Monday, June 06, 2005

People who no longer qualify as truly human.

Following a link from the folks at First Draft, we have Charles Krauthammer demonstrating just what sort of loathsome human being he is. I'm sure it's politically incorrect to say this but, after reading Krauthammer, you can almost understand what drives someone to be anti-Semitic.

: Well, I just knew someone was going to miss the point here, so let's expand on the above, shall we?

So ... it's horribly unfair and unjust to generalize from the actions of a few assholes to their entire culture or religion or whatever, is it? Of course it is but, amazingly, that hasn't stopped a depressing number of people from looking at the actions of a few homicidal, radical, fundamentalist Muslims (see: 9/11) and cavalierly denigrating the entire, world-wide Muslim community, has it? And isn't that an uncomfortable parallel that I'm sure some folks don't want to talk about? But it doesn't stop there.

There's a certain irony, don't you think, in the fact that Jews (quite justifiably, I might add) want to make sure no one forgets the horrors of the Holocaust and the German concentration camps and yet a disturbing number of them don't seem to lose any sleep over the notion of an entire culture being rounded up, often on the flimsiest of pretexts, and incarcerated indefinitely behind barbed wire with no legal recourse, to be tortured and, in some cases, simply killed. That's some pretty selective outrage there, isn't it? But you missed the most important detail here.

It's not so much that one would use the single example of Charles Krauthammer to think badly of Jews. Rather, it's that his mean-spirited swill was published in the journal "Jewish World Review". So you can't just blow this off as one asshole being a bad example, as the first commenter suggests. No, you have to acknowledge that Krauthammer's vicious, anti-Muslim sentiments clearly represent a much larger number of people, if they're that happy to put his work before a larger audience. So the accusation of generalizing based on a single asshole really falls apart pretty badly, doesn't it?

Oh, by the way, just to make sure you know where I'm coming from, I absolutely agree that it's unfair to denigrate an entire category of people based on the actions of only a few of its members. I mean, to think that, say, conservatives would paint the entire Left as being in bed with terrorists, or treasonous, or soft on terrorism, or whatever. Whew ... it's a good thing conservatives are always so much more discerning than that, isn't it?

: Well, it seems I'm not the only one a bit unimpressed with Krauthammer's warped view of the world.

: And a big howdy to the folks popping by from Rempelia Prime. Perhaps, unlike Mr. Rempel, you'll actually invest the time to read the whole thing (including the comments) to figure out what's going on here. I can always fantasize, can't I?


Anonymous said...

Yes, that is f-ng offensive. just because you found one asshole who happens to be jewish does not, in any way shape or form, make anti semitism understandable, or "almost" understandable. That is just stupid and totally beneath you. What's next? you can almost understand why people join the Ku Klux Klan because you find out some black guy is an asshole? You can almost understand misogyny because Anne Coulter is a raving asshole? It isn't a question of "poliical correctness", it is just a stupid stupid stupid thing to say.

Anonymous said...

I have to confess that I don't understand where you're going with this at all. Yes, conservatives do the broad-brush thing all the time. So what? That doesn't make it any less of a bad idea.

Some members of the Jewish community, like Krauthammer, are hypocritically willing to play fast and loose with human rights when it comes to the so-called War On Terror (really a "war" against Islamic extremists). Many, on the other hand, are not. Eric Alterman comes to mind. There's no valid generalization to be made about "Jews" in either direction. The only obvious conclusion that can be drawn is that Krauthammer is a colossal douchebag.

Here's a parallel: I'm an American citizen who loathes George Bush and everything he stands for. I absolutely sympathize with all the citizens of countries around the world that Bush has taken a dump on. But I'd be rip-shit if somebody said "George Bush makes me understand how people can hate all Americans." That's just completely unfair.

Everyone who's ever blogged has, at one time or another, posted something that later seemed ill-considered. I hope you can see where this might fall into that category.

Anonymous said...

For someone who so consistently points out other peoples' logical fallacies (usually to my great entertainment), you have missed the boat on this one. It is true that some people have maligned the entire Muslim world on the basis of the actions of a few. That's offensive. It hardly justifies doing it to other groups. If a jewish publication prints an offensive article, one can address it in many ways without assuming that all jews (or "a disturbing number of them") (or everyone who reads that publication) believe that all Muslims should be rounded up and incarcerated for no reason or killed. If you think denigrating an entire community or race on the basis of the actions/thoughts of a few is wrong, then don't do it. Don't justify it by pointing to the behaviour of conservatives. Since when is emulating their behaviour a good idea?

CC said...

A small sidebar here, if I may, before this gets even more heated. My entire point (whether you agree with it or not) is predicated on the assumption that Krauthammer's article doesn't just show him to be a bit of a jerk, but to be a totally repugnant form of life.

That is, at least from my perspective, someone who reads that article should come away, not thinking, "Man, that guy is kind of a dink." Instead, they should come away, reeling, thinking, "Holy fucking shit, what kind of total scumbag do you have to be to write something that wretchedly offensive?!?!"

In short, if you're not at least partially repulsed by Krauthammer's piece, obviously, what I wrote won't make any sense whatsoever.

Can we agree on at least that much?

Anonymous said...

Charles Krauthammer is a reichwing neocon, and yes I will come out and admit it, neocon being code for Jew. His attempt to smear all Muslims due to the actions of a handful is revolting and shows that this wingnut lacks the tolerance and understanding that us progressives have.

