11 January 2007

Is it Redundant to Say that the Right Wing in America is Obtuse?

Over the past weeks and months, I've become increasingly amazed (and irritated) at the inability or unwillingness of right wing types in the U.S. to entertain the possibility that the war they've planned and supported has been an abject failure. Well, it would be a failure if their purported criteria for success hadn't shifted on quite so regular a basis. So, assume some reasonably stationary and clearly stated criterion of "victory" or "success" - the words BushCo typically chant - and the war could then be considered an abject failture.

This seems to have occurred to others as well, and in this regard I would recommend two recent columns, one by Susan Douglas in In These Times and one by Eric Alterman in The Nation each of which skewer the talking heads of the right. As Alterman rightly inquires: "If William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Lawrence Kaplan and David Brooks et. al. are so smart, why were they so wrong about something so crucial? And why, given their sorry records, do they and their editors still think anybody ought to keep listening to them? At the very least, those they misled are entitled to an explanation." The answer, of course, is that this crowd (and the editors who pay them) have no interest in journalistic or intellectual integrity; they are interested in pushing a right-wing political agenda to which they are committed regardless of the costs to the everyday folks who bear the cost. The slightly more complicated problem is why allegedly "liberal" media outlets such The New York Times or npr regularly feature such ideolgues. And there it apparently comes down to the notion that "objectivity" somehow requires giving voice to both sides of an issue even when one side is so clearly hair-brained. (Of course, that notion itself is something the right has insisted on to the detriment of political debate in the country.) On the war in Iraq there is no reason whatsoever to continue giving the right a platform for the very simple reason that they are wrong. I would say "dead wrong" but for the insult that would be to the Iraqi civilians and U.S. service men and women who have died in the name of the right's inexcusable error.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

... "objectivity" somehow requires giving voice to both sides of an issue even when one side is so clearly hair-brained.

Another problem is that it sets up a false dichotomy by mimicking the structure of the U.S. two-party national government. From my vantage point, Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same pro-capitalism/pro-militarism coin.

When the truth of a particular story falls outside of the frame as presented by these two parties, the public misses out.

That is to say, are there any genuinely radical voices in the U.S. national print media?

12 January, 2007 12:13  
Blogger Unknown said...

How do you feel about the three wars our Nobel Peace Prizing winning far left president is fighting now?

25 April, 2011 16:40  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

This is an OLD post. But since you ask, I think (1) Iraq is as much of a disaster now as it was from the start. Yest Hussein was a "bad man", but that is not why we are there. And the situation is rife with conflict and corruption. I have no hope that the country will emerge as a functional political entity. I also think we are still there and should not be. (2) Afghanistan: This si a war that might have been justified early on but has been lost due to squandered resources and time and energy (see #1 above). At this juncture we are wasting lives for no good reason. (3) Libya may have been a humanitarian intervention (a la Samantha Powers) but it hardly is the only place calling out for our good graces. I suspect that the "NATO" intervention (as if NATO is not just a U.S. proxy)is an open-ended commitment that will not end well.

I am not an isolationist. But I also am not a fool. In the first two conflicts we surely have squandered life and resources for no good. In the third we may have prevented a blood bath. But only at the price of stalemate.

There is no "success" on the horizon in any of the three wars.

25 April, 2011 21:25  

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