July 08, 2009

Educating Stephen about patriotism

In Letter to a Fallen Marine's Children, reader Stephen took me to task for criticizing part of said letter.I can't see anything particularly right wing about this letter;You don't see anything "particularly right wing" about taking credit for defeating communism and fighting terrorism? In other words, you're completely ignorant of the conservative legacy claimed by supporters of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush? Okay, but I wouldn't brag about it if I were you.

Apparently you're not only ignorant about historical facts, but about the political rhetoric of the last half a century. "The nay-sayers and cowards hid in the shadows sniveling that nothing was worth dying for" is a reference to liberals who sought alternatives to confrontations with Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and Iraq. If you disagree, name all the conservatives whom you think this line refers to. Good luck with your answer...you'll need it.interesting how you label anything you disagree with as 'conservative'.Since I'm generally liberal in my views, I tend to disagree with conservatives. To anyone with a shred of common sense, that explains why my targets are generally conservative.

But you think I label things "conservative" whether they're conservative or not? Yeah, I've labeled Ward Churchill, Russell Means, and Barack Obama "conservative" because I disagreed with them...not. Clearly you're attacking me by rote because you're too dumb to come up with an intelligent argument.Try going a day without all that mindless dualism.Try going a day without all these mindless comments.

If you were clever, you would've noticed that I didn't attach the label "conservative" to Zembiec's whole letter. Many of the acts I listed, especially before the 1950s, were committed by both liberals and conservatives. My posting was primarily a critique of faux patriotism, which is why I wrote:Another mindless defense of American "patriotism" and conservative "values"...sigh.Shocker: Indians owned slavesAlmost every single people on earth have had slaves; including your beloved Indians, perhaps because of the slaves Indians owned, Native Americans shouldn't be proud to be native?You keep making the same point as if I haven't rebutted it already, although I have several times. Perhaps you're too dense to understand my response. For your sake, I'll keep repeating it until you get it: Indians Owned Slaves.

When you have something intelligent to say about the fact that Native slavery was much less comprehensive and cruel than European slavery, go ahead and say it. Until then, quit wasting my time bringing up Native slavery as if I've never addressed it."Incidentally, you can bet Mendoza was a Bible-toting Christian."

Thanks for the fine example of stereotyping.
Thanks for dodging the issue of the conservative mindset in America. Apparently you're too inept or afraid to address the role of conservative Christians in American politics."You can tell by how proud he was about going to war and killing people."

Unless you have evidence that he killed noncombatants, he did nothing wrong.
Estimates of noncombatant deaths in the Iraq war range from 100,000 to 1 million or more. It doesn't matter if Mendoza personally killed a single noncombatant if he was "proud" of those deaths. Someone who's a true Christian, or merely a moral person, would've been shocked and horrified at that death toll, not "proud."

Jesus loves a good war?"Jesus must be rolling in his grave at the thought of taking credit for millions of deaths."

Could you specify these 'millions'?
Yes, although they should be obvious. World War II: 42-70 million dead. World War I: 15-25 million dead. Vietnam War: 2.5-5 million dead. Korean War: 2.5-3.5 million dead. Etc. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Obviously, the US wasn't directly responsible for any wartime deaths until it entered these wars. Even when it entered the wars, it obviously didn't do all the killing. But that's not the point.

The point is whether you celebrate people killed in war, as Zembiec did. Or whether you mourn them, as Jesus did. Zembiec's talk of saving and rescuing people is double-speak for glorifying war. To him, all American wars are good and anyone who opposes them is a naysayer and a coward.

Yes, some American wars are necessary, although Vietnam and Iraq sure as hell weren't. Even you agreed that WW I wasn't necessary. But Zembiec didn't distinguish between good and bad wars. He's promoting mindless, "love it or leave it" patriotism and you seem to agree with him. If so, you're as mindless as he is.

Any questions? Alas, you've lost another debate. Better luck next time, chum.

For more on the subject, see The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel and Patriotism Means Asking Questions.

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