Thursday, January 18, 2007


Post about MSM columnist James Carroll excerpted from NewsBusters

Carroll was just clearing his throat with his obligatory Vietnam riff. The heart of his column is a condemnation of capitalism. According to Carroll, since the days of [Martin Luther] King: "economic justice . . . if anything, is even further from fulfillment."

Really? In the America of 4.5% unemployment? Where colleges fight for the privilege of awarding scholarships to minority high school students with decent grades? Where the biggest food-related problem for our poor is not hunger but obesity?

Carroll goes so far as to predict the end of capitalism:

"If the 20th century seemed a time of capitalism's ascendancy, the new century seems an era of its certain self-destruction."

Can I get another "really" on that? Capitalism certain to self-destruct? That same capitalism that is exploding in India and China, literally lifting billions out of poverty? What does Carroll posit as an alternative to capitalism? You guessed it: "socialism, compared with the possible anarchy, is benign."

But why the false choice between socialism and anarchy? Why not the real choice: between the grinding hopelessness of socialism and the freedom and opportunity of free markets?



One of the biggest stories in the Middle East is the civil disorder in Gaza. Last week on his website, the journalist Stephen Pollard reproduced an internal memo from the BBC's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, to his colleagues. It contained a passage in which Bowen explains "the way that Palestinian society, which used to draw strength from resistance to the occupation, is now fragmenting.

"The reason is the death of hope, caused by a cocktail of Israel's military activities, land expropriation and settlement building - and the financial sanctions imposed on the Hamas-led Government which are destroying Palestinian institutions that were anyway flawed and fragile."

Now this is certainly one explanation of the reason why members of Fatah and Hamas are killing each other. No one can object that this argument is put before the BBC's audience. But for the BBC's Middle East editor to believe that it constitutes the sole explanation and to offer it up alone to his colleagues? Now that's a different matter.

Here are a few alternatives to Bowen's offering. Some of us argue that instead of the tough Israeli security measures causing Hamas and Fatah militants to kill people and each other, the killing of people by Hamas and Fatah militants causes the tough security measures. Hamas in particular is a dangerous, intolerant, murderous organisation that threatens the lives of innocent people and needs to be resisted.

And what about this? Fatah and Hamas are engaged in a power struggle and an ideological dispute. Fatah claims that its rivals have been plotting to assassinate President Mahmoud Abbas because the President supports the so-called Prisoners' Document. This document proposes a unified resistance to Israel, but Hamas is suspicious of the terms of such unity and believes that its vague language could mean recognition of Israel.

Or this? In a superb column last week in the Financial Times, Christopher Caldwell pointed out that are there are 67 countries in the world where 15 to 29-year-olds make up more than 30 per cent of the population and 60 of them are undergoing some sort of civil war or mass killing. Gaza has just such a youth bulge. Perhaps the violence has no political cause; it is just, well, boys being boys.

I know, I know. You may regard these alternatives as absurd, even offensive. I don't, but that's not my point. If you want to report the Middle East in an unbiased fashion, then these arguments must be put before the BBC audience. And how can they be if the Middle East editor doesn't even acknowledge them?

More here



Was antisemitism the catalyst for the Great Depression? There is a post here suggesting that it was the trigger, though not the total cause.

The above is of course a reference to Speaker Pelosi and the usual leftist claim to be innovators.

Reply to the pessimists: "Last week was not a good one for America's detractors. The price of oil fell to US$56 a barrel. The same financial markets that swooned in July while Israel fought Hezbollah have forgotten the meaning of risk. The question the world should ask George W Bush is, "If you so dumb, how come you ain't poor"? The US economy and US markets are looking more buoyant than ever. As I wrote last week, the whole Iraq debacle might disappear from the public's radar screen in time for America's next presidential election.... There has been an inordinate amount of nonsense written about US decline, complete with Russian and Chinese designs to benefit from America's embarrassment in Iraq. The reality could not be more different. Neither Moscow nor Beijing has the remotest desire to see the US withdraw from the region or lose power, for two reasons. The first is that America's presence in the region ensures that little wars will remain little. The second is economic. America's economy and particularly the appetite of American consumers for imports remains the locomotive of the world economy, most emphatically of China's. China's trading relationship with the United States is an irreplaceable pillar of national prosperity, and the means to generate the national savings China requires to establish what President Hu Jintao calls "the harmonious society".

Damned if you do, damned if you don't: "For years, liberals have hectored President Bush for not committing enough troops to Iraq. Now, peanut-gallery liberals pivot 180 degrees and browbeat him for proposing precisely that. Appearing May 30, 2004 on NBC's 'Meet the Press,' for instance, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi flatly and repeatedly told Tim Russert that 'we need more troops on the ground.' In fact, Speaker Pelosi suggested that we commit 300,000 troops (President Bush's current proposal would raise the level to merely 160,000)."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason -- Details here and here

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