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Commies, commies, commies

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Hey, just as we’re talking about those Reds in the peace movement, that commie org ANSWER sends me an email. What better way to discover their commie intentions than to examine an original piece of evidence from these so called “peace” hippies, eh?

And whaddaya know, it’s in there. Somehow, when they’re not busy hating America or sparking up some “grass,” these peace hippies manage to sneak some Commie propaganda into their so called “anti-war” newsletter. Clever rascals. You always gotta watch ’em.

See if you can spot the commie propaganda in this. You can see it if you look closely. Very closely. It sneaks up on you.

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From: (A.N.S.W.E.R.)
Date: Tue Apr 1, 2003 6:52:24 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Iraqis can’t turn off the TV to make the war go away

“The whole world is watching us die”

APRIL 12:
The World Stands Together Against War

In the face of Iraqi resistance to the invasion, the U.S. military strategy has abruptly shifted in the last few days. Instead of posing as liberators, the U.S. high command has called for open warfare against the Iraqi civilian population. In the last 48 hours, hundreds of civilians have been shot down on the roadways, in their homes, on their farms. The aerial bombings are becoming more indiscriminate as missiles land in markets and residential neighborhoods.

The Iraq war has suddenly taken on the worst features of the U.S. war in Vietnam. Facing a defiant and resisting population, U.S. troops, under the direction of their officers, treat all members of the population as suspect and decide to shoot first and ask questions later. The U.S. soldiers have been lied to about their mission. They have been sent to kill and be killed in a war for empire and conquest, not liberation. U.S. casualties are mounting in this war that need not have happened.

On March 31, there was a massacre of civilians, mainly women and their children, whose crime was that they were driving on a roadway in their own country. As their van approached a checkpoint, U.S. soldiers destroyed their vehicle with a barrage of 25mm cannon fire from one or more of their M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The Washington Post quoted Capt. Ronny Johnson of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in his series of orders to the troops present:
– “Fire a warning shot”
– “Stop [messing] around!”
– “Stop him, Red 1, stop him!”
– “Cease fire!”
– “You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn’t fire a warning shot soon enough!”

The “shoot first ­ ask questions later” strategy is not the result of spontaneous actions by scared and edgy troops. These are orders given the troops from the Pentagon high command.

“Everyone is now seen as a combatant until proven otherwise,” a Pentagon official is quoted in the Washington Post of April 1, 2003. The Pentagon recognizes that the shift in tactics will be understood as a brutal escalation of force against the civilian population and that their earlier posture as “liberators” will be exposed. “You’ll see acts of kindness, medical care and the like, but the large scale aid effort will have to wait,” a Pentagon official told the Washington Post. In fact the new U.S. strategy now is deliberately preventing Iraqi civilians in Nassiriya and other towns from receiving food and water unless they cooperate with the occupation forces.

U.S. Marine Operations Commander Lt. Colonel Paul Roche told reporters on March 31 that the U.S. strategy towards the people of the city of Nassiriya included the use of food and water as a weapon to terrorize and break the will of the civilian population.

In the April 1 front page of the Washington Post, the Pentagon’s new strategy is euphemistically referred to in the headline “U.S. troops instructed to use tougher tactics.”

The assault against civilians is being reported in greater detail and honesty by the world media outside the United States. This change in U.S. tactics is, as the following report shows, encouraging the most racist and homicidal tendencies among U.S. soldiers at the front.

It is important to read the following passage from the UK Times of Sunday, March 30. It reports of a gruesome scene outside of Nassiriya. Some fifteen vehicles, including a minivan and a couple of trucks, were found destroyed and riddled with bullets by the Times UK reporter Mark Franchetti:

“Amid the wreckage I counted 12 dead civilians, lying in the road or in nearby ditches. All had been trying to leave this southern town overnight, probably for fear of being killed by US helicopter attacks and heavy artillery.

“Their mistake had been to flee over a bridge that is crucial to the coalition’s supply lines and to run into a group of shell-shocked young American marines with orders to shoot anything that moved.

“One man’s body was still in flames. It gave out a hissing sound. Tucked away in his breast pocket, thick wads of banknotes were turning to ashes. His savings, perhaps.

“Down the road, a little girl, no older than five and dressed in a pretty orange and gold dress, lay dead in a ditch next to the body of a man who may have been her father. Half his head was missing.

“Nearby, in a battered old Volga, peppered with ammunition holes, an Iraqi woman – perhaps the girl’s mother – was dead, slumped in the back seat. A US Abrams tank nicknamed Ghetto Fabulous drove past the bodies.

“This was not the only family who had taken what they thought was a last chance for safety. A father, baby girl and boy lay in a shallow grave. On the bridge itself a dead Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey.”

The UK Times article also documents that in Iraq, just as in Vietnam, the U.S. soldiers are being trained to wage war against a civilian population by dehumanizing those whom they are killing.

“I’ll Just Kill Him”

“As I walked away, Lieutenant Matt Martin, whose third child, Isabella, was born while he was on board ship en route to the Gulf, appeared beside me.

” ‘Did you see all that?’ he asked, his eyes filled with tears. ‘Did you see that little baby girl? I carried her body and buried it as best I could but I had no time. It really gets to me to see children being killed like this, but we had no choice.’

