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Ted Rall's
November 14, 2003 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Ted Rall's "Why we fight: Iraq from the other side." Excerpt: You are joining a broad and diverse coalition dedicated to one principle: Iraq for Iraqis. Our leaders include generals of President Saddam Hussein's secular government as well as fundamentalist Islamists. We are Sunni and Shia, Iraqi and foreign, Arab and Kurdish. Though we differ on what kind of future our country should have after liberation and many of us suffered under Saddam, we are fighting side by side because there is no dignity under the brutal and oppressive jackboot of the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority or their Vichyite lapdogs on the Governing Council, headed by embezzler Ahmed Chalabi. Ted's cartoons can be seen here.
posted by skallas (65 comments total)

 
One side has Ted Rall, the other side has Ann Coulter.
posted by Reggie452 at 11:38 AM on November 14, 2003


Reggie, don't even compare Ted Rall to Crazy Annie. The left has plenty of loons, but Ted's not one of them.

A presentation of why there's so much resistance to our occupying force should encourage discussion. Instead, it's started with a flip dismissal.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:45 AM on November 14, 2003


InstaQuacker tells me this Ted Rall fellow encourages the killing of our troops. So it must not be true.

An instructive piece on how to distinguish insurgents from terrorists I would say.
Too bad the chickenhawks felt they have to sacrifice our young for their imperialist goals in the Middle East.
We should be fighting terrorism instead don't you think?
posted by nofundy at 11:54 AM on November 14, 2003


It might have been written as a sort of ironic commentary but this seems to be in some kind of touch with historical precedent: in most countries invasion has been opposed by armed resistance and a coming together of former bitter enemies in the name of national survival.
I foresee that in the future those that fought the occupation will have a heck of a lot more credibility among voters than the collaborators.
Witness what riverbend has pointed out:

"...Prominent, popular politicians and public figures don't want to be tied to American apron strings- this includes lawyers, political scientists, writers, and other well-known people. Not because they are American apron-strings per se, but because this is an occupation (by American admission, no less). No matter how much CNN and the rest try to dress it up as a liberation, the tanks, the troops, the raids, the shootings (accidental or otherwise), and the Puppet Council all scream occupation. If it were French, it'd get the same resistance… just as if it were a Saudi, Egyptian or Iranian occupation..."
posted by talos at 11:56 AM on November 14, 2003


Ted Rall IS as bad as Ann Coulter.

I sit in the middle between both, and both are equally bad.

His column, which, was posted on Veteran's Day is despicable and doesn't even remotely resemble satire.

I doubt there is a veteran out there that wouldn't clock him after reading that column on a day that is supposed to honor veterans.

Pathetic.

Let the flame war begin.
posted by da5id at 12:03 PM on November 14, 2003


Ted Rall is extreme in his rhetoric, in his own way as extreme as Coulter. Go over his stuff from the past few years. I just did that, because I wanted to see if the warblogger types had a point. The conclusion I came to is that they do. I'm firmly left of the center, but some of the stuff he does is just plain ugly.

Of course, if the left doesn't counter the right's vitrol, they're going to roll over us. But stuff like Rall and Coulter just polarizes the debate and takes reason off the table. They are part of the problem.
posted by moonbiter at 12:06 PM on November 14, 2003


I'd say Ted Rall and Coulter are about the same as well. In my mind Rall occupies a far left space that conservatives like to point out must be the norm for all liberals. Pretty much the same thing the left used to do, when they would consider Pat Buchannan's views to be what all conservatives think.
posted by mathowie at 12:10 PM on November 14, 2003


Looks like da5id has been reading InstaQuacker again.

The chickenhawk warbloggers have been fabricating on this for days now.

