Back and Forth

I Fisk a letter from one Stephen, who says he’s a “long-time reader”:

I’m a college student and while I’m not really religious I have a generally conservative political stance; somewhat like a guleini. Although I often disagree with you – – you should know that I greatly respect your opinion.
Being critical of America is fine — in many ways its an American tradition. The biggest problem that people like me [average, middle-American, good ole’ boy] have with people like you is that you never seem to “go after” the terrorists and insurgents the same way.

There are three reasons you might think that. First, I try not replicate sentiments I hear widely expressed. For instance, I don’t write about how disgusted I am by child molesters because, well, duh. That’s well covered in the media. I agree, but I have nothing to add to the subject. Nodding in assent makes for boring writing.

Second, you have to separate “terrorists” from the insurgents fighting off occupiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. The former are loathesome. The latter are to be admired, for they are patriots. There may be times when insurgents become terrorists. However, merely being an insurgent does not make one a terrorist, no matter how often Bush and Fox News claim otherwise.

Third, I am a million times more concerned about the shortcomings of the American people, their system of government and their political leaders than those of other countries. I live here, not there, and there’s a lot more I can do about what goes on here in the United States. Did I think the Muslims who burned embassies over the Danish Mohammed cartoons were idiots. Yes, obviously, and I said so when asked. But they worry me a lot less than people who shoot abortion doctors.

For instance, you hate the whole Bush wire-tapping thing (and so do I). However, if you love civil liberties so much, wouldn’t you be even more pissed off about what the North Koreans do to their people?

No. I wouldn’t. Because liberation cannot be imposed from outside. Freedom will come to North Korea when the people there rise up and overthrow their oppressive dictatorship. What I think about North Korea’s leaders is irrelevant. Besides, as far as I know, the regime there may well be very popular. On the other hand, as an American, I know enough about basic American values to know that listening in to our phone calls is un-American.

Or consider how much you hate discrimination ( I hate it too, I think its great you call the American government out when it crosses the line)… but if I was going to write about unfairness in the world I’d have to start with how women are treated in Islamic governments – and how Islamic governments deal with free speech and everything else.

See above. It would be great if women in oppressive Taliban-style regimes like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (incidentally, close allies of the Bush Administration and the US) were to rebel and fight for equal rights. I would be very, very pleased if they did. But it won’t change unless and until they do. Women’s rights in Muslim countries is for women–and, well, for men–to decide there.

Also see above on the redundancy thing. Others have said it. Why repeat it over and over?

This is the editorial that I want you to write:
American Foreign policy: How Ted Rall would deal with terrorists that want to kill Ted Rall.

I’ve already written about how I would fight the war on terror in columns and books.

You wonder why Americans have been going down the same path since Reagan, and I’ll tell you the answer.

WE HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN A BETTER CHOICE. complaining and calling bush a killer is not a solution. I voted for Bush because he had the only plan, it wasn’t a great plan but it was a plan, he said he’d fight the terrorist on their own crummy ground and that’s what he tried to do.

I suspect you’re right. Voters like their candidates to seem certain, and Democrats don’t project that same arrogance. But it’s one hell of a way to choose a president or a Congress.

I’ll let you go, I know you’re busy.
Thanks for taking the time to read my rant.
I may be just one guy – but I represent the thinking of millions.

Please consider writing the editorial I mentioned.

7 Responses to “”

  1. carlpagan Says:

    It makes me sick that when the Left criticizes conservative leaders it is characterized as blaming America but when right wingers criticize liberal leaders, well then, they are just blaming liberals.

  2. Craig Says:

    Because liberation cannot be imposed from outside.

    I’ve been saying this since we invaded Iraq: freedom cannot be forced upon the Iraqis; they must stand up and take it for themselves.

    Of course, I was laughed at for awhile. “Who wouldn’t want freedom?” they jeered.

    Then, after this mess in Iraq dragged on a little longer, people started agreeing with me. They realized that, sad as it is to say, the Iraqis apparently aren’t ready for the freedom we tried to thrust into their hands.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Better just spew and get over it then. These rightous people can only see their side of an issue. When you box them into a corner on Iraq, Osama, Afghanistan, global warming, the economy, health care, or any of a number of topics, what you here is, “how does it effect me”. They are self absorbed. Self centered. Self serving. And, selfish. Their favorite topic is MEMEMEMEMEME. Listen to any of them and you will hear it. Like an echo, MEMEMEMEMEME!

  4. yousuf_sajjad Says:

    I really resent that Taliban comment about Pakistan. We are fighting for Women’s Rights are getting some stiff resistance from the minority-but-loud religious parties. Their attempt a couple of years ago to have a Saudi (and Taliban) style Vice and Virtue Police in the N.W.F.P was shot down by the supreme court on constitutional grounds. And as for the goddamn Hudood ordinances, we managed to amend them (some what) and are facing shit from the Maulvis again.

    Yousuf

  5. yousuf_sajjad Says:

    btw, is that Reagan with a gun?

  6. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    Is a “guleini” a suckfish that can only swim to the right?

  7. James Says:

    yousuf_sajjad, yes it is. Back in the day.

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