I [Heart] Ankh-Morpork New Yorkers

FSM bless the cynical inhabitants of the city of my birth, who know that every political scandal is just a question of who’s gunning for which benefits. The gated-community HOA fiefdoms and small-town Baptist baronies of Heartland America(tm) may pose atop their whited sepulchres, but the teeming hordes of the metropolis are forever at war with the propriety of convenient public memory, or the lack thereof. Frank Rich indulges himself on the topic of “How Fox Betrayed Petraeus”:

So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?
[…]
__
Their sudden concern for ground zero is suspect to those of us who actually live in New York. All but 12 Republicans in the House voted against health benefits for 9/11 responders just last month. Though many of these ground-zero watchdogs partied at the 2004 G.O.P. convention in New York exploiting 9/11, none of them protested that a fellow Republican, the former New York governor George Pataki, so bollixed up the management of the World Trade Center site that nine years on it still lacks any finished buildings, let alone a permanent memorial.
__
The Fox patron saint Sarah Palin calls Park51 a “stab in the heart” of Americans who “still have that lingering pain from 9/11.” But her only previous engagement with the 9/11 site was when she used it as a political backdrop for taking her first questions from reporters nearly a month after being named to the G.O.P. ticket. (She was so eager to grab her ground zero photo op that she defied John McCain’s just-announced “suspension” of their campaign.) Her disingenuous piety has been topped only by Bernie Kerik, who smuggled a Twitter message out of prison to register his rage at the ground zero desecration. As my colleague Clyde Haberman reminded us, such was Kerik’s previous reverence for the burial ground of 9/11 that he appropriated an apartment overlooking the site (and designated for recovery workers) for an extramarital affair.
__
At the Islamophobia command center, Murdoch’s News Corporation, the hypocrisy is, if anything, thicker. A recent Wall Street Journal editorial darkly cited unspecified “reports” that Park51 has “money coming from Saudi charities or Gulf princes that also fund Wahabi madrassas.” As Jon Stewart observed, this brand of innuendo could also be applied to News Corp., whose second largest shareholder after the Murdoch family is a member of the Saudi royal family. Perhaps last week’s revelation that News Corp. has poured $1 million into G.O.P. campaign coffers was a fiendishly clever smokescreen to deflect anyone from following the far greater sum of Saudi money (a $3 billion stake) that has flowed into Murdoch enterprises, or the News Corp. money (at least $70 million) recently invested in a Saudi media company….






102 replies
  1. 1
    Michael says:

    That column gave me wood.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    It definitely was a good column. Nothing new about the usual right-wing hypocrisy, but one thing I didn’t know was that Saudi Arabia was the second largest stakeholder in News Corp ($3 billion). This really needs to get publicized.

  3. 3
    Derelict says:

    To all you heartland true Americans who find the very thought of a Muslim civic center in Manhattan just too abhorent for words:

    Fuck off and die!

    For every one of you who demanded that Homeland Security funds be spent on petting zoos in Indiana instead of New York, for every one of you who despise the city when it suits your narrow-minded purposes, for every one of you who use it as a prop for your morality plays–FUCK YOU!

  4. 4
    Peter says:

    Bless Frank Rich, but does he actually think Republican voters care about the hypocrisy of Republican politicians? Really?

  5. 5
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    This shit is so stupid it hurts. Fuck the racist wingers, they’re a cancer on our country.

  6. 6
    Cat Lady says:

    FSM bless Frank Rich, but us DFHs keep thinking that pointing out this or that hypocrisy, or the facts that should kill the zombie lies once and for all, or the made up shit that’s so stupid on its face like terror babies will be so obviously compelling that no one with half a brain could swallow this crap, but the need to hate is as powerful as the need to breathe for a disturbing amount of people, and Fox is their oxygen.

    I do however think that the Fox/Saudi connection is a BIG land mine for Fox, but we’ll see whether anyone other than Rich and Jon Stewart will run with it. I’ll be over here not being surprised when it doesn’t happen.

  7. 7
    senyordave says:

    Godwin’s Law prevents me from the obvious comparisons for Fox, but I’ll just take Murdoch as a kind of Goebels character for our times

  8. 8
    mclaren says:

    As we navigate this socioeconomic maelstrom, an increasing number of people are weighing their options — and some of the smarter folks I know are “going dark.”

    What does that mean? They’re selling businesses, unwinding trading operations or otherwise distancing themselves from the capital markets. The thematic reasoning is straight out of an Ayn Rand novel: “I can’t compete and when I do, the rules of engagement change in the middle of the game. I’ll let the powers that be vanquish themselves and return in three to five years to sift through the remains.” (See: The Last Gasp Bubble)

    The first time I heard this, I took notice. The second time, it piqued my interest. Now, with four or five savvy seers pulling the plug, I felt compelled to communicate these observations. I’m often early and sometimes wrong but I’ll always put it out there; while few are talking about this, it’s on many people’s mind.

    I’ll also share that the most lucid thought I’ve had since offering in 2003 that we should “sell tech and financials, buy energy and metals and open a taco stand in Costa Rica” is to edge away from NYC. While I’m not the panicky type — heck, some would say I thrive under pressure — I would be remiss if I didn’t offer the respect of that honesty. I’m unsure of the genesis of this particular vibe — quality of life or proactive self-preservation — but the intuition is palpable and ever-present.

    Todd Harrison, “Seeking solutions in an uncertain world,” zerohedge dot com.

    Both New York City and HelL.A. represent sinister monuments to unsustainability. Both will empty out and wind up abandoned like the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi.

    The financial chicanery and thieving parasite corporate cartels that sustain NYC, and the cheap oil for cars that traverse a baking global-warming desert kept on life support by water from a vanishing Sierra snow pack are all going away…and not all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can put humpty back together again.

  9. 9
    Alwhite says:

    Who benefits from a continued war between the U.S. and Islam? Obviously the Chinese but they are not stiring the pot. How about the House of Saud? But why would they pay $3B to fund a propaganda crusade against their region and religion?

