Monday, March 24, 2008

Stupid Patriotism is the Problem

wright isn't the problem. it's the fact that we can't get over ourselves and our pitiful reliance on being the bully on the block. cheney says his sidekick bush is the one who bears the biggest burden of the war.
are we going to continue to be ignorant, to let 4,000 more people lay more foundation for peace or are we ready for a new way of moving through the world?

a very, very good story at salon that starts out like this:

Maybe we really are doomed to elect John McCain, remain in Iraq forever and nuke Iran. Nations that forget history may not be doomed to repeat it, but those that never even recognize reality in the first place definitely are. Last week's ridiculous uproar over Rev. Jeremiah Wright's sermons proves yet again that America has still not come to terms with the most rudimentary facts about race, 9/11 -- or itself.
Wright isn't the problem. Stupid patriotism is the problem.

We are now five years into a war that may outrank Vietnam as the most pointless and disastrous one in our history. George W. Bush and his neoconservative brain trust conceived that war, but they were only able to push it through because the American people, their political leaders and the mainstream media signed off on it. And they did so because they were in the grip of the fearful, vengeful, patriotic frenzy that swept the nation after 9/11. Without 9/11 and America's fateful reaction to it, there would be no Iraq war. Every day that the war drags on is yet another indictment of that self-righteous, unthinking "patriotism."

Bill Clinton's line that McCain and Hillary are "two people who love their country" may or may not have been intended to subtly denigrate Obama's patriotism. But whatever it meant, it didn't have anything to do with the actual problems facing the country. Loving America more than your opponent does is not a qualification for higher office.

In fact, the same all-American flag-wavers who called loudest for war against Iraq are now denouncing Wright as a hate-monger and a traitor, and attacking Michelle Obama for saying that only recently has she had reason to feel proud of her country. They insist that anyone who is not permanently proud of the United States, whose patriotism isn't plastered on his or her face like the frozen smile of a beauty queen waving from a Fourth of July float, is beyond the pale. Never mind that the glorious results of their debased version of patriotism -- 4,000 American troops dead, a wrecked Iraq, and a greatly strengthened terrorist enemy -- are plain for all to see.

You wouldn't expect the Republican Party, Fox News, Bill Kristol or the readers of FreeRepublic to issue any mea culpas -- they don't acknowledge that they've done anything wrong. But the mainstream media's pious tut-tutting over the Wright affair shows that it, too, has learned nothing from its disgraceful post 9/11 performance. The worst excesses of media groveling -- the flag pins, the instructions not to run anti-U.S. stories -- may be history, but the timorous mind-set remains the same.

here's another good one, america's squid heart