They Tell You Who To Hate, And How To Hate Them
By: Mark W Adams

There is no reason whatsoever to listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Michael Savage. You can (and should) change the channel or pop in a CD. Just don't do it. Stay away from Fox News too. There's so much other junk on television there is no reason to expose yourself to their drivel. Likewise, avoid right-wing blogistan. It's easy, and the internets offer far more diversity of choice than talk radio or TV.

Me, I usually scan wingnuttystan to do what I call enemy recon. It also helps to inspire, get the creative juices flowing and invariably cures writers bloc. It also can be sort of Zen-like in the way it focuses the mind and strengthens the resolve.

I don't recommend journeying there unless you are a true-blue liberal. But, if your belief system does not require you to seek out dissimilar peoples with a goal of defeating them for the simplistic reason that they are indeed, different; and as long as you possess an unshakable determination to make this a better world for all men and women, and not just those who look and think like you do, go ahead and walk with the vipers of vindictiveness.

Take a deep breath and click below for more.

It only takes a few sentences from the likes of the Powerline jerks to get my brain in gear, like this aside in a post bashing Dartmouth for inviting Harry Belafonte to be the keynote speaker at its Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration.

Belafonte is perhaps second only to Jimmy Carter when it comes to has-beens who love America's enemies.
This is the kind of off-the-cuff, throwaway statement that drives their agenda (and drives me crazy). It's not the Belafonte reference that got me, which is what the whole post is about. It was the Carter crack. For them, America must always have enemies, must seek them out and destroy them.

They cannot even consider the notion that if you treat others with dignity and respect, if you reach an accord and settle your differences, your enemies become your friends. If you love your enemy, and they respond in kind, you no longer have an enemy. You've resolved the differences which make us different.

Again and again, we see these tough talking radicals peek out from under their piss-stained mattresses to point their snot-covered fingers at a peace-maker whose wisdom threatens to discredit their entire raison d'entre.

Equally maddening is their pseudo Christian piety as they ignore the central message of Jesus Christ, which made him special even to non-Christians who will acknowledge that his advice to love thy enemy made him one of the foremost philosophers of all time.

Media Matters has a run-down of some of the most detestable hate-speak from the right from the last year, like quotes from Coulter referring to Lincoln Chaffee and saying, "They Shot the Wrong Lincoln."

How about Glenn Beck: "Blowing up Iran. I say we nuke the bastards. In fact, it doesn't have to be Iran, it can be everywhere, anyplace that disagrees with me."

One of the worst is Michael Savage:
"I don't know why we don't use a bunker-buster bomb when he comes to the U.N. and just take [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out with everyone in there."
And of course, the master of fear and loathing himself, Rush Limbaugh on the Middle East: "Fine, just blow the place up."

The empirical evidence that theirs is a failed approach is legion. One singular example should put it into perspective, Presidential Legacy.

Nobel Laureate, Jimmy Carter brokered a peace accord between historical enemies Egypt and Israel, whose conflicts have been chronicled since the time of Moses. Carter's peace deal is still in effect, lasting through three decades.

Now look at the Bush boys. By all accounts, by every imaginable metric, the first Gulf War against Iraq was a success. A complete and utter victory by the good guys. There are those who still quibble that Bush 41 didn't go far enough, didn't go to Baghdad. However, not only as a military exercise, but in the achievement of every single political goal that was set before us, we were victorious.

Ten years later, we were back there fighting again, and will continue to lose lives and limbs for the foreseeable future.

Carter was President for only four years, and his approach to a lasting peace, promising prosperity to generations, remains as a lasting testament to the power of negotiation and engagement over brute force. The Bush boys have had ten years in the Oval Office so far, and the idea that the Middle East will be any safer when the current Resident leaves office is the stuff of comic books, not reality.


Anonymous said...

Did you go to Dartmouth? Because the fine attornies at Powerline did, which is why they feel strongly about idiots like Belafonte speaking there. As for old J.C.: I wasn't even alive when he was president, but have been shown since time immemorial how he was the most incompetent president of the twentieth century. Everything he did FAILED. From Iran, to the Panama Canal, everything domestically, to weakening our intelligence services and the power of the executive. Even the so-called success of the Egypt-Israel treaty was nothing more than a mere bandage that covers a still festering sore- if anything, there is more virulent anti-Semitism in Egypt today which stems from this. Not even the majority of leftists such as yourself stick up for Carter. It's too unbelievable. Get your head out of the clouds: there is such a thing as evil in this world. And you cannot negotiate with it, you must defeat it. There is not one time you can point to where "diplomacy" with an evil enemy has worked. It always ends up in utter, complete, and total failure- for the good guys. (Uh... that's America, by the way. Knowing to whom I'm speaking, I'm pretty sure I have to clarify that for you.) Just like Jimmy Carter.

Mark W Adams said...

I always chuckle a bit at anonymous cowards sticking up for bedwetting fearmongers.

As for Dartmouth, um...whoopie! I did a fair amount of book learnin' gettin' my degrees and have been called a pretty fair attorney too.

One thing I studied was the Congress of Vienna. One hundred years of relatively peaceful co-existence between the Russian, Prussian, British, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empires.

There were a couple of notable exceptions, but nothing that marked the "struggles for civilization" that marked the 20th century, and not the early 21st. While America tore itself apart during the nineteenth century, Europe learned the wisdome of negotiated settlements, balance of powers, and realpolitic.

Go read about Benjamine Disraeli and Tallyrand, then get back to me. And do yourself a favor and read a bit more than just the wiki entries. I spent a semester on this stuff.

As for Carter's failures, opinions, like assholes, are something everybody has.

Lisa Renee said...

if you treat others with dignity and respect, if you reach an accord and settle your differences, your enemies become your friends. If you love your enemy, and they respond in kind, you no longer have an enemy. You've resolved the differences which make us different.

Awesome statement Mark and I couldn't agree more. It's difficult at times, but it's a goal I believe is worth working for as well.