Between 2000 and 2008, a widespread deep loathing of George W. Bush now known as Bush Derangement Syndrome grew to such a fever pitch that it threatened to tear the country apart. Political analysts — at least those who weren’t BDS sufferers themselves — were astonished to observe what seemed to be an unprecedented level of not just political vitriol but personal hatred directed at Bush and his view of the world.

Bush Derangement Syndrome was described as unprecedented in American history. But was it really? A recent find throws that supposition into doubt.

Reagan Derangement Syndrome?

At a garage sale not too long ago, I bought for 50¢ a tattered poster entitled “The World According to Ronald Reagan.” Judging from the historical clues of locales emphasized in the map (Grenada, Beirut, The Falklands) the poster appears to have been made at the end of 1983 or early 1984, and possibly was sold in connection with the 1984 presidential election. Here’s what it looks like:

What’s remarkable about this map is how little has changed in the 25 years since it was made. True, a few of the geo-political features are now out-of-date, but the overall point of view remains the same.

The map — obviously designed by a leftist and/or a Democrat — purports to be a clever parody of the Republican mindset, but we can in retrospect now see that the map is not so much an insight into Reagan’s world but rather a peek into what the leftists imagined Reagan thought. As a result, the map serves to illuminate the leftist worldview of the time, filtered through a parodic lens. Think of the map as an archaeological document that reveals the unconscious biases of its creators.

Let’s take a closer look at the portion of the map which depicted the leftist version of Reagan’s America:

The first detail that jumps out at you is how similar this map is to the well-known “Jesusland” map that emerged after the 2004 election, highlighting the geopolitical divide between Bush supporters and detractors. In this version, the area later dubbed Jesusland is instead labeled “Republicans and other real Americans.”

Of course, if the map truly reflected the right-wing worldview, then California and New England would be especially small (to reflect their ideological unimportance), whereas “real America” would be greatly enlarged; this map shows the exact reverse, with California bigger than the rest of the country all combined, thereby revealing the political bias of the mapmakers, not of Reagan.

“Ecotopia,” in the Pacific Northwest, is a reference to a 1970′s novel of the same name which visualized the Pacific coast as an autonomous utopian commune, hewing to hippie values and separate from the rest of America. Though now largely forgotten, in 1983 Ecotopia was still widely enough known to be used as the the name of the place where all the “environmental freaks and quiche eaters” live.

Because of Reagan’s stance as an anti-communist hawk, Central America and the Caribbean are simplified to show only those areas with relevance to the Cold War in the early 1980s — the Salvadoran civil war, the invasion of Grenada, and Castro’s Cuba. But a notable difference between then and now is that Mexico is given essentially no relevance whatsoever, being relegated to “Mariachiland.” If the map had been made today, there undoubtedly would have been some reference to Mexico as the source of most illegal immigrants to the U.S.

The other half of the map is even more interesting. Here’s a detailed close-up:

Even 25 years ago, there were two primary areas of focus: the struggle between capitalism and communism/socialism (with the left favoring communism), and the Middle East (with the left favoring the Palestinians over Israel and also obsessing over oil). Of course, the mapmakers never imagined someone would ever come to this conclusion just from looking at their parody.

This portion of the map reveals a behind-the-scenes struggle to control the narrative which had already started back then and which still continues essentially unchanged to this day: The “right” identifies foes of the Western world (communism and Islamic extremism) and the “left” responds by satirically mocking the very notion of there being evil villains out to get us (by sarcastically calling the USSR “Godless communists, liars and spies,” and by laughing at the fear of Islamic extremists by labelling them “Muslim fanatics”). In the 21st century the left still dismisses fears of “Muslim fanatics” as paranoiac warmongering, and still mocks anyone who is anti-communist or anti-socialist.

Or course, with the benefit of more historical hindsight we now know that the leftist tactic of pooh-poohing the very notion of there being a struggle against “the bad guys” is simply a clever way of sidestepping being perceived as siding with those very same bad guys. The dynamic goes like this: The pro-America right posits an us-vs.-them framework, such as “We are freedom-loving pro-democracy capitalists; those bad guys are freedom-hating anti-democratic communists/Islamists/etc. We conservatives choose the side of freedom; what side do you choose?” Now, many on the far left do side with the enemies of capitalism; but strategically, they don’t want to be identified as such. So, in response to this framework, instead of taking sides in a good-vs.-evil narrative which they can’t win, they try to demolish the whole framework altogether. Hence, as in this map, they mock the very notion that there is a good-vs.-evil struggle going on, and portray it as the sad violent fantasy of a Reaganite right-wing which can’t comprend the shades of gray.

But were the USSR and “Muslim fanatics” (most likely referring to Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Revolution) imaginary bogeymen concocted by the right to justify their warmongering, as the leftist mapmakers would have us believe? Or were they real threats after all? I know what I think — what do you think?

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the map is the inflated focus on the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Western Europe is barely even depicted, and is not named, whereas by comparison Israel is shown as being immense (its depicted size mirroring its psychological significance rather than its geographical dimensions), while a tiny dot in the Arctic Sea is identified as being the “Palestinian Homeland (proposed).” I never realized just how long ago the left had switched allegiances and fully embraced the Palestinian view.

Israel is so big in this rendition that it’s actually larger than the entire Muslim world — while actual maps show the situation is quite the opposite. (And why is Beirut shown as being inside Israel?)

For the last decade, the left has focused almost obsessively on oil, claiming that the Iraq War and the entire “war on terror” were done simply to garner oil profits for Bush’s cronies. Oil is also now seen as the virtual lifeblood of evil capitalism, a symbol of everything the left hates. But I didn’t realize how far back this approach went: oil is the only commodity mentioned anywhere on the map (“Our oil” on Saudi Arabia and offshore drilling next to California).

Another map detail shows a tactic which is still commonly used today: to suggest that the right is inherently racist, without any evidence to back up the accusation. In this case, all of Africa is dismissed (remember this is a leftist fantasy of how the right thinks) as “Negroes,” while India is filled with “Injuns.” Yet Reagan never did or said anything that could be interpreted as racist. The exact same accusations were leveled at Bush, with a corresponding lack of evidence.

“Derangement Syndrome” is not unique to the Bush era. Many on the left had a visceral hatred for Reagan, and (a decade earlier) for Nixon as well. Looking at this map is like looking at a mirror reflecting another mirror reflecting another mirror in which, somewhere in the distance, one can see the early-’80s leftist worldview — a worldview which bears a startling resemblance to the worldview the left still holds to this day.


(Analyses, rebuttals and other observations about “The World According to Ronald Reagan” can be posted in the comments section below.)

125 Responses to “The World According to Ronald Reagan: Analysis of a 1980s political poster, as seen through modern eyes”

  1. 1Ken on Jun 14, 2009 at 2:59 pm:

    “I know what I think — what do you think?”

    The USSR was not a threat. Not at all. End of story. Rather, we were the threat to it. We were the ones plotting its destruction since the early days of the October Revolution. Their nuclear build up was in response to our threats. We were also stupidly wrong in steadfastedly supporting anyone who hated the Soviets.

    As for the Muslim fanatics, they did exist (and still do), but posed very little actual threat to the US itself. Even after 2001, I still don’t buy the whole “Muslim radicals are coming to kill us” boogeyman. I’m just not worried about it.

      

  2. 2zombie on Jun 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm:

    #1 Ken:

    OK, we’ve got the communist point of view. Anybody else?

    I agree that it was a mistake to always back the anti-Soviet side, since many of the folks we sided with were pretty noxious. (Supporting and funding Osama bin Laden and the Mujahedeen against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is one good example, as is the example of our backing Pakistan against India during the ’70s, simply because India was playing footsie with the Soviets.)

    However, that doesn’t mean the Soviets weren’t a threat. They sure as hell were a threat. It doesn’t matter who “started it”; it was obvious even in the waning days of WWII that Stalin and the Soviet state were going to be expansionist and imperialist, and were also not going to stand down militarily. I don’t care if you blame that on Roosevelt or Truman or Churchill or Stalin or whoever, the fact is they were adversarial to the US, and a million incidents over the decades proved that to be true. Yes, perhaps in the 1921-1944 period, the Soviets were too backward and too isolated to pose an international threat, but once they defeated Hitler, they had the biggest and most fearsome army in the world, and had industrialized and there was no one left to stop them from taking over entirely — except for the US and NATO.

    And by “threat,” I’m referring to two different things: the obvious threat of war, but also the more “subtle” threat of subjugation to the Soviet political system.

    As for the threat from Islamic extremists not being something to worry about — I guess I’ll have to worry for both of us.

      

  3. 3Kowa B on Jun 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm:

    Zombie, beirut is included as being inside israel because by 1984 Israel had invaded (I’m pro israel but hard to frame what happened any other way without sounding orwellian) and was occupying Lebanon from Beirut on south. During the Lebanese civil war, the PLO (having no central lebanese government to restrain them) began to conduct a large amount of terrorist attacks in northern israel, which led the israeli government to invade lebanon to try to stop the terrorism. A good goal, but in the end involving themselves in a complex civil war between multiple factions in a country like lebanon proved to be a pretty bad mistake and led to the creation of hezbollah.

      

  4. 4rw on Jun 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm:

    I’ve got a copy of that poster in a closet somewhere. It was done by David Horsey of the Seattle PI if I remember correctly. Back in 7th grade, I thought it was funny in a “yeah, so what” sort of way. Little did I know back then that I would be moving from California to Ecotopia a few years down the road. It does capture a key difference between the left and the right. There is no “nuance” in Reagan’s world view.

      

  5. 5jeff on Jun 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm:

    3 things:

    1. judging from this map the left has very little knowledge of geography. all the countries of north Africa (Egypt, Libya,Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco) are populated entirely by Arabs, yet on this map all of north Africa, except for Egypt, is labeled as belonging to the “Negroes”.

    2. Alaska is no longer part of the US apparently.

    3. what was Cuba other than a Soviet colony? if the person who made this map was going to be honest about his leftist views than he would call Cuba a socialist paradise, but unless you are on the far left there really is no other way to describe it.

      

  6. 6zombie on Jun 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm:

    #5 jeff

    judging from this map the left has very little knowledge of geography.

    if the person who made this map was going to be honest about his leftist views

    Ah, but don’t you see — the map is not supposed to be the view of the leftist cartographer himself, but rather a rendition of how he imagines Ronald Reagan views the world. So any factual “errors” in the map (such as those you point out) are not to be blamed on the mapmaker, but on Reagan. Clever — right? Can’t fail this way. If you were to point any of this out to the artist, he would reply by saying, “Of course I know that North Africans are Arabs, but Reagan is such an idiot that he probably thinks they’re all ‘negros’ — which is why I depicted it that way.”

      

  7. 7John on Jun 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm:

    I had forgotten about this map and the book Ecotopia until seeing this post of yours. I’m sorry to say I do remember seeing the former and read the latter. Those are hours of my life I’ll never get back again…

    Oh and as for #1, Reagan may not have been perfect but he was the best damn president in my lifetime. I’d prefer he was in office now rather than Obama.

      

  8. 8buzzsawmonkey on Jun 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm:

    I’m wondering what “Lake of Our Tribes” is supposed to mean. Is that an attempt to expand the lame-o “Injuns” to the Indian Ocean, using “Injuns/Tribes”?

      

  9. 9zombie on Jun 14, 2009 at 6:20 pm:

    #8 buzzsawmonkey:

    I was absolutely mystified by “Lake of Our Tribes” for the longest time, but eventually came to the same conclusion that you did — that it was a pitiful elaboration on the “Injun” joke, which was unfunny enough in the first place.

    As my mom used to tell me: If you don’t have anything funny to say, then don’t say anything.

    /Actually, my mom never told me that, but if she had been a better mom, she would have.

      

  10. 10Leave a Position on Jun 14, 2009 at 9:58 pm:

    http://www.whereismyvote.org/

    Zombie – anything like this happening in Berkeley/San Fran area? Might be worth checking out.

      

  11. 11zombie on Jun 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm:

    #10 Leave a Position:

    Yes, there was a big Iran-election-fraud protest in SF on Saturday and in Berkeley on Sunday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make either one! That’s the way things go sometimes — I can’t cover every single thing that’s going on. C’est la vie.

      

  12. 12DangerousNate on Jun 15, 2009 at 12:21 am:

    “The USSR was not a threat. Not at all. End of story.”

    So guess the nukes were just fake then? I mean, either of us could’ve fired a missile that would caused another World War so to say they were not a threat is quite a bit of a stretch. Sure America probably (more than likely) would’ve beat them but the costs on both sides would’ve been catastrophic.

    As for Islam Extremists…I’m more worried about north Korea in terms of being invaded by a foreign army, but I’m worried about more suicide bombings and educational attacks from them (especially now that Obama’s in office).

      

  13. 13Simon on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:32 am:

    Ken -
    Hungary, Czechoslovakia ? Stalin ?

    Stupid and ignorant.

      

  14. 14Starless on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:49 am:

    If this was made post-1982, I’m surprised that the USSR isn’t labelled “Evil Empire”.

    But were the USSR and “Muslim fanatics” (most likely referring to Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Revolution) imaginary bogeymen concocted by the right to justify their warmongering, as the leftist mapmakers would have us believe? Or were they real threats after all? I know what I think — what do you think?