    It keeps US money flowing in (primarily as high-tech military toys) to counter the “threat” and it keeps the poor in their own country off balance by presenting the US as the real enemy instead of the greedy, unscrupulous, scum that runs their country.

    Money well spent I’d say.

  10. 10
    eric says:

    @Cat Lady: network funding is never a problem because they don’t want you to know about their ownership and the things that they fund and support, like, oh maybe, the military industrial complex, how they are viruletnly anti-union, incredibly not diverse.

    you will never see the networks go after each other in any meaningful way.

  11. 11
    kay says:

    And we learned the other day that federal prisoner No. 84888-054, a k a Bernard B. Kerik, is also firmly opposed to this center. Mr. Kerik, the former police commissioner, said as much via Twitter from a medium-security prison in Cumberland, Md. A spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons speculated that a relative or friend may have transmitted the message; inmates are forbidden access to the Internet, Twitter included.

    That is hysterical.

    It’s not in Rich’s piece, it’s in a link he provides.

    You can’t shut these big mouths up even while they are doing time. The former police commissioner who is in federal prison is not a discredited voice, on the Right.

    We all ask “what does it take to discredit a Right winger?”

    There’s the answer. Nothing discredits a Right winger. Ever.

  12. 12
    Svensker says:

    @Alwhite:

    Who benefits from a continued war between the U.S. and Islam?

    Um, Israeli hardliners? Duh?

  13. 13

    I would LOVE to see Fox hoist up high on the Saudi funding thing.

    Who would run with it? Dunno.

    Keith? Rachel? Are you listening?

  14. 14
    Frank says:

    @debbie:

    It kind of puts the idiotic anchor baby debate in perspective. Here we have the biggest cable news network in the US; it is partially owned by a foreigner who not long a ago became a naturalized US citizen. The second biggest owner is another foreigner from Saudi Arabia.

    So we have a foreign cable news network that is spending its valuable time attacking the US government 24/7. They also have a seat in the front row in the White House Press Corp.

    It is beyond me how this has not become a major issue.

  15. 15
    El Cid says:

    How DARE he even think of invoking the hallowed, holy name of General David Gaius Julius Marcus Antonio Banderas Petraeus in such a frivolous manner?

  16. 16
    Cat Lady says:

    @eric:

    Agreed, but there’s a difference between Disney/GE/Microsoft and Saudi fucking Arabia that even a teatard’s lizard brain could grok. Get Glenn Beck and the Foxbots to defend Saudi fucking Arabia. I’d even watch Fox to see that.

  17. 17

    This merely raises the most important question of all:

    How long until Newt “The Gay Divorce” Gingrich, Sarah “Quit n’ Grift” Palin, and the other defenders of ReaLAMErica announce that NYCers who are for the center or for the 1st Am., or just don’t give a flaming fuck about the center are filthy commie Mooslims who hate America?

    I give it a week.

    In two weeks they’ll decide that since NYC is so full of nasty diversity and the people lack the proper post-9/11 piety (the mark of which is shit filled undies) and is generally double plus un-Uhmuricuhn, they don’t care about it anyway and hope the terrists DO blow it up. So there!

  18. 18
    gbear says:

    Are the Islamophobes aware of this?

    Am I the Only Person in the World Who Remembers That the World Trade Center Was a Work of Islamic Architecture?

    We all know the basic reasons why Osama Bin Laden chose to attack the World Trade Center, out of all the buildings in New York. Its towers were the two tallest in the city, synonymous with its skyline. They were richly stocked with potential victims. And as the complex’s name declared, it was designed to be a center of American and global commerce. But Bin Laden may have had another, more personal motivation. The World Trade Center’s architect, Minoru Yamasaki, was a favorite designer of the Binladin family’s patrons—the Saudi royal family—and a leading practitioner of an architectural style that merged modernism with Islamic influences.

  19. 19
    Uloborus says:

    @mclaren:
    What is this thing you have with taking a few anecdotes and spinning a world-shattering narrative out of it? You keep doing it.

  20. 20
    debit says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: They’d just be following the example of Billo, who stated that he hopes San Francisco will be destroyed in a terrorist attack. There was no outrage that he wants an American city attacked and American citizens killed; I suppose since SF is supposed to be full of those nasty homosexuals it’s no biggie.

  21. 21
    Uloborus says:

    @Alwhite:
    Goodness, no. The House of Saud, or at least the top levels of it, want as much peace as they can possibly get. Saudi Arabia is a powderkeg of tension between extremist right wing religious groups and moderate, even liberal secular Muslims who are kind of ticked off at how restrictive their country is. Juggling the two is the top problem the royal family has.

  22. 22

    @Uloborus:

    What is this thing you have with taking a few anecdotes and spinning a world-shattering narrative out of it? You keep doing it.

    Why do maggots prefer eating dead decaying flesh?

  23. 23
    Cat Lady says:

    @Uloborus:

    Substitute America for Saudi Arabia, DFHs for Muslims, corporatized for restrictive and Obama for the royal family and here we all are stuck in the funhouse together.

  24. 24
    matoko_chan says:

    It doesnt matter Anne Laurie.
    Muslims are the new pharmekos.
    We just LOST in Iraq, and we are LOSING in Afghanistan.
    Its amazing to hear the sunday morning talking heads tiptoe around the facts with their ‘withdrawal’ and ‘drawdown’.
    The cudlips are going to want someone to blame as soon as it sinks in THAT AMERICA LOST.
    Do you think they will blame that fucking WEC retard Bush?
    Racism is bad for the teabaggers and ‘conservatives’ because of the demographic timer….but there is no downside to islamophobia…we are few.
    Islam evolved to be immune to proselytization– America has been trying to proselytize western-style judeoxian democracy and culture in Afghanistan and Iraq for nearly a decade. And Islam just kicked Americas ass.
    someone will have to pay.
    :(

  25. 25
    maya says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Have you already forgotten Bandar Bush? No inconsistancy here. Saudi Arabia is, after all, the conservative shining pillar of private property rights. NYC is, well, just a battleground zero.

    But, if I were the DNC I would start making inquiries as to when, in the interests of fairness and balance, they could expect that check from Feisal Abdul Rupert.

