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July 09, 2010

Comments

The zombies are massing on all fronts.

I repeat: nuke from space.

Thanks for highlighting this tragedy. The double standard in the media has been particularly egregious lately. There really are completely different rules for conservatives and liberals: conservatives are allowed (even expected) to be insulting and offensive in their public statements, while liberals have to walk on eggshells.

The really amazing thing about this is how deeply degrading it is to conservatives, when you look at it from the right angle. In effect, the media is saying to conservatives: you can get away with more because we can't expect any better of you.

The neoconservatives won't be happy until they blow up the whole freaking world. In the name of freedom, natch.

Dr. Strangelove was supposed to be a comedy.

True believers scare the sh*t out of me.

Thanks (as always) for the digest, Eric. Ties things together very well.

I have to wonder what Nasr was thinking, though. I'm not suggesting it's right or fair (it's neither), but it's nonetheless true that the reaction to her tweet was completely predictable. Maybe she was ready to retire?

Perhaps, but it seems more like she made a casual observation in an unguarded moment. You know, for 99% of the world, what she said was quite understandable. She just forgot, for a moment, which 1% she was inhabiting.

it seems more like she made a casual observation in an unguarded moment.

makes sense. Still, why tweet it? I don't mean this as an attack on her, but, being a non-tweeter, I guess i don't understand the compulsion people have to comment on everything for all the world to see. It's like Connie Chung saying 'Just whisper it in my ear, Mrs Gingrich'.

Most of all, Nasr forgot to maintain the mental illness needed to navigate American politics. You'd think that living in Atlanta would remind her of it, but I guess not.

She forgot about the flying monkeys.

It seems, more than anything else, like an example of why, 10 years from now, tweeting will be regarded as an inexplicable fad. And we will all wonder what ever possessed anyone to do such a silly thing.

If we are talking double standards, would mentioning the recently departed Senator Byrd be germane?

Yeah, she should have been more careful and just blogged her most inner thoughts.

"Dr. Strangelove was supposed to be a comedy."

Nah, like "Network", and the many zombie flicks, it was a documentary.

If we are talking double standards, would mentioning the recently departed Senator Byrd be germane?

No, it wouldn't.

SATSQ.

Sure, Senator Byrd was a racist Ku Klux Klanner, and no doubt an anti-Semite and all of the other wonderful things that go with the territory of the old racist southern Democratic Party, who somehow became the lone piece of white trash who didn't follow Strom Thurmond into the modern, racist piece of sh*t, anti-American Republican Party.

Something must have come over him.

Duly noted.

If we are talking double standards, would mentioning the recently departed Senator Byrd be germane?

You've got to be kidding me.

If we are talking double standards, would mentioning the recently departed Senator Byrd be germane?

We're talking about double standards that are enforced by people losing their jobs. Plenty of people talked about Byrd's past; I think it came up in every article about his life even before he died. I don't recall anyone even complaining about it, let alone any sort of serious outrage.

Frankly, I don't even see what the analogy is that you're trying to make here. It looks very much like trolling, but Im willing to give the benefit of the doubt and listen if you're got some point to make besides slyly managing to slip in that Senator Byrd was in the KKK as a young man.

If we are talking double standards, would mentioning the recently departed Senator Byrd be germane?

Well, if you're suggesting a double standard exists with respect to Byrd, you have to actually enunciate one.

Then we can have a discussion.

Otherwise, not so much.

I'm willing to cut any Republicans who admit, renounce, and regret their past racist statements or actions exactly as much slack as was given to Byrd, and encourage them to do so. If there are Republicans in that category who are not recognized for having done that, name them, and I'll tell you they're admirable people.

The consequences of what Nasr did seem entirely predictable, but it is a double standard. It's okay to combine admiration in many areas for Israel with disapproval of their military & settlement policy. That is a respectable belief. But if you express a similarly nuanced view of Islamic political/national movements you're an unperson. That sort of attitude was a big impediment to getting into talks with the PLO and seems to be standing in the way of talks with Hamas.

"What each of these firing offenses have in common is that they angered and offended the neocon Right....Have there ever been any viewpoint-based firings of establishment journalists by The Liberal Media because of comments which offended liberals? None that I can recall."

Fired or forced to resign or buried in obscurity:

Helen Thomas (criticism of Israel)
Don Imus (crude joke)
Fox News host of afternoon show Edie Hill (joking remark about Obama fist pump)

Keith Olbermann, of course, can get away with calling Republicans homophobic racist reactionaries and worse, without a murmur of liberal indignation:

Double-Standard Democrats to the left of me, Reactionary Republicans to the Right, here I am, stuck in the middle between Opposing Idiots

The only effective way to protest this firing is to boycott CNN's sponsors.

Having just braved CNN News Room's hard-hitting wall-to-wall coverage of...Lebron James' decision with the sound off, I have determined CNN's only ads come from The Scooter Store and credit reporting scams.

I'm not sure the firing should be laid at the feet of neo-conservatives. I mean, I'm sure neo-conservatives agree with it, but I think there are plenty of non-neo-conservatives who also agree with it. The neo-cons are writing up a storm about how awesome the firing was and the liberals who agree with them are not, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

The fundamental basis for the firing seems to have been that no can can praise anyone who has any relationship to Hizbullah. I don't see this as an exclusively neo-conservative view. In fact, I know of liberals who believe the exact same thing. In that sense, this little piece of neo-conservative ideology has long since been mainstreamed. I'd guess that the difference between these liberals and the neocons is not so much what they believe about Arabs and Muslims and Hizbullah; rather, the liberals are smart enough to know that you should not publicly say that all Arabs/Muslims are inherently evil so we're not seeing spirited defenses written by them.

So no double standard with Sen. Byrd? Just wanting to know the rules.

Fox News host of afternoon show Edie Hill (joking remark about Obama fist pump)

Joking remark calling the President of the United States and the First Lady terrorists. Nice attempted spin, there.

So no double standard with Sen. Byrd? Just wanting to know the rules.

What is the actual double standard that you're suggesting exists?

I repeat my response from before:

Well, if you're suggesting a double standard exists with respect to Byrd, you have to actually enunciate one.

Then we can have a discussion.

Otherwise, not so much.

Helen Thomas (criticism of Israel)
Don Imus (crude joke)
Fox News host of afternoon show Edie Hill (joking remark about Obama fist pump)

Jay,

Helen Thomas was not attacked by liberals and sacked because of a push from the left, so that doesn't belong on the list.

Not even sure who Edie Hill is or what happened to him/her. But if it was a joke, then it is unlikely it was a "viewpoint based firing," which is the topic at hand from which you quoted.

As for Imus, again, that was not "viewpoint based firing" unless you are arguing that racism is a viewpoint and that he espouses it. Or that the Rutgers womens team were, according to Imus, actually nappy headed hos.

So no double standard with Sen. Byrd? Just wanting to know the rules.

What does that even mean? You're being asked over and over what double standard you see or how it related to the matter at hand. And instead of elucidating and having a discussion about something you apparently feel the need to post about over and over again, we get this bot mot suggesting- what? That you're being prevented from having this discussion by some set of rules? It can't be that you want to know the rules for what a double standard is, bc you are and have been free- and even encouraged- to share exactly what your POV is and how the two compare.

Grow a pair, say what you mean. Ive got a friend with three nuts, maybe you can borrow one of his for a little while and get this stuff off of your chest.

Ok, McKinneyTX is usually above this sort of thing, but the respect he's (perhaps unjustly) earned over the course of his tenure here should not give him the right to derail the subject with an astoundingly brazen concern troll.

Please, do not feed.

Jay,

Heh.

