I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Friday, March 31, 2006

The REAL cut and run

Some of the most disturbing, violent images festering in the Right wing, welling up from a deep pool of fear and xenophobia, seem to be found in the writings of Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein. The linked post was made in reference to a news report that Al Qaeda may be planning bio-weapons attacks on civilian populations. Make no mistake... a ricin attack on a large city would be a disaster if it happened. But Goldstein's response is a chilling example of the people who have truly "cut and run"... but not from Iraq or Afghanistan. These are people who have "cut and run" from any hope of a diversified, united future for humanity. This attitude is shown in all its naked glory in this one sentence:
If, in the name of their God, radical Islamists unleash a biological weapon on a civilian population, the time might finally come when the last of the multiculturalist hangers-on finally falls on his sword.
There you have it. "Multiculturalism" is now a dirty word on the right wing. Xenophobia is the order of the day. The problem with this type of mindset is that it inevitably leads to a reaction similar to the bad guy with the pistol backed into the corner of a dark room. He just starts shooting at every random sound he hears in the dark.

Goldstein tries to frame a logical question: what should we do in the event of a biological attack? It's certainly a valid question to ask and something we should be prepared for. But look at where this question leads the neocon mind. (Please note my emphasis below.)

Anyway, here'’s a question: at that point - —after we learn of an attack, contain it, and clean up our dead - —what do we do? Try to locate the perpetrators (who are likely dead themselves)? Conduct a number of investigations into where the toxin came from, who produced it,and then, once we realize we can never know for certain, hold congressional finger-pointing hearings on whose fault it is that the biological attack were successful?

Because frankly, all of those options seem impotent.

If you're at all familiar with Goldstein's writing, you know that this train is heading off the tracks quickly. It doesn't take long. Let's see what Jeff's ideal "plan" is to be ready for such a disaster.
Will drastic, non-"compassionate" measures finally be taken, —and if they are, shouldn'’t they be done without a lot of talk, without a lot of time passing, and - —most importantly - —without giving it a second thought? I think so - —at least, that'’s my first reaction.

In fact, it wouldn'’t be a bad idea to have the plan drawn up beforehand and let it be known what the world reaction will be in the event of a biological attack - —be it isolating certain countries that are know to aid terrorists, or something more drastic (the official US stance is that nuclear weapons could be used in the event of a biological attack).
Let's review Jeff's scenario and his preferred response.

The scenario:
  • A biological attack is carried out.
  • The perpetrators are known or suspected to most likely be already dead.
  • We admit that we can't know who was truly responsible.
The response:
  • We draw up a list of Muslim countries ahead of time and warn them.
  • If the warning fails to prevent an attack, even if we have no idea if they were truly responsible or not, we nuke them.
  • And if we are to nuke them, we do it quickly, without a lot of "thought" and we stop people from talking about it first so we don't get talked out of it.
That should teach them Ay-Rabs a lesson, huh?

This, friends, is the real definition of cutting and running. It is a total abandonment of any hope that mankind could ever come together on a global level and work together for a better future. Right wingers constantly accuse people like me (who want to keep the United State's nose out of so many other countries' business) of being "isolationists" and quitters. But aren't people like Goldstein the true isolationists?

These are the people who are letting a handful of radical extremists drive them into the corner with their guns drawn, seeing nothing but enemies on every front. That's surrender in its most stark form. Many religions, many races, many cultures make up our world. The sinners at the forbidden alter of multiculturalism still hold on to some belief that those many fabrics can eventually combine to create one global quilt that lifts up everyone and works together to solve problems.

But we have the biggest guns and we don't understand those "foreigners" with their strange ways. So I guess we have to stand in the corner, eyes darting in every direction and start blasting away.

And I think history will judge that as the worst form of "cut and run" which could ever happen to us as a species.

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