• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Infections of the Times

The New York Times has published a slop-ed piece by Thomas Friedman entitled I.S.=Invasive Species.  The title just about reflects the sum and substratum of what passes for thought in Friedman's top half.

"I find it useful at times to use the natural world to illuminate trends in geopolitics and globalization," Friedman explains, “...invasive plant species thrive where the continuity of a natural ecosystem is breached. ...  I can’t think of a better way to understand ISIS.  It is a coalition....  from all over the world ... [which is] putting pressure on all of Iraq’s and Syria’s native species with the avowed goal of reducing the diversity of these once polycultural societies and turning them into bleak, dark, jihadist, Sunni fundamentalist monocultures."

Friedman froths on,

"How do you deal with an invasive species? The National Arboretum says you should “use systemic herbicides carefully” ...  while also constantly working to strengthen and “preserve healthy native plant habitats” .....

The Jew
by Joseph Goebbels
 Der Angriff, 21 January 1929

 One cannot combat the Jew positively. He is a negative, and this negative must be erased from the German equation, or it will always spoil the equation.    One ought not to afford to the Jew in the struggle the means that one affords to every honest opponent  ...  He is a foreigner, an alien to our folk, ..  Opposing the Jew is a matter of personal cleanliness.  Let them scream terror there. To that we answer with the famous utterance of Mussolini: "Terror? Never! It is social hygiene. We are taking these individuals out of circulation, as a physician takes a bacillus out of the body's circulation."

September 16, 1919

Dear Herr Gemlich,

The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people.   ...   And thus comes the fact that there lives amongst us a non-German, alien race which neither wishes nor is able to sacrifice its racial character or to deny its feeling, thinking, and striving ...   Everything men strive after as a higher goal, be it religion, socialism, democracy, is to the Jew only means to an end, the way to satisfy his lust for gold and domination.  ....  In his effects and consequences he is like a racial tuberculosis of the nations.


Adolf Hitler

In the later half of the Ninetheenth Century, many writers "found it useful" to resort to racio-biological metaphors to explain historical and socio-economic questions and even ethno-cultural identity.   For example,  Vladimir (Z'ev) Jabotinsky, the founder of so-called Revisionist Zionism -- represented by today's Likud -- wrote in 1919,
 The source of national feeling ...lies in a man's blood ...in his racio-physico type and in that alone. ...A man's spiritual outlook is primarily determined by his physical structure. For that reason we do not believe in spiritual assimilation.   [A Jew] may be wholly imbued with that German fluid, but the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish."
Following the metaphor to their logical medical conclusions, the beliefs and goals of one's opponents were not regarded as things argued against or negotiated over or simply fought over.  No.   By necessary implication from the metaphor they became conditions which needed to disinfected, cauterized, erradicated.  And so it was that the health and well being of the German Folk organism was achieved through,

There is no doubt that the region is involved in an internecine conflict in which atrocities are committed by all sides.    The complexity of the situation is illustrated by a contemporaneous report from Patrick Cockburn,  published in the U.K. Independent.   Such complexity is beyond the capacity of the shrivelled pea that  passes for Friedman's brain, which resorts to simplistic name calling compounded with Monsanto Metaphors.

The success of Friedman as a journalist can only be attributed to a species of nepotism; but whatever the case, and whatever one thinks of the catastrophe in the Middle East, resort to infectious metaphors is, in itself, inherently evil.    The Times should be ashamed were it not so shameless.