Tuesday, March 11, 2003

More whining from Said

Eddie Said has penned yet another essay, which is remarkably similar to his previous attempt at coherence. So this will be quick.

In all my encounters and travels, I have yet to meet a person who is for the war.
This tells you all you need to know about the intellectual capacity of Edward Said, and the people he hangs out with. At some point, you'd think it might occur to him that maybe the people that come to his lectures and discuss world politics with him are not likely to be war proponents; it's called self-selection.
Wherever one looks in the Congress, there are the tell-tale signs either of the Zionist lobby, the right-wing Christians, or the military-industrial complex, three inordinately influential minority groups who share an interest in their hostility to the Arab world...
Now the "Zionist lobby"'s hatred for "the Arab world" is understandable. The "right-wing Christians," umm, what the hell, we'll give him that one, too. But the military-industrial complex? Anti-Arab? Why? The Saudis and Kuwaitis and Egyptians have been good customers, haven't they?
Every one of the 500 congressional districts in this country has a defense industry in it, so that war has been turned into a matter of jobs, not of security. But, one might well ask, how does running an unbelievably expensive war provide a remedy, for instance, for economic recession, the almost certain bankruptcy of the Social Security system, a mounting national debt, and a massive failure in the public education system of this country?
It doesn't. It also doesn't cure cancer, promote proper dental hygiene, or end the mind-numbing proliferation of reality shows on the airwaves. I fail to see what that has to do with anything at all, even taken together with the completely unconnected bald assertion that we are going to war to provide jobs for defense industry workers.
Demonstrations are looked at simply as a kind of degraded mob action...
Well, not all of them. This would certainly qualify, but most of the demonstrations are nothing more than collectively amplified incoherent noise. Not that the media portray them as such, actually. But that's really what they are. The decision for war has been made; protest to the contrary are just a sideshow.
...while the most hypocritical lies pass for absolute truth, without criticism and without objection.
Not at all. Although Said sure does try.
There are no antiwar voices to read or hear in any of the major medias of this country, no Arabs or Muslims (who have been consigned en masse to the ranks of the fanatics and terrorists of this world), no critics of Israel, not on Public Broadcasting, not in the New York Times, the New Yorker, US News and World Report, CNN and the rest.
Hmm... I had no idea that CNN had silenced Bob Novak and Paul Begala. Likewise, I was under the impression that the anti-war celebs have been cruising the airwaves, to the point of setting off my gag reflex every time I hear the name Janeane Garofalo.

The Arabs or Muslims thing is a bit strange, too. Exactly why should we consult them as religious or ethnic groups on this matter? An Arab or Muslim such as Amir Taheri or Fareed Zakaria, who has valuable knowledge to contribute in this area, should be asked his opinion (and these gentlemen both have been, quite a bit actually). But I think the foreign policy of the United States will not miss much by lacking more input from Ibish Hussein. Muslims and Arabs aren't consulted because the war on Iraq is not an inherently Muslim or Arab issue. We likewise don't consult French-Americans or the Catholic Church regarding our dealings with Chirac. To say that Arab and Muslim groups must be consulted prior to invading Iraq is rather presumptuous, and begs the question.

We'll skip Said's usual red herrings about Israel, which like any other old fish, stink up everything that the good Professor comes in contact with. We'll likewise skip his breezy dismissal of Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, who only qualify as "so-called experts" in Said's estimation, since they haven't taken a trip to Arabia of late. (And really, it's not like they ever felt the joy of tossing rocks at Israel...)

Instead, bring out the weepy music, for it is time for the Lamentations of Said:

As for the demagogues and servile intellectuals who talk about war as from the privacy of their fantasy worlds, who has given them the right to connive in the immiseration of millions of people whose major crime seems to be that they are Muslims and Arabs?
Yes, truly, removing the millions of Iraqis from under Saddam's boot would disrupt their currently pleasant and wonderful lives, and contribute to their immiseration. I'm guessing that after Saddam is gone, a lot of them will be interested in asking the good Professor just who gave him the right to consign them to indefinite misery and terror, simply to satisfy his own dislike for Perle and Wolfowitz, not to mention his obsessive preoccupation with Israel -- which, regardless of the shrill propaganda emanating from Gaza, Ramallah, Baghdad, and a certain office at Columbia, has never done any harm to Iraqis, not even when Saddam's SCUDs were falling on Tel-Aviv. I'm guessing they'll expect something better than a lecture on the joy of rock-throwing.

Found via LGF.

Side note: I would just like to register my objection to Said's use of the word medias. The word is already plural: one medium, many media. Using media as a singular noun is already annoying, but compounding the mistake by pluralizing it with an s is inexcusable. I remind the reader that, when not writing weepy nonsense or joyfully throwing rocks, Said earns his keep as a professor of English literature.


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