Friday, August 30, 2002

Is This Progressive?

Today, as I was getting back into bad habits, I was cruising web sites that represent opposing opinion, and The Progressive certainly represents opposing opinion to my own. I noticed a piece that was a transcript of a speech made by the Editor, Matthew Rothschild, whose bio is conveniently available for perusal as well. Rothschild is also the author of the web-exclusive series "McCarthyism Watch," a compendium of current threats to our civil liberties, such threats only needing such a compendium since December 8, 2001. We can thus see a picture of the beliefs of this successor to former editor Erwin Knoll. One can surmise that these are the beliefs of a substantial segment of the American left.

Read this stuff and you will find that this writing represents exactly the opposite type of thinking than the type of logical thought that this blog espouses. Rothschild starts with his preconceived result, then fills in or makes up the facts to suit his case. Fuzzy logic is allowed, indeed, it is necessary to arrive at the same conclusion each time: Republicans, e.g. Bush and Ashcroft, are wrong; the problems of the society are caused by the right wing power structure. Vocabulary is used in the best Orwellian Newspeak tradition. Operation T.I.P.S. is not a breach of civil liberties, it is McCarthyism, which is, as I recall, a reference to Senator McCarthy's penchant for claiming to have evidence in his hand that was, in reality, a blank piece of paper. Now, I am on record on the subject of Operation T.I.P.S., and I think that it is a scary omen of things that might succeed it, not that it is fraudulent. Bush and Ashcroft were perfectly honest about it. Indeed, that, to me, is the more scary aspect of the plan. However, Rothschild and others of his ilk don't seem to realize that words have meaning, and should not be used to convey a feeling having nothing to do with that meaning. At least not in political discourse. Maybe in song writing or poetry, but not in a logical argument.

Therefore, Rothschild has no problem saying
...we have a lawless Presidency. And if we are to restore our democracy, we need to insist that the Constitution be followed. That means Congress, not the President, has the sole power to declare war.
The fact is, there is no justification under international law or under Christian "just war" theory for Bush to attack Iraq. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has said so.
I never realized that the Archbishop of Canterbury was the Authority on these matters. Since Rothschild is a Jew and Bush is a Baptist, I don't see how Anglican thought applies to these matters.

And then he speaks to the strategic underpinnings of the Bush policy
Well, for starters, the despotic rulers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, stooges of the United States, may lose their grip on power if the U.S. invasion galvanizes what Robert Fisk calls the sleeping Arab masses. Hard to see how that would be in the interests of the United States, as Bush defines them.

And secondly, the more brutal the United States appears in the Muslim world, the more likely it is that suicide bombers will come to roost in the United States. It's a warning that we ignore at our peril.
So, the Arabs won't like us, and their reaction to American power will be to bomb us. I thought they already had done so. That must be Bush's fault as well.

Maybe the biggest difference between us is that I have no problem disassociating myself from Joe McCarthy, while Rothschild has no way to disassociate himself from Noam Chomsky, another enemy of truth and the American way of life. And I don't profess to speak for a Movement. Yet.