Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Planet

The antidote to Code Pink available at the PoliStew Cafe Store.

As I was refilling the salt & pepper shakers, the TV was on. Pundits, Code pinkers, politicians and all the rest had something to say. None of them were even listening to the other... or could. It's combat by soundbite right now, and the problem is when it's thrust in the face of those they want to take on. It's not so much to elighten one's own perspective, but often it's more for a play at power, a chance to take out your frustrations.

We're not all going to agree, and it doesn't warrant calling people names. Especially now, when the Code Pinkers have taken to using old stereotypical words, first dredged out in the 1960's when the Vietnam Vets came home. "Liars, uneducated, idiot, killer, baby killers," these are all ways to demean someone. I could also say the same about those on the other side. Commie, pinko, wimp traitor. These aren't words meant to encourage dialogue either. But I want to stay on this issue of soldiers.

Sometimes it's the press that wants to taint you with ink-stained kindness. There's no better example than in the patriarchal attitude in an editorial in the Berkeley Daily Planet by Becky O'Malley.

What she meant to say was, "Support our troops." But she ended up taking a lengthy detour and patronizing them all. Especially, one local recruiter.

"Captain Lund, I strongly suspect, is intelligent enough to realize that invading Iraq had very little connection with the problem it purported to solve, the attack by al Qaeda on the World Trade Center. I’d bet that like most Americans he knows by now that Osama bin Laden is alive and well and living in Afghanistan, and that we’ll never be able to catch him as long as our troops are tied down by the pointless exercise in Iraq."
Suspects? Yeah, Becky. I'd bet he's intelligent enough to know a lot of things. But as long as we're on the topic, did you ask? Why assume anything? Then again, he might not share his personal views with you. He is, after all, a representative of the US Army, a soldier for this nation. His Commander in Chief is the President of The United States, and it's policy that a lot of these guys just don't shoot off their mouths to people they know who already have made judgments against them.

It's a bizarre recommendation for supporting the troops. As a writer, she's annoying because she tries to please everyone. As a journalist, she does something fatal: she drifts.

This editor tries to act
as a scale of balance. Code Pink balanced by an honest military recruiter. Ehren Watada is mentioned, though as she says, he's no pacifist (meaning, he'll shoot if he has to). She drags in the history of military leaders speaking the truth, and fifty black soldiers in WWII who refused to unload munitions at Port Chicago. She points out that in this country four ethnic groups are always trying to kill one another. And at the end, she tries to pull it all together by telling the reader how impressed a visitor from Spain was because many houses displayed their flag (what she didn't tell the visitor, was that a lot of these were probably conservatives).

As long as she brought up her feelings that the US is becoming an increasingly policed nation, she might as well suck it up and look at what MoveOn tried to do to suppress free speech by writing C&D letters claiming trademark infringement to both Google and CafePress. They won with Google. But not with CafePress. The legal team at CafePress took the right stand by allowing shop owners to continue to post anti-MoveOn merchandise using their name. They understood it was parody, and that what her beloved MoveOn really wanted wasn't freedom, but control. That they did it by threatening litigation and closing off with the names of their lawyers (right there in Berkeley) is not only slick, it's repugnant. And this is the junk you won't find in the Berkeley Planet.

MoveOn and CodePink don't stand for all Dems or those who believe in peace (they're hardly buddhist in their approach), just as the religious right doesn't stand for all Repubs or those who support the military.
I've come to realize that will tear us apart as a nation is if we keep giving those with mean sound bites (and lawyers) the power to control through oppression.

Support the troops. That's all she has to say. No explanations, no apologies.

Back to wiping down counters.


No comments:


Free Traffic Counter
Sierra Trading Post Coupons