Sunday, August 07, 2005

New thought crimes

I thought Thomas Friedman's suggestion to create an official American list of 'excuse makers' - people who have the nerve to suggest responses to terrorism other than Friedman's own, which is a never-ending series of wars against innocent Muslim civilians - was bad enough. We all know how official lists quickly turn into official oppression. In the current violent climate of the United States, merely being on a list is tantamount to being on a hit list for violent retaliation from right-wing nut jobs, and Friedman knows this. The whole point of creating such a list is to create a climate of fear of physical, economic, or official retaliation in order to repress any alternatives to Friedman's moronic approach to the 'war on terror'.

The United States has been through this kind of thing before. In the 1950's the lives of many people were ruined by Joe McCarthy and his ilk, who created an atmosphere of threat by merely creating lists of possible traitors, whose lives were then ruined by being blacklisted by movie studios (ironically, almost all these victims of lists were Jewish intellectuals). These people were 'excuse makers', people who only wanted to suggest alternatives to the government policies of the time. The most famous American 'excuse maker' was Eugene Debs, who was imprisoned in 1918 under the Sedition Act (also ironically used to oppress Jewish intellectuals), merely for daring to suggest that the United States not participate in the First World War. Friedman's idea of creating an official list of people with alternative approaches to the problem of terrorism is a fascist act, and he should be fired from the New York Times.

But it gets worse. Tony Blair is now suggesting that there be a criminal offense in Britain for 'condoning or glorifying' terrorism anywhere in the world. Condoning terrorism would include Friedman's 'excuse makers', anyone who has the nerve to suggest that there might be rational reasons for terrorism which could be answered by reasonable actions by Western states, and anyone who suggests that terrorism just might have causes in the actions of states such as Britain and the United States. That would include people such as Ken Livingstone and George Galloway, whose trenchant criticisms connecting Blair's foolish decision to participate in the attack on Iraq with the London bombings are apparently starting to bother Blair. His solution will be to throw the 'excuse makers' in jail.

The only guy who really belongs in jail is Tony Blair, a clear violator of international law, and a war criminal of the highest order.