  26. 26
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Uloborus: He’s testing outlines for an apocalyptic science fiction novel.

  27. 27
    cmorenc says:

    @Peter

    Bless Frank Rich, but does he actually think Republican voters care about the hypocrisy of Republican politicians? Really?

    True, but such things definitely would matter to independents, were they informed of such. However, cowardly democrats have created a suck-iness problem of their own with the response of jackasses like Harry Reid and David Patterson to the issue.

  28. 28
    Sarcastro says:

    @Uloborus:

    Your naivete about the coming apocalypse only speaks to its extent.

  29. 29
    Sarcastro says:

    @Uloborus:

    Your naivete about the coming apocalypse only speaks to its extent — to the extent to which our rivers will run red with the blood of evil men and their naive apologists.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    eric says:

    @Cat Lady: there is no difference because the Saudis provide a presence to our military that we cannot get anywhere else. there is a reason Saudi Arabia is the hotbed of islamic radicalism. the saudis have always been off limits, the same as israel.

  32. 32
    mark k says:

    This is just like the scene in “Network” when Howard Beale is told by Ned Beatty/ Mr. Jensen “you will atone!” because he exposes Saudi ownership.

    The scene everyone forgets is later, when it becomes a pro=establishment show and his shows ratings start to tank, Duvalls character is asked to do something about it. He says “I can’t, Mr. Jensen thinks its an important message that is being put out”

    So, just like Becks shows are ratings losers, it doesn’t matter because he delivers right-wing/fascist messages.

    Damn, Paddy C. was amazing!

  33. 33
    Shalimar says:

    @matoko_chan: How did we lose in Iraq? We won in every way it was possible to win, including setting up a moderate state that may survive a year or two after we finally leave. Turning Iraq Christian was never a US goal.
    And we also accomplished all of our goals in Afghanistan except getting the top 2 Al Qaeda leaders. Staying past a few years was a big mistake because it isn’t possible to “win” a war in Afghanistan long-term, but that doesn’t mean we lost or will lose either. This isn’t a game of Risk.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @mark k #31: Wow, I really need to watcch Network again.

  35. 35
    bemused says:

    I think most republican voters have a child like, daddy wouldn’t lie to me, unquestioning loyalty to the party. Even republicans not in the smaller percentage birther, tenter nutter group are suspicious that there just has to be something to death panel, Acorn and other manufactured stories. Allowing doubts to creep in opens the door to revealing a massive deception and con job on R voters and they don’t want to go there.

  36. 36
    matoko_chan says:

    @Shalimar: we LOST.
    we spent a trillion taxpayer dollars and 6000 soldier lives and killed 150000 iraqi muslim citizens to create another islamic state where a LOT MORE muslims hate us now. Some of the survivors are prolly thinking day and night about how to deliver another attack.
    What was the mission you dumb cudlip?
    “implanting western-style democracy”==”implanting judeoxian democracy” with freedom of religon so the WECs can build a megachurch in Mecca.
    you moron, that ca never happen.
    when muslims get to vote democratically they vote for shariah
    Iraq has shariah in the constitution, religious political parties and the imams and ayatollahs still call the shots.
    UTTER FAIL.
    We made MORE terrorists, not less.

  37. 37
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    I heart Frank Rich. I wish a non-Fox news entity would interview Gingrich, Murdoch and Palin to get their responses. Won’t be CNN or MSNBC. Maybe a non-US media outlet. CBC? BBC? Haaretz? Won’t happen but a girl can dream. I’m just going to cheer myself up by reading that UK Daily Mash gem John linked to earlier: Outrage over plans to build library next to Sarah Palin.

  38. 38
    morzer says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Leaving aside the cudlip remark, I am forced to agree with Matoko-chan on the merits. Strange world we live in, but there you go.

  39. 39
    Citizen_X says:

    @Frank:

    Here we have the biggest cable news network in the US; it is partially owned by a foreigner who not long a ago became a naturalized US citizen. The second biggest owner is another foreigner from Saudi Arabia.

    Oh, sure. Next, you’re going to tell me that the favorite right-wing newspaper in the nation’s capitol is run by a virulently, openly anti-democracy cult leader with documented ties to foreign spy agencies, who keeps said newspaper afloat to the tune of millions of dollars per year.

  40. 40
    azlib says:

    Yes, “Network” is pretty prescient for what is happening in the media world these days. The one factor not present in the film is the impact of the Internet, but the Internet did not even exist when Paddy made “Network” — only the nascent ARPANET with 56kbps links was deployed at that time.

    News has become entertainment and stories are picked up now for their entertainment value. Actually, reporting on real policy like the economy is so boring and not good for ratings. I suspect a lot of reporters are judged by how many people pay attention to their stories and not the importance or even the truthfulness of the content.

    Grifters like Palin and Gingrich (yes, Gingrich is as much a grifter as Palin) have learned the fine art of cultivating publicity by saying absolutely outrageous stuff. With news as entertainment, there are no more filters on what gets reported. If it is entertaining, it makes the news. The new hour is just another entertainment venue which competes for ratings, so the advertisers are happy.

    Fox has taken this news as entertainment to a new level with a right wing twist. I think they have done careful research on their demographic and they cynically give the demographic what they want to hear. They really do not care about the potentially lethal effects of the disinformation they spew. All they care about is their ratings and keeping their advertisers happy.

  41. 41
    roshan says:

    Shalimar can most definitely join the media propaganda team of General Petraeus and the DoD. She seems to be an expert turd polisher.

  42. 42
    morzer says:

    @Citizen_X:

    If you go for the full house by a fair and balanced discussion of Megan McFlapdoodle, I may be forced to clutch my pearls. Do you really want to see a 6’4” man clutching his pearls? Think very carefully before you answer.

  43. 43

    Just to be clear, despite m_c’s idiotic claims to the contrary, the U.S. didn’t lose to “Islam,” any more than we lost to “communism” in Vietnam.

  44. 44
    Donald says:

    Typical of Frank Rich and a certain type of liberal that he can’t take a liberal position without embracing the Man Called Petraeus. Good move, Frank.

