12 June, 2006

The Axis of Snivel: Three Cases that Expose the Opposition

One of my chief grievances with the “New Left” in America is their disregard for their obligations as the opposition party in our Republic. The only, and I am incapable of stressing the word “only” enough – way that the system of government that we have chosen works is through mandate and opposition. One may notice that I did not write “and / or” opposition. Opposition is a vital function that relies on the three P’s in politics: Principle, Patriotism and Poise.

The last of the P’s, while important, is least among them. Poise may be lost from time to time. It doesn’t necessarily doom one’s character, but it does make one more difficult to elect. And an unelectable opposition is a useless opposition where the nation’s health is concerned.

The case that damns the opposition, or left in America, on the subject of poise is the “Duke rape case.” The huster and bluster on the issue was horrific to begin with. To this minute, in spite of growing evidence to the contrary, some on the left are still hurling accusations. One in particular that I found today shows just how far some are willing to go to hang onto the topic:

Posted in the Bring it On! Diaries section

“The bottom line here is that if the stereotypical shoe fits and you put it on, which they did, you unfortunately you have to wear it; they are wearing it now and that is how it should be. The lacrosse players were placed into that stereotype by others because they were the stereotype – the perfect stereotype – a fact we ignore. We should not ignore that fact anymore than we should ignore the fact that they indeed may be innocent of the crime for which they have been charged.”

This is definitely a case of poise lost. To say that someone should be stereotyped in what is roughly equivalent to “she asked for it” only in reverse, is just plain reckless. And it completely disregards a growing set of facts that demonstrate, in the very best case scenario, that the prosecutor was careless in his approach. At worst, he behaved in an inappropriate way, using his position to prosecute a case that was favorable to him politically (and I would like to point out that I am not saying that he did so, merely offering that a reasonable person could draw conclusions that might attribute such a motive to him).

That loss of poise extends from “small” cases like the rape case all the way up the ladder of the left, to reckless and feckless statements made by the leaders of the Democratic Party.

The second “P,” patriotism, is actually less serious than the last. But it is serious nonetheless. And I would like to state up-front that I recognize that there is a difference between ultra-nationalism and patriotism. But an electorate must trust its government to the degree that it should receive favorable status in the “when in doubt” scenarios. Case in point: Guantanamo Bay prisoner suicide.

Sam Houston – Throwing Heat frames it this way:

The war on terrorism will never end unless Saudi Arabian society changes to the point that thousands of young people stop being brain washed in their schools to hate Christians and Jews and to believe that the spread of Islam by murder and coercion is a thing to be desired. That these people dare to make a statement like the one that follows is disgustingly hypocritical, as usual.

‘Saudi Arabia's semiofficial human rights organization demanded an independent investigation, questioning whether torture drove the men to suicide.’

That’s one way of clearly showing that there are two sides of the story. He states his opinion and lists a quote from the other side. Note that he does recognize that there are, in fact, sides.

The coverage on the left has been nothing if not savage. I offer a couple of points:

“It used to be U.S. Marines who said they preferred death to dishonor. Now, and tragically, it’s our Marines who dishonor everything the U.S. says it stands for by shooting first and asking questions (or not asking them) later. And instead of our boys, it’s our detainees—those unlawful combatants rounded up in our post-9/11 panic—who are choosing death rather than accept the degradation and dishonor their keepers inflict upon them day after day after day.From Progressive Christians Uniting.

The message is a subtle one and could be benign, but for one telling phrase. The issue here is not that someone is taking issue with Guantanamo Bay, people on the right do so. The issue I take with this is simply this phrase: “who are choosing death rather than accept the degradation and dishonor their keepers inflict upon them.”

We, the United States of America, are those “keepers.” It isn’t some nebulous black ops group that is responsible for Guantanamo, it’s us. If WE don’t like it, we should address it as family, not as though some evil enclave has settled among us.

Or, the left should at least have the courtesy to declare open revolution, pick up arms (or plan peaceful resistance) and work to bring about the end of the Republic. But don’t offer yourselves up as viable opposition. You do no service to me, or anyone else for that matter, if you keep the “us and them” paradigm at the fore.

My second example of this loss is this:

“Relatives of two Saudi detainees who died at Guantanamo Bay said the men could not have committed suicide as the U.S. military reported, because they are strict Muslims, newspapers said on Monday.Islam prohibits suicide and sets out harsh punishments in the after-life for those who take their own lives. The men's families said they had probably been killed.Saudi Arabia, a staunch U.S. ally, identified the two Saudis as Manei al-Otaibi and Yasser al-Zahrani and said it was working on the repatriation of their bodies. The kingdom did not say how the men died but the U.S. military said the detainees, along with a Yemeni man, had hanged themselves.Posted in Robotman Under the heading : “What have we become.”

