Here is why Western liberal fuzzy-minded thinking pisses me off so much:
This morning I'm reading my National Post (thankfully, the delivery system seems back on track). Each week, the Post invites someone in the arts world to basically diary for them for a few days.
This week, it's Henry Rollins. I don't know who he is but according to the tag above the column, he's a "singer, actor and spoken word artist". Great. I'm into words and songs and he was writing from Tel Aviv, so I thought it might be worth reading.
Turns out, he's writing from Tel Aviv because he stopped there on a USO tour because he supports the troops. Okay, cool...so far, we're doing pretty well. Here's a North American artist, taking time out of his schedule to entertain soldiers trying to create a safer world. That seems pretty laudable, right?
Well, hang on a sec.
During his 300 word or so article, Mr. Rollins first refers to George Bush's foreign policy as "demo-fascist" and then goes on to complain that the US is "rattling the sabres" when it comes to Iran and he the implies that Bush is looking for a war with the Iranians.
Now, perhaps Mr. Rollins can't read. Or, maybe he only gets his news from al-Jazzeera and Air America (he does mention Al Franken in his screed, too, so maybe the two are buddies in lib-left moronic thinking).
First off, democracy and fascism are diametrically opposed political philosophies. Fascism involves state-control over industry; democracy does not. Fascism includes the brutal oppression of opposition; democracy does not. We can use the term "islamofascism" to, for instance, because those two terms can go together; in this case it would indicate a fascist regime under an islamic religious banner.
Now, dumbass terminology designed to invoke a reaction is the norm for politics across North America today, so I can forgive Rollins his downright ridiculous invoking of a nonsensical term.
But, his comments on the relationship between the US and Iran are just plain lies.
It's Iran that's saber rattling. It's Iran that refuses to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities, that has ignored countless UN entreaties to negotiate, that says it will not be stopped by sanctions and whose president has repeatedly called for the genocide of six million Jews living in Israel and the destruction of their country in a nuclear armageddon. (Oddly, Rollins calls Israel "one of the most beautiful countries" he's ever seen; sadly, he seems content to allow it to disappear in a mushroom cloud.)
In response, the US administration's most controversial statement on Iran is that it will continue to be open to negotiations but that other options exist. The US has not threatened Iran with either conventional or non-conventional attacks. It has not called for Iran to be wiped off the map. It hasn't even gone as far as to call for regime change in Iran.
Mr. Rollins and his ilk, quite frankly, make me want to toss my cookies. I'm just glad I read the paper before I eat breakfast or I might have spewed my bran flakes this morning.
This is why it's almost always never a good idea to give "entertainers" a platform to shout from. They're generally well-heeled twits who seize the public attention because of the movies they've done or the albums they've released or the assorted affairs they've had or busts they've been part of. They are not, however, usually capable of intelligent political commentary.
As Mr. Rollins has proved.