  45. 45
    Chad N Freude says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Not clear to me: Are you contesting the use of the quoted terms (in which case I agree with you) or arguing against the use of the word “loss”?

    On a related note: Cruel punishments become more commonplace as hard-line local leaders become emboldened by the Taliban’s growing influence and a weak central government.

  46. 46
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Get Glenn Beck and the Foxbots to defend Saudi fucking Arabia. I’d even watch Fox to see that.

    “They provide us with gas, sweet, sweet, gas. For our SUV’s. They hate Jews. And they have the kind of locked-down, all-pervasive theocracy of which we can only dream.”

    Beck’s attachment to the Founding Fathers is instrumental, his attachment is to his paycheck.

  47. 47
    Suffern ace says:

    I can’t get access to the Times today, but did Frank Rich mention that the people really rousing the rabble have been doing so all over the country? Or is it just a New York thing and elsewhere who cares kind of thing.

    Good lord. The outcome of the good generals war plan is probably not going to go down in flames because of this. This is not a center of world historic consequeces. The taliban aren’t going to lay down their arms tomorrow once they hear that they could go for a swim in lower manhattan. They aren’t going to fight harder if they are denied that. They have other things to do.

    Hopefully when the Taliban have their morning coffee they aren’t reading the new York post or times or listening to fox to find out the latest news. One of the problems that Muslims are having is that some people, for whatever reasons, are treating the construction of mosques in their communities as events of greater consequnce than they actually are. Does it really help calm things down for frank to link this center to the global war on terror by bringing in the general?

  48. 48

    @Chad N Freude: Use of the quoted terms, c.f. “poverty,” “drugs,” “terror,” etc. Sorry for the lack of specificity.

  49. 49

    @Suffern ace:

    One of the problems that Muslims are having is that some people, for whatever reasons, are treating the construction of mosques in their communities as events of greater consequnce than they actually are.

    To use an overused term: This.

    There are much greater problems facing this country than the prayer habits of a minority religious group. Anything to distract the populace from the shitstorm that is our economy.

    ETA: Laws of unintended consequences: the number of construction jobs that will likely be lost because of religious intolerance in these communities.

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    @roshan: Gee, and I always think of them as insensitive.

    @cmorenc: True, but such things definitely would matter to independents, were they informed of such.

    This is key. Bless their Independent, inconsistent, hearts, they at least have no stake in the increasing “point and scream” that the Republican party is using to purge their ranks.

    Because I can’t emphasize this enough: it’s not that they love Conservatism, it’s that they were fooled by the whole Compassionate Conservatism, Bush is an Upright Moral Guy, we’re going to Give You Money thing the Republicans rode to victory and disaster.

    That’s why Republicans are doing everything except run as Republicans. It should be easy for Democrats to point that out, dammit.

  51. 51
    Allison W. says:

    Bless Frank Rich, but does he actually think Republican voters care about the hypocrisy of Republican politicians? Really?

    do they even know? whoever they watch, read or listen to is not going to expose this hypocrisy.

  52. 52
    morzer says:

    @Suffern ace:

    Hopefully when the Taliban have their morning coffee they aren’t reading the new York post

    I suspect they drink tea, and put the New York Post to the use for which God and cheap absorbent paper clearly designed it.

  53. 53

    @debit: I know, that’s one of the many things that makes this so amusing (in a “Ha ha, I’m going to punch in the nuts, now,” sort of way). If memory serves, the offices of the NYT have also been on the fReichtard hit list.

    The only good liberal is a dead liberal I guess. Especially since they can’t object when freaks like Billdo dry hump their corpses for fun and profit.

  54. 54
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Allison W.: Problem is folks outside the US *are* paying attention. And that has consequences (beyond mocking articles in the UK version of the Onion), even if the Fox news demographic doesn’t realize this or care. The world is seeing a more frightened, dumber America than they are used to. And moderate western-friendly Muslims around the world can see the hypocrisy.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    revelation that News Corp. has poured $1 million into G.O.P. campaign coffers was a fiendishly clever smokescreen to deflect anyone from following the far greater sum of Saudi money (a $3 billion stake) that has flowed into Murdoch enterprises, or the News Corp. money (at least $70 million) recently invested in a Saudi media company….

    So does this mean that Murdoch is a stealth Muslim (where is his birth certificate?) or that the Saudis hate Muslims? There is not much surprise here that greed trumps ethics.

    @azlib:

    Grifters like Palin and Gingrich (yes, Gingrich is as much a grifter as Palin) have learned the fine art of cultivating publicity by saying absolutely outrageous stuff.

    It’s not about cultivating publicity. It’s about deliberately cultivating hatred of Muslims, including Muslim Americans, in order to attack Obama and the Democrats, and to regain the Congress and ultimately the presidency.

    It’s working, especially in an election year where even some Democrats (Dean, Reid) back down and join in on the scapegoating.

  56. 56

    […] cynical world views meet cynical politics August 22, 2010 — Richard Gayle I [Heart] Ankh-Morpork New Yorkers[Via Balloon […]

  57. 57
    licensed to kill time says:

    @gbear:

    The World Trade Center’s architect, Minoru Yamasaki, was a favorite designer of the Binladin family’s patrons—the Saudi royal family—and a leading practitioner of an architectural style that merged modernism with Islamic influences.

    You know, when I was hanging around NYC before 9/11 the most frequent thing I heard about the Twin Towers were complaints about how ugly they were. “Two cracker boxes stood on end” was how they were described. I say this not out of disrespect but just as a comment on ‘modernism’ in general and how perceptions change after a cataclysmic event.

    “Islamic influences” I never saw at all, if in fact the architect ever had that in mind. Flowing lines, graceful domes and arches on the Twin Towers? Not so much.

  58. 58
    Mike in NC says:

    Reading about Bernie Kerik in jail made my day!

