Wednesday, February 01, 2017

No Pearls, Just an Eye-roll

I possess no pearls to clutch, and what virtue I have probably isn't signal-worthy. I find myself in a kind of no-man's land, politically, at present.

This piece by Justin Raimondo at is one of very few with which I can comfortably feel "in tune":
Spare us the Theatrics.

Longish Snip (with my highlight): Do please go read the full piece:
The hysterical response to Trump has blinded the left to what is really going on: they are so busy working themselves up into a fit of self-satisfied outrage that they have lost the ability not only to reason but to see what is right in front of their eyes. Much of this is due to partisanship, but the rest we can attribute to a cognitive disability: when emotions are substituted for thought over an extended period, the result is a permanent impairment. If what we are seeing at the end of the first week of the Trump administration is indicative of the next four years, the fate of American liberalism promises to be sad indeed.

The Trump administration has the media and its political opponents (or do I repeat myself?) in a lather as the White House continues to fire executive orders in quick succession, demolishing the old order and enraging both liberals and their newfound neoconservative allies. Amid all the virtue-signaling hysterics, the most significant aspects of what is occurring are being overlooked – and it’s my job to point them out.

While the blue-state crowd is protesting President Trump’s order banning travel to the US by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia, what gets lost in all the shouting is that the legal and political basis of his order was laid down by President Barack Obama. These people don’t care to recall that, in 2013, Obama banned all refugees from Iraq for six months, and his action was hardly noticed: Trump is only proposing a ninety-day pause. What prompted Obama’s action, as ABC News reported at the time, was “the discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq.”

Two years later, Congress passed a law, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, that restricted travel visas for citizens of “states of concern,” i.e. Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran and “any other country or area of concern.” Obama promptly signed it. In early 2016, the Department of Homeland Security unilaterally extended these restrictions to Yemen, Libya, and Somalia. What this meant was that the visa waiver program did not apply to citizens of these countries: travelers had to apply for a visa at US embassies, a highly problematic matter (Syria, for one, has no such facility) and were very unlikely to be successful in their efforts. I don’t recall any protests at the time.

In short, the legal and political basis of Trump’s executive order – which is being denounced as an unprecedented attack on our allies (Iraq), civil liberties, and decency itself – was laid during the previous regime. Trump has simply dispensed with the fiction that these travelers are welcomed by our government, and issued an ostensibly temporary outright ban.

Aside from the hypocrisy underscored in that history, however, a larger point needs to be made: this all follows from our bipartisan foreign policy of perpetual war. Regardless of one’s views on immigration, the idea that we can invade the world and then proceed to invite the world is worse than naïve – it’s dangerous...........

After fifteen years of rampaging throughout the world, that the US is now retreating to Fortress America comes as a shock only to the clueless. That this is being done with the crudity we have come to expect from Trump – green card holders were handcuffed at the airports, and immigration officials told the hapless detainees to complain to the President – is likewise not surprising. Someone who has been a resident of the United States for years, albeit not a citizen, being treated in this manner is an outrage – but what else has the history of the post-9/11 been but one outrage after another? (The inclusion of green card holders is now being walked back by the White House.)

And as for those who are now gathering at airports with placards denouncing Trump – where were they when the countries on the no-go list were being bombed by their hero, Obama? The answer is that they were nowhere to be found. Oh, but now they’re up there on their high horses, lances lowered and ready to do battle with the “fascist” Trump. Spare us the theatrics, my liberal friends, and contemplate your own sins, for they are many..........


mike said...

Please don't fall into the "alternative facts" world, Twilight!

Twilight said...

mike ~ Hey! Nice to see you.

I don't see anything in the piece featured that comes under "alternative facts".

What stands out for me in all of this is how quickly a certain strain of Democrats are inclined to protest when it's a Republican doing the dirty, but when it was a Democrat doing bad things - well, they weren't so bad - those things "had to be done" to keep us safe. All the droning and killing of innocents Obama did, for instance. (Not just refusing them entry to the US - killing them in their own lands!) Where were all these hysterical people then?

Twilight said...

From Counterpunch today:

Obama, Hillary, Schumer, and Trump: Will the Real Enemies of the Moslem World Please Stand Up by Eric Sommer

LB said...

