« No tickee, no shirtee | Main | That Crazy Kerry Campaign »

And while I'm on the subject...

After 9/11, we were told time and time again by the righteous left not to brand all Muslims as terrorists, as the works of a few should not be held agains the whole. Fair enough. But now these some cretins in uniform torture Iraqi prisoners and it's not only a burning brand on the entire army, but on America as well. If we all wear that damned blue dress, then why were you so insistent that not all Muslims wear the terrorist's gear? I'm not in any way saying all Muslims are terrorists. I'm just wondering why you don't afford your own armed forces the same respect you afforded Muslims after 9/11? Anyone?

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference And while I'm on the subject...:

» The Works Of A Few from Say Anything
Michelle, as usual, has a very good point: After 9/11, we were told time and time again by the righteous left not to brand all Muslims as terrorists, as the works of a few should not be held agains the... [Read More]

» Exactly from Lead and Gold
[Read More]

» Thanks Michele from King of Fools
For these word of wisdom (and perspective): After 9/11, we were told time and time again by the righteous left not to brand all Muslims as terrorists, as the works of a few should not be held agains the whole.... [Read More]

Comments

Because pointing a finger at yourself for being a hypocrite isn't nearly half as much fun as going off on a half cocked rant that slanders everything that the nation stands for - even if it means that if I win I have to live in my own shit. Winning is all that matters - not how you get there, and anything that can be thrown up will, even if it contradicts, excuse me - nuances - what was previously spewed out as the current lemming battle cry.

I though you would understand a little how the left thinks by now.

Expect the DU to come over and drop a few comments on this one or at least you will get a few emails from the left side of the moon.......

Because Brown People are Our Betters™. (Even if they have no one darker than a Dane in their ancestry all Muslims are honorary Brown People by rejecting -- supposedly -- such standards of the Evil Hegemonic Whiteman West like Christianity, pork, and beer.)

I don't blame all Muslims 9/11 for same reason I don't blame all Christians for the actions of a few Christians.

Also, the 9/11 terrorists had the goal of slaughtering thousands of innocent people. That was their goal, and they succeded.

Why are you comparing that to our goals in Iraq?

Umm...Bitter. Read the post again. See if you get it this time.

We need to get to the "root causes" of why these soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners.

I agree with Andrea although I'd change "Betters" to "Victims." We're wealthier than they are so they're entitled to hang us, or at least hold us to more exacting standards of civilized behavior. And you wonder why leftists are pro-terrorist.

Anyway. Who's blaming the entire army? I know Rall is but he's Rall. I'd be surprised if many more joined in: That "...but I support the troops" fig leaf is too useful, especially during election season, to be casually tossed away.

It's gonna be a fun couple of weeks. Civil war, baby! Can you feel it??

Because they're raping children?

It's odd that the shorter the post, the less it seems commenters understand.

The equations here:
Some Muslims = terrorists

So we've been told by the righteous:
All Muslims means NOT in computerese)

Therefore, when we see:
Some American soldiers = cretinous torturers

so the righteous should also note:
All American soldiers = cretinous torturers

but some of the "righteous" have decided to remove the NOT in front of those equal signs. Because it's fun! It's not fun to bitch about just a particular bunch of people, when you can take it all the way up to the president and especially all the people who support the war in Iraq! Ha! They're all rapists now!

Mmmmhmmm.

Allah, I don't think it's a "support the troops" fig leaf- it's more like a burka.

They shroud themselves in the premise that they are for the troops, in hope that their underlying selves will remain hidden. Well, the veil has slipped from the burka, and the true face is being shown.

Which is: Support the troops when it's politically convenient... but if it appears an advantage can be gained in certain circles by their vilification- then to hell with 'em.

Harsh? Nowhere near the rage I feel.

You Can Not attack someone's chain of command, CiC, mission, and goals... then take the actions of a few and use that to try to stain an entire command structure (while mostly ignoring that the institution worked- it was reported and investigated in-house)... all the while ignoring the successes of mission to instead focus on the "quagmire"... and then claim to be "supportive".

There are people on the far left that are just totally against military action- and I can at least respect their honest beliefs.

Mostly, however, what I see are those that rant, rave, and rall to score hits so they can gain a political advantage.

