Friday, February 28, 2003
Reading anything written by that most tenured of Arab terror apologists, Eddie Said, is a bit like watching Springer: you know you shouldn't, it's a waste of time, but sheer fascination propels you, you can't help it, human stupidity this loud and clueless and aggressive is just riveting, so you keep going, unable to stop; and when it's over, you just want to ask, demand that time back, with interest, dammit -- but you get the infinitesmal compensation of knowing that no matter how low you may drop in life, the scum you just spent your time concentrating on, will always be there for you to wipe off your shoe. That sadness you feel at seeing humanity sink so low is at least slightly mitigated by the feeling that, hey, at least you get to walk taller as a result.

And so it is with Said's latest stream of projectile vomit, found courtesy of a nameless commenter on LGF. Said is blowing gaskets that were never that secure to begin with, and manages to sound shrill enough that the local streetcorner ravers he passes every day on the streets of New York must be wondering, "What is with this lunatic?"

It has finally become intolerable to listen to or look at news in this country.
Tell me about it. I've quite had it with hearing of the "vital UN resolution," Iraqi acceptance "in principle" of agreements they have been flouting for a dozen years, or of child murderers being euphemized as "militants."
Colin Powell's UN speech, designed obviously to outrage the American people and bludgeon the UN into going to war, seems to me to have been a new low point in moral hypocrisy and political manipulation.
I should refrain from commenting on this sentence. Suffice it to say that the irony that filled the room when Said penned it must have been concentrated enough to form visible swirls in the air.
For the moment, I shall discount George Bush and his coterie of advisers, spiritual mentors, and political managers like Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and Karl Rove: they seem to me slaves of power perfectly embodied in the repetitive monotone of their collective spokesman Ari Fliescher [sic] (who I believe is also an Israeli citizen).
Let's skip for the moment the -- what's the polite word? -- imaginative insinuation that Dubya talks to Pat Robertson on a regular basis. Instead, permit me to ask: what in the name of Yaser Arafat's baby wipes does Ari Fleischer's alleged dual nationality have to do with anything at all, ever? What possible difference can it make to his being a White House mouthpiece, for Pete's sake? Why does Said's paranoid little mind constantly gravitate there? (Incidentally, Said's little allegation is bullshit, to use another subtle term. He really should stick to Jane Austen. Maybe he'll discover that she had Zionist leanings.)

First, a few preliminaries. The US has clearly decided on war: there seem to be no two ways about it. Yet whether the war will actually take place or not (given all the activity started, not by the Arab states who, as usual, seem to dither and be paralysed at the same time, but by France, Russia and Germany) is something else again.
Here's a newsflash, Professor: if "the US has clearly decided on war," then nothing Germany, France, or Russia can do will prevent its start. Sorry to burst any hopes you might have had on that point. But hey, at least he got the Arabs figured out, more or less.

Second, the planners of this war, as Ralph Nader has forcefully said, are chicken hawks, that is, hawks who are too cowardly to do any fighting themselves.
Remind me, please, how many cars Ralph Nader designed -- because he seemed to be quite vocal on the subject, as I recall. Also, has Nader, who ran for Commander-in-Chief, and had some interesting ideas on military spending -- ever served a day in the armed forces? [Actually, he did.] While I am at it, I'd like to see Edward Said's distinguished military record -- and no, tossing a few rocks at Israeli border guards doesn't qualify. All the while I thought only the most talentless "anti-war" protestors use this imbecilic label; nope, when it comes to propaganda, Said will happily slum it with the rest of the idiotarians. I mean, being venomously stupid is par for the course for the good Professor -- but being unoriginal?

