Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Am Glad I Live In a Country

Where Mr. Greenwald is free to say pretty much whatever he pleases.


Lumpy Lang said...

"Why are you assuming that 'serving US interests' is the only goal, or even a desirable one?"

Please answer! And while you're at it, doesn't the US ruling class have 'interests' rather strikingly divergent from those of the general population?

mahakal said...

He doesn't live in this country, Drifty. He lives in Brazil.

Anonymous said...

Because I was born in this country, live in this country, pay taxes in this country and will probably do so the rest of my life. So this country's interests are my contemptible pair of cretins!
Go join Greenwald in Rio if you don't like it....
Look him up...tell him you are part of his loyal army of moonbat stooges and would like a place to stay...
Enjoy his horse laugh as he slams the door of mansion in your face.
Oh and by the way, he did answer the question...right there in that sentence..idiots:
"I am glad to live in a country, where Mr. Greenwald is pretty much free to say whatever he pleases"
Do you even have the slightest idea what you sound like at this point? You are defending the indefensible.
Snowdens father was on television last week pleading for him to stop talking!
If all that is not enough of an answer for you, please enjoy the freedom to kiss the fattest part of my ass!!

P.S. Drifty...I have been reading you for many years. These trolls are not contributing to any debate at this point and you know it. They are just trolling. Please filter them out. Nobody with anything meaningful to say is going to comment anymore if you don't.

prof_fate said...

Hey, love it or leave it! Right, driftglass?

gcwall said...

The assumption that US interests can be expressed in a monolithic fashion is false.

The direction of a few is often harmful to many. If intelligent and rational leaders made humane and practical choices, there would be much less hatred, violence and fear. There is little reason to look toward dishonest self-serving leaders for knowledge and guidance.

There are a plethora of ideas concerned with which are in the best interest of America and most of them are wrong. Making the trains run on-time is not the brightest light, if one is bargaining for peace and fairness.

Lumpy Lang said...

"He doesn't live in this country, Drifty. He lives in Brazil."

and your point is...?

gratuitous said...

I guess I'd go behind Lovett's serious question and ask, "How did revealing information about US efforts to monitor Chinese communications to the American people serve US interests?"

Because I'll bet a shiny nickel the Chinese were and are pretty aware of US efforts to monitor their communications. Most of the pants-wetting I've seen anent Snowden is over the fact that he brought so much of this - known pretty widely in other parts of the world - to the attention of the people paying the bills for it.

mahakal said...

Do you have a reading defect, Limpy?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Sheesh. Read for comprehension, people.

The line was "I live in a country" not where GG lives.

And the LL assumption here is that driftglass disagrees with Greenwald's tweet.

The Greenwaldoes have decided that driftglass is a heretic, and by criticizing GG on SOME things, must necessarily oppose him on ALL things.

Because in a Manichean worldview, you are either 100% pure or 100% evil.

prof_fate said...

"[L]oyal army of moonbat stooges"?

Either Anon at 12:39 AM is a masterful parody troll, or your screeds are attracting a really lovely class of commenters.

mahakal said...

Apparently we don't have a lot of "readers" left here. Between LL and ZRM, I can't find two brain cells to rub together sometimes.

What DG said was, "I Am Glad I Live In a Country ... Where Mr. Greenwald is free to say pretty much whatever he pleases."

Mr. Greenwald is not free to say whatever he pleases in this country, because he is not in this country at all. Capice?

Lumpy Lang said...

And please address the question of whose interests, exactly, are meant by "U.S. interests"?

Droneglass must know - since loyally protecting these "interests" seems to be the premise for his hatred of Manning, Assange, and now Snowden.

Let's hear it!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Hey now. I'm not a stooge, I'm a minion.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Mr. Greenwald is not free to say whatever he pleases in this country, because he is not in this country at all. Capice?

Nicely quibbled.

Between LL and ZRM, I can't find two brain cells to rub together sometimes.

LOL. Look who's talking.

mahakal said...

Quibble? If I said I'm sure glad I live in a state where Driftglass can safely access legal medical cannabis, would it make sense? I submit that it would not, since Driftglass lives in Illinois, not California.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

If I said I'm sure glad I live in a state where Driftglass can safely access legal medical cannabis, would it make sense?