Amen, Twilight. While I see the potential value in these protests and share their (very legitimate!) concerns, I've also been frustrated and terribly saddened by the limited scope and lack of awareness, political hypocrisy on the part of *some* liberal protesters. And I include all those who continue to believe Democrats like Clinton, Warren, Sanders, Booker, etc. will save them, when these same folks support the system directly responsible for the injustices they're protesting.

I completely agree with your observations about the policies, drone-killings, endless wars and murders of innocents under Democratic rule (also various social and economic injsutices), yet very few protests. I'm sure you're aware all Democratic senators except one voted to confirm General James Mattis, the general accused of war crimes. I don't think it was a subject that even came up during his confirmation:

There's also the issue of tens of thousands of Central American refugees (women and children)'detained' and deported under Obama's rule.

And with the exception of advocates outside the Democratic party (people like Ralph Nader, Margaret Flowers and organizations like Single Payer Action and Physicians For a National Health Plan), we still don't have anyone really fighting the good fight to bring us single-payer, universal healthcare (Expanded and Improved Medicare For All, H.R. 676). Not Pelosi (who thinks Obamacare is great), or Warren or Sanders (who won't reintroduce it this year), among others.

Very few protesters seem aware of this option or of how many remain without affordable healthcare; instead they've been brainwashed to defend Obamacare, when now would be an ideal time to repeal and replace it with Expanded and Improved Medicare For All.

In their defense, many protesters seem genuinely well-intentioned but uninformed, misled by the mainstream media's constant stream of neoliberal, corporate, militaristic, capitalistic propaganda. They have no idea how we got where we are or of the roots of our problems. I try to share what I've learned with those who are interested and willing to listen, sometimes challenge those who are less receptive.

Ironically, I've been watching Russian TV (RT News) lately. Some of the interviews and reporting (Chris Hedge's "On Contact") are pretty informative, unlike what's offered on (let's-blame-Russia-propaganda-for-Hillary-losing-and-find-reasons-to-go-to-war-with-Russia) channels like MSNBC or CNN. As I type this, economist Richard Wolff is on RT talking about "Failing For-Profit Schools", another example of how our capitalistic system is failing.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Trump's actions do warrant protest, and are getting it. I think perhaps that what's grating on me, more than the actual protesters, is the screeching online by Huff Post and so many supposedly liberal websites and regular writers. I stopped watching any political news or commentary on TV long ago, it's nothing but corporate propaganda. I really should just ignore it all, online too, and save my BP!

I'm sure healthcare protests will begin the minute Trump starts meddling with ACA.
Protesters are going to have a few very busy years!

I suppose Trump and his administration will be hoping protesters will become despondent and give up, after he has thrown out a few more major protest-tempting issues in quick succession.

He's doing exactly what he said he'd do. If he didn't his followers would turn on him and he will not risk that, and losing face. Any Republican president would have been bad, maybe even worse than Trump in some ways. The political pendulum swung their way, partly because that's the way pendulums act, partly because the Democrats couldn't see the forest for the trees.

LB said...

Twilight ~ I understand. Liberal/neoliberal news outlets are feeding the frenzy, without providing critical historical analysis or meaningful background information. It's why I don't usually read the Huffington Post, Guardian, Washington Post (bleh!)or NY Times, nor do I depend on mainstream (liberal) TV news: BBC, PBS, or the other two MSM channels previously mentioned.

Most of my news and commentary comes from blacklisted left online news sites. You know, ones the Washington Post accused of advancing Russian propaganda during the election. I never agree with anyone's opinions all of the time, but I do appreciate their sharing of details and perspectives I'd NEVER have access to through the MSM.

I briefly turned on CNN's Town Hall with Nancy Pelosi last night, had to turn it off when I felt myself becoming overwhelmed listening to her glaring misrepresentations and praise for Obamacare ~ without mentioning single-payer.

I've realized much of my anger isn't really anger, more like deep sadness. We've lost our way.

Happy Belated Birthday, Twilight.:) And so close to a New Moon too.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thank you for the birthday wishes! Yes, another year done gone...I shall try to forget the numbers and simply be thankful I'm still firing on most cylinders. :-)

Yes, there's a sadness in the situation now. Maybe we (as in we, the people of the USA) need to go through this nasty period in order to learn something - have it drilled into us the hard way.