American Taliban, "Machete" & how right-wingers are putting OUR lives in danger
I just went to hear Markos Moulitsas give a talk about his most recent book, "American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right". Then I went out and saw that hot new movie "Machete". What a great combination!
Moulitsas stated that, "American fundamentalists have the same methods and goals as the [Afghan] Taliban. They both use violence to solve problems, hate women and gays and insist on dominating our religious views and controlling our children's educational process." Or words to that effect. "And both of them hate democracy when it doesn't agree with their agenda."
And what exactly is the American Taliban's agenda? If you ignore all their rhetoric about "Freedom" and "Saving the Constitution from Big Government," and just focus in on the things that they actually DO instead, Christian fundies appear to be trying to create a huge centralization of wealth and power, sort of like a reenactment of some medieval European papacy, in order to lord it over the rest of us -- which is one of the reasons that I just LOVED the movie "Machete" -- wherein the victims of this American Taliban agenda refuse to lie down and play dead. They stand up and fight back!
"Machete" is definitely one of those bloody action movies that I usually avoid like the plague, but this one is definitely a Guilty Pleasure. Without giving away too much of the ending, here's the plot: When some corrupt drug lords, politicians and Teabaggers begin using Mexican immigrants as scapegoats in order to close the border and thus drive up the price of illegal drugs so that they can make even more of a profit, there is skulduggery afoot -- in a border state rather similar to Arizona. But then our hero strikes back at the bad guys and saves the day. The bad guys are routed and justice is served. Plus Robert Rodriguez's bizarre sense of humor had everyone in the theater all laughing in the aisles for most of the movie.
The scene where Linsdey Lohan puts on a nun's outfit and mows down the bad guys with an Uzi is priceless! No wonder they sent Lohan off to rehab.
In this movie, the hero of "Machete" uses violence to right some terrible wrongs. And America's Taliban seems to be using violence too -- but not on the side of justice. They use it more as a way to grab up and control all of America's money and power. And that's just wrong.
"I had fun writing this book," continued Moulitsas, who is editor in chief of The Daily Kos, "because these guys are really crazy -- but they truly are dangerous and should be taken very seriously. They erode the Constitution and support the use of torture, using violence to forward their agenda. But why is the Democratic Party incapable of pointing this out? And whenever someone on the Left fights back against this eminant danger to America, our side gets the vapors -- making it look like the Republicans project strength and our side projects weakness."
This projection of weakness is definitely not true for the hero of "Machete" -- who stands up for his rights in a big way. Maybe Americans should be taking some lessons from him and start standing up for OUR freedom and rights. And perhaps someone besides just heroes like Dennis Kucinich and Alan Grayson will finally stand up in Congress and say, "You, sir, have f*cked with the wrong Democrat!"
Nah, that'll never happen.
Moulitsas went on to say that it is now imperative for the Democrats to show strength. "The second we show weakness on any issue, we are lost. We have GOT to learn how to throw punches too if we want to survive. And the other bad news is that by creating so many internal enemies, the Teabaggers are also tearing America apart."
Well. Moulitsas really put his finger on that problem too. The Teabaggers are currently busy creating a whole bunch of internal enemies -- TOO MANY internal enemies. You think not? Go see the movie "Machete".
PS: Before I went to the above-mentioned talk and saw the above-mentioned movie, I had written the following essay -- but after seeing Moulitsas and "Machete," my old essay just seemed boring. However, I'm throwing it in here as a freebie anyway, so as to not waste all those words:
By creating all of these new categories of people to hate and categorizing over half of all Americans as belonging to "The Other," Teabaggers and other right-wingers are in reality starting to put most of the rest of us "white guys" in danger. How's that old joke go? When the Lone Ranger and Tonto are surrounded by Indians, the Lone Ranger turns to Tonto and says, "What are we going to do now!" And Tonto replies, "What do you mean 'we', White Man?"
In a demographically changing America, it doesn't make any sense at all for America's right-wing self-appointed "white men" to go around aggressively alienating their neighbors. How do you think that's gonna play out a few years down the road when "The "Other" (including browns, blacks, gays, women, Jews, Muslims, Asians, poor people, etc.), those whom the right-wing white-man demographic seems to hate so much, is firmly in the majority? Not so good.
Being a "White" person myself, I certainly don't look forward to seeing over half of my country turning against me in the next several years. Just cut it out, right-wing white guys! You simply cannot afford to go around doing the Wounded Knee thing any more. Or the Amos 'n' Andy thing. Or the Tanforan or Manzanar thing. Or the Ground Zero Mosque thing either. Who was it that said, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you"? Obviously it was no one whose example you appear to follow or respect.
Further, the right-wing's current Aryan lynch mob mentality is only effective when public opinion is on its side. And the tide of public opinion is turning -- because, ultimately, no one likes nasty. Public opinion may be turning slowly -- but it IS turning. And you guys are gonna get caught in the undertow.
Don't drag me down with you.
Not only that, but this right-wing "White is Right" lynch-mob mentality isn't just affecting us here stateside. There's a whole "Other" world out there beyond our borders that is being effected as well. And while there are only three million of "us" here in America. there are over six billion of "Them" out there Beyond the Pale. So please stop wildly waving that red flag around, guys -- because you have definitely attracted the attention of a whole stampede of rather pissed-off bulls that are starting to charge right at you (and at me too!) You think that "Ground Zero" in New York was bad? You appear to be practically pleading to turn all of America into "Ground Zero" too.
Just cut all of that bull-dookie out.
You right-winger white guys appear to be thinking that you are now the chief bullies on the playground and the big fish in a small pond, but there's definitely a whole huge world of "Others" outside our schoolyard gates -- and they don't really care whether or not you control the play structure, the jump ropes and the swings.
When the current singularity that James Howard Kunstler calls the "Cheap-Oil Fiesta" is over, America's whole existence may depend on whether or not we can "play well with Others". So please stop antagonizing everyone -- people who could potentially become our allies and not just another rival lynch mob that has "us" completely surrounded and outnumbered.
Right-Wing white guys, it's time for you to stop acting like General Custer.
Need more encouragement to start playing nice? Check out this analogy too. One of the main reasons that Britain gave up being the schoolyard bully in Belfast was because the victims of Britain's war on Belfast's Catholics finally began taking it out of the streets of Belfast and into the streets of London.
You have no idea how lucky we are that this tactic of "bringing the war home" has not happened in America except only once so far. We have been just plain LUCKY so far -- that Middle Easterners, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians haven't dragged any more of Eisenhower's or Johnson's or Nixon's or Reagan's or Bush's or Obama's wars out of the streets of cities like Saigon, Mogadishu, Gaza, San Salvador, East Timor, Santiago, Shanghai, Baghdad, Tehran, Brazzaville, Port-au-Prince and Kabul and into the streets of our American cities.
We have been very lucky that, so far, we have only suffered just one 9-11 -- when you consider the many past decades of America's habitual and continual shabby treatment of "Others" all over the world.
You Right-Wingers may not care what happens to yourselves as a result of your constant agitation and hate, but please stop putting MY life in danger.
PPS: Even General Petraeus agrees with me. "The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan," according to Yahoo News, "warned Tuesday that an American church's threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide."
PPPS: Christian fundamentalists are always claiming that there are too many blood-thirsty, uncivilized and anti-female quotations in the Quran, but obviously none of these Christian fundies have ever read the Bible -- or else, using that same criteria, they would be out burning the Old Testament (and parts of the New Testament) too!