December 30, 2006

The Eye Of The Beholder

Allow me to paint a word picture for you:

You enter a room, quietly close the door behind you and sit in the rose colored easy chair next to the lamp on the south side of the room. Looking around, you take in your surroundings. The room is warm, and comfortable. You glance around looking at nothing in particular finally noticing a brightly colored square of paper on the coffee table. You pick it up and try to think of the name of the color. Forrest green you decide. No, wait, perhaps a deep emerald green. Yes, that's it. You take the paper to your spouse and note the deep shade of green, scintillating in the light. Your spouse looks at you in confusion and says "No sweetheart, that is scarlet red." Confused, you ask your children and they too say red. For a week, everyone you ask says "red," but you still see green."
The reality is that it doesn't matter what other people say, your experience of the square of paper is green, that is your perception of reality and it matters not what other peoples reality is. The knowledge that you are colorblind, that you will always see one color when other's see another matters not. In the case above, green is your reality.

So too it is with politics. It doesn't matter a whit if you are a conservative or liberal, a communist or libertarian, a socialist or anarchist. Your perspective is colored by your world view. Now, to say that some world views, some political systems are more, shall we say, realistic than others ought to be a no brainer. And so it is. I am amused by liberals that proclaim that they are "Proud Members Of The Reality Based Community" as if by proclaiming that, they are the only purveyors of truth, justice and the American Way! Of course, the entire purpose of the Reality Based Community canard is to provide an internal boost to what must be a very lonely position, say that of seeing a green square of paper when most everyone else sees red.

My real problem with liberals is that they see the world as they want it to be, not as it is. Their reality is not based in reality, but is completely colored by their perception, and too often, it is not a pretty sight. Take education for example. The liberal position is that we need a federal bureaucracy, more teachers unions, more money, longer school days; we need to fix the broken "structure" of education. It doesn't seem to matter that the so called structure is the same as it has been for the last 75 years or so and that it worked pretty well in the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's and with the advent of the professional educator the so called structure seemed to break down yielding 4 year olds being charged with sexual harrassment, a multitude of "pride" days and high school teachers being terminated for teaching real as opposed to say "culturally correct" history.

The coloring of politics has also entered the vaunted main stream media or MSM as we bloggers call it. I know, I know, the soi disant reality based community (shall we abbreviate this as RBC for the rest of this article?) maintains that the MSM is owned by corporations and thus must be "conservative" but that is reflective of their world view; all corporations are money grubbing conservative organs of the state who protects corporations via tax structure forcing the weak and the poor to feed their hard earned dollars to the fat cats. Of course, the "real" reality is that newspapers are owned by corporations but staffed by graduates of schools of journalism and anybody that believes that those schools are not "generally" bastions of left leaning thought are not only not thinking, they are not using one scintilla of their supposed brain power.

Thus, we get headlines like posted in the L.A. Times: "Monthly U.S. toll in Iraq at 2-year high". The headline is the political view of an organization viewing casualties and other stories from Iraq through the liberal prisim, but it is the "green square of paper" we talked about above. The reality is (courtesy of Greyhawk at The Mudville Gazette):

Barring a New Year's Eve plane crash, 2006 looks like a slightly better year in Iraq for US casualties

...the year total of 816 as of Saturday morning, is on course to be slightly lower than last year's 846 U.S. fatalities.

The number of U.S. wounded also declined this year, from 5,947 in 2005 to 5,676 so far this year.

(We should also note that the majority of troops wounded in Iraq returned to duty within 72 hours.)

O.K. Roper, this means what? Well, simply put the American people are getting a description of the War in Iraq as a massive US failure and George Bush as a bumbling idiot at best and a war criminal at worst. The reality, as opposed to the view of the RBC, is that the massive civilian casualties in Iraq are the work of Iraqis against other Iraqis. Sunni vs S'hia as it were. Some call it civil war, but that is a little misleading because it is sectarian violence by one tribe of Muslims against another tribe of Muslims. The common ground here is that many of the illegal combatants here believe their version of Allah is better than the other version of Allah and that alone gives them license to kill other Muslims.

Now, has United States policy played into this? Sure, somewhat. Back some time ago an arrest warrant was issued for Moqtada Sadr:

An Iraqi judge has released an arrest warrant for Moqtada Sadr in connection with the death of a moderate Shia leader, Abdul Majid al-Khoei, in April 2003, just two days after the fall of Baghdad.

