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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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My first comment on your blog was something along the lines of "to make his supporters look like assholes," in response to a question about Obama's motives (on health care?).

It still applies.

Also:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/mar2011/pers-m28.shtml

and

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/26/111109/new-rebel-leader-spent-much-of.html

Yeah, I've been reading about Hifter as well, though even with what we know about him thus far he falls well short of Hashim Thaci, Agim Ceku, and the rest of the Albanian mafia the U.S. funded, trained and installed in Kosovo.

And anyway (speaking of looking like assholes...), "it's a mistake to characterize a mass movement of millions of people with reference to one or two individuals." Once you toss out your first rationalization for bombing it's never that far to the next one, is it?

A good friend, a zoologist who studied under Gould, recently visited the U.S. (specifically Washington DC) to measure some skulls at the Smithsonian (don't ask). She's a moderate leftie by South African standards and so all her American friends were ultra-leftists by American standards.

She's come back shattered. All her friends, she says, have gone mad. They all support Bush-style aggression, they all back Obama unquestioningly (she brought back an Obama baseball cap with golden rays shining out of that bastard's face like he was a constipated Tutankhamen as proof -- I refused to wear it so we nailed it to the wall of the local pub) and when she challenged one of them, this impeccable American radical said "Oh, that's your South African opinion".

Like Jean-Paul Sartre said in McCarthy's time, look out, America's got the rabies!

Interestingly enough, I just received an E-mail from avaaz.org asking me to sign a petition to, presumably, Col Qaddafi, calling for the immediate release of one Iman al-Obeidi, who apparently ran into a hotel lobby full of journalists, screamed that she had been gang-raped by 15 of the colonel's henchmen, and was subsequently dragged away, not to be seen since.

Just to be clear, I'm against thugs who go around gang-raping women, and I'm generally in favour of petitioning for the release of women dragged away by government security forces.

The problem here is that I don't know who this woman is, and I don't have any evidence that what she says is true, or that she isn't, in fact, a tool of the US, serving much the same function as the young lady who testified before the US Senate, falsely, that Saddam Hussein's forces pulled babies from their incubators.

It's come to this, really. A woman bursts into a room and screams for help, and my first question is, is she a plant?

Fuck this world.

That's a salient point, Mr. Caruso. The Albanian bastards were top of the list awful. The comparative differences matter.

Nomad -

FTW indeed! My thoughts were precisely the same as yours, down to the lying Kuwaiti girl and the incubators.

I sometimes think that people who have similar political ideas as me have them in part because of a decent memory for facts arranged in a narrative that allows the thinker to make comparisons to the past and draw conclusions from that. Most people in the US don't really know what happened more than a week ago and have trouble constructing narratives and chains of events, and are thus pretty easily emotionally manipulated in the now.

I'm sure the austerity education cuts we're facing will only help make this worse.

By the way, a week later no word from my congresspeople's office on Libya. No response. They're just waiting it out and hoping that the TV says this thing had a "happy ending" so that they can claim retroactively that they were on board the whole time.

Nomad/Chris -- was thinking something similar on the Obeidi thing, up to and including incubators.

My take on it is that in both an a) despotic regime and b) a statewide violent conflict, where (a) is actually just a long-term, tedious version of (b), rape is institutionalized or at least standardized in short order, so it doesn't really matter if a person named Iman al-Obeidi was raped or not for us (since we don't know her) because plenty more people of either gender and of all ages were raped as the direct result of Qaddafi's war against his own people and its current manifestation (which may include a rebel faction which is as much against the people of Libya as Qaddafi is, but exists precisely because Qaddafi enabled it to exist).

In other words, so many people are victims of rape during oppression and war that it's not worth losing sleep over a merely potential rape victim. You could simply assume she was raped and move on from there.

This rationalization actually reduces my anguish. I don't know if this makes more more fucked up or less, ultimately.

Chris -- you're right, but many people know the facts but simply dismiss them as irrelevant and they blend into the logically inconsistent group. In other words, they empirically know that Bush or Obama has done evil, or that Given War X is murdering innocent people, but they simply scrub the victims out of existence and then build an otherwise logical narrative. It's an emotional bias in this case, not a logical fallacy or stupidity. I don't know if there's any cure outside of simply forcing the person in question to suffer from the policy or party he endorsed. I don't know any pro-Obama people who, having lost their jobs, remain pro-Obama.

Then again, I once declared that until the U.S. starts torturing loads of white people, this country will still okay torture. We haven't seen an improvement of public opinion yet, despite Manning, so bad call for me perhaps. Or perhaps simply more torture is required.

So, now that NATO forces have been clearly caught blowing up civilians, can we expect them to fairly enforce the UNSC resolution by bombing Brussels?

Nah, thought not.

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