Monday, January 14, 2008

Yeah, I thought the De-Baathification Reform was a good idea...

But I was sort of counting on them getting it right.

Spencer Ackerman's saying it got screwed up.

I know the Bush Adminstration likes to talk about milestones reached, but it helps if you're not celebrating empty victories, such as loophole-laden laws that might lead to even greater disenfranchisement.

Repeat after me: results matter.

That's Why This Man Scares Me

Apparently, Bush has decided to ignore another inconvenient truth.

Fortunately, this one only has the potential to embroil the Middle East in near-perpetual warfare, not cook the planet on HI.

Do any of these people get that provoking needless conflict will make defending Israel more difficult than plain Diplomacy will? So many people out there think of war as being the Gordian knot strategy cutter of all time, but many times, it can entangle the knot even more.

The problem with the Neocons is that they nearly always underestimate the complexity of military force and its consequences. They are accustomed to being the stinging gadflies of tough foreign policy, but in practice, they've become blusterers and bluffers who who hope for the best and blunder after it. Their policies, in both Israel and America, have made us less safe rather than more, as they'd desire.

The sooner these people lose power, the better.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I kind of shake my head at calling Jonah Goldberg "the doughy pantsload", but I've already had the privilege of taking shots at his previous pronouncement on his fascism.

Well, I think he just robbed a bakery, because this takes the cake.

Mussolini got labelled a fascist because he supported WWI.

Just one problem: Mussolini WAS the original Fascist. He founded the party that gave the 20th century a name for totalitarian, brutal governments.

The real problem here is that some people identify fascism with any political cause that steps on their toes by preventing them from indulging whatever impulse they want, or does something they can't keep them from doing. Hence, Jonah's previous equation of Ivy-League educated school teachers with Nazi brownshirts.

At the end of the day, what Jonah can't tolerate, is somebody teaching or advocating what he disagrees with, in a way where he or others can come back in and reverse the "damage". He wants control, and fears the Left's influence on all levels.

And this is how, Ironically enough, they justify indulging in the paranoia and political acts that get them defined as fascists. Fascism, more than anything else, is defined by the impulse towards authoritarian control of society. Now, bureaucracy and government intrusion can be part of this, when not balanced by civil liberties, but what truly defines fascism is the vicious will to employ violence and other abuses of power to maintain power over the society, and the impulse to use violence to untie the Gordian knot of problems both internal and external.

Are the Republicans Fascists? No. But the party's become the closer of our two to that. The Democrats once strayed in that direction, and paid the price for it.

If we wish to stay clear of this problematic kind of politics, we must realize one thing: at the end of the day, we may have adversaries in politics, but we have very few true enemies.