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A liberal is a 'nice' conservative

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on November 24, 1999 at 17:25:23:

In Reply to: Would you prefer the company of conservatives? posted by MDG on November 23, 1999 at 10:15:18:

: : The "mainstream liberals," check out this article.

: I'm not sure what the definition of a "mainstream liberal" is, but unless liberals have been re-defined as right-wing or conservative, I'll cast my lot with the liberals, thank you very much.

SDF: I'm surrounded by them, I'm sure they're slightly better than the conservatives who surround the liberals who surround me. A liberal is a conservative who gives to charity once in a while, while looking the other way when Clinton signed the Welfare Bill.

: While I admire Doug Henwood and subscribe to LBO, I don't agree that to have supported military action in the Balkans was somehow to betray liberalism (and my definition of liberalism is the one concerned with the protection of political and civil liberties, moreso than the protection of one's right to make a fortune). Given this, while I abhor violence, I do not see how it is reasonable for a strong nation or group of nations to stand idly by while a malevolent dictator engages in mass slaughter, as Milosevic did against the Kosovars.

SDF: Hard evidence please. Despite Goebbels, not everything said three times is true.

Sure, Milosevic messed over people real bad. OTOH, the KLA doesn't have a great reputation either, neither does the Albanian Mafia. None of it justifies trumped-up charges of genocide, esp. when they serve to defend a US government that spent its time obstructing the UN when French-trained Rwandan troops were killing 500,000 Rwandans in 1994, a US government which defended Saloth Sar in the UN against Vietnamese "usurpers" back in the '70s.

: This is not to ignore the twisted history of the region, nor excuse past atrocities committed by the now-victims against the then-oppressors, but such distinctions are cold comfort to the civilians being raped and tortured and murdered. We

SDF: Liberals always picture the New World Order (NATO etc.) as "we," betraying their sympathies with the ruling class right then and there. Does "we" include the Trilateral Commission? Are you a member?

: had a moral duty to use force against Milosevic,

SDF: Did this moral duty involve the moral duty to purposefully bungle the negotiations about the Rambouillet Ultimatum (by including Appendix B, tantamount to a demand that Milosevic surrender), then 2 1/2 months of bombing without a declaration of war (prompting a legal challenge to Clinton's violation of the War Powers Act), then signing a treaty that looked suspiciously like the Rambouillet Ultimatum WITHOUT Appendix B (which allowed NATO free rein throughout Serbia)?

Last I debated Appendix B with a pro-war (i.e. "liberal") Green, he rebutted that Rambouillet "wasn't important". Wasn't important? Surely there's a better dodge than that!

I'd like to see a justification of this illegal bombing on THOSE grounds. How about a justification of the State Department spokesperson as quoted here: "We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that's what they are going to get." Defend THAT!

It wasn't Milosevic the US used force against, just as it isn't Saddam Hussein the US punishes when the embargo against Iraq wipes out 100,000 Iraqis. Talk about genocide!

: though I do not think we ought to have bombed the civilians in Belgrade as a way of pressuring the Yugoslavian military.

SDF: Liberals typically add humanitarian "selling-points" to their defense of the New World Order.

: Back to your main point: while mainstream liberals may not be as committed to social and economic justice as their more leftwing brethren, they are still further along that road than mainstream conservatives, so why belittle them?

SDF: My family is composed of them, they're comfortable and well-off, they have nice stock and real estate holdings, their sympathy for the downtrodden exists as long as such sympathy makes them look good, and no further.

Look at the enormous hue and cry the liberals put up when Clinton signed the Welfare Bill... then it all faded away...

And what with the working class movement in the hands of sectarians... what's anyone to do?

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