Side by side

Side by side
: Pedram takes a very simplistic view of left and right when he continues to insist that I must be a right-wing nut if I supported the ouster of murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein. Says Pedram:

Jeff Jarvis did not like it when I suggested that his views on Iraq puts him in-line with the extreme right. Life is tough. You make your bed, you lay in it. He chose to take those positions and he shall live with that.

One of his commenters responds:

So supporting the ouster of a mass-murdering fascist who launched two unprovoked wars, gassed tens of thousands of people, and executed hundreds of thousands more now makes a person a right-wing extremist?

You know, there was a time when the left castigated the right for supporting characters half as brutal as Saddam (Pinochet, Suharto, Pahlavi, etc.). Yet America is now also criticized by the left when it decides that it’s better not to support such a character. And the French, who sucked up to Saddam in much the same way that America once sucked up to Pinochet and Pahlavi, doing multi-billion dollar oil deals and selling him a nuclear reactor, are praised for being “principled.” Orwell must be laughing in his grave.

First, supporting the war is not necessarily a right-wing stance. I disagreed from the first with Bush’s case for war. To me, it was a humanitarian issue; the more we knew about Saddam Hussein, the more wrong we were to allow him to stay in power. It wasn’t a matter of weapons of mass destruction. It was a matter of mass graves. It was right to get rid of him; it would have been wrong to allow him to continue his tyranny; that is a humanist — a leftist — position.

And one issue does not a rightist or leftist make.

If I’m for gun control and for the war, which am I?

If I’m for freedom of choice and the war, which am I?

If I’m for national health care and the war, which am I?

If I’m against the tax cut and the huge Bush deficit, what am I?

No, Pedram, my friend, the world isn’t as simple as that. Would that it were, but it’s not.

  • s’mahvelous

    One of the biggest benefits of the blogosphere is being able to avoid simplistic labels such as right and left. As a former liberal, now republican neo-con, I am glad to see that there is a place for those of us who toe no party lines.
    I am a gay-marriage supporting, gun loving, fiscal disciplinarian, pro-environment, war supporter. So, I’m a right-wing extremist, right?

  • http://www.lolajl.net/iranblog/ Lola

    Yeah – am a registered Democrat but I can’t stand any of the current candidates – does that make me a right-wing wanna-be?

  • Joshua Chamberlain

    I’ve long since stop paying any attention to Pedram. People visit his site because he’s Iranian, but his content is the usual anti-American, post-modern, leftist nonsense. I can visit Indymedia if I want that.

  • KMK

    Is it possible to be a conservative libertarian?

  • http://www.donaldsensing.com Donald Sensing

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I oppose legalized abortion on demand, so all the righties think I’m one of them. I also have worked to abolish the death penalty, so all the lefties think I’m one of them.
    They are both wrong.

  • Soren Ryherd

    It’s only because we have a two-party system that everything becomes so fuzzy. If we had a parliamentary system I’m sure we would have several mainstream parties reflecting the interesting present range of idealogies.
    I’m hankering for the Socialist Libertarians myself. Heh.

  • http://www.eyeranian.net Pedram M.

    s’mahvelous – You most cerainly are, even if you don’t like to think of yourself as one.
    Joshua Chamberlain – I’m sad to have lost one reader. But then again, if you don’t want to keep your mind open about differet ideas, there would be no point for you to read my blog. Anti-American? You certainly need to learn that dissent is far more American than blind-patritism. Just remember; I don’t have to like Bush to love America.
    As for the “comment” Jeff refers to; fighting tyrany is certainly not right-wing. Are we ever going to invade Pakistan to get rid of a dictator that came to power by a coup? No. We apply our principals very selectively. Tyrants are good as long as they are our puppets. Saddam was a dictator when he was killing Kurds and Iranians by cheical weapons. What did we do? supported him and in fact provided him with more weapons. He only became a vilan when we felt there were other puppets that could replace him to serve us better. So, we lied about our “evidence”, ignored UN and international community and invaded Iraq. You supported this pre-emptive strike notion, despite it being against international law. Now looking for excuses to justify yourselves won’t help. If you want to believe the lie that this invasion was to liberate Iraqis, I have this beautiful time-share for sale in Tikrit for sale, call me!

