November 11, 2005

Something the French should consider

Via the Corner:

Paralyzed French officials complain of "unfair" media attention (welcome to the reality club, Pierre). Yet, hardly two months ago the French media celebrated the suffering in New Orleans — ignoring the brave response of millions of Americans to Hurricane Katrina to concentrate exclusively on the Crescent City's lower 9th ward and one nutty, incompetent mayor.

Utterly devoid of self-awareness, the French cherish their image of America as racist. But minorities in the United States have opportunities for which their French counterparts would risk their lives. Our problem is that demagogues convince the poorest of our poor to give up on getting ahead. In France, the non-white poor never have a chance of any kind.

France has no Colin Powell or Condi Rice, no minority heading the equivalent of a Fortune 500 company, no vibrant minority political culture. When Americans who adore la vie en France go to Paris (the intelligentsia's Orlando), they don't visit the drug-and-crime-plagued slums. If tourists encounter a Moroccan or a Senegalese "Frenchman," he's cleaning up the sidewalks after the dogs of the bourgeoisie.

Willfully blind to reality, liberals continue to praise the racist culture of France by citing the Parisian welcome for Josephine Baker or the Harlem jazz musicians in the 1920s. But the French regarded those few as exotic pets. The test is how they treat the millions of immigrant families whose members don't play trumpets in bars or sell their flesh in strip clubs.

There is no Western country more profoundly racist than France. …Does anyone really believe that the country that enthusiastically handed over more of its Jewish citizens to the Nazis than the Nazis asked for is going to treat brown or black Muslims as equals?

Meanwhile, the Chirac government is stunned. Its members truly believed that supporting Arab and African dictators and defying America's efforts to liberate tens of millions of Muslims would buy safety from the 5 million immigrants and their children who have not the slightest hope of a decent future. …

Desperate apologists for France's apartheid system claim that the present uproar is merely about youthful anger, that Muslim fundamentalism isn't in play. Just wait. Islamist extremists aren't stupid. Thrilled by this spontaneous uprising, they'll move to exploit the fervor of the young to serve their own ends.

Expect terror. Whether the current violence ebbs tonight or lasts for weeks to come, the uprising of the excluded and oppressed in the streets of France has only begun.

Just a little nugget to keep in mind the next time we're lectured when a Rodney King-type incident occurs.

Posted by Hube at November 11, 2005 07:05 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I've never understood the right-wing's delusional belief that the USA left has a special ideological fondness for the French. I've seen no evidence of it anywhere. There was some fellow-feeling when the French bravely said that they would veto the USA's proposed UN resolution to attack Iraq before the inspections were finished. But that's about it in recent memory.

If anything, the USA left has done nothing but condemn France on many fronts--helping to arm Israel w/ nukes, its mass murder of many Algerian people, its widespread practice of academic censorship (something I think you right-wingers should like about them), it’s economic rape of Hati, etc.

I suspect that the equation of the French w/ the USA left in the twisted logic of the USA right must go like this: The French sometimes get up in the face of the USA and point out its criminality. Because the American left does the same thing, the American left must love the French & excuse their many vices.

That's a fallacy, of course. But, then, the right-wing has never let anything like fallacious reasoning get in the way of making a cheap smear.

[Web address deleted. You're free to comment if you follow our groundrules, but spare us -- and everyone -- your site address. You've lost that privilege, such that it is, at this site. And you know why, too. No free advertising on OUR bandwidth.] -- Admin.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at November 12, 2005 12:22 AM

"Web address deleted. You're free to comment if you follow our groundrules, but spare us -- and everyone -- your site address. You've lost that privilege, such that it is, at this site. And you know why, too. No free advertising on OUR bandwidth.] -- Admin"

Oh, what a frightened, petty little bunch you are. You have removed the link to my blog because of an article YOU wrote, an article that was inaccurate in many respects and much of which was answered by me elsewhere (Down w/ Absolutes) as Hube knows perfectly well.

