evidence that something is causing people to go slightly
bonkers – is it something in the water? the air? the stars?
– continues to pile up. For starters, check out the "logic"
Charles Rangel's bright idea to bring back the draft in
order to stop the war:
believe that if those calling for war knew that their children
were likely to be required to serve and be placed in harm's
way there would be more caution and a greater willingness
to work with the international community in dealing with Iraq.
A renewed draft will help bring a greater appreciation of
the consequences of decisions to go to war."
if we want to instill a greater appreciation of the hazards
of war among our lawmakers and policy elites, then why not
draft their children, and leave the rest of us alone?
Oh, but that wouldn't be egalitarian, and is therefore impermissible.
According to our resident congressional gadfly, we have to
enslave everyone in order to make sure that we're all
"bearing the burden" equally:
disproportionate number of the poor and members of minority
groups make up the enlisted ranks of the military, while the
most privileged Americans are underrepresented or absent."
is something we don't often see: a black politician, skilled
in the rhetoric of racial victimology, complaining that there
are too many minorities in a given field. In effect,
he wants to institute a white affirmative action program in
the military. David
Duke would no doubt agree.
liberals – and coldly calculating neocons – who hailed
Rangel's proposal is yet more evidence that the national IQ
is plummeting fast. The American Prospect took
the opportunity "to throw out some reasons why, in
principle, mandatory national service is not such a bad idea indeed,
why some liberals might be inclined to support it." War
is the health of the state, as the classical liberal Randolph
Bourne warned at the turn of the last century, but to modern
liberals this is not to be feared, but celebrated.
administration disdained the Rangel proposal, and most conservatives
seemed comforted by the measure's nonexistent chance of passage.
Yet Charles Krauthammer endorsed the idea unreservedly on
"Washington Week," since we'll need a draft if the
U.S. is going to fight all the wars he and his fellow neocons
have in store for us. William F. Buckley, Jr., anticipating
the pretensions of "national greatness" conservatism
by at least a decade, wrote an entire book about the need
for a mandatory "national service" to forcibly inculcate
the stern spirit of patriotism in our indolent, decadent youth.
great danger of the Rangel legislation is that it has paved
the way for a more serious effort to revive conscription in
the near future. If the ostensibly antiwar liberal Democrat
from the Bronx can make such a proposal even half-seriously,
then it becomes more acceptable for Republicans and centrist
Democrats to embrace a position that was previously taboo.
who claim a draft will deter the mandarins of power from pursuing
foreign military adventures are astonishingly naïve.
What makes them think that our elites wouldn't sacrifice
their own sons and daughters on the altar of their own hubris?
What gets me is that this is supposed to be somehow ennobling,
instead of just plain monstrous.
it's something in the water: perhaps Arianna Huffington's
Perrier was spiked with angel-dust when she thought up her
anti-SUV commercials. We know she's hot to legalize drugs,
but won't there still be laws against public intoxication?
In Arianna's case, it is self-intoxication, as with so many
drag queens, but in any case one has to wonder about the real
subtext of the
is George,' a child says in a sing-song voice. 'This is the
gas that George bought for his SUV. This is the oil company
executive that sold the gas that George bought for his SUV.
These are the countries where the executive bought the oil,
that made the gas that George bought for his SUV. And these
are the terrorists who get money from those countries every
time George fills up his SUV."
evil Ay-rabs, with their demonic oil, are corrupting our society
even as they try to destroy it, says Arianna and her trendy-wendy
Hollywood buddies, who hate automobiles, and see the war hysteria
as a way to smuggle their environmentalist extremism onto
the public agenda. If you don't like how Americans are exercising
their freedom, including the freedom of mobility, then just
call it "unpatriotic." In the present atmosphere,
you'll not only get away with it, you'll score some points.
real target of the ads, however, was not SUVs, but the Saudis,
and, in this context, Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel's
role in mobilizing
support for Israel in Hollywood takes on new meaning.
Emanuel, head of the powerful Endeavor Agency, is among Huffington's
colleagues in the "Detroit
Project," which sponsored the ads, along with producer
Bender, and comedy producer Laurie
David. Together they are promoting "fuel efficiency"
as the latest fad among the Hollywood elite, and in response
Tinseltown has taken up the hideously slow half-electric "hybrid"
the newest politically correct status symbol:
list of Hollywood's hybrid-come-lately car owners reads like
the table of contents of People magazine: Cameron Diaz, Leonardo
DiCaprio, Carole King, Billy Joel, David Duchovny and Bill
Maher, to name-drop a few. Patricia Arquette bought one recently;
so did rocker Jackson Browne. Larry David bought three, including
one so that his character, 'Larry David,' could drive one
on his HBO series, 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.'"
got a little tired of hearing how we're at war," trills
Arianna, "and we're being asked to do nothing about it
but go shopping, go to Disneyland and the mall." It seems
she can't wait for the shooting to start. One wonders, by
the way, what other great sacrifices our Hollywood sybarites
will make, other than buying the "Prius"
in two or three different colors at twenty grand a
asceticism as the latest Hollywood fad just happens to fit
in rather nicely with the vicious anti-Arab and specifically
anti-Saudi campaign being run by the neoconservative Right,
which dreams of toppling the regime in Riyadh and installing
American military governors throughout the Middle East:
want to point out how our driving habits are fueling oil money
to Saudi Arabia which funnels some of that wealth to
support charities and religious zealots with ties to terrorist
activity,' co-founder Lawrence
hogwash. If Bender has evidence that the Saudi government
financed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, then he and the "Detroit
Project" should come forward with it. If not, then they
should clam up. What we heard in those ads was a smear, an
assertion not backed up by even an iota of evidence: but that,
after all, is what war propaganda is all about.