What I mean is simply this: partisans of every stripe are too quick to claim the mantle of victimhood, too thin-skinned to see that hypocrisy and double standards are universal. They only see others', never their own. Byrd is the ultimate in hypocritical opportunism. If the left were as principled as they say the right is not, Byrd would have been drummed out of the new Democratic party decades ago, not elevated to the status of elder statesperson.

It is no answer to say, "but we are talking about this kind of hypocrisy, this kind of double standard, not your kind of hypocrisy."

If the progressive left were as principled as it claims the right is not, my comment would have been greeted with, "yeah, we missed that one, he was a douche bag of the worst kind and no one called him out."

I've tried to be consistent in identifying hypocrisy and racism when public figures on the right make veiled or not so veiled statements. As one example, when on topic, I've noted the calculated bigotry of putting anti-gay marriage amendments on swing state ballots in 2004--GWB tipped the scales, thanks to Rove, by exploiting religious fundamentalists, most of whom I view as ignorant, but Rove was and is clearly a bigot and a manipulative monster.

If Byrd's sleazy, racist, pork barrelling, self-promoting persona is somehow so egregiously off-topic as to constitute trolling then let me roll out Trent Lott, who said something nice about Strom Thurmond and who lost his leadership position for having done so and, rightly so, in my opinion. Bet there weren't any howls of protest when that happened here or anywhere else on the left.

The thought police are not uniformly on the right, hypocrisy is not limited to non-progressives and nor is it limited to just this thin slice of double-standardness, i.e. someone getting canned for saying something nice about a Hezbollah member.

Ballsy enough for you, CW?

Ballsy enough for you, CW?

Carleton can speak for himself, but I have another word in mind.

Trent Lott, who said something nice about Strom Thurmond and who lost his leadership position for having done so

Oh, aren't we clever?

Trent Lott did not "say something nice about Strom Thurmond." He said that it was a shame Strom Thurmond didn't win the presidency in 1948, because the country would have been better off if he had.

Troll.

What I mean is simply this: partisans of every stripe are too quick to claim the mantle of victimhood, too thin-skinned to see that hypocrisy and double standards are universal.

Well, yeah. I have no problem with that. I have, also, never claimed that the left is without double standards. So, again, yeah.

Byrd is the ultimate in hypocritical opportunism. If the left were as principled as they say the right is not, Byrd would have been drummed out of the new Democratic party decades ago, not elevated to the status of elder statesperson.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. As Thullen pointed out, most of the Byrd type Dems went to the GOP, which embraced them with open arms. Strom Thurmond, ie.

Byrd renounced his ties with the KKK and apologized profusely and repeatedly. That was his price of admission (or rather, remaining).

But that does not render every observation of a double standard moot.

If the progressive left were as principled as it claims the right is not, my comment would have been greeted with, "yeah, we missed that one, he was a douche bag of the worst kind and no one called him out."

First of all, I wasn't sure what your comment meant, so I asked you to clarify. Finally, you did.

Otherwise, he was called out, repeatedly. On this very thread, Thullen did a fine job of it. So we didn't "miss" that one.

If Byrd's sleazy, racist, pork barrelling, self-promoting persona is somehow so egregiously off-topic as to constitute trolling then let me roll out Trent Lott, who said something nice about Strom Thurmond and who lost his leadership position for having done so and, rightly so, in my opinion. Bet there weren't any howls of protest when that happened here or anywhere else on the left.

Not sure what you mean here. You say that you agree Lott should have lost his job for suggesting that if a dedicated segregationist running on the segrationist platform had won the presidency, we wouldn't have all these problems.

But then complain that people around these parts weren't protesting his firing?

Were you? If not, why should we?

The thought police are not uniformly on the right, hypocrisy is not limited to non-progressives and nor is it limited to just this thin slice of double-standardness, i.e. someone getting canned for saying something nice about a Hezbollah member.

This is true, but also tautological and not very illuminating. Nor does it contribute to the conversation at hand in any productive way.

Sure, if you zoom out long enough, it's all the same, but what about these particulars?

UK, yes, that is what Lott said. It was viewpoint-based. He lost his leadership position. No one here protested, nor should they. Outrage is selective and driven by ideology, here and everywhere else.

And another rightwinger who lost a job was Ann Coulter at NRO when she talked about a crusade and converting the middle east to Christianity. Again, no problem here, but it's a form of viewpoint based firing.

Outrage is selective and driven by ideology, here and everywhere else.

See, I don't think this post is saying, "Any and all viewpoint based firings are wrong." Clearly that is not, nor should that be, the case.

If someone is a frothing Nazi, fire them. If someone is a hateful bigot, they don't deserve a job if I'm the owner/editor of a newspaper.

The question is, what is the range of acceptable viewpoints, and is it unfairly tilted at the moment.

On the one hand, Lott (a politician not a journalist) reminisced wisftully about how much better off the country would be had the segregationist won.

On the other hand, Dan Froomkin opposed torture.

On the one hand Ann Coulter suggested that we should invade every nation in the Middle East, violently overthrow their rulers and convert the population to Christianity at the point of a gun. On the other hand Octavia Nasr tweeted that she respected a revered Shiite Ayatollah who had some influence on Hezbollah (and the current Iraqi Prime Minister's party), as well as a complex set of beliefs - some of them that were, in fact, commendable.

I'm trying to remember which Democrat said that if only Byrd had stayed in the KKK, we wouldn't have had all these problems. In fact, I'm trying to remember any progressive anywhere saying anything about Byrd nicer than "he was a stone racist as a young man, but he's admitted he was wrong and apologized repeatedly, so maybe we should cut him some slack."

What I mean is simply this: partisans of every stripe are too quick to claim the mantle of victimhood, too thin-skinned to see that hypocrisy and double standards are universal. They only see others', never their own.

Red herring. While true, this is irrelevant to the question of whether or not Nasr's firing is evidence of a double standard in the media treatment of liberals and conservatives.

If the left were as principled as they say the right is not, Byrd would have been drummed out of the new Democratic party decades ago, not elevated to the status of elder statesperson.

False dichotomy/false choice.

Byrd is the ultimate in hypocritical opportunism.

Argument by assertion. No evidence or examples of hypocrisy offered here or anywhere to follow.

It is no answer to say, "but we are talking about this kind of hypocrisy, this kind of double standard, not your kind of hypocrisy."

Strawman. Nobody has answered you thusly.

I've tried to be consistent in identifying hypocrisy and racism when public figures on the right make veiled or not so veiled statements. As one example, when on topic, I've noted the calculated bigotry of putting anti-gay marriage amendments on swing state ballots in 2004--GWB tipped the scales, thanks to Rove, by exploiting religious fundamentalists, most of whom I view as ignorant, but Rove was and is clearly a bigot and a manipulative monster.

Commendable if true, but also irrelevant to the topic.

If Byrd's sleazy, racist, pork barrelling, self-promoting persona is somehow so egregiously off-topic as to constitute trolling then let me roll out Trent Lott, who said something nice about Strom Thurmond and who lost his leadership position for having done so and, rightly so, in my opinion. Bet there weren't any howls of protest when that happened here or anywhere else on the left.

Ad hominem and false equivalency. Byrd repeatedly and unequivocally acknowledged the wrongness of his past and spent the remainder of his life fighting for causes that would horrify the man he once was. Lott praised Thurmond by--as noted above--stating that the country would be better off if his blatantly segregationist platform had won the election.

The thought police are not uniformly on the right, hypocrisy is not limited to non-progressives and nor is it limited to just this thin slice of double-standardness, i.e. someone getting canned for saying something nice about a Hezbollah member.

Tu quoque: whether or not anyone on the left is hypocritical has no relationship to the truth or falsity of whether or not a media double standard exists towards what is beyond the pale from a liberal or conservative; "you guys do it too" is a meaningless response.