Just to show you how petty you all are: the post by Hube you reference above about me he never told me about until long after he posted it. That was quite cowardly, since it never gave me an opportunity to respond before it got archived on your site, making any reply I might make unlikely to be read by your readers. Quite cowardly indeed.

But before the “administration” of this site disappears this comment by me like the 2,000 plus Costa Rican "police" officers trained at the terrorist training camp called the School of Americas have disappeared indigenous persons in the Talamanca forest region of Costa Rica throughout the 1980s up until 1993 (denied, of course, by the Costa Rican government but cleverly so by denying that the indigenous groups even exist, although missionaries from the USA work w/ the comparatively few that remain alive)—again before you disappear this comment, I will give you Hube a chance to prove publicly that I am the pseudo-intellectual that you claim me to be:

I CHALLENGE YOU TO A FORMAL, MODERATED PUBLIC DEBATE. Here’s the topic: Has the USA shown an evenhanded foreign policy approach to Israel and the Palestinians? Or it could be some other Israel/Palestinian topic that we disagree on. All that is negotiable as well as the format. I bet we could get someone to sponsor the debate (perhaps the Delaware Press Association). We could hold it in a public place, advertise it on our blogs & other DE Blogs if possible, etc. What do you say, Hube? If I am the pseudo intellectual you say I am, it should be a piece of cake, right?

Oh, I’m making a copy of this comment—actually everything on this comment page. And if everything I’ve written disappears including this challenge, it will be appear on my blog.

Also, you all can comment on my blog anytime you wish and provide a link to your site. I WANT people to read your site. I consider it to be exhibit A.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at November 12, 2005 11:18 PM

I've never understood the right-wing's delusional belief that the USA left has a special ideological fondness for the French.

It is because they often come into agreement about America and Americana, witness the recent U.N. debacle in which the French were the leaders while the American Left were its cheerleaders: "The U.N. is great!"

One can go throughout history and find that the tribalism typical to fascists somehow comports well with the collectivism or "multiculturism" typical to the Left, as fascism is merely socialism's heretical branch.

So very often they somehow come into an agreement. E.g. the American Left comes to be on the side of Indians based on their adherence to the Rousseauian myth of the noble savage, and the fascist French were too:

The French and Indians had displayed enormous cruelty in decid ing whom to kill and whom to capture. Children age two and under were slain at an exceptionally high rate and those between three and twelve at a somewhat lower one, while all of the older children sur vived. It seems the French and Indians were making judgments about which villagers would be able endure a forced march through the wintertime wilderness to Canada and which might slow them down. They had designated the weakest and most vulnerable mem bers of the Deerfield community for death—and they did not think twice about slaughtering infants. Leaving the little ones behind for others to rescue does not seem to have entered their thinking.
Many of the captives faced a similarly grim fate. In the first three days of the march, the French and Indians killed nine of their pris oners, including “a suckling child” and three elderly women.’ One of the victims was Eunice Williams, the minister’s wife. During the trek, she fell into a river and injured herself, thus becoming a liability to the raiders. “The cruel and bloodthirsty savage who took her slew her with his hatchet at one stroke,” wrote her husband of the incident. Her body was abandoned, leaving the Reverend Williams to pray that somehow “she might meet with a Christian burial and not be left for meat to the fowls of the air and beasts of the earth.” (His wish was granted: Searchers recovered her body a few days later and buried it in the Deerfield graveyard.) In all, some twenty-one captives perished during the journey north. One of them was the pregnant Mary Brooks, murdered after she slipped on the ice and miscarried her child. Another was a four- year-old girl, whose Indian porter had struggled under the weight in the deep snow and decided his pack was more important than the child. By the middle of April, a full six weeks later, the survivors at last reached New France.
(Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France
By John Miller and Mark Molesky :16-17)

Given the philosophical similarities between fascism and the modern form of socialism (that has its roots in the French Revolution) it is only a matter of going through history and pointing out examples of how Leftists and Fascists are similar in sharing the same root of philosophic Naturalism. Every Fascist party came from the socialist parties of the Left as a result of sharing the same foundation, Fascism is merely Socialism's heretical branch. So the American Left tends to come into agreement with France, no matter its fascist tendencies, just as your Green tendencies share their counterpart in the Nazi notion of the Blood and the Soil. (These principles have been divorced from the original Christian form of gardening a Garden.)

