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May 22, 2009

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Jesurgislac and Anarch, to focus on injustices from two plus centuries ago is lame and does nothing to support your argument or detract from mine. I never have argued that those unjust conditions did not exist, only that the US Constitution laid the foundation wherein over the next two centuries they would be overcome. All people in all ages have had to live within a societal framework existing when they lived. I have always had a very good opinion of the US as a country and have never felt the need to apologize for that, warts and all.

And since when did political terrorism, honor killings, punishing females for being raped, public stoning for accused adultresses become part of American culture?


And since when did political terrorism, honor killings, punishing females for being raped, public stoning for accused adultresses become part of American culture?

Just focusing on political terrorism, I'd say it has long been a staple of American foreign policy. For example, consider efforts by the Clinton and Bush administrations to effect sanctions against the Iraqi people in order to compel them to overthrow their government. As the NYT wrote:

Ever since the trade embargo was imposed on Aug. 6, after the invasion of Kuwait, the United States has argued against any premature relaxation in the belief that by making life uncomfortable for the Iraqi people it will eventually encourage them to remove President Saddam Hussein from power.

So, just to be clear: the US government sought to compel a polity to make a particular political choice (namely the removal of their head of state) by using a sanctions regime that they knew were killing many Iraqis. When you try to compel a polity to make political choices by killing them or threatening to kill them, that is terrorism. By definition.

GOB: Face it - political terrorism is, to paraphrase Rap Brown (?), "as American as apple pie." Ever hear of someone called Timothy McVeigh? Or literally hundreds of others like him, plotting to blow up abortion clinics, government buildings, etc.? Visit Orcinus for details. Not to mention the assassination of more heads of state than most other "civilized" countries. I wouldn't say we invented political terrorism, but we have contributed a great deal to the art form.

On the other points, I lack details, but if you think women taken in adultery in America have always had a free ride, perhaps you missed it when we read The Scarlet Letter in high school? And our "punishment" of women (among other "females") for being raped is perhaps less blatant than that in the Arabic world today, but still punitive, as any study of rape in America will clearly demonstrate.


You really need to get out more. Staying indoors is not doing you any good, since you're obviously not spending it reading history, literature, or sociology.

Enjoy Memorial Day. Try to look at America as it actually is, not as it exists in your nicely scrubbed imagination.

GOB, what in the name of holy crap do you mean by:

"And since when did political terrorism, honor killings, punishing females for being raped, public stoning for accused adultresses become part of American culture?"

Since you demonstrably have enough intelligence to type a string of English words, I have to believe you're not saying those are already "part of American culture". So you must be warning us they MIGHT become "part of American culture" if we fail to be quite as fearful as you are.

Could you be worried that this parade of horribles has already begun? For instance, charging women for the "rape kits" used to collect evidence in their cases -- could that be the first insidious step toward "punishing females for being raped"? If that's what you're thinking of, rest assured: no Gitmo alumni were involved in THAT policy. That policy is as American as snowmobiles.

Just for curiosity, what is your idea of "American culture", anyway? As far as I can tell, American culture includes large doses of divorce, gambling, pornography, and booze, not to mention gluttony and sloth. American culture as it is practiced seems to offend the Bill O'Reillys as well as the Osama bin Ladens of the world. (Alternatively, they merely inveigh against it for show, or to make a buck.) "American culture" is either the aggregate of how Americans actually live their individual lives, or it's some communal ideal propounded by cultural commissars who think people should be free to live exactly as the commissars tell them to. Maybe "American culture" will be changed by foreign Muslim mullahs, but I really don't see how THEY can succeed where homegrown Christian mullahs have failed.

--TP

"American culture" reminds me of a little scene I was entertained by in the grocery store last night.

It has recently been noted that once again Maine is the whitest state in the nation -- over 95%. (If I remember correctly, Vermont edged us out by a tenth of a percentage point for a while.) But this is a holiday weekend, so there was a little more diversity than usual in the grocery store.

As I pushed my cart into the produce section there was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7 years old, noting with curiosity another little girl of about the same age who was across the way. The other little girl had a Caucasian father, a mother with a headscarf and an olive complexion, and very curly hair and the same olive skin herself.

When I picked up the conversation, the first little girl was saying to her mother, "But she doesn't look American."

And the mom -- bless her sweet calm heart -- said, "Honey, what does an American look like?" Just curious, like.

Then there was some talk about how Americans come from everywhere and look like everyone, and how even the curious little girl herself had been all over the place (including overseas) and had seen people who look like this, that, and the other thing, and had been in places where she herself blended in and maybe in other places where she didn't.

Sweet. Maybe we could bottle it.

Another anti-military leftist working to free terrorists.

Jesurgislac and Anarch, to focus on injustices from two plus centuries ago is lame and does nothing to support your argument or detract from mine.

Yeah, I'm sure all the black folks reading this agree their struggle's been lame. Can I get a what-what?

And since when did political terrorism, honor killings, punishing females for being raped, public stoning for accused adultresses become part of American culture?

Oh please. Have you read anything about American history? Yeesh.

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