    With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (post-9/11 hindsight), it’s pretty clear that if radical Islamists weren’t a fully-formed physical threat, they were at least on the rise and they were determined to make good on the verbal threats they started making right after WWII. Their acts of terrorism in the ’70s and ’80s were on the other side of the world, but they were doing their damnedest to hit the US wherever they could. Does anyone remember when Yasir “The Tiger” Arafat was an honest-to-Allah terrorist before he became a Nobel Peace Prize winning statesman? The Tehran hostages (Hell, I can remember when “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” was just a love song by Tony Orlando and Dawn), the Beirut marine barracks bombing, the Raid on Entebbe?

    And the Soviets? Oh, man. As Reagan would have said, “Well, Ken, there you go again”. The “missile gap” of the early ’60s may have been an exaggeration, but by the ’80s any gap made little difference. There was indeed Soviet expansionism and they were in fact competing with the US. Their economy may have been crumbling by the ’80s (due to Communism being the fantasy of an angry, constipated German with a giant beard, instead of a viable economic theory) but they were still doing their best to hold onto their position as a global super-power.

    Western Europe is barely even depicted, and is not named, whereas by comparison Israel is shown as being immense

    The Leftist interpretation of the Reaganite view of western Europe is as nothing more than a (Pershing) missile base. Beyond that, western Europe was seen as “pink” — England being the exception due to the cozy relationship between Reagan and Thatcher. Israel, OTOH was Reagan’s military foothold for controlling “our oil”.

    The implied racism charge was SOP back then. Reagan was old, white and Republican, how could he not be racist?

      

  15. 15Freedom Now on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:59 am:

    Nazi Germany was no threat to the United States. End of story. The debate is over…

      

  16. 16Starless on Jun 15, 2009 at 5:25 am:

    Dammit, Zombie, now I’m having all these horrible ’70s flashbacks.

    Will Evel Kneivel make it over the Snake River canyon on his rocket ‘cycle? Will Steve Austin defeat Bigfoot in the redwood forests of Northern California? Where’s my “The Fonz” t-shirt? And, yes, I am indeed With Stupid.

      

  17. 17Assaf Turjman on Jun 15, 2009 at 5:32 am:

    I’m quite sure you could find a similar poster from the 1960s if you searched hard enough. Or a rudimentary version of it anyhow. After all, this stuff was incubated in the pot-addled minds of the New Left back then.

    Only variations on the theme ever since.

      

  18. 18Anonymous on Jun 15, 2009 at 9:44 am:

    The USSR was not a threat. Not at all. End of story. Rather, we were the threat to it. Even after 2001, I still don’t buy the whole “Muslim radicals are coming to kill us” boogeyman. I’m just not worried about it.

    Ken on Jun 14, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    And there you have it folks! The ostrich head-in-the-sand left, dinosaur on full display. Opinions unchanged since at least the the time of the making this map. He probably made this post while sipping a no-foam soy latte at Starbucks on his 2 grand Mac Book Pro. Un…frickin…believable.

      

  19. 19Kun on Jun 15, 2009 at 10:39 am:

    As an anti-revisionist (pro-Stalin, anti-post-Stalin leadership of the USSR) Communist, my view is different from Ken’s vis-à-vis the USSR and its social-imperialism.

    The USSR after the 50′s was a threat in the same imperialist way that the Entente and Central Powers of WWI were threats to each other. The Warsaw Pact (created after Stalin died) was an obvious attempt to subordinate the Eastern states to the USSR, and when types like Enver Hoxha refused to bow down to Khrushchev, he tried to overthrow Hoxha but failed. Hungary and Czechoslovakia were both revisionist states (same for pretty much the entire Warsaw Pact) and internal contradictions created a rebellion in Hungary due to the party’s total lack of any popular support, and created Gorbachev-type market capitalists in Czechoslovakia. In both cases, the Soviets invaded to ensure that both remained in their sphere of influence. I don’t like the whole “Afghan resistance = Mujahidin” line of thought. Afghanistan was obviously the USSR’s Vietnam, with anti-revisionist Communists (Maoists and Hoxhaists) united with progressives and the Mujahidin to fight Soviet imperialism.

    By the 1980′s, the USSR was divided into state-capitalist and market-capitalist types. People like Ligachev were the former (they were revisionists, they twisted Marxism-Leninism for their own ends) and people like Gorbachev were the latter (also revisionists, but they wanted to go beyond that and simply verbally abandon socialism, see: http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv6n1/gorbach.htm). The USSR was significantly less of a threat after 1985 since it was becoming increasingly consumed by domestic issues and Gorbachev wanted to end the Cold War.

    Ken is wrong by acting as if the USSR was acting on a purely defensive basis all the time. What about the Ogaden War? Not to mention the war in Afghanistan (which was an invasion that resulted in the death of the head of state by the KGB, not a “request” except for the obvious fact that every single Afghan province was in rebellion by 1979) and various other incidents. The Soviets co-opted progressive movements for their own ends and set up ‘Communist’ movements in others, while attacking Maoists and Hoxhaists. See for example the Soviet indifference to Allende being killed (while Maoists and Hoxhaists condemned the USSR over this) in comparison to the outrage the Soviets expressed over Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua or MPLA-ruled Angola. Even today FARC-EP (which was pro-Soviet) attacks members of the EPL (Popular Liberation Army, a Hoxhaist guerrilla force in Colombia).

    Of course this doesn’t mean that the US and such weren’t imperialists, but it was Lenin who condemned supporting one imperialist state over another.

      

  20. 20zombie on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:09 am:

    #19 Kun:

    To be perfectly frank, Kun, most Americans couldn’t care less about the distinction between the different varieties of communists, whether they be Stalinists/Hoxhaists like you (if I’m reading your comment correctly) or pro-Chinese communists like Ken, or Trotskyites of Marxists or whatever. The entire framework of communism is a faulty concept that can’t and won’t ever work in the real world, and which inevitably falls back on totalitarian governmental tactics to try to make it work when it doesn’t happen naturally. Whatever subvariation of communism you identify with is irrelevant, since in the end they all have the result.

    I know that from your point of view, there is a huge difference between what you and Ken believe, just as, say, a Republican voter last year who really wanted Romney to get the nomination and just hated McCain. But do you think anyone outside the Republican Party cared about the difference? A Republican is a Republican, as far as most Democrats are concerned. And the same applies to communists; your specific shade of red is of no real relevance to the rest of the country.

    Will someone please tell me what I did to deserve the peculiar motley crew of communist and anarchist commenters that seem to be drawn to zomblog? Where did I ever express support for such ideologies?

      

  21. 21Fenris on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:25 am:

    Ye gads. And until I saw this map, I really had a thing for the eighties.

    What strikes me odd is that the area around Iran is marked “Muslim Fanatics,” when Indonesia has a far higher Muslim population. Don’t tell me the left is sucked into these sort of stereotypes, too.

    Was there a copyright or an byline anywhere in the margins or on the back?

      

  22. 22DangerousNate on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:40 am:

    To #19 Zombie:

    I think that Ken comes by to see the protests fro other non-communist groups or just to see what bull the communists groups in America are trying to pull.

    Kun however…I don’t know.

      

  23. 23Starless on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:50 am:

    #20 Zombie

    Will someone please tell me what I did to deserve the peculiar motley crew of communist and anarchist commenters that seem to be drawn to zomblog?

    It’s like any other ideological purist — the way to be “right” is to counter-attack and counter-attack (in a mostly content and reality free way) until your enemy gives in. If you challenge them, they can’t help but defend their particular hobby horse.

    #21 Fenris

    LOL. If you were politically and/or socially conscious during the ’80s, you wouldn’t really have a “thing” for it. For myself, I’m nostalgic in more of a “man, what were we thinking?” way.

      

  24. 24Dave Surls on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:54 am:

    “Bush Derangement Syndrome was described as unprecedented in American history. But was it really?”

    i think you would have to say that Abe Lincoln wasn’t too well loved by the Democrat traitors of his day.

      

  25. 25Dave Surls on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:58 am:

    “The USSR was not a threat.”

    The USSR definitely is not a threat now. To paraphrase Stalin: No USSR, no threat.

      

  26. 26Dave Surls on Jun 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm:

    “But were the USSR and “Muslim fanatics” (most likely referring to Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Revolution) imaginary bogeymen concocted by the right to justify their warmongering, as the leftist mapmakers would have us believe?”

    It wasn’t right wingers that put us into a struggle with the Soviets. It was guys like Woody Wilson, Harry Truman and crazy Jack Kennedy that did that.

    And as for warmongering, we’ve fought four serious wars, at the cost of 600,000 American dead, over the last 100 years…and liberal Democrats got us into every single one of them (including two wars with Soviet proxies).

    The truth is is that it’s the Left who have always been the warmongers in America, with the Right loyally supporting lefty wars out of a sense of duty and patriotism.

      

  27. 27steadyjohn on Jun 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm:

    Funny, a Latin American version of this circulated in titled “El Mundo Segun Ronald Reagan” “The map depicts a Latin American view of Reagan’s foreign policy during the Cold War. Notice the exaggerated size of the Soviet Union and United States, and the size given to other countries in the world. Also keep in mind the symbolic colors used by the artist. Source:
    http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/hasrg/german/exhibit/GDRposters/antiusa.html

    It’s also described at “Strange Maps”. a WordPress blog:
    “This parody map shows the world as Ronald Reagan (US president 1980-1988) might have imagined it. Even as parody, it indicates an interesting duality: on the one hand, it presents a view of the world as it no longer is, the Cold War having ended; on the other hand, it illustrates a disparaging outlook on the rest of the world that some would argue persists in to this day in American culture and foreign policy.”
    http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/38-the-world-according-to-ronald-reagan/

      

  28. 28steadyjohn on Jun 15, 2009 at 1:45 pm:

  29. 29zombie on Jun 15, 2009 at 2:00 pm:

    27+ 28 steadyjohn
    Thanks for the links! I didn’t realize it was elsewhere on the Web…though the version I posted is far and away the biggest and clearest of all of them.

      

  30. 30CattusMagnus on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm:

    God Bless Ronald Reagan.

      

  31. 31Anonymous on Jun 15, 2009 at 7:31 pm:

    Oh, my yes! I remember EVERYONE hating Reagan all through the ’80s. I moved to the Bay Area in ’81, right after the election, and, well, it was basically just like the George W. Bush years. If you wanted to be accepted and not shunned as an untouchable, you HAD to hate Ronald Reagan. Just like now, if you say anything positive about George W. Bush, you’re considered a pariah. I’ve always been fascinated by the similarities. I also remember everyone assuming that Reagan was going to get us all blown up because he was such a war monger, just like Bush. And I also remember all the Saturday Night Live references to Reagan’s racism, just like Bush. Some things never change, but then again the left hasn’t had any new ideas since the 1800s, have they?

      

  32. 32Fenris on Jun 15, 2009 at 9:04 pm:

    #20 Zombie

    Easy: they can’t stand dissent. Disagreeing with yesteryear’s nonconformists is the new nonconformity.

    #23 Starless

    I agree. That’s how I feel about the nineties.

      

  33. 33Takekaze on Jun 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm:

    #19 Kun: so you support Stalin murdering up to 30 million people? Maybe also Mao’s campaigns against his own people, which cost more the lives of more than 70 million Chinese?

    Or maybe you just love the fact that there was no freedom of speech under Stalin or even in the USSR itself? No different opinions you’d have to deal with, especially when you can’t argue your own and defend them with evidence, right? So much easier. No annoying dissidents. Wonderful, no?

    I grew up ~100 km away from the Iron Curtain during the days when there was still a Soviet Union.

    I say they were a threat.

    I remember the photos of people who tried to flee from the Pact into my country, but who were murdered while doing so. Every now and then the media here mentioned that bodies were found in the barbed wire again. Often we would hear of successful escapes where people risked everything to get out of the Pact.

    The Red Army had invasion plans for this country, Austria. They had plans for using tactical nukes should our resistance be too strong. I’ve never heard of anything like that from the Western Allies. So yes, by that alone the USSR was definitely a threat. And how many people have been murdered in the Union and the commie sattelites? Millions. Millions who disappeared in the gulags and never returned. It was just another fascist system, like Nazi Germany. The diference is really only that 1) Nazi Germany was wiped out (and I want to use this moment to thank the Americans for “imposing” their values on us after WW2 -take that Obama-, no, I’m not joking and for freeing us from the Nazis) and 2) Communism is pretty much “international socialism”, as opposed to Hitler’s “national socialism” (ultimately both are socialist systems, and socialism is fascism since it’s aimed to keeping people equally down), the only real difference between Hitler and Stalin was the racism. Hitler was a racist bastard, Stalin hated everyone equally. Both were mass murderers.

    What happened with Europe under Stalin? It was cut off, the economy went downhill there (as an example, people in commie Germany had to wait 10 to 20 years for a car, and people in the USSR were standing in lines for the most basic goods) and every and all freedoms were… destroyed. I don’t want such a society. And what was the result? Progress? Hardly. Democracy? No. Freedom? No. But rather: Dictatorship. Oppression. Mass murder.

    I’m glad that this monster in the east is gone and that Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are now free, not to mention Ukraine, Belarus, Romania and the Baltic states.

