Monday, April 30, 2007

Still have it wrong....what about Afghanistan?

Yeah, a scholarship kid to Columbia who now teaches at Penn State, you're not part of the elite at all. That PhD behind your name is just like an accounting degree.Do you think that someone who got a scholarship to Cambridge is still part of either the working class or the middle class, to push it a little further? At what part do you think people become part of the elite because of where they went to school and what they do? Is it when they get accepted at Oxford, or the Sorbonne? Point is, a vast majority of America will think you're part of the elite because of Columbia and being a professor whether or not you went there on scholarship.

As to Cockburn's class status, my understanding is that he makes his living off his books and his journalism. I may be wrong on this, and if he depends on family wealth that would be a major contradiction.

By the way, did you oppose the Taliban when Bill Clinton was advocating normalizing relations with them, or did you just oppose them when Al-Qaeda hit the U.S.? Where does your commitment to the rights of the Afghan people come from: from some deep concern or from a recycled and touched up version of the vengence and blood lust that was in the air after 9/11?

Do you advocate overthrowing Robert Mugabe? What about the current president of Turkmenistan? Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan? All these people who are tyrants who have abused their people. But, well, they didn't attack the U.S, so people overlook them.
Does your concern for rights include the people of Burma? Was supporting invading Afghanistan a sort of two-fer: wipe out Al-Qaida and overthrow an oppressive government at the same time?

The point isn't that the Taliban weren't a repressive government--they of course were--the point is whether going in and attacking a country and overthrowing its government because they're harboring terrorists is right or not. Using military force instead of diplomacy and other non-military ways of combatting the government is the point.

If Afghanistan was ok to overthrow then why not Saddam? Why not Iran? Why not North Korea? The fact that they weren't involved in 9/11 is beside the point because, like the Taliban, they were/are repressive and since removing the Taliban by force was a moral good in and of itself, beyond getting Al-Qaida people, why not them?

Why not go on a global crusade for liberty using military means? Regime change in any repressive government rather than using non-military means.

When you criticized Chomsky, the thing he was arguing was that the Afghan people didn't choose the Taliban, didn't choose to harbor Al-Qaida, and that waging war on Afghanistan would as a matter of course involve civillian casualties of people who had nothing to do with either the Taliban or Al-Qaida. This has happened. It wasn't for love of the Taliban.

But that Alexander Cockburn quote. When you boil it right down it says that Cockburn doesn't mind the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. There is a contradiction there in that the Soviets used kind of the same sort of pretext that the U.S., and you, used in supporting the invasion of Afghanistan, namely that the Socialist government that they'd installed had come under the influence of a Pol-Potist clique and they had to invade to stop a massacre from happening.

It's really bad that he used the term rape.

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