The Real Self-Haters

We get a lot of liberal gays coming to tell us that we’re a troupe of self-haters here at gayconservative.org. “How can you be gay and conservative at the same time?!?” they scream. “That’s like a Jew calling himself a Nazi!”

I routinely become very irritated with those people because they’re being exactly what they call conservatives: closed-minded, intolerant bigots who can’t listen to anyone but those they agree with. Well, they’re being out-classed, and by the same people they tie their allegiance to. In fact, I daresay they’re all in the same boat on this issue.

Roxana Saberi is an American journalist. She was arrested by the Iranian government earlier this month for allegedly buying bootleg wine. A few days later, Iran said that she had been arrested for working as a journalist in Iran without a permit. On April 19, after a one-hour trial, she was convicted of espionage and sentenced to eight years in prison. Now, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian “president”, stated publicly that Saberi was to be allowed a full defense. However, when it came down to the trial, neither Saberi nor her lawyer were informed of the date or time of the trial–neither knew until the trial had been underway for fifteen minutes, and according to reports from Saberi’s father they found out about it by accident. In one hour, without being allowed to defend herself at all, Saberi was sentenced to eight years in Evin prison, notorious for its political prisoners and believed to be the dumping grounds for many Americans and other international prisoners still being held illegally by the Iranians.

Many are calling this an outrage, and rightly so. Why couldn’t they get it right the first time they arrested her? Why couldn’t they decide what they were arresting her for? And a full defense? Come on. It was a farce and the Iranians know it. They wanted nothing more than an excuse to throw another Westerner in prison. If they can’t attack us outright, they’ll go the back way. Kill all infidels–one way or another.

But some of those calling Saberi’s imprisonment and non-trial an outrage have long been outspoken opponents of the sanctions against Iran. They’ve demanded that we be more “diplomatic” somehow in our dealings with the extremist theocracy (this while they accuse Bush of founding a “theocracy” in America and screaming that we weren’t more diplomatic with Iraq). We shouldn’t impose sanctions over their nuclear program, they say, because they’re just generating energy. Get out of Iraq, stay out of Iran. Can’t we just keep to ourselves?

Sure…the problem lies with the Iranians. We never started this fight. Yet again, we’ve forgotten that we’re dealing with a culture that believes it is their mandate from their god to kill anyone who does not adhere to Sharia law. They don’t recognize any international law, let alone the laws that govern the countries of the people they’ve tossed in prison to rot. But we’re supposed to be the diplomatic ones. Someone please tell me how you restore diplomacy with a nation that isn’t interested in diplomacy?

In the line of work I’ve been in for most of my life, I’ve learned that there are many people in this world who don’t want to be reasonable. They want what they want and they’re not going to stop until they get it. How do you talk down an inmate who is in prison for the rest of his life while he’s got your partner in a chokehold with a knife in his hand? That guy has nothing to lose. What do you say to him when he knows that no matter what, he’s going to be behind bars for the rest of his natural life? How can you make things worse for him?

Now apply that principle to the extremists in Iran. They believe Allah will be angry with them if they fail to do what they’re doing. How do you argue with that? What do you say to a person who believes their god has commanded them to kill anyone who refuses to convert to their religion? With Western Christians you can at least sit down and have a civil conversation. As much as I’m sure most of the gay community would like to believe Christians are the extremists, I’ve had more meaningful conversation with the Christians I know than I’ve ever seen occur with some Muslims in this world, particularly in Iran.

Jeneane Garofolo proved she is a self-hater by claiming that any and all disagreement by white people is racism. Many a congressman and senator has admitted self-hate by demanding that, many generations after the fact, we pay reparations to certain races for crimes we never committed. And a small horde of Americans have admitted self-hate by demanding that we try diplomacy long after it has failed with a people who have enjoyed watching us sputter and trip over ourselves trying to follow their dance. Roxana Saberi deserves more support from the American people. But the real self-haters are never going to acknowledge her need because it would be tantamount to admitting that we’ve been wrong all this time–and Iran really can’t be reasoned with.

The real self-haters would rather go to their graves defending themselves with words than ever put up their dukes and fight.

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14 thoughts on “The Real Self-Haters

  1. “Why couldn’t they get it right the first time they arrested her? Why couldn’t they decide what they were arresting her for? And a full defense? Come on. It was a farce and the Iranians know it. They wanted nothing more than an excuse to throw another Westerner in prison. ”

    I don’t know whether or not the irony was lost on you when you typed this out Mel, but you just described our system of “jurisprudence” under the last president when it comes to detainees of the Muslim persuasion.

    And I think you need to be more clear on why it is you think that people that advocate for diplomacy in favor of dropping bombs are self haters, because it appears to me that we’re getting a taste of our own medicine…

  2. Uh-uh, Robert. BIG difference.

    Every single detainee at Gitmo was either taken prisoner on the battlefield or arrested due to statements made by those captured on the battlefield. Every single one has a reason to be there, and we have told every single one why they’re being held. There was never any question about that.

    When I call people who demand diplomacy “self-haters,” I’m referring to the first few lines of the post. Read it again. The same people who demand diplomacy are unwilling to give it.