Post the link da5id and let us look the cartoon posted the day BEFORE Veteran's Day.
Let us decide. Don't hide the evidence dude. I saw it. I think you're full of it and I doubt there is any veteran wouldn't clock you for reducing the honor of fighting for worthy ideas to some pathetic right wing bullshit in defense of aWol.

pathetic
Mirror?
posted by nofundy at 12:11 PM on November 14, 2003


His column, which, was posted on Veteran's Day is despicable

Based on what, exactly? If you're going to condemn someone's words, at least have the decency to state what it is you dispute. Otherwise, you just look like a crank with an axe to grind (what, you didn't like one of his cartoons once? too bad, but at issue here are these particular words).

Go over his stuff from the past few years.

Why? How is that relevant to a discussion of the merits of this piece?

But stuff like Rall and Coulter...

Again, I submit that it is a mistake to view it in terms of "stuff like Rall." It's a piece of writing, that either stands on its own and makes interesting or important points, or doesn't. Make a case either way, but trying to damn it by association with other work is a cop-out.
posted by rushmc at 12:14 PM on November 14, 2003


Middle of the road don't sell books / get ratings.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 12:16 PM on November 14, 2003


Ted Rall compares the U.S. army to the Nazis. Ann Coulter compares liberals to Nazis. I just call 'em like I see 'em, Mayor Curley.

Both Rall and Coulter hate the other side so much that all of their valid points end up being buried in a pile of hatred for anyone who might possibly be stupid enough to disagree with them. Personally, I agree with Rall a lot more often than with Coulter, but I do my best to ignore both of them.
posted by Reggie452 at 12:17 PM on November 14, 2003


It's no different than if I were to say "I won't read anything gd779 posts because everything she's said in the past was specious crap and I didn't agree with a bit of it."
posted by rushmc at 12:17 PM on November 14, 2003


Dumbass, check the date that the column was posted.

It is on the column itself. November 11th. That is Veteran's Day.

No shit eh?

I was commenting on the column, not the cartoon. So maybe you should STFU before you call me out.

What ideals is Rall fighting for??? Is Rall even fighting? NO.

Rall is advocating the killing of United States soldiers. That is what he is fighting for.
posted by da5id at 12:18 PM on November 14, 2003


Both Rall and Coulter hate the other side so much that all of their valid points end up being buried in a pile of hatred for anyone who might possibly be stupid enough to disagree with them.

Okay, if your contention is true, that ALL of their valid points end up buried, then show me the hatred in the posted piece that invalidates its intent. That should be easy, right?
posted by rushmc at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2003


You want what I don't like:

Fine:

It is no easy thing to shoot or blow up young men and women because they wear American uniforms. Indeed, the soldiers are themselves oppressed members of America's vast underclass. Many don't want to be here; joining America's mercenary army is the only way they can afford to attend university.

"...but we must continue to kill them until the last one has gone home to America."

posted by da5id at 12:20 PM on November 14, 2003


Is Rall even fighting? NO.

Not everyone fights with guns and bombs. I thought that was pretty universally understood by now.

Rall is advocating the killing of United States soldiers.

That would indeed be appalling. Can you show me where he is advocating this, please?
posted by rushmc at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2003


read above
posted by da5id at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2003


Here's more on the chickenhawk warbloggers having their panties all tied in a knot over Ted Rall.

On preview... Oooh!! da5id called me a bad name... Like I said , mirror da5id?
posted by nofundy at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2003


Since da5id wouldn't reference what he knew (assuming he's not a dumbass or anything) to be untrue I provided some handy dandy links.
posted by nofundy at 12:23 PM on November 14, 2003


"...but we must continue to kill them until the last one has gone home to America."

Are you serious?? Did you miss the part where the whole piece was an attempt to get inside the head of an Iraqi resistance/guerrilla fighter and try to see how things might look to them, from their perspective on the ground? Are you truly suggesting that these words express RALL'S desire that U.S. soldiers should be killed?!? WTF?
posted by rushmc at 12:24 PM on November 14, 2003


nofundy, your link above had absolutely nothing to do with Ted Rall.
posted by da5id at 12:28 PM on November 14, 2003


My bad on the link. Here's the Veteran's Day cartoon link.