Moqtada Sadr strongly denies any role in the murder.

His supporters have also clashed with followers of Ayatollah Sistani.

He has visited neighbouring Iran since Saddam Hussein was ousted, meeting senior officials in Tehran.

Got that did you? I'll repeat for any liberals reading this blog: "He has visited neighbouring Iran since Saddam Hussein was ousted, meeting senior officials in Tehran."

Iran? Iran, you say? What does that have to do with the criminal liability of George Dubya? Well, it should show those in the RBC that the violence in Iraq is not necessarily the fault of GWB, but rather the involvement of Iran in an act of state supported terrorism. The same will go for the Syrian version of Wormtongue (with all due apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien). That the RBC cannot see this because it is a red square of paper should not be surprising. All they can see is the green because of their own inability to understand that their perception is not the so called real world.

There will, no doubt, be those who would challange this understanding, but that is OK, it is, again, their perception. The reality is, despite what the majority of the left would think, that the sectarian violence in Iraq is sponsored by two states, Syria and Iran. Oddly enough, those with clear eyes can see that, can see that Moqtada Sadr is a puppet with a famous name (his father, a revered S'hia cleric, was reportedly assassinated by Saddam's orders).

So, if you do indeed have the ability to think, to reason beyond your own perceptions, think through who benefits from an unstable Iraq? Who is rapidly running out of the ability to bring their oil to the market because they have ignored their infrastructure from the beginning of the so called mullahocracy:

"They need to invest $2.5bn (£1.28bn) a year just to stand still and they're not doing it because it's politically easier to spend the money on social welfare and the army than to wait four to six years for a return on investment," he said.

"They've been running down the industry like this for 20 years."

For 40 of my 60 years on this earth the MSM has been pissing on my shoes. I didn't believe it was rain then, and I don't believe it now, but then, my eyes aren't blind to reality even though I see things through a conservative perspective.

Posted by GM Roper at December 30, 2006 09:07 PM | TrackBack

About education...Liberals always think that throwing more money at a problem will solve that problem. Well, the truth is, money has been thrown at education for the past several decades. And what have those bucks gotten us? A lack of coordinated core-curriculum (albeit with some beautiful textbooks, which weigh down backpacks until students develop back problems) and teachers who are more concerned about their pocketbooks than about teaching children--one gigantic mess. In other words, a failed system!

Liberals are utopians, the kind of utopians who cram their beliefs down the throats of everyone else, regardless of the failures of those beliefs.

Great post, GM!

Posted by Always On Watch at December 31, 2006 07:40 AM

Good analogy and good post. Liberals don't see that their beliefs have failed. Perhaps, the problem was that the right people (them) were not in charge.

What disturbs me is that liberals and the left abandon all reasonable thought and discussion once they have made up their minds--totally unwilling to bend or see things from a broader and more realistic perspective.

On another blog, one which disdains President Bush, a liberal commenter wrote the following on a post about the hanging of Hussein:

maybe in a few years we can see bush, cheney and all their buddies get the same treatment maybe like that old Hang'em High film

To which I responded:

It's pretty sick to compare a Stalin-type dictator, who tortured and murdered over a million people, to a U.S. President trying to free those citizens from the dictator's reign and the world from his threats.

Your hate for President Bush exceeds any rational position and completely ignores Hussein's injustices, acknowledged by the U.N. but which was impotent in stopping it. The families of those who were murdered are grateful for President Bush acting and ending Hussein's terror, while U.N. representatives let him get away with his destruction as long as they received kick-backs from the food-for-oil program.

President Bush got this one right, but maybe you can celebrate Hussein's birthday along with Stalin's if you find them more in line with your views than those of our President.

And, he reserves no outrage for totalitarian dictators, as people like him think that only a select few are intelligent enough to tell the rest of us how to live. Freedom to them means loss of control. But, I'll take freedom, whose color is what most people choose.

Posted by Woody at December 31, 2006 08:22 AM

So when you depose a Sunni strongman once your ally, with an aggreived Shiite majority allied with Iran, what do you get? The mess you see now. How's that workin for ya?

