69 million page views

The blame game, my concern

Reader comment on item: Obama's Leftist Conundrum

Submitted by Gary Josephson (United States), Nov 29, 2011 at 07:55

The distinctions of left and right are forever places for comment. My own distinctions are that the center includes a democratic left and a democratic right both of which I agree with on certain points. Mr. Pipes I consider as a member of this as a democratic rightist and I style myself a member of the democratic left.

What is disconcerting, most of all, is the attack by both left and right on legitimate government policy, not by criticizing the policy, but by maligning the other side typically with fears of the slippery slope. The right identifies within any government action the shibboleth of Communism even though our constitution identifies "promoting the general welfare" as a legitimate goal. The left identifies within any government action that the state machinery is part of a capitalist/fascism relation where every activity is seen a plot to steal and fill private pockets with stolen wealth.

My own slippery slope fears are that we resemble more and more Weimer Republic of pre-Hitler Germany with no respect for the central government from either side and with a "real" authoritarianism waiting patiently in the wings. Mr. Pipes' statement regarding his belief that Obama hates America is simply stupid and incendiary hate language meant to appeal to a low common denominator as indicated by some of the hep heps by some responders. I think better of Mr. Pipes and see this as a lapse into perhaps a past era.

As a leftist (democratic) I could also slip into this sloganeering. I remember chanting about Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon just a few years ago. The following is a slightly edited post I made on Mother Jones responding to Israel hatred which I hope adds to the dialogue and solutions.

(This was written to respond to a post(s) at "Mother Jones" Magazine that began as a response to a Romney article by Asawin Suebsaeng and expresses both my views and a policy recommendation)

Asawin Suebsaeng's quote alluding to his own perhaps closeted hate in objecting to Romney's "unambiguously pro-Israel" stance is what I object to. This I like about Romney. That's what tells me he is still in touch with America's better values. On the other extreme are my old and new left friends who kiss up to the racism and hate of 90% of the rest of the Middle East crowd. The left continues to think the Hitler like-values of the "street" in this part of the world are democratic and can be adjusted and liberalized and the "west" is just without values in failing to recognize these "oppressed peoples".

The actual Middle East is better compared with the old south where blacks might occasionally be tolerated, but only if they have no rights. The street Arab is like the poor whites of the south manipulated and used especially in war and hate campaigns when Jews and Israel are involved and their elites feel threatened. Germany and Japan unfortunately required a war and occupation before this enemy was defeated. To reconstruct Iraq properly was the failure of democracy, not the War (why are we leaving?).

(next post)

This kissing up to hate and authoritarians under the guise of being a peacenik or liberal will not create peace or a liberal environment where people can thrive. Did you miss WWII? You miss the real authoritarian enemies of peace to not understand the requirement that the left needs to adopt an "unambiguously pro-Israel" clarity or be sucked up like Stalin into thinking his main enemy was Churchill and the West at least until the Hitler invaded. "If only Israel would accommodate" argument is simply the "Munich" of our times.

Perhaps Romney is like Churchill, a conservative who was wrong about most everything, except on Hitler. Churchill spoke early about what few others, left or right, understood and that was the main enemy was the German hate regime and the need to stand up early to avoid a world war as the correct alternative to war. Yes, a smaller war to avoid a potentially larger one. (Bush had this in mind in Iraq) I voted for Obama because, at least in his words, he clearly seemed to know that Iran was the real issue for international peace, not Israel.

Obama and Bush both thought that the people of the Middle East are democratically capable, probably Romney thinks the same and so do I. These efforts should be complimented and encouraged, but the solution required is an "unambiguously pro-Israel" stance because if you can't see what that clearly speaks to, then may I suggest to the "American street" you should ask those who claim democratic credentials and do not support Israel to be seen as what they are. Perhaps, a fifth column of hate, dupes, shills of Autocrats, or simply wolves in sheep's clothing. Israel is not above criticism, but taking an "unambiguously pro-Israel" stance is the touchstone to finding a democratic pulse.

(next post)

In the United States private lands can be seized provided there is compensation. This "apartheid" you talk of is false. This situation is more like the "East Prussians" The Soviet government relocated them all in order to provide no more excuses for starting wars from a population proven to have been largely devoted to hate and killing.

We should not follow their approach exactly, but the American approach. The Palestinians are hostages first of their own elites, then their neighboring fair weather supporters who keep them enslaved as diversionary propaganda pawns, Finally they are hostages to views, like your own, that describe Israeli's defense in terms which are patently unfair and hide either your own hate or just an ignorance of the real facts on the ground on the intolerance of Israel's neighbors and their equipping this population with either hate or weapons while the "good" world turns a blind eye in order to continue the flow of oil or the real threats to peace like Iran.

If these hostages had a vote they would come to the United States, or move to Europe and only a few would move to countries dominated by their brethren. I propose we rescue them. In your mind it would be from the Israelis, in my mind it would be from the hate regimes they live under. Does it really matter?

We have open space in the US. Most, if relieved of their entrapment would decide to live peaceful lives. But the world continues to fund refugee camps and guns in order to prevent resettlement, compensation or agreements that could bring a lasting peace in short order. Your assumption is that most of these people want to stay there. Most really just want to leave, but you won't let that happen because it would disagree with who you want to blame. The blame game is the real route to war because it is usually based on a lie.

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me; I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This may not always be America in deed, but it is a worthwhile solution to all concerned.

(I added afterwards)

In the quote from the sonnet I should have included the even more on-point preceding phrasing: "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! "Emma Lazarus, 1883 - Since I'm older I also realize that some may not know this is a poem is at the base of the Statute of Liberty.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to The blame game, my concern by Gary Josephson

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)