Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Juan Cole on "appeasement" and Christian terrorists

Reading Juan Cole's blog with coffee of a morning is a daunting experience. Relentless and indefatigable only begin to get at it. He covers a huge range of topics with characteristically pithy and often withering wit, he does it every day, AND he has a job.

The quality of his writing is consistently and ridiculously excellent, considering he's a one-man news bureau. The guy sets the bar for bloggers way high.

Today he seems especially energized, and covers about nine different topics. Most recently, as of 9 am, he has a great contextualizing take on that staple of the neocon lexicon, "appeasement":

The Crock of Appeasement
The warmongers, imperialists, and just plain greedy who wish to use up US troops to gain their ill-gotten goods love to use the word "appeasement." Anyone who stands against their expansionist ambitions will be tagged with this term. In the lexicology of the Rabid Right, it evokes British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's attempt to negotiate with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler. It is certainly the case that Hitler was a genocidal maniac and not the sort of man with whom one could usefully negotiate. But not all negotiation is equally fruitless. Before that incident, by the way, "appeasement" had a positive connotation, of "seeking peace."

The rightwing use of the term appeasement, however, turns it on its head. Taken seriously, the doctrine of "no appeasement" on the right would mean we are stuck in perpectual war, always doomed to be on the offensive, always dedicated to gobbling up more of other people's territory and wealth even at the expense of living in constant dread of being blown up and being forced to give up the civil liberties which had made American civilization great.

It would never be possible to negotiate a truce with any enemy. That would be appeasement. It would never be possible to compromise. That would be appeasement. It would never be prudent to withdraw troops from a failed war. That would be appeasement. In other words, the rightwing doctrine of "no appeasement, ever" actually turns you into Hitler rather than into Churchill.
Read the whole post....

And his commentary on the Eric Rudolph sentencing was absolutely spot-on. His is the best response I've seen to that appalling and frankly racist Thomas Friedman column in which he basically makes all Muslims responsible for suicide bombers. Here's Juan on the "Christian Terrorist":

Other things you won't see in the American press about this story (satire alert):

Thomas Friedman will not write an op-ed for the New York Times about what is wrong with white southern Christian males that they keep producing these terrorists. He will also not ask why Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are not denouncing Eric Rudolph every day at the top of their lungs.

No reporter will interview frightened Iraqis about their fears at hearing that there are 138,000 armed Christians in their country belonging to the same faith as the bomber, Rudolph, some of them from his stomping grounds of Florida and North Carolina.

Daniel Pipes will not write a column for the New York Post suggesting that white southern Christians be put in internment camps until it can be determined why they keep producing terrorists and antisemites.

George W. Bush will not issue a statement that "Christianity is a religion of peace and we will not allow the Eric Rudolphs to hijack it for their murderous purposes."

Frank Gaffney will not write a column for the Washington Post castigating the Republican Party for appeasement in surrendering to the terrorist threats of radical Christians, by now opposing reproductive rights.

Max Boot will not point out that if the United States could only keep the Philippines in the early twentieth century by killing 400,000 Filipinos, than that was what needed to be done, and if the US can only beat back radical Christians by killing 400,000 of them, then that may just be necessary.

Pat Buchanan will not write a column blasting King George III for having promoted the illegal immigration into the American south of criminal elements, whose maladjusted descendants are still making trouble.

No comments:

Blog Archive