Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Glenn Greenwald, discussing the Obama Administration's apparent desire to re-classify the MEK as no longer being a terrorist organization:

[T]he application of the term “Terrorist” by the U.S. Government has nothing to do with how that term is commonly understood, but is instead exploited solely as a means to punish those who defy U.S. dictates and reward those who advance American interests and those of its allies (especially Israel). Thus, this Terror group is complying with U.S. demands, has been previously trained by the U.S. itself, and is perpetrating its violence on behalf of a key American client state and against a key American enemy, and — presto — it is no longer a “foreign Terrorist organization.”


[T]he rule of law is not even a purported constraint on the conduct of Washington political elites. Here, the behavior of these paid MeK shills is so blatantly illegal that even the Obama administration felt compelled to commence investigations to determine who was paying them and for what. As a strictly legal matter, removing MeK from the Terror list should have no effect on the criminality of their acts: it’s a felony to provide material support to a designated Terror group — which the Obama DOJ, backed by the U.S. Supreme Court, has argued, in a full frontal assault on free speech rights, even includes coordinating advocacy with such a group (ironically, some of this Terror group’s paid advocates, such as former Bush Homeland Security adviser Fran Townsend, cheered that Supreme Court ruling when they thought it would only restrict the political advocacy of Muslims, not themselves).

Likely victory for MeK shills

Since I'm old enough to remember the Cold War, and the fear of communism that fueled it on our side, this all seems like old news to me. During the Cold War, we were perfectly happy to ignore the contradictions in our foreign policy that made it OK to back despotic, tyrannical governments, including Saddam Hussein's in the interests of opposing the "communist menace". What was truly ironic and sad about that is that most Americans could not have told you what communism was. In fact, when they were told some of its principles, without them being identified as communist, many thought they sounded like interesting ideas. It's little wonder that folks like Joe McCarthy were able to label people as communists so easily, and were only stopped by impassioned arguments from some of the people who supported those he was trying to persecute.

The sad fact is that little has changed about such things in the intervening years, other than the name of the thing we're afraid of. Now the boogeyman is "terrorism", which is generally defined as anything that those in charge don't like. There are plenty of Americans willing to go along with that, including many progressives. Plus, as the list of lobbyists Greenwald names in that article will show, there are plenty of so-called progressive politicians who are willing to sell out to violent organizations like the MEK, as long as the money is right. What's more, they won't bat an eye when confronted with the truth that MEK are, in fact, terrorists, if that label has any meaning at all. They will do that, furthermore, even as they cheer on the restriction of our freedoms in the name of fighting "terrorism".

UPDATE/Afterword: Bill Moyers aired a thoughtful commentary about modern-day McCarthyism a couple of weeks ago. Well worth a look, I think, if you're not familiar with the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950s.

No comments: