ted rall is walking that fine line
[I know others have commented on Rall's column already, but they better recognize that Ted Rall is my bitch!]
[ed note: Some people are having trouble getting through to the Yahoo link. Perhaps they took it down? Anyhow, you can still find the column in question at Rall's place]
Some people will read Ted's words and assume it is satire. Some will read it and think that he is condoning the killing of American soldiers. Some will read it and see the words "America, blame yourself!" written between the lines.
In a way, they will all be right.
Rall has gone so far left that if he did attempt satire, it would be hard to tell the difference between that and his real beliefs. In a way, Ted is almost satirizing himself here.
Killing soldiers? This wouldn't be the first time ol' Teddy has done that. After all, this is the guy who calls people in the armed forces baby killers.
The self-blame of America is pretty evident, especially in the last line. Rall thinks that the more we corner the terrorists in Iraq, the more civilians will turn against us.
Before we figure out what Rall really means by this whole thing, we need to ask why. Why would he write such a screed on Veteran's Day, of all days.
Simply put, Ted Rall is a despicable human being. This observance comes not just from his views on America and his views on the war, but from things that have nothing to do with politics. Rall is a self-centered, delusional man who is slowly walking that fine line between hateful columnist and pure psychosis. The man is so full of hatred, vitriol and self-loathing that it is all beginning to seep into his columns so much that they have become almost unreadable. I know of some liberals who read Rall's recent stuff and cringe.
This column - Why We Fight - is the creepiest thing Ted has put in print since his fire widows strip. Here, he takes on the voice of an Iraqi resistance fighter, beckoning others to join in and terrorize coalition troops in Iraq.
You are joining a broad and diverse coalition dedicated to one principle: Iraq for Iraqis. Our leaders include generals of President Saddam Hussein's secular government as well as fundamentalist Islamists. We are Sunni and Shia, Iraqi and foreign, Arab and Kurdish. Though we differ on what kind of future our country should have after liberation and many of us suffered under Saddam, we are fighting side by side because there is no dignity under the brutal and oppressive jackboot of the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority...
Don't bother to tell me that I read Rall's column wrong, that this was satire or tongue in cheek or parody or whatever word you want to use to defend him; based on Rall's past columns and comics, one can safely assume that Ted wrote this from his bitter heart.
Look at that paragraph I quoted. Does Rall really believe this? Does he honestly think that most Iraqis would rather live under Saddam than make progress towards demoracy with help from the U.S.? He is taking the issues of a small percentage of Iraqis - those corrupt individuals who flourished under Saddam's totalitarian regime - and projecting their ideals onto the rest of the Iraqi citizens.
Perhaps when Ted makes his trip to Iraq he can visit the schools that have been opened. He can talk to the teachers who are already making more money than they did under Saddam. He can visit the kids who are getting more health care in one week than they got their whole lives before the "occupation" of their country.
But no, Ted only sees what he wants to see and hears what he wants to hear. Unfortunately, the only thing Rall really wants is for George W. Bush to fail miserably, even if that comes at the expense of Iraqi freedom or the lives of soldiers. He justifies his wish of destruction for the coalition forces by claiming that the terrorists who are killing coalition troops are just poor, oppressed, ordinary citizens who are fighting back against the evil U.S. soldiers who are raping and pillaging and stealing their women.
Rall basically admits that the resistance uprising is made up of not just Iraqis, but terrorists from all different areas. But that doesn't bother Rall, who believes that any terrorist who strikes at American soldiers is doing the world a favor.
We regret their deaths, but we must continue to kill them until the last one has gone home to America.
That's what Rall - in the guise of a resistance fighter - says about U.S. soldiers.
You will never, ever convince me that Rall didn't mean every word of what he has written. One only needs to look at his past writings to know that the words in this column - words that Rall the coward writes in the guise of someone else, in what appears to be a pre-emptive alibi - ring true for the real Rall and not this semi-fictional character he has used to make his point.
There are many liberal columnists and cartoonists I disagree with. I don't think they are bad people, I just think their ideas are misguided - as I'm sure they think mine are.
Rall is a of a different breed. He is rotten through and through. There is not one redeeming characteristic of this man that I can think of. Go ahead, educate yourself. Do a little Googling, a little research. Rall is more than his anti-U.S. screeds. He is a hateful, loathesome, bitter, self-indulgent, delusional, vindictive man.
Please, do go to Iraq Ted. Go join those resistance forces. Take an AK-47 and put your bravado where your pen is. I can't promise the results will be pretty, but I can promise that I won't write a column calling on soldiers to kill you. And that's the difference between a you and I, Ted. It's called human decency. Look into it.
Update: Andrew Sullivan says it rather succintly:
After 9/11, I was roundly criticized for daring to suggest that there were some people in America who wanted the terrorists to win. But if you read Ted Rall and others, there can be no mistake. There is a virulent strain of anti-Americanism in this country. Some, like Rall, are now urging the murder of American troops in defense of Islamist terrorists and the acolytes of one of the most brutal dictators in history. Ann Coulter couldn't invent something this depraved...
[Update 2: A couple of people emailed asking for my previous Rall posts. I never set up categories, but you can go here and just do a CTRL-F for Rall. 99% of the posts have his name in the title. See also, bitchslap.]