Sunday, June 23, 2002
Privateer's latest article proves that, yet again, he seems curiously unable to distinguish between the interests of different groups of people. Taliban vs. PLO aside (the idea that they're equivalent is nonsense), the idea that underpins his latest "race war" post is in-and-of itself suspect on those grounds... even if Muslims in Palestine and some parts of the Middle East "raise little children to hate jews", what reason do his have to believe that the rest of global Islam is undertaking anything even remotely akin to this? I had thought that there was a distinction to be made between "Islamo-Fascists" and Muslims... but now he's saying that that is the case, and that every Muslim on the planet is at war with Israel.
I mean, that's ludicrous on its face, and citation of a few foaming Islamic sites doesn't come close to proving it. (Unless he believes that right-wing race war sites prove that all whites hate blacks, and vice versa).
I find it telling, by the way, that he seem to be advocating the thermonuclear version of suicide bombing. I had thought he believed that repression would do the trick.. that the terrorists would give up if enough pressure was brought to bear. If repression would work in Palestine, then so be it- as I said earlier, I'm interested in solutions, not idiotic finger pointing, and if that's the only workable solution then I'll entertain it as much as any other. I'm not a pacifist, nor an unthinking Palestinian partisan... I just did not and do not believe that it's anything close to a long term solution, although it may be useful and sensible at the present time.
But I'm sorry, Privateer, destroying a fair chunk of the planet and irradiating half of the rest is no solution. "Thought Experiment" or no. The Jews wouldn't be gone, and you would have doomed your compatriots. A halved and living population is not a nonexistent one... but you seem to want to doom your people to an "honorable death", killing millions, possibly billions of innocents. In that scenario, it's not as if "the terrorists won"... nobody wins. Hell, nobody survives. Perhaps my "death before dishonor" point was also more prescient than I had thought at first, and I'll stand by what I said earlier... a thousand dishonours is preferable to one death.
(And really, that's the lesson that the Palestinians have forgotten, isn't it? Moral equivalence, no. Rhetorical equivalence... more than I had expected.)
Anyway, this is partially why I avoided this topic up until now. Not because it isn't important, but because it seems to have a polarizing effect, so much so that different people are arbitrarily shunted into different "teams" whether they actually believe the tenets of that group or not. I'm not arbitrarily against either Israel, Israel's attempts to ensure its security, or condemnation of both suicide bombers and those who support them, despite what people like Privateer continue to assert. My problem is with the belief that these things exist in a vacuum- that even justifiable repression doesn't carry with it its own drawbacks. Privateer (and others) seem to instinctively realize this even as they condemn those that point it out... even as he condemns those who would make the argument, Privateer's "thought experiment" recognizes that violence does indeed spiral, whether "justified" or no. That, and the ludicrously illogical satisficing and generalizing that has been ratcheting up lately.
Well, at least this experience has been instructive in one respect. I had thought that the blurring between "Islamist", "Islamofascist" and "Muslim" had been only on the part of those who were, like most right-wing columnists, were merely supporting "their team" and were using the most shocking language available in order to rally the troops, ignorant of the real meaning of what they're arguing. I had thought that the blogging community was less extreme, and could see that sooner or later you need to ignore Macbeth and cry "hold, enough!" On this, at least, Privateer and his call for an apocalyptic race war and/or "suicide bombing"(as well as his supporters in this) has proven me wrong.
Posted by Demosthenes at 12:01 PM