Similarly, fascists are more honest to philosophic naturalism in divorcing Marxism from its false clinging to Christian charity. Their reply to Leftist sniveling that the poor lil' poor are poor is: "So what? It's a scientific fact that we are brutes, does Nature care?" It is curious, what would you say to the brutality typical to your heretical branch? Are they not just being "brutally honest" based on the same false philosophy of naturalism that you also adhere to?

Posted by: mynym at November 12, 2005 11:40 PM

mynym, that is almost pure sophistry. Nazi Germany imprisoned and murdered German leftists, they abolished unions, and the "noble" excuse they gave for invading countries was to save them from communism. If anything, that sounds like a page taken from the foreign poicy of the USA in the Americas.

Now this is a hoot: "One can go throughout history and find that the tribalism typical to fascists somehow comports well with the collectivism or "multiculturism" typical to the Left"

There's a family resemblance between fascism and mutliculturalism, you say? Yes, the fascists showed a remarkable multicultural tolerance for Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, handicapped persons, etc.--all of whom the murdered in the millions...mostly the Jews.

Those are facts. I'm afraid your speculative and tenuous links among naturalism, Native Americans, and Rousseauian tribalism won't compete w/ those facts.

I'm still trying to discover what this deep and abiding link is that is supposed to exist between the American left and the French.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at November 13, 2005 12:54 AM

Dana: In a word, "pshaw."

You say Just to show you how petty you all are: the post by Hube you reference above about me he never told me about until long after he posted it. That was quite cowardly, since it never gave me an opportunity to respond before it got archived on your site, making any reply I might make unlikely to be read by your readers. Quite cowardly indeed.

This is, of course, pathetic. Why do I (or anyone else) have to TELL you about a post I make? You frequented this site long enough and the post in question was up on the main page long enough to see. That, and I certainly didn't make any bones about "advertising" it elsewhere in comments. What is "cowardly" is your refusal to address the points made. And on MY blog (or even your own!), where, again, the original point was made. "Never told me about ...." What a friggin' sorry excuse!!

Here's what *I* think: You needed the TIME to somehow -- anyhow -- find something to back up your spurious claim about Costa Rica. How LONG did it take for you to research the supposed Talamanca reference? Where's the link? Where's the supposed proof? *I*, OTOH *provided* such proof, along with back-up from a lefty professor (probably more left than you) who thinks you're quite full of shit. And why did you tell my wife "you may have to RETHINK your stance on Costa Rica"?? Will you deny having said that, now? My wife is a liar too, I suppose.

Did I not E-MAIL you back when asking about your comments about Costa Rica? Did I not give you the COURTESY of that by not commenting publicly -- then, yet -- by asking if you might have been mistaken? Did you not (and not even in your first e-mail reply) ONLY provide a scant reference (a Counterpunch article) about supposed CR "death squads," which was ONLY a sentence that merely included CR along with countries that actually had death squads, like El Salvador and Guatemala? The Talamanca reference was NO WHERE evident then -- or soon thereafter -- in your e-mails or posts. And you yet provide no proof here other than your word.

Oooooh, "challenge me to a debate"? Like you used to do to John Watson all the time? Once again invoking your incredibly over-inflated sense of self-importance? And why the mid-East? Why not Costa Rica, hmm? Wow, you don't like being called a "pseudo-intellectual," is that it? (I actually said "phony intellectual superiority" which actually doesn't demean your intellect -- you're certainly a bright guy -- and if I did say "pseudo intellectual" elsewhere in comments I apologize for the visceral reaction. But the "superiority" is just that -- your myriad statements around the blogosphere denote and/or imply that only YOU have the facts or that YOUR opinion cannot be rationally debated.) Is your ego *that* fragile? Well, if that's ALL you have, I suppose I can understand it. (*I* don't like being called a "poor writer" -- should we take examples of our writing to a professional to have 'em critiqued?)

