Dave Sim's blogandmail #356 (September 2nd, 2007)
Sunday September 2 -
Darrell Epp, the Holy Terror of Hamilton, checks in from his new digs on King Street West with some new Victor Davis Hanson columns (www.victorhanson.com) .
Dear fellow Comic Eye contributor:
I guess I'm a real Johnny Appleseed for this guy's essays. How I wish Vickie-D had as big a megaphone as that fat, lying slob, Michael Moore.
No need to get personal, there, Darrell. I'm sure Michael Moore's mother makes very good chocolate chip cookies. Didn't you find it funny the contortions that the Canadian film reviewers had to go to in order to give him the knee-jerk leftist thumbs-up reviews on SICKO? The wheels are falling off the free world's only completely publicly funded health care system (or, rather, the free world's only thirteen completely publicly funded health care systems, plural, since health care is a provincial jurisdiction) to the extent that even our Marxist Supreme Court had to come down on the side of private delivery (or, rather, an unnamed other means of delivering health care besides a completely public form that jeopardizes people's health), Quebec already has private delivery because they're, you know, Quebec so they get to do whatever they want to do and Ontario and Alberta get to pay for it, you can get an MRI for your dog faster than you can get one for yourself, etc. etc. And here comes Michael Moore to tell us that, outside of Havana, Canada has got the best health care system on the planet. Uhhhh. I love those complete Marxist Disconnect Moments.
Was that the new government-approved reality that Comrade Michael Moore just enunciated there, comrade? Or did I mishear him accidentally enunciate the old government-approved reality which we now know is (as it always was in actuality) the lickspittle lying poison of the capitalist running dog attacks on the people's glorious health care revolution?
He is Michael Moore, comrade and is therefore as unassailable as Comrade David Suzuki and Comrade Al Gore on environmentalism. Applaud loudly at the end of the film and perhaps we won't have to report for re-education.
I wish that was a joke, but as Victor Davis Hanson points out, that brand of Soviet-style revisionist Newspeak is becoming systemic on the left as they keep moving around and trying to find a coherent policy on Islamism that they can all agree on. It doesn't have to make sense – what form of Marxism does? – as long as they can all agree on it.
From the May 25 column Hanson cites three very good examples of Democrats attempting to swim upstream against reality:
"May was another normal month in the war against Islamism. At home, a delusional Rosie O'Donnell was back at it. She reminded her viewers that the United States has killed over 600,000 innocents in Iraq. And in an impassioned plea, she and her cohorts reminded us dullards that zealous jihadists must have some understandable reason for being so, well, zealous. Perhaps she meant it in the same way that the zealous Waffen SS must have had some legitimate reason for its strong feelings? "
"Jimmy Carter was also plugging another book on his Christian piety by slandering a president at war for mixing religion and politics. He reminded us that evoking God wins approval from the mainstream when it comes from the Left, only outrage when practiced on the Right. But why would Carter jettison his trope when attacking the commander-in-chief at a time of war had already won him a Nobel Prize? And why refrain from disparaging talk of a "war against terror" when you did the same about an "inordinate" fear of Communism?"
"Democrats who claim we took our eye off al Qaeda when we went into Iraq won't explain how getting out will allow us to put both eyes back on them when they're in a nuclear Pakistan. Democrats who assure us that the war is "lost" and the troop surge hopeless will not cut off funding for it, damn its architect, Gen. Petraeus, or explain how in good [conscience] they can send more soldiers into harm's way for a war they assure us we can't possibly win."
In each of those instances you have a good example of the sort of leftist consensus that forms because leftists only listen to each other and, I would maintain, that's the foundation of Newspeak, totalitarian environments which enunciate a new version of reality that supersedes the old version of reality or, as we see now, keeps returning to unworkable theories because they prefer an unworkable but ideologically pure theory to one that actually reflects the reality of any given situation. Rose O'Donnell expresses the view that there must be some reason for the jihadists to be so zealous, but she doesn't actually explain what the reason might be. The listener is supposed to draw the inference that Islamist zealousness is a direct result of American aggression and that if America just runs away, Islamist zealousness will vanish. This ignores the worldwide evidence that it is actually the Islamists who are the aggressors virtually everywhere they exist around the world.
Jimmy Carter disparages the "war against terror" from the same vantage-point. That it is America declaring war on Islamist terror that is the source of Islamist terror. Again, this ignores the worldwide evidence that it is actually the Islamists who are the terrorists virtually everywhere that they exist around the world. The United States, too, has a worldwide presence but it is only in proximity to the most extreme Islamists (in Afghanistan and Iraq) that the United States is engaged in any form of on-going military action and then only in the interests of creating a stable environment where democracy can be given a chance to develop. If the Islamists in Iraq would stop blowing themselves up next to civilians, the United States would stop hunting them down.
