KLEIN, TOTALITARIAN LIBERAL AND ALL-AROUND CREEP
I admit it: I have always despised Mother Jones, and
in fact there is a longstanding policy here at Antiwar.com
that we never link to that rag if we can possibly help
it. (A policy not strictly adhered to, I'm afraid.) Naturally,
the reasons are political-ideological they are just
the sort of limousine liberals with a totalitarian bent who
evoke disgust in both the Right and the Left. But,
at least on my part, there is also some personal history here.
My sister used to work as their advertising director, and,
one day, during the 1992 election season, I went to see her
at her office. While we were talking, then-editor Jeffrey
Klein happened to come in. My sister started in with the introductions,
but I could tell something was wrong: Klein had a pinched
look on his face, as if he were in acute pain and he
was staring at my shirt. My shirt?
CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE MOTHER JONES KIND
not exactly: as it turned out, it was what I was wearing
on my shirt: a button that said "YES ON PROP. 187."
This was a California state initiative that would have cut
off state benefits to illegal aliens, and I was quite
active in the campaign to pass it. (A lot of good it did us,
but that is another story.) He looked at me reproachfully,
pure hatred beaming out at me like malevolent rays of death:
"You can't wear that button in here."
not in here. Please take it off."
don't think so, buddy," I answered, rising from
my chair. "But being a liberal, I don't suppose the concept
of free speech means anything to you."
in my office."
was just on my way out."
sister, who was by this time on the verge of complete panic,
darted fierce looks at me: enough already! But I couldn't
resist one last jab:
guys are going to lose," I said, as I stood by
the door, "and Prop. 187 is going to win and win
big. And, you know what? I just can't wait for
Election Day." I laughed, loudly, as I made my exit.
"See you later," I said to my sister, who by this
time was smiling herself. She was, I knew, quite sick of the
sanctimonious crunchy-granola male editors, who lorded it
over their mostly female staff and ordered them about in a
peremptory and often demeaning manner. At any rate, this incident
sets the stage for the arrogant smugness of the Saletan article.
For it illustrates the unpleasantly aggressive nature
of contemporary liberalism, its disdain for social conventions,
its inability to brook the least sign of dissent, and, scariest
of all, its tendency to strike out at its perceived
AND GLOBALISM: THE KEY LINK
run-in with Klein dramatizes the emotionalism and irrationalism
of the liberals' stance on matters of race. Such a rude reaction
would have been completely out of the question involving any
other campaign button: but since Prop. 187 had been deemed
by the California media elite as little more than a "racist"
attack on minorities, it was open season on anyone who dared
to come out in public support even to the extent of
wearing a campaign button. The political culture of the Mother
Jones office, as a leading organ of Clintonian liberalism,
reflected a California-ized version of the rotten political
culture on the Potomac and it was only a matter of
time before this Clintonian impulse to stamp out all opposition,
embodied in Klein's boorishness, began to play itself out
on the world stage.
MILITARISM WE CAN CALL OUR OWN
Kosovo war, a Clintonian crusade against "racism"
and for Kosovar "civil rights," was the perfect
expression of this liberal totalitarian impulse. This is why
I was not at all surprised to see the following monstrous
headline on the Mother Jones site: "What wars
can liberals support? The kind that conservatives hate."
And I quote: "You howled when Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada.
You cursed when George Bush raided Panama. You winced when
American jets bombed Baghdad. But this year, when progressive
governments stood up to ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, you felt
torn. You heard the war's humanitarian rationale but hated
to react like a trigger-happy Republican. If only you could
subscribe to a case for military intervention defined by the
values of the left, not the right."
that the more massive and important the intervention, the
less vehemently our liberal archetype expresses his
dissent. He "howls" when Ronald Reagan orders U.S.
troops into tiny Grenada, ruled by a military junta to the
left of Fidel Castro, but only curses under his breath
when George Bush goes after much bigger game in Panama. By
the time we get to the merciless bombing of Iraq, and the
starvation of its children by U.S.-imposed economic sanctions,
our by-this-time somewhat hardened liberal merely winces.
