Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Thought I Was Tough on Glenn Greenwald!

This entry is a follow-up to my Blog Watch post on Glenn Greenwald. That one was one of my better posts in the series, but for comparison, check out this exchange flying across the blogosphere today between Greenwald and his enemies:

It starts with Greenwald's post up today
attacking conservative foreign policy hawks as anti-Islamist bigots. He mounts some special animosity for Protein Wisdom, which called him a (stupid) faggot:

On Protein Wisdom - the right-wing blog of Pajamas Media's Jeff Goldstein - there is a "response" to a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago concerning the exaggerations of the Muslim threat from Marty Peretz's assistant, Jamie Kirchick of The New Republic and Commentary. The Protein Wisdom response to my post is entitled "Hey (Faggot) Stupid."
I don't advocate calling ideological opponents rank ad hominems, although I can see why conservatives really hate Glenn Greenwald. Still, Greenwald gets some nasty hate mail, such as this:

Glenn -- just read your post about how we're all over-reacting to Islamic fundamentalism. How refreshing! I had no idea that our fears were so ill-founded. There I was, all set to actually believe the rhetoric of Al Qaeda and Iran and the countless video tapes of suicide bombers, not to mention the actual language of the Quran. In fact, I'd even begun to believe this poll, which says that quite a few American Muslims think that there is justification for strapping a bomb to yourself and walking into a mall [GG: I wrote about that poll here and here]. But who needs polls when I have Glenn Greenwald! Thank heavens we have you to balance all this with an argument that can basically be summed up as, "well none of these people who mocked Islam have been killed, so you all need to relax, OK?"

I picture this moment, Glenn, and it brings me a little chuckle. It's you, begging some terrorist for your life, pointing out all the wonderful things you wrote that undermined America's resolve to fight against Islamic terrorism. "Look," you say, pulling articles out of your pockets with shaking hands, "I have served you! Clearly this means that I deserve to be spared!"
I won't tell you how it ends, Glenn.
The e-mail's from RH Potfry at The Nose on Your Face. Now, while I really dislike Greenwald, I'm just not willing to get this down and dirty in attacking him (so consider this as the rejection of conservative ad hominem smears some of my lefty readers keep demanding).

But back to the issues in play: Check out Greenwald's response, which dismisses any possible inkling of an Islamist threat to American national security:

One can only marvel at how developed and richly detailed is the fantasy that he has created and carries around with him -- being on one's knees before a Muslim terrorist, begging and pleading and shaking, dialogue about "having served you." It is really right out of some cheap, trite sadomasochistic pornography script, and yet these fears and truly creepy fantasies are the foundation for their political beliefs, driving most of our political discourse and policy.

And this bile that spewed forth really illustrates so much about why we continue to fight one of history's most absurd wars ever, whereby we occupy Iraq indefinitely even though the original justifications for invading have long ago vanished and even those who want to stay have no idea what we are trying to accomplish. It is the same dynamic that fueled so much of the intense and obsessive hatred for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and which drives the insatiable quest for new Enemies to attack, including what looks increasingly like the new War with Iran.

Bombing and killing Muslims is the only path for avoiding the humiliating scenarios which our nation's war cheerleaders carry around obsessively in their heads, and which are currently filling my inbox. They're not going to be the ones on their knees, begging. They're not going to be the "faggots." Instead, they are going to send others off to fight and bomb and occupy and kill and thereby show who is strong and tough and feel protected.
Greenwald's really stuck on his "wimp factor" theories, which are of the garden variety "chicken hawk" kind, but read the whole post for more. For now, though, note how the debate continues back over at Protein Wisdom. Especially this section, with updates:

UPDATE: Gleen begins an update to a post with the formula, “I honestly just read . . . .” No, really. Were fatwas issued against them? No, but good old religieuse Gleen is deeply concerned about the blasphemy and wound to the sensibilities of Allahpundit’s handle. O tempora, o mores!

UPDATE2: More fun spun off from Gleen’s fantastical inferences regarding our fantasy lives: They are terrified but they can’t look away. “Tormented, they invent their own counter-fantasies where they are the ones holding the long, hard, dark penis and telling the source of their agony, ‘Suck. On. This.’” Because the only explanation for why one might differ from their point of view has to do with psychosexual deficiency. That’s the Progg Fantasy in a nutshell.

UPDATE3: Another numbskull weighs in:

None of this should surprise anyone. America is filled with people like Dan Collins, some of whom may be in your own families. I recall a relative of mine arguing in favor of extensive war in the Middle East, saying that if we didn’t bomb the Arabs into submission, they would come over here and “fuck us in the ass.” That’s a direct quote, by the way. I remember that line well because I had no real come back to it. I mean, what do you say to that: “To the contrary, they won’t fuck us in the ass”? Not exactly Oxford debate material. Still, the rightwing fascination with homosexual rape and queer-tinged scenarios in general says more about their confused psyches than the actual politics of the real world. I’ve run into this time and time again. Hell, twenty years ago I heard similar violent and gay-oriented rhetoric from the ex-Dartmouth Review editors and writers I had gotten to know. Back then, it was the Sandinistas who wanted to fuck us in the ass. You’d think that the U.S. has the most tantalizing rear the planet has ever seen, given how many countries desire cramming their dark, uncircumcised pricks deep inside our cheeks. This is why we must kill them before they drop their pants and pull out the bad news. Call it the Tucker Carlson school of international diplomacy.

I’m not worried about getting rammed up the ass by a Muslim, you jackass. I’m flummoxed by Gleen’s running interference for homosexual-murdering regimes and then turning around and lecturing us on our insensitivity to a particular brand of cultural difference that seems to inculcate that practice.

Of course, none of this should surprise anyone, because whatever that cultural difference may consist in, it cannot possibly be as dangerous as Neo-cons.

In fact, Gleen pretty much embodies Lacanian disembodiment:

Because of this lack of signifieds, Lacan says, the chain of signifiers–x=y=z=b=q=0=%==s (etc.)–is constantly sliding and shifting and circulating. There is no anchor, nothing that ultimately gives meaning or stability to the whole system. The chain of signifiers is constantly in play (in Derrida’s sense); there’s no way to stop sliding down the chain–no way to say “oh, x means this,” and have it be definitive. Rather, one signifier only leads to another signifier, and never to a signified. It’s kind of like a dictionary–one word only leads you to more words, but never to the things the words supposedly represent.

But people being stoned to death because of their sexuality by a regime that represents no threat to anybody, that’s rather real, I would imagine, in the moment the rock breaks the skull. On the other other other hand, you have one sockpuppet that refers to another sockpuppet that refers to another sockpuppet, ad infinitum.

And to think: I thought I was getting pretty tough on Gleen Greenwald!

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