too, is one
of Israel's biggest friends in Hollywood, and it is therefore
no surprise that he would pursue this blatantly propagandistic
approach that simultaneously demonizes Arabs and paints our
traditional allies in the Gulf as our not-so-hidden enemies.
herself linked her anti-SUV campaign to something called
Environmental Network," a group of "born again"
Baptists which is getting behind the "fuel-efficiency"
propaganda campaign with its own, even crazier ads, that ask:
would Jesus drive?" These are the same "dispensationalist"
nutballs who call themselves "Christian Zionists"
and believe that America must unconditionally support Israel
because it (supposedly) says so in the Bible: no wonder they're
coalescing into an alliance with pro-Israel groups in
the name of "fuel efficiency" and "environmentalism."
of craziness, Stephen Schwartz has penned yet
another wild screed for David Horowitz's Frontpage
declaring that Antiwar.com is "neo-fascist." Yeah,
that's right, we're "neo-fascist" libertarians.
Go figure. Not only that, but we are part of an "axis
of evil" that includes the Council on American Islamic
Relations (CAIR) and … Pravda newspaper! As to which
Pravda he was referring to – this
one, this one, this
one, or perhaps this
one – remains mysterious, but then so does the answer
to the question of why anyone should take this loon seriously.
Certainly not his readers over at Frontpage, who
were decidedly not amused by his incoherent ramblings.
his other lies, one stands out: the charge that Antiwar.com
"adulates [former Serbian dictator Slobodan] Milosevic."
The problem for Schwartz, however, is that anyone can look
up my record
on the Milosevic
question, and see that I consistently attacked Slobo and
called for his ouster – not by NATO, but by the Serbian people,
an event that
I celebrated when it came to pass.
its latest iteration, Antiwar.com charges that Yugoslavia
was destroyed by President Clinton," rants Schwartz,
"even though the breakup of Yugoslavia began in 1990,
when Clinton was still the relatively-obscure governor of
Arkansas and the future founders of Antiwar.com were soliciting
gay votes for Patrick J. Buchanan."
see, as a gay person, I would only be "soliciting"
votes for Buchanan among my fellow gays, here in the ghetto
– or something like that. Other unsubtle allusions to my sexuality
permeate his perfervid rhetoric: "But Antiwar.com, however
much lipstick is put on the pig, cannot cleanse itself of
its brown, neofascist stains." Methinks Schwartz has
brown stains on the brain. He would do well to stay in the
closet with his weird obsessions. As for the role of Bill
Clinton in the rape of the former Yugoslavia, only the truly
deluded would try to deny it.
Schwartz also inveighs against Antiwar.com as "the West's
leading advocate, even surpassing the Wahhabi lobby, for the
obscene theory of Israeli guilt for 9/11." But is Salon,
which ran an
article suggesting Israeli foreknowledge of 9/11, not
even in the running? And what about Fox News, which ran a
four-part series on the Israeli connection to the terror attacks?
Are they "obscene," and, if not, why not?
of obscenities, check out this
news bulletin from the Iraqi Communist Party on why they
have decided to abstain from joining the "coalition"
assembled by the U.S. to take over postwar Iraq. Not that
they weren't invited, you understand:
Iraqi CP will not be taking part in the 'Opposition Conference'
which is to be held in London next month, due to 'differences
regarding how such a conference should be convened, and how
to build an alliance,' in addition to 'differences in opinion
regarding the way to deal with international forces.'"
to Mr. Hameed Majid Mousa, the Secretary of the party's Central
proper way of convening such a conference is through direct
consultations among Iraqi patriotic opposition forces, without
interference or patronage from any foreign quarters."
Donald Rumsfeld has his feelings hurt by this seeming rejection,
Mousa pointed out that keeping out foreign interference and
patronage 'does not, at all, negate our need and desire for
international support and backing. The priority, however,
is to activate our Iraqi forces in the struggle against the
dictatorial regime, and only then to approach the international
community and its members, including the United States. In
this way, we would be laying the basis for a normal relationship
within a framework of international legitimacy, in congruence
with the UN Charter.'"
cold war may have ended, but are the would-be "liberators"
of Iraq so hard up for allies that they would try to recruit
fans of Saddam's
role model, Joe Stalin, in the interests of uniting the
"opposition"? The pathetic answer is: yes.
January 23, I will be speaking at a
conference organized by the Palestine Center on "Israel's
Policy of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing," at the National
Press Club 529 14th Street NW Washington, D.C.
have an article in the January issue of Chronicles,
the indispensable monthly magazine put out by the Rockford
Institute, entitled "War Birds." The piece is not
online, but you really ought to subscribe.
new book, The Terror Enigma: Israel and the 9/11 Connection,
will be published on 9/11/03, by Verso
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