    When Yugoslavia fell apart we had Yugo tanks almost right on our borders. We had Yugo MIGs fly over our country. Our military was on high alert because, honestly, we were expecting the Yugoslav communists may use this little “skirmish” with Slovenia as an excuse to invade us.

    Dictators pushed into a corner always react way over the top.

    My conclusion is: Socialism in all its forms had its chance. It was extensively tested and it failed miserably. The test cost the lives of more than 100 million people. Ultimately Churchill was right. Socialism (no matter whether it’s communism, national socialism, internationalism) is ultimately fascist and only about keeping people equal with no progress at all. It makes the rich poor and keeps the poor people poor.

    Now…

    The whole “Muslim radicals are coming to kill us” boogeyman…

    9-11
    London
    Madrid
    Bali
    Mumbai

    Just to name the big attacks against us. Turky’s premier Erdogan once said that there is no radical islam, that there is only islam. And let’s face it. These folks are not radical at all. They just follow Mohammed’s example. Mohammed murdered, pillaged and raped. All they do is do exactly as the founder of their ideology did. They are actually an example of “do as I do” (unlike the leftists, who are usually the “do as I say, not do as I do” group.) The koran states that muslims must not take infidels as friends (infidels are, of course, all people who are not muslims). It also says that the muslims must fight infidels where they find them. It should be pretty clear what that means.

    I remember well, after 9-11, how the whole muslim world celebrated the attacks. People were dancing in the streets, celebrating, throughout the muslims world.

    But they don’t want to kill us all, eh? Islam is peace, eh?

    Sorry, actions speak louder than words. I don’t want this fascist ideology on my doorstep. And that’s what it is. Pure and utter fascism. Show me one muslim country that has freedoms like we have it in the US, Japan or Austria. Show me just one. I tried to find one, I failed. Malaysia? Sorry, nope. Indonesia? Hardly a showcase of democracy, is it? And that’s about it.

    I stick to our “imperialst” capitalism. After all, history proves without a doubt that capitalism is the only form of economy that works.

    Though, how are we imperialist? Because the US has been “imposing” its values on people? Oh yes, how dare they! Those damn Americans imposing their democracy and freedom on my country after WW2, taking away from me the chance to fight commie partisans somewhere at the Ural, praising Adolf Hitler and joining the SS! Those damn Americans and their arrogance! God damn Amerikkka! Always behaving as if they owned the world! leave it to the UN to be the new world government… no matter how fascist, ineffective and outright stupid they are.

    But hey… who’s the first one to send aid to an area that’s hit by a disaster? It’s the Americans. Always them. Who helps most in the world? It’s the Americans. Always them. Who spends most money for developing aid and, in fact, keeps the UN alive with their money? It’s the Americans. Always them. And who gave all the leftists in the free world the opportunity to scream murder at America? The Americans. For they fought the wars that we were too afraid to fight.

    Yes. In 1938 Hitler invaded Austria, held a mock election and finally gobbled up Austria, turning it into a part of Nazi Germany. Nobody did anything. We could have fought back, but our politicians lacked the spine to do so. Hitler took Czechoslovakia, and the whole world watched. The Western Allies were too busy appeasing this bastard (similarities to today’s situation are actually quite scary.) Then the war started in Europe, thanks to… Churchill who would not stand there and kiss Adolf’s butt, like Neville had done it. The British resisted. Freedom loving people all over Europe resisted, usually risking their lives. Then Japan attacked the US and lost the war right there on December 7th. Because then the Americans were angry. Mind you, the Americans take a lot of abuse, they’ll shrug it off. But there is the point when they’ll say “enough is enough” and then they will rise up. And when the Americans get angry and rise up, they usually get angry as one and rise up as one.

    I have the production numbers of what the US pumped out during the war. It’s outright scary. You have to consider, the US fought in Europe and in the Pacific. They had supply lines in the Atlantic and the Pacific. They supported the Aussies, the British, the Soviets with equipment (the photos are rather rare, but I’ve seen Shermans and P-40s with red stars.) The French, when they entered Austria, looked like a US unit. They were clothed and equipped by the US.

    And in all that the US managed to design new airfact that would be superior to anything the Axis threw at them (ok, so the Germans developed jet fighters, but they were not effective at all, they had little to no impact.) They developed the nuclear bomb, which cost ~2 billion USD in money back then, as one of many other secret projects (and let’s face it, Germany and Japan were eventually also working on that bomb, and they would have used it.) Just as an example: the US built more than 140 carriers within 4 years of war. Agreed, many of those were small, so called “Jeep carriers”, usually carrying only one or two squadrons. But those were one or two squadrons of modern aircraft, fully armed and fuelled, with trained crews. That is scary. In comparison, taking the Japanese for a second, they were lacking trained pilots. Sakai Saburo (surviving leading ace of the Naval Air Force) described all replacements that were drafted and trained during the war as “inadequate” (to put it nicely.) He had encounters with US fighters, tons of them. And once he escaped 15 Hellcats only because they were all giddy of shooting down his single Zero. He only escaped because the American pilots forgot their training for a second. 15 vs 15 would have been different, with a clear win for the Americans (due to their training to work as team, something that Sakai, Nishizawa and all the other aces in Sakai’s “Squadron of Aces” envied the Americans for.)

    I take the “imperialist” Americans over national-socialist Hitler and Tojo any day. If I had to chose between Stalin’s or Mao’s “glorious” communism and the “evil American capitalism”, I take the capitalism, thank you.

      

  34. 34CattusMagnus on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm:

    Jesus Takekaze! You must have a cramp after typing like that!

      

  35. 35Ken on Jun 16, 2009 at 2:43 am:

    “He probably made this post while sipping a no-foam soy latte at Starbucks on his 2 grand Mac Book Pro”

    Man, I smile the biggest smile ever whenever one of the rightoids pulls out the ole “upper-class liberal” stereotype to describe me. It just makes them look ridiculous. Hilarious!

    “Hungary, Czechoslovakia ? Stalin ?”

    Are we talking about “threats” to the US or to the entire world? Was the USSR a threat to the entire world? Maybe. To America specifically? Well, What kind of “threat” are we talking here? The threat of nuclear holocaust? Then, yes, the USSR was a threat. The threat of invasion and subjugation, ala “Red Dawn?” No way, no how.

    “anti-revisionist Communists (Maoists and Hoxhaists) united with progressives and the Mujahidin to fight Soviet imperialism”

    Kun still loves Hoxha, I see. Note my remark to Zombie that it was stupid to ally with anyone regardless of ideology simply because they were anti-Communists. Same thing applies to us, Kun. It’s stupid for us to side with someone just because they profess to be “anti-imperialists.” The “anti-revisionists” (more like the “dogmatists”) supported the Mujahideen and we ended up, through various twists and turns, with the Taliban. Was their extreme Sharia any better than the Soviet-backed Afghan government? I wouldn’t take that bet.

    “Will someone please tell me what I did to deserve the peculiar motley crew of communist and anarchist commenters that seem to be drawn to zomblog? Where did I ever express support for such ideologies?”

    I don’t believe you ever did express support for any of that. Anyone literate and with half a brain could see that. I can’t speak for other posters on here, but I just like being kept abreast of what’s going on back in “the old country” and seeing some pictures of the protests and the signs and the types of people who take part in them. I even went back and looked again at the photo essay about the Israel in the Gardens Festival this afternoon, which I found very interesting (I’ve never been a radical on that issue, nor have I ever understood why it’s become such a hot topic among most members of my end of the political spectrum. I’ve always paid very little attention to it). It’s mostly curiosity on my part. I also enjoy the captions Zombie writes.

    I’ve been here for a while now, haven’t I? I’d like to think that I’ve moved up a notch or two from mere “troll” and on to an actual member of this “community,” political views not withstanding. Hell, I was even willing to give Dave Surls an olive branch (I hope he took it).

      

  36. 36Ken on Jun 16, 2009 at 3:04 am:

    I’ll comment on the Islam thing, too. I guess I should re-phrase my statement about radical Muslims not wanting to come and kill us. Certainly some of them do. But destroy our “way of life” or subjugate us to their religion and force us all to accept it? It’ll never happen. In that aspect: NOT A THREAT AT ALL. Maybe to Israel, but not the Western world.

    “muslims must fight infidels where they find them”

    It’s also said, in either the Koran or Hadith (I forget which), that whoever harms a non-Muslim also harms the Prophet. But the Islamophobes and the radical Muslims alike always forget that part. Go figure. They’d all do better to examine the book a bit more closely, methinks.

    “I remember well, after 9-11, how the whole muslim world celebrated the attacks. People were dancing in the streets, celebrating, throughout the muslims world”

    I assume I’d probably feel the same way if I grew up in a theocratic dictatorship, told over and over that I’d been opressed by the Zionists and Crusaders, and had no way to question the accuracy of that. They thought their enemies had been rightfully put in place. They were wrong, of course…dead wrong…but we can’t blame a brainwashed people for reacting the way they did. How many Americans cheered when Saddam died because we’d been brought up with the “Saddam=bad” equation our whole lives? He certainly WAS bad, but real life is hardly ever “black/white/good/bad.”

    “I don’t want this fascist ideology on my doorstep”

    So then don’t convert Islam or live in a country with a Muslim majority. Ignore people when they talk to you about Islam. Problem solved. I should become a shrink.

    “Show me one muslim country that has freedoms like we have it in the US, Japan or Austria”

    Turkey was the closest thing I could think of, though it’s debatable whether or not Turkey is a “Muslim” country. Officially, no.

      

  37. 37Starless on Jun 16, 2009 at 5:27 am:

    #32 Fenris

    There is nothing new under the sun. Every generation thinks they invented sex (who doesn’t think the Romans could teach sexting teenagers a thing or two?) and every generation thinks their politics are the most important ever in the history of mankind. Therefore, their Old Man leaders are the worst ever. The Boomers had Nixon, the Gen-Xers had Reagan, the Gen-Yers had GWB. Go back to the rise of homo sapiens and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Ugg holding up a pictogram depicting his Tribal Chief with a Hitler moustache protesting the injustice of tribal leaders not providing him with his own cave and free mammoth meat.

    #36 Ken

    Certainly some of them do. But destroy our “way of life” or subjugate us to their religion and force us all to accept it? It’ll never happen. In that aspect: NOT A THREAT AT ALL.

    By this logic, the Japanese were no threat at all. Imperial Japan wasn’t interested in invading and subjugating us, they just wanted us to stay out of what they saw as their oil resources and leave them to subjugate all of Asia as they saw fit. So there you go: Japan in the ’30s and ’40s NOT A THREAT AT ALL. And though Nazi Germany designed strategic bombers and longer-range ballistic missiles to hit the east coast of the US, it’s clear that they weren’t interested in invading and subjugating the US. They just wanted to be left alone to conquer Europe and western Russia. Nazi Germany: NOT A THREAT AT ALL.

    Most “moderate” Muslims, the Arab Street, may not have been celebrating the way the Palestinians were when the WTC and Pentagon got hit but you can pretty sure many were nodding their heads in silent agreement. The likelihood that the leaders in the Islamic world will be able to establish a global Caliphate is pretty small, but that doesn’t change the fact that they have clearly stated that that is their goal. By your logic, we should just dismiss their threats as crazy and unrealistic, sit back, and let the world roll by. If they destroy Israel, meh, that’s on the other side of the world and not a “direct” threat, so what business is it of ours?

      

  38. 38Kun on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:02 am:

    @Ken

    “Note my remark to Zombie that it was stupid to ally with anyone regardless of ideology simply because they were anti-Communists. Same thing applies to us, Kun. It’s stupid for us to side with someone just because they profess to be ‘anti-imperialists.’ The ‘anti-revisionists’ (more like the ‘dogmatists’) supported the Mujahideen and we ended up, through various twists and turns, with the Taliban. Was their extreme Sharia any better than the Soviet-backed Afghan government? I wouldn’t take that bet.”

    Well you see, the problem was that the Hoxhaists (like Sholay-e-Jaweid) and the Maoists (Afghanistan Liberation Organization) simply didn’t lead very good lives in Soviet puppet Afghanistan (not that the Soviet-backed Daoud government or US-backed constitutional monarchy before that were particularly friendly either) because they were seen as a danger and attacked them. Hell, the Hoxhaists actually had more support than the Soviets did among the youth. The fact that progressive forces got attacked by the Soviets and left us with the Mujahidin to support is regrettable, but it did happen, and the Mujahidin represented the popular will of the masses. All the funds in the world don’t matter if there is a genuinely mass movement against an imperialist invasion, as Vietnam has shown us.

