Progressive San Francisco can rest easy knowing that the SF Bay Guardian is doing some Deep Thinking about History and this War on Terror business. In the current Guardian, Tim Redmond dusts off his Good Guy/Bad Guy theory of history:
If I were a Bad Guy and I say the baby boomers with all their energy and idealism and potential and I wanted to be sure that they never became a threat to the total dominance of private capital in America, I would have killed a president, covered it up, gone to war for no good reason, spied on them or their friends---and given an entire generation every reason to see that government was the enemy. And it would have worked. (SF Bay Guardian, 9-13-06)
Guess who the Good Guys are? Redmond and the whole baby boomer generation! The capitalists just knew that Redmond and the baby boomers were going to be energetic idealists, so they killed President Kennedy, and went to war---Vietnam? Iraq? Doesn't matter, since all wars are about capital, right?---and made Redmond and his generation enemies of Good Government, which is why we don't have national health insurance. But the thing to remember is this: Recent American history is all about Redmond and his generation.
How does Redmond arrive at his profound historical insights? He just knows, that's how:
My son, Michael, won't remember Sept. 11, 2001. He was barely two years old. But I'll never forget the nervous feeling I got when I dropped him off at day care that morning. And I'll never forget the realization that from the moment I started hearing news reports, I knew the government was lying to me. I can't sort out all the Kennedy conspiracies and honestly, I don't know exactly what happened on the day after my parents' wedding anniversary five years ago...This doesn't make me terribly comfortable.
What exactly does the JFK assassination have to do with 9/11? Redmond admits he can't sort it all out. He just knows something is fishy, that there must be some connection, and anyhow it's all about "private capital." What do Redmond's parents, his two-year-old son, and his personal discomfort have to do with 9/11? Because it's all about him, that's what, the Good Guy with parents and a kid that he has to drop off at day care, for Chrissake!
In an unsigned editorial---Redmond? Brugmann?---on the anniversary of 9/11 in the same issue, we learn that the war in Iraq is "pointless":
This will be the enduring historical legacy of the Bush administration: At last count, 2,996 dead or presumed dead at the World Trade Center. At last count, 2,668 US soldiers dead in Iraq. At least 41,650 civilian casualties of that war.
Citing casualty numbers is a meaningless way to determine whether a war is/was worth fighting. After all 407,316 Americans died in World War II, 373,458 died in the Civil War, and 4,435 died in the Revolutionary War. Is counting casualties how we decide whether those wars were worth fighting? Nope. And who, by the way, is responsible for almost all the civilian casualties in Iraq? The people we and the elected government of Iraq are fighting, the anti-Shiite Sunnis, al Qaeda and assorted Iraqi religious fanatics, the car bombers and the suicide bombers.
As a special bonus, the Guardian also has an opinion piece by Krissy Keefer, Green Party candidate against Nancy Pelosi for the 8th Congressional District. Like Redmond Keefer conflates the JFK assassination with 9/11: "Finally, we have had to let go of the assumption that our government would protect its own people, as we ask: when did the Bush team know about Sept. 11? Will this question take as long to answer as 'Who killed JFK'"? In spite of its muddled formulation, the question clearly implies that the Bush administration had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attack. Keefer doesn't provide any facts or an argument on either 9/11 or the JFK assassination, but, like Redmond, she just knows something's fishy here. Like Redmond, she doesn't have to have any information or do any analysis to know that the US government represents the Bad Guys and that Bush used 9/11 "as a pretext to undermine the pillars of democracy."
Keefer is so convinced that the US is governed by "a criminal administration" that she of course supports Supervisor Daly's November ballot measure calling for the impeachment of President Bush. Tim Redmond, Krissy Keefer, and Chris Daly are doing all this Big Thinking just for you, you poor bastards!
Labels: Tim Redmond