Friday, September 01, 2006

A romp through the fever swamp

One of the easist ways for a political blogger to dig up posting ideas is trolling through websites with a diametrically opposite point of view. For a conservative blogger, that means web surfing away from the sunny conservative beaches and looking for the overcast liberal fever swamps instead. If one's luck holds, a website that perfectly displays some of the errors of one's ideological opponent's appears and the real work of blogging can begin.

Thus, inspect for a moment the essay Bush vs. Ahmadinejad: A TV Debate We'll Never See, which comments on a recent news report:
When Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, invited President Bush to engage in a "direct television debate" a few days ago, the White House predictably responded by calling the offer "a diversion." But even though this debate will never happen, it's worth contemplating.
So far so good, but here are the first really interesting paragraphs:
Each man, in his own way, is a fundamentalist: so sure of his own moral superiority that he's willing to push his country into a military confrontation. This assessment may be a bit unfair to Ahmadinejad, who hasn't yet lied his nation into war; the American president is far more experienced in that department.

By saying that it's an open question whether Nazi Germany really perpetrated a Holocaust, the Iranian president has left no doubt that he is dangerously ignorant of history. Bush's ignorance of history is decidedly more subtle -- though, judging from his five and a half years in the Oval Office, hardly less dangerous.
It is amazing how many misapprehensions can be crammed into a few sentences. To begin, the author apparently considers the moral superiority of a leader to push his country into a military confrontation as a bad thing by labeling it with one of the harshest of all liberal epithets: fundamentalism. But when you really think about it, isn't such a moral superiority the normal requirement expected of a national leader? For example, part of President Bush's motivation for confronting Iran is defensive: making sure America and it's allies aren't on the receiving end of an Iranian nuclear sneak attack. Given that it is moral to defend citizens of an allied nation from catastrophic casulties, is it not expected of President Bush to be steadfast in defense? Isn't that a form of moral superiority?

Also consider the ludicrous dismissal of Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial as mere "historical ignorance", as if the poor Iranian leader was somehow absent from school during "Holocaust week" of his teenage school history class and he never got caught up. World leaders who think that jews are dogs and pigs who should be physically (and, presumably, thermally and chemically) deported from the Middle East aren't historically ignorant. They are lying, and when they also maintain terror armies to persecute Israel, they are also lying in justification of war.

Bush's ignorance of history is apparently this:
So, we hear little about the direct CIA role in organizing the coup that toppled Iran's democratically elected president, Mohammed Mossadegh, in 1953. Or about the torture and murder inflicted on Iranian dissenters by the secret police of the U.S.-installed Shah for the next quarter of a century, until his overthrow in 1979.
First of all, I doubt that Bush is ignorant of this fact since his negotiators must be hearing this from the Iranians about a hundred times a day. Secondly, even Hitler was just claiming to be rectifying historical injustices perpetrated against Germany when he started annexing Easter Europe piece by piece. Thirdly, if Iran really is arming itself with nuclear weapons purely to right the historical wrongs inflicted upon it from 1953 to 1979, Bush would have to be a TOTAL FRICKING MORON not to do anything about it! This article actually inadvertently makes a point that massively supports President Bush's course of action with respect to Iran.

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