In This Edition: A reply to Keith Rankin's "A Brief Reflection" - Getting Right Up Their Noses - The Real Y2k Bug - 911 And All That - Link: The Ballad of John O'Neill
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A reply to Keith Rankin's "A Brief Reflection"
Keith Rankin's article "A Brief Reflection" is an of example of how intellectual analysis within a large part of the Left has been replaced by a corrosive mixture of sanctimonious outrage and moral relativism.
For Mr Rankin it is not enough that Bush should be held to account for being a conservative politician who supports the death penalty and shows scant regard for global environmental issues. No, for Mr Rankin nothing less than alleging there is no difference between Bush and Saddam Hussein will suffice as adequate condemnation of a person with whom one disagrees.
Mr Rankin should pause to consider the consequences of making such extravagant comparisons.
Firstly, the comparison is so patently absurd it can only serve to undermine legitimate criticism of Bush's policies. Does Mr Rankin really believe there is no difference between Bush and Hussein? Would he see no difference between having Bush or Hussein in charge of the US's nuclear weapons?
Secondly, denying the legitimacy of the views of those who hold different political opinions by implying they are evil is to deny the need for debate. The Left spends much of its time denouncing those with whom they disagree with as "warmongers, oppressors, racist, sexist," etc etc. In some instances this may be true but such accusations too often have become the standard debating tool of many on the Left.
The Greens tried this with the GE issue. For the Greens, those who oppose their point of view do not do so because they have legitimate reasons. No, for the Greens their opponents are all in the pocket of Big Business and if they are not then they are intent on destroying the environment. For the Greens there can be no debate because alternative view points have no legitimacy.
Much the same is happening with the debate on Iraq. Those that oppose US intervention in Iraq are so adamant that they occupy the moral high ground that they refuse to see their opponents as anything other than evil. Hence Mr Rankin's claim of moral equivalence between Hussein and Bush.
There are people who support US intervention in Iraq because it will liberate the people of Iraq from a brutal dictator. Once upon a time the Left thought such things were a good idea. One may disagree but to paint those that have such views as evil is is to turn one's back on a central pillar of democratic society - free and open debate.
Getting Right Up Their Noses
It is great to see that Scoop is getting right up their noses!!! as in "The WORLD belongs to US!"
I am a Kiwi who has been living in the Gulf for 5 years working with some truly wonderful young Muslims. This is their country and they don't deserve to have the US stomping all over their freedoms.
I strongly agree with the CD Sludge Report. The brief reflection from Keith Rankin today put the situation in a nutshell. I pray that sanity will prevail and somehow that war will be averted.
Keep up the good work. I am a regular reader of the Scoop - and I am proud that it is based in New Zealand.
The Real Y2k Bug
9-11 And All That
Putting aside for a moment the rights and wrongs of what has happened, what caused it and what the final response may or should be, can we dispassionately consider the following:
The direct cost of the destruction and clean up of the WTC has been estimated at hundreds of millions US dollars.
The direct cost worldwide of security, insurance increases, the Afghanistan military operation and preparations for the "final showdown" with Saddam Hussein is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars.
Implementing and limiting the escalation of the "showdown" will surely cost further tens of billions of dollars.
Added together, the final monetary costs are likely to exceed 1 trillion dollars. Can you imagine that amount? And that is before you add the ongoing humanitarian and social costs.
Surely, it would have been better to have properly invested one quarter of that into addressing the long-standing issues that gave rise to the attacks in the first place.
This would have generated greater stability and growth, the financial and social returns from which would have far exceeded the costs so far (and likely to be) incurred.
Is it possible, even at this late stage, for the world's leaders to consider such a quantum leap in their global strategy? Probably not but it would be nice wouldn't it.
Link: The Ballad of John O'Neill
Not an article, just a notice of something you might be interested in.
John O'Neill was one of the few leaders who tried to prevent 9/11 from happening and one of the many heroes who died trying to save its victims. A ballad has been composed on his life and death and a history has been compiled on why this is important to all of us.
set of lyrics:
Why we should care: