Friday, November 5, 2010

Cuba, Haiti, Rachel Maddow and The American Taliban

Last night Rachel Maddow gave a stunning example of her analytical and didactic powers. Her lesson on how falsehoods are generated and ampli-fied by each successive commentator on the ultra right circuit should be taught in every social studies class.

Of course, it won’t.  Nor will students receive any useful information as to the proper role of government when they learn about Haiti’s triple whammy: first, last January’s earthquake, then floods, and now cholera.

Bill Clinton has been leading the Haitian relief effort, but he believes that getting the rubble out of Port au Prince eight months after the earthquake is an accomplishment, since it allows access to the tourist hotels that have been built while Haitians survive in tents.

There’s a visible gradation from the right’s outright lies, to the center’s blind-sided focus, to the valiant afternoon and evening news anchors at MSNBC, who still cannot bring themselves to pronounce the word social democracy, even when they could point out that it has nothing in common with national socialism, which is another word for fascism, and is the way the right describes Obama’s government.

Please, Ed Schultz, leave your hot buttons alone for a while and give your listeners some food for thought:  Haiti has been a United States pawn for the last hundred years.  Cuba has a fifty-year-old communist regime. Haiti’s few can fly to the U.S. if their homes perish in an earthquake, but even with international aide, the many are left indigent.

The story on neighboring Cuba is very different: No matter how many deprivations Cubans have suffered, in part because they would not give an inch to their powerful northern neighbor, even the dissident are glad they’re not Haitians. However meager the rations, when disaster strikes the government takes responsibility. It is able to do so because during their fifty years of defiance the Cubans have trained medical staff, built hospitals, and organized block by block to ensure the safety of all.

America’s internal enemies would take us back to a time when a popu-lation equal to that of Chicago today, had an area one-tenth the size of the lower forty-eight to do their thing in. They didn’t need income tax (although the government assessed one as early as 1862 because, unlike present governments, it didn’t think it could pay for war without one).  Carriages rode over dirt roads, there was no such thing as a life ‘saved’ by chemistry; most daily necessities were made or grown at home.

The Tea Party wants us to fight terrorism while being left alone by govern-ment. Maybe the militias in our northern woods plan to build a few gunships and sail over to Pakistan via India to take on the Taliban?

As Markos Moulitsas emphasizes in American Taliban , American fundamentalists and the Taliban are culturally in synch.  Maybe our Taliban fighters will get used to doing without television while they’re at it.

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