Monday, November 20, 2006

Marty's mag

If New Republic editor-in-chief Martin Peretz keeps making statements like these, there's really no reason to believe his magazine is even remotely capable of treating issues objectively. It's worth reprinting the majority of his latest "insight":

That's the point, isn't it? I actually believe that Arabs are feigning outrage when they protest what they call American (or Israeli) "atrocities." They are not shocked at all by what in truth must seem to them not atrocious at all. It is routine in their cultures. That comparison shouldn't comfort us as Americans. We have higher standards of civilization than they do. But the mutilation of bodies and beheadings of people picked up at random in Iraq does not scandalize the people of Iraq unless victims are believers in their own sect or members of their own clan. And the truth is that we are less and less shocked by the mass death-happenings in the world of Islam. Yes, that's the bitter truth. Frankly, even I--cynic that I am--was shocked in the beginning by the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq. But I am no longer surprised. And neither are you.

Yes, I know, I know, Islam is a peaceful religion. But peace does not rule in the world of Islam. Of course, if only Israel gave the Palestinians the peace they want, the Sunnis and Shiaa would not be killing each other in Iraq, and Hezbollah would not be fomenting a civil war in Lebanon, and democracy with democratic results would soon govern Egypt, and the Syrian dictatorship would finally become a free republic, and Saudi Arabia would allow religious freedom, and Pakistan wouldn't be torn by sect and tribe, and India wouldn't be harassed by Islamic fanatics. God damn you Jews. Don't you grasp how much waits on your surrender? And you keep on insisting on living a free life in your own land.

Now this is surely one of the most odious bits of prose I've read in a long time, whoever the author might be. This is trash fit for the comments section at gleefully racist sites like Little Green Footballs. But no, this is the editor-in-chief of one of the country's oldest and most well-respected political magazines, and a "liberal" one at that. And yet...according to Peretz's logic, the families of the almost 1200 Lebanese civilian casualties of the Israel-Lebanon War are "feigning outrage," not to mention the majority of the people of the world who are in solidarity with them. I suppose only Americans and Israelis can "truly" mourn for the people of Lebanon, who of course were the "indirect" victims of Hezbollah rather than of massive indiscriminate airstrikes, because after all, "We have higher standards of civilization than they do." Certainly Victor Davis Hanson must have whispered this last phrase into Peretz's ear as he gave him a hack-journalistic reacharound, an act which culminates in this petit mort of bad faith: "And the truth is that we are less and less shocked by the mass death-happenings in the world of Islam."

Gee, that's funny, the only "mass death-happenings" I see are widespread war and chaos unleashed by an illegal act of military aggression on the part of the United States, followed by the awful spectacle of the Lebanese War this summer. And in case you haven't been paying attention, over 300 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in June. (But why would anyone notice that? The Palestinian people are so "death-prone" anyway.)

And then Peretz trots out the "preemptive anti-Semitism" defense, which roughly runs, "If you found anything wrong with what I just said, have you thought about why you're a Jew-hating bigot lately?" What a cowardly, dishonest twit this man is, and what a sad state of affairs it is when the country's leading "progressive" magazine buys into the rhetoric of aggression and chauvinism. It can only be called "perverse" when we in our comfort wreak havoc upon other nations, only to mock them in their mourning of their dead children.

5 Comments:

Blogger Robot said...

Completely agreed. Nonetheless, I find I have the same problem with New Republic as I do with Commentary: that their is an inverse relationship between the sanity of their political commentary, and the quality of their arts section. Loathesome as they are, TNR and Commentary both still provide some of the best cultural criticism and book reviews available.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Robot said...

By the way, when did you become so antisemitic, Scantron?

10:05 AM  
Blogger Scantron said...

Interestingly, this post no longer appears on Peretz's "Spine" blog main page (but the link is still active).

5:09 PM  
Blogger Robot said...

wasn't it originally on "The Plank"

6:04 PM  
Blogger The Sheriff said...

Listen, no serious rebuttal to this piece of noxious filth can be issued, so I'm just going to ask if this was written in the early 13th century and if they really had blogs back then, hoping for affirmative answers.

6:55 PM  

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