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April 03, 2004

Silliness of the ProWar Right

With all the silly comments in the two threads on the four ex-military types killed, you get a real sense of the embrace of dissent on the rightwing. Some typical comments applied to myself and Kos:

"scumbags", "Bastards", "primitive embrace of fascism", "dereanged and disgusting behavior", "objective supporter of Islamo-fascism", "Disgusting pigs", "fucking moral abomination", "Cowardly F**k", "worse than the enemy", "unbridled, misguided hate", ""SHIT FOR BRAINS", "moral idiot", "Stalinist scum", "moral cretin"
The ironic thing is that I spent a chunk of the war and aftermath taking flak for my criticisms of the pro-Saddam elements of the antiwar movement, especially in my post on Where the Peace Movement Went Wrong and my criticisms of ANSWER/WWP here and here.

But frankly, the warhawk Right and the WWP antiwar sectarians are basically the same. They see all murder of one side as justified and ignore the evil done by the side they are cheering for.

The problem for both of them is that the US and Saddam Hussein were on the same side when the issue was war with Iran in the 1980s, just as the US and Bin Laden were on the same side when the issue was war with the Soviet Union. Both the warhawk Right and the WWP forces both support murder opportunistically, with little regard for the lives of innocents.

Saddam Hussein was a murderous tyrant, who the US tolerated for years until he got out of line. The US then supported economic sanctions that hurt Hussein very little but helped starve innumerable children in Iraq. The US repeatedly betrayed the Kurds over the decades, encouraging them to rise up, then letting Hussein murder them.

And then, lying to the world about non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction, we chose to use war and the bombing of innocents as our route to ousting Hussein from power. And then Bush had his best corporate buddies profit to the tune of billions of dollars in contracts in taking over the economic infrastructure of the country.

Guess what-- I don't want any soldier to lose their life, just as I never wanted any Iraqi to lose theirs, but I don't have to "choose sides"-- I can choose peace and justice and oppose both Saddam Hussein and the Bush-Halliburton takeover of Iraq.

As for the mandatory ritual weeping I am supposed to do for the ex-military guards who deliberately went to a war zone in exchange for big bucks, I think my sympathy is more directed to the children who die each day because the US government chooses to spend hundreds of billions on weapons, and tiny fractions of that on fighting hunger and disease around the world.

That doesn't mean that anyone deserved to die, but the question is why these four deaths merited front page sympathy, yet the literally tens of thousands of other deaths occuring the same day didn't. People were outraged by Kos's stated indifference, yet the thundering silence of indifference every day to deaths from disease and poverty around the world is far more striking.

If the rightwing really cared about the death of innocents-- the rhetoric they use to justify the Occupation of Iraq-- they would be far more excited about the millions of AIDS deaths, the children dying of malaria, those dying of hunger, and so on.

But their outrage is usually selective. Show me a warhawk who wants to spend as much money fighting AIDS in Africa as occupying Iraq, and I'll show you a pro-war person I can respect. Otherwise, it's all rhetoric.

Posted by Nathan at April 3, 2004 01:55 AM