Sunday, January 21, 2007

What Would “Winning” Look Like?

I have to give RightsideVA credit: he is one of the few local Reactionary Bloggers not sporting the stupid, ignorant, idiotic “It’s the Jihad, Stupid” graphic. (To be sure, he’s talking absolute nonsense in his posts, but at least he isn’t “goose-stepping” along with SWAC Girl, “John Maxfield”, and Spanky (Spank That Donkey). Of the three of those lunatics, it’s hard to pick which is the most revolting, but I’d have to go with Spanky. No, wait, SWAC Girl is the worst. Or maybe “Maxfield.” Sheesh—they’re all out of their gourds. (I won’t reproduce the graphic here, but you can see it on SWAC Girl’s blog. Go ahead, give Lynn a thrill and punch up her hits for the day.)

The apparent meaning of the graphic is that Democrats refuse to join Bush’s New Crusade to wipe out Islam. At least, that goal would seem to be the logical conclusion of the anti-Islamist diatribe spouted daily by the Reactionaries on their blogs and given voice by their new hero Virgil Goode. In fact, I can almost hear SWAC Girl marching (goose-stepping?) around her house shouting, “The only good Moslem is a dead Moslem.”

And all of these boneheads are applauding the appearance locally of “Win the War” signs—an attempt to counter the far more abundant “End the War” signs that have been around for some time. SWAC Girl’s alter ego, Lynn Mitchell, even published a ridiculous letter to the editor in the Staunton News Leader this week in which she started out with an okay idea—support the troops by lighting a candle—and then absolutely tripped over her big mouth by bashing Democrats for being anti-war and cowardly. “Democrats don’t get it,” she is fond of saying.

I’ve got news for SWAC Girl: you and your reactionary buddies are the ones who don’t get it. Because of Bush’s actions in the Middle East, we’re going to be living with a dangerous terrorist threat for CENTURIES. It is not possible to “Win the War.” The war was lost the minute we occupied the country. If you really think that all of Islam is the problem, as your insane rhetoric suggests, then “Winning” the war has to mean killing every last Moslem on the planet. To me, the best case (in a bad situation) would be turning Iraq back over to the Iraqis and getting the hell out of there. That’s not a “cut and run” approach—that’s seeing the reality of the mess that George Bush created. It’s recognizing that Bush made a colossal mistake and trying to fix it.

One more thing. George Bush should be indicted for war crimes—the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the authorization of torture at Abu Graib and Guantanamo. Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, too. None of these men will be able to travel safely when they’re out of office because warrants will be issued for their arrest in dozens of countries around the world who are appalled by American atrocities. And while we’re at it, what about an indictment for SWAC Girl, for her worship of the bastards who caused this global mess. Let’s indict her, too. I hereby hold SWAC Girl responsible for the war crimes and genocide perpetrated by the Bush administration.

If you don’t oppose this immoral war, if you don’t speak out against it, then it is your fault, and any future terrorist acts—which are certain to come—are your fault as well.


zen said...

Cliff, you do realize that you're only provoking more reactionary responses with this post don't you? You're giving people that should be ignored a reason to get even louder. Your encouraging them. Giving them more power, and credit, than they deserve. You're also joining them in making assumptions and accusations.
I suggest tempering some of this emotion in a more productive, positive manner. Do'nt just feed the problem, and stoke the fires of hostility. Be part of the solution Cliff.

Clifford Garstang said...

I respectually disagree, Zen. If it were only a question of their blogs then yes, they could be ignored. But the foolishness is more public than that--the letters, the signs--and we need to speak out. I'm not sure what you mean about "assumptions and accusations." I believe I am pointing out the logical extension of their fascist positions. As for being "part of the solution," let's understand that there are 2 problems here. One is the tone of rhetoric among local bloggers and I admit that I'm not being helpful on that score (it's probably hopeless anyway, as I think you've implied), but then that problem isn't really relevant to anything significant. The other problem, though, is important, and I think we need to stoke emotions even higher in order to end the war.

zen said...

No, I am in full agreement that there exists two distinct issues at play here. I question though, how wise it is to attack the absurdity of the person, rather than focus on the absurdity of the issue. This first seems immature and is likely going to get nowhere. They make fools of themselves quite effectively on thier own.
The absurdity of their position is greater than their ability to understand it, or at least defend it on grounds of substance and logic. That's been made abundantly clear.
And you are correct that they attempt to influence a larger audience, largely because they are threatened by percieved media bias against them—they are vicitims. Let me be clear myself, I'm not at all advocating that they be silenced. Rather we should find a way to use that as a seed to a larger discussion, a larger awareness, and thereby epose the problems with what they propose.

Positions that rely only on shallow rhetoric and have no substance are easy to expose. After the slogan, there's nothing, so repeat the slogan, use a different one, change the subject, or simply attack the opposition. That mindset is small. It relies upon emotion and reaction, not logic and substance.
So rather than have an honest debate of the issues and implications, 'the victim' usually attempts to draw sympathy, and confuse it as support. So giving them more power than they deserve is actually counter-productive in my opinion.

Clifford Garstang said...

I would agree that the challenge is "immature" if it were somehow separable from the issue, but I disagree that criticism of a person for holding an absurd position is immature. It's essential, in fact. Attacking an idea in the abstract is hollow and dishonest; ideas reside in the people who foster them and dangerous ideas mean dangerous people.

zen said...

Okay, but how do you prove someone is dangerous without first proving that their ideas are?

I think ideas can, and should usually be, judged objectively. An idea will prove itself as valid or crazy based on the case made for it, not entirely on the voice expressing it.

I realize that it's somewhat a case of the chicken and the egg. But it seems that concluding that someone is dangerous, or let's say harmful, is predicated on some evidence that thier ideas are. Otherwise it's a self-fulfilling construct. Of course their ideas are bad, they are. It's almost a prejudice.

Clifford Garstang said...

Agreed. I would never suggest that the ideas are crazy because the person holding them is crazy. And although I've met SWAC Girl, I can't say I know her really. And I'm not saying that she's wrong about everything either (again, I don't know really know her, although I do know, in addition to the war issue, we disagree about education--she's a home schooling advocate and I'm an opponent). Nor do I think her support of the troops is in all respects a bad thing. However, her position on the war (blind support, devotion to all matters Bush) and on Islam in general I find to be dangerous views, not because SWAC Girl holds those views but because they threaten civilization.

zen said...

Agreed. I am in absolutely no way defending any of the aforementioned, fringe bloggers, nor their positions. I think it is imperative that we keep the pressure and focus on the issues they are promoting, in particular the untenable nature of thier disillusions.

I think their irrelevancy to a solution-based discussion is quite apparent.