    Also if we’re dogmatists, then good ol’ Deng is doing a good job paving the way for a new breed of “socialists.” Let us see some of his quotes on the rigorous application of Marxism-Leninism:

    “Let me add that our socialist state apparatus is so powerful that it can intervene to correct any deviations. To be sure, the open policy entails risks and may bring into China some decadent bourgeois things. But with our socialist policies and state apparatus, we shall be able to cope with them. So there is nothing to fear.”
    (Reform is the Only Way for China to Develop its Productive Forces, August 28, 1985 in Deng Xiaoping, Selected Works, vol. III)

    “There is no fundamental contradiction between socialism and a market economy. The problem is how to develop the productive forces more effectively. We used to have a planned economy, but our experience over the years has proved that having a totally planned economy hampers the development of the productive forces to a certain extent. If we combine a planned economy with a market economy, we shall be in a better position to liberate the productive forces and speed up economic growth.”
    (There is no Fundamental Contradiction between Socialism and a Market Economy, October 23, 1985 in Deng Xiaoping, Selected Works, vol. III)

    “Why do some people always insist that the market is capitalist and only planning is socialist? Actually they are both means of developing the productive forces. So long as they serve that purpose, we should make use of them. If they serve socialism they are socialist; if they serve capitalism they are capitalist. It is not correct to say that planning is only socialist, because there is a planning department in Japan and there is also planning in the United States. At one time we copied the Soviet model of economic development and had a planned economy. Later we said that in a socialist economy planning was primary. We should not say that any longer.”
    (Planning and the Market are both Means of Developing the Productive Forces, February 6, 1987 in Deng Xiaoping, Selected Works, vol. III)

    So basically, “socialism” in China becomes “DEVELOP THE PRODUCTIVE FORCES” (which Trotsky and the Mensheviks would be proud to hear) and that whatever capitalism arises is a-okay because apparently the 33% of the CCP today being capitalists (http://www.greenleft.org.au/2007/734/38026) can be brushed aside when the goings get tough. Truly amazing, Deng showed those dogmatic… everyones the futility of their ways.

    @Takekaze

    “so you support Stalin murdering up to 30 million people?”

    30 million? That’s quite a bit. 3-10 million is probably a better bet, but of course that leaves us with 20 million unaccounted for, apparently. Of course the whole “3 million are said to have died for political reasons under Stalin, not 20-30!” is a rather immature argument, but not when people begin putting down every death as being caused by Stalin, which, if not faulty methods, results in these inflated numbers.

    “Or maybe you just love the fact that there was no freedom of speech under Stalin or even in the USSR itself? No different opinions you’d have to deal with, especially when you can’t argue your own and defend them with evidence, right? So much easier. No annoying dissidents. Wonderful, no?”

    I’m not about to decry Stalin for general faults in Soviet society caused by the monopolization of power by the CPSU (not that vanguard parties are bad, it just leads to obvious problems down the road), because he was a genuine Communist and the Soviet Union under him was moving towards socialism. I can’t say the same for Nikita “State-Of-The-Whole-People” Khrushchev or Leonid “Profit-Motive” Brezhnev, much less Mikhail “My-Ambition-Was-To-Liquidate-Communism” Gorbachev. Besides, Stalin advocated a more “united front” style of governing and having contested elections between socialist interest groups (e.g. peasant associations), but it was put off due to fears of a Japanese invasion and the system being “exploited” by Japanese or German spies. (http://clogic.eserver.org/2005/furr.html)

    “What happened with Europe under Stalin? It was cut off, the economy went downhill there (as an example, people in commie Germany had to wait 10 to 20 years for a car, and people in the USSR were standing in lines for the most basic goods)”

    Most of these states (with the exception of East Germany which had much of its industry taken by the Red Army as compensation for WWII) were semi-feudal whereas Western Europe (which had casted out feudalism decades if not a century before the war) had the Marshall Plan. Regardless, while these East European states began suffering economically post-60′s due to market reforms (same with the USSR itself, see: http://www.oneparty.co.uk/html/book/ussrmenu.html) nations like Albania refused any sort of market reform (Hoxha broke with the Soviets in 1961) and said nation managed to go from its tribalist, mostly feudal system to a fairly industrialized economy with a centralized government not ruled by tribal chieftains anymore. While the Soviet Union was already going downhill in the 70′s economically, the Albanian economy continued to grow until its autarky phase post-1978, when even then it suffered from stagnation until post-1985 when the economy finally began to slow down due to an almost total lack of trade and no new technologies since the 60′s and 70′s. The Soviet economy contracted in a much more hectic way under Gorbachev. Inflation rose to new highs, unemployment grew, debt went up, deficit rose, etc.

    However, if you were to examine Albania in the period of 1944-1985 economically (or even socially), you’d see that they made great strides relative to their position as the poorest country in Europe. Obviously Albania didn’t have any chance at becoming a superpower, so the fact that such rapid progress was achieved (about 1% of GDP being industry in 1944 to over 50% by 1985, 90% illiteracy in 1945 to 30% illiteracy in 1950) in such a poor country at least shows the initial power of central planning (which faltered after the 60′s in the USSR once they started giving enterprises the autonomy to pretty much direct their own affairs).

      

  39. 39Kun on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:05 am:

    Meant to say “but not when people begin putting down every death as being caused by Stalin, which, if not caused faulty methods, educated guesses result in these inflated numbers.”

    This blog needs an edit button.

      

  40. 40Horse on Jun 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm:

    “(And why is Beirut shown as being inside Israel?)”

    The IDF invaded Lebanon in 1982 in response to PLO attacks from Lebanon into Northern Israel and attempted assassinations of its diplomats overseas. They attacked PLO and Syrian forces, and marched up to outskirts of Beirut, basically kicking their asses the entire way. They decimated the Syrian air force and eliminated scores of tanks. It pushed the PLO out of Lebanon. Israel occupied Southern Lebanon until 1985. Thus, when the map was made, Israel controlled parts of Lebanon up to southern Beirut. They appear to be trying to portray tiny Israel as an imperialist nation. Another reflection of the map makers’ mindsets. Great find Zombie; the more things change, the more they stay the same :)

      

  41. 41Clark on Jun 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm:

    Ken #36

    “They’d all do better to examine the book a bit more closely, methinks.”

    All of Allah’s earlier, peaceful revelations to the prophet Muhammed were made null and void by the Qur’an itself.

    Noble Qur’an, Surah 2:106:

    “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?”

    The Qur’an is not categorized chronologically, but by the longest surah to the shortest. All the peaceful revelations were made when Muhammed was politically powerless. Once he became a warlord with many followers the tone of his teachings on infidels became quite different.

    Here’s a little peaceful tale paraphrased from the Hadith Al-Bukhari (not pretty, read at your own peril):

    After a battle, one of the companions of the Prophet came to Muhammed (pbuh) with some concerns. He had taken a few infidel women as war booty (as is proscibed by the Qur’an) but was having trouble raping them. The fact that they still had husbands, who were now slaves, was really spoiling the mood.

    The Prophet was all like “Don’t sweat it bro, kuffar marriages don’t count. Go get your rape on!.”.

    The companion was relieved, but there was one more thing. He was concerned that if he got his infidel women pregnant he would be responsible for the children. He wanted to know if he should pull out before ejaculating to lessen the risk.

    Muhammed blew that one out of the water too. “Pull out? Are you high? No way dude, slaves give birth to slaves. Her kids are not your problem.”

    And they lived happily everafter.

      

  42. 42Ken on Jun 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm:

    “By this logic, the Japanese were no threat at all”

    Except that they actually DID attack us. Unlike the Soviets and Chinese who never did and pledged to never use the bomb first.

    “Nazi Germany: NOT A THREAT AT ALL”

    A small threat to the US, a larger threat to the rest of the World. The analogy you’ve drawn between what I said about the USSR and what you claim about Japan and Germany isn’t always a useful one, epecially when talking about history. So many other factors are involved that render the “if this is like this then that is also like this” comparion void (that the Soviets were willing to agree to disarmament talks, that they were willing to accept “peaceful co-existence”).

    “By your logic, we should just dismiss their threats as crazy and unrealistic, sit back, and let the world roll by”

    That’s exactly what they are: crazy and unrealistic. A world-wide caliphate will never happen and certainly not in America. No matter how many ultra-cons worry that it will, no matter how many ultra-Muslims hope it will, the fact is: it wont. Do you honestly spend your time worrying that it will? Also, it saddens me to see turgid, ignorant comments about Islam like the one above, painting all Muslims as “fascists.” No one says the same thing about, say, Buddhists, many of whom (Aum Shrinkyo, Falun Gong, or the Tibetan Youth Congress, for example) are just as radical and violent as any Muslim group. The anti-Muslim prejudice in the world these days is quite disheartening.

    “If they destroy Israel, meh, that’s on the other side of the world…what business is it of ours?”

    I’m an Internationalist but not an interventionist. We’re not the “World Police,” but acting that way has gotten us in trouble plenty of times. Maybe if we minded our own business no one would hate us as much as they do.

      

  43. 43Clark on Jun 16, 2009 at 6:03 pm:

    Ken #36

    “Also, it saddens me to see turgid, ignorant comments about Islam like the one above, painting all Muslims as ‘fascists.’”

    Somebody should probably inform the world’s Muslims that quoting verses from the Qur’an and explaining what Islamic jurisprudence has deemed them to mean, or describing the sunnah of the Prophet as told by the Hadith Al-Bukhari, is “ignorant”. I also don’t recall typing “fascist”, hold on let me check…

    …nope I didn’t.

    “No one says the same thing about, say, Buddhists, many of whom (Aum Shrinkyo, Falun Gong, or the Tibetan Youth Congress, for example) are just as radical and violent as any Muslim group.”

    Buddhism to my knowledge neither commands it’s practitioners to conquer and subdue unbelievers, nor does it explicitly permit rape and slavery. I don’t recall Buddha conquering Jewish tribes, personally beheading any male with pubic hair, and enslaving the women and children.

    Every religion has had violent periods in it’s history, in spite of their teachings. The difference is that Islam commands violence. As well as oppression and extreme anti-semitism.

      

  44. 44Clark on Jun 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm:

    ken,

    Also, the leftard tactic of throwing “fascist” and “nazi” around with no regard to context has nearly stripped the terms of all meaning. For the vast majority it seems they no longer hold any meaning beyond vague insult.

    I like though how you flowed straight from the red herring into the moral equivalency. Nice.

      

  45. 45Joe on Jun 16, 2009 at 7:36 pm:

    I remember all the Reagan-bashing in the 80′s too. All the punk bands ripping him and other conservatives in their music, just like the recent “Rock Against Bush” BS.

    “Acidrania”

    Sure don’t hear much about acid rain anymore! Now the left’s got a far more scary boogieman, AGW. Er, make that ACC. Twenty years from now it’ll be something else..

      

  46. 46Ken on Jun 16, 2009 at 7:38 pm:

    “I also don’t recall typing ‘fascist’ ”

    Wasn’t referring to you, Clark. I was referring to #33. Sorry, I should have been clearer. I was in a hurry when I posted this morning.

    “the leftard tactic of throwing ‘fascist’ and ‘nazi’ around with no regard to context has nearly stripped the terms of all meaning”

    You’re right Clark. Perhaps you’d better tell #33 that rather than me, eh? Paying attention to comments other than your own helps when discussing on the Internet.

      

  47. 47Ken on Jun 16, 2009 at 7:51 pm:

    While I’m here I might as well comment on this, too:

    “Buddhism to my knowledge neither commands it’s practitioners to conquer and subdue unbelievers”

    Education yourself about “Shambalization” and Kalchakra Tantra, bud. Why do you think AUM gassed Japan’s subway? One reason (according to Haruki Murakami’s book “Underground”) was that the murderers thought they’d accrue spiritual merit through committing “poa,” another was that they saw Japan as overrun by religions other than Buddhism.

    “nor does it explicitly permit rape and slavery”

    Victor Tremondi’s book “The Shadow of the Dalai Lama” is online for free. Go read it.

    “I don’t recall Buddha conquering Jewish tribes, personally beheading any male with pubic hair, and enslaving the women and children”

    And you’d condemn by association hundreds of millions of people the world over simply for the actions of a few lawless tribes thousands of years ago in history? Before the Englightenment and conceptualization of human rights? You’re an unforgiving one, my friend. I suppose I shouldn’t tell you that my great-great-great grandfather owned slaves. I don’t want you to hold it against me.

      

  48. 48Starless on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm:

    #41 Ken

    Except that they actually DID attack us. Unlike the Soviets and Chinese who never did and pledged to never use the bomb first.

    You were talking about conquest and subjugation, not attacks. Even so, there were many in the US after Pearl Harbor and after 9/11 who believed that even those attacks didn’t merit going to war.

    Soviet and PRC pledges are worth just about a bucket of spit.

    The analogy you’ve drawn between what I said about the USSR and what you claim about Japan and Germany…blah, blah, blah…

    Again, you talked about conquest and subjugation and now you’re trying to nitpick your way in another direction. Any analogy is going to fall apart at some point. The Soviets and the CRP didn’t and aren’t directly threatening or attacking us, but they are threatening and/or attacking our allies and places of interest. The indirectness of the threat doesn’t make the threat go away. Neither Imperial Japan nor Nazi German wanted to conquer the US but that didn’t make them any less of a threat to us.

    That’s exactly what they are: crazy and unrealistic. A world-wide caliphate will never happen and certainly not in America.

    That doesn’t mean they aren’t going to try and that they aren’t going to kill people (Americans — many by, let’s say, chopping off their heads) in the process. Shall we replay the tape from the WTC and the Pentagon?

    The anti-Muslim prejudice in the world these days is quite disheartening.

    Slightly less head-chopping on the part of Muslims would go a long way toward changing that.

    We’re not the “World Police,” but acting that way has gotten us in trouble plenty of times.

    Well, shit, Ken, maybe if the rest of the world would stop screaming their moral outrage and demanding that we be the world police/saviour/welfare provider every time there was a crisis, we might stop doing it.

    Maybe if we minded our own business no one would hate us as much as they do.