Soooo baddd!!! I can see how this is wanting to get our troops killed and all. I hate how Rall sent them all over there in harm's way too. Probably just so he could sell more comics.
posted by nofundy at 12:28 PM on November 14, 2003


Nofundy, all you have to do, is click the link that started this entire thread, and check the date of the column of Ted Rall's post.

I shouldn't have to provide linkage to what is already linked.
posted by da5id at 12:30 PM on November 14, 2003


Again, nofundy, I am not talking about the cartoon.

What part of that do you fail to understand.

I am talking about his column. Do I need to say in a sentence that you can easier understand? Slower maybe?
posted by da5id at 12:31 PM on November 14, 2003


The inadvertent link does relate to the entire subject of false indignation coming from The Defenders Of All Things Duhbya on their respective warblogs.

It is you da5id who must defend your aspersions of Ted Rall. Try not to do a pathetic job of it.

Here's more on the conversation with some interesting comments for those interested.
posted by nofundy at 12:35 PM on November 14, 2003


Why? How is that relevant to a discussion of the merits of this piece?

Well, I wasn't addressing the writing in general, but just commenting on the association made in this thread. However, it helps to look at an artist's portfolio of work to put any particular piece into context. The reaction and impact of this work would be quite different if, for instance, it were penned by Ann Coulter (to stretch the definition of the term artist).

In fact, that Ted Rall is fairly consistent in his commentary says a fair bit about this particular piece: that he is going to take a left-leaning, anti-war stance on the Gulf War issue; that he is going to do so in such a way that a lot of people will find offensive; and that he's going to write things that are critical of the Bush administration. It takes a lot of the impact out of the piece, in that this is going to be viewed as 'just another Ted Rall tirade' against Dubya and Operation Iraqi Liberation.

Make a case either way, but trying to damn it by association with other work is a cop-out.

I'll agree with you to a point, in that I didn't critique the specifics of this piece. But again, an artist's piece does not stand alone outside of the entire portfolio of his work. How the reader views Rall because of his other work is going to color how he sees this piece. The same is true of any artist in any medium.
posted by moonbiter at 12:37 PM on November 14, 2003


as someone who has called out Rall in a fpp in the past, and definitely being not a Rall fan I think that this is
a) tempest in a teapot
b) the result of the warblogger community's desire to find something, anything, to change the embarrassing topic of the day (ie the senseless slaughter of American soldiers during operation Bring'Em On). it perfectly plays on the "liberals-as-traitors" right-wing McCarthyite meme
c) all of the above

Rall had the lame idea of writing a column using the voice of a fictional Iraqi guerrilla as narrator -- as journalism it makes little sense, and it's uninteresting too. he'd better stick to comics

the Veterans Day "here's all the coffins the Pentagon doesn't let you see" comic is, I must say, not that bad, and this comes from someone who 19 months ago attacked Rall's Terror Widows BS

sadly, the Pentagon re: this issue is way more cynical than Rall (we all remember how, for example, Johnny Spann's Afghanistan death and funeral were milked as media event for all they were worth. but then it was just one coffin, not a whole lot of coffins like it happens now. bad memories of Vietnam media coverage, anybody?)

also:

Dumbass, check the date...
No shit eh?...
So maybe you should STFU before you call me out.
...
Do I need to say in a sentence that you can easier understand? Slower maybe?


heh.

a "centrist"' lesson in civility, indeed

*eagerly waits for da5id's nyanyanyanyah tantrum*
posted by matteo at 12:53 PM on November 14, 2003


What I like is how some on the right are so offended by this they think surely Rall MUST be guilty of treason, and wouldn't mind beating the shit out of him.