Ballsy enough for you, CW?

Not ballsy, just completely full of crap and composed of nothing but logical fallacies and "you too" arguments that I wouldn't accept from my nine-year-old.

Do you have anything of substance to contribute, or are you just trolling?

Not sure what you mean here. You say that you agree Lott should have lost his job for suggesting that if a dedicated segregationist running on the segrationist platform had won the presidency, we wouldn't have all these problems.

But then complain that people around these parts weren't protesting his firing?

Were you? If not, why should we?

Eric, you are making my point. Substitute, "dedicated segregationist" for "one of Hezbollah's giants" (clearly implying there are more than one within Hezbollah) which in turn inferentially implies sympathy for Hezbollah, which has its own racist agenda, and you get to the same place, viewpoint based loss of job/standing/what-have-you. both viewpoints are value-laden, both controversial. You can believe one or both to be abhorrent (I believe both to be the case). If you think only one is abhorrent, then it may follow that firing the bad viewpoint is good and firing the good viewpoint is bad, but to me, it's hypocrisy.

My point is that you don't have to telescope far at all to find equivalent outrage across the spectrum. I'm not that broken up that a Hezbollah sympathizer lost her job, nor am I shaken up that Lott lost his. Good riddance to both of them. Fine to have fired Imus and too bad he got his job back. But spare me the business that it's all focused on the left. It isn't.

In that sense, this little piece of neo-conservative ideology has long since been mainstreamed.

True dat.

If Byrd's sleazy, racist, pork barrelling, self-promoting persona is somehow so egregiously off-topic as to constitute trolling then let me roll out Trent Lott, who said something nice about Strom Thurmond and who lost his leadership position for having done so and, rightly so, in my opinion.

OK, at least the Lott / Nasr situations are structurally similar. Both involved people who expressed admiration for someone controversial, and who were then hounded from a position they held.

Nasr expressed admiration for Fadlallah because he stood for equality for women. He opposed clerical rule in Iran, and condemned the 9/11 attacks.

Lott expressed admiration for Thurmond because he ran for President in 1948 on a policy of segregation.

Hopefully the distinction is clear to you.

Eric, you are making my point. Substitute, "dedicated segregationist" for "one of Hezbollah's giants" (clearly implying there are more than one within Hezbollah) which in turn inferentially implies sympathy for Hezbollah, which has its own racist agenda, and you get to the same place, viewpoint based loss of job/standing/what-have-you.

But you can't substitute them because that is not what Nasr was saying at all.

She was praising certain stances of the Ayatollah's that we ourselves would agree with.

And Hezbollah has many giants, and acknowledging that is acknowledging a simple fact, not making an endorsement. I don't like the Nazis, but I don't endorse them when I note that Goebbels was a giant in the Nazi movement - one of many.

PS: I'm not sure Hez has a racist agenda.

But spare me the business that it's all focused on the left. It isn't.

That's straw. I didn't say it was all focused on the left.

I'm not that broken up that a Hezbollah sympathizer lost her job

But that's the thing: she's not a Hez sympathizer, and her statement did not prove such.

And for the record, yes, Byrd was a racist and a KKK leader in his community when he was a young man in the 40's. He disavowed his relationship with the KKK soon after, but he also fillibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and voted against the Voting Rights Act if 1965.

He did vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and claimed that his participation in his church had moderated his views. Being the cynical fellow I am, I suspect calculation about his own political future played at least as large a role in his "change of heart".

Byrd was an active racist and segregationist, and opposed civil rights legislation until some combination of political calculation and/or personal epiphany led him to change his mind, at least while voting.

And yeah, Kennedy drove his car off a bridge, killed a young woman in the process, and in an act of profound cowardice failed to report the accident until long after any chance of rescue was long gone.

Reprehensible, all of it.

Shall I go on? Have I left anyone out?

I fail to see the connection to Nasr.

If the progressive left were as principled as it claims the right is not, my comment would have been greeted with, "yeah, we missed that one, he was a douche bag of the worst kind and no one called him out."

Well, personally I wished that Byrd would have resigned long ago; not because I sat in judgement on whether he truly repented or not, just bc some things are ugly enough that, while they can be forgiven, they cannot really be forgotten. Better to have no Senators who were formerly in the KKK. Or, who currently give speeches to the CCC or interviews to American Rennaisance.

then let me roll out Trent Lott, who said something nice about Strom Thurmond and who lost his leadership position for having done so and, rightly so, in my opinion. Bet there weren't any howls of protest when that happened here or anywhere else on the left.

No, because there is a huge, huge difference between someone who does something repugant as a young man and then repents versus someone who is repugnant as a young man and then keeps those viewpoints. Lott's hanging out with the CCC etc were an ongoing lifetime flirtation with the racist far-right. And I love the sad attempt to minimize here: "said something nice about Strom Thurmond". Thurmond was a Senator. Presumably all manner of people said nice things about him. But not very many Senators said they wished his Segregationist campaign had been successful.
They are not comperable. Had Byrd kept informal association with racists and then said that he wished that segregationists had prevailed back in the day, then you would have a point.

The thought police are not uniformly on the right, hypocrisy is not limited to non-progressives and nor is it limited to just this thin slice of double-standardness, i.e. someone getting canned for saying something nice about a Hezbollah member.
Ballsy enough for you, CW?

And now the crux. What you have done is the exact opposite of ballsy. It is cowardice. Faced with a difficult discussion about the history of terrorism in Israel's past and the moral ambiguity of comdemning anyone who has ever associated with Hisbollah in any capacity as evil while embracing Israel, you choose the lowest possible road: an inaccurate, irrelevant tu quoque. A limp paen to the existence of double-standards on both sides of the aisle.
Really, you could've just skipped to the next thread. But something made you have to comment- couldn't just pass it by. But at the same time, you apparently just couldn't bring yourself to comment on the actual subject of the thread in any meaningful sense.

Lott lost his leadership position to the only group that could take it away from him: the Senate Republican caucus. Coulter was fired by NRO, an organization that shares her viewpoint for the most part (and that wasn't her day job). Same with Edie Hill and Fox News. I'm not sure how you can call it "viewpoint-based firing" when people with your viewpoint are the ones firing you.

Wait, maybe MACtexas, who I'm sure is a nice guy, meant to write "would mentioning the recently departed Sen Byrd be GERMAN? (not 'germane')"

Well, I guess it's marginally more German than germane, so yes.

Of course, mentioning that Himmler was an unsuccessful chicken farmer before commencing his second career would be German, too, but not germane.

Or did I just open another avenue for argument?

Auf wiedersehen!

McK, your goal here appears to be to point out to all of us liberals how hypocritical we are.

As opposed to, for example, saying something substantive about the moral complexity of expressing admiration for someone who had some relationship with a group of people we consider to be bad guys.

Most people are hypocritical about something or other. So, no worries. I'm sure I'll wear that hat soon enough.

If that's your goal, however, IMHO you're arguing from a really bad example.

Maybe try again another time.

"Have I left anyone out?"

Howard Cosell? Fellow sports broadcaster Rush Limbaugh? Mel Gibson (still not fired-darn!)

Yeah, Limbaugh is a good example. And really, I guess I don't agree with Greenwald's assertion- people get fired for "viewpoints" all of the time. I assume that he's segregating "viewpoint" as something reasonable and the crap Rush says as something unreasonable, and therefore justified his firing.
That's where the real question lies: what is permissible speech and what is impermissible speech, for a public speaker to stay employed? Recognizing that there are shifting boundaries eg Olbermann says a lot of stuff that would (and should) get an NBC news anchor fired.

But here we've got a pretty stark divide: people can respect the Irgun without fear of losing their jobs, and you can be pretty sure that when Ariel Sharon croaks, it won't be a firing offense for folks in the media to say that they respected him either.

nice derailment, McKTX

McK, your goal here appears to be to point out to all of us liberals how hypocritical we are.

