Sunday, August 13, 2006

Did you drop that quote?

Here's some further comments on my brother's blog from August 11, 2006. I've indicated his direct quotes by placing them slash marks around them://.

//You seem to like Ann Coulter so much, let's talk about her. Does she have some good points? Sure. Does any person other than extreme right wing individuals listen to her? No, because she's incredibly caustic and (frankly) annoying at times.
If you just want to make fun of and ridicule people that (in your mind) are going straight to hell, then be my guest. //

Eli, Eli, Eli! Please read her book "Godless" before you pass judgement on her. I read it a few weeks ago, and I found it to be simply amazing. Plus, it's not just extreme right-wing individuals who read her books. "Godless" topped the New York Times Bestseller List -- so unless it's just conservatives that are buying and reading books nowadays, more than a few liberals must have bought copies and read some of her book!
Plus, TIME magazine printed an interview with Ann Coulter (it's here). There are specific pages and quotes cited by the interviewer, John Cloud. So someone at TIME magazine must have at least browsed the book to find quotes to ask Ann about.
Some see Ann as an angry person, incessantly lashing out at others. Actually, I think she has a very well developed sense of irony. Here's a sample of her writing:

Cybercast News Service: What do liberal environmentalists have against toilets that use water?
Ann Coulter: They admire the living situation of the earthworm and believe humans should emulate it.
Cybercast News Service: Do you think Democrats will ever nominate a presidential candidate who's considered pro-life?
Ann Coulter: Sure, right after they invent a time machine and nominate a Democrat who can be trusted on national defense.

//However, because many liberals try and incorporate at least a speck of reason into their arguments, it's much less painful to listen to them.//

I don't usually find liberals' statements to be particularly reasonable. Instead of lumping liberals into a pile and speaking of them generically, I'm going to share some quotes from popular Democratic politicians (past & present):
"We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society." Hillary Clinton, in 1993 (quoted here).

Madeline Albright had this to say (the "time since" refers to her swearing in as Clinton's Secretary of State):
"In the time since, I have clearly not pleased everyone, but I have made an impression on a few. A national publication named me one of the world's twenty-five most intriguing people--along with a cloned sheep. Slobodan Milosevic's press referred to me as "elderly, but dangerous." And some fourth graders in Minnesota put me in their wax museum along with Moses and Dr. Seuss." (Albright, Madeleine Korbel "Women in American Foreign Policy" SAIS Review - Volume 20, Number 2, Summer-Fall 2000, pp. 65-70, available here)

A few years ago, one Czech man asked Madeline Albright this question at a book signing:
"Although I am not Jewish, myself, I strongly support Israel as being the civilization that is in the vanguard of the global war on terrorism. Madam Secretary, in light of all that has happened since the beginning of the current Intifada in 2000, do you regret having had a role in inviting Yasir Arafat to the White House? "

You can read her answer here.

This next section shows the evolution of Madeline Albright's views on Iraq. Listen closely. She made these statements during a November 12, 1998 interview with Margaret Warner). This was just before Operation Desert Fox (a military bombstrike that took place December 16 ,1998 through December 19 ,1998 under Clinton).
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "We are not just desirous of bombing for the sake of bombing, but the purpose here is to make sure that he does not have that weapons of mass destruction capability, and the thing to remember, Margaret, is at the end of the Gulf War, as part of a cease-fire agreement, he agreed to dismantle all his weapons of mass destruction. That was the deal he made, and like everything else, he violates his deal."

"Well, let me say, we were - when we came into office, we were left with Saddam Hussein in power. That is how the Gulf War ended, and the decision was made at that stage, and I have said and I will repeat that we would look forward to working with a post-Saddam regime, and we are going to be working even more actively with the opposition groups -- Congress has passed a law, the president has signed, that we will be working with them in terms of organizing and assisting, then get themselves organized, and we, as I've said, look forward to working with a post-Saddam regime that will not violate the human rights of the Iraqi people or threaten their neighbors."

"So we care a lot more about the Iraqi people than Saddam Hussein does, and he is the one who is ruining their lives, and this, again, is one of these things where Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz just kind of pass the blame off to somebody else. The sole responsibility for the condition of the Iraqi people rests with their dictator, Saddam Hussein. "

Clinton, Albright, Berger and other liberal notables have been known to decry Hussein's development of Weapons of Mass Destruction. A few of their quotes (from the preIraq war days) are collected here.)

So what did liberals say after that?
"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country. "
(Al Gore, on September 23, 2002 -- see the link above).

What is Madeline Albright saying now?
"And so the United States duly went to war against Iraq, despite having convinced only four members of the UN Security Council to back the action."

So, Madame Secretary only supports US action in Iraq when Clinton is at the helm, as in Operation Desert Fox? Oh no. There's another option, as presented in From Albright's article Bridges, Bombs, or Bluster? in Foreign Affairs, September/October 2003:
"Moreover, I remain convinced that had Al Gore been elected president, and had the attacks of September 11 still happened, the United States and NATO would have gone to war in Afghanistan together, then deployed forces all around that country and stayed to rebuild it. Democrats, after all, confess support for nation building, and also believe in finishing the jobs we start. I also believe the United States and NATO together would have remained focused on fighting al Qaeda and would not have pretended -- and certainly would not have been allowed to get away with pretending -- that the ongoing failure to capture Osama bin Laden did not matter. As for Saddam, I believe the Gore team would have read the intelligence information about his activities differently and concluded that a war against Iraq, although justifiable, was not essential in the short term to protect U.S. security. A policy of containment would have been sufficient while the administration pursued the criminals who had murdered thousands on American soil."

//They're used to identifying "truth" by having it spoonfed to them by someone else. If they blindly believe what their pastor/president/pundit tells them, why shouldn't they believe the words of someone on television as well? //

The term "spoonfed" reminds me of the mainstream media. How many people simply digest and regurgitate the views they've heard on CNN or ABC? How many people think critically about the views and or biases of Barbara Walters or even Oprah? Yes, conservatives can be gullible. But gullibility is not exclusively a conservative ailment.

//Exactly. But as I pointed out before, liberals (at least most of the ones I've had contact with) are raised with a mentality geared toward questioning/dissatisfaction with the status quo. Conservatives, on the other hand, are trained from day one to just accept truth as it's handed to them and not ask questions. //

If liberals are so dissatisfied with the status quo, then why is Ted Kennedy such a vehement defender of Roe vs. Wade? Why is welfare coddled and a failing public school system bolstered by liberals?

Well, I classify myself as a conservative, and I have a question for you:
Which book would you rather read?

Picture References: 1 & 2.

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