“Martin’s distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. ‘The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy,’ said Corporal Ryan Dupre. ‘I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin’ Iraqi. No, I won’t get hold of one. I’ll just kill him.’ ”

Crimes Against Humanity

George Bush and the high command are guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes. What we are witnessing is a full-scale massacre carried out from the land, the air and the sea assault. The U.S. media presents the war as carefully packaged propaganda and trivializes the actual human costs of the war by turning it into something of a spectator sport. But the Iraqi people cannot escape this war and they cannot turn off their television to make it go away.

Again, it is the non-U.S. press that reveals the extent of the criminality of the war.

A March 29 Reuters article entitled “Iraqis Delirious with Grief After Missile Attack” described the Friday night attack by U.S. bombs in a poor section of Baghdad. Arouba Khodeir, 39, while “wailing hysterically and hitting herself in the face and chest, as women around her were trying to calm her down,” spoke of her 11-year-old son Karar who died outside the house with his friends: ” ‘My son had his head blown off,’ screamed Khodeir. ‘Why are they hitting the people? Why are they killing the children? Why are they doing his to us? Why are they attacking civilians? Didn’t Bush say on TV that he won’t attack civilians. But these people who died are all civilians? Is this a target?’ she wailed, pointing at the dried blood of her son still splashed on the walls.”

“The Whole World is Watching Us Die”

The report also described the killing of Shaza Shallum, 20, who was “holding her baby and walking with two relatives when the explosion sent a shard of shrapnel through her neck. Six-month-old Fatma was found alive in her dead mother’s arms and brought by neighbors to her grandmother. The wails of the mourners drowned the cries of the hungry infant.”

One of the people living in this neighborhood told Reuters: “We are helpless people. It is all out of our hands. Why cannot the world find a solution? The whole world is watching us die and is doing nothing to help us.”

The full article can be found here.

On April 12, people of conscience all over the world are marching, rallying, and carrying out massive protests in solidarity with the suffering people of Iraq. The people who are being killed are not our enemies, they are our sisters and brothers. They must not be allowed to think that the world is “doing nothing” as the violence is inflicted upon them. Thousands of young men and women in the U.S. armed forces either oppose the war or are going through a process of questioning about the mission. It is crucial that the people of the United States come together to demand: Stop the War Against Iraq / Bring the Troops Home Now.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT APRIL 12

In Washington, huge numbers of people will gather at the Washington Monument at 12 noon. Joint U.S. actions will take place in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

BUSES, VANS AND CAR CARAVANS WILL TRAVEL FROM THE EAST COAST, MIDWEST AND SOUTH to be at the White House on Saturday, April 12. For a listing of transportation being organized from cities around the country, go to:
http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a12/a12transp.html

If you are ORGANIZING TRANSPORTATION, fill out the easy-to-use form at http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a12/index.html#a12transp so that we can help spread the word to others (if the link does not take you directly to the form, scroll down)

To DOWNLOAD LITERATURE, go to
http://internationalanswer.org/campaigns/resources/index.html

If you cannot download and print the flyers and stickers, you can pick up stacks at A.N.S.W.E.R. offices around the country, or you can call us at 202-544-3389 and request a packet of flyers. Please make your request immediately so they can be sent in time for massive distribution.

To make a tax-deductible DONATION to support the work of the anti-war movement, go to
http://www.internationalanswer.org/donate.html

Please check the April 12 page on the A.N.S.W.E.R. website at
http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a12/index.html
frequently for additional organizing information. This will include additional pieces of downloadable literature; a daily update to the list of cities organizing transportation; logistical information; & more.

*The National March to Stop the War on Iraq comes in the midst of the long-planned Latin America Solidarity Coalition (LASC) Mobilization Against Military and Economic Intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean. A.N.S.W.E.R. encourages participation in the LASC public plenaries including major Latin American speakers on Friday and Saturday at 7:00pm and the LASC rally and demonstration ending at the World Bank and IMF on Sunday, April 13. Visit the LASC web page at http://www.lasolidarity.org for details.*

————————————-

FOR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.InternationalANSWER.org
http://www.VoteNoWar.org
info@internationalanswer.org
New York 212-633-6646
Washington 202-544-3389
Los Angeles 213-487-2368
San Francisco 415-821-6545

To make a tax-deductible donation, go to
http://www.internationalanswer.org/donate.html

Sign up to receive updates (low volume):
http://www.internationalanswer.org/subscribelist.html

——————
Send replies to answer@action-mail.org

This is the ANSWER activist announcement
list.

(oh, by the way, everyone should be a Communist. it’s really cool.)
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Did you spot it? I know it’s kind of subtle. So, there you have it. The entire peace movement has now been effectively and completely discredited. They are all Communists or Communist sympathizers or future Communists or dupes of Communists. Nothing they say must be considered from here on out. Our ears may be closed to all of their arguments.

If you need more proof. Here is some photographic evidence I took at the rally on Sunday. It shows one of these “peace activists” holding a “sign.” I have provided analysis:

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About Brian Flemming

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Oh, and I just got ANOTHER email from ANOTHER commie-type organization, ZNet (aka Z Magazine online).

    The email they sent me proves once and for all how much these lefties hate the troops.