What *I* don't get is this: *I* extend an olive branch to meet for dinner after numerous [blog] flaming of each other, *I* bring the beers to share with you, we then both write posts saying that meeting in person "calmed the waters" ... yet shortly thereafter there you are commenting (at me) on Colossus calling names and accusing me of making up facts in your typical snide fashion!

I'll consider it. But first, I want to see hard "proof" of the following: the 1976 UN Security Council resolution that set out "the same terms" as the supposed 1980s Arab League proposal of full diplomatic recognition of Israel if they'd pull back to pre-1967 borders. And I mean HARD proof. Proof that's accepted as viable historical FACT. Until I see such, you can forget it -- 'cause there's no way I'll be put into a position where you bring up "facts" (quotes on purpose) that have no basis in reality.

And, certainly, not ever having participated in a formal debate puts me at a distinct disadvantage. (I'm assuming you *have* participated in formal debates.) Why would I want to place myself in such a situation where you have the obvious advantage in that regard? Why not use our blogs, for instance, to debate this (or any other) issue? I'll get Rhodey to guarantee no deletion and/or modification of comments (and I'll even get him to allow your blog addy back in there) or we can do it all on your blog. This will allow us to link to references which make our case/points.

Also, to further forestall your projection of my "belief" that the "US has been 'evenhanded' in its approach to Israel/Palestinians," I never claimed the US was. You have this inherent belief about me (and other cons) that we believe the US can and should be able to get away with whatever it wishes b/c it has the might to do. This couldn't be more false. You may want to consider my recent post about why I'm against the Iraq War.

Posted by: Hube at November 13, 2005 09:32 AM

BTW, Googling, I discovered your Gutman "source" for Talamanca. You paraphrased w/little differentiation. C'mahn -- you can do better than that for "proof" of systematic "death squads" akin to those of other Lat. Am. countries. The "Cobra Commandos" were hardly proven to be gov.-sponsored; indeed, this human rights report states that the actions were committed by "a group of volunteer rural guards."

Posted by: Hube at November 13, 2005 10:23 AM

Twelve of them, by the way.

Posted by: Hube at November 13, 2005 10:24 AM

Hube,

I will give you a longer response later. But let me clear some thing up right away. I didn't know about your post calling me a phony intellectual until you linked it elsewhere...I think on Politakid's site.

There was a period in which I stopped visiting this site. And by the time I visited your post, it was off the main page. And I still hold that when you attack someone personally in a post--calling him a phony intellectual an d making him the subject of the post--you ought to have the courtesy of letting him know.

The "psuedo-intellectual" claim comes from your post about your objection to the Iraq war:

"No, I'm most assuredly NOT turning into a Garrett-esque pseudo-intellectual and hater of everything conservative."

The information about Costa Rica I recalled was, as I believe I explained in one of my e-mails to you, buried. It was. I found it only recently in a filing cabinet.

I will look at the cross references you mentioned above & get back to you.

The reason why I suggested the Israeli/Palestinian debate is because it is an issue people feel strongly about. Debating about Costa Rica doesn’t strike me as compelling. It never crossed my mine for obvious reasons. I don’t believe, and I have never indicated I believe, that Costa Rica has been a particularly outrageous human rights abuser by comparative standards in the Americas. Its record is far better than the USA’s, although that’s hardly a test. So what would a debate about Costa Rica consist of—a ten minute exchange? Hardly very interesting.