If driftglass was visiting in your state, it sure would.

Does it seem weird that the intent of the post was pretty clear to everyone except you?

mahakal said...

Actually, no, if DG was visiting in my state, he wouldn't be allowed to use medical cannabis. You have to be a resident with a California doctor's recommendation.

And if Glenn were visiting the US, maybe he'd be allowed to speak freely, or maybe he'd be investigated and potentially charged with some crime for his Snowden articles. So maybe he wouldn't feel so free to say whatever he wants.

prof_fate said...

It doesn't matter whether driftglass agrees with Greenwald's tweet.

Whether he agrees or not, "I am glad I live in a country where [X] is free to say that" is still one of the moldiest tricks in the book. Whenever I've seen that rhetorical device employed, it was being used to insinuate that -- unlike the speaker -- [X] doesn't fully appreciate his freedom. It's both condescending and textbook passive-aggressive. Why use this formulation, when "Greenwald is right (for once)" would have conveyed his agreement just as well?

I also recall that on at least one recent occasion, I have seen our host come right out and accuse Greenwald of hating America. Unless you can find some other plausible way to interpret "[Greenwald's] boilerplate narrative of America's deep moral failings". The obvious implication is that Greenwald hates this country.

As a matter of fact, I find Greenwald's all-too-frequent dickishness in response to critics pretty off-putting, too. I think it gets in the way of the story and prevents him from achieving his full potential. I don't believe anyone, even driftglass -- whom I've admired and been quite vocal about my admiration for him in threads here and at the Whiskey Bar and the News Blog for... what? a decade or more now? -- should be immune from criticism. (No kidding.)

At the same time, I've learned about a lot of things from reading Greenwald, many of which, strangely, seem to have slipped off the radar in progressive and leftist circles after Obama's election. With all his faults and (very) occasional fuckups, I've still gotten much more of actual value to me as a citizen from Greenwald than I've ever gotten from driftglass.

My problem with what goes on here is that, aside from the times when our host's interpretation of a Greenwald post seems to originate in his back molar fillings, a goodly chunk of what's called Greenwald's "dickishness" seems to consist of questions that make some people very uncomfortable.

When driftglass goes after the likes of Brooks or Friedman or Sullivan, it's always been with the grace and elan of a fencing master, and with the saving grace of good humor. But when it comes to Greenwald, it's almost invariably with the sort of venom, strawman-beating. willful twisting of words and sledgehammer subtlety more appropriate to a ham-handed state prosecutor at a show trial.

Not someone who's claims only to want a "spirited debate".

For instance, a debate isn't photoshopping a drone onto the Battle of Gettysburg. If we're going to talk about the Civil War, here's an analogy which comes a hell of a lot closer to the true situation: If you think sending a Hellfire missile through Jeff Davis' window would have solved anything, especially if you also incinerated some of his family or innocent bystanders, you're completely delusional.

Lumpy Lang said...

Yeah! That creepy post with the drone over Gettysburg... that's when I realized quantity had turned to quality; a pronounced rightward shift was happening. Thanks, prof, for the reminder of that turning point.

prof_fate said...


I'm nowhere near willing to call driftglass a right-winger. I know there are lots of things on which we agree, but, obviously, a couple of very important things on which we disagree. I don't understand precisely why Greenwald evokes this kind of response from him, but I refuse to speculate about it. And it's most likely a fool's errand to try to change his mind.

It's just that, the more I thought about it -- and of course long after the thread itself was dead, just like this one will soon be, if it isn't already -- the more I realized the Gettysburg scenario was so wrong, in so many ways.

Leaving aside the fact that the argument has never been about the battlefield use of drones, the faulty assumptions begin with the notion that only the North would have drones. It's true the South was handicapped by the lack of a manufacturing base, but that doesn't mean they couldn't produce things which were (for their day) high-tech.

For that matter, Britain, which came very close to intervening on the side of the South, was even more high-tech capable than the North. And they supplied the South with state-of-the-art weaponry, via the blockade runners.

