Thursday is American Street day!
That’s right, dear readers, I’ve been invited to join the mighty gang of bloggers over on The American Street, and Thursday is my day to post. So now it is Thursday! And that means it is my turn! My very first effort is somewhere on the alternate side of the street-- actually, right over there by the double-parked blue Impala with the whitewall tires.
Drop by and tell ‘em I sent you!
This doesn’t make sense. You’re a liberal academic. Don’t they know how unamerican that makes you?Posted by PZ Myers on 09/23 at 03:11 PM
Posted by on 09/23 at 03:21 PM
Hi, Dallas, and thanks for the critique. (No sarcasm!) I have no special claim on the truth of these matters, and was initially torn about whether to support that war, especially since it was being waged by an administration chock full of madmen.
Though I have to say, by way of clarification, that I never predicated my support for war in Afghanistan on the argument that the “terrorist intelligentsia” thought we were we weak. I argued, instead, that (a) we did not have the luxury of waiting around for the Taliban to fall (to whom?) or for our own government to change hands before destroying their terror-training camps and that (b) some of the hard-left arguments against that war (not all-- just the “silent genocide” / “crime against humanity many times greater than 9/11” ones) were not only substantively wrong, but (because of their wrongness, and the stridency with which they were advanced) were tantamount to propaganda gifts to the right. I also believe that such arguments drove some progressives and liberals away from the left’s more plausible post-9/11 arguments, some of which you’ve mentioned here and most of which I still agree with (particularly with regard to Israel and Palestine).
And I’m sure it’s not too late to chime in over on The Street!Posted by Michael on 09/23 at 03:40 PM
Damn, damn, damn! I’ve been so impressed with eloquence and intelligence of this site (including the Comments), I was a bit intimidated to post myself, but finally worked up the nerve. Sure enough, I blew it with a bunch of spelling/grammatical errors (both here and at the American Street site, doubly embarassing myself). People will look past this, I hope, but it still tends diminish one’s attempt to be brilliant when one can’t even manage to spell ‘some’ correctly…Posted by on 09/23 at 03:44 PM
Posted by on 09/23 at 05:03 PM
And a fine volley in return, Dallas. You’re right that the jury is out on nonviolence, if we’re talking about mere consequentialist arguments (i.e., Christ and Gandhi have the moral high ground without question, but one has been hijacked and the other betrayed, while their righteous follower Martin Luther King, Jr. was simply silenced by a bullet). Anyway, about the removal of the Taliban and the destruction of the terror camps: I happen to agree (which also means that I admit I spoke too soon when I spoke of the “routing” of the Taliban in fall 2002). But my agreement doesn’t mean that I don’t support an effective routing of the Taliban and destruction of the terror camps. It means only that one should never trust the Bush administration with anything, anything at all, no matter how important or how trivial. You shouldn’t even hand them a jelly jar with a tight lid-- Christ only knows how they could go about shredding the domestic economy and our foreign alliances with an unopened jelly jar.Posted by Michael on 09/23 at 05:29 PM
what have you done to your fonts?! I can barely read it!Posted by on 09/23 at 06:08 PM
Hey, Cybelle, that’s one of the New and Improved features of this Expression-Engined version of the blog: the font actually changes when you ask your browser to increase the type size. I set mine on “medium,” and things look pretty good that way--Posted by Michael on 09/23 at 06:34 PM
I was disturbed by the fact that in Afghanistan the world’s only superpower, backed by nearly every other nation on earth, would demand the Taliban turn over sovereignty in 24 hours or else. That showed exactly what was going to happen in Iraq (and I believe that war was a foregone conclusion when Bush was annointed the candidate in ‘99). The runnup to that war was so transparent, so full of past-its-sell-by-date Cold War rhetoric that the only excuse I can accept for supporting it was the belief there must be something behind it all which could not be said publicly. By the time one reaches higher education he really has to ask if he’s defined by a teeshirt, however dorky.
I understand these fine young fellers grew up with simplistic, politicized, even sanitized, versions of Vietnam, but at their age it’s time to check some footnotes, read that bibliography, and start questioning their own assumptions. Iraq was a disaster from its inception.Posted by on 09/23 at 07:14 PM
Thanks for the instructions. I can read your site now. I really panicked there for a bit.Posted by on 09/24 at 05:52 AM
welcome to the street, michael!Posted by skippy on 09/25 at 06:53 PM
Thanks, Skippy, and thanks for giving me a big hello on your blog, too--Posted by Michael on 09/26 at 08:56 AM