Again, benefit of the doubt should go to the U.S. Posting that it is fundamentally against Islamic law to commit suicide is just plain crazy. What was 9/11? Did they think they’d get a mulligan on life after intentionally flying planes into buildings? And say we can chalk that up to some theological loophole: are you then asserting that Muslims cannot exert free will? How many Catholics ( another religion where suicide is taboo ) kill themselves?

The fact is that the left almost obsessively loathes any favoritism toward the United States. That would be fine if the field were kept level: A good example would be to frame the above story as “Saudis claim suicides unlikely, in spite of recent attempts which were also used to ambush U.S. guards, noting that suicide is anathema to Islamic principle.” Both sides are served, and it’s a fair report.

But the biggest damnation of the left comes from their complete abandonment of principled dissent. It is both frightening and fundamentally childish to embrace an idea simply because it supports one’s position. The ultimate example of this comes from Bagdhad Burning:

“How do I feel? To hell with Zarqawi (or Zayrkawi as Bush calls him). He was an American creation- he came along with them- they don't need him anymore, apparently. His influence was greatly exaggerated but he was the justification for every single family they killed through military strikes and troops. It was WMD at first, then it was Saddam, then it was Zarqawi. Who will it be now? Who will be the new excuse for killing and detaining Iraqis? Or is it that an excuse is no longer needed- they have freedom to do what they want. The slaughter in Haditha months ago proved that. "They don't need him anymore," our elderly neighbor waved the news away like he was shooing flies, ‘They have fifty Zarqawis in government.’”

The “slaughter in Haditha” proved what? That we can jump to conclusions before all of the facts are out? That’s about the sum of it now. Instead of carefully looking at facts, weighing them and ultimately making decisions based on them, the left has became the keeper of the slogan. Slogans are fun to recite, but rarely do they assist principled dissent.

Look at an alternate treatment of this case:

One wonders what part of "the investigations are incomplete" has proved so difficult for the press to comprehend? Can't the Marine Corps please, please, please speculate about what the investigators will conclude? Can't the Commandant just... you know, pull a few strings, get a little advance scoop? That way, the media could wonder whether the investigation was being tainted by official pressure and we could all get on with the inevitable round of "can-you-believe it?-the-military-is-changing-their-version-of-what-happened!" follow-up stories.” – Posted in Villainous Company

The treatment is aggressive, but portrays the principle, that is, that one should stick to the facts.

Am I saying that the left is solely guilty of betraying these ideals? No, but I am saying that in abandoning them as a group, the left has made their political position untenable. And an untenable position throws elections.

I wholeheartedly disagree with many things going on right now. For instance, I think Guantanamo detainees should be charged and tried, either in a military court or civil court. I disagree with the Patriot Act on so many points that I’m happy to throw the whole thing out. But the only way to win those fights is to have a viable opposition behind which I can throw my support.

Will the members on the left please step up and fulfill their duty? Which brings us to the title: The Axis of Snivel. Nobody follows a sniveling baby. Grow up, do your job and get in the game, before things go too far.


At 3:53 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

Thanks for the link - you made a good, balanced argument :)

I don't want anyone to say that the Haditha Marines are innocent. That would be wrong and this is a serious allegation which must be carefully investigated. I just want people to stop saying they are guilty of murder before the facts have been established. British troops have already been accused of this type of atrocity and the charges proved ungrounded.

Given the gravity of the charges against these men, you'd think there might be some willingness to wait until the facts are in.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Carnivore said...

Cassandra, You make a valid popint there about waiting until all the facts are in. Unfortunatly, and definatly disgustingly others on the left side, Murtha for one, wishes for nothing more than those troops to be ...Prior to an official court hearing. What's worse is said individual is also prior service (this part really irks me) and he ought to know and understand what statements do to a mission.
To continue with the discussion about the biasedness in the media/congress... well I wrote a heated and agressive piece about Abu's death. I had this pegged from the start just watching a little bit of CNN (the only english televised news source availible to me). The left could not see any good in what had happened, yet even some of the critics from Iraq (fellow bloggers) even praised this action. These bickerings of self destruction continue all the way into congress. All each of them wishes to do is only to fill their own projects' needs and truly think about the nation as a whole. Something they should be doing yet fail to. Even Bush is guilty of this whinning. Look at how he treats Bolivia. He is pissed because Evo will not bow down to the US. Yet Evo has the same platform for every country and comapany that wishes to deal with his country. That is simply "play the game by rules or kiss off". The governemtn has grown by leaps and bounds, and we have a huge immigration problem that only weakens our national security, and what our elected officials do? They kiss the rumps of special intrest groups and other countries to present the face of "being good". The problem with the political enviroment today is: there really are very few conservative officials in office today. Yes there are a handful, but most are just there for a career, and in my opinoin, not htere for the civic duty of representing the populace, but in fact are representing the corporations/other countries/and their own self intrests.

Have a good day.


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