Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anti-War Human Rights Activist Or Far-Right Racist Lunatic? I Bet You Can't Tell.

"Becky Akers is a freelance writer and historian who lives in New York." That's the tagline at the bottom of an essay in today's Ottawa Citizen that treats readers to a novel argument: Canada has nothing better to do with its time than to somehow come to the aid of both the tragically deranged jihad-boy Omar Khadr and the United States Constitution.

There's a laughing-stock weirdness to that. Why the hell should Canadians care nothing about our Afghan friends, but we should care deeply about some drippy Yank's eccentric reading of her dang constitution? There is also this gem: I don't know about you, but I would object if Afghanistan schemed to install an administration friendly to its interests in my country; it's reasonable that Afghans object when America does it to them. We'd probably also call our fellow citizens who battled the occupying Afghan army "freedom fighters," not "terrorists."

You should hear the language the vast majority of Afghans use to describe Akers' "freedom fighters." It would make your blood curdle. The word "terrorist" doesn't even come close.

You should also forgive yourself if you thought Akers is just another one of those dreary old bores who fancy themselves to be "left wing." After all, this particular bimbo eruption is of precisely the sort that is ubiquitous on the so-called "anti-war" left in this country. But Akers is in fact a far-right, drooling bigot ("Wetbacks!" "Chinks!") who says the United States shouldn't even have a standing army, let alone deploy its army in defence of such undeserving foreigners as Afghans. She can be found at all the usual places - LewRockwell, Counterpunch - vomiting out all the usual gibberish. Look it up yourself if you want. I'm not linking.

Which reminds me. Who uttered this slobbering racist gibberish: "We all have to go one day, but pray God let it not be over Afghanistan. An unspeakable country filled with unspeakable people, sheepshaggers and smugglers. . . I yield to none in my sympathy to those prostrate beneath the Russian jackboot, but if ever a country deserved rape it's Afghanistan.'"

Enoch "Rivers of Blood" Powell? Canada's homegrown racist demagogue Paul Fromm? Neither. It was that suave and sophisticated "left-wing" journalist and bon vivant Alexander Cockburn.

If it isn't obvious to you by now, my point is that there is no substantive or objective difference between what gibbering, far-right anti-gummint Yankee whackjobs have to say about Afghanistan and what Canada's self-flattering "left wing," "anti-war" langers have to say about Afghanistan.

Their polemics are interchangable. They share the same position. Like I pointed out the other day, reactionary scum are reactionary scum, the world round.


Blogger dmurrell said...

Terry: a good expose. CounterPunch I would think is a left-wing publication -- with a history of occasional anti-Semitic commentary. The mag does include a few token libertarian contributions. Looking at the LewRockwell site -- it's ultra-libertarian, but not of the anti-Semitic "paleoconservative" variety (Pat Buchanan; Eric Margolis).

As a mostly-conservative writer, I am suspicious of pure libertarianism. More so than LewRockwell (which I never heard of before), the Cato Institue leads the libertarian opposition to the Afghan mission. For me, the most sickening sight is seeing CTV News hosts interview spokespeople from the Cato Institute -- railing against the Afghan mission. As you say, it is impossible to differentate the rhetoric from either camp.

Ultra-libertarians often dominate discussion at the two national conferences held nationally in Canada: CIVITAS and Preston Manning's conference. Speaking to them one on one, one is left with the impression that human rights concerns are a blind spot with them. Another blind spot with them is any concern about the poor. I think there is an interconnection here to be explored.

Fortunately, libertarianism has not caught hold. What is the percentasge of the total vote garnered by the Freedom Party? Liberarian parties are fringe parties -- and reading Becky Akers, I can see why. By the way, the Akers piece is poorly written: shrill and overheated writing to be sure.
-- David Murrell

5:24 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Good points, David.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Aymenn Jawad said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Langers unwelcome. No patience.

5:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home