PROTEST A 'HATE CRIME'?
marriage of political correctness and "Star Wars"
who could've seen it coming? We had a hint of the uses of
PC in foreign policy, in 1999, when Bill Clinton declared
war on "racism" in Kosovo and handed that former
province of the former Yugoslavia over to the militantly
racist Kosovo "Liberation" Army. But now, in the action
of the British Crown's prosecutors, we see the final, awful
culmination of a trend: it is now a "hate crime" to oppose
the foreign policy initiatives of Tony Blair's government.
Oh what I wouldn't pay to see that trial! Can you imagine
the arguments that will be mustered by prosecutors? Ms.
Percy, we will doubtless discover, is an "extremist" advocate
of "anti-Americanism." Oh, but the Americans are not exactly
a race, you say? A trifling detail, prosecutors will doubtless
argue, because the really defining characteristic of a hate
crime is, of course, evidence of hate. And what could
be more hateful than demonstrating in front of an American
military base, protesting what is supposed to be George
W. Bush's gift to the British people: a "missile shield"?
Oh, the ingratitude of it all! Surely this was a
hateful and, therefore, prosecutable act on
the part of Ms. Percy. I rest my case. . . .
the increasingly totalitarian state of Great Britain, where
the "Disorder" Act has so far been used to prosecute right-wingers
opposed to immigration, the meaning of this attack on the
pathetic remnants of the antiwar Left will no doubt be completely
lost on its latest victims. The far Left, which since the
fall of the Soviet Union has been totally invested in identity
politics, has been in the vanguard of the push for "hate
crime" legislation: in Great Britain, Canada, and much of
Europe, whose peoples groan under the growing tyranny of
the "Third Way," they have succeeded in enacting an outright
ban on "hate speech." As long as these laws were used against
the Right, militantly "multi-cultural" lefties cheered.
Now what will they say, when the same weapon is being used
against them? Cover your ears: the silence is going
to be deafening.
was Richard Nixon who first instituted "affirmative action"
programs in the US federal government, while his secret
political police spied on the antiwar movement and tried
to shut it down. Considering his legally innovative record,
I wonder why he never thought of passing laws against
"hate." Just imagine, 'ol Tricky Dick could've shut the
whole antiwar movement down on the grounds that they were
"haters" America-hating, South Vietnamese-hating,
Nixon-hating "bigots"! And surely the charge of "anti-Americanism,"
at least in certain cases, could've been proved beyond doubt.
+ 2 = 5, BUT ONLY SOMETIMES
more evidence that that they've gone a bit balmy over there
in the Motherland is the
tract written by Robin Cook, Blair's foreign minister,
in which he argues that the "strategy" of his government
in bombing the Iraqis is "to protect the people of Iraq."
Yes, says Cook, "that is why our pilots patrol the no-fly
zones to protect the Iraqi people." How can one respond
to such an outrageous lie? One feels rather like Winston
Smith, in George Orwell's 1984, who, under torture
and faced with a demand that he acknowledge the "truth"
that 2 + 2 = 5 if the Party says it does could
can I help it?' he blubbered. "How can I help seeing what
is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.'"
Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three.
Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder.
It is not easy to become sane.'"
the Orwellian world of Tony Blair's England, where a remark
overheard in a pub can get you fined and perhaps jailed
on charges of "racism," is it really all that surprising
that the foreign minister is literally telling us that war
is peace? After all, with the passage of such laws as the
1998 Crime and Disorder Act, freedom has already become
slavery: and it won't be long now before the Blair government
informs its subjects that ignorance is indeed strength,
perhaps by escalating its increasingly frequent attacks
on the freedom of the press.
says Cook, ever since the UN imposed sanctions and blessed
the bombing campaign, "Iraq has not used chemical weapons
against the Kurds, or against Iran, and it has not invaded
its neighbors all of which it did before." Perhaps
this is because Iraq was disarmed years ago, just as former
UN weapons inspector Scott
Ritter asserts, and is not a military threat to its
neighbors. But Cook seems to realize the self-canceling
illogic of his position: if Iraq is in such poor shape,
then we needn't impose draconian sanctions and continue
bombing right? Of course not! Why "only a
few weeks ago," wrote Cook, "he reasserted his claim to
Kuwait. If we allowed him to build up military capacity,
Saddam would plunge the whole region back into war." Of
course, no one can accuse Great Britain and the United States
of plunging the region into war those bombs they
are dropping are love bombs, designed to "protect
the Iraqi people" including, no doubt, the three
Iraqis who were killed by this fusillade of pure love..
