This is pretty sweet. Cliff May just states more-or-less explicitly that the whole utility of “Islamic fascism” as a turn of phrase is that it makes it easier to conflate disparate groups into a single menace. Intriguingly, I think May’s Corner colleague Mario Loyola actually makes a good point about all this. In the past, we saw no need to make up names to call our enemies. “Fascist,” “Nazi,” and “Communist” are all just the terms that Fascists, Nazis, and Communists used to describe their movements. They’re perjorative terms today just because people generally don’t like Fascists and Nazis and Communists. But to call a Communist a “Communist” is no insult to him and never was. Nevertheless, we seemed to get along just fine.
Yesterday, the White House complained to the Washington Post that their critics were smearing them with inaccurate labels:
Many Democrats accuse the president of advocating “stay the course” in Iraq, but the White House rejects the phrase and regularly emphasizes that it is adapting tactics to changing circumstances, such as moving more U.S. troops into Baghdad recently after a previous security strategy appeared to fail.
Where did anyone ever get the idea that President Bush advocates “staying the course” in Iraq? Let’s go to the videotape:
Transcript below: Read more
ABC will air a “docudrama” next weekend called “The Path to 9/11″ which blames President Clinton for the 9/11 attacks while praising President Bush.
The writer of the movie is an unabashed conservative named Cyrus Nowrasteh. Last year, Nowrasteh spoke on a panel titled, “Rebels With a Cause: How Conservatives Can Lead Hollywood’s Next Paradigm Shift.” He has described Michael Moore as “an out of control socialist weasel,” and conducted interviews with right-wing websites like FrontPageMag.
The problem isn’t that Nowrasteh is conservative. The problem is that Nowrasteh and ABC are representing “The Path to 9/11″ as an unbiased historical drama. Promos for the movie say it is “based on the 9/11 Commission Report.” Nowrasteh claims he “wanted to match the just-the-facts tone of the report,” and describes the project as “an objective telling of the events of 9/11.”
Here’s some of the objectivity you can expect: Nowrasteh says the film shows how Clinton had “frequent opportunities…in the 90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks — but lacked the will to do so.” He has referenced Clinton’s “lack of response” to Al Qaeda “and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests.” A review today in Salon.com says the film paints Clinton “as a buffoon more interested in blow jobs than terrorists.”
The Senate will vote on the confirmation of John Bolton next Thursday, September 7. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Senate vote counters aren’t sure of 60 votes needed to overcome filibuster in floor debate this week. ‘It depends on whether he has won over a Democrat or two,’ says a Republican Senate staffer. Fall campaign pressures, fueled by setbacks in Iraq and elsewhere, won’t help.”
according to a new Pentagon report. “Conditions that could lead to civil war exist in Iraq, specifically in and around Baghdad, and concern about civil war within the Iraqi civilian population has increased in recent months.”
It oftentimes seems to me that there’s a vast conspiracy between free market dogmatists and left-wing anti-capitalists to massively overstate the power of large business corporations vis-a-vis nation-states. That’s not to deny that large corporations have a lot of power, but merely to observe that non-dysfunctional states have a ton of power. I mean, is it really credible to argue that the CEO of Sara Lee is more powerful than the head of the Congress Party in India? India has nuclear weapons and over 1 billion residents. Sara Lee has . . . tasty dessert products.
“Yes, the federal government could have responded better [to Hurricane Katrina]. And of course there were real tragedies involved in that disaster. But you know what? Bad stuff happens during disasters, which is why we don’t call them tickle-parties.”
Returning greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 is the essential first step to avoiding catastrophic warming. California has agreed to do just that in “a compromise between Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislators.”
This bipartisan effort is likely to be a model for other states. Of course, it should also be a model for the entire country, but, sadly, as ABC News explained, we have “a president who doesn’t acknowledge the virtually universal consensus among scientists that mankind is dangerously overheating its home planet.”
The big question is–How much is this going to cost Californians? An L. A. Times piece oversold the costs of action, I thought, but unlike most media coverage of the story, at least took the time to explain the enormous costs of inaction:
[T]emperatures in California would increase by 7 to 10 degrees by 2070, and heat waves in Los Angeles would become six to eight times more frequent…. Sierra Nevada snowpack, important to supplying water to Southern California, would decline by 73% to 90%.
PBS’s Newshour ran a more balanced story, though I was disappointed they gave so much time to David Montgomery of CRA, who rehashed the standard lines by Global Warming Deniers and Delayers that we must wait for “breakthrough” technologies or else the costs will be severe. Still, its worth listening to hear the compelling arguments of NRDC’s Dan Lashof.
Interestingly, I did not see a single story explaining that Californians already use far less electricity–and far less polluting electricity–than other Americans without paying higher electricity bills. How California achieved that and why it means greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be far less costly than most people believe is a subject Climate Progress will focus on in later posts.
On September 10 and 11, ABC will air a “docudrama” called “The Path to 9/11.” It was written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, who describes himself as “more of a libertarian than a strict conservative,” and is giving interviews to hard-right sites like FrontPageMag to promote the film.
What will it say about President Clinton? Here’s Rush Limbaugh with a preview:
A friend of mine [Cyrus Nowrasteh] out in California has produced and filmed — I think it’s a two-part mini-series on 9/11 that ABC is going to run in prime-time over two nights, close to or on 9/11. It’s sort of surprising that ABC’s picked it up, to me. I’ve had a lot of people tell me about it, my friends told me about it…And from what I have been told, the film really zeros in on the shortcomings of the Clinton administration in doing anything about militant Islamofascism or terrorism during its administration. It cites failures of Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright and Sandy Burglar.
How does it deal with President Bush? Salon has a review:
Condoleezza Rice gets that fated memo about planes flying into buildings, and makes it very clear to anyone who’ll listen just how concerned President Bush is about these terrorist threats — despite the fact that we’re given little concrete evidence of the president’s concern or interest in taking action. Maybe my memory fails me, but the only person I remember talking about Osama bin Laden back in 1998 was President Clinton, while the current anti-terrorist stalwarts worked the country into a frenzy over what? Blow jobs. In the end, “The Path to 9/11″ feels like an excruciatingly long, winding and deceptive path, indeed.
The director of the film, David Cunningham, is already backtracking about its accuracy, saying “this is not a documentary.” OK, fair enough. But the movie is being billed as “based on The 9/11 Commission Report.”
of the global climate and we’re going to experience more,” American Association for the Advancement of Science President John Holdren told the BBC. He added that President Bush is “wrong…in the assumption that we can wait for better technology, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, before we even start to do anything about climate change.”