What this unrepresentative cabal seeks in a war with Iraq has nothing to do with actual military considerations.
Heed -- the Jane Austen expert speaks on matters of strategy! (Hey, does that make him a wannabe chicken hawk?)
Iraq, whatever the disgusting qualities of its deplorable regime, is simply not an imminent and credible threat to neighbours like Turkey, or Israel, or even Jordan (each of which could easily handle it militarily) or certainly to the US.
True enough, today. We'd like to ensure this permanently. And we intend to. (Jordan could "easily handle" Iraq? That's a new one...)
With a few outdated Scuds, and a small amount of chemical and biological material, most of it supplied by the US in earlier days (as Nader has said, we know that because we have the receipts for what was sold to Iraq by US companies), Iraq is, and has easily been, containable, though at unconscionable cost to the long-suffering civilian population.
Funny, isn't it, that Nader managed to miss the receipts for the much greater quantities of weapons and goods sold to Iraq by French and German companies. Not that any of it matters, really -- how does the fact that Iraq uses our weapons make us any safer? Hello?

The we get this little gem of wisdom:

For this terrible state of affairs I think it is absolutely true to say that there has been collusion between the Iraqi regime and the Western enforcers of the sanctions.
Yes, I'm sure the Iraqi regime was just thrilled to have sanctions imposed, as part of its "collusion" with the powers that had just destroyed its army and trashed its fearsome image among its neighbors. Brilliant analysis.
Third, once big powers start to dream of regime change--a process already begun by the Perles and Wolfowitzs of this country--there is simply no end in sight. Isn't it outrageous that people of such a dubious caliber actually go on blathering about bringing democracy, modernisation, and liberalisation to the Middle East?
Once again, the choking clouds of irony swirl around the good Professor. For this scum-sucking enabler and apologist for Arab murder of toddlers to impugn the "caliber" of anyone, let alone Perle and Wolfowitz, sets a whole new standard for chutzpah.
God knows that the area needs it, as so many Arab and Muslim intellectuals and ordinary people have said over and over.
And, of course, when you are a Columbia University professor of English literature, saying something over and over is totally equivalent to making something happen. You know, as long as your credentials are in order. Wouldn't want any of those icky "Israeli citizens" of the wrong "caliber" to mess up the symposium.
But who appointed these characters as agents of progress anyway?
Bush did. You know, the President, who gets to pick a Cabinet and all that stuff? The real question is, who appointed Eddie "joy of tossing rocks" Said as the moral arbiter of who will bring progress to the Arabs? Ultimately, I doubt the Iraqis will give a damn who gets them out of Hussein's clutches. Because, not having a Ph. D. from Columbia, they are not aware that it must be someone that Said and Nader approve of.
It's particularly galling that Perle, about as unqualified a person as it is imaginable to be on any subject touching on democracy and justice, should have been an election adviser to Netanyahu's extreme right- wing government during the period 1996-9, in which he counseled the renegade Israeli to scrap any and all peace attempts, to annex the West Bank and Gaza, and try to get rid of as many Palestinians as possible.
Sounds like he knows exactly how to deal with Arab terrorism.
Fourth, Colin Powell's speech, despite its many weaknesses, its plagiarised and manufactured evidence, its confected audio-tapes and its doctored pictures,
Yes, it's all a forgery ("confected" forgery -- yum!). It's got to be, because Said and the gang at Counterpunch say so, and they are of the proper caliber. Colin Powell is a lying weasel: it's the Iraqis that are honest and forthcoming.
But what is so monumentally hypocritical about the official US position is that literally everything Powell has accused the Ba'athists of has been the stock in trade of every Israeli government since 1948, and at no time more flagrantly than since the occupation of 1967.
Come on, we all knew this was coming. What it's got to do with Iraq, I have no idea. But who can resist tossing an extra rock at the Zionist entity, really? Feel the joy!

Well, here's the tiny little difference: Israel has been under attack by the filthy, backasswards, mass-murdering Arab "republics" since its inception. Its citizens have been deliberately targeted by the Arabs living under its "occupation" after those same Arabs started a war of aggression in 1967 that the Israelis had the gall to not lose. Yet they still live better than the Arabs under any Arab government, and way better than the Arabs in Saddam's Iraq, who have never posed a threat to Hussein. I won't bother refuting for the umpteenth time the stream of bullshit Said regurgitates in this paragraph (where he has the gall to comlain that Israelis attack Arab ambulances even after the Arabs are caught smuggling bombs in them, as well as bringing up the infamous fiction of "Jenin," to say nothing of Sabra and Shatilla). This topic is moot; it has absolutely nothing to do with the Iraq War, but then I'm sure Said could tie the bubonic plague to Israel, if only you could give him enough column inches.

