micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
What's the translation?
foxnews.com has a "War on Terror Handbook" that is of moderate interest. Included in it a section on "The Enemy" with the following words:
No two terrorist groups are alike. Some groups operate worldwide, while others are regional. They fight for different reasons, with a variety of weapons and targets.Translation: We give idiots reasons to believe what they want to believe.
FOXnews.com has compiled a list of terrorist groups that, as of Jan. 30, 2003, have been designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) by the Secretary of State.Translation. We have an intern who can both copy and paste.
In the intro to Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Verso, 2002) Slavoj Zizek expands upon an argument from G. K. Chesterton about how "education" is not in and of itself the path to liberation since "education" is designed in such a manner so as to prevent the articulation of desires and ideas that the status quo can not satisfy.
Such most certainly seems to be the case with the "war on terror" and instruments such as this "War on Terror Handbook" that are effectively propaganda for the "war." The ideas expressed in these instruments make sense if you accept the basic assumptions that Team Bush has put forward about the "war on terror" since September 11, 2001 and only lose credibility when these basic assumptions, which increasingly appear to also be the basis of current "mainstream" political culture, are challenged. As much as I like to make fun of these assumptions for not standing up to basic logic, I have to concede that a number of the assumptions I hold and which shape my outlook are not empirically provable (or disprovable).
The main message I took from Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003) is how often people talk to one another without understanding the other because they either do not want to or are unable to. They know the same language and both comprehend all the words, but the larger meaning gets lost. I suspect that this is what goes on with lots of debates RE the "war on terror." The assumptions upon which supporters of the "war" base their arguments on are so different but from what the three or so actual opponents of the "war on terror" base their arguments on that communication is of little value.
Have you forgotten?
Then why don't you support George C.W. Bush?
Because I see him as using a tragedy to justify a broader and dangerous war than those events merited.
But you said you remembered?
It is so obvious that Bush has been dishonest about the "war on terror" in general and Iraq in particular. How can you support him?
We had to do something to protect America from attack.
But doesn't it now appear that at least Iraq was no threat to the U.S. or much of anybody else?
We couldn't let Saddam get away with defiance and what about those Iraqis. They deserve freedom!
There really is no way around this stumbling block that I can see unless both sides recognize that it exists.
From the Lost in Translation moment file, David Brooks of The New York Times says the Bush Administration is honest.