I believe I have stated repeatedly that hypocrisy runs the gamut. I find this particular exercise, i.e. Eric's post, overblown. The weight of sentiment here is that nuance is the theme of the day and a real injustice has been done, this time. To me, this is no different than any other gored ox anywhere along the spectrum. Countless hours are burned up daily with conniption fits--watch Hannity if you have the stomach--and everyone believes theirs is different from everyone else's. And they are happy to tell you what that difference is.

And really, I guess I don't agree with Greenwald's assertion- people get fired for "viewpoints" all of the time. I assume that he's segregating "viewpoint" as something reasonable and the crap Rush says as something unreasonable, and therefore justified his firing.
That's where the real question lies: what is permissible speech and what is impermissible speech, for a public speaker to stay employed? Recognizing that there are shifting boundaries eg Olbermann says a lot of stuff that would (and should) get an NBC news anchor fired.

Exactly. What is permissible speech and what is not? Producing the razor thin line of hypocrisy and double standards. It is no answer to say that Lott was farther out of line than Nasr (subjective judgment call--Thurmond never advocated suicide bombing) or that McKinney doesn't really understand the subtext of Nasr's statement (Hezbollah Giant is value-neutral). People who want to make their living in the public eye--this is a voluntary decision--need to maintain their private views private or expect to face the wrath of someone who sits on the other side of a controversy.

The weight of sentiment here is that nuance is the theme of the day

No.

The weight of sentiment is that you can wax nostalgic about somebody in the Irgun and you'll be applauded, but if you make a positive comment - for whatever reason - about someone with a connection to Hezbollah you'll be driven out of your job.

This seems unfair to some folks.

To me, this is no different than any other gored ox anywhere along the spectrum.

Substantial differences between Nasr's case and the examples you offered have been presented, and ignored by you.

watch Hannity if you have the stomach

Not gonna happen. The man is a belligerent idiot.

It is no answer to say that Lott was farther out of line than Nasr (subjective judgment call--Thurmond never advocated suicide bombing)

This is not a subjective judgment call for anyone who understands the facts in both cases and is not an avowed racist. I'm a bit weary of the contortions necessary to believe you're arguing in good faith here, but for the benefit of anyone who is still confused I'll explain again the distinction that has been explained to you no less than three times in this thread.

Nasr expressed admiration for Fadlallah's progressive views on women's rights in the ME and his efforts to delegitimize violence towards women in Islam.

Lott expressed the view that the country would be better off--that "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years"--if Thurmond's segregationist campaign had succeeded.

Both are expressions of admiration for controversial figures who have done both good and harm in their lives.

That is where the similarity ends, and your repeated attempts to conflate them grow tiresome.

People who want to make their living in the public eye--this is a voluntary decision--need to maintain their private views private or expect to face the wrath of someone who sits on the other side of a controversy.

While arguable, this is entirely beside the point.

The point is not that public figures should be free from scrutiny or consequences for the views they express.

The point is that said scrutiny and consequences should be applied fairly and consistently, and they are not.

You have expended a great deal of energy asserting that this is not so in the face of many examples, without providing any credible counterexamples of your own. The vast majority of your comments in this thread have been composed of little other than logical fallacies and distractions that completely ignore the responses that rebut your assertions.

Enough trolling. If you're not going to engage in good faith, quit wasting everyone's time.

Hannity

Ack, he doesn't have the courage of his conniptions. He once praised Alan Colmes and patted him on the head on the air. FOX didn't fire him for that breach. He's a smug putz.

If I ever meet Hannity, he's going to have trouble keeping his coiffure intact.

"Thurmond never advocated suicide bombings."

He just ran out of time. He'd have gotten to it eventually. He was too busy advocating segregation while practicing miscegnation.

What is permissible speech and what is not? Producing the razor thin line of hypocrisy and double standards.

Or, is it too much to ask that we substitute reasoned discourse and exploration of the various situations? There will always be people willing to look for a political edge in every misstatement, misparse, misquote, etc, but that doesn't make this behavior mandatory, or representative of what the best of either liberals or conservatives have to offer.

Really, the root of this thread isn't about hypocrisy anyway IMO. It's about Israel, and how we can never hope to have a reasonable discussion about Israel when whole chapters of history are not open for discussion, when any individual or group not complying with Israeli interests is labeled anti-Semitic. It's overton's window dragged so far out of the center that we can't even discuss facts.

And, as russell said, this particular example seems pretty egregious. After all, Lott was removed by the GOP because segregation is seen by a broad base of our society as repugnant. Here, the reaction seems much more knee-jerk- she said something nice about someone affiliated with Hezbollah, and no amount of nuance could save her from that.
otoh, if there's some nuance to Lott's history of flirtation with racist groups that makes him somehow less odious, Id be open to hearing it.

People who want to make their living in the public eye--this is a voluntary decision--need to maintain their private views private or expect to face the wrath of someone who sits on the other side of a controversy.

On the contrary, I expect those people to be able to express opinions in a broad area of tolerance. The higher up they go, the more they need to avoid extreme positions.
The question is still: what is outside of the mainstream? And, should it be considered such?

Thanks to McTx, we dodged the bullet of actually discussing the political positions of Hezbollah! God forbid we actually learn something new on a thread...

I think this is why I hate trolls so much. It is not that they have an issue or 7 that seems to really set them off, it's that they want to make sure that no one else learns anything, because of their prejudices. If you want to remain pig-ignorant, that's your call, but don't inflict it on the rest of us.

He just ran out of time. He'd have gotten to it eventually

Nah, those old-school segregationists were sure as hell down with bombing, but suicide, not so much.

And for McK's sake, yeah, I'd say the same about Robert C Byrd. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

You don't "make up for" the stupid stuff you do, you just hopefully knock it off and do something else going forward.

"Nasr expressed admiration for Fadlallah's progressive views on women's rights in the ME and his efforts to delegitimize violence towards women in Islam."

The problem is, in her initial statement, she didn't.

Though to be fair, twitter doesn't exactly excel at nuance.

It would be almost like, after his death, praising Strom Thurmond's bid for the presidency by saying that if more people had voted for him we wouldn't have as many problems that we do today. And then explaining that of course you didn't support his segregationism, but rather you liked his political philosophy in other areas.

Now, we could in theory decry stupid soundbites, but that doesn't seem like where you want to go with this.

Sebastian, if Nasr had praised Ariel Sharon she would not have lost her job, even if she hadn't spelled out whatever good thing it was he might have done that was praiseworthy. Presumably if pressed she would say the withdrawal from Gaza (overrated IMO, but nevermind) and not his involvement in various war crimes, but her job would not have been at stake. That's the double standard.

It would be almost like, after his death, praising Strom Thurmond's bid for the presidency by saying that if more people had voted for him we wouldn't have as many problems that we do today. And then explaining that of course you didn't support his segregationism, but rather you liked his political philosophy in other areas.

Do you seriously find that credible? I mean, do you honestly believe that that is what Lott meant? Or is this a hypothetical sort of "almost like"?

If that's what you honestly believe, well, okay--but I gave you more credit than that.

The problem is, in her initial statement, she didn't.

No, she didn't. But as you go on to note, Twitter isn't suited to nuance; it does bite-sized thoughts. Which is exactly why one-off comments on Twitter really shouldn't be used as the basis for ending, say, a 20-year distinguished career without so much as a token effort to find out the intent and views behind the comment.

Compare and contrast this with, say, Erick Erickson. Apparently you can do groundbreaking and well-respected work covering the complexities of the Middle East for 20 years and lose your job over a misinterpreted comment expressing admiration for an otherwise unworthy person's efforts on women's rights--but calling a Supreme Court justice a goat-fscking child molester is just fine as long as you're a Republican blogger.

