Activism with Eyes Closed
by Doug Payton
Apparently, the "Bush as Hitler" comparison is still alive and well. (Noted by InstaPundit.) It's astounding to me that anyone still spews this and expects anyone to take them seriously.
Playwright Harold Pinter calls the US government the most dangerous power that ever existed. I would say he's right, but not in the way he intends. Any massive power can be dangerous. The potential is always there, and the United States is arguably the most powerful nation in the history of the world. That's dangerous power if improperly wielded. What Pinter considers "dangerous" is that the US want to be the superior military force on the planet. However, 1) that's entirely reasonable given that we're the most prosperous and free, and thus the most demonized and most threatened, country on the planet, and 2) it would be insanely foolish to "strive" to be #2 on the planet and then trust to luck that whoever winds up #1 is our friend. Given the lay of the military land, it's probable that we'd be friendly with the new emergent #1, but why roll the dice with national security?
Earth to Mr. Pinter: We're already de facto #1 and 9/11 still happened. Excuuuuuse me if we decide we'd rather that not happen anymore.
And to call the Guantanamo Bay detention center a "concentration camp" is liberal hyperbole at its finest. Gas chambers? Anywhere? The ovens at Gitmo are being used, as it turns out, to fatten up the detainees, not incinerate them! They're living better there than they were in Afghanistan. And yet this is comparable to some Nazi death camp?
Blair is a mass-murderer? For doing what, preventing civilian casualties by Saddam Hussein that would be two orders of magnitude worse than those that occurred during the Iraq war? I did some googling for
"'harold pinter' hussein condemn", and found:
- Pinter, along with a number of others in February of 1998, complaining that sanctions were hurting Iraqi citizens (and now we know why; not because of the sanctions themselves but because of the mismanagement at the UN)
- A notation on a communist party web site about Pinter supporting an anti-sanctions demonstration in August of 2000, as well as a letter cosigned by him denouncing what was being done in Iraq due to sanctions (never mind the raping of women and misdirection of oil-for-food money).
- A speech given by Mr. Pinter in which he makes boatloads of unsubstantiated statements, and then delivers the preposterous line "The planned war against Iraq is in fact a plan for premeditated murder of thousands of civilians in order, apparently, to rescue them from their dictator." ("Apparently", the civilian war casualties which prevented the continuation of thousands upon thousands of murders done by the Hussein regime wasn't a good enough reason for Mr. Pinter. And this line comes after one where he accuses the US of only caring about US deaths and ignoring others. Mirror, Mr. Pinter?)
- A mention in The Guardian (March 18, 2003) on how readers can add their name to an anti-war petition called "A Manifesto for Peace & Progress", co-signed by Harold Pinter.
- A quote from Mr. Pinter blaming America for 9/11. "The atrocity in New York was predictable and inevitable. It was an act of retaliation against constant and systematic manifestations of state terrorism on the part of America over many years, in all parts of the world." Also, compared to Hussein, whose atrocities we're discovering were even worse than we knew, Bush is the world's worst leader.
- A poem denouncing "The Yanks in their
armored parade" as they march off to war with Iraq. (Thing is, if you remove all references to America, the poem would more closely resemble Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Consider that.)
...and on and on. Most articles dealt with Mr. Pinter's opposition to the war and/or the sanctions during the previous years. In a few cases, his words appeared on Communist Party or pro-Jihad web sites. In some cases, bloggers try to defend him by parroting back dire predictions about the war that never came true or attempting to impugn the motives of the President. (One even called Hussein's Iraq "a nation at peace". That's one tortured definition of the word "peace.)
The salient point is this: I perused the Top 40 of the results from
Google, and in none of these hits was the word "condemn" ever used in relationship to Saddam Hussein. Pinter points fingers at the US, Great
Britain, and anyone else who would dethrone a murderous dictator and ruin Iraq's state of alleged "peace". He never once, in condemning foreign governments, condemned the one actually killing thousands of people over the course of decades, or that actually went to war over (Kuwaiti) oil. He saved his worst criticisms for leaders who, among other things, saved the Iraqi citizenry from further atrocities, all the while magnanimously claiming to care about innocent deaths around the world.
His compassion stops where his politics starts, and that's unfortunately the definition of elite liberalism.