As the person in charge of US foreign policy, it is [Colin Powell's] specific responsibility to uphold the laws of this country, and to make sure that the enforcement of human rights and the promotion of freedom--the proclaimed central plank in the US's foreign policy since at least 1976--is applied uniformly, without exception or condition.
Actually, his responsibility is to represent the interests of this country, which lie with Israel and not its murderous rivals. But even if we take this claim at face value, Israel's security is the greatest hope to having any kind of freedom in the Middle East. Undermining that security in favor of Arab thug-dictators lessens the amount of freedom and democracy in the region, by definition.
How he and his bosses and co- workers can stand up before the world and righteously sermonise against Iraq while at the same time completely ignoring the ongoing American partnership in human rights abuses with Israel defies credibility.
No, what defies credibility is that someone who can write this drivel without breaking into hysterical laughter can be considered a serious commentator on foreign policy. Or that he can dress himself, for that matter.
The Palestinian territories today are witnessing the onset of a mass famine; there is a health crisis of catastrophic proportions; there is a civilian death toll that totals at least a dozen to 20 people a week; the economy has collapsed; hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are unable to work, study, or move about as curfews and at least 300 barricades impede their daily lives; houses are blown up or bulldozed on a mass basis (60 yesterday).
Wow, the Palestinians started a war of attrition, the Israelis refused to lose (yet again -- have those bastards no decency?!), and Said is just shocked and terrified and appalled and outraged that the Arabs are now facing the consequences of their actions. A "health crisis of catastrophic proportions"? Try living with a pound of nails embedded in your flesh for the rest of your life, and see if you give a shit. The Palestinians have a lousy economy, and can't go to the next town without passing a heavily armed toll booth? Perhaps you should take it up with the leadership that called for "martyrs by the millions," and their Arab blood-money donors. Israel's responsibility is to Israelis, not Palestinians. Perhaps the next time they are at the negotiating table, the Arabs will have a slightly clearer picture of what happens when you start killing Israeli toddlers. Either way, please, cry me a river. You can even toss a rock into it, if you want.
Bush declares that Sharon, who is a war criminal by any standard, is a man of peace, as if to spit on the innocent Palestinians' lives that have been lost and ravaged by Sharon and his criminal army.
Excuse me, I need to hock up a big loogie, to add to Bush's spit on the "innocent" Palestinians that the IDF has sent to meet their 72 celestial hookers. (I'm not denying that some innocent Arabs have died in the conflict. But that's a far cry from having been deliberately "ravaged by Sharon and his criminal army.")
And, more astounding yet, he lectures the world on Saddam's flouting of UN resolutions even as he supports a country, Israel, that has flouted at least 64 of them on a daily basis for more than half a century.
Yep, not all countries are equal, and not all UN resolutions are equal. In particular, General Assembly resolutions, which make up the bulk of that "list," are so much useless, nonbinding hot air, precisely because the GA is dominated by worthless outfits that pose as governments, including the very terror sponsors that are responsible for the many American and Israeli deaths since the latest Arab innovations were introduced back in the 1970s.

Besides, the "UN violations" are a polite fiction. We are coming after Iraq because they represent a danger to the United States, not some ossified bureaucracy that the dimwitted mistake for an "international order," and the terror apologists fantasize will "control" the Israelis.

