Bruce Parker

I ain't buying it.... Are you?

Filed By Bruce Parker | August 06, 2006 8:39 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Advance Indiana, national security

The recent conversation over on Advance Indiana has left me thinking alot about our frameworks for understanding global issues and the ways propaganda and rhetoric factor into public perceptions. Instead of weighing in through AI, I decided to move my thoughts on this topic over to Bilerico. Admittedly, international issues are not my speciality and will most likely never will be. However, some things seem to not be as compicated as we make them out to be.

AI says, "They base their opposition to Lieberman primarily on his support of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq as part of its war on terrorism."

I would guess that Lieberman's socially conservative voting record and ardent support of the Bush administration may be the deciding factors in the rising support for his democratic primary opponent. Perhaps his struggling campaign is his own fault not the fault of the terrible liberal bloggers. Blaming the "liberal bloggers" has seemed to replace the tired old tradition of conservatives blaming the "liberal media" when their public approval declines. If bloggers are responsible, I would think we would all be celebrating that as a victory for grassroots organizing and media.

AI quotes: "The passion and energy fueling the antiwar challenge to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary signal a power shift inside the Democratic Party that could reshape the politics of national security and dramatically alter the battle for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, according to strategists in both political parties."

We can only hope that we are at the beginning of a policy shift in regards to national security and that it is a central issue in the next presidential election. Through the comment thread on AI's post, we are told that Clinton also feared Iraq was capable of producing weapons of mass destruction. It is worthwhile to note that despite this fear the Clinton administration did not begin an active campaign against all Arab nations or a "War on Terror." Diplomatic approaches were certainly the order of the day.

The framing that we only have two choices - invite terrorists to lunch or to blow up all Arab people - is very problematic and seems to avoid nuances of of foreign policy that marked the Clinton administration. It seems like too many people have bought into the propaganda around "fighting evil" and the rhetoric of absolutes that are hallmarks of the Bush Administration.

I worry if we all start to think in frames like - - - "I don't like the war in Iraq. I don't like Israel's war against Hezbullah. But when I look at the consequences of doing nothing in the face of an opposition that is committed to the annihalation of everything I treasure, I choose the lesser of the two evils. If Joe Lieberman loses because Democrats don't think he's anti-war enough, then all of America loses in our battle against our real enemy. " That we have failed as a society.

It seems like AI is saying to us that if Lieberman loses the terrorists win. Do we really think that militant Islamic radicals will celebrate if Joe has to find another job?

Perhaps, our conversations around national security and global issues needs to be framed by thoughtful dedication to human rights instead of the cries of fear and anti-arab analysis?


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Bruce has hit upon many themes that seem to run through the typical Right Wing Playbook -- dare we call it an "agenda" --- where strawmen and false choices are set up, so that we are left with no choice at all- no nuance and maneuver room. Does "you're either with us or agin' us" come to mind?

It's all about being ANTI-intellectual on the Right. You see, it's a simpler life if everything is black and white -- like television -- yeah, no divorce, wife beating or flaming homosexuals back then (wait, wasn't Bewitched in black and white -- sorry, Darren.)

Either you're killing a child or your not-- when you take embryos and use them to save lives.

Either you support Israel or not -- even though you don't support even your best friend's boneheaded decisions like driving drunk.

Either you're against terrorists or you want them to take over -- even though the definition of a terrorist is not clearly EVERY ARab -- ever heard of Arab Catholics/ Christians and non-militants?
And by the way, am I allowed to call Christian evangelicals terrorists, because they seem to terrorize MY family.

I prefer to live in a land of smart people -- who can distinguish between the shades of grey in life. And that's why I like all of you!