    Go talk to Pat Buchanan, you guys would have a lot to discuss.

      

  49. 49CattusMagnus on Jun 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm:

    “Maybe if we minded our own business no one would hate us as much as they do.” – Ken

    True enough. But I think that there are a lot of people in the world that actually like us because we don’t “mind our own business.” South Koreans, Israelis, Albanians, and Taiwanese probably have an affection for us because we stuck our necks out for them.

      

  50. 50zombie on Jun 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm:

    Ken:

    Aum Shinrikyo has a couple hundred remaining adherents.

    Islam has a BILLION adherents.

    Aum Shinrikyo is a lunatic cult in a single country with zero political or military power.

    Islam dominates one-fourth of the globe and has overwhelming political power and military strength, not to mention trillions of petro-dollars at its disposal.

    Aum Shinrikyo committed one single attack once, killing just 12 people.

    Islam commits terror attacks nearly every day, with suicide bombings and other incidents around the globe, most of which barely get reported, killing hundreds on a regular basis — with more spectacular attacks every now and then.

    Aum Shinrikyo just incorporated some out-of-context Buddhist notions in a jumbled-up brainwash cult — it’s not actual Buddhism.

    Islam is Islam.

    Trying to compare and draw an equivalence between the two, as you did, in order to discredit Buddhism, is ludicrous.

      

  51. 51Dave Surls on Jun 16, 2009 at 11:42 pm:

    “Maybe if we minded our own business no one would hate us as much as they do.”

    Yeah, I agree with commie Ken on that one. I think we’d be a lot better off (in every way) if we’d stayed neutral and isolationist from about 1898 on…but, we didn’t, so now we have to deal with the consequences.

      

  52. 52Ken on Jun 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm:

    Discredit Buddhism, are you kidding me? More like I was trying to put into perspective the ridiculousness of painting the billons of Muslims in the world with the same brush as the fanatics or of writing Islam off as “fascism” because its holy book contains some atrocious things written in 633 CE. On the other hand, I’m not surprised that so many people automatically conflagrate “Muslim” with “extremist” because that’s pretty much all we ever hear about Muslims in the media: blowing things up, beheading people, killing women. And yet, in all the places I’ve traveled to on our planet, I’ve never met a single Muslim who espoused anything like that. Even John Gibson’s book “Hating America” quotes an Egyptian woman as saying “These people with beards who want us to live in caves- they don’t understand [Islam]. Islam tells you to modernize. Modernity is good. They are backwards.” Gilles Kepel’s book “Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam” speaks of “Arab prisoners traded to US troops by Afghans, and of Pakistani and foreign Islamists spat upon, molested, or kiled by locals.” Right now, as we speak (or type), Muslims in iran are demonstrating for a more liberal and open society. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a much larger swath of moderate Muslims, even in the Middle East itself, than what we’ve been conditioned to believe. I’m not an expert on the politics of that region, however.

    Beside the point, but:

    “Aum Shinrikyo…brainwash cult…not actual Buddhism”

    It certainly was actual Buddhism…at least as much as Zen or Tantra are. Otherwise, why would Asahara have been awarded a stupa with remains of the Buddha by the government of Sri Lanka (thereby conferring upon him a significantly high status in the Buddhist community)? And why would Khamtrul Rinpoche, an attache of the Dalai Lama, have confirmed Asahara’s“perfect, absolute, divine wisdom”and “innate Buddha nature”? In addition to the stupa relic, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka at the time also called Asahara the “Buddha of our times.” Those are pretty lofty accolades from some very important people. Not the kind easily presented and certainly not to the insane leader of a mere “brainwash cult.” As for the other points you raised: I’ve heard that AUM had millions of members in five continents (including branches in the US and Russia). Their lack of “military power” doesn’t matter, really. Chomsky mentioned AUM specifically in his book “Power and Terror” as proof that “small groups without too much technical sophistication” could carry out “pretty awful atrocities.” Mohammed Atta didn’t have much “military power,” either, did he?

    Back to the point: does “Muslim” = “extremist” in all or most cases? This is not a loaded question. I’m merely asking the opinion of my fellow Zombietime readers.

      

  53. 53Clark on Jun 17, 2009 at 1:35 am:

    Ken:

    “And you’d condemn by association hundreds of millions of people the world over simply for the actions of a few lawless tribes thousands of years ago in history? Before the Englightenment and conceptualization of human rights?”

    Those lawless tribes were led by Muhammed, Allah’s perfect messenger. A man whom Islam instructs should be emulated in all things. Some of the things he personally engaged in include but aren’t limited to: rape, murder, theft, telling his followers to lie, domestic violence, forcible marriage, torture, disfigurement, etc.

    The point I was trying to make (and you seem to have ignored) was that while adherents of other religions have undoubtedly engaged in violent and sadistic behavior in the past and present, Islam is alone in the fact that it commands these behaviors through Muhammed’s words and deeds.

    “Back to the point: does “Muslim” = “extremist” in all or most cases?”

    Not necessarily. There are plenty of non-violent Muslims. The problem is that they are that way despite Islam, not because of it.

      

  54. 54Starless on Jun 17, 2009 at 5:11 am:

    #51 Ken

    Those are pretty lofty accolades from some very important people. Not the kind easily presented and certainly not to the insane leader of a mere “brainwash cult.”

    And Jim Jones was a pillar of the community in San Francisco.

    #49 Zombie

    Trying to compare and draw an equivalence between the two, as you did, in order to discredit Buddhism, is ludicrous.

    But it falls right in line with the sort of worldview that created “The World According to Ronald Reagan” map. Any and all arguments that support the idea that the only good thing the US can do in the world is apologize for itself and capitulate to every nation’s demand, no matter how stupid or self-destructive, are valid, and to serve that end, any and all arguments that minimize or legitimize Islamic terrorism are also valid. That any attempt by the US to assert its values in response to other systems which adhere to antagonistic values makes the US a “bully”.

    This is the same sort of mentality that thought, after the WTC and Pentagon attacks, a debate was necessary over whether we should kick the crap out of the Taliban or try to reason with them.

      

  55. 55mpano on Jun 17, 2009 at 6:29 am:

    Ken, I have to wonder…..you were how old exactly when Reagan left office?

      

  56. 56Kowa B on Jun 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm:

    Ken, you have it wrong. The USSR wasn’t a threat to America, but not by choice. The Soviet Union, as a system, was so corrupt and mismanaged, there is pretty much no way they could have sustained any offensive military action in Europe or North America, pretty much from the time Stalin died until they collapsed. I know veterans of the Afghanistan War (the Soviet invasion) who say that 90% of what they ate was stolen or bought from Afghans; the army was so logistically inefficient that without stealing from the locals, they would have starved to death. The Soviet government was bureaucratic to a fault, unable to really do anything in a quick and competent manner, and its upper leadership were uninformed and clueless. To this day, it is unknown who gave the actual order to commence the coup of the Afghan president which led to the later Soviet Invasion.

    You know how you always hear about how decrepit and in awful shape the Russian military was in the 1990′s after the fall of communism? The average unit was about that bad before communism fell too; there were just no media to report it to the world.

      

  57. 57Frank White on Jun 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm:

    #55 Kowa B

    The USSR was a conceivable threat to the US, aside from almost accidentally launching ICBMs several times (we’re guilty of that to an extent as well), during the 1950s, its expansion was rivalling western powers. However, it’s easy to get a 350% expansion in industry when there’s almost none at all, but sustaining that industry is a different story – something history tells us about communist countries is that once they’ve hit their peak of expanding, they really can’t expand beyond that point any longer.

      

  58. 58Anonymous on Jun 17, 2009 at 8:52 pm:

    A few points:

    California is so large because Reagan was from California.

    The map shows Reagan’s Israel as occupying the Hejaz area of Arabia, where Mecca and Medina are. This might be a reference to the attempted seizure of the Grand Mosque of Mecca which the Saudis fought off with the help of Western mercenaries. Without reading that much into it, it could just be a way of saying that Reagan wanted Israel to fight a holy war against Islam.

      

  59. 59Starless on Jun 18, 2009 at 4:28 am:

    #55 Kowa B

    The Soviet manned moon program failed for similar reasons. Despite having one of the most brilliant men in the history of spaceflight heading their program (Sergei Korolev), the inefficiencies of a military dominated central government and Soviet-style Communism’s inherent inability to generate wealth lead to their moon program’s inevitable failure.

    OTOH, regarding military threats, there’s a certain momentum to massive brigades of main battle tanks and infantry units. So while the Soviets’ logistical problems may have kept them from a Red Dawn-style campaign against the US, they had little trouble being a realistic threat against western Europe and dominating eastern Europe.

      

  60. 60Tad on Jun 18, 2009 at 5:05 am:

    I remember seeing a map similar to this on ebay a few years ago. It showed the “U.S. According to Reagan.” I have a small collection of Reagan-themed political posters and have been trying to find a hardcopy of either map ever since. Does anyone have any leads?

      

  61. 61gay4reagan on Jun 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm:

    THE FULL MOON’S UNFATHOMABLE light-path–mid-May midnight in some State that starts with “I,” so two-dimensional it can scarcely be said to possess any geography at all–the beams so urgent & tangible you must draw the shades in order to think in words.

    No question of writing to Wild Children. They think in images–prose is for them a code not yet fully digested & ossified, just as for us never fully trusted.

    You may write about them, so that others who have lost the silver chain may follow. Or write for them, making of STORY & EMBLEM a process of seduction into your own paleolithic memories, a barbaric enticement to liberty (chaos as CHAOS understands it).

    For this otherworld species or “third sex,” les enfants sauvages, fancy & Imagination are still undifferentiated. Unbridled PLAY: at one & the same time the source of our Art & of all the race’s rarest eros.

    To embrace disorder both as wellspring of style & voluptuous storehouse, a fundamental of our alien & occult civilization, our conspiratorial esthetic, our lunatic espionage–this is the action (let’s face it) either of an artist of some sort, or of a ten- or thirteen-year-old.

    Children whose clarified senses betray them into a brilliant sorcery of beautiful pleasure reflect something feral & smutty in the nature of reality itself: natural ontological anarchists, angels of chaos–their gestures & body odors broadcast around them a jungle of presence, a forest of prescience complete with snakes, ninja weapons, turtles, futuristic shamanism, incredible mess, piss, ghosts, sunlight, jerking off, birds’ nests & eggs–gleeful aggression against the groan-ups of those Lower Planes so powerless to englobe either destructive epiphanies or creation in the form of antics fragile but sharp enough to slice moonlight.

    And yet the denizens of these inferior jerkwater dimensions truly believe they control the destinies of Wild Children–& down here, such vicious beliefs actually sculpt most of the substance of happenstance.

    The only ones who actually wish to share the mischievous destiny of those savage runaways or minor guerillas rather than dictate it, the only ones who can understand that cherishing & unleashing are the same act–these are mostly artists, anarchists, perverts, heretics, a band apart (as much from each other as from the world) or able to meet only as wild children might, locking gazes across a dinnertable while adults gibber from behind their masks.

    Too young for Harley choppers–flunk-outs, break-dancers, scarcely pubescent poets of flat lost railroad towns–a million sparks falling from the skyrockets of Rimbaud & Mowgli–slender terrorists whose gaudy bombs are compacted of polymorphous love & the precious shards of popular culture–punk gunslingers dreaming of piercing their ears, animist bicyclists gliding in the pewter dusk through Welfare streets of accidental flowers–out-of-season gypsy skinny-dippers, smiling sideways-glancing thieves of power- totems, small change & panther-bladed knives–we sense them everywhere–we publish this offer to trade the corruption of our own lux et gaudium for their perfect gentle filth.

    So get this: our realization, our liberation depends on theirs–not because we ape the Family, those “misers of love” who hold hostages for a banal future, nor the State which schools us all to sink beneath the event-horizon of a tedious “usefulness”–no–but because we & they, the wild ones, are images of each other, linked & bordered by that silver chain which defines the pale of sensuality, transgression & vision.

    We share the same enemies & our means of triumphant escape are also the same: a delirious & obsessive play, powered by the spectral brilliance of the wolves & their children.

      

  62. 62Anonymous on Jun 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm:

    The poster indeed misrepresents the views of Reagan and the Right in general, but it isn’t as if the right’s hands are clean in their depiction of the views of the left either. I doubt it was any better in the ’80s either. It’s the way the game is played and it has always been thus.

      

  63. 63Horse on Jun 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm:

    The Soviet military was indeed a threat, at least through 1989. They and their Warsaw Pact allies outnumbered NATO in Europe around 3-to-4 to 1. They maintained a very large offensive ground force ready to invade Western Europe on short notice for decades. Many of their units were reasonably trained and well equipped, at least until the late 80′s when their failures in Afghanistan and communism’s failed economics could no longer keep up with the American military’s modernization. Prior to 1990, had they chosen to do so, they could have devastated Europe, though it is uncertain they would have succeeded in holding the ground they would have seized in the process. Claiming the Soviet Union was not a significant offensive military threat is wishful thinking. There are mountains of historical documentation clearly demonstrating otherwise.

      

  64. 64Ken on Jun 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm:

    “Ken, I have to wonder…..you were how old exactly when Reagan left office?”

    That was..what..89?

    I was 17 or 18.

