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Friday, June 19, 2009

You're a Fool, Jonah Goldberg

Cartoon of GoldbergHey, Jonah Goldberg, editor at large of the right wing National Review. You wrote a column this week you titled, "Obama’s Choice Is Not to Choose on Iran." Using the super-dramatic second-person singular, you wrote about how Obama absolutely has to take a stronger tone with Iran over their disputed elections. And your super-dramatic second-person singular made it read as if you were speaking directly to the president. I was so impressed that I thought I'd do the same.

It's fun to pretend you know what the hell you're talking about, isn't it Jonah? I'm pretty sure you think so, because you do it a lot. This week's column telling President Obama to "stop voting 'present' on democracy" is a great example.

Do it, President Obama, please. Take the side of democracy.

Declare yourself and your nation on the side of hope and change where it is more than a slogan and better than a rationalization for ever-bigger government. Stop measuring the success of your diplomacy with Iran by the degree to which the grinning, hate-filled stooge of a clerical junta will "temper" his rhetoric about the pressing need to destroy Israel and slow his ineluctable pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Now I'm a little confused about which "grinning, hate-filled" candidate you're talking about here. You mean Ahmadinejad? It's hard to tell. In the very same column you admit that Mousavi was a candidate cleared by the Supreme Leader, saying, "The mullahs had disqualified about 400 others, leaving in the race only four presumed hacks deemed pliant enough not to rock the boat." How is a candidate hand-picked by the mullahs not a "stooge of a clerical junta?" Because he was set up? Following this logic, Leon Trotsky was a leading advocate for capitalism.

And about Israel:

Al Jazeera, June 13, 2009:

[N]o quarter will be given in the question of relations with Israel, nor will support be cut for Iran's allies in the region. Backing of Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah is a matter of morality and self interest, [Mousavi] says, but this should not be interpreted as a signal of aggressive intent or a desire or confrontation.

"It's more related to our religious beliefs and the norms of the Arab world, than of spreading our revolution," he says.

For the record, that's the official Iranian line now. He also echoes Ahmadinejad on the nuclear program, saying it should go forward, while denying it's about nuclear weapons. Clearly, Mir-Hossein Mousavi is the finest man ever to draw breath. Never mind that he was prime minister when Iran executed as many as 300,000 leftists. We should totally back a Iranian nationalist whose only real disagreements with Ahmadinejad are domestic. We should take an anti-Israel, pro-nuclear, terrorist-funding nutjob and turn him into Nelson Freakin' Mandela, because that's just the smartest thing that anyone could do ever.

"No, we should not bomb Iran, or invade it," you wrote. "Those prices are too steep; those burdens are too heavy. But maybe you could lift a finger for democracy?"

Yeah, we shouldn't bomb Iran. That'd be stupid. Idiotic, in fact. Which makes it no surprise that you've advocated doing just that in the past.

"The reason Mr. Goldberg is alarmed that I pointed this obvious fact out is that he wants to kill thousands of Iranians and thousands of US troops in a war of aggression on Iran," Professor of Mideast Studies Juan Cole wrote in 2005. "If the American public knows that there is a lively struggle between hardliners and conservatives in Iran, and that an American intervention there would be a huge disaster and would forestall the natural evolution of Iran away from Khomeinism, then they might not support Mr. Goldberg's monstrous warmongering."

Yeah, kind of looks like he was right from where we stand now, doesn't it? Sure, Cole didn't write in that second-person singular, but he's not cool like you. Still, you were wrong about going to war with Iran, which would've killed thousands of those people you now call "the huddled masses of Iranians yearning to breathe free." I'm not seeing any evidence that you're right now, either.

"Jonah Goldberg is a fearmonger, a warmonger, and a demagogue," Cole wrote. I think he nailed it.

So let's -- strictly for the sake of argument -- say that Obama takes your advice and says that the shockingly fixed election in a sham democracy was the worst thing ever.

Then what happens?

I know this whole second-person singular thing is just a pretense, so I don't expect an answer from you personally, but it'd be nice if one of the wingnuts who float through this blog could take the time to answer the simplest question; why?

What happens? How would there be a different outcome? What freakin' magic are you pretending to believe Obama has? If any one of you guys could take a shot at that, that'd be great. Because it's really not the most obvious thing in the world.

And even if Iran's Supreme Leader, chastised by Obama's wagging finger and secret sorcery, totally changed his mind and gave the election to Mousavi, what then? Now we've got an Israel-hating, nuclear program-supporting, Hamas-backing crazy that we've managed to turn into Thomas Paine. How do you think that's going to work out in the long run?

But I forgot, you guys don't even know what the long run is. It'd be a compliment to accuse you of even knowing which foot you'll put down next when you walk down the street. Those few remaining who join you in backing the Republican party are reactionaries -- you don't think ahead. The plain fact of the matter is that you -- like all the other opportunists thinking you can make hay with this -- are working to legitimize someone who isn't any better than Ahmadinejad. Not as far as foreign policy goes, anyway.

When I put it that way, it seems a little brainless, doesn't it Jonah?

In fact, your whole column seems pretty brainless now, doesn't it? But I'd imagine you're used to it. You approach the problems of the world with the same level of clarity and reason every week, so it's hard to believe that the cries of "dumbass!" which must follow you everywhere you go hurt much anymore.

Still, I'm glad we had this little talk. We'll have to do it again sometime. Given your consistent record of idiocy, I'm sure we will.


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M said...

Goldberg knows what he's doing.

He's doing the trench work for the war mongers who need as much tension as possible. The ones who need fear to coerce Americans into irrational worldview and put us all in a box where we hide under our beds with duct tape, batteries, and bottled water.

Where we wait for the word that at any moment when we're supposed to "duck & cover" until our glorious military leaders preemptively bomb millions of human beings in the name of "keeping the world safe for democracy" so we can relive WWII/Cold War emotions and throw the heroic ticker tape party in the street and a sailor kisses and nurse, and Ronald Regan says "Tear Down That Wall," and George Bush says "Mission Accomplished" and who cares what it's all about, anyway, right? We won! Who cares how much killing costs or what future generations will suffer because of blowback? We'll fight em' all again and again....


We can't even make our own country safe for justice, democracy, and equality. Certainly not enough to validate such extreme self- righteousness.

Goldberg is also trying to manipulate our foreign policy because doing it his way would alleviate the pressure that's on Israel right now to find a compromise with the Palestinians.

When Isreali leaders even whisper the words "Palestinian State," something is changing.

Hitting Iran with a stick by meddling in their affairs outsourcing that famous politically motivated fake outrage and cynical solidarity we're all so accustomed to, and, or as Juan Cole brilliantly put it, "an American intervention there would be a huge disaster and would forestall the natural evolution of Iran away from Khomeinism, but not for warmongers and fearmongers who need a paranoid nation to better control and manipulate.

Goldberg doesn't give a shit about Iranians. I'm not so sure he wouldn't become aroused at the sight of Iranian Mullah police opening up on a crowd of dissenters.

Less dissenters=more hardliners=more tension.

Joe Markowitz said...

Goldberg wrote an even stupider column in the LA Times today saying that Obama's policy of talking to our enemies is now moot. On the contrary, it appears to me that Obama's opening to the people of Iran was a major factor in encouraging thousands of Iranians to take to the streets this past week. Also, even if the regime stays in power, they are considerably weakened, and regardless of whether they are weakened or not, we still have issues such as nuclear proliferation, that we will need to talk to them about.