Posted by GW at December 31, 2006 09:17 AM

What disturbs me is that liberals and the left abandon all reasonable thought and discussion once they have made up their minds--totally unwilling to bend or see things from a broader and more realistic perspective.

What disturbs you is that we liberal exist and dare speak our minds.

Posted by e. nonee moose at December 31, 2006 09:18 AM

As GM said, liberals think they're ""Proud Members Of The Reality Based Community" as if by proclaiming that, they are the only purveyors of truth, justice and the American Way!"

It IS ridiculous to contemplate their claims when you see what they say in our comments sections. e.noneemoose looks like Meatbrain to me. Could you send me the IP address from that commenter, George?

Posted by Cao at December 31, 2006 10:14 AM

Cao, e. nonee moose is not Meatbrain by a long shot. At first I thought moose might be a troll, but he/she has been a nice contributor to our discussions--unlike Meatbrain who expects you to answer one-hundred questions just for his benefit while he rants on. You could never track Meatbrain's IP address as he conceals the real one by using various false addresses throughout the country. However, I will resond to moose.

Moose, I don't mind liberals speaking their minds. Actually, it is they who generally don't like conservatives doing that. My experiences have been that they will attack me personally without addressing my points, on the assumption that they are correct and that anyone who questions their positions must be stupid, a bigot, and a f'ing b@$^ard. I have never interacted with such a dogmatic group.

Posted by Woody at December 31, 2006 10:27 AM

Moose, of course we don't want you to shut up and not be heard from. You make us look good by the arguments you make. ;-)

Your argument above is a good example. The other commenter was making the statement that liberals are dogmatic. If you want to expand that, are not liberals among the first to holler "McCarthyism?" The liberal meme here is that you think we want you to shut up. We don't, what we want is for liberals to offer solid arguments as opposed to dogmatic statements indicating that conservatives, neo-cons and other right leaning folk are neanderthals.

As for GW's comment, Oh please! Can we be a little more original? How about we go back a few years: Roosevelt (a liberal by any honest appraisal of the Democratic party) made common cause with Stalin thus giving impetus to 40 years of cold war (with a lot of hot mixed in). How well did that work out? Or, how about this: Arafat and his Fatah movement assasinated a US Ambassador and Jimmah Cartuh lauds him and gives him a place of honor. How did that work for ya?

Facile comments such as yours prove my overall point.

Posted by GM Roper at December 31, 2006 12:39 PM

I like your Blog!

I've added your link to The Freedom Fighter's Journal!

Happy New Year, Freedom Fighter!

Cheers, Ronbo

Posted by Ronbo at December 31, 2006 12:40 PM

So there's a history of American presidents allying with vicious dictators. I guess what you're saying is we can't know ahead of time abaout these people when there are bigger fish to be concerned with? File that under good work if you can get it, and hindsight is 20/20. In this case even Bush 41 wouldn't touch this hornets nest and is none too happy is boy did. With good reason. Anyone can speak there mind but when their points fail to pass muster the holder is accountable. Running and hiding isn't an option. Or you could just swiftboat them. No personal attacks there.

Posted by GW at December 31, 2006 04:24 PM

GW, you continue to prove my point, you do not see the world as it is, but as you would like it to be. That is fine, but there are real considerations out there and you are asking each leader (in the entire world it would seem) to be so prescient as to know all that will happen if he takes an action. GHWB (Bush Pere) should have taken Saddam out, possibly wanted to, but didn't because of the "mandate" to just kick him out of Kuwait. Was that smart? Probably not, but that was the real world at that time.

As to the swiftboaters, up above, there is a comment that essentially says conservatives want liberals to shut up and dissappear. And here you are saying the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth can't take their case (whether it was right or wrong) to the public. They can under our form of government and they did, what is your problem with that? That they held Kerry accountable for HIS actions? Gee, imagine that!

Posted by GM Roper at December 31, 2006 05:03 PM

Nice work, George.

You seem to have a following, with genuine lefties that you irritate.

Something that comes to mind triggered by your observation about leftism, money and education: I think that the leftist believes the words are the actions. Thus, if you say that "education needs improvement, " and you also say "it costs money to improve it," both of which are reasonable observations, pregnant with a desire to make "good" or deliver "improvement, " the leftist says "we spent more on education, therefore it is better." There is always a gap in their slippery reasoning between actions and words. It comes from the fact that the left works from the heart and not from the mind, and in turn from prejudice
and not fact.

