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Limp Liberals - Aintchasickovem?
October 10, 2001 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Limp Liberals - Aintchasickovem? A really fine left liberal answer to Berkely and all the faint hearts. And it fits right in with my own thinking. It's time we stood up and got counted for human rights against any "culture" or "religion" that denies them. Polly Tonybee writes an excellent and timely piece. Liberals too, should not "go wobbly" out of a plain cowardly "respect" for reactionary strains of Islam, Christianity or Judaism. What do you think?
posted by terrymiles (19 comments total)

 
terrymiles: with you 100%. Good article, good kick in the butt to the left and right. The issue is not us vs. them, liberals vs. conservatives or left vs. right, but human rights vs. everything else.
posted by signal at 4:27 PM on October 10, 2001


Cool. And I'm looking forward to limp conservatives not "going wobbly" out of a continued kneepad groveling before the rich and powerful and oil-laden. I'm looking forward to an end to their cowardly "respect" of the intolerance found in fundamentalist strains of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

All of which helped lead us into this present nightmare.

But my hopes are probably doomed. Gotta keep those SUVs rolling. Gotta keep supporting countries that improve our bottom line, regardless of their ideologies. Gotta keep those commie-killers well armed and trained. Gotta drag our feet on equal rights for women, gays, and minorities. Gotta keep the Christian God in our homes and get He/She back into the schools, regardless of the beliefs of our children.

After all, those are the things that make America great.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:35 PM on October 10, 2001


fold_and_mutilate - You are very cranky. I've noticed this.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:50 PM on October 10, 2001


with good reason, it appears, y6y6y6....

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:01 PM on October 10, 2001


what is "good"? [Mars and fold?]
posted by greyscale at 6:40 PM on October 10, 2001


what is "is" greyscale?
posted by signal at 6:55 PM on October 10, 2001


"This battle is a decisive battle between atheism and faith." I quote from Sulaiman Abu Ghaith of Al-Qaida, in his statement of defiance the other day.
I'd rather see us fighting, if not for atheism per se (since I know that many Americans aren't atheist, though I am) then at the very least for the possibility of freedom from religion, as well as freedom of religion; rather than having us singing "God Bless America" and asserting that God is on our side, in exactly the same way that bin Laden and company say God is on theirs.
posted by Rebis at 9:10 PM on October 10, 2001


Let's not fool ourselves: The US gov't didn't give a damn about human rights abuses in Afghanistan until 9/11 (I would argue they still don't care). Now we are suddenly fighting to free Afghanis from the oppressive yoke of the Taliban? I don't buy it.
posted by mapalm at 9:27 PM on October 10, 2001


suddenly fighting to free Afghanis from the oppressive yoke of the Taliban

I don't think that this was ever the primary objective and i haven't heard anyone in the US gov't insinuate that it was. I don't think it's news that we wouldn't be in Afghanistan if 9/11 hadn't occurred. Neither is it a big secret that we pick our battles and we tend to pick the ones that directly affect us. (I also don't think there's anything morally wrong with that.)
posted by lizs at 9:34 PM on October 10, 2001


having us singing "God Bless America" and asserting that God is on our side,

I don't think most people consider this a religious statement. The phrase "God bless" can be idiomatic (at least in English) and is not always indicative of a particular conception of "God." The U.S. certainly has Judeo-Christian roots, but I know too many atheists that say "God bless America" and mean it in a distinctly non-religious way to think that everyone takes it literally.
posted by lizs at 9:41 PM on October 10, 2001


Gotta keep those SUVs rolling.

They're just fancy trucks. What's wrong with trucks?

Gotta keep supporting countries that improve our bottom line, regardless of their ideologies.

Our bottom line is what allows us to continue performing all the charitable and humanitarian efforts we support throughout the world, while allowing our citizenry to have time to think about other stuff besides agriculture.

Gotta keep those commie-killers well armed and trained.

Not much communism about lately... it died from lack of interest, not capitalist bullets.

Gotta drag our feet on equal rights for women, gays, and minorities.

I wonder what a black man who remembers the 50's might say about how far equal rights for blacks have come; or the female CEO of HP; or the thousands of openly gay executives, politicians, and all-around leaders. Not bad work for a single generation.

Gotta keep the Christian God in our homes and get He/She back into the schools, regardless of the beliefs of our children.

And apparently regardless of the fact that no religious group has ever successfully defended itself against a challenge in this regard.

