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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Americans should never be compared to primitive, evil foreign Muslim jihadists
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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Americans should never be compared to primitive, evil foreign Muslim jihadists

glenn is commenting on reaction to markos moulitsas' recently published book, american taliban, and, as usual, offers a much larger and more trenchant observation than would normally be part of a mere book review...
[O]bnoxious jingoism and nationalistic exceptionalism: to wit, no matter how bad the American Right is, they are still Americans, and thus should never be compared to primitive, evil foreign Muslim jihadists. Illustrative of that mentality is this passage from Jamelle Bouie's extremely negative and widely-cited review in The American Prospect:

Like Liberal Fascism, American Taliban is another entry in the tired genre of "my political opponents are monsters" . . . . Yes, progressives are depressed and despondent about the future, but that's no reason for dishonesty and scaremongering, and it doesn't excuse the obscenity of comparing our political opponents to killers and terrorists. As reality-based members of the American community, we have an obligation toward the truth, even when it isn't particularly convenient.

In what universe is it "obscene" to compare the architects of the Iraq War, the torture regime, and endless War with Muslims "to killers and terrorists"? The comparison is true by definition. The people who launched the attack on Iraq are guilty of an aggressive war -- what the Nuremberg prosecutors condemned as the "kingpin crime" that "holds together" all other war crimes -- which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings, turned millions more into refugees, and destroyed an entire nation. The aptly named "Shock and Awe" was designed to terrify an entire civilian population into submission. John Podhoretz criticized the brutal assault on Fallujah for failing to exterminate all "Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35," while his father has spent years agitating for a devastating military attack on Iran. At least 100 War on Terror detainees in American custody died as a result of their treatment, tens of thousands more (including clearly innocent ones) were put in cages for years with no due process (where many remain), and as recent mosque-related controversies reveal, a substantial portion of the American population craves a religious war with Islam. And that's to say nothing of the acts of other countries which this faction supports: from mauling an imprisoned population in Gaza and attacking a harmless, civilian ship in international waters to propping up some of the most oppressive tyrannies on the planet, including many in the Muslim world.

in my travels, i've become acutely aware of a sad and poignant fact... people in other countries seem to have no problem accepting that their leaders are not only capable of bad things, they routinely ENGAGE in bad things, almost always at the expense of the common folk and their welfare...

those of us steeped in the mythology of the united states have this extraordinarily naive notion that we are somehow above all that... sure, we have the occasional miscreant, the government official or corporate titan "gone bad," but, for the most part, we nourish the delusion that the majority of our leaders have our best interests at heart... we can't seem to grasp that while, yes, we do have some wonderful and remarkable people in our midst, we also have some truly evil types, hell-bent on accruing as much money and power as humanly possible, just like - GASP - every other country... and it is THOSE putrid excrescences who, just like in every other country, tend to gravitate to positions where they can pursue their greedy megalomania even if thousands of people have to die to help them achieve their dark aims...

there are fantastic people everywhere and there are assholes and creeps everywhere... what a concept...!

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