Friday, August 19, 2005

Friedman: Blacklist "Excuse Makers"

The NYT op-ed from last month is behind the paper's new $ wall of sleep, but if the abstract, and this John Pilger article are an accurate reflection of its content, then the war at home could get as FUBAR as the war over there:

Friedman's latest bark is about free speech, which his country's Constitution is said to safeguard. He wants the State Department to draw up a blacklist of those who make "wrong" political statements. He is referring not only to those who advocate violence, but to those who believe American actions are the root cause of the current terrorism. The latter group, which he describes as "just one notch less despicable than the terrorists," includes most Americans and Britons, according to the latest polls.

Friedman wants a "War of Ideas report" that names those who try to understand and explain, for example, why London was bombed. These are "excuse makers" who "deserve to be exposed." He borrows the term "excuse makers" from James Rubin, who was Madeleine Albright's chief apologist at the State Department. Albright, who rose to secretary of state under President Clinton, said that the death of half a million Iraqi infants as a result of an American-driven blockade was a "price" that was "worth it." Of all the interviews I have filmed in official Washington, Rubin's defense of this mass killing is unforgettable.

Don't ask why. Don't object to anything. Don't question or criticize.

As the war over there continues to falter, war mongers will increasingly turn on the only remaining and apparently vulnerable enemy--the rest of us. Don't believe me? See right-wing smears of Cindy Sheehan as a "trailer" of things to come.

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