May 12 2013

No Joy in Mudville?

Silly liberals wearing crowns

by digby, Hullabaloo

5/11/2013 03:30:00 PM

Watch Glenn Greenwald irritate the hell out of Bill Maher last night with his “silly liberal” opinion that Islam is not some kind of uniquely violent religion — and that US foreign policy might just be partly to blame for its believers’ hostility towards America.

I would love to know why Maher thinks that making this (to me, obvious) observation makes liberals “feel good.” I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but it makes me feel like shit.

Greenwald and Maher are both wrong

by thereisnospoon, Hullabaloo

5/12/2013 07:30:00 AM

People tend to see the winner of the debate as the one who confirmed their own prior views. Maher’s argument is that Islam is a uniquely violent religion; Greenwald’s is that there’s no difference between Islam and any other religion, but that U.S. imperialism is to blame for any differential blowback.

But the evidence would dictate that they’re both wrong. Both of their arguments are too simplistic to be taken seriously, and both are easily assailable.

The ease of financing a government with oil money tempts elites into creating an economy without a substantial middle-class tax base, and without a voice of the people in government. The people are free enough to be angry and act on that anger, but not free enough to succeed or create real change. This is when fundamentalist religion is most dangerous.

This is true everywhere, regardless of whether the people in question are Christian or Muslim.

And indeed, one of the more depressing dynamics in American politics is the immediate hope on both sides after any terrorist act that a member of the other tribe be implicated. Conservatives hope to see a Muslim terrorist implicated, while liberals hope it’s a right-wing terrorist extremist. This is pointless and foolish. In fact, progressives should simply note that there’s barely a breath of difference between the two.

This isn’t about imperialism or about Islam. This is about fundamentalism, and the need to uproot it in favor of a more ecumenical, open-minded progressivism wherever it exists.

No sorry David, Glenn Greenwald is not wrong

by digby, Hullabaloo

5/12/2013 09:26:00 AM

It’s interesting that David Atkins thinks that both Greenwald and  Maher are wrong since I came down heavily on Greenwald’s side just yesterday. I suppose he was being polite. But obviously David’s screed requires a response from me since he could just as easily have put my name in the title of his post.

Let me first say right upfront that I don’t dictate what anyone writes on this blog.  It’s a free forum and just because I might disagree with the thesis, in this case quite vehemently, I would never remove the piece simply on that basis. Free speech and clash of ideas and all that rot. But I do reserve the the right to respond when I think it’s necessary. So.

Unfortunately, David chose to represent Greenwald’s views as being some sort of simplistic “blaming” of all the world’s ills on imperialism. That’s not what he said. Indeed he said several times, in response to Maher’s repeated insistence, that he did not believe that. He was referring specifically to the perennial question of “why they hate us.”  He believes that the beef stems from American foreign policy of the past six decades and not out of some religious hatred for The Great Satan.  In other words, he doesn’t think they hate us for our freedoms or because Allah told them so, but rather for our insistence on interfering in the rest of the world’s business both economically and militarily.  (Yes,  that’s “imperialism” and we are an empire, which is indisputable.)

My big black dog-

tins is a straight out apparatchik for the institutional Democratic Party and has been since his first days at dK.  He has no special intuition or skill, and I’ve worked enough of my life in actual consumer research (where you get fired when you’re as egregiously wrong as he always is) to know that.

digby is a willing shill for the lesser of… experiencing buyer’s remorse.

Boo who?

Without dday the place is an empty shell hardly worthy of notice except as a justification for my tendency to quote sources extensively (what digby says).

I assume some of you are anticipating my death match with TheMomCat but outside the inherent ugliness of 2 struldbrugs covered in goo we mostly disagree about who radicalized who and our disputes are as interesting as a Boca Raton early bird dinner argument over the tip.


Skip to comment form

  1. ek hornbeck
  2. TMC

    Greenwald is very correct, they hate us for what we do. Not just the US, either, but Europe,too, for policies in the Middle East dating back not just 60 years but over a 1000. They weren’t too thrilled with those crazy Christian Crusades.

    The majority of Afghans had no clue who Osama bin Laden was and still don’t. They see American troops as invaders. So so the Pakistanis, who have declared drone strikes as war crimes.

    The Iraqis may not have been too thrilled with Sadaam Hussein, who by the way the US put in power, but he was their problem, not ours.  Now they really hate us because of the can of worms we opened with the sectarian civil war that has split the country three ways and ensconced an even worse corrupt government that’s aligned itself with Iran. Yet, we still can’t see the error of these actions. Bill Maher and our government are assholes.

  3. Big AL

    That’s what is always missing from discussions like this. All the smart people know better than to talk about it. Or maybe they’re so smart that they believe the government story, while some of us less smart people are fooled into not believing it.  

    Violence.  What is the biggest purveyor of violence on the planet, it certainly isn’t a religion, unless you count the religion of money and power.  

  4. TMC

    He’;s just another Obama kiss ass. I stopped reading his drivel a long time ago.

  5. mplo

    but it was also the fault of the West, generally, as well as the (former) Soviet Union.  Both the Western and Eastern Blocs lent a hand in putting Saddam Hussein in power.

  6. TMC

    we keep interfering in their affairs, trying to impose government and values they disagree with.

  7. mplo


    we (the United States Govt.) keep interfering in their affairs, trying to impose government and values they disagree with.

    says it all in a nutshell, not only about what the United States has done and is still doing in Iraq, but what the USA has done throughout the world for more than half a century.

Comments have been disabled.