To what can we attribute this progressive warming to American
militarism? Saletan so much as confesses his secret longing
"for military intervention defined by the values of the
left, not the right," a craving that in today's political
culture he doesn't even have the decency to feel guilty about.
eagerness to embrace the war god without having to own up
to being a posturing militarist is surely the most stomach-churning
perversion to come out of the closet in a long time.
At least the old-fashioned conservative warmongers had the
intellectual honesty to own up to huge military budgets and
praise the martial virtues. But this new breed of "politically
correct" militarists, the little Napoleons of the Third
Way, still cling to their own increasingly unrealistic self-image,
like an aging movie star who still insists she is a great
beauty. Is Kosovo a bloody chaos, from which Serbs are now
almost completely purged? Is the dictatorship of the KLA fast
taking hold? Are the lies and bloody crimes of this administration
finally beginning to see the light of day? Never mind: we
liberals are motivated by "altruism," "global
responsibility," and World Peace. Not only are liberals
the most virtuous people on the face of the earth, but their
high-mindedness is underscored by the vulgarity of their enemies,
those nasty right-wingers who "have been articulating
and attacking what they call 'liberal interventionism. Liberals,
they allege, are guilty of preferring to fight for humanitarian
reasons rather than for oil." Stop right there!
JONES AND BIG OIL OR DO I REPEAT MYSELF?
interrupt this column for a reality check! Glancing
up at the top of the page on the Mother Jones site
in which this tripe appears, what do we see? A
large and blinking ad for none other than Shell Oil! And
what is Shell shilling out to the 1960s leftovers that make
up the Mother Jones audience? They are selling these
hapless sheep on how politically correct dear old Shell
Oil is when it comes to the environment: we see a blue sky
streaked with clouds and the question "Climate change?"
blinks at the reader. "Last year we cut our emissions
of carbon dioxide by 3.4 million tonnes [sic]" the ad
continues, exhorting us to "click here to find out how
we plan to cut even more." With the news that Albania
will be a way station in the Balkan pipeline that brings Transcaucasian
oil to Western Europe, the Shell Oil-Mother Jones-NATO
alliance begins to make sense.
LIBERALISM: THE NEW NAZIS
is so vitally important to shameless hypocrites like Saletan
and his ilk that they continue to think of themselves as paragons
of morality even while cheerleading a monstrous and tragic
slaughter. The complete dishonesty that invariably accompanies
smug displays of liberal self-righteousness is here in full
display. Saletan quotes mainly those neoconservatives who
criticized Clinton for not letting General Clark take Belgrade,
including George Will, and the National Review crowd,
but minimizes the openly anti-imperialist critique of Pat
Buchanan and columnist Bob Novak. The former, in Saletan's
view, are aghast at the "altruism" of militarized
liberalism, but this merely proves that liberals like Saletan
and his brain-dead readers are "selfless"
clueless is more like it while the latter are characterized
as enemies of "democracy": "Pat Buchanan accused
liberals of using NATO to build a 'new world order,' and Robert
Novak called NATO a vehicle for 'liberals putting out their
proposals to control the world.' In other words: Liberals
believe in a democracy of nations." In other words, Saletan
sees nothing wrong in a proposal to control the world
as long as he and his friends (Shell Oil among them) get to
do the controlling. This, my friends, is the new "liberalism."