Is winning the next election more important than the safety and morale of the troops currently fighting a war? Apparently, it is. If that's "supporting the troops", I'm pretty sure the military would be happy to collectively tell them where to shove that 'support'.

At least the terrorists are open about their intentions.

Well said Michele.

The righteous left does not think that all of America wears the "stained blue dress" because they exempt themselves. The righteous left likes to think of America as being inhabited by a bunch of slack-jawed, moronic Neanderthals, with the exception of a small number of enlightened intellectuals such as themselves. By painting the rest of the country in the darkest possible colors these people flatter themselves.

Allah: Victims = Our Betters™ in the screed of the Leftover Left.

If there's one thing I've learned about the left over the years it's this: Everything to them is political. What we don't get sometimes is they don't necessarily do some of these things because they're trying to get away with something, but because politics is all they know. Anything to further their agenda is perfectly acceptable in their eyes. No matter what it is, or what the consequences are. To them, lying is nothing more than a skill set.

Michele, I got what you were saying.

I was pointing out that comparing the fighting force of a democratic country to all billion some-odd Muslims in the world is, first of all, completely random. There's about as much reason to blame all Muslims for 9/11 as there is to blame all Christians for the Holocaust. How about let's not admit that kind of ideology into the realm of rational discussion?

But more importantly, comparing the 9/11 terrorists to abusive American soldiers is the kind of facetious nihilism that does a huge insult to the soldiers. At the risk of being obvious, the 9/11 terrorists were terrorists. No goal of liberation. No democratic oversight. They organized themselves to commit suicidal mass murder. And so they did.

On the other hand, America did not send its forces to Iraq in order to rape and torture. We went in to remove a direct threat, to find the weapons, to discourage terrorist ideologies, to liberate the good people of Iraq from rape and torture. And the soldiers in Abu Ghraib and every other American detention center are part of a the most highly organized, highly skilled, highly trained military machine that the world has ever seen. They are supposed to be under the civilian command of a democratic society. If they are not, that is a very very serious problem.

And if they did these things with knowledge and approval, then that is a problem of a whole different order...

with the exception of a small number of enlightened intellectuals such as themselves. By painting the rest of the country in the darkest possible colors these people flatter themselves.

Average Joe, Andrea, Nick:
I think you flatter yourselves.

No Bitter. You Do. Not. Get. It.

It's an analogy, comparing the left's moral high ground after 9/11 with their broad swipes against all soldiers now. I am NOT comparing soldier with radical Muslims. I am merely comparing leftists then and leftists now.

Try again.

Michele, I get it. I'm saying your analogy is based on an offensive premise. A world religion is an incomparably different thing than the armed forces of a single democratic society.

Blaming an entire religion for the actions of a few of its members is simply beyond the pale of sanity. Saying that the Jews did not kill Christ should not qualify as "moral high ground."

But scrutinizing the policies of a democratic society's civilian-run armed forces is part of being a democratic society. It is an insult to our soliders to suggest they are part of an institution so weak that it cannot be held up to open critique in the face of horrifying evidence.

Ahhh, shit. &@##**
It's enough to make ministers curse.

The only moral lesson that exists in the revelations about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners is that The USA has a justice system that applies even in wartime and even to protect the enemy.

There was no system of moral values or justice to be found in the UN and Sadams European Allies that did all they could to keep Saddam in power and rake in as much cash as they could for doing it,
no system of moral values or justice to be found in the thugocracy of Saddam that was overthrown by the US and a few allies,

and no sytem of moral values or justice to be found in those attempting to twist a story that essentially demonstrates the moral values and just practice of the US Military into a hypocritical and partisan political attack on the current administration.

Somebody needs to write a new book in the "Idiot" series- Moral Values for Idiots

i don't mean to comment spam, but that was my exact thoughts immediatly after the event, to excerpt: "the press is always bitching about how the right paints all muslims as terrorists (which we don't, but that's an argument for another day), and that we should respect the group but hate the derrangements of a few. hopefully, for once the press takes it's own line and maintains respect for the military, while dencouncing the cruelty of a few."
i wrote that on the first of may. should've known better, but i can always dream, anyway.

I'm just wondering why you don't afford your own armed forces the same respect you afforded Muslims after 9/11?

