Well, you know what, thank goodness the left in Oregon are on the ball. I'm sure they're out protesting, with signs filled with political slogans . . . Oh wait, the state still hasn't recovered from the embarrassment that was Eugene, Oregon's 'political' protest against Sarah Palin. You know the one with signs ridiculing her looks? General rule, when you want play catty girls and bitchy boys and pick on someone's looks with 'political' signs? Keep the 'uglies' in the back, away from the photographers. Otherwise, your 'political' protest comes off like a one-sided cat fight.
What was the problem? Palin's a Republican. She's not a Nazi, she's not a War Criminal. Apparently the point was that, in Eugene, Oregon, there is no free speech and that mental midgets claiming to be of the left will show up with signs and a mob to insist that free speech stops at their border.
Of course the larger message is: "We're so damn pathetic that we suck up to power and we think going after a former governor of another state makes our pathetic lives look impressive."
Come 2012, a lot of people on the left are going to have to provide some answers for how they spent their Obama Vacation and why the hell they thought they could take one in the first place as two illegal wars were fought?
They didn't challenge the powerful, they didn't call out the power structure, they behaved as deplorably as the right wingers destroying Dixie Chicks CDs because they didn't care for what Natalie Maines said. We've seen the disgusting Barack machinery of "Change.org" decide that the best way to fight for our liberties was to demand that Sarah Palin's reality TV show be pulled by Discovery.
What a proud moment. Maybe you can get that on t-shirt and when you emerge hung over in 2012 you can head butt and chest thump and pretend like you really did a damn thing?
Last night, Elaine wrote "The peace movement versus the kiddie table" and you need to read it. You need to go over to the Socialist Worker -- US version. Which couldn't call out Barack. He's a War Hawk Corporatists but these little whiney asses who cry like cranky toddlers who missed their naps every time someone wrongly calls Barack a Socialist better grasp that people see what goes on. They see that Socialist Worker refuses to call him out. They'll build to a call out and then they'll back back down.
They'll hide behind, "We have to defend him from the right wing!" Why?
What is in it for a Socialist to defend a Corporatist War Hawk?
They want people to stop calling Barack a Socialist? Then they need to stop carrying his water for him.
Case in point, Lance Selfa.
Backstory. Two Sundays ago at Third, we wrote "Editorial: The problem with (not) listening." It didn't just get written without debate. Matthew Rothschild's "Chomsky Warns of Risk of Fascism in America" (The Progressive) had been online for a bit and not getting any attention. Generally when Chomsky speaks, it gets large amplifciation. There are a number of important critiques and comments being offered that we agree with. But we're not, for example, Kevin Zeese going on radio to reveal what Ralph Nader said privately about Barack Obama. Yeah, we wish Ralph would say stuff like that publicly. But he doesn't and it's not our job to circulate it.
And there are times when it is a telling public remark but an offhand one. And we debate whether or not to amplify it. Criticism of the Christ-child must not be allowed. (That belief is what fueled the idiots taking part in the Bitchy & Beauty 'protest' in Eugene, Oregon.) So, we'll discuss it and decide, "Okay, we're not amplifying it."
But with Chomsky, what he was discussing was not a new topic. Rothschild was reporting on one speech. But Chomsky had actually given a similar speech four other times (that we know of) and made remarks in a number of interviews.
His point was that there is genuine anger in the country (he is right). That people are being left out and left behind (he is right). Neither of those realities is unique to this year or last year. And, were it 2007, many on the 'left' would rush to agree. But Bush is out of the White House and Barack is in. So the 'left' will not tolerate reality.
They launch one bitchy attack after another -- and that really began with Barack's campaign which a number of left intellectuals will say privately but will not go on the record with because they know they will be attacked.
Chomsky's point is that with the anger and unrest, with the unemployment, there's a dangre of fascism rising and that when the left writers off a large group of people, they can no longer pretend to speak to the people.
When the 'left' decided to look to the homophobia embraced by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann (yes, Rachel's a lesbian -- she's also a homophobe and that didn't begin with MSNBC -- and her remarks have never been anti-lesbian, just anti-gay male -- repeatedly, and that's only surprising if you don't grasp that her entire life -- as she herself has talked about -- has been about being the toughest "boy" -- her term -- on the playground. It's not at all surprising that she would scorn what she sees as 'soft' males), they were courting danger. They are ensuring that the right-wing won't ever listen to them (hilarious when you think about how they insisted Barry was their man because he could pull Republicans in as voters) and making sure that the center and the apolitical won't either. Because their attacks are not going over well. (That's what the polling reflects.)
If your issues is electoral politics, Bob Somerby's been covering this for some time; how this behavior is self-defeating and you can't show up begging for votes from the people you've been insulting.
Chomsky's not talking about electoral politics. And, my, didn't he hit a nerve.
Lance Selfa is only the latest to come out gunning for Chomsky in the last thirteen days. Lance, who in better times had an actual brain that he, in fact, used regularly, no longer bothers to think:
ONE OF the more unfortunate things about the media obsession with the so-called Tea Party movement has been its impact in shaking the confidence of people on the left. Case in point: Noam Chomsky, probably the left's leading intellectual.
