Christians. He knows -- or should -- that he couldn't get away with making broadstroke claims like these against Muslims. But he thinks it's acceptable to do so with Christians and apparently Information Clearing House agrees.

I'll give the visitors the benefit of the doubt and say that, seeing it at Information Clearing House, they thought this was (a) about Iraq and (b) some sort of left statement. Jacob Hornberger is not a leftist. He is a right winger. (Click here for information about his group from SourceWatch.) But that five thought it was something we'd be interested in means we need to publicly reject it. It is badly written just as a piece of prose -- setting aside the 'facts' and point-of-view. It is badly written on a factual level since many, many American Christians rejected the illegal war and did so before it began.

Who knows what Hornberger's selling (Lyndon LaRouche?) but whatever it is, he thinks the way to get there is by expressing and encouraging bigotry against American Christians and that the best way to do so is to write a fact-free attack that distorts recent history.

There's enough stupid in the world, we're not interested in more of it. I'll give the visitors the benefit of the doubt and assume that they're young and aren't old enough to remember the actual start of the illegal war.

January 30, 2003, Alan Cooperman's "Bishop in Bush's Church in New Anti-War Ad" ran in the Washington Post:

The National Council of Churches will begin airing a television commercial today in which a bishop of the United Methodist Church, President Bush's denomination, says going to war against Iraq "violates God's law and the teachings of Jesus Christ."
The 30-second ad, scheduled to appear several times a day over the next week on the CNN and Fox cable networks in New York and Washington, is part of an accelerating television, radio and print media campaign by Win Without War, a coalition of organizations opposed to invading Iraq.
The choice of a Methodist bishop as a spokesman is intended to emphasize the opposition to war from America's mainstream churches and to convey that the peace movement is middle-of-the-road and patriotic, according to Win Without War's national director, former representative Tom Andrews (D-Maine).

The illegal war hits the six year mark in March. People who are now, for example, sixteen-years-old were only ten when it started. I'm not going to catigate young people for not knowing what went on when they were still children. But Hornberger is not a child. He either is highly ill informed or he intentionally lied. Stupid or a liar, we don't support his revisionary history used to express bigotry against Amercian Christians.

We cover Christians as needed. If Iraqi Christians are under attack, it'll be noted. We do not use any religious god or gods to make an argument or score a point here and we never have. We do not base our arguments on the belief in or disbelief of any god or gods. If an American religious leader reveals himself to be a fraud, we will be among the first to laugh at the hypocrisy. And maybe all of that has led someone to believe that we'd be interested in the garbage Hornberger has contributed? If so, let's be really clear that it's of no interest to this site today or tomorrow. And when we do offer broadsides (about every thirty seconds), we generally try to aim a little higher than the masses. They're not the leaders. If Hornberger's garbage were true (it's not), one would wonder why he aimed it at the average citizen of a country -- any country -- as opposed to reserving the vile for the leaders or system itself?

I personally believe in the separation of church and state -- putting me at odds with the current occupant of the oval office and the previous one -- and we've tried to construct arguments here without cloaking ourselves in religion or wrapping ourselves in the flag. I'm sure the ones I've put forward have failed many times; however, they have failed on their own terms and not because we attempted to pass for pious or whatever.

In terms of today? Who's the bigger idiot: Someone still supporting the illegal war (Christian or not) or someone who thinks they can rewrite history? I'd argue it's the latter. Hornberger really insults American readers when he writes that garbage because he obviously thinks he can get away with it meaning he thinks everyone -- except himself -- is stupid. Normally, we don't link to trash. We're linking this time and calling it out because it needs to be called out and I want to be sure that those interested in seeing how offensive it is can easily do so.

Re: Information Clearing House, I'm not interested in "morality." When that term appears here in some form (including "immorality"), it's from some excerpt. I use the term "ethical." As for Bryan Friesen's "Socialism Is Not a Dirty Word." I don't think I've seen more intellectually stunted garbage this year. Sarah Palin is not the problem. If Socialism is a dirty word to some (and it is a very dirty word to some people) it's because it is the unknown/other. And the problem is not what Sarah Palin or some Republican says, the problem is closet cases who want to hide behind whimpering "McCarthyism!" all these decades later. There is no reason for any American Socialist or Communist to be in the political closet today. And I honestly have no respect for any who are. I don't respect Republicans who pretend to be something else, I don't respect anyone who hides in a political closet. I think it's dishonest. McCarthyism ended sometime ago. Reality that no one likes to speak, some Socialists and Communists were in the closet before McCarthyism. They got off on being dishonest and manipulating. That's the only reason anyone remains in a political closet. Friesen would be better off worrying less about a Sarah Palin speech and more about why so many cowards hide in political closets? Freisen should also attempt to complete his education before (badly) writing about Socialism again. Journalism majors really are only able to write about what they see around them and political theory escapes Freisen. When you're using Robin Hood to illustrate a political theory, you're not simplifying for your intended audience, you're revealing how little you grasp political theory. Repeating, I have degrees in poli sci, political theory does not scare me. I do not endorse violence. I have friends who are Republican, Socialist, Communist, Green and apolitical as well as Democrat and I'm a Democrat. I do not have the time or the desire to hang with the politically closeted. I actually find them more appalling than advocates of violence because the latter is usually responding to something. Clothes are for wardrobes, not political ideologies.

And, thinking of one friend of many years who will complain to me about the above, I am not talking about the politically shy or private. For example, ____ is a TV actress who has political conversations with only a small number of people. There are many people who know her and think she's never had a political thought in her life as a result. Someone like that, choosing to keep their opinions private, is not "in the closet" as I'm using the phrase. "In the closet" refers to those who pose as Democrats (think of any number of Republicans, for example) in attempts to manipulate. There are people who genuinely are uncomfortable discussing politics and we'll call them politically shy. "In the closet" only refers to those who attempt to manipulate events or opinion by publicly self-representing one political ideology when they are something else.

Bonnie reminds that Kat's "Kat's Korner: Tracy Chapman's truly amazing Our Bright Future" went up Sunday and her "Kat's Korner: Springsteen's serving up a dud" went up Saturday while Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Little Dicky Breaks It Down" went up Sunday.

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