As for the idea debating per se. Although I have debated before (it’s been a long time—last time was in the early 80s), I am not trying to set you up. I have been thinking about the idea of public formal debate of issues for some time. I think it would be good for several reasons:

1. It would expand the social & political impact of blogging beyond an online phenomenon.

2. It would be educational for the public. As such it would be a public service.

3. Some people might prefer to hear a debate than merely read one online.

4. It also is a way of elevating debate since it would be formal and someone would officiate/moderate it. Online people can say what they want w/ total impunity.

5. It’s a way for bloggers to get together.

6. And just imagine this: if the bloggers in DE held regular public debates about issues, it would (as far as I can tell) be the first outgrowth of its kind from the world of blogging.

So, no, I have no evil purpose. I just threw out the “even-handed” topic as an idea. It could be some other topic about the Israel/Palestinian issue. But I realize that many people don’t feel comfortable debating publicly. I’m not sure I would about 10 minutes before it began since it’s been such a long time.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at November 13, 2005 04:16 PM

Dana:

Once again, I didn't call you a "phony intellectual" in my post whose link you saw at PK's. I said you were engaging in "phony intellectual superiority." There *is* a difference. And, as I mentioned in my previous comment, if I did call you a "pseudo intellectual" (as I did, apparently), I apologize as the comment was made out of emotion. And I assumed you'd surf (as most DE bloggers do) other DE blogs and see it.

Now Dana -- you first made your claim about Costa Rica on August 7. You said
Does that include CR’s death squads that were responsible for the mass killings and disappearances twenty years ago of peasants, trade unionists, human rights activists, leftists, just about anyone suspected of not toeing the government’s line?

You claimed that you could not post the URLs (plural) that made your case as noted here. OK, that's fine. But then -- the only follow up comes not in a comment on a post, but in an e-mail to me on Aug. 8 where you provided that CounterPunch article link (which I later noted in a post here. This post was made Aug. 14, by the way). And this must be the e-mail to which you're referring where you say The information about Costa Rica I recalled was, as I believe I explained in one of my e-mails to you, buried. It was. I found it only recently in a filing cabinet. You said, also, in that e-mail "I think I might have drawn on that source from memory, but more to follow in the next day or two." Well, two days -- and much more -- elapsed and there was nothing from you!

In the interim, we had met for dinner (posted about here ) on Aug. 10. Hmm, after that amicable meeting, I figured you might actually follow up with your statement of ... following up! You did not, however.

Now, on November 13, you're telling me about the Talamanca incident. I still don't have a link from you; however, my own Googling has disproven it as a basis for your initial statement "...CR’s death squads that were responsible for the mass killings and disappearances twenty years ago of peasants, trade unionists, human rights activists, leftists, just about anyone suspected of not toeing the government’s line You may have commented on this elsewhere earlier, certainly, just to be fair, but I never saw it.

Now, as for the dinner and thinking we had "buried the hatchet," so to speak, our own posts to that effect seem to acknowledge such. Shortly thereafter, we had both made some comments on each other's site and these included, if memory serves, some friendly jabs and such. But we still (at least I thought) were on friendly terms. But then on Aug. 26, on -- you respond with vitriol like the following: I don’t know why it is always necessary to go through this same song & dance w/ right-wingers whenever someone on the left criticizes US foreign policy for blatant hypocrisy. Always w/ these McCarthy-like loyalty oaths. Geez, give it up people. It’s so last spring. among other things (don't forget calling me a "gnome," too). I certainly did not attack you thusly in my previous comments. I was merely asking questions and making points! I don't know -- is it as you said? -- that it's "an issue people feel strongly about" and you felt quite strong about your view? Still, considering how I thought we were on good terms, your responses were hardly in line w/that. And yeah, it pissed me off, frankly. You don't comment like that at other [DE] conservative sites. That's what precipitated, for the most part, my "Pseudo-Intellectual Superiority" post. But being pissed off wasn't what that post was about, of course. The content of that post stands.