Short of Nazism, with its simplistic sloganeering and vapid
emotionalism, an uglier, more openly grasping and dangerously
empty-headed ideology would be hard to imagine.
even the most militant administration spokesmen have so far
shied away from proclaiming that the United States must be
the world's policeman, Mother Jones walks where even
Mad Madeleine Albright fears to tread: "Far from wanting
to see America as the world's policeman, conservatives can't
stand the job. Like comfortable suburbanites in gated communities,
they'd rather build a missile defense system to keep our neighborhood
safe while people kill each other on the wrong side of the
global tracks." The mad "logic" of egalitarianism,
which is supposed to make middle class Americans feel guilty
about Third World poverty, is here translated into military
terms: if some regions of the world are plunged into tribal
warfare, how dare we enjoy the peace that prevails (for the
moment) in our own country? And what, pray tell, is wrong
with living in a gated community? In Saletan's grim world,
such bourgeois values as privacy, security, and exclusivity
are positively sinful: there is no right to enjoyment as long
as others are suffering. This is "humanitarianism"
the most inhuman doctrine ever invented.
IS LOVE, AND VICE-VERSA
quotes his neoconservative comrades in the War Party, who
urged us to go in on the ground, and, on that basis, then
claims that the liberal proponents of this war that killed
over 5,000 Serbs and continues to kill Serb
Kosovars "hate killing." Oh yeah?
then why are they doing so much of it?
LIBERALS WANT TO "GIVE PEACE A CHANCE"
quotes war supporter and conservative commentator Michael
Barone, of US News & World Report, to the effect
that Clinton's war policies are "soggy" (i.e. open-ended),
and unnamed "Republican hawks" who criticized him
for "appeasing" Milosevic. But just who were these
GOP hawks? The only one who really spoke out was Senator John
McCain, and he seemed more popular with talk show hosts than
grassroots conservatives. Incredibly, Saletan tries to paint
Clinton as a man of peace, and actually cites as proof the
fact that on one occasion Clinton failed to bomb Iraq as promised.
"We have to be able to take yes for an answer,"
said Sandy Berger. The grotesque irony of this is the news,
a few days ago, that Clinton gave the order to rain bombs
on Iraqis who went out to see the eclipse. I hope Saletan
chokes on the words he had the nerve to put to paper, especially
his noxious claim that liberals like his pitiful self endorsed
the war because "they want to give peace a chance."
Fat chance of that with a President in office who sends
troops into battle with the same monotonous regularity with
which he is caught with his pants down.
MASS MURDER, AND SHELL OIL
the above quotes have been nauseating, get yourself some Dramamine
tablets and try to keep from barfing at what follows. In answer
to the conservative case against the war and the charge that
it ushers in a new era of militant interventionism dangerous
to the peace and inimical to the national interest, he disdains
the very concept of national interest as inherently immoral:
"How do humanitarians and idealists plead to these charges?
Guilty, says longtime antiwar activist Robert Borosage, a
co-director of the Campaign for
America's Future. America should 'build multilateral ways
of acting and use its power proportionately, so that it's
seen not as a bully but as part of a legitimate global order
in which everyone has a stake,' says Borosage. 'Nation-building
is a part of that. Multilateralism is also. The sensible part
of the intervention [in Kosovo] is the attempt to build a
legal and moral framework that says when you have grotesque
crimes against humanity, sovereignty will not be a shield.
If you're Pinochet, it won't be a shield from legal recourse.
If you're Milosevic, it won't be a shield from an attempt
to bring your crimes to an end.... And that is in the national
interest.'" A more succinct summary of how and why the
peaceniks of yesterday sold out to Shell Oil has never before
been uttered. Some "idealists"!
moral compass, if he ever had any, is permanently broken:
If the mightiest military machine on earth, allied with all
the nations of Europe, attacking a small nation like Serbia
is not cowardice, then the word has no meaning. And what if
you are not a Milosevic, or a Pinochet, but a Clinton
a man who bombs women and children in the name of "human
rights"? It isn't national sovereignty that protects
you, in that case, but pure power
people I mean the Mother Jones-type liberals
are such moral cowards. Just as they hide behind bromides
like "being your brother's keeper" and "global
responsibility" to describe their rapacious and self-serving
policies, so they try to hide the ugly reality of their war
and its hideous aftermath behind harmless-sounding slogans
like "multilateralism" and "conditional sovereignty."