(I'd link to LGF, but I understand it's discouraged)
posted by kgasmart at 12:57 PM on November 14, 2003


I'd link to LGF, but I understand it's discouraged

What is? Linking to LGF, or linking to other opinion blogs? I'm not up on the whole MetaTalk thing.
posted by moonbiter at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2003


I'm going to try and ignore the fistfight breaking out above, and post my own (mostly completely obvious) thoughts on the issue.

While I think Rall is clearly using a lot of cheap rhetorical tactics (coulter-esque even, sure), I do find a paralell here with that whole Steve Earle mess from last year. I don't have the links handy, but basically everyone flew into a rage because he wrote a song from the perspective of John Walker Lindh.

It really seems like there is a great number of people who think it is unpatriotic, even treasonous, to view America's enemies as anything other than inhuman demons.

Any suggestion that they have any understandable* grievances or reason for wanting to kill U.S. troops is anathema.

The analysis must stop at this:
They are sitting in the hideouts thinking about how much they hate freedom, and so must kill the ultimate symbol of freedom, the U.S.

Any discussion of the complex history of the various warzones (Afghanistan, Iraq) and the United States extensive manipulations in both countries, and how that just might have some bearing here, and how maybe, just maybe, we're doing it again -- well, that makes you a traitor who wants to see U.S. Troops killed.

Of course, Rall knew this was touchy subject, and chose the most inflamatory way possible to present it, so I can't say I blame people for dismissing his essay.

*Please note I said understandable, not justifiable or legitimate. I realize the difference is subtle, but the meanings are worlds apart, honestly.
posted by malphigian at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2003


However, it helps to look at an artist's portfolio of work to put any particular piece into context.

Why does it require context? If I read it without having ever heard of Ted Rall, would I be unable to understand the piece? We're not trying to write a dissertation on the man and his place in early 21st-century political dissent and caricature, we're examining the merits of a piece of writing and the argument it contains.

How the reader views Rall because of his other work is going to color how he sees this piece.

Certainly. And what I am suggesting is that those who take this such an extreme that they are unable to consider or discuss the work itself but feel compelled to immediately launch into an attack upon the author's character are bitter partisans who contribute nothing to the discussion and are in fact interested only in derailing or silencing it.
posted by rushmc at 1:04 PM on November 14, 2003


Hmmm. I wonder why they won't create something like "Why they didn't fight: why these same Iraqis were so cowardly and even collaborated during the murderous Hussein regime".
posted by 111 at 1:36 PM on November 14, 2003


I think writers like Rall (and Coulter) play an important role as people willing to go to the edge with their ideas and execution.

So far I have not seen a single piece in the US press (the Euro and Asian press are full of them) from the perspecitve of the Iraqi resistance (violent or otherwise) to the US occupation.

While it is obvious to me that Rall doesn't know anyone in the Iraqi resistance, and is basing his perspective on accounts of other occupations, etc, I do think this article is worth reading for those people who have never been in a position of extreme weakness and can't imagine how it feels to be dominated by another group of people. Many Americans seem unable to grasp the concept of being unhappy over being subjugated. The reaction to this article (Rall advocates the killing of our boys!) only highlights the myopia of those kinds of people.

This is not a piece which will give you real information about Iraq, but it does manage to inject today's papers with an inaccurate but interesting perspective, which might in turn inspire some more thoughtful, moderate people to actually get some better information about the subject. I think Coulter functions in a similar way, by going to an extreme she is able to encourage other people to bring out new, better-reasoned perspectives.
posted by cell divide at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2003


da5id has anger issues. He wants to hit a cartoonist.
posted by Outlawyr at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2003


While it is obvious to me that Rall doesn't know anyone in the Iraqi resistance, and is basing his perspective on accounts of other occupations, etc

I don't see that that is obvious at all. I don't have any idea whether he knows any Iraqis or not, but apparently he spent a lot of time covering the situation in Afghanistan (he wrote a book on it),* so it seems within the realm of possibility that he might have some connections in Iraq. But I certainly don't think it's necessary to have them in order to conduct a thought experiment of this sort.