  59. 59
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: wallah another cudlip weighs in.
    WE FUCKING LOST IN VIET NAM YOU RETARD.
    we spent 800 billion dollars in 2010 dollars and …
    fuck.
    South Vietnam 220357 dead; 1170000 wounded. United States 58159 dead; 1719 missing; … North Vietnam & NLF 1176000 dead/missing; 600000+ wounded

    and viet nam is a communist state.
    just like Iraq is an islamic state.

    i hate you people so much.
    NWBCW!
    NWBAW!

  60. 60
    mclaren says:

    @Shalimar:

    W00t! We won in Afghanistan and Iraq!

    GO AMERICA! NUMBER ONE!

    That’s the spirit. Keep hoisting that giant foam finger, kiddo.

    @Uloboros:

    What is this thing you have with taking a few anecdotes and spinning a world-shattering narrative out of it? You keep doing it.

    Punditry, babe. Punditry.

    If you’re not getting massively Chthulhu-esque vibe out of the whole 3 Hindenberg Omens in one week thing + stock market poised for an epic slide this October + general Tea Party crazification factor + people spending all their time haggling about a stupid mosque in Manhattan when oil is poised to shoot up again to $175/bbl… Well, dunno. Could be I’m totally wrong about things going south and getting really bad here. Maybe all the reports of a lost decade Japan-style from now till 2020 are hooey. Maybe Krugman and Stiglitz and Volcker and all the other top-notch economists are completely wrong. Maybe the economy will turn around and shoot back up like a rocket and 1930s bungalows in Southern California will sell for $700,000 again and everyone’s 401K will be saved. Maybe Martin Ford is totally wrong and progressive automation won’t decimate the white collar middle class. Maybe American corporations will stop offshoring all the jobs out of the goodness of their hearts. Maybe.

    I’ve been wrong before. Could be wrong again. This whole zeitgeist in America right now just feels like the calm before the storm. Maybe I’m imagining things. I’ve been wrong plenty of time before, could be wrong again now. Obama is starting to feel like a one-term president, though, with this stubborn 9% unemployment hanging around forever, and I shudder to think what comes after Obama. Or, for that matter, the level of dementia we’re going to see when the Repubs take over the House again this fall.

    House committees wasting their time on idiotic birth certificate investigations…no possibility of another stimulus package…the near future looks pretty ugly.

    But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe everything will turn out great. Let’s hope.

    Apocalypse? No, more likely America will just continue to slide into a gray dingy future where we more and more resemble East Germany. More police state, less jobs, endless foreign wars, universities shutting down, a dwindling middle class. Everything will just grind on gradually getting worse and worse, like Japan from 1990 to today. Young people have given up on the system in Japan, the system gave up on them, so they’ve stopped working or looking for work. How far away are we from that scenario?

    Dunno. Could be Japan’s a unique case. We certainly seem to be repeating every one of their economic mistakes, but maybe the economy will rebound. Maybe the housing market till turn around. Maybe there won’t be a giant commercial real estate crash in America in the next couple of years. Maybe we’ll find the money to keep increasing military spending, somehow, somewhere, someways. Maybe the next president will restore all our lost constitutional rights and declare that no U.S. president will ever again order the assassination of an American citizen overseas. Maybe all those bizarre automated trading bots that are doing 3 stock trades every millisecond and took down the Dow 1,000 points in one day won’t eventually intersect and blow our financial system up in a classic case of 1,000 coins getting flipped and all turning up heads by pure bad luck. Maybe.

  61. 61

    @matoko_chan:
    Fuck you with your bullshit “cudlip” stuff, idiot. We lost in Vietnam to a force that knew how to fight in the jungles. Ideology doesn’t lose wars – strategy and tactics do, you fucking simplistic idiot.

    Read my earlier comment again, this time for reading comprehension. I didn’t say we didn’t *lose* Vietnam. I said we didn’t lose to “communism.” We lost to a North Vietnamese force on their home turf.

    Similarly, I’d say we lost Iraq, but we didn’t lose Iraq to “Islam,” considering there are at least two branches of Islam involved there – Shia and Sunni, not to mention the Kurds. We lost to guerrilla tactics, tactics that can be used by any ideology against a superior military force.

    And we’re losing in Af-Pak for the same reason. Good thing those Taliban fighters are fighting the good fight for Islam, eh, m_c?

  62. 62
    morzer says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    You think we should simply ignore the ideology of those who defeated us? Napoleon said that in war morale was to material as three is to one. Mind you, he only conquered Europe, so what would a little Corsican boy know?

  63. 63
    mclaren says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Yeah, but just think…only America has the resources and the imagination and the daring to lose two wars at once.

    In fact, I say we need to do more. America needs to develop the capability to lose three wars at once.

    Yeah!

    Go America! NUMBER ONE, ALL THE WAY!

  64. 64

    @morzer:

    You think we should simply ignore the ideology of those who defeated us? Napoleon said that in war morale was to material as three is to one. Mind you, he only conquered Europe, so what would a little Corsican boy know?

    I didn’t say we should simply ignore ideology, straw man. Last I checked, Napoleon got his ass kicked eventually, too. I wouldn’t go basing your argument on that particular little Corsican boy.

    Also, IIRC, Napoleon fought traditional wars with traditional techniques (i.e., soldiers in uniforms facing off on the field of battle). If we’re going down that route, the U.S. actually *won* the military victory against their stated enemy (the Iraqi military) in Iraq. They lost against guerrillas who continue to use fear against the population (ditto with the Taliban).

    To state again, nation-states don’t lose to ideologies. They lose to troops on the ground who have superior tactics and strategy.

  65. 65
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: you are a cudlip, a two digit. WE LOST.
    we spent gobs of blood and treasure for nothing.
    you’re so numb you don’t even feel the boot on your neck, retard.
    we aren’t the good guys……we arent even the better guys.
    we are the STUPID guys.
    fucking american trash.

    I’ve got this planet in my hands
    You know I’ll waste it if I can
    Come on let’s give it a twist
    And if it all turns to shit-
    Oh wait let’s try that again.
    My life’s too short to have a plan
    Here let me help you understand
    First take this drink and this pill
    Relax your mind and be still
    Let’s find out who I am

    I’ve got this planet in my hands
    Yeah I’ll try to save it if I can
    I’m satisfied with myself
    Don’t care for anyone else
    I’m so united when I stand.
    I get my facts from the TV
    Believe in everything I read
    It’s such an ignorant bliss
    When the whole fucking world wants to be like me.