I rest my case.

"Do you seriously find that credible? I mean, do you honestly believe that that is what Lott meant? Or is this a hypothetical sort of "almost like"?"

Do you honestly think that Lott meant: "I wish we had 30 of segregation?" I don't think so.

McKinney: If we are talking double standards, would mentioning the recently departed Senator Byrd be germane?

Absolutely. Racist scumsucking SOBs who loved to cosy up to the nasty racist bastards who left the Democratic Party when it started supporting civil rights for all, used to love to condemn Senator Byrd for, in his youth, being just like them... and then thinking better of it.

Same double standard. Byrd couldn't be forgiven for not turning Republican.

Moving back to the original post: It's some kind of world conservatives inhabit where you are not allowed to express sadness when someone you respected dies, because he was an enemy of the state. It's another example of how modern conservativism is basically fascism.

Sebastian: Do you honestly think that Lott meant: "I wish we had 30 of segregation?" I don't think so.

Yes, but you have no particular reason for thinking so other than that you're a modern conservative and Trent Lott was one of your leaders. Fascism is a wonderful instrument for suppressing freedom of thought.

In the case of Lott I think his statement was less a genuine wish for ongoing segregation (can't exlude it though) but a case of backfiring pandering on the occasion of Thurmond's birthday. I think he knew that he was among fellow racists and thought that this required praise for the high priest of that worldview they were celebrating that day.
Thus he went over the top and violated the rule that being a racist digestive rear exit is okay for a high-ranking politician as long as it is not in the open (i.e. on mainstream radio or television).
I have my doubts that he would still lose his job today given the loathsome nutjobs that now are rising up like rockets in the GOP. Sharron Angle has still a fair chance to beat Harry Reid and tries to hide (some of) her statements from the not-foaming-at-the-mouth only because it cuts into her lead. I assume after the election it will be back to full steam without having to fear consequences.

Do you honestly think that Lott meant: "I wish we had 30 of segregation?" I don't think so.

Well, good for you.

Strom Thurmond ran for president in 1948 because of segregation. Period. It was the alpha and omega of his campaign.

"I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches."

Now, to suggest that Trent Lott, speaking to a roomful of avowed racists, meant to praise some other part of Strom Thurmond's 1948 platform, but not the racist part, would be laughable if it weren't so grotesque.

I was going to write "You're better than this, Sebastian" -- but at this point I've pretty much concluded that you're not.

Sebastian, if Nasr had praised Ariel Sharon she would not have lost her job

Thank you.

It's curious to me how this thread has turned into a discussion of the imaginary universe of things Trent Lott might have been referring to when he mentioned the "troubles" we would not have had, had Strom Thurmond been elected President.

So completely on point.

There is, as Donald J points out, no problem praising Sharon, a man found culpable by his own countrymen in the Shatila massacre.

No problem with Livini waxing nostagic about her folks' time in the Irgun, an explicitly terrorist organization.

Nelson Mandela, leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, which engaged in bombings of civilian targets and the torture and assassination of prisoners it held, is a hero. I'd be surprised if we didn't have a stamp with his picture on it.

We continue to give asylum to Luis Posada Carriles, a man who murdered 73 innocent Cubans when he blew their plane out of the air.

And, of course, we can all live with the long and illustrious Senatorial careers of Robert C Byrd, Strom Thurmond, and a host of others who, in their youth, belonged to or supported violent segregationalist terrorist organizations like the KKK.

Hezbollah is a Shia Islamist political organization and militia in Lebanon. They began as an armed resistance to Israeli occupation of areas in southern Lebanon, and have since become a significant political and social force in that country. To my knowledge, they have little to no history of being involved in actions outside of Lebanon.

In this country, we're unable to distinguish between an organization like Hezbollah, and an organization like Al Qaeda.

We are more than capable of making highly nuanced (that word again) distinctions between the motives and activities of people and organizations involved in political violence who are not Muslim and/or hostile toward Israel, but if a Muslim is involved, all shades of grey fade to black and white.

Especially black.

The takeaway for everyone in this case should be that anything you write on Twitter might as well be posted directly to the Jumbotron in Times Square.

Russell--

Hezbollah has been accused of a couple of terrorist bombings aimed at the Israeli embassy and at a Jewish center in Argentina in the 90's. (Argentina isn't exactly a stranger to homegrown murderous anti-semites, of course). They deny involvement.

link

"Now, to suggest that Trent Lott, speaking to a roomful of avowed racists"

Really? Was he speaking to Democrats at a gay pride parade in California on the topic of Mexican immigration or something? Because that is a similar type of avowed...

"And, of course, we can all live with the long and illustrious Senatorial careers of Robert C Byrd, Strom Thurmond, and a host of others who, in their youth, belonged to or supported violent segregationalist terrorist organizations like the KKK."

To this point, maybe we shouldn't have.

"Hezbollah is a Shia Islamist political organization and militia in Lebanon. They began as an armed resistance to Israeli occupation of areas in southern Lebanon, and have since become a significant political and social force in that country. To my knowledge, they have little to no history of being involved in actions outside of Lebanon."

Do you consider firing rockets into Israel action inside Lebanon? I think a pretty fair analysis of the problem from the Israeli side is: every time we have given up land for peace to the control of one of Shia groups that have been attacking us, they have used that land to attack us further. Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon into Israel is the classic case.

Really? Was he speaking to Democrats at a gay pride parade in California on the topic of Mexican immigration or something? Because that is a similar type of avowed...

What Uncle Kvetch said.

Again, it's really kind of telling that conservatives cannot comprehend feeling sad when you hear of the death of someone you respected: cannot even apparently comprehend the concept of feeling respect for someone who was a political enemy.

think a pretty fair analysis of the problem blahblahZionistcrapblah is the classic case.

...what Uncle Kvetch said. Classic derail, like McKinney's attempt. Let's not talk about conservative character flaws or the injustice of sacking someone for saying she was sad that someone had died: let's go "Byrd!" or "Israel!" (When Brett shows up, it'll be "gun control!" or "the Clenis!")

It would be almost like, after his death, praising Strom Thurmond's bid for the presidency by saying that if more people had voted for him we wouldn't have as many problems that we do today. And then explaining that of course you didn't support his segregationism, but rather you liked his political philosophy in other areas.

If Trent Lott did not have a history of flirtation with racists, then I doubt that this would have created the firestorm that it did. What's amazing isn't that his statement toppled him (and remember, it was really more of a GOP power play than a surge of national outrage), it's that he lasted as long as he did acting like that.

See, for example, here.

Trett Lott played the wrong note on his dogwhistle at the wrong time, and some GOP political opponents took advantage. I was going to say "if this reporter had a long history of saying anti-Semitic things and associating with anti-Semitic groups", but then I realized how ridiculously unlikely that hypothetical sounded.

I think a pretty fair analysis of the problem from the Israeli side is...

I'm not interested in getting into a he said/she said about the Middle East. Nor was I attempting a defense of Hezbollah. Your objection, and Donald's, to my characterization of Hezbollah as being involved only in Lebanon are noted.

I'd appreciate it if the Israelis and the various other parties in the region would get their sh*t together, recognize that nobody's going anywhere, and learn to live with each other. Easy for me to say, no doubt, but I don't see any other options.

'Nuff said on that?

And with or without that sidebar, I think my overall point stands.

"I'd appreciate it if the Israelis and the various other parties in the region would get their sh*t together, recognize that nobody's going anywhere, and learn to live with each other."

Amen to that.

Easy for me to say, no doubt, but I don't see any other options."