The kibbitzers on your site prove it again and again. You ask them for evidence and they respond with insult. You respond with evidence and request, and they accuse you of insult.

I wish I could think there was something less than a madness loose in the world.

Posted by John J. Doherty at January 1, 2007 01:31 PM

The reality is (courtesy of Greyhawk at The Mudville Gazette): Guy, please tell me that there is a reputable news source named "The Mudville Gazette'.
I have not read nor do I know of all the news sources, but "Mudville Gazette"? Surely, you jest.
My "leftist" problem with this type of apologia is that it understates the problem It says "Gee looky here, We killed 30 less young patriots this year than we killed last year. It denigrates the fact that in two years we provided 1662 young men as fodder for the pride of dethroning a tyrant. A tyranny that, may I say, the Iraqis didn't have the will to dethrone.
Some of the more warlike of the "conservative" persuasion will protest that the Iraqis could not rebel because Saddam's police were all knowing.
In WWII we had a saying that in cases like that "TS. get the Chaplin to punch your card".
Call me a Leftist, Socialist, bleeding heart or even Heaven forefend a Democrat!!! But we have not and never had a reason to be in Iraq. Many knowleable Republicans agree to that, but didn't have the necessary nerve to say so until the leftist uproar gave them cover. I notice that even the "good man" Ford said (after death) that it was a mistake. The presidents own handpicked council recommends that we get out. What leg are you standing on?

Posted by James S Melbert at January 1, 2007 06:55 PM

First James, get your facts right. Ford said basing the invasion on WMD's was a mistake. Secondly, the Mudville Gazette is a respected MilBlogger, with several trips to the "sandbox" and more coming. Too, most of the members of the Milblogs are veterans of Iraq I and II and are probably far more qualified to detail what is really happening there than a bunch of journalists getting their data from stringers or sending good data only to have editors change it beyond recognition.

As to Saddam's police, please, what leg are YOU standing on. When he took over in 79 there were several hundred Baathists murdered on his orders. There were at least two attempted coups and one attempt at revolt which we shamefully did not support back in 91/92 after Bush Pere urged them to rise up. You can only go on past behavior to "predict" future behavior. Saddam's past behavior was that he was a murderous ruthless thug.

Before denegrating Mudville Gazette by the way, go read it for several weeks, then decide (though, given your liberalsim, you will still see that "green card."

As for Bush's "ISG" that was a laugh, not one of those folk have any solid knowledge of the situation in Iraq or the middle east... The most knowledgeable one, Baker has been out of the loop for more than a decade.

Posted by GM Roper at January 1, 2007 08:07 PM

James, would you prefer your news sources to be named the Tribune, or the Journal-Constitution, or the Globe, Guardian, Post-Dispatch, Bee, or even Times? If you think about those names, their are pretty ridiculous. Or maybe a news magazine like Mother Jones, or Harper's Bazaar, or The Atlantic? They've just acquired a cachet over the years. The names of websites tend more to irony and self-mockery, such as Instapundit or Pajamas Media. Get used to it - their news quality is better, which is the whole point.

When you make such encompassing statements as "we have not and never had a reason to be in Iraq," it's hard to take you seriously. Real life doesn't break down into black-white, either-or categories like that. If you want to take the position that there was not enough reason to enter Iraq, or that the costs outweigh the benefits, then we can have some sort of reasonable discussion. Failing that, all you will get is summary dismissal from conservatives. For good reason.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at January 1, 2007 09:29 PM

GM Roper: First James, get your facts right. Ford said basing the invasion on WMD's was a mistake.

He also said, "I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."

But then you were about to point that out to your readership anyway, weren't you?

Posted by Jassalasca Jape at January 2, 2007 06:28 PM

JJ - why bother? OIF is related to our national security, whether polling reflects that or not.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at January 4, 2007 05:07 PM

JJ: "But then you were about to point that out to your readership anyway, weren't you?"

Why would I bring that up JJ? James didn't mention that in his post or mischaracterize a different statement. He mischaracterized a single part of Fords and I corrected it. Hmmm, Jape is really a good name for you isn't it.

Posted by GM Roper at January 4, 2007 06:45 PM

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