  • http://www.mykeru.com Reverend Mykeru

    You know, I find it strange how all those neo-conservative whore-bag fascist bastard dittoheads keeps saying “communist” like it’s a BAD thing.

    Especially since they learned everything they know about propaganda from “Stalinism for Dummies”.

    And protest too much.

  • Eric Olsen

    Rev, if you seriously don’t think communism is a bad thing in 2003, your judgment cannot be trusted.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Rev,

    You make an interesting point. The right-wing uses Commie as a convenient label (similar to “evil,” or in Clint Black’s case, “devil”) to avoid thinking about what those who disagree with them have to say, and to encourage others to similarly refuse reasonable debate. “Commie” is a convenient label because Communism has almost inevitably resulted in totalitarian states obsessed with mass killing and empire.

    At the same time…John Ashcroft rushes the U.S. closer to a totalitarian state. The neoconservative hawks’ plan seems fated to cause mass killing in the Middle East. And the name we used to have for invading a region and taking it over via military occupation is…empire.

    They doth protest too much, dothen’t they?

  • Rob

    Brian, as I have posted on your site, I believe that you genuinely are concerned for our troops, no argument there. Your other post mentioned protesting cutting of veteran’s benefits as part of your overall protest, that is admirable and necessary, especially as treatment of US veterans is at times terrible. You mention that protest was overlooked by the press, herein lies part of the problem as it relates to your post above. By associating your protest with those in A.N.S.W.E.R who you have found as you wrote “common cause” in protesting the war, your noble goals and legitimate grievances are tainted by association with “Commies”, who wish to diminish the freedoms (we are still not a police state, martial law has not been instituted, jack-booted thugs have not broken into your house to crush dissent) that the US safeguards. (Outside of how nice it looks as a theory on paper, in practice, the theory is found wanting; so far communism has resulted in totalitarianism, not a workers’ paradise) So of course, many of those that don’t agree with you, or the protests in general are going to be even less inclined to listen to your arguments. Aligning yourself alongside ANSWER and its ilk is to many of US as if you had aligned yourself with the KKK. You are known by the company you keep.
    Keep on posting, debate and discussion should be encouraged.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Rob,

    “we are still not a police state, martial law has not been instituted, jack-booted thugs have not broken into your house to crush dissent”

    You say that so optimistically! We’re definitely headed toward a police state. By inflaming the angriest part of the world with this unjustified invasion, we can expect to be in more danger, and thus the federal government will have even more of an excuse to take away our freedoms.

    Torture, secret trials and executions, secret detention without legal counsel or charges, unlimited wiretapping…sound familiar? And we’ve just gotten started. It’s been less than two years since the mania started. Patriot 2 is coming. More violence against us is coming.

    What to you think is coming next?

    And, hey, what books have you been reading lately, Rob? I don’t know. But guess who might?

    You do make a good point about ANSWER being the equivalent of the KKK in many people’s minds. But I can’t do anything about this prejudice. Let’s say ANSWER didn’t have any Communists among its coalition leadership. I mean, not even 2 out of 80, which is probably the ratio.

    Don’t you think National Review would have found something to put in that article for you to grab onto? I mean, there’s a member of the coalition that lobbies to discover the truth about U.S. war crimes in Korea. Wouldn’t be hard to spin that into something. Anarchists are on the fringes. Homosexuals are among us, too.

    Look at the connections you’ve drawn, based on zero evidence. I mean zero evidence.

    “…your noble goals and legitimate grievances are tainted by association with ‘Commies’, who wish to diminish the freedoms (we are still not a police state, martial law has not been instituted, jack-booted thugs have not broken into your house to crush dissent) that the US safeguards.”

    Where did you come up with this? Was this your process?

    1. Communism in the past has resulted in totalitarian states.

    2. National Review says Communists are among the leadership of ANSWER.

    3. Therefore ANSWER wishes “to diminish the freedoms…that the U.S. safeguards.”

    If this is the logical process, Rob, you’d do it with anything. Take away all the Commies who show up at the rallies (I mean it–take away all ten of them). The right wing would still find something. They’d still find a way to ignore the peace movement and its arguments.

    They handed you Commies just because it was the easiest slur available.

  • cjone

    Whoever put up this blog is hilarious. Especcially the section comments around the picture.

  • Rob

    Brian, if you care to look, the backers behind ANSWER are easy to find.

    Go look at some of the sites they link to, do a little research, they love Stalinism. You suspect the current administration is ready to throw you in the Gulag, these guys think the Gulag was a fine idea. Been to any counries that are or were until recently stifled under totalitarianism as a result of communist rule? I have. The US looks a hell of a lot better than they do. I won’t side with anyone who would want to revive that system, even if they promised me peace, a pay raise, and a nice house on the beach.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Rob,

    You wrote:

    “Brian, if you care to look, the backers behind ANSWER are easy to find.

    “Go look at some of the sites they link to, do a little research, they love Stalinism.”

    Um, okay. I went to the website. I went to the links page. I couldn’t find anything about Stalinism. Or the Gulag.

    Nothing.

    If it’s so “easy to find,” why didn’t you link to something? Provide actual evidence of the ANSWER leadership praising Stalin to back up your accusation, please.