      

  65. 65jaunte on Jun 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm:

    “For the last decade, the left has focused almost obsessively on oil, claiming that the Iraq War and the entire “war on terror” were done simply to garner oil profits for Bush’s cronies. Oil is also now seen as the virtual lifeblood of evil capitalism, a symbol of everything the left hates. But I didn’t realize how far back this approach went: oil is the only commodity mentioned anywhere on the map (”Our oil” on Saudi Arabia and offshore drilling next to California).”

    Just to build on your point about oil; most of the offshore drilling in the U.S. is in the Gulf of Mexico. Since that part of the country really doesn’t register on the mental map of the leftist author, they show the domestic offshore drilling they are most concerned with (for aesthetic reasons) off the coast of California.

      

  66. 66Terry on Jun 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm:

    No joke, my political science professor at Middle Tennessee State University actually distributed a very similar sheet to our entire class.

    The class was an upper level foreign policy class. Dr. Turner adored President Carter but also had a cuddly attachment to Kissinger. We studied the history of our U.S. foreign policy but when it came time for Reagan, he simply passed out a similar picture to yours only his had a picture of Ron and Nancy with crowns (as King and Queen).

    Of course Israel took up over half the size of the map.

    I was outraged and another student and I took our professor to task for only mocking Reagan instead of discussing his policies. A huge debate ensued. So yes, you’re right. Derangement Syndrome has been around for quite awhile. At least I witnessed it on my campus.

      

  67. 67W Krebs on Jun 25, 2009 at 9:44 am:

    Regarding the depiction of California, note that the Republican candidate won California in every presidential election from 1952 to 1988, excepting 1960. It would make sense that the cartoonist worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, given that disdain for California in the Pacific Northwest was commonplace in the 1960s and 1970s – “Don’t Californicate Oregon”.

    Regarding the issue of the threat from the Soviets, see _The Grand Strategy of the Soviet Union_, by Luttwak, for the case for the prosecution as of 1983. By the way, Luttwak assumes that the Soviets are growing weaker and argues that this would encourage them to act aggressively to preserve their short-term position.

      

  68. 68Dave Surls on Jun 25, 2009 at 2:35 pm:

    The map basically mocks the world that the liberal Democrats created. Our arrangement with the Saudis was the creation of FDR, our de facto alliance with Israel the creation of JFK and LBJ, we have troops and missiles in western Europe because the liberal Democrats put them there, we were at odds with the Soviets because of Truman’s policy, Taiwan is “our China” because the liberal Democrats wanted to support Chiang Kai Chek, first against the Japanese, and then against Mao’s communists. We provide massive support to Egypt and largely ignore the rest of Africa because that’s the way Jimmy Carter and the liberal Democrats wanted it. Japan is what it is, because the liberal Democrats destroyed the old Japan in WWII, and then rebuilt it the way they wanted it to be. Our Cuba policy (no diplomatic relations and a near total embargo) was almost entirely the creation of JFK.

    It isn’t a map of the world according to Ronald Reagan, it’s more a map of the world the way it actually was (from our POV) at the time of Ronald Reagan.

    Of course, liberals, who now sneer at all the policies they enacted, just as they were doing when Ronald Reagan was president, want to pretend that that world was the creation of right wing types…but, it just isn’t so.

      

  69. 69SashaA on Jun 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm:

    I generally enjoy your photographs and comments. I often agree with your take on things. However, it seems your analysis is a little off base. I don’t know your age, but maybe you missed a few things from not being there at the time and because you are influenced by the way the Reagan era is glorified by today’s conservatives.

    “Of course, if the map truly reflected the right-wing worldview, then California and New England would be especially small (to reflect their ideological unimportance), whereas “real America” would be greatly enlarged; this map shows the exact reverse, with California bigger than the rest of the country all combined, thereby revealing the political bias of the mapmakers, not of Reagan.”

    I think you are confused by today’s conservative attitudes toward California, which are based on an incomplete understanding of the state’s complex political make-up in the first place. California was in Reagan’s era (and probably still is) something like the seventh largest economy in the world. Hollywood, San Francisco, and Berkeley liberals get the lion’s share of media attention, it’s true, but much of California is conservative or at least votes Republican — from the rural towns and cities of the Sacramento and San Fernando Valleys to Orange County to the business and industry titans based all over the state. The financial and political support Regan received from his home state was tremendous. Reagan was the governor of California and made his important political connections from that position. He maintained his ranch in Santa Barbara and used the cowboy image he established from his days as a Hollywood star to win the hearts of American voters. It makes perfect sense for someone with enough knowledge of Reagan to think that California would loom large in “Reagan’s World” as this satiric artist imagined it.

    Also, you mentioned that there was no evidence for Reagan holding racist attitudes toward black people, but this is not true. Documents pertaining to California properties owned by Reagan had specific language forbidding sale or rental to “negroes.” It’s possible that this was some kind of standard legal language at the time (it was from the 40s or 50s, I think), and may not have reflected Reagan’s own feelings toward black people, but obviously he didn’t require the language be changed by his lawyer. Also, when Reagan used a completely fabricated “welfare queen,” supposedly able to buy Cadillacs with her welfare checks, to campaign for eliminating welfare this contributed the impression some had of him that he was callous to the plight of the urban African-American poor. The property issue was reported on in the press during Reagan’s election or re-election, so it constitutes a legitimate reason for people to think that Reagan did not favorably view black people. I remember seeing it myself in the L.A. Weekly.

    You don’t have to be some nutty, anti-Capitalist leftist to see that Reagan made a lot of terrible policy choices that today’s right wing wishes to gloss over or justify. For example, when he was governor of CA, he passed laws that turned out severely mentally ill people onto the streets of California where they remain to this day as the vulnerable, neglected mass of “homeless.” As president, he gave military and financial support to some of the bloodiest dictators imaginable. He had the U.S. messing around in foreign elections and illegally training foreign troops and overthrowing democratic elections in Central and South America. He was incontrovertibly involved in the decision to sell arms to Iran to fund the Contras. His people tried to take the fall for that, but new documents which have been released show that he was active in those decisions. He also made some horrible gaffes such as going to visit the Nazi soldier cemetery and joking in a goofy, undignified manner about nuking the Russians.

    On the other hand, for us folks who did not live during WWII, the anti-Communist attitudes that people of Reagan’s generation had seemed paranoid and yet they were not. I agree with you that there was a rapid anti-Reaganism on the left at the time, but after he was president and made some of these choices, there was a lot of perfectly legitimate criticism and distaste for his policies. I think Reagan was probably well-intentioned and completely convinced that it was necessary to “stop socialism” in these countries, even though they may not have represented the Communist threat Reagan thought they did. However, it does not matter that Reagan’s intention was to protect America from creeping Communism, what matters as a leader is what you do and how you do it. You don’t have to be a far left person or unreasonable person to think that Reagan made many choices which hurt the U.S. or which proved to be ill-advised.

      

  70. 70SashaA on Jun 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm:

    Also, as regards the “Muslim fanatics” comments, again there is a matter of historical context which can get distorted by today’s viewpoints. I’d venture to say that has less to do with Reagan’s views of Muslims as it was the general view in the 80s following the Islamic Revolution, which we saw images of on the nightly news. A majority of Americans were first really introduced to Muslims and Islam when we encountered the Ayatollah Khomenei and had our embassy in Iran taken over. Back then cable was just getting started. MTV wasn’t even on the scene yet. So, in the evening you watched the evening network news and saw the frightening, grainy images of bearded young Muslim men, who were literally religious fanatics, chanting and screaming and often burning the American flag in what appeared to be blocks-long living walls of madmen in the streets of Tehran. It was mind-boggling.This was all in conjunction with their having stormed our embassy and taken our people hostages, which was extraordinary. They kept some of our people as hostages for 444 days.Nightly news programs counted the days with an image of a blindfolded man every night for 444 days of “the hostage crisis.” It left a huge impression on those of use who were old enough to understand it. That happened in 1979, which was Carter’s last year as it turned out. Everyone thought it was because they were mad because he let the Shah of Iran in the country to get medical treatment. We thought they hated him because he cut off the hands of thieves and was a cruel dictator. Very few people in the general public knew anything about British and American misbehavior in the Iranian politics, which installed the Shah of Iran and I think most people knew next to nothing about Islam and Sharia. That radical Islam has remained an issue has nothing to do with Reagan or left/right views of politics and everything to do with the nature of Islam, what’s actually in the Koran and how people react to globalization.

      

  71. 71SashaA on Jun 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm:

    Correction to my above: it wasn’t Carter’s last year technically, but I meant it was his undoing as Reagan was elected the following November in 1980.

      

  72. 72Dave Surls on Jun 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm:

    “As president, he gave military and financial support to some of the bloodiest dictators imaginable.”

    LOL. If that’s bad, then liberal icon Roosevelt must be the worst president ever (true, IMO), and Reagan is a saint in comparison.

      

  73. 73Dave Surls on Jun 25, 2009 at 11:09 pm:

    “Very few people in the general public knew anything about British and American misbehavior in the Iranian politics, which installed the Shah of Iran”

    Take it up with Brits. They’re the ones who put the Shah into power. We had nothing to do with it.

      

  74. 74SashaA on Jun 26, 2009 at 9:49 am:

    Dave,

    “LOL. If that’s bad, then liberal icon Roosevelt must be the worst president ever (true, IMO), and Reagan is a saint in comparison.”

    This response is known as a tu quo que logical fallacy. Your response is essentially, “So what? A Democrat icon did worse!” A criticism of one person (the topic of conversation) isn’t invalidated just because the same criticism could be applied to someone else.

    You could, on the other hand, make a counter-argument by pointing out ways in which Reagan’s foreign policy, which was motivated in large part by “containment”-centric anti-Communist operations, was not significantly different from the policy of other presidents of either party. (In which case, he can’t also be credited with singularly and heroically ending the Cold War.)

    As for my response, Zombie was doing some critical thinking and I responded to what she put out there. I am interested in her thinking on the far left, particularly because she is really exposed to their ideas at the rallies. I’ve been horrified by some of the stuff I’ve seen in her photo essays and have found them tremendously interesting and informative. It just so happens that I think her argument here has some major holes in it. Hopefully, she will take the counter analysis into account and continue refine and articulate her thinking on left/right viewpoints.

    With regard to this analysis, Zombie would need to demonstrate that her assertion that there is a “derangement syndrome” by showing how these criticisms of Bush and Reagan are not valid and solely reflect irrational biases of the left. But she doesn’t demonstrate that, she just asserts it as a fact. Since it can easily be established that there are, in fact, legitimate reasons for discontent or anger over Bush’s or Reagan’s foreign policies, anger at him could not be described as irrational, much less “deranged,” so the assertion that there is a derangement syndrome is falsified.

    She could have explore the intensity of the negative emotion by giving examples of it and showing how out of proportion it was to the legitimate criticisms. On the other hand, when thousands of Central and South American peasants were slaughtered by gunmen Reagan authorized to be trained and armed just because they supported a socialist candidate in a democratic election in their own country, you’re going to have a hard time claiming that some intense anger isn’t justified.

    If she were to establish that the emotions toward Bush or Reagan were significantly more intense than were warranted by legitimate criticism, it could be argued that there was a similar Clinton derangement syndrome, in which the intensity of emotions toward Clinton were out of proportion to the legitimate criticisms of him. But that would in turn suggest that political derangement syndromes are linked to an intense partisan rivalry and are not a purely leftist phenomenon.

    “Take it up with Brits. They’re the ones who put the Shah into power. We had nothing to do with it.”

    It’s true that British and Soviet forces originally installed the Shah (Reza Khan) and the US had nothing to do with that. But are you overlooking something? What about the 1953 coup staged by British and American spies, which Eisenhower authorized as “Operation Ajax,” to get rid of the enormously popular and democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh, because of his plans to nationalize Iran’s oil reserves, which at the time were controlled by the British? (The Brits had invited Truman to do this, but he declined.) After Mossadegh was arrested and imprisoned on fake treason charges, the Shah was reinstalled by the US. My original point remains which was that ordinary Americans were unaware of this misbehavior in Iranian politics and, as a result, were mystified (and horrified) by the demonstrations of anti-American hatred.

      

  75. 75SashaA on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:16 am:

    I’d like to add that while there are legitimate reasons for outrage toward those actions of the US and British governments, they are NOT the major or sole reason why Islamic radicals hate America. They hate us for a lot of illegitimate and irrational reasons as well. I do think that a lot of people on the far left tend to look almost exclusively at America’s faults and certain bad actions and legitimate reasons for foreign anger and they have internalize it. They have magnified the bad, minimized the good and decided that not only do foreign nationals have a right to hate us, we should hate ourselves for these things. I firmly reject that idea without denying that our leaders sometimes did bad things that led to atrocities. We also have much to be very proud of and have also given enormous support and protection to millions of people. Many people on the far left do seem to have an ability to vilify America for its transgressions, yet turn around and irrationally magnify the good of leaders like Mao and Stalin and Lenin and Castro while utterly ignoring the extensive wrongdoing and resulting atrocities of those leaders.

      

  76. 76Dave Surls on Jun 26, 2009 at 12:51 pm:

    “This response is known as a tu quo que logical fallacy. Your response is essentially, “So what? A Democrat icon did worse!” A criticism of one person (the topic of conversation) isn’t invalidated just because the same criticism could be applied to someone else.”