    Cause I-
    I’m just American-
    Stupid American trash
    I’m just American-
    Stupid American trash

    I’m just American-
    And everyone’s shutting down
    The people are so worn out
    Wake up the dream is over
    Everyone’s shutting down
    The people are so worn out
    Wake up the dream is over
    Wake up the dream is over

  66. 66
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: we lost in Iraq because we were PROSELYTIZING western-style judeoxian democracy and Islam is IMMUNE to proselytizing in situ.
    al-Islam kicked America’s fat white judeoxian ass.
    sukk on that cudlip.

  67. 67

    @matoko_chan:
    Fuck you, idiot.

    And who’s this “we” you’re talking about. You’re more than welcome to go back and live under that Sharia you keep pumping. Why not go try to get your advanced education in IQ and g in Afghanistan?

    Hypocrisy much?

    BTW, you presuppose that Islam is immune to democracy, which isn’t even a religious system, you idiot. So you’re saying Islam is, by default, a theocracy. You and Pam Geller should share notes, because it sounds like you’d agree with each other, dumbass.

    Oh, and cudlip, for ya.

  68. 68
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    They lose to troops on the ground who have superior tactics and strategy.

    bwhahahaha! so the greatest mil in the world just got their asses handed to them by 7th century jihaadis with no AF and no Navy, no tanks or humvees?
    30k Talis are pwning 430k coalition forces in Afghanistan RIGHT NOW.
    you are an EPIC retard, aws.

  69. 69
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Islam is immune to fucking WESTERNSTYLE JUDEOXIAN DEMOCRACY dumbass.
    Geller would burn me for a sufi witch if she could and you know that. Daisy Khan and i are sistahs.
    and we are amerimuslimahs.
    i get to help build mosques in america, worship however i please, go to school in america, raise children and succeed in america.
    so fuck you very much.
    I’m stayin’.
    the Founders and the Framers guaranteed my civil rights, asshole.
    read the Constitution.

  70. 70

    @matoko_chan:

    you are an EPIC retard, aws.

    which I guess puts me two levels up from you, m_c, because you can’t seem to grok that guerrilla warfare *is* a superior strategy and IEDs and fear *are* superior tactics for people who don’t have equivalent military hardware. You might want to read the David/Goliath part of the old testament again, asshole.

  71. 71

    @matoko_chan:

    i get to help build mosques in america, worship however i please, go to school in america, raise children and succeed in america.

    So shorter m_c: I got mine, fuck you. How very glibertarian of you.

  72. 72

    @matoko_chan:

    the Founders and the Framers guaranteed my civil rights, asshole.
    read the Constitution.

    Hey, coming from someone who can’t seem to latch onto the different prongs of the FA, I find that pretty fucking rich.

  73. 73
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: its because of stupid AMERICAFUCKYAH! assholes like you that we got spoofed into Viet Nam and Iraq, you intransigent sub-sapient moron.
    we are FUCKING BROKE and 6000 american soldiers from the finest military on the planet DIED FOR NOTHING.
    wake up you assclown.
    its morons like you that let the warpimps and neo-cons and bankstahs ruin this country.
    you stupid asshole…..just fucking admit……WE LOST!

  74. 74
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: well EGT beats mil-strat everytime retard.
    the biological basis of behavior rules.
    you are incredibly stupid.
    Even if we “bring democracy” to Afghanistan THE PEOPLE WILL VOTE DEMOCRATICALLY FOR SHARIAH.
    read it.

    For example, an overwhelming number of Pakistanis polled continue to have a negative view of the United States (68 percent), and a majority of Pakistanis (53 percent) see India as the greatest threat to the country, over the Taliban (23 percent) and al-Qaeda (3 percent). Much like last year’s Pew survey, the majority of Pakistanis polled say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country, citing terrorism, crime, and a lack of jobs as very big issues.

    Some of the most interesting results relate to attitudes toward religion, law, and society. According to the findings, “Pakistani Muslims overwhelmingly welcome Islamic influence over their country’s politics. Nearly nine-in-ten (88 percent) of those who see Islam playing a large role say that is a good thing.” Moreover, many Muslims in Pakistan say there is a struggle between groups that want to modernize their country and Islamic fundamentalists (44 percent), and of those who see a struggle, most identify with the modernizers (61 percent). At the same time though, a solid majority of Pakistanis polled said they would favor making gender segregation in the workplace a law in the country (85 percent), as well as punishments like whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery (82 percent), and stoning people who commit adultery (82 percent).

    And do you why i have to cite pakistani statistics? Because the Afghans HATE US EVEN MORE. because of shit like Garani. and because EVEN MORE OF THEM WANT ISLAMIC LAW. and that would demoralize our troops that are there FIGHTING AND DYING FOR NOTHING.

  75. 75

    @matoko_chan:
    Hey, little miss Reading Comprehension Fail, did you not get that I already said we lost?

    And, FWIW, I wasn’t *born* until Vietnam was already halfway finished, so fuck you. I don’t think we have any business being in Iraq at the moment, and, yes, I know that “we” are broke.

    So, in short, fuck you and the bullshit horse you rode in on.

    btw, how are all your muslim sisters doing in MENA? enjoying all that education and freedom you’re soaking up thanks to western democracy and freedom of religion?

    Yeah, didn’t think so, McMegan.

  76. 76
    morzer says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I’d say Napoleon knew a bit more about war than some sad little blowhard with a repertoire of high school insults and a refusal to face facts. But do carry on. I am sure you’ll manage even more amusing examples of your endless capacity for bungling logic.

  77. 77
  78. 78

    @morzer:

    I’d say Napoleon knew a bit more about war than some sad little blowhard with a repertoire of high school insults and a refusal to face facts

    Um, who refused to face facts? I said we *lost* the wars. How is that refusing to face facts?

