Friday, March 25, 2005

Can somebody please explain?

As expected, Jeremy Hinzman, who deserted the U.S. army after realising it wasn't just an opportunity for a free education, but actually involved obligations, has been denied refugee status in Canada. After the decision, he spoke at an anti-war rally held outside the U.S. consulate in Toronto.

What I don't understand is how the anti-war types can support him anyway. While I'm sure that there are plenty of people in this country opposed to the war in Iraq who have supported other U.S. military actions in the past, one suspects that these aren't the same people who are outside the consulate with the Bush=Fascist signs. Those are the people who oppose all U.S. military action. How do they excuse supporting a man who was willing to sign up to fight for the imperialist cause, even if he didn't specifically know he was going to have to go to Iraq?

Just asking.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

One woman I'd like to see beaten up and humiliated....

Maureen Dowd feels that our culture likes to abuse strong women, as she puts it: "Arabs put their women in veils. We put ours in the stocks." (If it's such a tough life being a New York Times columnist, might I recommend a move to Saudi Arabia?). First we like to put them down and "[a]fterward, in a gratifying redemption ritual, people like to see the battered women be rewarded."

But Maureen Dowd doesn't play these kinds of games. No, she stands up for strong women. Women who faced sexism and racism growing up in the American south in the 1960s to become Secretary of State...

"And what about Condi, who's now being touted for the Republican ticket in 2008? Perhaps she does not need to play the victim to make people feel better about her power because she was never seen as a termagant, pushing people around and bending them to her will. She always seemed subservient to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, a willing handmaiden and spokesman for their bellicose bidding."

Because if a women doesn't have suitable liberal cred, she is "subservient" and "a willing handmaiden" (interesting that she's not a 'spokesperson'). And I'm sure these are exactly the same terms that she would use to describe a man with whom she disagreed. It's so amusing watching the feminists frothing at the mouth over Condi. She is a legitimately strong woman who has worked her way up to one of the most powerful positions in the world, but they take every opportunity to bash her. Because they don't know how to deal with her. In the modern era, a woman is allowed to be anything... except a conservative (as we all learned during the last election the only Republican women are "security mom's"). And as a conservative black woman she has committed a double sin. Men are free to base their politics on any number of factors. But women? We have to vote with our vaginas.

Happy belated International Women's Day!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

That's right rest of Canada, we really are the Centre of the Universe

An interesting composite of Toronto.

Change bad

It was inevitable... The popular movement in Lebanon has brought down the pro-Syrian government this week. Syria is a Baathist state that essentially controls Lebanon. So clearly, the people of Lebanon asserting themselves is a bad thing and using this as an opportunity to redefine Syria's role in the region would be even worse. Kicking the Syrians out of Lebanon would be reckless. Afterall, why should the Lebanese have sovereignty? (sovereignty only matters when you're looking for an excuse not to stop a genocide) This could shake things up in Syria, and given how well things are going there, surely that would be disastrous. So what is the solution?

In the end, the most promising (if gradual) course for promoting reform in Syria is to engage and empower Mr. Assad, not to isolate and overthrow him.

You know, I am so sick to death of the perspective that we should be nice to dictators and treat them well when they behave a little less badly. Has it ever worked? And will somebody please explain to me what is so freakin' wonderful about the status quo that we need to maintain it? You know for a fact that the same people who are urging caution now were the same one's who were urging caution just before the Berlin Wall fell. I wonder what it's like to be consistently on the wrong side of history. Learn your lesson and shut up!