    Seriously, Rob, if you can’t find out anything about Communism no matter how hard you look at ANSWER, how much Communist influence could there be on the peace movement? In order to have an influence, wouldn’t the Commies actually have to, um, mention it? How are they gonna turn us into Commies if they don’t even talk about it?

    Even if you can find a link to a link to a link to a link to a link, which you haven’t yet done, let me illustrate how little such a hustle means:

    I went to the White House website. I found there conclusive evidence that Charles W. Pickering was nominated by President Bush as a Circuit Court judge.

    THEN I found out that Charles W. Pickering, as a U.S. District Judge, in 1994 made an ethically improper phone call to a prosecutor in order to reduce the sentence of a man convicted of cross burning.

    Therefore, President Bush is a racist.

    Do I believe that? No. But in two minutes I provided a direct connection from the White House to something scandalous. Which is more than you’ve been able to do with ANSWER.

    If ANSWER were talking about people’s revolution at the rallies or urging people to sign up with the Communist Party, I could understand the accusation. But there is no substantial influence by the Communist Party on the peace movement. Nothing. It just isn’t there. If you took a poll at a rally, you’d find no significant support for Communism.

    It’s a smear, Rob. Pure and simple. And it does what a smear does–it taints all 20,000 people marching and gives people an excuse to ignore the troubling things they have to say.

    “I won’t side with anyone who would want to revive that system, even if they promised me peace, a pay raise, and a nice house on the beach.”

    Me either. I don’t “side” with anyone who wants to revive totalitarian systems of the 20th Century, Communist or otherwise. I wouldn’t side with them even if I could find them, which I can’t, and neither can you.

  • unknown

    anyone who thinks we are wasting multi million dollar missles to kill civilians is a retartd, everyone that reads this has to hear an anti war song by system of down which is pure sh**

  • http://Commiessuckass!!! Ryan

    Yo. COMMIES, NAZIS, and KKK suck ass. Why don’t you all go back to where you came from. Which happens to be hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    While we’re revisiting this post, note the flat out malicious LIE from ANSWER on which the whole thing is built:

    Instead of posing as liberators, the U.S. high command has called for open warfare against the Iraqi civilian population. In the last 48 hours, hundreds of civilians have been shot down on the roadways, in their homes, on their farms.

    The reason that we have insurgents still killing some of our people into 2004 is exactly because we have NOT stepped down like we could. We could put this stuff down 99% in one week, if we weren’t trying very hard to avoid killing innocents.

    Then again, actual truth in the real world means very little to many of these commie pinkos.

    Brian whines like a little bitch about name calling. But note his own words: The right-wing uses Commie as a convenient label (similar to “evil,” or in Clint Black’s case, “devil”) to avoid thinking about what those who disagree with them have to say, and to encourage others to similarly refuse reasonable debate. “Commie” is a convenient label because Communism has almost inevitably resulted in totalitarian states obsessed with mass killing and empire.

    There’s not much in the way of “reasonable debate” to be had with anyone who would openly identify themselves as “communist” or “socialist” at this point in history. It is Brian Flemming et al who are not interested in any form of reason. How many TENS OF MILLIONS of dead bodies do you have to pile up in front of them to show these people before they would consider it a valid argument against every variant of Marxism?

    Then he expects that we MUST, for the 10 millionth time, consider their viewpoint, just for the sake of honest discourse. No, at some point the book is goddam CLOSED.

    And really, it is somewhere beyond hypocritical for BRIAN FLEMMING of all people to complain about labeling people and then refusing to consider alternative viewpoints. When has he EVER given any bit of a point or credit even just for MEANING well to anyone even half a step to the right of Fidel Castro?

  • Eric Olsen

    The “dictatorship of the proletariat” is just that.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Beats having that lying punk Bush as dictator.

    Pinko and Proud!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Really, Natalie? Tens of millions of people murdered by Stalin, how many more MILLIONS in Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and every other country that has gone this route?

    Better that than Evil Dictator George Bush, though.

    Just how wicked and hateful are you in the depths of your soul? And you dare to call yourself a Christian. SHAME on you.

    Yes, yes, I know that you are a victim. As usual you’ll no doubt be only too eager to publicly spew forth yet more details of your various victimizations at the drop of a hat, for they give you license to hate.

    Granted, George Bush, Republicans and “conservatives” generally have done nothing but abuse you your whole life. Indeed, THEY (WE, as I suppose I am considered to be one of THEM) are no doubt responsible for what a shit pit of misery your life is. I, for one, am positively weary from the work I put in to oppress you.

    One thing for sure: YOU are not responsible for causing your own misery. Oh, no. The constant nursing of anger, looking for any possible excuse to hate people- no, that ain’t the cause. Blaming your troubles on the man who’s trying his level best to protect you from being murdered, why that’s not just blind hatred- it righteous indignation against an Evil Dictator.

    Let us end with a brief quote from our mutual hero:
    One day you’re going to have to face
    A deep dark truthful mirror

  • mike

    “The constant nursing of anger, looking for any possible excuse to hate people- no, that ain’t the cause.”

