A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Monday, June 20, 2005

Illinois Nazis

Okay, not really. But Dick Durbin is a senator from Illinois, and he's invoking the old Nazi canard, mostly I think because nobody had done so in at least two weeks. A week ago today, Durbin read an FBI report on abuses at Guantanamo into the Senate record, and then said the following (which you may well have already heard, since this is somewhat old news-- what can I say, I'm on vacation):
“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings.”
Jon Stewart, a comedian who has managed to remain pretty funny despite his obvious dislike of the Bush administration, perhaps because he rips on both parties and the wide variety of idiots available across party lines, pretty much nailed it with his A Relatively Closer Look: Hitler References which you can watch in its entirity here. But the essence of his satiric look at the over-the-top use of Hitler and Nazis to ridicule someone you disagree with can be found towards the end, at the 4:48 mark:
So to sum up, please stop calling people Hitler when you disagree with them. It demeans you, it demeans your opponent, and to be honest, it demeans Hitler. That guy worked too many years, too hard to be that evil to have any Tom, Dick and Harry come along and say, 'Hey, you're being Hitler.' No. You know who was Hitler? Hitler!
Right on. We hear a lot of bitching about moral equivalency these days, and for my money comparing pretty much anyone but Stalin to Hitler is a perposterous comparison.


I was listening to talk radio last Thursday, to one of the local guys, and he was interviewing some senator. I really can't remember who it was, which sort of weakens this anecdote I guess. But anyway, the senator kept comparing the war in Iraq to the Holocaust, and I was like: what is this guy smoking? The Holocaust? Look, you may disagree with the war, and that's cool and all, but seriously, haven't we ventured a little too far into the realm of hateful and ridiculous hyperbole?

And while I'm at it: I am SOOOOOO sick of the "negative press" we're getting about treatment of Iragi prisoners at Gauntanamo. What really ticked me off was the outcry (and violent reaction) of Arabs and muslims in the middle east about the putative flushing of a Koran down a toilet. As much as I do respect the religions of other people, and as much as their reaction might be understandable, I'd like to know where their outcries and anger were when some of our "prisoners" had their heads hacked off on national television?

The double standard just drives me crazy.

Not to make light of Corribus' rants (and not just because I agree with them completely), but Jon Stewart rocks!!
He nailed it completely!!

And regarding the morons that we call Democrats, why can't they learn anything from Bill Clinton? When the other side is f*cking things up, the last thing you want to do is open your mouth at all. Just let them keep hanging themselves and be quiet.
Come to think of it, I haven't heard a lot out of the Republicans lately. Maybe they are following Clinton's lead.

Man, you couldn’t write a rebuttal better to Durbin than the one HE wrote:

Incidentally, a reader came upon this Durbin press release from Dec. 17, 1998:

I fully support President Clinton and our national security team's decision to take swift action against Saddam Hussein. . . .

I call on those who question the motives of the president and his national security advisors to join with the rest of America in presenting a united front to our enemies abroad.

The men and women who are risking their lives in defense of our national and global security deserve nothing less.

There's no questioning Durbin's patriotism--at least when a Democrat is in the White House.
Quoth Corribus:

Look, you may disagree with the war, and that's cool and all, but seriously, haven't we ventured a little too far into the realm of hateful and ridiculous hyperbole?

Apparently not:



Corribus again:

The double standard just drives me crazy.

I'm with you.
To hell with all of it. We're going to continue to be demonized in one way or another, be it from our enemies or through partisan sniping from within. We can't stand up to the more vicious who would attack us because we lack the stomach to fight them hard and rough. Our enemies know this. Even Osama called America a paper tiger back in the 1990s. In nearly four years of war, the deaths of those fighting the war are just over half of the total deaths that the terrorists inflicted upon us on the morning of September 11th; yet we have leaders who consider these losses (while tragic) insurmountable and cause to cut-and-run. At Gitmo, all they need to do is complain and, justified or not, we'll tear ourselves up from within over how insensitive or cruel we have been.

This could all easily lead to a visible hole in our defenses, which they could exploit again with another dramatic attack. I'm truly not so much afraid of another attack as I am afraid of the way some of those in power in this country will assign blame for that attack to our own leaders instead of the perpetrators who carried it out. Of course, another attack could also push the American public over the edge, calling for a draconian response that may turn us into the type of regime that we were only accused of being in earlier senseless hyperbole.
I agree with Mojo.
While I don't want us to adopt the complete lack of regard for human life that our enemies have, we do need to understand their attitude.
To paraphrase Team America, we can't just be pussies and let the assholes shit all over us. Sometimes we have to be dicks and f*ck the assholes.
That's an interesting... er... expression ;)

I have got to see that movie.
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