______________
*Which would indicate substantially more first-hand knowledge than possessed by any of those so eager to dismiss him out of hand here.
posted by rushmc at 2:10 PM on November 14, 2003


"Why they didn't fight: why these same Iraqis were so cowardly and even collaborated during the murderous Hussein regime"
Because its different: as history has shown, time and time again, it's easier to accept a local despot than a foreign invader. It's called patriotism and, believe it or not, people in other countries besides the US feel it too.
Sure, some people believe that the USA is motivated by pure and unadulterated kindness in its military interventions. On the other hand some people believe in the tooth fairy.

I mean, does anyone believe that Rall's piece doesn't roughly describe the feelings of a majority of Iraqis today?
Here's Sami Ramadani, a political refugee from Saddam's regime, saying pretty much the same thing in different words: Iraqi resistance to foreign occupation enjoys great popular support . And, again, I suggest that Riverbend's latest post backs Rall's points.
posted by talos at 2:23 PM on November 14, 2003


Clumsy? Yes.

A more honest attempt to portray the mindset of yer average Iraqi insurgent than the Bushite waffle about all the attacks coming from 'dead-enders from the Saddam regime' or 'terrorists who hate our freedoms'? Yes.

That's all that needs to be said. Except that much of the rhetoric about King George in a certain 'charter of freedom' would be classed as hystrionic hyperbole if it were judged by the same standard:

'He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.'

Funny, that. But as talos suggests, a perceived occupying power provokes a different response to that of a home-grown tyranny.
posted by riviera at 2:34 PM on November 14, 2003


it's easier to accept a local despot than a foreign invader. It's called patriotism

You mean Europe was much more at ease with Hitler than with the American "foreign invaders"?

Iraq, after being crushed by Saddam's foot for 20 years, is right now a disoriented, still poor country where malicious misconceptions can be easily sold to the people. Even worse, the entire public opinion can be misrepresented by a notorious left-leaning foreigner who does not seem to have any knowledge at all of Middle Eastern history (and who cannot draw, btw). A whole generation of Iraqis is only now discovering what it means to be a free human being. The attempt to equate the actions of the USA with the former tyranny is a delirious lie. Unless you're a criminal or a terrorist, there is now real freedom in Iraq, but thanks to the coalition, not to the liars who pretend to be oppressed when they condoned tyranny for years.
posted by 111 at 2:44 PM on November 14, 2003


"Rall is advocating the killing of United States soldiers. That is what he is fighting for."

Isn't that what W. proposed when he challenged the resistance to "bring it on".
posted by jmgorman at 2:54 PM on November 14, 2003


You mean Europe was much more at ease with Hitler than with the American "foreign invaders"?

Germany was.
posted by rushmc at 2:55 PM on November 14, 2003


(and who cannot draw, btw)

How is that opinion relevant to this piece of writing that we are discussing?
posted by rushmc at 2:56 PM on November 14, 2003


You mean Europe was much more at ease with Hitler than with the American "foreign invaders"?
I don't understand what you mean. European countries were invaded by Nazi Germany. There developed resistance movements (of varying strength and scale in different countries). The US, Britain and the USSR, with the support of local resistance movements defeated the Nazis and kicked them out of those countries, restoring various forms of local governments. That was indeed a liberation. Europe is not one country, the Germans weren't local despots.
And I can't think of a more malicious misconception sold to a people than the idea that the US is somehow a liberator in Iraq. People who have suffered under a (local) tyrrany are in a much better position to evaluate the development of a foreign tyrrany, than indoctrinated flag-wavers in the occupying country. The attempt to compare the current actions of today's (lunatic right) US government to the truly liberatory participation of the US in the fight against Nazism (a fight supported by most of humanity at the time) is the real delirious lie.
Oh, and Rall seems to have a deeper and certainly more direct knowledge of the Middle East than the vast majority of armchair generals of the US War party.
posted by talos at 3:08 PM on November 14, 2003


I can't believe that some nutjobs try to say Dosteyevsky is a good writer, seeing as how he advocates killing your landlord's sweet, Christlike neighbor. Sicko. And that Dr. Suess? Like I'm exposing my kids to psychadellic drug propoganda.