Human beings always have the option to deny reality. They could decide to kill each other for generations until one side is exterminated or until they basically don't remember why they are fighting. Groups have been choosing that option for thousands of years.

Sigh.

Here is the Israeli government's list (presumably complete) of all Hezbollah violence against Israelis from 2000 until the 2006 war.

I haven't looked yet to see if I can find a list of Israeli acts of violence against Lebanese or Hezbollah targets in that time period.

link

For the record, Hamas and Hezbollah have a much more nuanced notion, concerning the Zionist State of Israel, nation-state for Jews and “Jews”. Whether you or I believe them or not, they distinguish between the 2 ideas.

Destroying the Zionist State of Israel, does not mean extinguishing ALL Jews. That is to say that dismantling the ethno-religious European colony of Israel is not the same as purifying White blood from Jewish blood. This nuanced understanding is assumed in the rest of the world, except in the power broking circles of the United States. Because, in the end the notion of a One Nation, One man, one vote, is still popular in the middle-east.

Destroying Apartheid South Africa didn’t mean extinguishing Dutch-Calvinists, but it didn’t mean continuing to privilege the long suffering settlers, as well.

Really, the root of this thread isn't about hypocrisy anyway IMO. It's about Israel, and how we can never hope to have a reasonable discussion about Israel when whole chapters of history are not open for discussion, when any individual or group not complying with Israeli interests is labeled anti-Semitic. It's overton's window dragged so far out of the center that we can't even discuss facts.

Really? Here's the title: "On Octavia Nasr, Media Double Standards and the Absurdity of Neoconservatives".

Seems German (or, germane) to me to comment on the double standard angle. If the discussion is about permissible discussions on Hezbollah/Israel dichotomy, then say so. I was focused on the Double Standard aspect, which runs throughout the post. I didn't see where the post called for limiting the discussion of hypocrisy only to structurally similar examples. Hypocrites abound and complaints about them are often hypocritical in themselves, since they are usually one-sided. Imposing arbitrary limitations in replying to charges of hypocritical double standards preclude calling out the accuser who well might be among the worst of hypocrites, just not the kind of hypocrite being targeted at the moment.

Since I have a record of being syntactically challenged, let me say, first and foremost, I am not accusing Eric of hypocrisy, and his tempered and responsive replies are, in part, why he is anything but a hypocrite. My attempted point is that partisans usually only see their side of any question. Offense is taken at the drop of a hat and balance is almost never a valued commodity. That is the point i was trying to make.

ObWi is unusual--and very welcome--for it's stated practice of airing and considering all sides. It's why I come here. It promotes introspection. One of my sub-points is that arguing about who is a hypocrite is a waste of time. Carlton is right, if a bit intemperate, that the better discussion would be the substantive one of the Palestinian/Israeli situation. Intractable, but substantive.

Seems German (or, germane) to me to comment on the double standard angle. If the discussion is about permissible discussions on Hezbollah/Israel dichotomy, then say so. I was focused on the Double Standard aspect, which runs throughout the post. I didn't see where the post called for limiting the discussion of hypocrisy only to structurally similar examples. Hypocrites abound and complaints about them are often hypocritical in themselves, since they are usually one-sided. Imposing arbitrary limitations in replying to charges of hypocritical double standards preclude calling out the accuser who well might be among the worst of hypocrites, just not the kind of hypocrite being targeted at the moment.

Sure. But did you really want to discuss the famous double standard American conservatives have where they miss no opportunity to condemn Senator Byrd for his racist past - while cheerfully embracing people who were equally horrifyingly racist in their youth, but had the saving grace (in conservative eyes) of remaining racist throughout their lives?

Because if you'd like to discuss the hypocrisy of conservative condemnations of Byrd, yes, that would be germane to the post.

Was that what you wanted to do, when you brought up Byrd's name? I have to say, it wasn't clear that you did.

I'll go for the absurdity of neoconservatives, although I'm uncertain why they have influence with any media, much less enough to cause a dismissal for such a mild and differentiated comment.

I'm not familiar with Octavia Nasr's reporting (I may have seen her once or twice over the period she was with CNN). I'm in the mountains of Utah now, and don't get any network or pay TV, so I get only what I select over the Internets.

The neo-cons must go after those who commit a minor faux pas with such alacrity in order to deflect attention from the negative results their influence has helped create in our foreign policy.

I certainly hope that any future POTUS will be able to discern what foreign policy is required for our national interests and move us in a different direction from what it has been the last few decades. I almost never visit Eric's posts on our foreign policy and military adventures because those areas are well beyond anything I could address knowledgeably with any specificity. Most here likely know that I would support making the tasks of our federally elected officials more manageable by reducing their workload and allowing them to focus on matters that are clearly their constitutional responsibility. Right now they try to do too much and don't get much of anything right.

A note on McKinneyTexas and the Byrd discussion. I suspect it is true that, just as many of the neo-cons are former liberal Democrats who now support enough conservative issues that they become Republicans, the remnants of the formerly racist Democrats also have a more natural affinity to conservative positions on many domestic issues. No matter what the percentages are of either who are now viewed as conservative, all those who subscribe to conservative views (even those who never held racist or neo-con foreign policy views) are frequently painted with that brush by political opponents who find value in this.

I'm a person of mostly conservative views who does not endorse or directly support racist or neo-con foreign policy positions. But I am frequently assigned these attributes because I favor conservative positions or oppose progressive positions on political issues.

Really? Here's the title: "On Octavia Nasr, Media Double Standards and the Absurdity of Neoconservatives".

Seems German (or, germane) to me to comment on the double standard angle. If the discussion is about permissible discussions on Hezbollah/Israel dichotomy, then say so. I was focused on the Double Standard aspect, which runs throughout the post

See, here's the thing: Just because you didn't bold the other parts of the post title doesn't mean they aren't actually important.

liberal japonicus: "I think this is why I hate trolls so much. It is not that they have an issue or 7 that seems to really set them off, it's that they want to make sure that no one else learns anything, because of their prejudices. If you want to remain pig-ignorant, that's your call, but don't inflict it on the rest of us."

What's with you and all the complaining all the time? You don't like this, you don't like that -- you remind me of my shmendrik son-in-law, hocking everybody at the table when we go out to eat because he doesn't like the silverware or the way the napkins are placed on the table. Trolling-smoolling... when we started the newsgroups that evolved into these kinds of blogging communities the only trolling that was unacceptable was when some schmuck from another newsgroup posted his address on the threads to lure people away.

What you're objecting to as trolling is the normal give and take of posted conversations, which almost always flow in unexpected directions like jazz improvisations. It's not some goddamn game of Canasta, with fixed rules where you get kicked out if you play your cards out of turn or you fart too much.

And another thing I've noticed about you is that you kvetch the loudest when it's somebody voicing opinions you don't like. Then you get up on your high-horse and bitch and moan to get them banned -- just like those Chinese and Egyptian and Iranian noodniks who want to block access to websites because the content offends their sensibilities.

This is sort of a response to Good ole boy and McKinneyT, though I forget which part is a response to whom

--Actually, a lot of Nasr's defenders don't think much of her reporting. (I'd never heard of her before). Apparently she never says anything controversial, which means if she's talking about the Mideast she's probably keeping her head down and never saying anything worth listening to. The point here is that she said one nice thing about a Shiite religious figure with a mixed record (support for women's rights, condemnation of some terrorist acts and support for others, altogether not that different from most Western politicians) and she's fired. As I said earlier, if she'd said one line praising Sharon (who has a record of involvement in war crimes that goes back to Qibya in 1953) this wouldn't have happened. It's really a pretty straightforward example of bias.

There probably are double standards that we on the left don't notice because they favor our beliefs but I don't think the Byrd/Lott one was a good example, for all the reasons people have given.

