08 October 2007

BushCo and the Nazis

It is usually a sign of complete breakdown in communication when one party to an argument accuses another of being a Nazi or a Fascist. Only very rarely are such epithets vaguely accurate.

That said, you might find this Op-Ed from The Times of London interesting. It is by Andrew Sullilvan ~ hardly a raving left-winger - and is entitled "Bush’s torturers follow where the Nazis led." So the essay doesn't actually say that BushCo are Nazis. It says instead that the Nazis were war criminals and Bush and his various minions seem to be as well. (The presumption of innocence applies even to government officials advocating torture.) And it suggests that BushCo are using the exact same language to rationalizatize their torture policy. The thing that seems suspect here is not Sullivan's realization that the American Government and its agents are practicing torture but his wholly naive view that this started only with the Bush Administration.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fine. If somewhat over-dramatic.

Now try and balance it with some commentary about the Muslim world which is what all of this opposes, in 2 respects.

Firstly, the use of torture and barbaric legal systems throughout the Middle East, where its never even debated. Its just the way that part of the world is.

Secondly, the supremacism of Islam which parallels Nazism actually quite closely: the belief in being a superior and ultimate group of people, started by Mohammed and expressed by Mohammed with violence. And before you come up with predictable Lefty stuff about the West also being imposed, consider this: the West is multicultural, Islam isn't. Go figure, as the saying goes.

08 October, 2007 14:01  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

I think Sullivan is a drama queen mostly because he is willfully naive in thinking that the US had never engaged in or sanctioned torture in the past. Several of the nasty regimes in the Middle East, those with especially "unsavory" records (think the Saudis, The Shah, Saddam Hussein) were or remain U.S. clients. The Israelis (also our clients) who flirted with torture have, to the best of my knowledge, been the only regime in the region to take an anti-torture stand (see their supreme court decision ruling re: IDF practices). So, while you are correct that the Middle East is a snake-pit of illegal practices, it is not obviously "Islam" that is at issue. We in "the West" are up to our elbows in the mayhem.

As for "the West" being multi-cultural while "Islam" is not, I disagree. Iranians are not Arab but Persian, Kurds are neither; then there are Christians in Palestine and Lebanon, there are Sufis in Jordan & Syria, etc.; I am sure that there are many other ethnic-linguistic-cultural differences is the "Islamic" world as well. So I am unsure what you are getting at. This is not lefty or righty, just an observation.

08 October, 2007 14:23  
Anonymous Dawei from Beijing said...

wannabe-David Hororwitz, up there, has obviously never set foot anywhere near the Middle East for he would know that it is probably the most multicultural region on earth. I've read that Israel, per capita, is one of the most ethnically diverse countries that exists, but the Arab states are extremely diverse as well. Jim provided several excellent examples, let me provide a few more: Bedouins, Azeris, Coptics, Mizrahi Jews, Allawites, Turkomens, Berbers, Assyrians, Druze, Chechens, Pashtuns, Baloch people, and on and on and on.

Also, there is an irony in Anon's statement that "the West is multicultural" because the very fact of labeling a host of nations "the West" is homogenizing them not proving they are diverse and tolerant. That said, the U.S. is the only truly exceptional, multicultural nation in "the West." Don't confuse guest workers in Europe as a sign of multiculturalism.

08 October, 2007 15:10  
Anonymous brendadada said...

Some days I think it's become a popular sport to grumpily stamp around the blogosphere spouting self important exhortations.

I'm half thinking about blocking some of my commenters. I'm not sure I want to provide entertainment for this ilk. That make any sense? I'm not sure it does, but hey. I just want to post about photography.

No wonder I remain ambivalent about that other content. I suppose I could a) switch off comments or b) just ignore them....

08 October, 2007 15:40  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Thanks for your comments. You may notice in the sidebar a "new" comments policy. It actually is just an explicit statement of what I've presented as my policy all along.

Since my blog invites comments on a range of things personal, political, and photographic I welcome them. But I also am increasingly weary of the poorly behaved.

08 October, 2007 20:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...if one digs that idealism of any kind and religions of any kind or a idealism in a religion of any kind is a way out of the human brain-disorders, then it would be a first step on the way to open the heart.

at this phase the world is polluted not only with poison, it is also polluted with beliefs in any individualistic "whatever"... but a heartful man believes in the laws of the pure nature, which makes us all a living. too bad -, mankind has polluted and mindfucked this nature.

This comment is posted by a white man with a red soul in germany.

09 October, 2007 03:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, in my posting above, I made a mistake.
It should have a "not" in the sentence of the first block:
>>...if one digs that idealism of any kind (...) is a way out of the human brain-disorders, then it would be a first step on the way to NOT open the heart."

I mean -, no idealism and believism is a solution to the human-world's problems.

There are two types of human beings ... the one type had brought us again and again wars and all kinds of terror. The other type should now be aware, that leaders are the wrong people to believe in . . .

The story of Siddharta and Krishna, for example, told what to do, if aggression comes over us.

Sure, the worlds leaders language and speech is everywhere the "same" propaganda bullshit. The stupid nazzis were not the first to use it.

-/-

09 October, 2007 05:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course there are exceptions. though probably involving hostilities and tensions. The point is, and I will not argue the point because its so tediously obvious and I think you are being disingenuous, Islam is inherently mono cultural and thus has no valid moral or ideoogical objection to the West in that respect, where all kinds of people mix and get along. Its a fine achievement. But all across Europe, Muslim non integration is a problem and its recently been evident even in Australia.

Other ethnic groups in Britain are mostly just part of the fabric, barely noticed for being "ethnic", and this is substantially not true for Muslims who inist on mono cultural non integration the evidence for which is seen in ghetto areas across the country in which terrorism now breeds.

And where does the terrorist ideology come from? - the example of Mohammed himself and the vicious wars he waged, reminiscent of supremacist Nazi Aryanism. The 'Nazi' comparison, here, is actually quite accurate whereas its just ridiculous spin when applied to the West/Bush etc. which is diverse and not mono cultural. One protects and advances multicultural democracy, the other protects and advances monocultural supremacism in which attributes of social behaviour are regarded as infallible and unquestionable instructions from Allah.

09 October, 2007 05:39  
Blogger Jim said...

Anon, Here is a bit of free advice. If you comsider something "tediously obvious" and no one else does, perhaps you should reconsider your views. You have your knickers in a knot about something really, really scary you call ISLAM; that something is basically a caricature that you drag out in response to virtually anything I post here. If the word tedious applies, it is in the predictablity of your comments.

10 October, 2007 12:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heres some free advice from me.

That it may not be obvious to you testifies to your head up-your-ass Leftyism, not to this smug attitude you always affect when you are challenged.

Always, ignoring the substantive points and deflecting them into little Troll game snipes. Your blog is like propaganda, in that and other respects. It is not "political theory", which suggests something universal and comprehensive, it is Lefty polemic.

11 October, 2007 12:28  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Anon,

First. Political theory need not be "universal or comprehensive"; that much has been clear for, say the past century. Try, for instance Dewey, or Arendt, or Foucault, or Rawls, or Berlin for instance.

Second. Your "substantive points", when you make them are predictable; you are really, really scared of the boogey man you call ISLAM. So regardless of topic we need to listen to your rants about the boogey man.

Third. Most of what you write here is either complete prejudice or - way too often - wholly incomprehensible. It is hard to decide which type of intervention is less illuminating.

Finally. Please read the comments policy I have posted in the side bar. More comments like this one here and I will simply start deleting EVERYTHING you write here. It really is quite easy. It will take less time than writing responses. As Larry Bird used to say "Fact, No Brag."

11 October, 2007 15:50  

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