April 24, 2008
Name-Calling Where it Belongs (Bob Franken)
@ 1:50 pm
My friend Jack Cafferty is up to his ears in hassle from China. As we know, he called that nation’s leaders “a bunch goons and thugs,” which has caused all manner of outrage, real or contrived. It has come from citizens of that communist country and others who have been recruited to apply as much intimidation as they can. After all, they have the Olympics coming up. Any dissent must be eliminated at home or abroad. Beijing cannot tolerate any such impudence; nor can the trembling corporations in this country, which want to keep the profits flowing when they look the other way.
Jack cited a number of reasons for his provocative-as-always tirade — from deadly products China has imported to the United States to the brutally repressive actions taken by the iron rulers in Beijing.
I’ll let him deal with the uproar over his “goons and thugs” choice of words. That’s my man Cafferty. He certainly can stand his ground without my assistance. But if we are going to start labeling, I have some questions about the leaders of the United States:
What do you call people whose policies lead to torture?
What do you call those whose lies and distortions of intelligence take us into a war that leaves thousands dead?
What is the name for officials who run an insidiously effective propaganda program that includes economic incentives for generals to spread out and recite government talking points that are really devious misrepresentations?
What is the term for these same military leaders who try and sanitize the ugly, tragic consequences of their actions and gross incompetence by refusing independent journalists meaningful access to Guantánamo Bay and other torture chambers, and won’t even allow the American people to see, through their media, the remains of those who are the American victims of our wars?
Is there some descriptive term for those lawyers and other ideologues who were so desperately ambitious or so driven by their agenda that they created Orwellian justifications for war crimes?
Is there any way to describe those who so mistreated those in the armed forces who had fought for their country but then returned to disdainful treatment at the hands of those appointed to restore their mangled bodies and lives?
This is not to say that the United States compares to China. Whatever you want to call those who run that country, we clearly have more freedom than they do. So far. Our leaders have been trying to close that gap.
Hey, Jack. I need your help here.