KIND OF "HUMANITARIANISM" IS THIS?
seeking to hide his crimes under the cloak of a phony "legality,"
Cook avers that the so-called no-fly zones "are justified
under international law as a proportionate response to a
situation of overwhelming humanitarian necessity." Ah yes,
what we have here is yet another "humanitarian" intervention,
as in Kosovo: here, too, the sovereignty of a nation that
had never attacked either the US or Great Britain has been
targeted. Here, too, the breakup of a nation is in progress,
with the "allied" vultures circling overhead, waiting for
their intended victim to either expire or surrender.
accuses Saddam Hussein of all sorts of crimes for
example, "systematic" torture which have been regularly
committed by our regional allies, notably Saudi Arabia,
Turkey, and Egypt. Cook brings up Saddam's use of helicopter
gunships against Iraqi dissidents in 1991 and 1992, but
the Israelis have recently used helicopter gunships against
their Palestinian helots. By this standard, shouldn't we
be bombing Tel Aviv?
for Saddam's bad tempered behavior when it comes to the
Kurds, what has Cook to say about the 40-year Turkish campaign
to literally eradicate the Kurdish separatist movement,
a systematic effort culminating in numerous massacres on
an even greater scale than the Iraqis? When Madeleine Albright
was asked this question by one of her questioners at the
famous "town hall" meeting on American foreign policy, televised
by CNN a couple of years ago, she could only stutter out
an evasive non-answer, and Team Bush will do no better
except perhaps by never appearing in a forum where such
a question is likely to be asked.
PUT IT TO A VOTE
are no limits to what Cook and his equivalents in Washington
will say in defense of the indefensible. "In the southern
no-fly zone," says Cook, "we have limited Saddam's repression
and bloodshed against the Shi'ite population and the Marsh
Arabs by preventing aerial attacks. If Saddam allowed the
people of the south a vote, they would vote to keep the
no-fly zone." As long as we're voting, why not subject the
sanctions and bombing campaign to a referendum including
the whole of Iraq? Or, better yet, we'll submit the question
to a popular referendum in the United States and Great Britain
then we'll see if the great defenders of the
Iraqi people, these self-styled champions of "democracy,"
will finally abandon their crazed crusade to "protect" Iraqis
by bombing them on a daily basis. Somehow, I don't think
it must be something in the water, or perhaps in the very
air, that is poisoning British brain cells and provoking
this bout of madness in its public officials. The only thing
to be done about it is to take measures to make sure that
the epidemic doesn't spread to the general public
if isn't too late, that is. What's required is nothing less
than a total quarantine on all members of the current government
and also the Conservative opposition, just to make
sure. Unfortunately, the quarantine will have to be permanent
or, perhaps, until a cure is found. I'm afraid, however,
that the affliction which we might call Mad Cook's
Disease has already jumped the Atlantic and infected
American officials, albeit in a somewhat milder form. Didn't
I hear that Pentagon general claim that US forces were only
acting in "self-defense"? It's only a matter of time until
the American form of this bizarre ailment achieves the virulence
of its British counterpart. As we gather our forces to "take
out" Saddam Hussein and, in the process, take on
the entire Arab world Mad Cook's Disease will have
half the population feverish for war, with the other half
too sickened by the constant profusion of lies to do anything
but look on in silent horror.
CROWN VS. PERCY
more loose end to tie up: In the case of the Crown vs. Lindis
Percy, if you're wondering why this overseas member of the
American Legion isn't also facing the same charge
after all, he drove over the flag then you don't
understand how "hate crimes" work. You see, a hate-crime
is always preceded by a hate-thought say,
the idea that unlimited immigration is not necessarily a
good thing, or, perhaps, a secret admiration for the Boys
Scouts. The idea is to punish the thought even more than
would be hard, however, to accuse our staunchly patriotic
driver of anti-Americanism, since this is obviously not
the case. He may have seen the flag, ostentatiously
draped over the pavement, and decided to drive over it in
spite of his fervently patriotic soul and yet still
he is not guilty of a hate crime. He may have hated Lindis
Percy, at that moment, but not the flag and what it stands
for, and certainly not Americans, of which he is undoubtedly
one. With hate crimes which are, above all, political
crimes it's not only the thought that
counts, but also whom is thinking that particular
thought. In this bizarre but all-too-real development, in
which a totalitarian principle is applied rather innovatively,
we see the culmination of a years-in-the-making trend designed
to criminalize political opposition to government policies.
It is a startling development, one which presages an era
in which life imitates art, to ominous effect. How long
before Britain is renamed Oceania, and the streets of London
now "Airstrip One" are plastered with posters
warning "Big Tony Is Watching You!"?
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