Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dumb Letters: They're Going to Kill Us All (An' ah helped!)

Here's another one from the They're-Going-to-Kill-Us-All-and-You-Pansies-Are-Going-to-Not-Just-Let-Them-Do-It-But-Actually-Help-Them file.

From the LA Times.

I'm sure CIA chief nominee Leon E. Panetta is a good, decent man -- who unfortunately lives in an ideological world and not the real world.

He says that if Osama bin Laden were captured, "We would find a place to hold him. ... We would debrief him and incarcerate him." Panetta will be singing that tune until an American city is under siege from a terrorist attack masterminded by the man he "incarcerated" and "debriefed."

Unfortunately, by the time Bin Laden gets his Miranda rights read to him, it will be too late.

Carlos Bermudez
Granada Hills

Okay, then. We start with the back-handed compliment; he's a "good, decent man", I'm sure. This always sets the tone that "I'm not really some right-wing nutjob but a fair and decent person who simply has an opposing viewpoint." Then the word "unfortunately", which is also intended to substitute for "The guy's a freaking idiot."

Next comes one of the rhetorical devices that annoys the crap out of me. Professional scumbag Karl Rove and his ilk jave been staggeringly successful at using language to "frame the debate". In other words, they use words to lie. Or at least make it sound like the other side is guilty of exactly what they're guilty of. (e.g. When poor people complain about the class warfare being waged on them, the right says "We don't want to get involved in class warfare.") The writer calls Panetta's world an "ideological one". What this means is anyone's guess. We all live in an ideological world to some extent. But what ideology are we talking about? The word has been used most often in recent times to describe The Idiot and his gang of thugs. As in "Ideology trumped sound policy once again in the Bush White House." So, by using this word, Panetta gets tossed in with the people who are generally considered the bad guys by most of the populace, even as he makes the bad guys' case. Cute.

And what is the opposite of the ideological world? Why, the real world, of course. I could just as easily say, "In the real world, torturing people and denying them due process tends to breed resentment and create more terrorists." But that's just my real world. It's not the real world, where They're-Going-to-Kill-Us-All-and-You-Pansies-Are-Going-to-Not-Just-Let-Them-Do-It-But-Actually-Help-Them.

Shoot, that's just the first sentence. I can't go on. I'll go on.

Okay, next we discuss just how ludicrous the idea of locking up criminals is. Because we couldn't possibly put bin Laden in solitary. He'll be masterminding terrorist attacks from inside our top-security prisons.

"Incarcerate" and "debrief" are put in quotes as if they were some bizarre made-up locution. And the writer doesn't mention the alternatives. He doesn't have to. We're supposed to know. Apparently the only satisfactory response for apes like this is "kill", "smash", "destroy" and "anally rape". But we won't say it in our letter. Might sound like one of those right-wing nutjobs.

We close with another "unfortunately", which is still annoying and also pre-supposes that this argument is a done deal. No ambiguity. When bin Laden is incarcerated, "it will be too late". Really? Does this guy have the plans? Does he know when the next strike is going to be? What if we lock him up tomorrow? Too late already?

And by the way, Miranda rights don't enter into this. They're for American citizens arrested in the United States. Not one person has ever mentioned reading them to Osama bin Laden.



Kizz said...

I think you might be attributing too much intelligence to the writer. You use ideological in a very sophisticated way. This reads to me like the person used "ideological world" when they meant "ideal world" or "utopia" or some other term they weren't familiar enough with to use correctly.

MAB said...


Mrs. Chili said...

How do you not have a permanent bruise on your forehead from smacking it so often? I'm BARELY surviving my students' writing - I can't even bring myself to read letters to the editor anymore.

Do you ever respond to any of them at the papers or websites? THAT'D be a hoot...

MAB said...

I usually wear a helmet.