Hey "Pop Adelman". You need to be careful about deciding which name you want to post under-if you want to come on like an old hand who has been here for a while, you shouldn't really post under a name that you haven't used before. Otherwise, it just looks really stupid.

My attempted point is that partisans usually only see their side of any question. Offense is taken at the drop of a hat and balance is almost never a valued commodity. That is the point i was trying to make.

And my point is that partisans also use tu quoque to obstruct serious debates at the drop of a hat. If you had some serious points to make about the issue actually being discussed, that would've been great. And, if in the course of that discussion you felt that an issue was being handled in a specific way because of a desired partisan political outcome, then maybe examples from the other side would've been useful.
Even if you'd started with another counterexample, and then discussed how it fit into some larger picture or critique of the original point, or took it off on some tangent, Id be cool with that to some extent.
But just 'hey lefties, Senator Byrd, ha ha', I am not cool with that.

Maybe you really did just want to make a general point of some kind. But I think you have to recognize that 1)just dropping the name without any attempt at commentary or context beyond 'tu quoque' did not work well, and 2)trying to turn every (uncomfortable?) debate into some meta-discussion about how we're all hypocrites in one way or another is as useful as interrupting a doctor mid-diagnosis to proclaim that we're all going to die someday.

Otherwise, it just looks really stupid.

Seconded. Although, he's given us a clue- he's got some obsession with being disciplined for having too much gas. That should narrow the list of suspects somewhat.

he's given us a clue- he's got some obsession with being disciplined for having too much gas. That should narrow the list of suspects somewhat.

Not to mention the obsession with portraying himself as one of the legendary founders of the internet....

That nails it right there as far as I'm concerned.

just like those Chinese and Egyptian and Iranian noodniks who want to block access to websites because the content offends their sensibilities

For the record, Egypt has relatively little of this behavior. From an HRW report:

[The government has] embarked on an ambitious program to expand Egyptians' access to information over the Internet-with impressive results. The government does not engage in widespread online censorship. Many Egyptian human rights activists say that Internet access has considerably strengthened the reach and effectiveness of the movement in Egypt.

Of course, your critique of LJ's behavior is completely absurd, but I did want to clarify the record.

"Again, it's really kind of telling that conservatives cannot comprehend feeling sad when you hear of the death of someone you respected: cannot even apparently comprehend the concept of feeling respect for someone who was a political enemy ."

I believe the widespread respect for Ted Kennedy disproves this. Conservatives certainly comprehend feeling bad at the death of someone you respected, and respecting a political enemy.

As for this post, at least one part of it is absurd. That neocons got her fired is ludicrous.

CNN fired her, objections came from various places, the actual content of the tweet provided no context. It was "clear" to anyone just reading the tweet that she respected and mourned the passing of a "Giant" of Hezbollah, a clear enemy of the US.

The problem with that was the part where(noted as an aside, in parentheses) he was on the US government list of terrorists. Any redeeming qualities or positions aside, he was, by definition, a terrorist and it is problematic for a news organization to have it's Middle East expert mourning the death of a "listed" terrorist.

Neocon (and others) complaints could only have gotten her fired if her bosses thought the position they took could be popular, and they were probably right.

Or, maybe, they just agreed with the "neocons" from the start and considered it a firing offense.

It was "clear" to anyone just reading the tweet that she respected and mourned the passing of a "Giant" of Hezbollah, a clear enemy of the US.

Actually, Hezbollah is a clear enemy of Israel, for Middle-east specific reasons: trying to muddle "enemy of Israel" with "enemy of the US" is one major reason right there why the US is in trouble in the Middle East.

a clear enemy of the US

How So?

The problem with that was the part where(noted as an aside, in parentheses) he was on the US government list of terrorists. Any redeeming qualities or positions aside, he was, by definition, a terrorist and it is problematic for a news organization to have it's Middle East expert mourning the death of a "listed" terrorist.

Interestingly, the US government has funded the MeK in recent years in order to subvert Iran. The MeK has been on the State Dept's list for many years. Many neocon outlets and other media types have praised the MeK. None, zero, have been fired for it.

The problem with that was the part where(noted as an aside, in parentheses) he was on the US government list of terrorists. Any redeeming qualities or positions aside, he was, by definition, a terrorist

Curious use of "by definition" there. It's almost like we should always trust the federal government to tell us the truth.

"The problem with that was the part where(noted as an aside, in parentheses) he was on the US government list of terrorists. Any redeeming qualities or positions aside, he was, by definition, a terrorist and it is problematic for a news organization to have it's Middle East expert mourning the death of a "listed" terrorist."

Well that just says it all, doesn't it? When the government tells us what to think, the press should fall into line.

I just visited the Hezbollah website. Israel is mentioned only in quotes with the clear implication that it does not or should not exist. Is this where Jes, Carleton, DJ, Hogan, Eric all come down? Israel should not exist and the Hezbollah agenda should be America's agenda?

The problem with that was the part where(noted as an aside, in parentheses) he was on the US government list of terrorists. Any redeeming qualities or positions aside, he was, by definition, a terrorist and it is problematic for a news organization to have it's Middle East expert mourning the death of a "listed" terrorist.

Fadlallah held no position in Hizbollah, and had no operational connection to them. That was his statement, as well as Hizbollah's, as well as (frex) Robert Baer's.

His connection to Hizbollah generally appears to have been simply that he was a well known and authoratative Shia imam. His specific connection was to provide religious justification for suicide bombing.

It's unclear to me that suicide bombs targeting military targets, or targeting occupying forces, qualify as terrorism.

The fact that the US has named Fadlallah as a terrorist does not make him one. Sadly, the US naming someone as a terrorist carries about as much weight as calling someone a "commie" did fifty years ago.

All of this is to the point, because your comment demonstrates Eric's point.

If we arm them, train them, or support them, they're not terrorists. If the "bad guys" do, they are.

And in Fadlallah's case, even that is not relevant, because he committed no act of violence whatsoever. The worst thing you can say about him is that he provided religious justification for a tactic that we find wrong.

We're in such a hurry to find enemies, no wonder we have such difficulty winning wars.

And yes, I am aware of Hizbollah's history wrt our presence in Lebanon.

They didn't want us in their country, so they tried to force us out. We'd do the same thing. Not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing, not saying we should or shouldn't have been there, not saying I think suicide bombing is or is not a legitimate tactic in warfare or armed resistance.

Just saying that *none* of the above automatically equates to terrorism.

If you apply a word to things it doesn't belong to, it loses it's real meaning.

You're not real good on nuance, are you McK? So I take it you are an enthusiastic proponent of apartheid-like policies, or of dropping white phosphorus on urban areas, and of ethnic cleansing in order to achieve the right demographic balance. What's that? You didn't say so? What's that got to do with anything?

More on the Moderate Giant of Hezbollah, from Sullivan's blog:

"Violence is not the solution," al-Naqib wrote in his breakthrough 1998 treatise Practicing Semiviolence. "It is only approximately 19/20ths of the solution. We should not work toward the total annihilation of all who oppose us—just some of them. And perhaps it is best we practice occasional mercy for the innocent, such as the young, who can easily recuperate."

In a 2003 interview with British newspaper The Guardian, al-Naqib said that the "decadent immorality of Western civilization must be almost, but not quite, wiped off the face of the earth."

So, do Carleton, DJ, etc sign on to this? Is supporting someone like this just another form of acceptable viewpoints? Or is there some subtext here that, if properly appreciated, transforms al-Naqib into the Muslim Ghandi?

McKinneyTexas: Is this where Jes, Carleton, DJ, Hogan, Eric all come down?

Can't speak for the others, McK, but: Israel is not the US: the US is not Israel. If Israel is the 51st State, then Hezbollah is a clear enemy of the US, but that's not the case. That's not a statement of belief: that's just a fact.

