Friday, June 29, 2007

The World Can---and Will---Wait for 2008

A full-page ad in the New York Times last Friday is a nice illustration of anti-war hysteria from the left (http://worldcantwait.org/). Even allowing for some inevitable rhetorical excess, this latest call from the fringe left to impeach President Bush is over-the-top, even by fringe-left standards: "People look at all this and think of Hitler---and they are right to do so---The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come." Who writes this crap? In fact, who would even sign on to such a goofy analysis of the historical moment? (Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly would---and have---signed on) The Bush-is-Hitler trope hasn't been seen much since the initial invasion of Iraq; it was nutty and offensive then, and it still is four years later.

"Your government, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights." The war in Iraq is not illegitimate at all, since both Congress and the UN signed off on it before the invasion. Nor is it clear that the Bush Administration was lying when they said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They clearly believed it, and they weren't wrong to believe it. Whether it was sensible to invade Iraq, with or without WMD, is the question. The "other countries" is apparently a reference to Iran, and I've seen no evidence that the US is the least bit interested in invading that country.
 
What historical moment do these folks think we're living in? This sense of emergency had some justification three or four years ago, but not in 2007, when the American people have already turned against the war in Iraq, and the Democrats have taken over Congress. "This will not be easy. If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will try to stop us." Stop you from doing what? Stop you from saying what every liberal publication on and off the internet has been saying for years?
 
"The point is this: history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious." What "tremendous odds"? An overwhelming majority of Americans already agree that the war in Iraq was/is a mistake. The "victory"---if that's what it is---has already been won politically on the home front. The only thing to be decided is exactly when US troops come home.
 
That Mirkarimi and Daly signed on to this fringe effort to impeach President Bush is still another reason to think that their chances of ever being elected to higher office are slim to non-existent. Some of the other notables who have signed on for The World Can't Wait: State Senator Carole Migden, cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sean Penn, the Hip Hop Caucus, Michael Lerner, Al Sharpton, Cindy Sheehan, Gore Vidal, Alice Walker, Wavy Gravy, and Richard Serra, perhaps the most over-rated artist in the country. 

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Ross Mirkarimi: political ambulance chaser

D5 Supervisor Mirkarimi is demagoging the city's gun violence issue:
 
San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi blasted the mayor, police chief and district attorney following Thursday morning's shooting. Mirkarimi, who represents the neighborhood on the city's Board of Supervisors, said he came out to the scene of both shootings...Mirkarimi called for "an aggressive intervention to deal with the gun violence that's occurring between different housing developments." ("Pair of shootings rattle Western Addition housing," The City Star, June 15, 2007)
 
This is pure demagoguery, since Mirkarimi is implying that simply assigning city cops to an area can solve our Punks with Guns problem. And having a politician show up at a crime scene is the last thing city cops need. Mirkarimi has also done this after traffic accidents involving Muni, supposedly to show the D5 community his concern. The community would be better served if he stayed home and out of the SFPD's way, saving the demagoguery for the next day's press conference.

After the recent shootings in D5, Mirkarimi singled out District Attorney Kamala Harris for rebuke:
 
The supervisor said he is frustrated with District Attorney Kamala Harris's failure to aggressively prosecute cases he's referred to her office. "The district attorney needs to start prosecuting cases that show people you can't commit violent crime with impunity," Mirkarimi said. "You have---literally---elementary school kids and teenagers carrying guns and shooting people and not knowing the difference between right and wrong. If their parents and guardians have abdicated their ability[sic], then someone needs to step up to the plate."
 
Mirkarmi knows that the district attorney can only prosecute cases that have enough evidence to take to court. Implying that Harris is simply derelict in her duty is an unconvincing slur. But the Murk finally seems to be arriving at a glimmer of insight when he refers to the shocking incidence of youngsters that think it's cool to shoot others over petty disputes. The reality is that the whole Punks with Guns issue is a national and international problem, fusing the easy availability of handguns with the toxic rap/hip-hop culture that encourages gun violence, not to mention contempt for women and gays.

Does the Murk really think the district attorney, the police chief, and the mayor are supposed to "step up to the plate" by getting involved in the family lives of the Punks with Guns? Ridiculous. But the Murk demands a "plan" from city officials:

The supervisor said it's been an "agitating"[sic] experience trying to get coordinated violence prevention services from the city's juvenile probation, recreation and parks and workforce development departments to combat the Western Addition's spike in violence."Today I'm all over the mayor and all over the police chief and all over city agencies to give me a detailed plan," as to how they're going to provide a safe summer, Mirkarimi said.

The Murk is a perfect example of the progressive mindset that thinks there's a program to solve every social problem. The Punks with Guns just need jobs and better recreation facilities!

What the city---and the country---really needs is a war against the ugly rap/hip-hop culture that validates gun violence, misogyny, and homophobia, but there hasn't been a peep from the city's progressive community about the deep cultural roots of the current wave of gun violence.

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