But it is also a great and noble fact that for the first time since World War Two there are mass protests against the war taking place before rather than during the war itself. This is unprecedented...
Clearly, it's not unprecedented, if it took place before World War II. For Christ's sake, you're an English professor.
and should become the central political fact of the new, globalised era into which our world has been thrust by the US and its super-power status. What this demonstrates is that despite the awesome power wielded by autocrats and tyrants like Saddam and his American antagonists, despite the complicity of a mass media that has (willingly or unwillingly) hastened the rush to war, despite the indifference and ignorance of a great many people, mass action and mass protest on the basis of human community and human sustainability are still formidable tools of human resistance.
will someone please translate this drivel into something coherent?
Call them weapons of the weak, if you wish. But that they have at least tampered with the plans of the Washington chicken hawks and their corporate backers
Yes, the plans have been severely disrupted by a bunch of Stalinist organizers, their Islamist collaborators, and a few useful idiots.
as well as the millions of religious monotheistic extremists (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) who believe in wars of religion
Yes, many Christians and Jews have called for and started holy wars in the past few hundred years.
Wherever I go to lecture or speak out against these injustices I haven't found anyone in support of the war.
Well, imagine that -- Said hasn't found anyone in support of the war at his lectures! That's gotta mean something, right? I bet there was lots of anti-war opposition at Bush's AEI speech the other night, right? Does this man really live in a bubble? It would explain a lot...
We cannot in any way lend our silence to a policy of war that the White House has openly announced will include three to five hundred cruise missiles a day (800 of them during the first 48 hours of the war) raining down on the civilian population of Baghdad in order to produce "Shock and Awe"
No one has asked you to "lend your silence" (though it would be a nice change of pace), and "shock and awe" is certainly preferable to "mass death." And the U.S. isn't targeting the civilian population of Baghdad -- if for no other reason than it doesn't need to.
or even a human cataclysm that will produce, as its boastful planner a certain Mr (or is it Dr?) Harlan Ullman has said, a Hiroshima-style effect on the Iraqi people.
Nice conflation there, but no one was talking about wiping out hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
And the US has 6000 "smart" missiles ready to do the job. What sort of God would want this to be a formulated and announced policy for His people? And what sort of God would claim that this was going to bring democracy and freedom to the people not only of Iraq but to the rest of the Middle East?
Apparently, Mr (or is it Dr?) Said missed the parts of the Bible about the Canaanites and the Hizzites, not to mention all that nasty talk about Soddom (ha!) and Gomorrah. Not that the U.S. plans destruction of entire cities (and won't Said be disappointed when this doesn't happen -- well, he can always pull another "Jenin" out of his ass), but just in case you were wondering where God stands on mass destruction.
These are questions I won't even try to answer.
Thank God. My tolerance for this drivel is getting very thin.
But I do know that if anything like this is going to be visited on any population on earth it would be a criminal act, and its perpetrators and planners war criminals according to the Nuremberg Laws that the US itself was crucial in formulating.
Oh, sure it will. Building concentration camps, killing people by the millions, removing a bloody dictator, it's all equivalent. The important part is that War™ will be involved, and war itself is a war crime. Way to go, Dr. Said -- turning progressive international frameworks into a punchline.
Who knows what more evil will be done in the name of Good?
Not me -- but you're the loony lephtoid.
Every one of us must raise our voices, and march in protest, now and again and again. We need creative thinking and bold action to stave off the nightmares planned by a docile, professionalised staff in places like Washington and Tel Aviv and Baghdad.
And your solution is walking around and yelling? Creative thinking at its finest.
For if what they have in mind is what they call "greater security" then words have no meaning at all in the ordinary sense.
The meaning is plain enough to me: kill terrorists and their sponsors, and the rest of us will be safer. That includes worthless shriveled little mass-murderer apologists safely ensconced in tenured positions at Columbia -- ironic and somewhat unfair as it may seem, ridding the world of murderers like Hussein or Arafat's happy little gang, will make the Chomskys and Saids safer too, lest they should deprive us all of their voluminous babble.
That Bush and Sharon have contempt for the non-white people of this world is clear.
Oh, good, I was afraid he might miss the famous Nelson Mandela line about Israelis being White™ (which is bad), and Arabs being black "non-White™" (which is good). Phew. All the idiotarian talking points covered, I think. No, wait, one more...
The question is, how long can they keep getting away with it?
Until they free Mumia! ...There, done.

[Update: Turns out that Ralph Nader did serve in the Army, as Sam Mikes pointed out. Not that you could easily find this -- the official biography doesn't mention it, and neither do most of the large number of sites that talk about him. With Sam's hint, I was able to find a small reference to this fact. Regardless, he did serve.]

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