The US can decide that all of Israel's enemies are the US's enemies, that Israel's foreign policy will dictate the US's foreign policy. But that would seem unwise even if Israel were the 51st State - the federal government of the US makes foreign policy, not a client nation or an ally.

I just visited the Hezbollah website. Israel is mentioned only in quotes with the clear implication that it does not or should not exist. Is this where Jes, Carleton, DJ, Hogan, Eric all come down? Israel should not exist and the Hezbollah agenda should be America's agenda?

No, that is not where I stand. But that is almost entirely beside the point as to whether or not Nasr should have been sacked for saying what she did about Fadlallah.

So, do Carleton, DJ, etc sign on to this? Is supporting someone like this just another form of acceptable viewpoints? Or is there some subtext here that, if properly appreciated, transforms al-Naqib into the Muslim Ghandi?

Can you tell me what this has to do with the present discussion?

Just to retrace steps:

1. Naqib is not Fadlallah, Fadllallah is Fadlallah.

2. Nasr did not say that she "supported" Naqib. Nor did she say that she "supported" Fadlallah.

3. Given #1 and #2, I'm not sure what your point is.

McKinney from Texas--

You do realize you are citing an article from the Onion? David Frum cited a real obituary in the Economist and then he claimed it was similar to a fake news article in the Onion, and you, oh most sapient of commenters, decided to cite that.

link

Here's the David Frum piece (he's guestblogging for Sullivan) that McK found citing the only real news source in America--

link

Really? Was he speaking to Democrats at a gay pride parade in California on the topic of Mexican immigration or something? Because that is a similar type of avowed...

Responding against my better judgment...

Sebastian, I have no idea what that response means. It looks like an attempt to be cute but I can't even get a handle on what you're suggesting.

Having said that, I'm going to own up to an error on my part: I was under the impression that Lott made his "we're proud of it" remarks when speaking to the CCC or a similar group. This is not the case: he made them at a celebration of Thurmond's 100th birthday. So no, he wasn't speaking to "a roomful of avowed racists" (although given the fact that Thurmond, unlike Robert Byrd, never fully renounced his earlier overt racism, we can assume that there were at least a few "avowed" types in the room).

But of course this is utterly peripheral, and I'd like to try to get back to something more essential. You just commented on another thread that you feel like you don't get to present your views here anymore without getting immediately pounced on. So I'm going to retract my claws and asking a simple question: If Trent Lott, when he said what he did, wasn't referring to segregation, what do you think he was referring to? What other issue that was part of Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign might he have been referencing? Zoning laws? Veteran's affairs? School construction bonds?

You don't "think" Lott was expressing regret over desegregation, so I'm asking you...what "problems" was he suggesting we might not have had, if Strom Thurmond had won in 1948?

I can tell you off the bat that a simple response of "states' rights" isn't going to do it for me. The "states' rights" on which Thurmond ran in 1948 meant one thing, and one thing only: the right to maintain Jim Crow in the South. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. So please...let's all give each other enough credit on that score.

I'm enjoying this. I just googled al Naqib and "Practicing Semiviolence" on the remote chance that the Onion article was based on reality. If it is, the Internet doesn't seem to know about it.

link

McKinney: Is supporting someone like this just another form of acceptable viewpoints? Or is there some subtext here that, if properly appreciated, transforms al-Naqib into the Muslim [Gandhi]?

The United States government routinely, for a decade through both the Clinton and Bush Jr administrations, granted "someone like this" a visa to enter the United States and even invited him to the White House: I refer of course to the Irish terrorist Gerry Adams.

In 1994 the IRA were an active terrorist force in Northern Ireland and still a threat in Ireland and in mainland UK. The Brighton hotel bombing was only a decade in the past, at which the IRA had killed five people, permanently disabled several more, and only missed killing Margaret Thatcher, then PM, because she was a workaholic who was still up at 2:54 in the morning. But the US still let the terrorist in and played nice with him at your tea parties, even against the direct opposition of the UK government.

Why?

Because US foreign policy is not identical with UK foreign policy. Gerry Adams was an enemy of the UK and a terrorist. That didn't make him an enemy of the US.

So, do Carleton, DJ, etc sign on to this? Is supporting someone like this just another form of acceptable viewpoints?

You know, it's highly likely that if you sat down and thought about it for ten minutes, you'd come up with some controversial, problematic person, who you find admirable for some set of reasons.

Maybe Nat Turner. Maybe John Brown. Maybe Toussaint L'Overture, or Brigham Young, or Andrew Jackson, or Nathan Bedford Forrest, or Che Guevara, or Nelson Mandela, or Garibaldi.

Take ten minutes. You'll think of someone.

I don't hear anyone on this thread praising Hizbollah, or even Fadlallah. Or even Nasr, for that matter.

Nasr said she respected Fadlallah, and that she was sad to hear he had died. She didn't say she agreed with everything he ever said, didn't say she thought Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth, didn't say she thought Hezbollah was a wonderful organization. Didn't say any of that.

She said she admired Fadlallah, and was sad that he had died.

Subsequently, she made a fairly complete explanation of the reasons she admired him, and personally I find those reasons both plausible and hard to object to.

For all of that, she was fired.

If you make similar statements about *any number of people* who have supported or actively engaged in acts of political violence, but who don't happen to be Muslim and/or opposed to the political state of Israel, you will not be fired. In fact, you might get your own TV show.

That's the point.

Thanks.

Anyway, Mck, I'm about to write an expose for the Onion about how you guided the bolide into the Yucatan Peninsula some 65 million years ago and wiped out half the species on the planet. How can you live with yourself, man?

I've also looked up the real al-Naqib on wikipedia. They don't have much and that they took from a CFR website, I think.

link

Here's my question:

Who here thinks, in general, that it's a good thing that reporters should be fired solely for stating sorrow at the death of (or admiration for) controversial figures for ambiguous or unclear reasons on twitter? Is that how an open society best operates?

In the specific case at hand, the tweet could have been read to imply a number of things. Some of them, if explicitly stated, may have been justification for firing. But Nasr never stated any of those termination-justifying things, and there were plenty of other possible reasons for Nasr's actual tweet, such as the ones Nasr later stated, that I didn't see as being justification for firing her. Does anyone disagree?

Was her tweet, in and of itself, with no follow up, justification for firing? Is this the short leash we should want for our journalists or isn't it?

(Not to be beating around the bush, I'm pretty much asking Seb, McTex and Marty. And I don't claim these are the only relevant questions. Maybe the neocon influence on her firing is questionable. Arguing that point doesn't bother me so much. For me, the questions above are the make-or-break points of agreement or disagreement that will tell me if there's any point in my continuing the discussion.)

this where Jes, Carleton, DJ, Hogan, Eric all come down? Israel should not exist and the Hezbollah agenda should be America's agenda?

I'm the littlest billy-goat. Eat my brother instead!

"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business."

What do you say, McK? Is supporting someone like this just another form of acceptable viewpoints?

"If Trent Lott, when he said what he did, wasn't referring to segregation, what do you think he was referring to? What other issue that was part of Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign might he have been referencing? Zoning laws? Veteran's affairs? School construction bonds?"

The winner of that contest was Truman, who campaigned on the far-reaching extension of FDRs policies. Lott pretty much made his career of opposing the extension of a whole basket of FDR policies, including especially some of the housing stuff that became such an ugly mess by the 70s (while under complete Democratic Party control). So it seems to me very likely he meant something about that.

Which may be a perfectly great reason not to like Lott, but isn't the racist reason which I think we are talking about.

(Hell, I supported getting rid of Lott over that statement, *not* because I thought it was racist, but because I thought it was inappropriate and bad to be so careless.)

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