    Pot calls kettle black, Vol. XIVXIVIX

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    it’s a known fact that conservative bile has a higher purity content than liberal bile…and thus is intrinsically more valuable.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    C, girl, you haven’t reading been Brian’s blog? It is one of my weekly drop-ins. I also checked out the recent production of “Bat Boy,” a musical he helped write, in Portland. So many in the blogosphere are dittos, but Brian is an original. I am not suggesting you will agree with everything he says, but his entries are usually more than worth a read. He and the distracted Gen. J.C. Christian are probably the best satirists around.

    (Commercial over. Return to regular programming, which would be . . . Al Barger.)

  • JR

    Did Marx specifically call for secret police, “re-education camps” or military conquest of neighboring countries? Did Jesus specifically call for the Inquisition, burning people at the stake or genecidal war against the Incas?

    Or do the actions of people who claimed to act in their names discredit them regardless of intent?

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Thanks, MD!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Mr. Saleski- Please do not misunderstand: comment 15 was specifically criticism of Ms. Davis, not a generalized comment on everyone of liberal persuasion. You could very well choose to nurse similar misery for yourself based on any number of different belief systems, political or religious or ethnic.

    Indeed, there are many people who support liberal political programs out of genuine loving concern for others. I see it all the time.

    I like to assume the better motives for most people and situations, but blunt hateful irrational comments such #14 call out for a calling out.

    I don’t care if somebody calls the president a bad name now and again. I do it myself. Hell, call ME some names. I won’t take it personal. But if someone is so full of just ridiculous, hysterical hate as Natalie often seems to be, you can’t really even TRY to engage them in a constructive debate.

    Indeed Mike [comment 16], it is possible that I at times cross from objectivity into some emotional indulgence at the expense of someone else from time to time, for all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God. Separating reasonable and appropriate criticism from pure emotionalism is a complicated and ongoing effort. I’m probably not 100% successful. I’d rate myself maybe 99%. Somewhat less than perfect.

    I’ll just say that I am conscious to try not to be that way. If you follow my writing, you’ll notice how frequently I go out of my way to praise people with very obviously different belief systems than me. I’ve had kind words, for example, for Barney Frank and even a time or two for Al Sharpton. Hell, I dig Mac Diva. XOX.

    And then there’s Brian Flemming, who won’t speak my cursed name. It makes me feel powerful and fearful like Cthulhu.

    Brian, it takes some special effort and discipline for you to avoid acknowledging my existence as totally as you do. I appreciate the tribute of attention you offer me by this effort. Thanks.

  • mike

    “it is possible that I at times cross from objectivity into some emotional indulgence at the expense of someone else from time to time.”

    Greatest understatement in world history.

  • Eric Olsen

    I hate to reiterate, but Marx indeed prescribed a “dictatorship of the proletariat” making inevitable that someone was going to do something to someone against their will, leading inevitably to the variety of misery that has manifested itself in the pursuit of a worker’s paradise.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Really Mike, I mean, boo hoo. I do NOT play that rough. Also, I try to be FAIRMINDED in my criticisms. I try to give the other guy credit where I can. If you can’t stand a little jostling, get off the frickin’ playground. Or at least quit saying dumb stuff to provoke my wrath.

    Note also how your response will tend to discourage honesty or attempting to make nice as I am doing. You apparently intend to take the olive branch I offer and stick it up in me. For trying to offer that I might be less than perfect, I get OH GOD YOU ARE INDEED AN EVIL MONSTER.

    In short, quit being such a gaywad. Thank you.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    JR’s comment is getting lost in the shuffle, but I think it is significant. I believe there is something deep in human nature that leads to horrible excessses, not forms of government. People will set up a government they deem heaven on Earth, and still resort to abuses. All we can hope to do is curtail the worst of the behavior, I guess. That will often mean the imperfect criticizing others’ imperfections, but it is the best we can do, apparently. So, the fact ANSWER and the League of the South (yes, it is true) oppose the war does not mean people with more middling views shouldn’t, too. Strange bedfellows happen.

    Barger, be man enough to admit Brian is a talented communicator and satirist, at least. Go on and say it: Brian Flemming is an original.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Eric, if you’re going to rag on Marxism, at least get your dogma straight.

    Dictatorship of the proletariat” was largely a theory and practise of Lenin, interpreting the work of Marx and Engels. While they coined the phrase, taking it out of context is just not right.

    And while the horrors of the 20th century are great, they are not the fault of Karl Marx. All he did was go to the library, and write books. Sort of like blaming the Inquisition on John, Paul, Mark and Matthew (y’know the Apostles, not the Beatles).

    It’s really just hair-splitting, taking the wars over heresy and dogma of the various sects of the Xian church and picking various phrases and concepts at random, and saying that represents Christianity.

    If you want some interesting takes on real radical politics, check out SF writer Ken MacLeod’s blog. Of course, he is Scottish.

  • mike

    “Or at least quit saying dumb stuff to provoke my wrath.”

    Why would I want to stop?

  • mike

    No, Eric is right about the dictatorship of the proletariat. Many socialists and anarchists warned Marx against it at the time. The anarchist Bakunin’s predictions of a “red bureaucracy of terror” are as chilling now as they were then The issue was so contentious it split the first Communist International, almost a half century before Lenin.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Well Mike, you do seem to mostly ENJOY playing Meathead to my Archie. Ranting is so much more fun with an appreciative audience. I’m happy to help serve your entertainment needs.

