Archive for March 17th, 2013

by lizard

Some people, to feel better about themselves, will make fun of other people. This happens in politics as well. There is no better way to make yourself feel good about being a Democrat, for example, than focusing on how awful Republicans are.

At Intelligent Discontent last week, Don offered a post titled Your Week in Modern American Conservatism where he looks at what happens to the “hive-deluded mind at Fox News” when a progressive pundit—a black woman—makes an appearance to suggest that instead of telling women to arm and protect themselves from rapists, maybe, just maybe we should be telling men NOT TO RAPE. Not surprisingly the woman who dared to state this obvious point—Zerlina Maxwell—is now the target of malicious online attacks.

In the comments, I offered a solution that I thought a Democrat might be open to: kill all evil Republicans with drone strikes. When I asked if modern liberalism supports killing anyone, anywhere, at any time with drones, I got a numbered response from the Polish Wolf. Here is his 3rd and 4th points:

3. If anything, I prefer he do it with drones because at least a drone assassination is very hard to deny, and very hard to pin on ‘rogue elements’. When the president orders a drone strike, he takes personal responsibility for the outcome. That’s a big improvement over more traditional methods.

4. The reason liberals of your variety (I won’t even try to label them, because any label will be objectionable to you or to me) really oppose drones seems pretty simple: they lay bare the farce that is national sovereignty in the modern world. The idea that nations operate only inside their borders except in times of war has been absurd since at least the second world war and has never truly applied outside of Europe. But it is only the supposed violation of sovereignty that makes an American drone strike in Yemen any different than a Yemeni army action in Yemen with the same effect, or that makes providing weapons to a rebel group more frowned upon than providing weapons to a government. Since liberals o your sort cannot manage to come to terms with that, they must oppose the use of drones in warfare.

This issue is only beginning to gather steam. In my twitter feed this morning, I read a Reuters article titled As Drone Monopoly Frays, Obama Seeks Global Rules:

The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

But other countries are catching up. China’s interest in unmanned aerial vehicles was displayed in November at an air show . According to state-run newspaper Global Times, China had considered conducting its first drone strike to kill a suspect in the 2011 murder of 13 Chinese sailors, but authorities decided they wanted the man alive so they could put him on trial.

“People say what’s going to happen when the Chinese and the Russians get this technology? The president is well aware of those concerns and wants to set the standard for the international community on these tools,” said Tommy Vietor, until earlier this month a White House spokesman.

Obama wants to set the standard for the international community on these tools? I’m guessing the idea of allowing China and Russia (or Iran) to kill anyone they define as an imminent threat, anywhere in the world at anytime, isn’t very palatable for the Obama administration. But what right does any politician from America have to suggest other countries can’t do exactly what we are doing?

Here’s a crazy fucking idea Mr. President: if you didn’t want other regimes to have the power to kill anyone they feel threatened by anywhere in the world, then you shouldn’t have brazenly expanded that power for yourself.

But Democrats and their online cheerleaders don’t want that conversation, and we won’t have that conversation as long as progressive bloggers like Don Pogreba keep focused on the worst examples of what he tries to broadly paint as “modern conservatism”.

If progressives could avoid the easy bait provided by a fractured, dysfunctional Republican Party, they might see other things more clearly as well, like how modern liberalism, aka neoliberalism, is positioned to attack entitlements, and the only thing in the way is Republican obstructionism.

The issue of chaining the Consumer Price Index (CPI), for example, is being described by Gene Sperling, one of Obama’s chief economic advisers, as Obama’s preference and not just some carrot to entice Republicans.

Will progressives mobilize against policies that will significantly hurt the most vulnerable in this country? If you’re John Stauber, who recently described the progressive movement as a PR front for rich Democrats, the answer is no.

And that’s too bad, because the neoliberal agenda is tantamount to economic warfare, and after years of in-debting and impoverishing the populations of other countries, it’s finally within reach of significantly slashing benefits here at home.

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