Wednesday, May 24, 2006

War of the Words

Now that we are on the brink of another nuclear confrontation in which only time will tell if it is as serious as what President Kennedy faced with Cuba in 1962, it is interesting to see how the war of words that accompanies today’s confrontations will play out. The New Yorker this week noted that the likes of Rush Limbaugh and his other know-nothing flame-throwers on right wing talk radio joined the Bush administration in dismissing the first letter in a quarter of a century from an Iranian head of state to the President of the United States.

Limbaugh and his ilk of course went further than the administration, comparing the letter to “the Democratic talking points.” This sly conflation between the despotic and somewhat mad ruler of Iran and the Democratic Party, which of course has been recklessly repeated on Fox News, is a perfect example of the substitution of rhetoric for informed argument. Once again, we see Limbaugh and his dittoheads in the far-right media refusing to engage the issues by resorting to a war of words instead. Far be it from Limbaugh to engage in a thoughtful examination of the grave danger posed when nuclear states refuse to talk. No, no, let’s demonize any rationale point of view on the issue that does not fit the Limbaugh party-line.

Fortunately, in 1962 we had a president who was willing to talk to his counterpart. Much of course has been made of Kennedy so-called out-bluffing Nikita Khrushchev, but the historical record is clear” Kennedy found out through an exchange of letters what Khrushchev actually wanted and gave it to him: removal of nuclear theater-range missiles from Turkey. We had the same missiles when I was a GI in Germany ten years later, but these were aimed at the border with East Germany, not at the Russian heartland as were our missiles in Turkey.

But I digress – the point here is that although no one yet knows entirely what to do about Iran’s nuclear program, history shows that Presidents who are willing to talk with their counterparts about life and death issues have served the interests of this country well. One thing certain – refusing to talk to Iran and demonizing those who urge a discourse is simply more of the recklessness that marks the current right-wing propaganda machine and current neocon political thinking. The prevailing war of words is deliberately and dishonestly designed to prevent those who hold knowledgeable and opposing points of view from having a voice in the matter.


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Rachelle C. said...

Well put what you wrote! I liked the visual too; it was appropriate. Yours and other blogs are intimating. I hope to learn cool tricks along the way for design. I’m sure there will opportunity for improvement. I’ve been thinking about Everything is An Argument, this is so true.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Shannon E. said...

Worth, I appreciated the human aspect you added as a GI. I didn't know that.

The whole Iran issuet is horribly scary because we are obviously stretched thin enough and I am worried should we not talk with the other side, whether directly or indirectly, that we might heading into a diaster that depletes us beyond what we already are.

At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Hugh Johnson said...

There was a 2004 or 2005 BBC documentary titled "The Power of Nightmares". It explores the parallels between the Neoconservative movement in America and Islamist movement in the middle-east.

It is available for FREE download LEGALLY at

Sounds right up your alley.

I could mail you a DVD copy if you wish.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Rachelle C. said...

I love the visual features on here. Seems you do a great deal of traveling. That is my biggest dream to travel within the states and other countries. I eat your pictures up!

At 6:40 PM, Blogger smithds said...

I like your blog here. It states some really interesting view points. It seems you are really in marketing I have to ask? There are great advertising lines in this blog. I find that very cool! I want to learn some adventually.



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