Ladies and gentlemen, Lance will be opening for Joan Rivers at the Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa for the rest of the spring. Noam Chomsky's 'confidence' is shaken -- not stirred, apparently.
When discussing whether or not to do the editorial at Third, we noted Noam had spoken of the points he was making in interviews recently, that he'd given at least four similar speeches on the topic and was not making these comments as part of a private dialogue. Obviously, he wanted to be public. Obviously, he'd given the matter a great deal of thought.
But tell too much truth and this is what happens, this is the true Age of Obama. The same types that enforced mind control under Bush come forward to do the same under Barack.
Lance Selfa was, at one point, better than the garbage he's written today.
And let's note something real quick, "the media obsession" with the Tea Party?
Don't you mean Socialist Worker's obsession?
What does Socialist Worker offer?
It should be leading the way against the illegal wars. It is not doing that. It should be leading the way on equality. It is not doing that. It should have -- by its own roots -- built up a working class movement but, check the comments, check the articles, they don't really try to speak to the working class. It's Marxism for and of le petite-bourgeois. And let's note that they kid themselves that they're much higher on the social ranking.
All it's doing is cheerleading Barack -- and occassionally, serving up a moment or two of criticism -- while non-stop drooling over the Tea Party.
Elaine's comparison of the left to Jan Brady is quite apt. "Tea Party! Tea Party! Tea Party!" you can hear Lance huff. Well stop writing about it. Stop talking about it.
No one's forcing you too.
The reality is that by going with NYT columnists (as opposed to the NYT poll), they're now able to argue the Tea Party is small, tiny even. (As opposed, of course, to the 15 million subscribers Socialist Worker has, right?) That's the new 'left' attack.
Why the attacks?
Why the nonstop refusal to get off your own ass and do something?
That's all the Socialist Worker and others have done. It's vacation time for them, under Obama. And if they need to 'speak out,' well they'll attack those out of power. That's the 'liberal' thing to do in their f**ked up minds.
They waste their time and they waste our time.
With one exception. If you're paying attention right now, you're seeing the guns come out on Noam. They're trying to intimidate him right now. They haven't gotten really bitchy (trust me, they can and will go further). Right now, they're just trying to force him to stop talking about this issue. They don't need to do a full Marxist Tilt Boogey on him and make him offer a public confession of his crimes. Not yet.
But look for it to get even uglier as time goes on if Chomsky doesn't fall silent.
Grasp that this is the man Amy Goodman calls the "dissident scholar" and that the left is supposedly embracing. But when he says something they don't like, they attack.
Will they be able to intimidate Chomsky into silence? I don't know. Ten years ago, no. But he's older and he's lost his wife recently and who knows. But it's real damn shame that they're lining up, they're going gunning for him, to try to shut him up. Exactly the thing that the corporate media has done to Noam his entire career is now being done by the left. The same goal, the same techniques. It's embarrassing. And file it under one more bit of destruction in the Age of Obama.
You can join in, like Lance, and attack Noam but remember, it could be you next. Ask not for whom the pogom tolls, it tolls for thee.
Or as Cindy Sheehan wrote yesterday:
Why have I, an avowed Peace Monger, started to get so many bans? Is it because I have changed? Is it because I am saying anything different than I have been saying for the last six years? Is it because the wars are over and I still won't stop? No, it's because [. . .] much of the country has gone insane while I remain the same.
The following community sites updated last night and this morning:
The Brussels Tribunal also publishes a newsletter and newsletter four is online. We'll note the following from it:
In Iraq, Obama has chosen the continuation of criminal social engineering. Only a rupture from the political process can save Iraq and its people, writes Abdul Ilah Albayaty
While all observers, the UN, international institutions and organisations, Arab and international parties and movements, and Iraqis outside the alliance in power in Iraq, pointed to and alerted the international community, the UN and Arab League members, and international and Arab movements to the tragic situation and condition of Iraqis under occupation, and the collapse of the means of having any normal life or hope of having one in the future if conditions created by the US invasion continued, the Maliki government, supported by the US, the Kurdish leaderships and the pro-Iranian sectarian parties, maintained its policies of generalised repression, generalised corruption, generalised falsification of facts and generalised lies as justifications.
The initial plan of destroying Iraq and dividing it into three entities by depending on an alliance between separatist Kurds, Iranian religious fascists, and behind-the-scenes Israeli secret service activities was in its own right criminal social engineering, contrary to all obligations of the occupation under international law. As the Iraqi army, and with it the Iraqi people, resisted the occupation, the occupation and its allies engaged in genocidal actions that were disastrous not only for Iraqis but for the US, Iraq’s neighbouring countries, the international economy and international relations, norms and standards.
What is called the “political process” was designed to achieve this division of Iraq. But all those who know the politics in the region have understood from the beginning that destroying the Arab- Muslim identity of Iraq and dividing it into Shia, Sunni and Kurd was a mirage towards which the US has been running, and that the outcome would be US failure. Running towards this mirage led to seven years of perpetual death, destruction and terror for Iraq, and seven years of failure of the US in battling the Iraqi people and its resistance. A haemorrhage for Iraq in blood, and for the US in money. The US won nothing but shame, a financial crisis, the unjustifiable death of its sons, unpardonable aggression and the collapse of its image, and a general distrust of its values and policies.
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