Thursday, September 23, 2004

A Trio of Lies

Someone who repeatedly and willfully says, or endorses, contemptible things is in danger of becoming a contemptible human being. This is the danger John Kerry treads precariously close to in this campaign. Desperate to cut into Bush's lead in the polls the Democrats have decided to resort to the politics of fear and loathing, but in order to make it work they have to shed whatever integrity they had and try hard to sell the public the Big Lie. In the present case, three big lies, one each directed at Blacks, young people, and the elderly - three groups the Democrats cynically believe they can easily bamboozle.

The first lie is that Bush and the Republicans are going to suppress the African-American vote. There are currently ads on television claiming precisely this, but whenever a spokesperson has been asked for the evidence that this allegation is true, he can only answer with irrelevancies about mythical disenfranchised voters in Florida in 2000. No such voters are identified, however, because the claim that there were such is an urban legend. There's not a shred of evidence that the Republicans have done anything in the past, or the present, to prevent minority voters from exercising their right to vote, but facts don't matter to those who seek to create a climate of fear and resentment.

The second deception is that if re-elected the Bush administration is going to reinstitute the draft. It would take an act of Congress to reinstate the draft, and it's hard to imagine any politician pushing for such legislation in the current climate. When spokespersons are asked what they base this allegation upon they cite their belief that we are undermanned in Iraq. This is an example of liberal logic: We need more troops (maybe) so the Republicans must be going to reinstate the draft. They also cite two bills which have been languishing in committee and which call for young people to serve a period of national service, but these have nothing to do with a draft. See here for more on why this charge against Bush is implausible at best.

The third falsehood is that Bush's plan to privatize social security means that he intends to cut off benefits to the elderly. This is a patent and willful misrepresentation on the part of the Democrats of the president's plan. Bush's proposal leaves current recipients alone and the Dems know this, but they try to scare the old folks anyway. It is a despicable, if not unsurprising, tactic. After all, we shouldn't wonder that the campaign of a man who deliberately slandered his fellow veterans in order to advance his own reputation in 1971 would hold truth in such low esteem.

Interview With an Iraqi Soccer Player

Hugh Hewitt posts this interview by an Iraqi blogger with an Iraqi Olympic soccer team goalie. You'll recall that some of his teammates distinguished themselves last month by making some anti-American remarks that were notable for their abject stupidity. This fellow has a different take, but you won't see his opinions on the evening news. Here's the interview:

Yesterday I was in Al Hurriya Olympic Swimming Pool together with my friends. While we were there, the Iraqi soccer team alternates entered the place with the goalkeepers' coach, Ahmed Jasim. I met one of the players, Akram Sabeeh, the goalkeeper and talked for a few minutes, then I asked some questions and told him that I'd publish his words on the internet and he agreed, so I gladly began my questions:

A: What do you feel when you play now? Do you think there's a difference from those days during the ex-regime?

Akram: look, I was seriously afraid when I was playing, they were really horrible days under Uday, I was afraid to do anything that might be misunderstood and the result would be the jail. Now, I feel free when I play soccer, I feel that I'm playing to improve myself and never afraid of anyone.

A: So you feel that you are free now?

Akram: Of course free.

A: Have you ever been jailed?

Akram: Yes, for 10 days.

A: What for?

Akram: Because I shouted at the referee!

A: Isn't it a humiliating act to be jailed for this reason?

Akram: Yes, but Uday was enjoying doing so, I might be lucky to be jailed only, other players were being beaten severely, tortured and many other brutal acts, you've heard about that?

A:Yes...let's forget what was Uday doing... what about the economical status?

Akram: My salary was 20$ and now it is 200$.

A: Wonderful...multiplied by 10.

Akram: Yes, I can think in my future now!

A: So what was wrong with other Olympic players, they were so upset when they were shown on the TV after each game, they kept repeating: occupation, targeting the cities..etc, they blamed on the Americans for that, what do you think?

Akram: Well..they were saying this cause they were watching what was going on in AlNajaf and previously in Fallujah, they felt that the families were being killed everyday. A: And do you believe that?

Akram: We are watching all of that on the channels.

A: Have you ever watched some good news regarding Iraq on those channels?

Akram: Frankly...Never!

A: So those channels intentionally collect the bad news and exaggerate most of them and play with our emotions to achieve their goal, and they've succeeded in that with some people..if they are honest they had better look at the good changes also.

Akram: Yes, you are right, we cry and get angry as we watch those channels!

Well, I could ignore all those questions, and ask him directly showing some bored and upset facial expressions: 'DO YOU ACCEPT...what's going on in your country now? Chaos, explosions, bombing the cities...what do you think..isn't it miserable?' !! I could make all the conversation full of hatred and pessimistic views!

I mean, you have to hear the question of the reporter and the manner of asking the players before you judge the players' opinions....Those journalists ask according to what they want to hear or according to what is needed from them.

The reporters should be honest and fair in dealing with the people in Iraq, it's a temporary critical period, and they have to help and support the Iraqis to stand against terrorism and build their country. Unfortunately, there are few of them.

This interview was passed on to Hewitt by a Marine who included his own thoughts and frustrations with the negativism of a media which, in Viewpoint's opinion, seems more and more to be actually hoping for a failure in Iraq. The Marine's e-mail is worth reading.


Celsius 41.11

Go here to see the trailer and tv ad for the newly released movie Celsius 41.11, the answer to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.