  • http://www.eyeranian.net Pedram M.

    Oh my friend Jeff, almost forgot to answer your question(s). As stated before;
    “In this struggle along the political spectrum to determine which side one belongs to, there are benchmarks that act as forks in the road. Take the wrong turn and you are quickly on the other camp, despite your previous positions or beliefs.”
    Which are you? As long as you support the illegal invasion, you are in the same camp with the former governor of Texas, even if you believe in other more progressive issues.
    You lost your way on one of those crucial forks on the road. It’s never too late to come back.

  • Puce

    pedo has cents as javri, LISTEN JEF

  • s’mahvelous

    Well, Pedram. Thanks for clearing that up. I feel like I should embrace my people now.
    And (silly boy) this war wasn’t about liberation. It was about killing lots of arabs. and whoever else got in the way. It’s really the only way we extremists are ever satisfied. We got tired of hanging niggars, and queers aren’t fun to beat up on anymore. So, the middle east is our b**ch now.
    Yee-haw.

  • Mark Bahner

    “Is it possible to be a conservative libertarian?”
    Of course it is. The honorable Ron Paul of Texas is definitely a conservative libertarian (and the 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. President).
    http://www.house.gov/paul/
    Thomas Sowell is a conservative libertarian:
    http://www.salon.com/books/int/1999/11/10/sowell/print.html
    There are many more.

  • Chris Josephson

    Dislike labels. Dislike people who feel the need to label. Don’t want to fit into someone’s pre-defined ‘box’ for me.
    I call myself an Independent because I like and loathe both left and right equally. Depends on issue and/or person where I stand. I think I’m an Independent because I come from a long line of liberal (in the classic meaning of the term) thinkers.
    Don’t fence – box – label me.

  • http://onlyalad.blogs.com/fotg/ Kombiz

    Yikes,
    Don’t jump Ron Paul down my throat please. As much as some on the right and left seem to adhore him, he’s xenophobic (read his views) and Pat Buchananist in his view. I don’t care that he didn’t support the war, I wouldn’t be an American citizen if for people like him.
    While I agree that Pedram’s view may be too simplistic, where were you on the questioning how we got to the war? Because of the way the war was set up and executed we have lost so much credibility, and that credibility is so important to push human rights (and real security) in other countries. Today we watch our friends in Russia continue to rape Chechnya, Indonessia in Aceh, and every state around Congo murdering people in the Congo (not to mention the deal we’ve made with the chinese). It’s obvious that we can’t even push our allies to stop the butchery much less “rogue states,” but it seems like your not covering where the administrations shortfalls are in the current occupation, too busy making sure that left wing goliath with no power doesn’t ruin everyone’s impression of the splendid war. Oh and let’s not forget everyone’s current campaign against the allpowerful BBC.

  • http://www.rooksrant.com Rook

    Ya, ya right wing nut! Hey wait……… I still believe in ousting Saddam. Ah, I still think we’d have to have gone in no matter what…… Does that make me a Wing Nut? Ah s**t, I hate when that happens!

  • linden

    As for the “comment” Jeff refers to; fighting tyrany is certainly not right-wing. Are we ever going to invade Pakistan to get rid of a dictator that came to power by a coup? No. We apply our principals very selectively. Tyrants are good as long as they are our puppets. Saddam was a dictator when he was killing Kurds and Iranians by cheical weapons. What did we do? supported him and in fact provided him with more weapons. He only became a vilan when we felt there were other puppets that could replace him to serve us better. So, we lied about our “evidence”, ignored UN and international community and invaded Iraq. You supported this pre-emptive strike notion, despite it being against international law. Now looking for excuses to justify yourselves won’t help. If you want to believe the lie that this invasion was to liberate Iraqis, I have this beautiful time-share for sale in Tikrit for sale, call me!
    I hear this crap way too often. 1. We can’t invade every state that sucks. And we can’t ignore every single dictator who treats his people horribly because then we’d be outgunned and outnumbered. Life is not black and white. Sometimes it is very very gray. It wasn’t ideal to ally with the USSR during World War II but we had no choice. Life is gray. The same people who accuse Bush of being too black and white, too simplistic, are themselves too black and white. Nothing we did is against international law. Pre-emptive war is not against international law. Oh, and if we’d ignored the UN, we would have never even brought the matter up to them in an attempt to get permission. Actually, if we’d ignored the UN back during the first Gulf War and had just taken out Hussein then, we would have saved ourselves and the Iraqi people a lot of grief.

