Cutting Through The Crap

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Siege Mentality


One of the crazier of the R congresspeople (a comparative around which it's hard to get one's mind) says the US is "under siege" by terrorists.* Now, I'm no scholar but when I hear the word "siege" I think of a place, a village maybe, surrounded by enemies, communications cut off, running out of food, its survival in question. So I think the guy may be a little over the top.

Which is exactly where he and the rest of the RWS™ want us all to be.

Of course terrorism is real, and a threat. But to the extent that we are "under siege," it's a mentality created and nurtured by our disingenuous right wing. Fear is all they've got. And they'll use it without shame, secure in the knowledge that they have a full-time propaganda machine ready and more than willing to promote and distort to an audience too steeped in desire to be deluded to care.

To the average American, which is more likely to happen: personal bankruptcy from health care costs, or death at the hands of a terrorist? Defaulting on a mortgage, or capture by al Queda? In this plane of existence, what would be the sequence of events that could lead to radical Muslims -- even were they able to suitcase a nuke into a city -- taking over our country? And yet we've managed to let ourselves be shoved into reverse while heading forward, because of a few insane-cynical-desperate-powerstarved screamers.

It's not hard to understand: demagoguery has become the stock-in-trade of the current Republican leadership. Fear is their commodity of choice, it fills their booth in the marketplace. Right next to House O' Hatred. If they can find a phony cause, they'll whip it like a preacher in leather (or a senator in diapers). Because if people stopped being scared, where would the current so-called conservatives be?

Credit to President Obama for speaking out, when polls indicate 70% of the country disagrees with him. He knew he'd be pilloried, and he was. It's political bravery on his part. It's what America has always stood for; and it's a mark of shame for the country as it succumbs to the mongering and lies of the right wing. [Then he waffled a little.] [Of course it doesn't matter what he says. It will be demagogued. Which is the disappointing part: Obama still thinks there are people among the right-wing leadership who are open to reasonableness.]

What a pathetic bunch are the congressional Rs: like kids on Halloween, they're beside themselves with glee. The mosque will be a campaign issue across the country. And they won't even feel embarrassed at their lack of political importance. But, of course, it'll work. It's who we've become.

Frank Rich points out how the screamers at Fox "news" have betrayed General Petraeus and may have made their favorite war unwinnable.
Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.

So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?

It's worth reading the whole piece (published days after I'd written most of this one), because it reveals the naked cynicism of the Fox crusade against the mosque. Hint: they were for it before they were against it. Non-surprise comment to teabaggers: you're being played. Again. And you'll never learn, because you don't want to. Also: you're really really ugly people.

And here's another very thoughtful and accurate statement, not at all unlike what I've been saying, by a US Senator from the state of my birth:
.... Some have also argued that the construction of the mosque would hand a propaganda victory to Osama bin Laden. I think the opposite is true. Al-Qaida justifies its murder by painting America as a nation at war with Islam. Celebrating our freedom of religion and Muslim Americans' place in our communities is a blow to al-Qaida's ideology of hate and division. We strengthen America by distinguishing, clearly and unequivocally, between our al-Qaida enemy and our Muslim neighbors.

.... Speaking at a mosque just six days after the World Trade Center attack, President Bush said, "These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith, and it's important for my fellow Americans to understand that."

I have great respect for the sentiments of the survivors and family members of those who died on 9/11, and understand that some may not regard the situation this way. But our fundamental religious freedom and our national security -- in addition to fairness for our fellow citizens -- will be well served by drawing a bright line between our Muslim friends and neighbors at home, and our al-Qaida enemy abroad.

A mosque which isn't a mosque, at ground zero in a place not at ground zero, a dangerous guy who isn't dangerous (according to George Bush!) "An unnecessary provocation," Smiley Sarah called it. How ironic the words.

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*I read it the other day, and damned if I can find it now. But it's true.

3 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

Sid you know damn well if the A-rabs built a Mosque 550 feet from your house you'd be outta there faster than Ted Kennedy left Mary Jo to asphyxiate(not drown)....
The President(Peace be upon Him) "Waffled"???????!?!?!?!?!?
He effin I-Hopped away from his original statement...
and howcome I can't open a "Baruch Goldstein's Kosher Deli & Shootin' Range" 550 feet from the Ka-aba???
Heck, the Saudi's won't even let Jews in there shitty country unless your in the US Military...
And did you know Sasha Grey's on this Season of "Entourage"??? and don't tell me you don't know who Sasha Grey is, we're adults here.

Frank "Burn A-rabs not Oil" Drackman

Jamille Barnes said...

Good comments, though I disagree that the President waffled on his statement. I think he was wearing his constitutional hat where it was his duty to defend and uphold the constitution leading to his first statement. But as president; regardless of his personal feeling he also cannot support the building of a place of worship either hence his saying that he was not commenting on the wisdom of building it, only the right to do so. But that is a minor point, what I most strongly agree is that all this hatemongering against segments of our electorate is strategic and I hate to think it will work all the way up to election day. Is this like fooling all of the people all of the time? Amyway, happy to wonder on to your site, am partial to surgeons having had 2 major surgeries this year.

Jamille

Anonymous said...

DrekMan...(Spits Be Upon Him)

"and howcome I can't open a "Baruch Goldstein's Kosher Deli & Shootin' Range" 550 feet from the Ka-aba???

Why? Because this is America - we have a constitution and laws made by elected officials - that constitution protects freedom of religion - all religion - we are not in Saudi Arabia where the law is all sayso.

Of course you don't have a problem with sayso, do you? it's just that you don't get to say.

I don't have the slightest doubt that you, and all your Teabagging Republican friends, would instantly renounce your American citizenship and go to live there - if you could be the ones doing all the sayso.

I know that because you fascist shit-clowns keep trying to turn our country into a bastardized version of America called "Murica"
where the law is all sayso and works only for the rich and well connected.

EugeneInSanDiego