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Sunday, February 25, 2007

So...Is Aggression Only Bad When it Speaks Japanese?

"I want you to tell them: 'It's time for you to turn off the TV and stop playing Game Boy.... I don't want to have to raise money in Hollywood all the time."
Barack Obama, speaking to a Democratic crowd in Austin, Texas.

I live in the bluest area of a blue state, and yet our one daily paper-the Portland Press Herald-remains intransigently conservative. It's pro war-the editorial page editor remains unwavering in his assertion that overthrowing Saddam was in and of itself a worthy goal-and peppers it's pages with articles by right wing neanderthals like Jonah Goldberg.

Well, on this day before the Oscars, the right wing goon currently being represented as a reasonable voice to consider on the editorial pages of the Press Herald is James Pinkerton, usually found on the panel of "Fox Newswatch." Originally printed in his Newsday column, Mr. Pinkerton is apparently upset that Clint Eastwood's "Letters from Iwo Jima"-a portrait of the WWII battle from the point of view of the Japanese- is being considered for an Academy Award tonight. What pisses James off is not this particular movie-although he is definitely bristling at the portrait of Japanese soldiers as actually human-but the fact that Eastwood feels that war in general is a futile exercise. Seemingly not understanding the irony behind his words, Pinkerton haughtily states:

"Yet, wars frequently resolve vital issues-that is, international ambition, aggression, and conquest."

Ummm, James? but then he proceeds to dig himself even deeper.

"Japan, for example, began dreaming of dominating Asia in the late 19th century. First, it took over Taiwan and Korea; then, it defeated Russia. Starting in 1931, it attempted to conquer all of China. And in 1941, of course, came Pearl Harbor. Had America not defeated Japan, all of Asia and the Pacific might still be bowing down to the Rising Sun."

Ok, let's think about this, which Pinkerton obviously didn't before he began his diatribe proving how war is sometimes necessary to defend oneself against aggression and imperialism. He provides the perfect argument for ongoing resistance to the American occupation of Iraq. After all, the US invaded Iraq (aggression) in March of 2003 under false pretenses to cover an actual agenda of "spreading democracy" in the Middle East and implanting west-friendly puppet governments so we could access their oil (international ambition). We deposed Saddam Hussein in the process (conquest).

(But then, of course, a funny thing happened on the way to the empire...)

Think of the second paragraph from an Arab/Muslim perspective in a few years:

"The US began dreaming of dominating the Middle East in the late 20th century. First, it took over Iraq; Starting in 2007, it attempted to conquer all of Iran, and, of course, Syria. Had the insurgents and jihadists not defeated America, all of the Arab/Muslim world might be bowing down to the Stars and Stripes."

Hmmm...finally, Pinkerton ends his column with the following flourish:

"No amount of retroactive Hollywood political correctness can ever detract from what was done there. By Americans -- also known, in that battle, as the good guys."

Easily rewritten by Muslims as:

"No amount of retroactive Hollywood political correctness can ever detract from what was done there. By Americans -- also known, in that battle, as the bad guys."

Because in their eyes, the good guys will be the ones fighting the aggression, international ambition, and conquest thirsted for by the United States.

Thank you, Mr. Pinkerton, for your compelling argument against allowing us to continue our imperial aggression against sovereign nations, done in much the same manner for which you chastise the Japanese. The insurgents will need only point to your ideas-aggressive imperialism must be stopped in order to preserve important culture and way of life-as a rallying cry for their relentless acts of bloody sabotage against our servicepeople.

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