Monday, February 20, 2006
Policing Your Own
My concern is, primarily, with my camp. With my tribe. I'm happy to let Marc Cooper act like a fool because nobody can pin his politics or his opinions on me or mine. He’s shitting in his own blighted house. That isn’t the case with morons like Charles Johnson or, for that matter, even bigger morons like Ann Coulter. They’re taking dumps where I live, which means either I live with the shit or I clean it up. I choose the latter. It is just that simple. The argument that I should leave it be because Marc Cooper does the same is the argument of a five year old child: “But he did it, too!” Sorry, fellow VRWC minions, but if we’re supposed to be the adults in the room, then cleaning up after ourselves goes with the territory.
Get over it.
So... when I see people yucking it up over at Little Green Footballs over the deaths of 300+ religious pilgrims – innocent human beings whose crime was, evidently, that they weren’t Christians and just like us... and whose deaths are therefore something to gloat over – and Charles Johnson doesn’t think it appropriate or necessary to remove those comments and ban those people from his site, then I’ve got one mother of a problem on my hands. That’s because Charles Johnson styles himself as a ‘former Liberal’, which means he thinks of himself as being part of my political party and my political faith... he wants to live in my house.
Does anyone want to argue that a collective lack of knowledge of, and a persistent misunderstanding of, of the religion, culture, politics and history of the Middle East didn’t play a huge part in facilitating the success of al-Qaeda on September 11? And if our ignorance of the peoples, religion, history and politics played into the hands of Osama bin Laden and his followers, just how do the actions of “thought leading, tipping point” bloggers like Charles Johnson and columnists like Ann Coulter help to rectify that situation? How does the mocking of the faith of over a billion souls serve our interests in winning the War on Terror? How does the dehumanization of those same billion souls make us stronger - either materially or morally - in the fight against al Qaeda?
Answer? They Don't.
They perpetuate the precise weaknesses we must work to eliminate if we are to win either the War on Terror or the Iraq War. They perpetuate the same sly arrogance that we can and will prevail without effort because we are what we are and they are the ‘Other’; the inferior.
I think that Dennis makes two excellent points here. The first is one of those "meta" sort of things - from a political standpoint, criticizing one's own party and the lunatics within is time better spent that throwing barbs at the other party.
The second - and much more important, in my opinion - is that the mindset favored by many in the War on Terror is fundamentally fucked-up. There's a big difference between pointing out flaws of "the other side" while also acknowledging one's own, and simply outright mocking your adversary. I mean, it's not like Coulter or Johnson are dumb, but I'm not sure if there's ever been a better opportunity to use the word "ignorant".
Anyways, read all of Dennis' piece - if I could explain his point better than he, I would have written it in the first place.