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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

 

Bragging

Billy Bragg has written a song about Rachel Corrie. As you might expect, this has drawn a welter of criticism. The range of purported political position of these critics is, well, depressingly illuminating.

One the one hand we have the extremely popular US blog populated by eliminationist racists; Little Green Footballs. There we find comments celebrating, in the most foul manner, the death of Rachel Corrie. Do not worry, the link does not take you to that hate site, but to the much needed work of LGF Watch.

On the other hand we have the ‘leftists’ of sites such as Harry’s Place, who, as far as I can make out take the right-wing line on pretty much every issue of import; Iraq, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Venezuela, Cuba, Islam, free trade, security laws and so on. They support all these lines from a ‘leftist’ perspective, of course. This perspective, though, seems to be justifying their support of these lines by attacking other ‘leftists’. The targets of these pro-war ‘leftists’ share the quality of being of the left almost without exception; this supposed ‘self’ criticism has moved on only a little from the bragging and braying that presented opponents of the Iraq War as belonging in the ‘dustbin of history’ and as ‘objectively pro-Saddam’ . The exception is made, of course, when the targets are Muslims.

I would have thought that a ‘leftist’ support for any of these right-wing lines of thought and action would be one tempered by a vociferous criticism of the rightists holding the power to act. But these ‘muscular liberals’ and ‘decent leftists’ just do not seem to realise that, while the right holds the power to shape the outcome of these actions, their rhetoric does nothing but lend ‘humanitarian’ legitimation to whatever nightmares are dreamt by Cheney and Rumsfeld and the rest of the former butchers of Latin America, and their heirs and sycophants [and worse], while denying the possibility of effective opposition.

Comments:
What exactly are an "eliminationist racists"?

By slapping the "racist" label on someone you disagree with, you make an ad hominem attack. You ignore what Rachel Corrie was actually protesting, which was the Israeli bulldozing of tunnels used by militants to funnel in arms from Egypt. Is that so evil? The British try to prevent arms from being smuggled onto their shores now. What is so different?

I feel somewhat bad for her. She was brainwashed into believing what she was doing was right, but she was completely misguided. Now she is just a propoganda piece for the Palestinians.
 
As you suggest in your opening paragraph Andrew, I think it's a measure of how rightwing supposed 'liberal' media and opinion has become in this country since Blair was elected, that allows neocons like HP and Hitchens to masquerade as being, in however vestigial a wway, on the left. But it is our mistake if we collude in that fiction.
 
I'm going to disagree with TC, but only tangentially. Liberals/leftists tend to use the term 'racist' to generally mean 'bad'. (Conservatives/rightists also use the word 'commie' or 'socialist' to mean 'bad)

Racism is a specific term that is too often applied when it shouldn't. LGF isn't racist so much as anti-Muslim.

Also, Corrie, IMO, was only guilty of stupidity in expecting special protection in a war zone. How was she doing the Palistinians any favors by allowing herself to get run over by a bulldozer? It's not like they move that fast!
 
'Eliminationist racists' are those who not only despise other demographic groups, but see the 'solution' to this 'problem' be the elimination of these groups, whether by deportation or genocide. The commenters at LGF routinely demonstrate that they are eliminationist racists. For another example, see this post at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller, which calls for, variously, the Afghan people to be drowned, bombed, and nuked out of existence.

Rachel Corrie was preventing the illegal act of collective punishment. It is not analogous to Customs and Excise, but is as if the British Army bulldozed whole villages in Cornwall to prevent smuggling.

As for any comeback saying Muslims are not a race. I have two retorts. First, just what is a race? If you use mock biological criteria then we have already seen through you; seen through a 'scientific' racist, eliminationist or not. Second, read my next blog post, where I argue that these anti-Muslim racists are not simply racists in the mind of the left, but in their own words and imaginations.
 
Andrew Says: "Rachel Corrie was preventing the illegal act of collective punishment. It is not analogous to Customs and Excise, but is as if the British Army bulldozed whole villages in Cornwall to prevent smuggling."

You may be right. Unlike many on the American right, I'm no unequivical supporter of Israel. But, she put her dumb ass in front of a bulldozer in a war zone. Perhaps Rachael understood the consequences, but she isn't helping Palistinians any more.

As for the Idiotarian Rottweiler, if he is American, he isn't alone, not by a long stretch. TC and I's views on Islam are tempered compared to many in the USA.

"What is a race?" An interesting question, from an academic point of view. But if I were to believe there are such a thing as "races" it doesn't make me a "racist" so long I do not believe that a particular "race" is superior to any other.
Racist

 
Whatever else you might think about The Lonesome Death Of Rachel Corrie, it has to be acknowledged it's nothing like as good as the Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll.
 
I did not suggest that it was a very good Billy Bragg song, either
 
I agree with your points about Rachel Corrie's stance and I too abhor her demonization by right-wing elements, who quite frankly are just enjoying the comfort zone that supporting the Israeli government affords them. Easy Politic.

What many people don't "get" about Israeli collective punishment is that it is a contrived method to manufacture terrorists as the Israeli government requires endless war in order to justify its inherent racism and deflect its citizenry from questioning its own internal failures and fractures. It enables left and right to unify.
 
Rachel Corrie got smooshed because she chose to be a terrorist, a slow moving terrorist.
 
Come and check out my collection of Rachel Corrie jokes. http://whypalestiniansgetitwrong.blogspot.com/2006/04/rachel-corrie-jokes-come-and-get-em-i_01.html
 
It appears to me that there is no left - they're all too busy measuring their penises - the real left; the even more real left; I've been on the left for longer than you; my left is lefter than your left blah blah blah
And as for the right... well no change there.
What chance have we got?
 
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