September 22, 2006

Calling It Like We See It

Of all the pleasures Al Gore bestowed upon us by creating the World-Wide Web, surely The Huffington Post ranks among the most delightful. Right below free underage bestiality flicks, we’d say.

As a result, dear reader, it was with great enthusiasm that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” took a gander at “The Importance of Being Ahmadinejad & Chavez,” a Huffington Post column by someone called Nathan Gardels. We must admit that the title really drew us in: Is Mr. Gardles, by invoking Oscar Wilde, claiming that the unhinged loons in control of Iran and Venezuela are, to quote Gore Vidal, homosexualists? We certainly wanted to find out.

But, in fact, it turns out that Mr. Gardles’ piece was far more mundane than its zippy title suggests. To be downright honest, it was pretty much the typical lefty boilerplate you’d expect from Arianna’s minions.

Although Mr. Gardels was suitably honest to label Ahmadinejad an anti-Semite, he has a curious view of the Iranian leader’s bizarre speech to the UN. Ditto Chavez’s unhinged rant to that same august body.

You see, to Mr. Gardels “It would be a big mistake to dismiss their comments as the ravings of madmen when they are only saying what the rest of the world—China, Russia and France on the Security Council as well as countries from Brazil to South Korea—actually thinks.”

This, we think, is an odd test to determine views that should and should not be dismissed. Since when does popularity alone determine the justness of ideas? After all, large swaths of Muslims—and others besides, we’d wager—believe that either the US or Israel masterminded the 9/11 attacks. Are such fantasies not worth dismissal merely due to the number of cranks who hold them dear?

Further, we’re not exactly certain what Mr. Gardels means when he exhorts us not to dismiss the rebarbative rhetoric of the odious Ahmadinejad and Chavez. Does he believe we should merely listen? If so, we’ll be happy to tell him we complied. Or does he hope that their foolish prattle will compel us to alter our foreign policy? If that’s what he wants, well, we’re sorry to say that we think he’s bonkers.

Yet certainly the most exquisite joy to be savored from The Huffington Post comes not from the columnists themselves but from sundry readers who leave comments on their work. And, sure enough, this is true in regard to Mr. Gardels latest opus.

You see, one of Mr. Gardels’ readers—someone named “AndrewW” to be precise—took great offense. Not, we must say, because Mr. Gardels presents a naïve, rosy view of Messrs. Ahmadinejad and Chavez. No, no, no—that would be sane.

On the contrary, something else entirely got his dander up:

The evidence I have seen of Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitism is like that of Saddam's WMD: a well-known "fact" based on distorted evidence. He certainly is anti-Zionist and anti-Israel, but that does not make one anti-Semitic. If someone can point out actual anti-Semitic statements by him, I'd appreciate knowing about it. Otherwise, can we dispense with making another Middle Eastern leader into one of what JQ Adams called "monsters to destroy."

Ah, that’s lovely, isn’t it? A diligent intellectual over at the Huff isn’t sure that the Iranian nutter is actually an anti-Semite. Rather, he thinks this is merely an unfair charge hurled at this delightful chap, probably by unsavory Jews.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Uh, since when did denying the Holocaust not count as anti-Semitism? We fear that “AndrewW” demonstrates such an animus toward the lone Jewish state that he can’t think like a rational human being.

Further, need we remind him that Iran’s president pines to “wipe Israel off the map”? “AndrewW” can liken this to “anti-Zionism,” but surely it’s extreme enough to make one wonder.

We mean, come on: Just imagine if a friend of yours said he harbors no hatred for the Palestinian people, but he hopes that the Palestinian territories will be “wiped off the map.” Now, one could claim that such a fellow isn’t anti-Arab—because he doesn’t want to harm the Palestinians residing in, say, Jordan—but we think that’d be a rather tough sell.

Or how about if a pal told you he felt no dislike for blacks, but he prayed for the day when sub-Saharan Africa would be “wiped off the map.” Do you really think any reasonable person would fail to label such a clown a racist, preferring a milquetoast label like “anti-pan-Africanist”?

That’s why we perceive of self-proclaimed anti-Zionists the way Orwell thought of angels: Guilty until proven innocent.

Posted at September 22, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack