Nancy Lugosi

August 24th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Who Is IOZ?.

Digby issues one of the tackiest (and dumbest) hit jobs in her blurgh's sordid and incoherent history. Digby is a dick.

History: Ron Paul issues an unequivocal statement of support for the rights of Muslims in America. Not only that, but he uses the opportunity to roundly condemn Barack Obama's America's War Against Islam. Naturally this offends La Digs, because Paul catches liberals in the sweep of his condemnation. Liberals, you may recall, currently control the legislative and executive branches of our government, and they are directing Barack Obama's America's War Against Islam.

She is outraged, outraged that Paul's J'accuse contained some general economic prescriptions with which she disagrees. Oh. Um. Wait. IT DIDN'T. Dear Digby: do not imply things that can be disproven by following the links that you yourself provide. She says in effect that because Paul has elsewhere and otherwise said things about economic matters that she finds objectionable, ergo his strong statement in support of religious liberty and the rights of private citizens to conduct their own private business on their own private property as they see fit are to be discarded, are of suspect origin and motive. She tars him with the views of his adult son--"his boy"--which is more than mildly amusing since she was just bitching about some or other preacherman claiming that Obama was Muslim by bloodline. How dare they!? Lady, you are a fucking hack.

Paul says that the angry sentiments surrounding the Islamic center are being stirred up by all sides in order to distract from the ongoing theft of wealth and property for the purpose of making a few very rich people even richer. He's right. Digby, a tribalist, wishes to cast this issue once again as nobel Progressives defending religious liberty against the evil, yokel xenophobes of the right:
And anyway, as Greenwald points out today, this is a real issue whether we want it to be or not and it speaks to some very dangerous and important cross currents in American political life. It's not a distraction.
Oh, bullshit. Total and utter. Can I just emphasize for the ten millionth time that it is not a conservative government that is currently waging war against Islam. It is not a tea-party protest that is bombing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and who knows where else. It is not a conservative government that is trying a child soldier for war crimes in a secret trial. Ad infinitum. The popular sentiments shouted at "Ground Zero" are uncomfortable, but they aren't killing Muslims; they are, however, distracting everyone from the bankrupt American military project of killing Muslims. Their superficial anger at Islam is insignificant compared to Barack Obama's real and actual policies toward Islam, which is to bomb the living shit out of it every day.

On a more minor note, Digby doesn't seem to have any idea what a neoconservative is. She seems to believe that neoconservatives are advocates of laissez-faire classical liberalism when the exact opposite is the case. Neoconservatives are social moderates and social democrats on matters cultural and economic. Most of them started out as "liberals". That they became influential in the conservative government of George W. Bush, and that the policies of that supposedly conservative government were then adopted and expanded by the subsequent liberal administration, ought to tell you something about the nature of party divisions within the decision-making echelons of the American State. If, that is, you're not an idiot.

[Read the original at Who Is IOZ? (2010-08-24)...]

The Atrocity of Hope, Part 7: Our Ignoble Laureate

December 11th, 2009

This is a syndicated post, originally from Austro-Athenian Empire.

So our President Incarnate, his hands dripping (metaphorically – I’m sure he washes them regularly) with the blood of Pakistani and Afghan children, along with shredded bits of the principles of Nuremberg, jets off to Norway to accept a prize that is supposed to be awarded only to those who have worked for “the abolition or reduction of standing armies.”


There, having given Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King a patronisingly dismissive pat on the head, he adds: “But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation [Note: clearly he must have taken some secret version of the oath of office, because that’s not what the public one says], I cannot be guided by their examples alone.” And then he has the effrontery to propound a bizarro version of history in which, “for more than six decades,” the united states has “brought stability,” “helped underwrite global security,” “enabled democracy to take hold,” and “promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea.” (I suppose this would be an example of the u.s. promoting peace and prosperity in Korea.)

And as if all that weren’t audacity enough, he has the nerve to tell an audience of Scandinavians that “a non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies.”

That’s right: the president of the country that turned away Jews who were attempting to escape the Holocaust belittles the accomplishments of the people who actually saved their Jews from Hitler’s goons through the use of nonviolent resistance. As Bryan Caplan reminds us:

Danish, Norwegian, and Dutch resistance to Nazism from 1940 to 1945 was pronounced and fairly successful. In Norway, for example, teachers refused to promote fascism in the schools. For this, the Nazis imprisoned a thousand teachers. But, the remaining teachers stood firm, giving anti-fascist instruction to children and teaching in their homes. This policy made the pro-fascist Quisling government so unpopular that it eventually released all of the imprisoned teachers and dropped its attempt to dominate the schools. … In Copenhagen, Danes used a general strike to liberalize martial law. …

But, surely the most amazing but widely neglected case of nonviolent resistance against Nazi Germany was the protection of Jews and other persecuted minorities from deportation, imprisonment, and murder. … Gene Sharp shows how the nations which nonviolently resisted National Socialist racial persecutions saved almost all of their Jews, while Jews in other Nazi-controlled nations were vastly more likely to be placed in concentration camps and killed. The effort to arrest Norway’s seventeen hundred Jews sparked internal resistance and protest resignations; most of the Norwegian Jews fled to Sweden. … When Himmler tried to crack down on Danish Jews, the Danes thwarted his efforts. Not only did the Danish government and people resist – through bureaucratic slowdowns and noncooperation – but, surprisingly, the German commander in Denmark also refused to help organize Jewish deportations. This prompted Himmler to import special troops to arrest Jews. But, in the end almost all Danish Jews escaped unharmed. …

The omnipresent pattern … is that totalitarian governments are not omnipotent. They need the cooperation of the ruled to exert their will. If a people denies cooperation, even a government as vicious as Hitler’s, bound by few moral constraints, might be unable to get what it wants.
(The Literature of Nonviolent Resistance and Civilian-Based Defense)

Then after collecting his prize and insulting the givers, Obama jets away again, snubbing the traditional ceremonies. Note to Scandinavia: don’t give our president any more prizes. Really. You don’t need to stay in this abusive relationship.

[Read the original at Austro-Athenian Empire (2009-12-11)...]