    Maybe I’ll even manage to say something that will get through yer thick pinko skull. :)

    XOX

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    who’s playin’ Edith?

    and Gloria?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Diva, I am inclined to indulge you, and I do appreciate Brian. Note that he has one of the not much more than a dozen permanent links on my Culpepper Log.

    Barger, be man enough to admit Brian is a talented communicator and satirist, at least. Go on and say it: Brian Flemming is an original.

    Now sometimes I think Brian just goes off his beam with some foolishness. His anti-Arnold crusade just didn’t work. It was not up to his better standards. And it was merely hateful and unfun besides.

    Being of opposing political views, and lacking your perhaps somewhat hormonally influenced proclivities, I may tend to be rather more critical of him than you are.

    On the other hand, I have repeatedly said good things about Brian, despite his little silent treatment schtick. The whole “Fair and Balanced” thing was a particularly clever idea, as was Nothing So Strange.

    Moreover, Brian does manage to get stuff done- which is a big part of it. Movies actually get made, plays get published. He makes things happen.

    The man does have some skillz.

    Does that satisfy you Diva? Now, how about you show a little love for ol’ Al?

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks Mike, I thought I had a reasonable, if somewhat superannuated perception of Marx. Your recurring reasonableness and honesty make me very sad that you have such a bleak view of the current United States.

    The problem with Marxism is that it sounds so reasonable and unassuming: who wouldn’t be for “to each according to their needs and from each according to their abilities”? (or whatever the direct quote is) But its implementation is utterly contrary to human nature and brings out the worst, rather the the hoped-for best, in people. It refuses to acknowledge that people are genetically programmed to be selfish, and instead of trying to channel those impulses in a postive manner (like modified, not absolute, capitalism), it pretends they don’t exist. Ignoring human nature is the worst kind of utopianism and instead of unleashing human potential has instead unleashed carnage and repression in an effort to enforce impossible dogmatic dictates. And oh yeah, there is also essentially no check on those in power, another element directly in conflict with human nature.

    The results speak for themselves.

  • mike

    The danger inherent in all ideologies is power untempered by accountability. We can take these draconian steps, say the Marxists or the Islamists or the U.S. rightists, because we are appointed by history to administer justice. Those who oppose us are by their very nature illegitimate and must be suppressed.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Pinko, puh-lease. Mike, We can take these draconian steps, say the Marxists or the Islamists or the U.S. rightists

    As if American conservatives were so “draconian.” So many levels of damned foolishness in lumping US politicians of ANY stripe to evil, murdering communists or Islamists.

    What “draconian” steps is it that US rightists are taking? If you mean the war on terror, and stepping down on mass murdering thugs- good. You can say that they consider themselves “appointed by history to administer justice.” I say that we’re just trying to stop sonsabitches from coming in and goddam SLAUGHTERING us.

    That’s maybe JUST A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT than communist massacres of tens of millions of people.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    …we’re just trying to stop sonsabitches from coming in and goddam SLAUGHTERING us.

    right. except that some of us (candy-ass,liberal pinko commies, no doubt) worry that this will have nasty repercussions in the future…like creating more enemies.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Eric,

    I think you state the problems posed by communism quite eloquently.

    While communism (ironically, considering that atheism is usually associated with it) ignores the hard reality of natural selection and all that it implies, there is an equal, if not greater, danger to capitalism and corporatism: embracing natural selection.

    Whether expressed as “greed is good” or “The Final Solution,” the notion that Darwin’s/Wallace’s discoveries about nature should be taken as an indication of how things should be has been and remains a threat to humanity.

    The Republicans currently in power do in fact embrace the notion that those who happen to be strong right now (domestically, the rich; internationally, American power) have a right to maintain and increase their strength by subjugating others. There is a reason that the gap between the rich and poor is widening at an increasing pace, and that much of the rest of the world fears the United States as one of the great threats to world peace.

    James K. Galbraith:

    The Bush years are a study in deliberately wasted effort: Repeal of the estate tax. Tax exemption for stock dividends. Ballistic Missile Defense. The USA PATRIOT Act. The war on Iraq. Each of these initiatives has a clientele. None of them seriously aims to achieve its stated goal, be that economic recovery or homeland security or national security writ large.

    The method is clear to any who choose to study closely: It is a method of subterfuge and deception. It is the systematic and relentless pursuit of partly hidden agendas, sold to the public with slogans. The tax cuts were not aimed to produce recovery and jobs; they were a reward to the rich. The war on Iraq was not waged to help the war on terror; it was about getting Saddam, as we have now had confirmed by Paul O’Neill’s report on the Iraq agenda Bush carried from the beginning. Missile defense is not about North Korea, and still less about Iran or any other “rogue state”; it’s about the contracts. In all these cases, the decision on what to do came first — then the circumstances of the day were arranged to suit.

    So it is today on the economy. What does Bush want? He wants a growth rate high enough to get him through the election. That’s obvious. After that, he doesn’t care. His clientele — the military contractors, oil companies, pharmaceutical firms and big media that control this government — make their money on patents, contracts and the exercise of monopoly power. (Case in point: Bush is pressuring impoverished Central Americans, in trade negotiations, to add 10 years to the length of drug patents.) These people have no interest in full employment. They like unemployment, weak labor, low wages and a government that bullies on their behalf. And after the election, if Bush wins, that is what they will get for four more years.