  • linden

    I’m a liberal and cannot really begin to fathom how naive and uninformed many on the Left are. It boggles the mind.

  • T. Hartin

    Jeff, if you are for gun control, higher taxes, and socialized health care, you are certainly not a libertarian, a conservative, or a classical liberal. Anyone who wants to expand the power of the state as much as you do fits best in the leftist box when it comes to domestic policy. Assuming we need to put you in any box, of course, but politics is about the relationships between groups, so which group you fit in with best is a legitimate issue.
    Glad you got it right on the war, of course.

  • balbulican

    There certainly are a number of uninformed folks around, Linden. But I don’t think either side of the policital spectrum can claim precedence. How many of the Americans who actually believe that WMD have been found do you suppose are “leftists”? How many of those who think that Iraqi terrorists played a part in 9/11 do you think are “leftists”?
    What was that line about beams, motes, and eyes…

  • http://youngcurmudgeon.typepad.com/blog/ Eric Deamer

    Wow Pedram your views are so nuanced and complex, no simplistic black and white for you! See, being the right-wing extremist I am I like to think in reductive, binary terms, and paint any dissent form my views as heresy, but not you, sophisticated thinker you are. See, if right wing nutjobs like me were in charge it’s be all “Let the inquisition begin! Jeff Jarvis disagrees with one of my positions, so off with his head!” Thank god for open-minded liberals like you.

  • KMK

    “Is it possible to be a conservative libertarian”? I asked this because if you look at comments people lean left and right depending on the issue. Not to say we don’t have staunch left and right comments. Ron Paul and Thomas Sowell aren’t really good examples. Both claim they are libertarian and lean right. I’m looking for a true conservative libertarian. I’ve had it pointed out to me that it’s contradictory in theory. Depending on issues anyone can lean left or right. So I guess what I’m asking is, is it possible to a be conservative libertarian. To further that where is the representation in government?

  • balbulican

    “Pre-emptive was is not against international law”.
    Is it your suggestion, Linden, that Iraq was preparing to invade the US?

  • T. Hartin

    Tony Blair (another leftist who supported the war) put it well yesterday when he said that the outcome of the war – the destruction of a horrible tyrant – was nothing to apologize for, while the outcome of not going to war – the death of more innocents at the hands of the terror network supported by Saddam – would have been.

  • balbulican

    The war had several outcomes. Some were good…the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the end of a brutal regime. Some were bad…the new coupling of the doctrine of pre-emptive defense with the doctrine that a nation shall be the sole judge of what constitutes a threat to itself.
    Arguing the merits of the American invasion solely on the basis of the outcomes you like is a bit dishonest, no?

  • linden

    No, I don’t believe Iraq was amassing its troops along our border. But I do believe Hussein is connected to the terror network as are many dictators in the Middle East. We have a situation where IRA terrorists train others in Columbia, in the Middle East. They are all inter-connected.
    As for this comment:
    The war had several outcomes. Some were good…the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the end of a brutal regime. Some were bad…the new coupling of the doctrine of pre-emptive defense with the doctrine that a nation shall be the sole judge of what constitutes a threat to itself.
    Pre-emptive war is going to be mostly the threat that hangs over our enemy’s heads. We have to have them on the defensive. For the most part, it will largely serve as a warning. Basically, I ssuspect that minus another attack at home, we won’t be using it for quite some time. I don’t understand your complaint with regard to this statement “with the doctrine that a nation shall be the sole judge of what constitutes a threat to itself”. This has always been the law of the land everywhere. It is the way the world has worked for years. I see nothing wrong with it: I have the right to self-defense. Unilateral war is not and has never been illegal.