Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

Pre Obama Ergo Propter Obama, Bulldog Edition.

If you are a big fan of lumping just about every bad thing done by just about every Western government -- from Reagan helping Saddam Hussein gas people, to cops using tear gas at an Occupy rally -- into the same moral category...and then slapping a giant, self-righteous "Pre Obama Ergo Propter Obama" label on the entire seething mess just so you can write one more screed about how President Worse!Than!Boosh! is Worse Than Bush, then boy howdy does David Sirota have a column for you.

But the best part, for me, was this, link-bait headline -- 

We're on the verge of bombing another country -- because a few conceited people want to feel good about themselves
 -- which very accurately summarizes David Sirota's thesis that anyone who does not agree with David Sirota is obviously a war-drunk narcissist something something "pathological self-absorption" something something "[to] the pro-war crowd, if both feeling morally superior and avoiding any real sacrifice mean having to kill lots of Syrians without a chance of actually stopping their civil war, then it’s worth the carnage" something something "conceited narcissists don’t seem to care whether the entire case for the war they are advocating is actually rooted in verifiable fact".

Of course, like pretty much every other Purity Caucus tirade, David Sirota's boilerplate categorical denunciation of anyone who disagrees that the noble light of prescient wisdom shines out of David Sirota's ass is interleaved with David Sirota's boilerplate categorical certainty about the real motives of all the degenerate scum who disagree with David Sirota -- 
No doubt, the government’s motives for a war with Syria have little to do with moral opposition to chemical weapons.
 -- but as funny as that was, what made me really laugh out loud was just the idea of being lectured on the subject of  narcissism -- 
One telltale trait of narcissists is their ability only to see how their actions affect them, and not others. In the narcissist’s mind, if doing something makes him feel good, then the act is inherently good 
--by someone who is making something of a cottage industry out of plundering Dr. King's closet for garments that are waaaay too big for him so he can strut about in a better man's Sunday Best hectoring everyone else on the moral depravity of not toeing Reverend Martin Luther Sirota's ideological line.

Because that right there?

That is fucking hilarious.  


Frank Stone said...

I have a theory about the intellectually dishonest, irrational, even pathological hatred of President Obama being displayed by Sirota, Greenwald, and their assorted parrots and lapdogs.

In a word: Transference. In more words:

There are certain people who are able to define themselves and their beliefs only by what they are against, rather than what they are for. During the George W. Bush years, many of those on the Left were defined, personally and/or professionally, by their opposition to the Bush administration. Since the Bushies were so shamelessly and obviously corrupt and criminal, this was understandable. But once Bush was out of office and had been replaced by a Democratic president, the focus of these individuals' opposition had disappeared and they were left foundering. The unspoken question for them was "Who are we supposed to hate now?"

Within a few years, though, certain things had become apparent:

• Obama had refused to take any action to hold anyone in the Bush administration accountable for their crimes -- seemingly covering for, if not displaying solidarity with, a corrupt and criminal regime.

• The Obama administration was not only continuing, but in some cases expanding, many of the practices of the Bush administration.

• Perhaps most unforgivable of all, Obama had failed to deliver on every single promise (real or imagined) that he had made to every single one of his supporters on every single one of their individual pet issues. (And speaking of pets, those damned ponies never materialized either.)

And before long, all this allowed the erstwhile Bush-opposers to convince themselves that Obama was exactly the same as Bush -- nay, even worse than Bush!! Thus did they declare Obama to be Bush Incarnate, and thus did their personal and/or professional lives once again have meaning because the original focus of their opposition had, in their minds, been reborn.

And here's what it all comes down to, in my view: The opposers' ultimate goal during the Bush years, the long-sought culmination of all their efforts, the thing for which they had worked and marched and fought and shouted -- namely, Taking Down Bush -- was, in the end, never achieved. None of the people responsible for the many and varied crimes of the Bush administration -- certainly not Bush himself -- were ever held accountable. They lied, cheated, stole, murdered, and worse... and they got away with it. This was enormously frustrating to those of us who saw the Bush regime for what it was all along and infinitely more frustrating to those whose entire lives were defined by their opposition to Bush, and that frustration was only compounded by Obama's insistence on "moving forward" and letting the Bushies skate. However...