More out-of-touch left-wing propoganda. Like when Arthur Miller kept babblin' about witches when we was a-jailin' all them homolefties in the Fiddies.

Yee Haw!!!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:16 PM on November 14, 2003


Oh, and rushmc, stop trying to be reasonable.

Yeah Hoo!

posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:17 PM on November 14, 2003


Here's a much better idea for a column:
"Why They Didn't Fight: Methods America Can Borrow From Saddam Hussein to Ensure the Elimination of Iraqi Resistance".
posted by wendell at 3:25 PM on November 14, 2003


A whole generation of Iraqis is only now discovering what it means to be a free human being.

Can they ever be truly free without Jesus, 111?
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:26 PM on November 14, 2003


Does da5id also believe that Jonathan Swift really thought we should eat poor Irish children?
posted by chuq at 4:02 PM on November 14, 2003


that's Part 3 of the Plan, mayor.

Invade their countries,
kill their leaders,
convert them to Christianity


when/if Saddam is killed,
we'll see part 3
you just wait
posted by matteo at 4:03 PM on November 14, 2003


We're introducing flouride into their water, give it time people.
posted by skallas at 4:15 PM on November 14, 2003


Saying that Ted wrote this satirically ignores his other articles where, in at least one, he called the Iraqi police traitors collaborating with the "occupation" and said that they deserved to be killed.

Here and here are some views of the resistance by an Iraqi.
posted by wrffr at 4:41 PM on November 14, 2003


Oh, and rushmc, stop trying to be reasonable.

I'm sorry...I can't seem to help myself...

Saying that Ted wrote this satirically ignores his other articles where, in at least one, he called the Iraqi police traitors collaborating with the "occupation" and said that they deserved to be killed.

Show me a link. Based upon this essay, I would guess that he was again trying to convey the Iraqi point of view, but I'm willing to look at his words. I am not, however, willing to just accept your characterization of his words—it's nothing personal, but seeing how people can twist them, I'd rather stick to the original source.
posted by rushmc at 5:17 PM on November 14, 2003


We're introducing flouride into their water

this is so cool -- so when those poor Iraqis catch cholera or thyphoid at least they'll die with perfectly white teeth

Iraqi guerrillas may be a little too unwilling to have their freedom-hating asses liberated, the war for hearts and minds is not going that well, but at least the Liberation Forces are winning the war on cavities
posted by matteo at 5:28 PM on November 14, 2003


re: the "convert them to Chrstianity" plan, the fine God-fearing folks at the North Carolina Bible Recorder report that

"It reminded me of kids coming up to Jesus," marveled Jim Walker, a digital press artist from East Bend.
posted by matteo at 5:34 PM on November 14, 2003


I don't really know this Rall guy from Adam, he's performing a useful service.

Seriously, to compare him based on this piece to Coulter, who, as far as I can recall, is most well-known for demonizing her self-perceived ideological foes and for calling people names like 'traitor' because they disagree with her, well, that seems patently stupid.

Not that the patently stupid isn't something I've come to expect on Metafilter in recent times, particularly in discussions related to Operation Bring 'Em On.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:12 PM on November 14, 2003


(er, insert your own 'but' where appropriate)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:13 PM on November 14, 2003


Show me a link. Based upon this essay, I would guess that he was again trying to convey the Iraqi point of view, but I'm willing to look at his words. I am not, however, willing to just accept your characterization of his words—it's nothing personal, but seeing how people can twist them, I'd rather stick to the original source.