Okay, I'll play along for a second.

Michele, why is it that you don't afford the Left the same respect you afford U.S. forces after this whole torture scandal? Because, not surprisingly, I'm one of the righteous left who told people time and again not to brand all Muslims terrorists, as the works of a few should not be held against the whole. But I'm also not holding the entirety of the armed forces responsible for the actions of a few sick bastards in Iraq. So your assertion that "the righteous left", of which I am a member (though obviously I refute the ironic use of "righteous"), blames all U.S. soldiers for the actions of a few strikes me as A) insulting, B) inaccurate and C) incredibly inflammatory.

You do this a lot Michele-- I think the first post I ever commented on in ASV was a post you wrote that basically said, "I hate the Left-- where 'the Left' equals 'people who slaughter helpless infants under a full moon and dance around covered in the blood of innocents'." You constantly focus on the most ignorant and obnoxious people ever to claim the "Left" label, and use their behavior as a criticism of the whole of the Left. It's like you can't even see the rational Left: all you can see is the PR potential of a few horribly-behaved loudmouths who claim to be proud spokespeople for some imaginary "terrorist fifth column" of the Left. So you write one angry rant after another about how Leftists run around biting the heads off puppies and sodomizing the bodies of dead American soldiers while readers like Nick cheer you on. But what are you achieving with all this-- besides reinforcing misleading stereotypes about anyone and everyone who opposes George W. Bush and the Republican Party?

There are plenty of good (or at least rational) reasons to oppose George W. Bush's policies (and the polices of the Right in general) that have nothing to do with tortured Iraqi prisoners or Bush's questionable National Guard record; there's his disastrous economic policies, the under-deployment of ground troops in Iraq, his unilateral withdrawal from the ABM treaty, and so forth. There are Leftist web pages that discuss these issues in a rational and coherent fashion. But I can't recall the last time I saw you post a rant that said, "You know, I've been looking at these claims that Bush is under-deploying ground troops in Iraq and they're really pissing me off. Because, for one thing, more ground troops would only serve to further alienate the Iraqi population by making the invasion seem more like an occupation than a police action aimed at freeing them so they can achieve self-determination. For another thing, more ground troops would probably necessitate a draft." I can't recall the last time you attacked the opinion of a Leftist that wasn't totally indefensible on the face of it-- and yet you continue to address these attacks at "the left" in general.

Aiming these rants of yours at "the left" at all is completely misleading. I mean, I've used this example before, but it would be like me using Pat Robertson's quote about how the feminist agenda is a socialist anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians, as a critique of the Right. Doing so wouldn't even be all that unreasonable. Pat Robertson is a proud member of the Right who supports the invasion of Iraq. He has an enormous international TV audience and wields an appalling amount of political power-- and he for damn sure has more traction than Ted Fucking Rall. Or I could talk about Jerry "Mohamed was a terrorist" Falwell as another example of a crazy hack on the Right who wields more political power than a dozen Micah Wrights.

To do so would certainly a waste of time-- people who buy into the Robertsons, Limbaughs and Falwells of the world are probably far beyond the reach of my meager powers of persuasion. But posting angry rants against Robertson, Limbaugh and Falwell and then framing those rants as a generalized opposition to the agenda of "the Right" would be completely fucking irresponsible, misleading, and even disingenuous.

Hitler was in favor of gun control and against communism; does that say anything compelling about gun control, or communism? Not really. Because why? Because Hitler was a fucking nut job. Does the fact that you and Jerry Falwell agree about the invasion of Iraq say anything compelling about you, or the invasion of Iraq? Not really. Because why? See above re: Hitler.

Now, maybe this is just another example of me missing a golden opportunity. Maybe if I wrote four or five clever rants a day attacking various high-profile right-wing nut jobs-- and framed those rants as criticisms of the Right in general --I too could have the kind of readership enjoyed by A Small Victory and the Democratic Underground. Alas; I declined to apply for a job at Microsoft in the 90's because I dislike Redmond. I finished my BA instead of going to work for Amazon. I guess the " getting famous off frothing angry rants during a time of extreme political factionalism" will just have to be another historic opportunity I allow to pass me by. Oh well.

But I digress.