    ETA: Are you saying that strategy and tactics do not win wars? Or are you saying that guerrilla tactics are not the only successful option against a military force with much greater capabilities? Or are you saying that ideology trumps all of those?

    Please do explain to this “sad little blowhard.”

  79. 79
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: no my sisters are bleeding and dying because FUCKING STUPID AMERICAFUCKYEAH retards like you think america should come over there to proselytize your stupid judeoxian democracy and destroy what social fabric we had because of your pantwetting fear of justice….

    did you not get that I already said we lost?

    Just to be clear, despite m_c’s idiotic claims to the contrary, the U.S. didn’t lose to “Islam,” any more than we lost to “communism” in Vietnam.

    You need to say WE LOST TO ISLAM just like WE LOST TO COMMUNISM in Viet Nam.
    Because that is the truth.
    Iraq is an islamic state.
    Viet Nam is a communist state.

    NWBCW!
    NWBAW!

  80. 80
    Nellcote says:

    Kudos to Rich for the sly use of “betrayed” wrt Petraus.

    And speaking of wordplay, since the WTC site is still a ginormous PIT, shouldn’t it be called “hollowed” ground?

  81. 81

    @matoko_chan:

    You need to say WE LOST TO ISLAM just like WE LOST TO COMMUNISM in Viet Nam.
    Because that is the truth.
    Iraq is an islamic state.
    Viet Nam is a communist state.

    Iraq was not an islamic state under Hussein. It was a dictatorship. Vietnam is a communist state because the people who fought happened to be communists, not because “communism” beat the U.S. military.

    NATION STATES DO NOT LOSE TO IDEOLOGIES, FUCKWIT! It is not the truth. They lose to other nation-states (ETA: or other interested parties) who have a greater interest in winning.

  82. 82

    To expand on my previous point, I’ll turn it around: I don’t think you could argue that Germany in World War II lost to “democracy” or “judeo-christian values” either. They lost to an enemy with superior firepower. The Southern military in the Civil War didn’t lose to emancipation or federalism. They lost to an opponent that bled them dry. The English military didn’t lose to representative democracy in the U.S. war of independence.

  83. 83
    Kyle says:

    Pakistani Muslims Alabama Baptists overwhelmingly welcome Islamic Xtian influence over their politics. Nearly nine-in-ten (88 percent) of those who see Islam Xtianity playing a large role say that is a good thing.”

    Change the labels, and it’s the same backward-ass, lizard-brain superstition, authoritarianism, scared-stupid tribalism, exaltation of ignorance and bigotry that is the real enemy, all over the world.

  84. 84
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: then what were we doing there fucktard? learnin’ how to make spring rolls? no, we went there TO DEFEAT COMMUNISM. domino theory, membah?
    We went to Iraq to “implant/proselytize/standup westernstyle (aka judeoxian) democracy….TO DEFEAT ISLAMIC TERRORISM.
    we went to germany to DEFEAT NAZISM and their japanese allies who btw, attacked us first.
    Islam WON.
    Communism WON.
    Nazism lost. :)

  85. 85
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: actually emancipation won. the Civil War really WAS about about slavery, fucktard….like TNC and Dennis G said. The revolutionary war was a war of ideology….the brits wanted to impose a colonial monarchy. we refused. its always about competing ideology moron.
    why is it so hard for you to admit Islam just kicked Americas ass in Iraq? do you think your ideology is somehow superior?

  86. 86

    @matoko_chan:
    I didn’t say it wasn’t about slavery, fucktard. I said the north had the superior strategy and tactics. And the revolution war wasn’t about ideology in the sense you’re making it out to be. Read the doi sometime. The colonists didn’t seem to have so much of a prob with monarchy (else why float the idea of king george washington?).

    Ideology is a great thing to have on your side. But the russians won ww2 just as much as we did. So did democracy prevail or did communism? I’d say neither. Superior firepower and strategy won.

    But you can keep fucking that chicken, m_c.

  87. 87
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @morzer: I suspect that’s because it contains the word p0ker. It doesn’t like cas1no either or gambl1ng.

  88. 88

    @matoko_chan:
    I would note your conflation of the term Islamic terrorism with the Islamic “defeat” of the u.s. Presence. Your problem is u can’t distinguish between separate issues and actors and ideology.

  89. 89
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: i don’t know how to get this thru your thick skull you dimwitted numbskull.
    unless you and others can admit that communism and islam FUCKING KICKED AMERICAS FAT WHITE JUDEOXIAN ASS the warpimps are just going to fuck us up again, like they did after waiting a few years for Viet Nam to drop into the memory hole…. because you will say, oh we just need better tactics and strategy, or better hardware, or better soldiers and we can free those poor muslimahs from the horrible tyrrany of shariah law.
    so you assholes can go right back to fucking RL tabletop wargaming with real bleeding humans, and pretending THE FUCKIN’ CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED DOESN”T MATTER.
    the muslimahs dont want you there.
    big white christian bwana go home.

  90. 90
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: heh, but it is America that has convolved islamic terrorism with al-Islam(see Park51). and that is why America lost.
    That fucking WEC retard Bush thought he could stop islamic terrorism by replacing islamic government with judeoxian democracy.
    the dumbass didnt get that when muslims CAN vote, they vote for shariah.

  91. 91
    matoko_chan says:

    bwhahaha, and that is wat OBL wanted all along……to provoke the clash of civilizations, to make the war on al-Qaeda into a war on al-Islam. id say he succeeded, right?
    OBL just kicked americas ass too.
    even that fucking WEC retard Bush understood we can’t win a global war on al-Islam. 1.8 billion muslims and over half under 30?
    don’t you get what all the christofascist handwringing about muslim reproductive rates is about?
    wallah.
    no…..Geller and Palin and Gingrich are OBL’s wet dream.
    next stop on the Road to Apocalypse, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.
    im sure carpetbombing Iran will lead to a triumph of western judeoxian ideals of freedom and democracy, right before the kickoff for WWIII.

  92. 92
    D-Chance. says:

    Ah, yes… yes, indeed. Fox and that poor, poor… what was his name again?