"On July 5 a bomb killed seven recruits for a U.S.-trained Iraqi police force in Ramadi. U.S. occupation administrator Paul Bremer deplored the murder of "innocent Iraqis." Cops who work for a foreign army of occupation are not innocent. They are collaborators. Traitors. They had it coming."
posted by wrffr at 7:00 PM on November 14, 2003


insert your own 'but' where appropriate

Kinky devil.
posted by rushmc at 7:03 PM on November 14, 2003


Well, reading that quote in the context of his essay, wrffr, I think he's right, except for the "They had it coming" part, which I think is over the top. The overall point that he is trying to make is the same as in the essay posted above: that the U.S. is trying to impose their story of the "liberation" of Iraq and that there are many Iraqis who are not buying it. I think it is important to understand what they are thinking, because if we do not, it will make dealing with them that much more difficult.

Again, reverse things for insight into their perspective. If Iraq had successfully invaded the U.S., and your neighbor volunteered to join the "police force" that the Iraqis were training to impose their will over you and the rest of the Americans, how would you feel about them? If you chose to resist the invasion and fight for freedom and sovereignty, would you consider your neighbor a viable target, since he would be pointing a gun at you and on the Iraqi payroll?

The imaginary situation is not directly analagous, of course, since there exists such division within the Iraqi people that it is difficult to identify any legitimate representatives there (since the group that was in power is unacceptable, for the most part). On the other hand, one might argue that ANY native Iraqi has more legitimacy than any American. And if the U.S. ever were invaded, there would be certainly be collaborators here as well, as there have been in every invaded country in the history of the world.
posted by rushmc at 7:17 PM on November 14, 2003


So... local civil authorities who cooperate with an occupying force are traitors, who may not "have it coming" because *that* bit is over the top, but otherwise are pretty reprehensible?

Waaay too simplistic. The situation there is pretty FUBAR, and I suggest it is at least as likely that Iraqi "collaborators" are doing the best they can to help their own people as it is that they are selling out for the privilege of wielding the bosses' whip on their neighbors. Without knowing the individual people killed, how can we know just what their motives or beliefs were?

Apologists aside, Ted Rall is a poisonous, hateful asshole. Better or worse than Coulter is irrelevant; they are both good poster children for birth control.
posted by John Smallberries at 7:33 PM on November 14, 2003


The situation there is pretty FUBAR, and I suggest it is at least as likely that Iraqi "collaborators" are doing the best they can to help their own people as it is that they are selling out for the privilege of wielding the bosses' whip on their neighbors.

I'm not presuming anything as to their motives, only noting how people who make such choices are usually judged by their peers in such situations (see France, WWII).
posted by rushmc at 7:47 PM on November 14, 2003


The quote from Rall is not an attempt to look at things from the perspective of Iraqi civilians. It is *his* opinion that they deserved what they got, suggesting that Rall himself has no problem in making precisely that presumption.

Which is part of what earns him the puckery starfish sobriquet.

And speaking of WWII, it is my understanding that MacArthur became quite popular in Japan during that occupation. I wonder - were Japanese civil authorities under his orders seen as traitors?
posted by John Smallberries at 8:22 PM on November 14, 2003


WOLVERIIIIIIIIIIIINES!
posted by majcher at 10:24 PM on November 14, 2003


were Japanese civil authorities under his orders seen as traitors?


Probably by some, yes.
posted by The God Complex at 10:47 PM on November 14, 2003


Darn, majcher. I was just about to post this:

"Who knew so many Iraqis had seen Red Dawn?"
posted by straight at 11:09 PM on November 14, 2003


Saying that Ted wrote this satirically ignores his other articles where...

Ah, so you still don't understand - the left (even the loony left) can say anything they want as long as they are labeled "satirists." It's ok that Rall makes fun of widows of 911 or wishes for the failure of the U.S. in Iraq and subsequently for U.S. soldiers to die - it's all ok because he's a "satirist."

But a person on the right cannot say anything they want, even if they were a real satirist because it would be bad. Even worse, I suppose, than cheering for terrorists.
posted by alethe at 10:40 AM on November 16, 2003


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