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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

James Wolcott Says 

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The dainty stench of burnt envy drew me to the comments section of Little Green Footballs, where I found my reputation and personhood under mass grubworm assault. I don't know you've ever ventured into the subterranean underworld that is LGF's comments section, but it's sort of like a disorganized Nuremberg Rally, a lot of angry ruffians with nowhere to go lacking something better to do.

The catalyst for this impromptu rally was my clinical diagnosis of Daniel Pipes as "a patronizing little shit," which seemed to displease the footballers, not that any of them bothered to acquaint themselves with the causus belli (Pipes' pipsqueak character smear of Muhammed Ali). Then again, the poor dears don't seem to know the difference between an ocelot and an ocicat, another indictment of the limitations of home schooling.

This one sentence amid all that writhing distemper leapt out at me:

"May he [i.e., me] be kidnapped by 'insurgents' in Iraq then appear on an ugly net broadcast. I wonder, if in the moment before the knife started sawing into his fleashy neck if he might rethink his opinions on the GWOT."

He later corrected the spelling to "fleshy," lest anyone think I possess a flashy neck.

This sentence leapt out not only because it was directed at yours truly but because it fits a pattern of measel spots I've discerned.

More and more the rightwing militant "anti-idiotarians" (as they deludedly think of themselves)have been relishing the prospect of antiwar figures undergoing the Daniel Pearl treatment. They keep bringing it up as the retribution that'll deliver certain choice heads on a platter. In a sick irony, Daniel Pearl's marytrdom has provided a negative inspiration to certain super patriots professing to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.

For example, Anna Benson, the bodacious wife of a Mets pitcher, recently burst her bodice giving full lusty cry to an aria painting the glorious prospect of Michael Moore's neck being used as a log.

"You are a selfish, pathetic excuse for an American, and you can take your big fat ass over to Iraq and get your pig head cut off and stuck on a pig pole. Then, you can have your equally as fat wife make a documentary about how loudly you squealed while terrorists were cutting through all the blubber and chins to get that 40 pound head off of you."

And just this morning, the day after Christmas and the second day of Hannukah, blogdom's zestiest Zionist party girl elevated the discourse by dismissing the concerns of legal scholars perturbed about Bush's domestic spying thusly:

"Someone ought to tlell those legal scholars not to worry.......it's smooth sailing once those Radical Islmonazis saw through their jugulars."

(Her excitable italics.)

Civilized people were appalled, disgusted, and sobered by the vicious execution of Daniel Pearl, and the beheadings that followed. But many of the warbloggers are not civilized people. It is clear that despite their sincere protestations of horror, rage, and pity, the execution of Daniel Pearl aroused them on some primitive, subconscious level. They got off on it. It functioned as death porn to their seething, frustrated psyches. (Frustrated, because the war in Iraq simply hasn't gone the way they thought it would or should. They have been denied the glorious clearcut victory they craved.) The beheading ritual tapped into their sadistic impulses, and excited their own fantasies of torturing their foes. When rightwing bloggers and posters conjure that under Islam, Democrats--which they've come to call dhimmicrats--will get what's coming to them (i.e., the business end of a butcher's blade), it's as if it's a horrible fate that couldn't possibly happen to them*--because it's a death wish directed outward. The Islamic terrorists serve as proxies and stand-ins in this imaginary theater of cruelty, enacting what they (the warbloggers) would like to mete out to us (their domestic adversaries). Sometimes the punishment they seek is more Jacobean, as when Michael Fumento greeted Cindy Sheehan's threat to tie herself to the fence in Crawford, Texas to protest the 2000th military death in Iraq with the sentiment, Good, let her lash herself to the fence: "Leave her there and maybe the crows will do the world a favor and eat her tongue out."

It's no accident that it is the rightwing bloggers and pundits who have been avid about defending the use of torture against suspected terrorists. Nor is it an accident that many of them pooh-poohed Abu Ghraib, sluffing it off as no more harmless than fraternity hazing. But what their decapitation odes reveal is that what they'd really like to do is permit torture closer to home. Domesticate it. Trivialize it. Completely destigmatize it as a tool of the state.

I don't worry about this being actually implemented, though I worry fractionally more every day. I'm interested in it more as a pathological rash afflicting the more rabid warbloggers. It's a sign of impotence, this lurid fury of theirs. It bugs the hell out of them that those of us who opposed the war have turned out to be right. It thwarts the hell out of them that Ward Churchill still has tenure, that they couldn't convict Sami Al-Arian down in Florida, and that their latest purple-finger festival fizzled out so soon. If postwar Iraq swirls down the drain, they'll be looking for someone to blame, and since they never blame themselves for anything (a bedrock neoconservative trait), they leaves nobody here but us chickens. I dread to think of the imaginary punishments they'll devise for us appeasers, turncoats, and traitors; I'm sure they'll be quite vivid. I may have to quarantine myself from these sites to preserve my serene disposition.

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