  • Eric Olsen

    I have no doubt there is some truth in what you and JKB have to say, but I see it as grossly overstated and oversimplified. I am most in disagreement with the statements about Bush’s real reasons for the war in Iraq. I am concerned about the level of cronyism and a wide range of disagreements I have with Bush’s domestic policies. There is no guarantee that I will even vote for him, although I would reluctantly do so if the election wre today simply because I am unconvinced any other candidate takes the war on terror as seriously as he does.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Brian wrote:Eric, I think you state the problems posed by communism quite eloquently.

    While communism (ironically, considering that atheism is usually associated with it) ignores the hard reality of natural selection and all that it implies, there is an equal, if not greater, danger to capitalism and corporatism: embracing natural selection.

    Whether expressed as “greed is good” or “The Final Solution,” the notion that Darwin’s/Wallace’s discoveries about nature should be taken as an indication of how things should be has been and remains a threat to humanity. (emphasis mine)

    That states my position exactly. Thanks, Brian.

  • Eric Olsen

    I have no basic problem with this statement either, but my point was that capitalism (in moderated form) gives individuals incentive to, in essence, economically self-actualize, while communism gives them the incentive to be lazy, cynical, and for those in power, to be almost endlessly corrupt.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    I believe in the theory of communalism. ‘Tis capitalism that fuels my cynicism, and goddess knows I am not lazy. Don’t condemn all because of a minority. You failed to mention that capitalism breeds selfishness and greed (for many, though certainly not all). And it seems to me that the powers in capitalism also are almost endlessly corrupt.

  • mike

    “while communism gives them the incentive to be lazy, cynical, and for those in power, to be almost endlessly corrupt.”

    with the sometime exception of “lazy,” that’s a perfect description of the American political system right now.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Re: comment 35: Then we’ll kill them, too. Are we supposed to tolerate some people coming and killing us so we don’t piss them off? Oh, HELL no.

    Besides, I would argue that appeasement is EXACTLY the wrong move with such people. It will only embolden them, and peripheral supporters.

    I would propose that we need to make very clear the parameters: Hate US all you like, cuss us to your heart’s content. Work against US in the UN. However, if you kill Americans (especially in the US), try to kill Americans, help those trying to kill Americans, or give US good reason to THINK that you’re helping such folks, then you’re playing with your life, and those of your family and countrymen.

    It’s reasonable and good to have some candy-ass pinkos who want to play good cop. Good cops are useful- so long as you understand the necessity of bad cops. Hey, maybe some bleeding hearts can make some progress by talking nice and feeling their pain.

    Just know that you’ll have better success at good cop-ing if the other side knows that there’s a bad cop with big stick right behind you.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Eric,

    You wrote:

    I am concerned about the level of cronyism and a wide range of disagreements I have with Bush’s domestic policies.

    You would exclude cronyism from having any influence on the choice to go to war against Iraq?

    Do you understand where the money went?

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    jeezuz effin’ keerist! did i say anything about appeasement.

    this is the problem with this debate…it’s just so black & white, with us or against us.

    i don’t know what the ultimate answer is to this problem. i’ve just expressed my concern that “killing them” won’t work in the long run.

    for instance, how’s it working out for israel vs. palestine?

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Mark,

    jeezuz effin’ keerist! did i say anything about appeasement?

    Yes, you did.

    Appeasement = anything other than the total elimination of people deemed troublesome to American power

    For future reference.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    ah…gotcha.

  • Eric Olsen

    Random reactions: I very much like Al’s good cop, bad cop analogy.

    Mark, some would argue that the Israelis have been hamstrung by a morality-based refusal to simply wipe out the Palestinian terror-structure. I am glad they have that sense of morality, and that we do too, but that is one way to view the implied answer to your question.

    Mike and Natalie, yes, captialism breeds its share of greed and selfishness. That is why we have to modify pure captialism to keep the playing field as level as possible regarding opportunity (not result, opportunity; and never really level, but as close as is possible in dealing with imperfect humans) and to mitigate the tendencies toward greed and selfishness. Say what you want about corporate cronyism, but the worst of it – Enron – IS resulting in real criminal and civil penalties against the worst offenders. And the apparent overcharging by Halliburton WAS discovered, reported, condemned, and rectified.

    I don’t buy tha the American political system is cynical – most public servants are sincere, dedicated, honest (within reason), and DO take into account the public good, although they are most reliable when the public good coincides with their own political and personal good.

    And I COMPLETELY disagree that there aren’t checks and balances against corruption in the American political system. Is there corruption? Of course, There is in EVERY system. But it doesn’t come remotely close to the level of corruption in autocracies, totalitarian communist systems, tribal systems, monarchies, basically ANY other kind of system. The only cleaner system is a small authoritarian system where clean government is dictated from above and enforced ruthlessly like Singapore.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Oh, but killing them absolutely DOES work. [comment 44] It’s the one thing that is certain to work. Once you kill an Al Qaeda supporter, they’ll be no more trouble to you.