He should concentrate on the actions of our men and womyn fighting overseas. He should talk about how these blood-drinking neanderthals are raping innocent Muslim women, torturing innocent Muslim men (panties on the head!), and deliberately slaughtering Muslim children. He should talk about how the Bush Junta forces oppressed minorities into the military (the whites are merely dumb jocks).

He should write about our ghastly acts of brutal, inhuman aggression against the innocent Iraqi peoples, jeopardize our standing in the international community as well as our crediblity with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Charles Krauthammer is a disgraceful Faux News pundit who shamelessly spreads his searing hatred of all Muslims, just because of the questionable actions of a few activists. Remember that they are not terrorists. If they were, CBS and the NY Times would identify them as such.

And then he thinks us progressive liberals should keep the actions of five wrong incidents of abuses (out of 24,000 reported by the innocent humanitarians that comprise Al Qaeda) in perspective.

Fascist neocon.

Anonymous said...

That last post was by me.

Progressive Paul

Ahistoricality said...

Some Jews find Krauthammer just as offensive as you do. Myself, for one. And we do, those of us like me, find the commonality of his ideas among our compatriots quite troubling (though not as common or uniform as one might believe from his example) and are quite concerned that the neo-conservative/Likud alliance will indeed result in an unjustified anti-Israel (there are good justifications for criticisms of Israel, but there are also bad ones and overreactions aplenty) and anti-Jewish sentiment.

CC said...

Some Jews find Krauthammer just as offensive as you do.

Ah, now you just hit on a point I was planning on addressing. I'm interested in seeing the reaction from the general Jewish community to Krauthammer's piece; specifically just how vehemently they condemn his offensive idiocy.

Keep in mind, the right-wing wankersphere doesn't hesitate for a second to tar the entire Left based on the actions of a single individual. Remember academic Ward Churchill? Holy Jesus, the right is still flogging that mule, demanding that every liberal on the planet publicly apologize for Churchill and his beliefs.

So I'm going to be interested in just how the Jewish community reacts. Are they going to rise up in outrage over Krauthammer's repulsive article? Or will there be a deafening silence?

Let's give it a few days and see what happens, shall we? It's not like that's going to prove anything conclusively one way or the other, but I'm just curious.

Anonymous said...

"That is, at least from my perspective, someone who reads that article should come away, not thinking, "Man, that guy is kind of a dink." Instead, they should come away, reeling, thinking, "Holy fucking shit, what kind of total scumbag do you have to be to write something that wretchedly offensive?!?!"."

Sure we can agree on that much, and I wish THAT was what you had said in your post. But it doesn't make me "almost understand" why people hate the jewish guy down the street, and that is what I took exception to.

CC said...

Hang on there. I didn't say that in my original post because it's not what I meant to say.

All I meant in my latest comment is that we have to agree, at a bare minimum, that what Krauthammer wrote was outrageously offensive, then we can take it from there.

If, on the other hand, one isn't all that upset with Krauthammer's article, then any further discussion would be pointless.

We're not done here.

CC said...

Ack. Sorry, not my latest comment, an earlier one.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't say that in my original post"

What you said was:

"after reading Krauthammer, you can almost understand what drives someone to be anti-Semitic."

That's what has some of us so completely at a loss.

I absolutely agree that Krauthammer is a piece of shit. I'd probably spit in his eye if I met him. But that in no way inclines me to "understand" anti-semitism.

Put it this way: I absolutely despise Clarence Thomas. I think he's a deeply disgusting human being. But I would never write "After reading this opinion by Thomas, you can almost understand what drives someone to be a racist."

It just doesn't follow. In fact that's precisely why discrimination based on prejudice is condemned by society, because inferences from the one to the group like that are never justified.

CC said...

Put it this way: I absolutely despise Clarence Thomas. I think he's a deeply disgusting human being. But I would never write "After reading this opinion by Thomas, you can almost understand what drives someone to be a racist."

Ah, but read my subsequently-published afterthought waaaaaay back up there. I tried to make it clear that it wasn't just that Krauthammer had written such an offensive screed. it was that that screed was published in something called "Jewish World Review" that makes a world of difference.

If Krauthammer had just published his lunacy on a personal blog, you could write him off as a dingbat and ignore him.

But when a Jewish periodical gives him the space to voice that same lunacy, now you have a problem, because it suggests that others in the Jewish community share that opinion.

Krauthammer by himself is just a nutcase. Krauthammer with what appears to be the tacit support of a chunk of the Jewish community now becomes, whether it's defensible or not, a justification for anti-Semitism.

Anonymous said...

Ricia, I was going to join in your protest, but I screwed up and accidentally had a shower. I hope to join in your next pro-innocent homocide-bombing Palestinian protest, because Israel is reponsible for all the evil in this world...except for the Christians, and the conservatives, and George Bush, and Halliburton.

Progressive Paul

Ahistoricality said...

CC: You'll enjoy this takedown of Krauthammer, probably. Puts it nicely in perspective.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is offensive to you about Krauthammer's opinion piece?

Would you mind quoting, in context, the "offensive" bits?

I don't support the invasion of Iraq, nor do I support Gitmo.. but I don't find anything "offensive" about allowing someone to have their own opinion.

How you can equate this with anti-semitism is insane.