It's no crime, and it certainly doesn't lessen your stature, Dana, to admit you made an error, whether it be about Costa Rica or the supposed 1976 UN SC resolution you brought up (which you *still* haven't provided substantiation for, BTW). But, alas, you did say in your last post that CR's human rights abuses are not "particularly outrageous," so I personally consider the matter closed on that.

Maybe it's me. I thought that if people met and reconciled, even despite major (political) differences, decorum would still prevail. But whose responses were visceral in that Iran-Electricity post? Sure, disagree w/me, but don't treat me like a friggin' 6th grader in sorely need of a modern world history education, especially when many of the "facts" you presented are of a dubious nature! But maybe you believe differently. Maybe politics supercedes manners.

OK. My wife has prepared a delicious olla de carne. I must end this. Don't worry, Dana (and you can save this for posterity) -- I consider you quite an eloquent spokesman for your point of view.

More on the possibility of a debate another time.

Posted by: Hube at November 13, 2005 06:39 PM

BTW, Dana: feel free to add your site addy if you comment here further. I spoke w/Rhodey.

Posted by: Hube at November 13, 2005 06:40 PM
There's a family resemblance between fascism and mutliculturalism, you say? Yes, the fascists showed a remarkable multicultural tolerance for Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, handicapped persons, etc.--all of whom the murdered in the millions...mostly the Jews.

All the Fascist parties came out of Leftist/Socialist parties because they are based on the same philosophy. Fascists just believed in doing away with the false remnants of Christianity or the "Jewish influence" that are yet typical to Leftists. For example, the remnants of some concern with Christian charity for the poor in Marxism, as if people who are matter in motion should supposedly care that the poor are poor and so on. The same thing with collectivism, the weak-willed multiculturalist who believes in tribalism cloaked in tolerance is only on the opposite side of the coin of the strong-willed fascist who believes in doing away with the remnants of traditional ethics in favor of letting the brutal root of socialist philosophy be truly consistent and brutally honest. The fascist viewed themselves as taking the root of socialist philosophy and being honest to it. As to the communists and the fascists hating each other and fighting, does the fact that Catholics fought with their heretical branch the Protestants prove that they do not share the same philosophical foundation or tradition? If anything fights over heresy have always been more internecine.

"[W]e should do well to remember that Fascism...considered itself a form of Socialism, freed of humanitarian sentimentalism and Marxist dialectic, truer to fundamental Socialist aims in that it tried to adapt itself to a changing historical reality which the old Marxist interpretation no longer suited.
(Varieties of Fascism: Doctrines of Revolution in the Twentieth Century By Eugen Weber (Princeton, New Jersey, D. Van Nostrand Company Inc.) 1964 :29)

As Hitler said:

"National Socialism derives from each of the two camps the pure idea that characterizes it, national resolution from the bourgeois tradition, [and] vital, creative socialism from the teachings of Marxism," he told an interviewer in 1934. And his one-time disciple Hermann Rauschning wrote that Hitler once said to him:

"I have learned a great deal from Marxism as I do not hesitate to admit...The difference between them and myself is that I have really put into practice what these peddlers and pen-pushers have timidly begun.
The whole of National Socialism is based on it...National Socialism is what Marxism might have been if it could have broken its absurd and artificial ties with a democratic order.'
(Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism
(2002: Encounter Books)
by Joshua Muravchik :164)

It is curious, as one has to wonder what your reply to the Fascists taking Socialism and the moral relativism typical to the Left to its conclusions would be. E.g., "You can't do that. There are still humanitarian standards that the State must be guided by...sure we just make them up by our own conventions but you can't do away with them by changing the conventions because that just doesn't seem right to me. I know I said that morality is relative to culture but you can't change morality with a Kulture Kampf!" The fascists are more philosophically consistent and they are Right that the Left is weak, although they only combine the worst of the Left with the Right.

Posted by: mynym at November 14, 2005 01:01 AM

A public debate sounds interesting. I'd love to come watch that. Go for it, guys!

Posted by: PolitaKid at November 14, 2005 11:45 PM

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