    Help me out, Liberals… General… Betray-us? I think that’s what all of you called him. Big, full-page ads, too, from what I recall of the left’s love affair with one good soldier. But trying to sabotage Iraq was one thing; trying to sabotage the O’ster’s Little Droned Joyride in Afghanistan is quite another!

  93. 93
    Anne Laurie says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    You know, when I was hanging around NYC before 9/11 the most frequent thing I heard about the Twin Towers were complaints about how ugly they were. “Two cracker boxes stood on end” was how they were described. I say this not out of disrespect but just as a comment on ‘modernism’ in general and how perceptions change after a cataclysmic event.

    I have said this before, but my dad spent his career working for the Port Authority, and the absolute disdain for and hatred of the WTC towers by those who saw their livelihoods being dumped into a please-the-banksters “publicity stunt” cannot be adequately described without the use of profanity. One of the first things that flashed through my mind when we heard about their destruction was a bitter “joke” that my old man (who died years before this) and his mates shared, which ended with the line “But where will we find a skydiving rat?”

  94. 94
    Anne Laurie says:

    @mclaren: A link just for you, McLaren:

    Japan and the Ancient Art of Shrugging

  95. 95
    Anne Laurie says:

    Also, Matoko-chan should be given a medical exemption from the Ramadan fast, because low blood sugar is making her even sillier than usual.

    “Sister”, do you realize you are using exactly the same words and arguments about Islam that the Glibertarians use about Objectivism? They may sound brilliant and sparkly to your friends inside the bubble, but the rest of us just find them… peculiar.

    “when muslims CAN vote, they vote for shariah”. And when Teabaggers vote, they vote for Glenn Beck. This is not a net positive for the general community, babygirl.

  96. 96
    daveinboca says:

    Not that mental-midget Jon Stewart would figure it out, but for a private Saudi to make a stock purchase of News Corps. has little to do with the government. News Corps’s buying into the Saudi media environment, however, is a good move as it is jammed with Al-Jazeera Hamas-Hezbollah agitprop of the same sort that the NYT promotes with Rich & Kristof. The Saudis hate Hamas, a Sunni offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood just like CAIR is and al-Rauf’s camel’s-nose-under-the-tent Cordoba terrorist theme Park51 project. And the Saudis despise the Shi’ite Hezbollah, who are an Iranian fifth column in Lebanon, Bahrain, and allied with other Shi’ite movements in Turkey, Syria, Azerbaijan, and Chechnya.

    Rich has morphed from a failed-theater critic who mistakes comedy for tragedy into a cloud-cuckoo political commentator who leaves out entire clumps of characters [Mad Howie Dean, e.g.] and plot-lines [Al-Rauf’s hostile overseas interviews & speeches in Arabic versus his soothing blandishments to his simple-minded core audience. Comfort food for the Upper West Side elites nourished on NYT Op-Ed cartoons so cliched and simple that even these overpaid morons can comprehend them.

    On the other hand, every sensible Dem, hardhat Union Member, and independent who has taken the time to think through having a Muslim-Brotherhood sleeper-cell covert Ikhwan asset like Al-Rauf and his aide-de-camp Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR, another fellow-traveller of MB, remain as DNC allies and kumbayeh partners has figured this out. Not even Harry Reid and Crazy Howie Dean are buying into this scam….., a fact omitted by the political commissar Frankula Rich or his liberal-fascist editors….

    Rich should look up the word taqiyya in his google and wiki Lexus-Nexus. I think he wants to remain deceived and his suspension of disbelief matches his fellow NYT dunce-oped dancing partner Nicky Kristof’s ignorant naivete.

  97. 97
    xian says:

    @licensed to kill time: the islamic influences were at the base, where the buttresses swept up in lines influenced by the geometry of tents… there are similar monumental buildings in Iran.

  98. 98
    priscianusjr says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    On why New Yorkers widely despised the WTC, read the book Divided We Stand by Eric Darton. It came out a couple of years before the WTC attack. I doubt it would ever have found a publisher post 9/11.

  99. 99
    matoko_chan says:

    @Anne Laurie: i wouldn’t go there if i were you, pagan.
    you’re the only one i do have a license to kill, at least according the conservatards and teabaggers.
    do you think the history books will recognize the epic stupidity of that fucking WEC retard George Bush?
    and you know nothing of shariah except what you’ve heard from franklin grahame and atlas jugs and that fucking somali scam artist Hirsii Ali.
    voting for beck wouldnt cost us 6000 lives and a trillion dollars now would it, unlike our fucking retarded WEC CinC Bush’s epic oversight. Rummie capped that assclowns briefing slides with bible quotes.

    wallah im so thirsty i could drink blood.
    preferably yours.

  100. 100
    matoko_chan says:

    @daveinboca: you dumbass you and your ilk just handed OBL the Great Victory..an american war on Islam.
    The american people cant tell the difference between al-Qaeda and al-Islam……lessee 40% of 300 million americans that are aging white conservative christians against 1.8 billion muslims, over half of whom are under 30….who will win?
    and us “sleeper cell muslims” can wrap ourselves in the Constitution, and build mosques anywhere we like.
    Sukk on that, conservatard.

  101. 101
    mclaren says:

    @roshan:

    That Reagan quote has to be fraudulent. The Taliban weren’t formed until 1994.

    The original Reagan quote was that the nun-raping priest-murdering Contras in Nicaragua were the moral equivalent of the founding fathers.

    @matoko_chan:

    wallah im so thirsty i could drink blood.
    preferably yours.

    That’s refreshing. Way to popularize Islam as “the religion of peace,” buckaroo.

    Listening to matoko_chan and the rest of you argue is like watching the Special Olympics. Even if one of you wins, you’re still retarded.

    @Anne Laurie: Boy, those charts from Japan’s economy are scary, aren’t they? That’s what the sharp economists like Stiglitz and Volcker are worried is happening to the U.S. economy right now.

    Well, Japan IS very different from America, culturally, so let’s hope we’re different economically. Maybe we are. Maybe.

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    Over a hundred comments and not one call for Lord Vetanari to take back his seat and get the city working again.

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