Since Obama, in the minds of the current Obama-opposers on the Left, is even worse than Bush, then that means Taking Down Obama would be even better than Taking Down Bush. So by Taking Down Obama, they will achieve a goal even more grand and glorious than that which they had sought originally...

... and thus will they become The Greatest Heroes in American History.™

And here we are.

Coldtype said...

No doubt, the government’s motives for a war with Syria have little to do with moral opposition to chemical weapons. David Sirota

Perhaps he’s skeptical about the professed “humanitarian” concerns of those leading a nation with following background:

United States bombings, which can be just as indiscriminate and cruel as poison gas. (A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.)

The glorious bombing list of our glorious country, which our glorious schools don’t teach, our glorious media don’t remember, and our glorious leaders glorify.

Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-1961
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Iran 1987
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
Kuwait 1991
Somalia 1993
Bosnia 1994, 1995
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Yemen 2002
Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular no-fly-zone basis)
Iraq 2003-2011 (Second Gulf War)
Afghanistan 2001 to present
Pakistan 2007 to present
Somalia 2007-8, 2011 to present
Yemen 2009, 2011 to present
Libya 2011
Syria 2013?

The above list doesn’t include the repeated use by the United States of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and other charming inventions of the Pentagon mad scientists; also not included: chemical and biological weapons abroad, chemical and biological weapons in the United States (sic), and encouraging the use of chemical and biological weapons by other nations; all these lists can be found in William Blum’s book “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”.
Courtesy of William Blum’s Anti-Empire Report #120.

Phil said...

I really would like to hear or read an honest conversation about whether or not attacking Syria is the right thing to do. It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not Obama is worse than Bush (he is not). I don't really care what the republicans in the 90s said about Clinton or whether or not Glenn Greenwald is a dick (he probably is) . Sure most of the republicans are hypocrites and Graham and McCain are an embarrassment. And the mess in Syria is not like a bar fight or a high school brawl.

What bothers me the most about this whole mess is that the Administration is concerned more about how People are killed and not preventing future killing. In other words as long as Assad uses bullets and bombs, the US has no problem with 100,000 dead. I have also not seen or heard any good explanations of how dropping bombs on Syria will protect anyone. I am very uncomfortable with the thought of our nation dropping bombs and killing people in Syria in my (our) name especially since many of those people will have had nothing to do with the chemical attacks. Someone really needs to explain why this is necessary and why there are no other alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Does Obama really want to bomb Syria or is it just what he has to do to please the military industrial complex?

John said...

It would be a war crime to bomb Syria without UN support. It's against the UN Charter. If you're fine with that, bomb away. Personally, I don't think that it's good to punish war crimes with new war crimes.

But, really, no one has explained how bombing will change the situation for the better, and, even if you believe that the Assad regime ordered the use of nerve gas (I'm reserving judgment till the UN does a report), as Juan Cole points out at, there are better ways to try to rein in Assad.

Fact is, it is far from clear that the Assad regime was responsible for a nerve-gas attack. The evidence has once again been manipulated to make a case for intervention. Check out Gareth Porter, "How Intelligence was Twisted to Support and Attack on Syria" at

Unfortunately, the U.S. government is appearing more and more like the little boy who cried "wolf," and so and it's beginning to make people lack trust in its assertions.

And, frankly, I do wish the U.S. government would spend more time dealing with the ongoing economic crisis at home. There's never a lack of money to bomb people. But meals on wheels? Forget about it.

gratuitous said...

Now come on, all you Purity Caucus folks! The only alternative left, after years of neglect, is launching the missiles and dropping the bombs, and you're just a naive poopyhead to talk about all the missed opportunities and wasted chances.

Besides, if you flyspeck every pronouncement out of the current administration and for six years prior to Obama's election, you can probably come up with something that tells you (or should have told you if you'd been paying attention, nyah, nyah, nyah!) that the administration is simply pursuing a ruinous course that it intended to pursue all along, so something, something you're the real problem!

I'm glad there are websites like this around to tell us all how foolish we've been now that there's no other choices except bad ones, and that it's just starry-eyed idealism that kept us from appreciating the timeless wisdom of using violence to overcome violence.

Damian, Pink No More said...

They've already got some war-loving uber-righty they're savaging in these comments; why do they even need to read you, DG? You'd almost think it was you saying the things they're responding to.

But I know that's not it because I actually read the post.