Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Kelly's latest trash

Could there be a fouler, more dishonest, more obtuse writer walking the face of this planet than Michael Kelly? There are only two options when considering a man like this: he’s either incredibly stupid or a liar.

Actually, the third option, and probably the one that rings more true to me than the others, is that both previous options are true.

Let’s look at today’s horribly trashy column piece-by-piece, in which he serves us garbage disposal leavings and calls it Thanksgiving turkey.

Paragraph 1: He uses the word “important” eight times, driving home his point not, of course, that he was dealing with an important issue – how America should deal with a foreign leader who acts like a sleepy pit bull – but to show you how “important” he was apparently supposed to feel while talking to this unnamed person. He says the person to whom he was speaking was trying to tell him that the Clinton Administration’s policies were “deep and subtle and clever,” while Kelly sat there and tried to look smart in a “Kissingerian,” and “Lippmannesque” fashion. Here, he’s throwing meat to the right-wingers, saying, in effect, “Ooooh, those Clinton people thought they were so smart. We showed them.”

As Walter Lippmann himself put it, “Brains, you know, are suspect in the Republican party.”

Paragraph 2: Here Kelly takes a shot at his “betters,” suggesting, when he says that he had probably been mistaken for Tom Friedman or Bob Woodward, that the White House cozied up to those writers. He’s trying to kill two birds with one stone here, also suggesting that these journalists aren’t to be read because they’re biased. He closes the graph with a self-effacing bit about how he’s not as attractive as Bob Woodward. He should have pointed out how he’s not as bright as Tom Friedman, but we’ll call this a stylistic, editorial difference and let it go.

Paragraph 3: Describes a film noir, “straight to video” scene in which Kelly mentions that the Clinton’s darn Iraq plan didn’t seem to be working very well. Points out that he’s not very sure what was going on in Iraq at the time.

Paragraph 4: Here Kelly is supposedly making some point about how the person was stupid because the Clinton Administration actually felt that it ought to follow the UN policy of using sanctions and not just start bombing indiscriminately.

Paragraph 5: Idiocy.

Paragraph 6: Says that Clinton only wanted to impress columnists, not make the world a safer place.

Paragraph 7: This is one of the dumbest paragraphs I’ve read all year. Let’s lay it all out for you:

“Liberals, in the Democratic Party and in their media and academic institutional bases, persist in seeing the accruing foreign policy triumphs of the Bush administration as accidents of history occurring within an aberration of history. This could not be more wrong. The accidents, and the larger aberration, belonged to the years this administration has led us out of, the long years of suspension of disbelief that constituted Clinton foreign policy in practice.”

First, what “media base” is he talking about? The Washington Post? Could that be it? If liberals have a “media base” left in this entire country, it’s the equivalent of the cold shacks Luke Skywalker defended on the ice planet in The Empire Strikes Back. There is simply too much evidence that the “liberal media” doesn’t exist to go into here, but check out everything Bob Somerby has written for the past three years and try to tell me how liberal the media is.

Second, what foreign policy triumphs? The man who, one paragraph before, said that reality is “defined by the consequences of policies” is now trying to say that simply bending the world to your will is a “triumph.” And Bush didn’t even do that. Bush wanted to charge in, all “damn the torpedoes” and “you’re with us or against us.” It took Democrats and world opinion to get him to think that violating international law might not be the best step.

Third, Clinton foreign policy achieved the following:

- restored democratically elected Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide to power

- helped to promote peace in the Middle East by helping Israel and Jordan achieve a historic peace agreement

- persuaded Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazahkstan to give up nuclear weapons that were left behind when the Soviet Union collapsed

- got North Korea to sign off on not building a nuclear program (that Bush knee-capped by letting them off the hook for inspections)

- led the international effort to ensure the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, thus helping to stop the spread of nuclear weapons around the world

- maintained strong sanctions against Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Sudan for their continued support of state sponsored terrorism

- undertook diplomatic and military action to help stop the suffering in Bosnia and lead the effort to broker a comprehensive peace treaty

- signed the North American Free Trade

- signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the largest trade agreement in history

- reached a landmark agreement with Japan, which will open its automobile market to billions of dollars worth of American cars and parts

- developed a national export strategy aimed at eliminating export controls on billions of dollars of United States exports

Paragraph 8: More idiocy – Clinton all polls, no action.

Paragraph 9: Another paragraph that needs much discussion. Kelly acts like Clinton did nothing to combat Hussein’s numerous violations of treaty. Mr. Peabody, let’s set the Wayback Machine to 1998, the year of “Mr. Kelly’s Important Meeting” (sounds like a chapter in the Wind in the Willows, doesn’t it?). Clinton signs off on Operation Desert Fox and is accused of using it to cover up his impeachment scandal. This man had been dealing with this Republican B.S. for eight years by this time. (Eight years? Read this.) He was called partisan at every turn. He couldn’t get the support of Republicans to save his life.

Rep. Gerald Solomon (R.-NY) said, it was “obvious that they're (the Clinton White House) doing everything they can to postpone the vote on this impeachment in order to try to get whatever kind of leverage they can, and the American people ought to be as outraged as I am about it." Imagine a Democrat saying that today.

Kelly even tries to say that bin Laden saw in Clinton’s policies our soft underbelly and, therefore, decided that he could attack. The exact opposite is true here, Mike. Clinton couldn’t get the support required to attack a friggin’ hot dog with relish. Bush has the political power he has because of September 11th. Period. If the same event had happened on Clinton’s watch, even the obstructionist pricks who make up the Republican Party would have had to understand that politicking isn’t the point, but is a tool to get your point across. That, or they would have been gone (as most of those impeachment time wasters are). Clinton would have responded in probably much the same manner as Bush and wouldn’t have needed to have been yelled at for months before bringing the UN onboard.

Paragraph 10: Kelly thanks God that we didn’t walk away from the Middle East after September 11th. He’s right. Bush had walked away before then and only turned back when the attack occurred.

Finally, this is what you get from Mr. Kelly: lies, distortions and ignorance. This Thanksgiving, I’m going to be thankful that I live in a country where, for now, until I'm "disappeared" by Poindexter and Ashcroft, I can do my small part to fight Kelly and his bullshit friends.


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