There is no mention of Yugoslav casualties, or the suffering
of that unfortunate people, from this alleged "humanitarian."
BOROSAGE "PEACE ACTIVIST" AND LAPTOP BOMBARDIER
what about this clown Borosage? He claims to be a "longtime
antiwar activist," but his biography mentions only his
political activities on behalf of Senator Barbara Boxer and
other Democrats. The magazine does not mention his affiliation
with the Center
for National Security Studies, a Washington thinktank
established by the American Civil Liberties Union and the
Fund for Peace in 1974, ostensibly devoted to "civil
liberties" and opposing secrecy, and which later served
as the incubator of liberal interventionism. (Born-again liberal
hawk Morton Halperin is another CNSS alumnus.)
MORALITY OF GANG RAPE
kind of an "antiwar activist" invokes "multilateralism"
as a rationale for war? What Borosage is saying is that it's
okay to gang up on a small country like Serbia, and then deliver
the equivalent of a beating half to death as long as
you don't go in there by yourself
and fight mano-a-mano. It is a truly odd kind
of high-mindedness that justifies gang rape, but rules out
a more evenly matched struggle. What is grotesque is that
Borosage dares to raise the question of a "moral and
legal framework" this from the same laptop
bombardiers who cheered as NATO bombs pulverized a Serb television
station and killed the night janitor, the make-up woman, and
a few news anchors. No doubt Saletan and his confreres thought
this was a great victory against "hate speech."
OH WHERE IS THE REAL LEFT?
has happened to the Left? Or, one might ask: where
oh where is the Left? As the United States lords it
over prostrate Serbia, and the American colossus looms over
Russia and the oil-rich Transcaucasus, the danger of another
world war casts its shadow over us all. Where are the leftist
opponents of war who once filled the streets with tens of
thousands of protesters?
UP THE GUN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
tell you where they are they are sitting over in the
editorial offices of Mother Jones magazine in downtown
San Francisco, ordering around their female "interns"
and wondering where their rotten hero will strike next, They
are hoping for East Timor, but will settle for Rwanda. As
they sell out to Shell Oil, perhaps they are thinking of that
old New Left slogan, the exhortation by Huey Newton (or some
other Black Panther thug) to "pick up the gun!"
And so they have.
MAKE ME SICK
get letters from lefties and socialists all the time about
how the Left has not really sold out, and the pro-war
liberals and "right-wing" New Laborites like Tony
Blair are not representative of their species. But why does
the Left put up with this kind of crap from Mother Jones?
Why do they continue to support a magazine that has betrayed
the antiwar tradition personified by the original Mother
Jones, the Commie labor organizer whose name they have appropriated:
Saletan's ode to war would have sickened her. Why doesn't
it sicken today's lefties?
UP, YOU COMMIES AND FORGET KPFA!
on, you guys: you're all worked up over some completely obscure
fracas over at KPFA Radio, in Berkeley, where 15,000 people
recently demonstrated against the "betrayal" of
a longtime leftist institution. But what about this even more
egregious and revolting sellout over at Mother Jones?
Here they are hailing Clinton's vicious war on the Serbian
people, celebrating the slaughter, and we hear not a peep
out of the Bay Area's leftist community. In its heyday, the
Left the real Left, the old-fashioned Marxist
Left, which always put the fight against imperialism at the
top of its agenda would have started a boycott (if
not a picket line) as soon as the offending issue hit the
stands. That none of this is happening means that, as a moral
as well as a political force, the Left is as dead as a doornail
and will never rest in peace as long as Mother Jones
continues to speak in its name.
CHANCE TO MENTION MUMIA
on all you Commies, lefties, and honest liberals out there
what about a "We don't read Mother Jones"
campaign I'm almost sure we can get Mumia Abu-Jamal
to endorse it.