Thursday, July 13, 2006

Winner, and still WOTD champion: Victor Davis Hanson

One of these days I really will retire Vic's number and let other worthies have their chance at wanker glory. But VDH so encapsulates the pathology of the wingnutosphere that he is unlikely to lose many fair WOTD fights until then.

Anyway, Vic's latest is a humdinger. Of all things, he exhibits a fit of pique at ... Commander Codpiece himself. Now there are at least 1.5 kajillion things sentient beings could be pissed at the Bush Adminstration about. And the title of Vic's piece certainly promises that he is on to one of them: Instead of giving excuses, give us facts.

Alas, it is not to be. The fact is that Vic doesn't mean facts as residents of the realityosphere would recognize them. He defines facts as "all the insane, alternative universe stuff that has to be true in order to permit me to keep believing the nonsense that is my worldview."

Here are a few of the "facts" Vic wishes his godhead would get out there:

The Arab world's perennial grievances against the United States don't hold up either, given that America has saved Muslims in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait and Somalia, and provided billions in aid to Egyptians, Jordanians and Palestinians.

That is a typically dense (in both senses) Hansonesque payload of nonsense. To wit: (1) Afghanistan is not looking like a shining example of much of anything these days; (2) The fact that some Muslims may have benefited from our Clinton-era actions in the former Yugoslavia is likely overshadowed in the eyes of the average Middle Eastern Muslim by the fact that that was Europe, which we are rightly seen to treat very differently; (3) Kuwait? You gotta be kidding me. The assertion that Gulf War I was in any way about helping Muslims or that it in fact helped ordinary Muslims in any way is beyond absurd; (4) our aid to Egypt helps the near-dictatorshp there maintain its iron fist against a surging Islamist opposition; and (5) just for the hell of it, even if we have done something good there, does it follow that all would be forgiven for other bad acts, no matter their number or magnitude? If I burn your house down, then drop a quarter in your tin cup when you are living in the street, I shouldn't expect much gratitude.

The Bush administration can also use history to show that, despite what detractors say, its techniques aren't so unreasonable. It's worth reminding the American public that Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and shut down newspapers; that Woodrow Wilson imprisoned prominent dissenters like Eugene Debs; and that Franklin Roosevelt ordered the internment of Japanese-American citizens and secret military tribunals for German saboteurs (six of whom were executed) and allowed for the coverup of military catastrophes (such as the hundreds killed during training exercises for the Normandy landings).

In other words, there's an advantage to providing historical perspective by engaging one's critics and answering their charges. The public, for example, should be informed that the accusation that the U.S. went into Iraq for oil ("no blood for oil,'' as the slogan goes) is not merely inaccurate, but crazy. For starters, gas prices skyrocketed once we induced risky change in the Middle East. How does that benefit the American people? Meanwhile, because of the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's energy sector has been purged of corruption (such as the U.N.'s scandal-plagued oil-for-food program).

Wow. Just.... wow. When I studied Con Law, the Japanese Internment cases were considered by one and all to be one of the darkest episodes in our nation's history. We studied some of the 1st Amendment cases from WWI, but it was the dissents from Oliver Wendell Holmes -- dissents defending speech and criticizing an over-reaching executive -- that we lauded. It just boggles my mind that Vic wants Maximum Leader to point to these horrors as precents for his current lawlessness.

Yes, Vic, perhaps the Iraq oil industry has been purged of corruption. (We seem to have taken over that function.) But more to the point, it has also been purged of the ability to produce oil.

As for Vic's blithe dismissal of the blood for oil rap, I give Vic credit for doing his part to save energy by recycling his arguments, and will simply recycle my own smackdown as well.

And finally:

Here at home, we are witnessing the end of the multicultural dogma. Yes, there are really evil people who wish to kill us for who we are, not what we do...

Once again, thanks for being such a good envirnomentalist. My rebuttal dating from January, 2005 is here.

Congrats, Vic. You still da man.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even as the administration exploited this Official Story (or "Official Conspiracy Theory") as the pretext to launch new wars long in the making, independent researchers began to accumulate a vast body of evidence suggesting a different narrative for 9/11: that of the Inside Job.
The 9/11 events and the anomalies in the official story raised Unanswered Questions about:
- the unprecedented failure of the US air defense system on the morning of the attacks;
- the AWOL military chain of command during the actual attacks, including the inexplicable behavior of the presidential entourage;
- the seeming impossibility of official claims with regard to Flight 77;
- the evidence that Flight 93 was shot down;
- contradictions and dubious evidence in the official claims about the alleged hijackers and masterminds, and doubts about their real identities;
- signs that the alleged hijackers enjoyed high-level protection against discovery by honest investigators;
- evidence that the alleged hijackers were financed by states allied with US intelligence;
- suspicious and massive international financial trades suggesting foreknowledge of the attacks;
- widespread signs of official foreknowledge and, in fact, advance preparation for the 9/11 attack scenario;
- the long-running links between Islamist fundamentalist terror cells and US covert operations, dating back to CIA support for the anti-Soviet mujahedeen and Osama Bin Ladin himself;
- the demolition-like collapse of the Twin Towers and of a third skyscraper, WTC 7;
- and questions concerning who could have logically expected to derive benefit in the aftermath of a massive attack on the United States.
The suspicions received further confirmation a few weeks after September 11th, with the arrival of anthrax letters targeted only at opposition politicians and media figures, and timed to coincide with the introduction of the USA PATRIOT Act.
Google: 9/11 inside job

7:17 PM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

Oh man, this guy is mindbogglingly dense. Does he really think the people who say "No blood for oil" believe that "oil" means a benefit for the American people? Maybe we should print up some special T-shirts for him that say, "No blood for oil company profits."

While he was on such a roll, I'm surprised he left out Truman nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

11:28 PM  

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