Friday, February 11, 2005
Avowedly With Them
Ted Barlow takes notice of the increasingly, shall we say, fevered notion by our right wing blogospheric brethren that the Left is no longer objectively pro-terrorist. We are plain old, straight up pro terrorist.
He points to this post:
This newly ever-growing Western left, not only in Europe, but in Latin America and even in the US itself, has a clear goal: the destruction of the country and society that vanquished its dreams fifteen years ago. But it does not have, as in the old days of the Soviet Union, the hard power to accomplish this by itself. Thanks to this, all our leftist friends’ bets are now on radical Islam. What can they do to help it? Answer: tie down America’s superior strength with a million Liliputian ropes: legal ones, political ones, with propaganda and disinformation etc. Anything and everything will do.
“Sigh. I wish he were wrong,” comments Glenn Reynolds. Barlow adds:
Nelson Ascher is directly stating that “all our leftist friends” are actively supporting terrorists, by any means possible, in order to achieve our dream of the destruction of the United States. The mechanisms by which terrorists could destroy the United States are left unstated. (I’m reminded of Eddie Izzard’s recounting of Imperial Japan’s strategy in WWII: “First, we’ll bomb one of their bases, and then… we’ll win.”) And Reynolds is shaking his head in rueful agreement, more in sorrow than anger.
I’m embarassed to admit that this washed over me as so much typical right-wing boilerplate until I saw Jack O’Toole’s reaction. Much like Thomas Sowell’s charming column titled “Fourth Estate or Fifth Column?” Or Jonah Goldberg’s taunt, after proposing a bet with Juan Cole, that “He can give it to the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade or whatever his favorite charity is.” Too many mainstream conservatives have adopted accusations of treason into their regular toolbox, and I guess I’m sort of getting used to it.
I especially enjoy this accusation of the libertine, decadent elitist left being in cahoots with the gay hating, women oppressing Islamic fundamentalists. Because when you think about it, isn't it much more likely that there are those on the Right who find common cause with religious radicals?
Oh my gosh, they did.
It's time for another edition of "Dana's Got A Secret!"
Federal documents reviewed by the Weekly show that Rohrabacher maintained a cordial, behind-the-scenes relationship with Osama bin Laden’s associates in the Middle East—even while he mouthed his most severe anti-Taliban comments at public forums across the U.S. There’s worse: despite the federal Logan Act ban on unauthorized individual attempts to conduct American foreign policy, the congressman dangerously acted as a self-appointed secretary of state, constructing what foreign-affairs experts call a "dual tract" policy with the Taliban.
A veteran U.S. foreign-policy expert told the Weekly, "If Dana’s right-wing fans knew the truth about his actual, working relationship with the Taliban and its representatives in the Middle East and in the United States, they wouldn’t be so happy."
A November/December 1996 article in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported, "The potential rise of power of the Taliban does not alarm Rohrabacher" because the congressman believes the "Taliban could provide stability in an area where chaos was creating a real threat to the U.S." Later in the article, Rohrabacher claimed that:
•Taliban leaders are "not terrorists or revolutionaries."
•Media reports documenting the Taliban’s harsh, radical beliefs were "nonsense."
•The Taliban would develop a "disciplined, moral society" that did not harbor terrorists.
•The Taliban posed no threat to the U.S.
Evidence of Rohrabacher’s attempts to conduct his own foreign policy became public on April 10, 2001, not in the U.S., but in the Middle East. On that day, ignoring his own lack of official authority, Rohrabacher opened negotiations with the Taliban at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, Qatar, ostensibly for a "Free Markets and Democracy" conference. There, Rohrabacher secretly met with Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, an advisor to Mullah Omar. Diplomatic sources claim Muttawakil sought the congressman’s assistance in increasing U.S. aid—already more than $100 million annually—to Afghanistan and indicated that the Taliban would not hand over bin Laden, wanted by the Clinton administration for the fatal bombings of two American embassies in Africa and the USS Cole. For his part, Rohrabacher handed Muttawakil his unsolicited plans for war-torn Afghanistan. "We examined a peace plan," he laconically told reporters in Qatar.
After Taliban-related terrorists attacked the U.S. last September, Rohrabacher associates worked hard to downplay the Qatar meeting. Republican strategist Grover Norquist told a reporter that the congressman had accidentally encountered the Taliban official in a hotel hallway.
But that preposterous assertion is contradicted by much evidence:
Yes. The chief visionary of the modern conservative movement, Grover Norquist, was also in up to his ample hips with this crew. Here's a little something from everybody's favorite apostate's Front Page:
...Since then, Saffuri and Norquist have helped set up meetings in the Oval Office with the president for AMC and CAIR leaders. White House officials have acknowledged that Alamoudi attended at least one of these sessions with the president.
Saffuri and Norquist have also set up meetings for leaders of radical Muslim groups with FBI Director Robert Mueller and with Attorney General John Ashcroft, to urge the Bush administration to abandon the USA Patriot Act.
Rohrabacher friends and colleagues believe that Norquist initially introduced Rohrabacher to Saffuri. They point to the Congressman’s long-standing ties to Norquist, which go back at least as early as the mid-1980s, when they worked together to build support for anti-Communist insurgencies in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Nicaragua.
“Grover has led a lot of people astray in recent years,” one Rohrabacher colleague said. “Saffuri would always call Dana’s office whenever he was doing an event, just as any lobbyist would do. He was well-schooled by Grover on how to be a politician’s buddy.”
Sadly, being plagued with some incurable need for intellectual honesty, I can't find it in me to claim with a straight face that Dana Rohrabacher and Grover Norquist are really in cahoots with terrorists. But if one were to rely on actual evidence rather than the wild, unsupported halluciations we see breaking out in the right blogsphere as they routinely accuse the Left of supporting terrorism, it's clear that one could quite seriously make a case that one of the most powerful Republican members of congress and the single most powerful Republican activist are literally working with terrorists.
These right wingers should probably watch their steps. Their glass houses are lying in very sharp shards right under their feet.
The Poor Man has more on this topic. It's getting very strange in the blogosphere. I cannot for the life of me figure out why the right is so angry when they just won the whole thing.
Unless, of course it is really as Lincoln said:
"...what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them."
It's not enough that they own the entire political landscape. Apparently, their frustration that we refuse to agree with them is so strong that they are having some sort of emotional collapse. We must place ourselves avowedly with them.
Well, people in hell want ice water, too. It's not going to happen.
Update: See The Forest has some thoughts on this too.
digby 2/11/2005 09:10:00 PM