After all, those are the things that make America great.

I agree wholeheartedly.

What's that smackin' noise? And where's my horse?!
posted by UncleFes at 9:52 PM on October 10, 2001


What ultimately needs to happen is that peace loving Muslims who believe in human rights need to stand up against their own oppressors. Obviously Taliban don't think humans have individual rights. Many Middle Eastern women are not considered fully human.
Terry, think about how long it took Southern Baptists to allow women to open their mouths in church. Just in the last 20 years. How long has it taken the Black Americans to start gaining respect and freedoms in America. The only way these groups got recognized was by standing up for themselves. We believe the afghanis human rights are being abused but they need to believe it, all Muslims need to believe it. But they also believe the US govt. has abused them too. It is also a fact that it is extremely difficult to separate a person from their religious beliefs, because it is their whole way of life. I don't think the liberals are being limp at all. Just realistic. It would be great if they had the Muslim equivalent of Martin Luther King so they could hear it from one of their own.
posted by redhead at 10:13 PM on October 10, 2001


Our bottom line is what allows us to continue performing all the charitable and humanitarian efforts we support throughout the world, while allowing our citizenry to have time to think about other stuff besides agriculture.

What humanitarian efforts? Please provide examples.

Not much communism about lately... it died from lack of interest, not capitalist bullets.

Not to mention a large amount of effort on the part of the us, destabilising democratically elected left-wing governments.

I wonder what a black man who remembers the 50's might say about how far equal rights for blacks have come; or the female CEO of HP; or the thousands of openly gay executives, politicians, and all-around leaders. Not bad work for a single generation.

I listen to bob marley records too, but the rights of all need attention, don't try to 'prove' otherwise using these pointless examples. The climate may have changed by a couple of degrees, but the winds of change have had little impact on society.

And apparently regardless of the fact that no religious group has ever successfully defended itself against a challenge in this regard.

But they have a go, don't they? With help from right wing politicians.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Can't wait for the coming of Chinese financial superiority, then they can be as great as america. They have already shown as keen an interest in democracy.
posted by asok at 4:37 AM on October 11, 2001


Well, Edward Said has something interesting to say about this supposed "clash of civilisations".
And please do not forget, secular, socialist and communist voices in the Moslem world, had been targeted by the West, repeatedly: Iran, Indonesia, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria. In most cases the West supported the islamists as an antidote to "socialist" influences in the region.
As for the "principled left" versus the "soft left", Toynbee's argument becomes nonsensical when she includes Thatcherite Tory Blair, among the former...
posted by talos at 5:33 AM on October 11, 2001


good link talos
I like that Said points out the similarities between bin laden and cults of Jim Jones, & the Branch Davidians. How do you convince someone they ought to get a new hero?
posted by redhead at 7:40 AM on October 11, 2001


redhead: Send Kool-Aid, guns and money?
posted by allaboutgeorge at 8:51 AM on October 11, 2001


Can't wait for the coming of Chinese financial superiority, then they can be as great as america. They have already shown as keen an interest in democracy.

Whose talking about China? But, we should admit that the chinese (a) have a very lengthy and spectacular history, (b) are a huge group of people, (c) can't be discounted. If they are going to be a huge financial powerhouse (and right now, I don't see how they cannot), then what of it? Personally, I think you're going to see great things from China, and I believe they are going to shuck off Communism (or what passes for it these days in Hong Kong and Peking) like a stinky sweater.

I'm not sure the other points are actually points. America has a long and distinguished record of humaintarianism; there was not a shooting war with Russia (hence the name "Cold War"); I'm pretty sure that the entire Civil Rights movement and subsequent affirmative action is more than a "couple of degrees"; and people unsuccesfully "have a go" at stupid ideas all the time.

I guess "pointless" examples is a term subject to perspective.
posted by UncleFes at 9:36 AM on October 11, 2001


allaboutgeorge
I guess we already tried that. further studies now indicate that kool-aid is bad for you. this time don't send money, just the credit cards please. heh, we could send Charlston Heston over for a diplomatic visit.
posted by redhead at 11:02 AM on October 11, 2001


but really now, you could just gather up all of the terrorist's including the taliban, put them in Afghanistan. Make sure to destroy everything Western first, then close the borders and never let them out. Don't give them food, medicine, or access to to outside world. voila the westerners no longer exist.
posted by redhead at 11:49 AM on October 11, 2001


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