    It’s not illogical to say that:

    1. If supporting dictators is a bad thing

    2. And, Roosevelt supported much worse dictators and many more dictators than Reagan did

    3. Then Roosevelt must be worse than Reagan when it comes to supporting dictators.

    It’s totally logical.

    It also happens to be totally true.

      

  77. 77zombie on Jun 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm:

    #68 – #74 SashaA:

    I know a lot more than you might imagine — it’s just that my post about the map was necessarily kept fairly short. I could not explore all those issues you mention in full, lest I scare off all my potential readers.

    Reagan’s foreign policy was really not very different from those of his predecessors. Many of your arguments are simply a parroting of the anti-Reagan vitriol of the era. Ever since FDR first realized in 1944 that he needed to contain the Soviets after the war, U.S. policy has been focused on stopping the spread of communism. The “domino theory” became predominant after the Soviets took over the countries of Eastern Europe; we wanted to stop a similar process happening elsewhere in the world.

    As a consequence, U.S. policy between 1945 and 1990 was enacted consistently by all presidents, whatever their party affiliation. The decision was made at the highest levels to “take sides” in foreign conflicts, and to always choose the anti-communist side — even if that side was itself unsavory. Yes, Reagan sided with the Contras in Nicaragua, and helped far-right groups elsewhere in Central America. But is that so remarkable? And was it so extreme? Look at the extreme lengths Truman went to in his efforts to stop the “domino theory” from toppling the Korean peninsula — a brutal war, millions dead. Eisenhower had spies and intrigues around the globe doing pretty nasty things where it was deemed necessary. Kennedy got us involved in Southeast Asia, once again attempting to stop communism, and once again leading to a conflagration with unimaginable violence, and once again millions upon millions of corpses. Trying to stop the spread of communism in Cuba, he nearly got us into a world-ending nuclear war. Johnson sacrificed hundreds of thousands of American lives in unbelievably brutal warfare in Vietnam, Cambodia and elsewhere, and once again almost got us into a nuclear war with the Soviets during the Six-Day War — all in the name of stopping communism. Nixon was an anti-communist hardliner too. And it was Carter, not Reagan, who got the US involved in funding, arming and helping the mujahideen against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan (wiki “Operation Cyclone” if you don’t believe me). And all throughout this time, US intelligence agencies around the globe were engaging in all sorts of “choosing the lesser of two evils” dilemmas, backing very bad people in order to neutralize what we believed were even worse people.

    Compared to all that, what Reagan did was actually quite restrained and mild — or, at the very most, no different than standard American policy for half a century. Your list of Reagan’s supposed misdeeds is paltry compared to similar lists that could be (and have been) compiled for every president that preceded him. Reagan backed anti-communist guerrillas? Who sometimes engaged in brutal tactics? Puh-leeeze. What’s worse — some macho jerks in Central America briefly running around with guns in a doomed attempt to overthrow the Sandanistias — or all of Southeast Asia waist-deep in blood, charred remains and decapitated heads? What’s worse — allying with pro-Western dictators in the Third World, or allowing entire regions of the globe to fall under the soul-crushing boot of Stalinism, Maoism, Islamism, you-name-it? The Realpolitik of the era forced the US to acknowledge: there are no good guys, in most conflicts. The best we can do is choose one of the bad guys who seems most likely to help our interests in the long run.

    Your reviling of Reagan’s policies is itself a good example of Reagan Derangement Syndrome: You were obviously at that impressionable college age during his tenure, and you have an emotional investment in clinging now to the view of Reagan you developed then. But if you sweep away the emotions and look at his presidency from 30,000 feet — it was actually quite calm and mild compared to most of his predecessors. Did he get us into a major war? No. Did he make any radical changes in our foreign policy? No. Did he back anti-communist rebels and dictators? Yes — but no more so, and probably less than, his predecessors.

    As for domestic policy — the ’80s were a very calm period in the US domestically, compared to the social upheavals of the late ’50s through mid-’70s.

    And as for the ol’ chestnut of Reagan “kicking all the insane people out of the insane asylums so they were forced to wander the streets of California, and have been doing so to this day” — that’s an old slander against him that has been debunked many many times. When Pinel and Poussin in 18th century France freed the mentally ill from their chains in the asylums, they were (and still are) hailed as liberators and humanitarians. But when Reagan liberated the mentally ill from the hellish conditions of 1960s insane asylums, suddenly he’s a cruel sadist. By the way, Reagan’s policy is still upheld and encouraged by the current state government, which has an extensive “in home support services” system which spends tens of millions of dollars and goes to great lengths to keep mentally and physically disabled people out of medical institutions, which are seen as detrimental to their health. It all comes down to your framework — if a liberal does something, the good side of it is honored, but if a conservative does the same thing, he is reviled and hated for it. Of course, the truth is, Reagan was simply trying to balance the budget (which he did successfully) and decrease the size of the government; but the legend of his cruelty to the insane was planted then and continues to grow.

    On the racism angle: You put forth as your only evidence that his property deed riders contained a “no negroes” clause. Do you not remember that the Kennedy family compound deed had the same clause, as did the Bush compound in Kennebunkport? Such clauses were commonplace — almost universal — in wealthy areas around the country up through the 1970s and even beyond, and the people buying the properties had no control over the presence or content of the riders. If I remember correctly, nearly every deed in that wealthy part of Santa Barbara County had a similar ‘no negroes” clause, as did most of the properties in Westwood, the Hollywood Hills, Holmby Hills, and other parts of L.A. (Remember that the Los Angeles Country Club had a “No Jews Allowed” rule all the way up through the end of the 1960s.) Just because one was wealthy in Southern California and thereby bought a property that had a legacy “no negroes” rider clause on the deed did not mean that one was necessarily racist. Most deeds had such clauses, and often the owners were completely unaware of them (as I think the Bushes were until it was discovered by a reporter during the Bush I era).

    You also mention Reagan’s many infamous gaffes, inflammatory campaign strategies, and bad jokes. Again, need I trot out the endless litany of gaffes, inflammatory campaign strategies, and bad jokes committed by every single president, before and after Reagan? I’m not saying it was smart or wise for Reagan to have done these things, only that it is more evidence of “Reagan Derangement Syndrome” to point out as especially egregious his gaffes as compared to the even worse gaffes of other presidents.

    Look, I am no hardline conservative, and I never thought in my life I’d be defending Ronald Reagan against his detractors. But I see now, in retrospect, how ludicrous and inflated the accusations were against him, and despite the intense hatred he inspired on the Left, in truth his presidency was a pretty mild and smooth sailing. To point out his flaws, while ignoring worse flaws committed by his predecessors, is exactly the form of “derangement” I am talking about. It is not a “tu quoque logical fallacy” because the whole point of your argument is that Reagan is particularly evil compared to other Presidents. I’m merely pointing out that he wasn’t particularly evil compared to other Presidents, which is the only logical way to respond to your assertion. The fallacy that’s being committed here is the one of hypocrisy on the part of Reagan Derangement Sufferers who refuse to acknowledge the worse sins (if you see them that way) of all the other Presidents.

      

  78. 78Dave Surls on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm:

    “It’s true that British and Soviet forces originally installed the Shah (Reza Khan) and the US had nothing to do with that.”

    Yes I know how Mohammad Reza Pahlavi became the Shah of Iran, that’s why I corrected you.

    “But are you overlooking something?”

    No, I don’t think so.

    “After Mossadegh was arrested and imprisoned on fake treason charges, the Shah was reinstalled by the US”

    We didn’t reinstall the Shah, because he was never uninstalled. All the United States did was support the existing head of state in Iran, just as we’d been doing since WWII. We didn’t install anyone, or reinstall anyone.

    “…to get rid of the enormously popular and democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh”

    Mosaddeq was a lot of things, but a democrat wasn’t one of them. He attained power after the previous prime minister, who stood in opposition to Mosaddeq’s political goals, was assassinated by Mosaddeq’s political allies. Once he got into power he demanded “emergency powers” and started ruling by decree, when Iran’s parliament started balking at his plans, he used a fake plebiscite (in which Mosaddeq recieved an amazing 99% of the vote) to disband the Iranian parliament, and when he was then lawfully requested to resign his government positions, he refused to comply, which act was the proximate cause for his removal by force. Assassination (and rioting, which was a frequent tactic employed by Mosaddeq’s supporters) as a route to get and keep power, invoking emergency powers to rule by decree, refusing the lawful commands of Iran’s head of state, rigging elections and arbitrarily dissolving legislative bodies aren’t exactly the pillars that democracy are built on.

    And, he was none too popular at the time of his removal. If he’d been popular he wouldn’t have had any need to disband the Iranian parliament.

    The United States didn’t help overthrow an “enormously popular and democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister” but rather helped overthrow a not very popular despot, and also helped to restore a constitutional monarchy, which had been far more democratic than Mosaddeq ever was.

      

  79. 79Dave Surls on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:49 pm:

    “With regard to this analysis, Zombie would need to demonstrate that her assertion that there is a “derangement syndrome” by showing how these criticisms of Bush and Reagan are not valid and solely reflect irrational biases of the left. But she doesn’t demonstrate that, she just asserts it as a fact. Since it can easily be established that there are, in fact, legitimate reasons for discontent or anger over Bush’s or Reagan’s foreign policies…”

    As I’ve explained (in post 67), most of the foreign policies that the maker of map is sneering at in seeming disapproval, are in fact, policies initiated by liberal Democrats (aka leftists), not by Ronald Reagan. Like I said, it’s not the world according to Ronald Reagan, it’s the world the way it really is (from our POV), and it’s a world created mainly by liberal Democrats.

    As for derangement…liberals are deranged because they first initiate a policy (like putting troops and missiles into western Europe to block the commies), then howl in outrage when Reagan simply continues THEIR policy.

    Liberals are deranged because one minute they’re pouring massive amounts of military and financial aid into the hands of a Joseph Stalin or Chiang Kai Chek (or later on, into the hands of some not overly restrained rebels in Afghanistan and into the hands of a despotic government in Egypt)…and the next minute they’re screaming bloody murder because the Reagan administration is extending a very limited amount of aid to the oh-so-brutal Contras in Nicaragua or to the oh-so-brutal government in El Salvador.

      

  80. 80SashaA on Jun 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm:

    Zombie –

    You launching into a big tirade about how Reagan was any worse or was in fact much milder than his predecessors is completely beside the point. I think it’s clear from my posts that I am not personally engaging in vitriol against Reagan, but was presenting the viewpoint and legitimate criticisms of him at the time, which gave lie to the argument that there was something irrational about criticising him.

      

  81. 81SashaA on Jun 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm:

    “As for derangement…liberals are deranged because they first initiate a policy (like putting troops and missiles into western Europe to block the commies), then howl in outrage when Reagan simply continues THEIR policy.”

    Dave –

    it seems obvious to me that at the time the liberals implemented certain policies and they supported them because the political landscape was a certain way. The tremendous strength the Soviets displayed during WWII was impressive and frightening. They did role tanks into European cities. They were expansionist. 40 years later, though, a president interfering with socialist policies in Central America is quite different and that was seen in a different light. First of all, circumstances (the political landscape) had dramatically changed and second of all, by that time, there was no serious chance of those Central American polical changes leading to Soviet or Communist Chinese invasion.There’s no derangement there.

    Also, Mossadegh was popular enough that the Shah didn’t dare oppose him openly and so the coup was staged. Because it failed, initially the Shah escaped to Rome where the CIA dictated the decrees he signed against Mossadegh. They helped him return when the made another coup attempt and were successful. This is historical fact.

    It is true that liberals will criticize conservative leaders for things they have supported before under liberal leaders or that leaders they admire have also done, but since this is also very true of conservatives, why call it “derangement”? I find this kind of rhetoric ugly. It is a twist of a phrase that was used to describe people like the guy who shot police officers out of a truly deranged notion that Obama or his representatives were coming at that moment presumably to take his guns. Why take something like that and turn it on people who have legitimate criticisms of certain leader’s foreign policy decisions? It is symptomatic of an intense — and I think unhealthy — partisan rivalry that is just seems to be getting uglier and uglier. I don’t want to participate in it, which is why I am not making counter attacks on conservatives here. This is an American problem and we need to tone down hostile rhetoric and build up the We have a very good system here and our elections are typically unmarred by violence, unlike many governments in the world. We’ve had a peaceful transfer of about and power-sharing for over two hundred years. That’s unprecedented in the world. This is a strength of our country. But we mustn’t take that for granted. We need to rebuild partisan civility and it starts with not indulging in ugly rhetoric.

      

  82. 82SashaA on Jun 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm:

    Sorry for all my typos. Hope you can make sense of it.

      

  83. 83SashaA on Jun 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm:

    Also, Zombie and Dave, one last thing: we have no way of knowing the opinions of the people who were criticizing Reagan with regard to these other leaders and their policies and actions, so I don’t see how you can bring that into the argument. In fact, you’d probably be more accurate to assume that people who were particularly angry about Reagan’s Central America policies were also opposed to the Vietnam War, the Korean war and all the CIA intrigues.So, I didn’t argue the generalization or the extrapolation you made to the right wing in general and I certainly didn’t assume that people who thought Reagan was terrible simulataneously thought all these other leaders were just terrific. If you thought I was arguing that Reagan was particularly evil, you misread my posts. I think I made it clear that it was possible Reagan didn’t know about the negroes clause or that it was standard and didn’t reflect his views. I was just reporting to you that I had read it in the press and so it was common knowledge a possible reason people might think he had racist views. I thought I made it clear that I was talking about the viewpoints that were held about him at the time.