Getting back to this business about you and your criticisms of "the left"-- as a member of the Left I would like to request, once again, that you exercise some greater discretion in how you approach these things. Obviously this is your blog and you can write about whatever you want however you want. I don't dispute that. But I think your application of criticism is often partisan and self-serving, in spite of your occasional claims to "the middle of the road". You and I have butted heads about this kind of thing before. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the conclusion of the discussion that time and, I suspect, I may be wasting my textual breath on this one too. But I have faith in your good intentions, and will continue to raise this point with you when the subject arises, in the belief that we may eventually come to some understanding on the matter.

On behalf of the better angels of our nature, and all that.

Well, I didn't read your whole thing, Josh (I will) but I must say that I generally try to differentiate the left from the far left. Though it's getting mighty hard to tell the difference these days, as many mainstream left bloggers are heading toward the lunatic fringe.

As an aside, a quick search of my site shows that I've used the phrase "far left" 108 times. Is there another phrase I should be using to make it more specific that I'm not talking about your average moderate Democrat? Please, enlighten me.

When I start reading rants and hearing sound bites from people who I always figured to be mainstream and they sound an awful lot like things you read on DU, it tells me there's a line being blurred somewhere. I'm not the one blurring it, you know?

As an aside, a quick search of my site shows that I've used the phrase "far left" 108 times. Is there another phrase I should be using to make it more specific that I'm not talking about your average moderate Democrat?

How 'bout "the nonpartisan association of ranting extremists"? Or, if that doesn't have enough poetry for you, what about "the assmitten brigade"? You see what I'm getting at here? The problem isn't that these people are "the Left". The problem is that they're preaching hate, or ranting about something stupid, or whatever.

I'll draw a parallel to a dialogue in Dead Man Walking, which I'm going to have to paraphrase (sorry if I butcher it-- I haven't seen the movie in a couple of years):

Matthew Poncelet: I just don't like Black people.
Sister Helen Prejean: Why is that?
MP: They never want to work. They sit on their asses all day and then they complain nobody gives 'em nothin'. It just pisses me off.
SHP: It sounds to me like you're confusing the issue; it's not Black people you dislike. It's lazy people.

Get me?

When I start reading rants and hearing sound bites from people who I always figured to be mainstream and they sound an awful lot like things you read on DU, it tells me there's a line being blurred somewhere. I'm not the one blurring it, you know?

Come on-- there is no line.

Look, you've written stuff right here on ASV that you later regretted. We've all gone too far from time to time, and it's easier in this political environment than it used to be. To fasten onto instances of extremism as emblematic of the political worldview of everyone who happens to have an opinion in common with the person who penned a rant establishes a false dichotomy.

I mean, hey-- when you add it all up, I'm basically a Leftist. But I'm against gun control. I'm in favor of keeping troops in Iraq. I think the troops that tortured prisoners in Iraq should be made examples of-- not to other American troops, but to Iraq and the entire Middle East. But I don't think that the incidents of torture themselves say anything meaningful about the occupation of Iraq or even, necessarily, about the character of the people who committed those acts-- except that when you send people off to war, especially young people, the nature of war makes it possible for them to do incredibly horrible things without much volition. It's one of the reasons I don't carry a gun, in spite of my opposition to gun control. I don't want to place myself in a situation where a momentary lapse of judgment can kill someone.

And I think Ted Rall is a big stinky asshole.

So which side of the line am I on, Michele? Can you look at me and my beliefs and draw conclusions about other Leftists based on them? No. If I write something that's inflammatory and poorly conceived, does that mean I should never be taken seriously again? No.

Not every George Lucas movie is a piece of shit. Not every Francis Ford Coppola movie is a work of genius. You can decide whether or not to see a movie based on who made it, but the actual quality of the movie is a characteristic of the thing itself, not the person who made it.

Intellectually speaking, oppositional politics a soft option of the worst sort.

Points taken Josh, though I do consider you a moderate.

So what do I call these people when I write about them? Because I am never going to stop writing about them. I think their hate needs to be known.

And on the same subject but different side, what to I call Rush Limbaugh? If I can't call the DUers the left, then I can't call Limbaugh the right, so how about we just make a group called Assholes and stick them all - from Rall to Limbaugh - in that group?