I don't think it's at all beyond the bounds of possibility that if Lincoln had drones and decided to use them for assassinating military and political leaders in the South, British public opinion would have forced their government to supply the South with drones, too. Especially if he'd conducted his drone campaign with as little apparent regard for collateral damage as Obama.

People back in those days were kind of funny about civilian casualties, at least, if they involved white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. It might even have pushed the British into declaring war. Especially if, say, the drone operator who sent that Hellfire missile through Jeff's parlor window didn't know the British Consul and his wife were having tea with President and Mrs. Davis ...

Which would have broken the blockade and prolonged the war indefinitely. Who knows: Combined British/Confederate forces might well have reclaimed the lower Mississippi, too. So much for saving Union lives, huh?

prof_fate said...

To continue:

My gut feeling is that Lincoln would have had major reservations about institutionalized assassination. Particularly since he was on the receiving end of several attempts himself -- likely by free-lancers -- before the one that succeeded. But of course, we'll never know.

I'm skeptical that even if only the North, which was already close to maxed out in military capacity and manpower, had drones, they could have maintained enough of them to make that much of a dent in a rebellion involving millions of people.

Even taking out Robert E. Lee wouldn't have ended the war. It might even have made the Confederate soldiers fight that much harder. Having a cannonball clip Bobby Lee's head off on the battlefield would have been accepted as a chance of war, but assassinating him far from the front line, especially if it involved "collateral damage", would have been regarded as an act of inhuman cowardice. They'd still have lost in the end, of course, but it's not at all clear that it would prevented that many casualties.

And then there's the Reconstruction. Look, I've spent most of my life in the South, where "the past isn't over -- it's not even past". (Thankfully, that's changing, though not quickly enough for my taste.)

It's a near-certainty that if the North had tried to enforce Reconstruction using drones -- and why wouldn't they? -- it would have made the Klan immeasurably more powerful, likely caused even more bloodshed and left even more bitterness when it ended. Horrible as the post-Reconstruction South was, can you imagine the kind of poisonous atmosphere the former slaves would have lived in during and after a prolonged drone campaign? Drones couldn't have protected them, and they would have borne the brunt of their white neighbors' fury.

But I guess it's much more fun to mess around with Photoshop a little and think you've made a clever argument. Repercussions and blowback are for wussies, amIright? I really don't think driftglass thought this one through very well.

Finally, let's do a little thought experiment: The object of the path our military's going with weaponized drones is to supplant the front-line soldier. Let's say you removed the Union troops from that depiction of Gettysburg and replaced them with a few drones mowing down the boys in gray. Suddenly, it doesn't look so heroic, does it? Or rather, the heroism looks rather one-sided.

There's a moral component to war; you ignore it at your peril.

Lumpy Lang said...

I didn't say Droneglass is a right winger. He is a liberal Democrat in a context in which the entire bourgeois political spectrum has moved (and continues to move) far to the right. Different elements at different speeds, but generally in one direction.

There were similar cases under Clinton - then it was "cruise missile liberals" braying for war against Serbia and denouncing Milosevich as the 'next hitler'. Hey- while we're on the subject - let's not forget the Vietnam was another war waged by liberal Dems.

What I found creepy about the 'drones over Gettysburg' - is the symmetry with neo-cons like the late Christopher Hitchens. The latter was fond of cheering on Washington's present-day racist wars of predation in the Middle East and elsewhere as mystical revivals the radical democratic tradition, i.e. bourgeois revolutionary wars of past centuries like the Civil War against the slaveocracy.

So the drone graphic struck me as a harbinger of the transformation: in Droneglass' simple-minded patriotic syllogism any resistance/opposition to U.S. imperialism - whether by Pushtun tribalists or liberal intellectuals can ONLY be a manifestation of pure evil - mouthbreathing religious fanatics, slaveholders, libertarian wingnuts, tea-baggers, 'pig people' etc.

Hence the fixation with trashing Greenwald - the preeminent flagbearer of liberal opposition to state criminality under Obama. In the twisted paradigm the slaughter of innocents, incarceration/execution of citizens without trial/the surveillance police-state - these (perhaps lamentable) details fade to insignificance compared with the Crime against Nature that is Mr. Greenwald!