Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Token Release

"Keep your heads down."

Thus spake NATO. Afghan civilians in the southern town of Marjah have been duly warned. So if they get their heads blown off by NATO firepower, it's their problem, not ours.

The Israeli state is fond of this approach. Let the locals know that the sky will burn, the ground will shake, and should they still be around once the missiles fly, well, what more can one do? It's what separates us from the terrorists, a humanitarian duck-and-cover. Of course, this only applies to us. As I've said before, had the 9/11 hijackers warned World Trade Center workers in advance that the buildings were coming down, it's doubtful that stateside politicos and commentators would applaud Al-Qaeda's concern for civilian casualties. Still, had Al-Qaeda thought more tactically, they could've responded, "Hey, we're just following the Israeli example." Free World terrorists better understand the value of effective PR.

Cest la guerre. Obama's committed to the mass grave option for the foreseeable future, with little dissent or counterpush from liberals and self-described progressives. I did receive an online petition from Rethink Afghanistan, a group that seems opposed to expanded war, though strictly from a domestic angle, since numerous Americans aren't interested in how continual bombing affects those on the business end. But even this meek approach can't shake pro-Obama feelings among the faithful. "Staunching the flow of American blood and treasure into the Afghanistan war will be essential to the success of the Obama presidency and to getting our economy back on track."

Yes. The real tragedy of this imperial war is how it keeps the Obama administration from succeeding, which clearly is the main priority among liberal patriots. If we can stem American blood and treasure from going into Afghanistan, then President Change will be free to construct the New Tomorrow that so many Dems and libs believe is Obama's "real" purpose.

This is your antiwar movement, model 2010. Keep your heads down.

John Murtha's passing has challenged liberals to find something nice to say about this consummate Beltway insider. The few libloggers I've read shed some brief tears before quickly moving on, not wanting to be dragged into Murtha's corrupt, reactionary past. The safe approach was to honor Murtha's turn against the Iraq war, which was merely a tactical political shift, since Murtha voted for the invasion in the first place. But because Murtha butted heads with evil Dick Cheney instead of turning on the system that enriched him while it slaughtered countless others, liberals tossed confetti Murtha's way. In other words, personality trumped honesty. A sad, sick display. And they say I'm cynical?

But the rancid cake was taken by The Nation's John Nichols. Clearing his throat a bit before labeling Murtha's "dissent" as "meaningful," Nichols strains to paint the deceased in noble colors. An inspired if tragically flawed effort. Again, Murtha's scuffle with Cheney is highlighted, the chickenhawk charge against Cheney dusted off and played anew. But some of Nichols' history is, to be charitable, a whitewash:

"Murtha, a retired Marine colonel who earned a chest full of medals during the Vietnam fight and who has often broken with fellow Democrats to back U.S. military interventions abroad -- most notably in Latin America, where Murtha often supported former President Ronald Reagan's controversial policies regarding El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s -- gave that assistance."

Murtha's anti-chickenhawk rep, which liberals revere, came at the expense of the Vietnamese, millions dead, massive parts of the country destroyed. Nichols airbrushes this as a "fight." Next, Reagan's wars in Central America are called "controversial." A few hundred thousand massacred with key support from both Repubs and Dems might warrant stronger language from a writer in a left-liberal publication. Reagan's mass murder was only "controversial" to those beholden to the system stateside. Would Nichols' have described Saddam's butchery in Iran or Milosevic's violence in the Balkans "controversial"? Maybe, if it softened the image of those with "D" after their names.

Nichols winds down his embalming dance with this gem:

"Murtha's call for bringing the troops home and the ensuing tussle with Cheney was a critical turning point in the debate about the war. Even more so, it was a critical turning point in the struggle to expose the George Bush and Dick Cheney for what they were: crude and frequently ignorant ideologues who cared more about pursuing their own agendas than about doing right by America or its soldiers."

It was the corrupt John Murtha who exposed the Bush/Cheney gang for who they really were? M'kay. I wish I could call this conclusion "controversial," but Nichols has redefined the word. Let's settle for bullshit instead.