    I would argue that Israel’s problem is exactly appeasement. They’re NOT killing and knocking down Palestinians like they could and should. If the Israelis weren’t so NICE, trying to bend over backwards to work with people who insist on making war on them, they wouldn’t be in the position they are now. If they had the stomach for it, they could knock out the intifada in a matter of days. Note that it was just exactly the effort to give to the Palestinians that led to the current intifada.

    Yes, killing does get to be “black or white.” If you are working to KILL US, then I’m not going to tend to be real interested in your shades of gray.

    There certainly are shades of gray, such as France and Germany for example. We have some issues with them, but they’re not actively trying to help people kill US, so there’s a lot of room there to work.

    Brian, again with the obvious, cheap dishonesty Appeasement = anything other than the total elimination of people deemed troublesome to American power

    You know better than that nonsense when you say it. Stomping on people who are trying to KILL US does not equal being power mad or wanting empire or oligarchy or whatever word games you want to play.

    Again, you seem more motivated by playa hatin against America than by the need to actually protect the country from absolute physical attack and destruction.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Brian has applied a name to what I was trying to get at in my short comment above, that thing in human nature that determines the powerful are going to abuse and/or kill part of the population just as sure as they breathe. That old reptile brain, product of natural selection, is still looking for excuses to strike in most people. All it needs to do so on a grand scale is leaders of whatever ideology to tell who to strike at. I do believe part of the human race has learned to question that proclivity, but not most.

    Barger, I commend you for recognizing Brian as the talented, provocative and productive person he is. However, I do not do menages a-troi.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    Oh, but killing them absolutely DOES work. [comment 44] It’s the one thing that is certain to work. Once you kill an Al Qaeda supporter, they’ll be no more trouble to you.

    sure, and none of their current relatives, or young offspring, will ever be of future concern.

    sure, you just keep telling yourself that.

  • mike

    Corruption in this country is on an absolutely staggering scale; by any standard, the U.S. is easily the most corrupt of the advanced industrial democracies. All major institutions and most professions–with the possible exception of the senior military staff–are awash in cronyism, self-dealing, and far, far worse.

    Before Enron, apologists for corporate America routinely argued that corporate corruption was not that bad. Now that it’s been revealed to be enormous, they provide us with timid assurances that the evildoers are being caught.

    But this is not true; very few have been convicted or even indicted. And the scandals–such as market timing–just keep coming.

    The U.S. is a hollowed out democracy, literally rotting from within. As Anatol Lieven has said, it has become a menace to itself and to mankind.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Mark, all my expectations of human nature and most of the results of Dubya’s war on terror (ie Libya) suggest that the stick works. It worked on the Nazis in WWII, and it’s working on Islamofascists now.

    Letting people get by with screwing with us encourages more screwing with us.

    And if the offspring or families of dispatched jackasses want to make themselves a similar concern, we’ve got bullets for them, too.

    People trying to come over and kill US is unacceptable. I’d support making the entire Middle East a goddam parking lot before accepting that, well, people over there are just going to come terrorize us from time to time.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Mike- that’s an interesting assertion, any facts, let alone personal experience to back it up? And why the exception for the military? I’d actually think they’d be even more susceptible, Wes Clark would be a prime example. I’m not following your logic that prosecution for wrongdoing is proof that the system isn’t regulating itself. Perhaps you could be more specific.

  • mike

    The senior military staff actually takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and has high professional standards that discourage cronyism and greed. And after Vietnam the military made a determined effort to subordinate itself to civilian authority.

    With the neoconservative assault on the Constitution, it is probably only a matter of time before the military is dragged into the cesspool of corruption that characterizes the rest of American society.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    True, as does every other member of the military as well as elected officials and appointees, for that matter. Have you ever either worked in a corporation at an executive level, served in the military, or worked in government to have actually observed the corruption you insist is so widespread? I’m not arguing that there isn’t corruption or cronyism but I’m trying to figure out the basis of the scope which you cite.

  • Eric Olsen

    To counter this I would answer that I have worked in corporate America, dealing with the government as well as other corporations, and there were so many rules, regulations, documentation and the like to assure competitive bids, fairness and the like that corruption in that environment or any one similar, would seem virtually impossible. I know it exists and insider trading and Enron-type accounting shit smells to the heavens, but we DO know about these things and they are being addressed. People see what they want to see: I see the arrests and plea bargains, and huge fines as signs the system is working (more or less). Others see it as, I guess, the tip of the iceberg.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Actually, in the marketplace, prosecution is the lesser part of regulation and punishment. It’s the threat of people taking their money elsewhere that does most of the practical regulating. Prosecutions affect basically one company at a time, and only if a prosecutor can and will show proof beyond a reasonable doubt of absolute felonies.

    Whereas, on the other hand, in the market, a mere whiff of apparent impropriety can knock a whole company down HARD in a matter of hours.

    If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that investors have become MUCH more interested in corporate accounting and related issues in recent years. Obviously there are all kinds of complex issues in the stock market, but public distrust has clearly been a major factor in the weak stock market these last several years.

    It is only now, after several years of post-Enron heartache that the market is beginning to rebound. Investors seem to have been expecting company after company to prove the veracity of their claims, open up to scrupulous audits and such before they have been willing to invest again.

    The marketplace can be much less forgiving than governments. After all, people in the marketplace are motivated to watch THEIR OWN money better than some bureaucrat would ever be.