Sometimes switching a few words around can reveal the insanity of what a particular writer is saying. Conservatives have successfully used this tactic when writing about liberal race- and ethnicity-mongers. It’s OK, at least in the world of political correctness, to say that whites are evil and greedy, but replace "white" with any member of an approved Oppressed Minority Group and … well you get the picture.
Sometimes this tactic works well with other issues, and even can be used to embarrass certain conservatives.
For example, I offer the following sample of Joseph Farah’s recent WorldNetDaily column, with a few of my own changes in words and phrases to illustrate the point:
"There are 293 million people living in America.
"My guess is that the population is going to be reduced shortly.
"Not all of the American nation’s population, or even most of them, bear responsibility for the despicable, cowardly attacks on civilians in Iraq. But the longer that the American church leaders and residents protect and shield their government that commits these atrocities, the more responsible the residents of America collectively become.
"The day of reckoning is coming. It will not be particularly precise, according to Allah’s warriors. But it will be overwhelming.
"America is going to pay a price for the blood it has spilled.
"We may need to flatten America. We may need to destroy it. We may need to grind it, pulverize it and salt the soil, as the Romans did with troublesome enemies. Quite frankly, we need to make an example out of America. It’s time to cease worrying about collateral damage. Sometimes the most merciful course of action seems like the harshest.
"The war is not over. It won’t be over until America and the rest of the Western world is fully pacified.
"America needs to feel some pain."
I am simply adapting a few words and shortening a column actually published on a respectable Web site of conservative opinion. Most of the above words are verbatim, although I have taken a few liberties.
Please check out the original column for a window into conservative war insanity.
The author actually wants to turn a city of 250,000 people into rubble because of an admittedly horrifying attack on some soldiers and mercenaries. The author wants to "pacify" a foreign city at all costs, and is using language eerily reminiscent of our bloodthirsty fundamentalist enemies, who have pledged to destroy the American infidels, including innocent civilians. If an Iraqi toddler can be collectively guilty for the acts of Iraqi clerics, then can’t American children be guilty for the actions of Bill Clinton or George Bush?
I don’t believe that, but the author of the above article apparently does.
Farah’s column is even more bizarre when one realizes that WorldNetDaily often promotes "Christian" principles. How could any Christian seriously argue that a city, filled with innocent people, should be leveled? How could any serious Christian argue that it’s a "chance for justice" to "make an example out of Fallujah." How could any serious Christian argue that we should take public policy guidance from the Romans!
You know, the ones who crucified our Lord and savior.
Or that we should "cease worrying about collateral damage"? Or that we "should isolate the city and cut off its supplies and its power"? What serious Christian or believer in limited government could argue, in Orwellian language, that "sometimes the most merciful course of action seems like the harshest." Or that "Fallujah needs to feel some pain."
Apparently, Christians and conservatives don’t pay much attention to the Just War doctrine any more.
If any Muslim cleric made similar statements about the residents of an American city, pro-war conservatives would rightly use it as evidence of the ill intent of our enemies. They would use it as proof that we have to root out terrorists and pound them into the sand.
I am not engaging in moral equivalence here. But there is something creepy when Americans thrill to the language of death and destruction, especially when innocents are involved.
I’m not suggesting censorship, either. People ought to feel free to unburden themselves with any idea, no matter how bizarre. Lord knows, I’ve written some idiotic things in my day. I rather read what people really think than have them doll it up in PC language.
Still, what does it say about the state of the pro-war movement when changing a few words around in a column by a prominent writer results in an argument so similar to the one espoused by our enemies?
Whatever it says, scares the heck out of me.
Steven Greenhut (send him mail) is a senior editorial writer and columnist for the Orange County Register.