    “Look, I am no hardline conservative, and I never thought in my life I’d be defending Ronald Reagan against his detractors. But I see now, in retrospect, how ludicrous and inflated the accusations were against him, and despite the intense hatred he inspired on the Left, in truth his presidency was a pretty mild and smooth sailing. To point out his flaws, while ignoring worse flaws committed by his predecessors, is exactly the form of “derangement” I am talking about. It is not a “tu quoque logical fallacy” because the whole point of your argument is that Reagan is particularly evil compared to other Presidents. I’m merely pointing out that he wasn’t particularly evil compared to other Presidents, which is the only logical way to respond to your assertion. The fallacy that’s being committed here is the one of hypocrisy on the part of Reagan Derangement Sufferers who refuse to acknowledge the worse sins (if you see them that way) of all the other Presidents.”

    There was no need for anyone to address the worse sins of other presidents since Reagan was the topic of conversation. What’s strange to me is your unwillingness to confront head on actual criticisms of Reagan in an honest manner instead of downplaying them or making these tu quo que misdirections. I was a young teen when he became president. I was there and I was interested in politics. His presidency was much just more controversial at the time than it is portrayed today and for someone to look back at the past with the luxury of retrospective, and none of the sense of imminent doom that was around at the time, to turn around and call people who had strong negative attitudes toward his policies and behaviors “deranged” or “hypocritical” is not that clear-sighted. I’m sorry to say so. I have respect for you, but you are not correct. You are underplaying Reagan’s flaws and mistakes to make the left seem insane. I just don’t think that’s very responsible or honest.

      

  84. 84SashaA on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:15 pm:

    “It is not a “tu quoque logical fallacy” because the whole point of your argument is that Reagan is particularly evil compared to other Presidents. I’m merely pointing out that he wasn’t particularly evil compared to other Presidents, which is the only logical way to respond to your assertion.”

    Just to make this perfectly clear, you did misread the whole point of my argument if you think that I was arguing that Reagan is particularly evil compared to other presidents. Maybe you have me mixed up with another poster or you read a tone into my post that wasn’t there. I’m not only not emotionally invested in negativity toward Reagan, I actually appreciate him more now than I ever have. I am more conservative now than I ever have been, which is also not hardline conservative, but perhaps even to the right of you. I just don’t feel compelled to defend any Republican enters into the conversation and I don’t feel compelled to slam all liberals. I think I understand both points of view pretty well. Since you missed it, I will reiterate that the whole point of my argument was to illustrate the validity of some of the criticisms of Reagan’s foreign policy, because you were asserting that the negativity toward Reagan demonstrated by the map was just irrational and deranged.

      

  85. 85Dave Surls on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm:

    “There was no need for anyone to address the worse sins of other presidents since Reagan was the topic of conversation.”

    I thought the topic was the looney-tune views of the left wing as reflected by the “The World According to Ronald Reagan” poster that Zombie bought.

      

  86. 86zombie on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:56 pm:

    #83 SashaA:

    I just don’t feel compelled to defend any Republican enters into the conversation and I don’t feel compelled to slam all liberals.

    I don’t feel compelled to defend any and all Republicans. The first Republican I ever voted for was in 2004, in case you’re curious. Before that, I would have keeled over laughing if anyone had suggested I’d ever vote for any Republican candidate.

    But with age comes wisdom (as long as one continues to learn to and keep an open mind). And 9/11 ripped the mask off a lot of lies.

    So don’t imagine I’m just a knee-jerk Reagan supporter. I’m not.

    people who were particularly angry about Reagan’s Central America policies were also opposed to the Vietnam War, the Korean war and all the CIA intrigues.So, I didn’t argue the generalization or the extrapolation you made to the right wing in general and I certainly didn’t assume that people who thought Reagan was terrible simulataneously thought all these other leaders were just terrific.

    Ah HA! Now we’re getting down to the nubbin of the matter. You are correct — many of the same people who opposed Reagan’s anti-communist policies also opposed the anti-Communist policies of earlier Presidents. The reason? They were pro-communist! There was always that undercurrent on the far left-wing of American politics, but what happened by the 1980s is that what was once a fringe belief had been successfully mainstreamed and adopted by legions of ignorant youngsters who hated Reagan without understanding that by so doing they were pulling weight for the communists. (See my Gramsci post for an explanation of how that came about.)

    And that’s the real point I’m trying to make by discussing this map: The people who opposed Reagan’s policies were either consciously or unknowingly supporting the communists. So in some small way, this map is actually a little piece of communist propaganda.

    The vast majority of anti-Reagan criticisms in the 1980s were baseless– something that can only really be appreciated in retrospect. The people behind the scenes coordinating the criticism in reality were hoping for Reagan to fail and communism to become ascendant. I didn’t realize this when I was young, but I do now.

    Incredibly, many modern “progressives” still haven’t felt the necessary thwack of the clue-bat, and still parrot Marxist yammerings without having the slightest glimmer of why.

      

  87. 87Andrew Brehm on Jun 27, 2009 at 2:23 am:

    The actual native inhabitants of northern Africa west of Egypt are the Imazighen (Berbers).

    When European countries were meant to “decolonise” those areas, they simply handed them over to Arab rule instead. Since then the world is convinced that Northwest-Africa is “Arab”. It’s not.

    Many people, especially on the left, are convinced that the middle east and northern Africa must be “Arab”, with disagreements over whether Israel should also be Arab or not. In reality, the Arab League is an empire just like the European empires, but with a get-out-of-prison card which many liberals respect.

    Slavery and genocide against Africans (actual “negroes”) in Sudan, genocide against Kurds in Iraq, oppression of Kurds, Assyrians, and Aramaeans in Iraq and Syria, and of Imazighen in Libya, Algeria, and even Morocco don’t matter. The land remains “Arab”.

    Our left-wing friend who drew the map accidentally got something almost right. While the Berbers are not “negroes” (a word one really only finds in use among liberals for some reason), they are, indeed, not Arabs.

    And, ironically, our liberal friends included Hejaz (the Mecca/Medina region) in Israel. The KIngdom of Hejaz was ruled by the Hashemites who had an agreement with the Zionists. It was invaded by the Saudis in 1926 and ultimately incorporated into Saudi-Arabia. But this is not what people mean when they speak of the “illegal occupation” of a Muslim holy city. Saudi-Arabia, and that’s important, like North-Vietnam is allows to occupy and annex other countries.

    One might say that allowing Saudi-Arabia and North-Vietnam to annex land but forbidding Israel to do the same is anti-Semitism. But as any liberal will tell you, that’s not true. Although I do wonder whether North-Vietnam’s annexation of South-Vietnam would have been accepted by the international community of North-Vietnam had been Jewish. (And what if Saudi-Arabia had been the collaborators with the Zionists? Would the occupation of Mecca be illegal?)

      

  88. 88Andrew Brehm on Jun 27, 2009 at 2:24 am:

    “opposed to[...] the Korean war”

    And we all know how happy North-Koreans are for that.

      

  89. 89Dave Surls on Jun 27, 2009 at 9:42 am:

    “Also, Mossadegh was popular enough that the Shah didn’t dare oppose him openly…”

    If Mosaddeq had been popular he wouldn’t have needed to abolish the secret ballot, rig an election, and dissolve the Iranian parliament.

    It’s also kind of hard to “openly” oppose a faction that employs assassination, rioting, fixed elections, and then, when all else fails, dissolves parliament in order to retain power.

    Your options are kind of limited. You either fight fire with fire…or knuckle under.

    “What about the 1953 coup staged by British and American spies, which Eisenhower authorized as “Operation Ajax,” to get rid of the enormously popular and democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh…After Mossadegh was arrested and imprisoned on fake treason charges, the Shah was reinstalled by the US.”

    All boilerplate anti-American propaganda (you can see the same sort of stuff at just about any commie website that talks about Iran, btw). It’s either flatly not true, or else a gross distortion of what really took place. Same sort of hogwash typified by the poster Zombie bought. Lefty derangement writ large.

      

  90. 90SashaA on Jun 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm:

    “But with age comes wisdom (as long as one continues to learn to and keep an open mind). And 9/11 ripped the mask off a lot of lies.”

    Zombie -

    Agreed. I hadn’t realized the influence of the far left either on some issues until recently. I thought it was very interesting that Pacifica Radio took down a debate between Christopher Hitchens and Chris Hedges, because Hitchens really showed him up. The problem is misinformation and distortions. It’s true that both sides do this and neither side thinks their side does it. I am really interested in the truth as it can be the only compass for realistic but ethical American policies.

    Speaking of which have you checked out this Norman Finkelstein situation:
    http://phibetacons.nationalreview.com/
    http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=2193

    This reminded me of what happened to Nonie Darwash, which I think I read about on your site.

      

  91. 91SashaA on Jun 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm:

    “All boilerplate anti-American propaganda (you can see the same sort of stuff at just about any commie website that talks about Iran, btw). It’s either flatly not true, or else a gross distortion of what really took place. Same sort of hogwash typified by the poster Zombie bought. Lefty derangement writ large.”

    Dave -

    Unfortunately, it’s not anti-American propaganda. I wish it were. The information about that coup comes straight from declassified CIA archives. Check out “Legacy of Ashes” an extensively and non-partisan history of the CIA. It’s based on on-the-record interviews with the involved officials and declassified documents and CIA histories. It’s fascinating and disturbing.The Iran coup set the stage for 40 years of interference and dirty dealing in Central America. What is interesting is that to a large degree their behavior left Reagan holding the bag. From Eisenhower to GW Bush, the agency habitually lied to the president in order to gain authorization and funding and to cover up for bad work.

      

  92. 92SashaA on Jun 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm:

    I meant “an extensively researched and non-partisan history of the CIA”

      

  93. 93Dave Surls on Jun 28, 2009 at 3:09 am:

    “Unfortunately, it’s not anti-American propaganda.”

    Yes, it is. And, I’ve already explained why.

      

  94. 94John A on Jul 11, 2009 at 1:58 am:

    Israel is so big in this rendition that it’s actually larger than the entire Muslim world — while actual maps show the situation is quite the opposite. (And why is Beirut shown as being inside Israel?)

    The obvious reason for that would have been the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel which went all the way up to and surrounded Beirut.

      

  95. 95GW Crawford on Aug 20, 2009 at 5:02 am:

    I see the apologists for the greatest evil of the 20th century are out in force.

    So when Germany was united, all the signs in Russian for streets in the Netherlands, all in good fun for tourists?

    Do not fool yourself, they had every intention of attacking but an ass-kicking by the Third Reich convinvced them that a premature attack on the West was suicide. So, using what Mr. Dzughasvilli referred to as “useful idiots”, they sought to undermine us first

    They were winning. Where they had troubles, we recognized their “legitimate sphere of interest” (Dear Czechoslovakia – please obey your new masters, we are abandoning you to evil… AGAIN! Dear Hungary – Rotsa Ruck!). When they attacked into our “sphere” we had people rallying to stop our “imperialist aggression” (Dear People of South Vietnam – buh-bye! Have fun with an NVA Armoured Regiment!)

    Then came Reagan. He recognized our greatest strength, economic. The left felt that Marx’s history, as written by the prophet in his holy writings, showed their economic superiority.

    Ronnie was about to teach them a lesson.

      

  96. 96Anonymous on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:11 am:

    We fought – and are still fighting – the wrong war! The USSR collapsed; we hung Saddam Hussein; but we have abandoned liberty and free markets “in order to win the war.”

    In reality, had we stuck to the principles of liberty and free markets, we would be so far ahead of where we are economically that the communists and any other potential enemy would simply be incapable of posing any threat. The greatest threats to America are self-inflicted. We have a humongous deficit not because of anything done by any external communist or Islamic country, but by our own socialist/fascist/corporatist government – all in the name of “freedom”, of course. The statists have won the battle of the mind and subverted our entire political discussion; anybody who suggests that free markets are actually morally and practically better than the unholy marriage of corporation and government which we endure today is laughed out of court. So-called “conservatives” have no greater agenda than to prop up the warfare state; the left makes token opposition to war, but the most powerful Democratic politicians vote for continuation of the same, as does the GOP.

      

  97. 97Anonymous on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:23 am:

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/1101i.asp – the Conquest of the United States by Spain – explains how we have been losing the war of ideas, one foolish conquest after another, for the past century.

    Nowhere is this more obvious than in the financial crisis. Our dollar is now the “reserve currency of the world” – but is backed by nothing but faith, which is vanishing as rapidly as our debt is rising. We have won every battle, but we are ultimately losing the war. Our long road to defeat began on the battleground of the mind.

      

  98. 98greenjeans on Aug 12, 2010 at 2:18 am:

    i’m from a hardcore fascist family but me myself i’m pretty much apolitical. I find the map to be pretty funny. I don’t think the map was done by leftists that were satirizing ronald reagan but rather most likely foreigners making fun of america’s general view of the world. I once saw a similar map called “The world according to Romans” with Rome huge and the rest of Italy and the world tiny except for Colombia (entitled as Cocaina) and Sicily (entitled mafialandia).

      

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