The United States is in Germany, but it isn't attacking Germany. The United States is in Japan and it isn't attacking Japan. The United States is in Saudi Arabia and it isn't attacking Saudi Arabia. Why? Because Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia aren't attacking US military personnel. The German, Japanese and Saudi media are relentless in their criticism of the United States and its military policies but the United States as the foremost advocate of freedom and democracy on the planet takes that as a given. The freedom to criticize is a core value of any democracy. Criticize away. Let's hash it out. If you've got a better idea of how to stabilize the situation in Iraq, the United States is all ears. But if you blow yourself up next to civilians, the United States is all guns.
At that point leftists get sullen and start talking about cultural imperialism and the damage done by MacDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Levis jeans to indigenous cultures – that is, having no validity for their view that American aggression is a universal or a constant, they simple redefine the term aggression to include pop culture material goods. Giving an Iraqi the opportunity to buy a Big Mac is just as bad as blowing yourself up next to him.
They just can't stay on the subject.
The subject, for which there is bountiful evidence, is Islamist terror, Islamist aggression and Islamist violence. Six years after 9/11 leftists are still looking for the high moral ground as sympathizers with the Victims of American Aggression. They're still trying to find a way to make everyone in the West identify with the plight of the North Vietnamese – their biggest previous success in a seriously misapprehended portrayal of reality -- by casting the worldwide religious taint of Islamism in the same mould as a civil war within the boundaries of a minor regional Asian military power.
What IS the reality? Victor Davis Hanson puts his finger on it:
Yet another poll, explained away by multiculturalists and apologists, revealed what most Americans have been led to suspect by the near weekly arrest of some conspirator or jihadist sympathizer: a lot of Muslims in the country are very angry and are sympathetic to those who kill violently. According to the Pew poll, one of four young Muslim Americans expressed approval of the tactic of suicide bombing, while six of ten assured us that no Arab Muslim was involved in September 11…both findings translate into many hundreds of thousands of Muslims living the good life here in the United States – 40 percent of whom have arrived since 1990 – who are either unhinged or favor the ideology of suicide bombing that killed 3,000 Americans.
Or BOTH. It seems obvious to me that unless you can adhere to the reality – as an individual, as a country or as a culture -- that approving of suicide bombing means that the person approving of it is unhinged then you – as an individual, as a country or as a culture -- become unhinged yourself. To even allow of the possibility of discussion there ("In SOME instances – particularly where there is a deep national or cultural grievance -- suicide bombing can be a very good and positive thing") is to start with that base approval of 25% of unhinged Muslims and to not only add to it but to feed an insatiable and completely unhinged appetite. To even allow of the possibility of discussion is to attempt to normalize blowing yourself up next to civilians – to make blowing yourself up next to women and children, killing many and maiming the rest with shrapnel into NORMAL behaviour.
Transparently, it's another form of appeasement. There was a wave of plane hijackings back in the 70s when the global policy was that there was some room for discussion there ("In SOME instances – particularly where there is a deep national or cultural grievance – plane hijacking can be a very good and positive thing") that proceeded to get out of control, WAY out of control. Once the global policy changed to "no appeasement" no negotiation with plane hijackers and a policy of assaulting the plane at the earliest opportunity, you had two or three very bloody massacres on airport tarmacs and then POOF no more plane hijackings.
Rationally, once you have established that a plane hijacking gets you IMMEDIATELY blown away by a squadron of Special Forces armed with Uzis you eliminate plane hijacking. Just as, rationally, if you negotiate with plane hijackers and give them worldwide media coverage for their "cause", control of a 747 and a free trip to anywhere they want to go, you encourage plane hijacking and make it into normal behaviour.
In a perfect world, these areas would just be governed by common sense. In a world dominated by tactical touchy-feely emotion-based leftists it's a lesson we have to teach ourselves over and over again. As I write this the Afghan government, at the behest of South Korea, is negotiating with the Taliban for the release of the 19 remaining South Korean Christian hostages, 16 of them women. The Taliban killed two men when there were no negotiations taking place. Then they stopped killing the hostages. The natural inference is that they are being appeased. And if you appease them this time all you are doing is guaranteeing that they will seize more hostages. I can certainly accept that those South Koreans went to Afghanistan wanting to do good Christian works for the local populace. I think it worth saying, however, that that was incredibly stupid. Particularly just wandering around the countryside looking for good things to do with no armed escort. There is a price to be paid for being that stupid in a war zone and that price is, usually, death where the "God looks after fools and small children" rule is not presently in effect. The nearest embassy can usually tell you when that is the case and then it's up to you as to whether you choose to do the sensible thing and GO HOME or choose to do the stupid thing and commit indirect suicide.
Oh, well. Live and don't learn.
Tomorrow: a couple of Darrell's poems
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