War


Katie Cannon once wrote that one of the major problems with being radical is that moral values that do not center the status quo are not disputed, but simply not recognized as such.

There is no such thing, in the American imagination, as a leftist morality. By definition, we are amoral. We can talk all day long about the value of inclusion, for instance, but Ricky Santorum can still get cultural traction for discussing man on dog sex.

Values which oppose the mainstream are not values, they are lawlessness.

Which is the only way i could possibly explain the following quote.

“Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence – unintentionally or not – they matter,” Ms Malkin has written.

Intention doesn’t matter. She’s right on that. But how else can one read that line from the author of In Defense of Interment?

Her words, intentionally or not, have helped mainstream violence against Arab Americans. And, for that matter, against Palestinians, Iraqis, Afganis, and may God forbid it from coming to pass…Iranians.

Values not supportive of the ancien regime are not simply rejected.

-sly

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Finally, at long last, Dubya compares Iraq to Vietnam.

And says we went home too soon, assigning the moral blame for the chaos that followed on American anti-war efforts.

You know, not mentioning Operation Menu and US aid to Pol Pot…

That omission might be described as willful and malicious.

Never say you’re sorry…

-sly

One of my least favorite phrases in the world is “I think we can all agree…”

It most often precedes the most asinine re-phrasings and framings that totally elide the point of disagreement by stating the perfectly obvious or fallacious.

I think we can all agree that Iraq is better off than under Saddam.

BFP recently took down an article about this, but I just saw this take on queer issues in Iraq not connected to a certain British neo-colonial attention whore.

So.

“In the past three months, more than 30 gays have been executed in Baghdad. The bodies have been found tortured, mutilated – sometimes with signs of rape,” said Mustafa Salim, spokesman for the Rainbow for Life Organisation (RLO), a Baghdad-based gay rights NGO.

Full Story here.

-sly

Recall when various members of the Government and Congress, including leaders of the Foreign Relations Committee could not describe the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims, or even identify which factions were prevalent in which nations?

Apparently, the Let’s Bomb Iran crowd either doesn’t know either, or is counting on that ignorance to help propel the march to war.

Look for Juan Cole to cover this claim.

-sc

Holy Martin by Br. Lentz

This hangs over my desk, and is a reminder to me of the particular call of a radical Christian witness in the face of racial and colonial violence.

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

…This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

…our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin…we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

…We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message — of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

Excerpted from “A Time to Break The Silence.”

For the memory of the faithful departed,

-sc

It’s been a long time since I actually saw this one, but I’ve been reminded…

Go tell the Spartans, that here we lie in obedience to their laws.

Anyhow. I saw a review pan this the other day…and true to pattern these days, forgotten to book mark it. Doh.

The gist of it was that this is a movie that plays heavily on Orientalism…a quick review of the trailer hits you over the head with it.

“They came from the blackness!”

Oh, really?

The Persians are darker, multi-ethnic, effeminate, enslaved, and multilated. It’s eugenic race theory in a comic book movie form.

Instead, I give recommendation to Go Tell the Spartans, if you haven’t seen it. Slower paced, I’m sure…but a movie that is unflinching in showing the folly of war. It’s amazing to see now, a jingoistic movie extolling the virtue of war against the scary unfree Persians. Did I say amazing? I meant downright scary.

At least then, Hollywood had the good sense to tell the Spartans as full tragedy and not a heroic one. The old lie, indeed. Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori.

Go tell the Spartans that we die here too because we didn’t get it the first time around.

-sc

This is a big fuck you to all the anti-war protesters out there who think that one of the best arguments you can make against the Bush Cabal is how the war makes disabled people.

#$%^ you. For real.

Bag News post that starts me off today…

A picture of a wounded Iraq veteran who is visably disfigured wins a prize. Guess which one it is:

A. The one where he is shot in unforgiving light and made to look distant to his bride.

or

B. The one(s) where he is shot in a relaxed pose, with his wife tenderly embracing him.

I don’t have direct links because I’m not sure what the copyright stuff is for these images. But really do click through on both. And question why one wins an award. And the other is ignored. Might we already have the plot, and like so many these days, be looking to sex up the data to fit our program?

One commenter volunteers that seeing the one image gives the impression: “Ty gazes at his bride with almost a puppy-like tenderness, as if certain he will lose her eventually. She, for her part, seems resigned to a show of braveness. Her faraway gaze and air of detachment speak volumes.”

After seeing the rest, they correct themselves, but only slightly. Another adds: “I immediately thought of the photo as depicting an archtype: beauty and the beast, hunchback of notre dame, the elephant man,etc.”

As i said there……this photo is meant to tell a story about how monstrous and unlovable a disabled or disfigured person is.

it’s bigotry.

anti-war, sure. but you really want to sink that low to make the point?

-slyc

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