  3. “Every single detainee at Gitmo was either taken prisoner on the battlefield or arrested due to statements made by those captured on the battlefield. ”

    That doesn’t mean that due process should fall by the wayside like it did with Saberi. You can’t champion one and condemn the other. If you’re going to take that position once, go all the way and support it full time…

    “Every single one has a reason to be there, and we have told every single one why they’re being held”

    Which completely coincides with the fact that none of them have been charged with anything meaningful and have been and continue to be routinely released without charges. That was my point, detainees were NOT being told why they were being segregated from the rest of their countrymen for months and years at a time.

    “When I call people who demand diplomacy “self-haters,” I’m referring to the first few lines of the post. Read it again. The same people who demand diplomacy are unwilling to give it.”

    It seems like you were trying to carry over an argument to something completely unrelated and it didn’t seem to fit. If you’re referring to the Iranian authorities as self haters, I think that may be a bit of a stretch as well…

  4. It’s not a stretch. You can’t say “we need to be more diplomatic” and then turn around and say, “you’re an idiot, I hate you!” It makes you sound like a hypocrite.

    Explain to me how we are to give enemy combatants “due process.” They are military detainees and as such are subject to the rules of war. We’re not talking about people caught committing crimes on US soil; they were attempting to commit acts of war from foreign soil and, at one point, succeeded (in case you don’t remember).

    Iran does not and has never recognized anything remotely like due process. The only reason Ahmadinejad promised a “full defense” was because he knew everyone was gonna be pissed off about this whole thing. He’s just learned to say “nice doggie” to keep us at bay while he finds a bigger stick.

  5. “It’s not a stretch. You can’t say “we need to be more diplomatic” and then turn around and say, “you’re an idiot, I hate you!” It makes you sound like a hypocrite.”

    That’s my point, it sounds an awful lot like what you’re doing. You’re saying it’s cool to detain what has at this point been overwhelmingly innocent people indefinitely, but Iran is wrong for essentially doing what we did. The truth is, they’re both wrong, and two don’t equal one in this case.

    “Explain to me how we are to give enemy combatants “due process.” They are military detainees and as such are subject to the rules of war.”

    Well, before you lock someone up indefinitely, it might be wise to tell them why they’re being locked up. War or not, you can’t just stow someone away and let them know why they’re being held against their will. If you or I did that, it’d be called kidnapping.

    “We’re not talking about people caught committing crimes on US soil”

    Apparently, we’re not talking about criminal activity at all, because if we were, we wouldn’t be playing catch and release with the people you’re so quick to judge as ‘terrorists’. This has been the problem with fighting a war on a tactic. If it’s treated as a law enforcement issue, rather than a military one, we’d have much more success. Clinton treated the WTC bombers as criminals, because they were. They were prosecuted by the Department of Justice and those found guilty in a court of law are rotting prison right this moment. No Americans were killed trying to chase after these people, no one was tortured into giving phony information, and no illegitimate war was waged on a country that had nothing to do with the attack on our soil.

  6. I have little tolerance for the “illegitimate war” bit. Talk to the guys who have been there. Talk to the guys who have worked intel and ask them what they think about Saddam’s WMD’s. If I could say who I knew, I would; however, since I cannot, suffice it to say I have on very good authority that Saddam did, in fact, have WMD’s. I would also point out that he used them, thus the evidence. Plenty of evidence is there, you just don’t want to see it.

    Terrorism is different than regular home-grown criminal activity. We’re still trying to figure out exactly what to do with it. But one thing is absolutely clear: when an entire people have called for the destruction of our country, and they have helped send small sects of their own to commit atrocities the likes of which you cannot compare to American military these days, it is an act of war and needs to be treated as such. The US Constitution does not provide for prisoners of war. The UCMJ does, however, and it is being applied. Your own Obama has admitted it’s a much tougher issue than he initially realized.

    When someone is captured on the battlefield, gun in hand, actively trying to kill us, they know perfectly well what they’re being held for. We here in the US know a little bit of the evidence at the very least, and we know there’s a reason for Gitmo. In the case of Roxana Saberi, they couldn’t even get their story straight. They barely figured out what they were arresting her for, and there’s no evidence being put forth for any of the reasons they gave for throwing her in jail. There’s a big difference here.

  7. “I have little tolerance for the “illegitimate war” bit.”

    But apparently, tolerance abound for being part of a tiny minority that chooses to believe a lie that has yet to be proven to be otherwise.

    “Talk to the guys who have been there”

    One could suggest the same to you.

    http://ivaw.org/

    “suffice it to say I have on very good authority that Saddam did, in fact, have WMD’s”

    That’s funny, because I, along with the rest of the world, have it on better, non cherry picked authorities (also known as reality) that he didn’t. Where were they Mel? Why didn’t we find them where Rumsfeld said we would? He said they were in Tikrit and Baghdad, and East, South, North, and West of there. We didn’t find anything because it was a lie, and Bush knew it before it left his lips. Why else would Cheney need to rely on forged documents to support the phony assertion that Hussein tried to purchase yellowcake from Niger? Why else would he need to publicly out a clandestine CIA operative to punish her husband? And, above all else, why, if these weapons that only you seem to know about, did the former president feel the need to publicly admit that “the intelligence was wrong”?

    “Plenty of evidence is there, you just don’t want to see it.”

    Pot, meet kettle…

    “when an entire people have called for the destruction of our country, and they have helped send small sects of their own to commit atrocities the likes of which you cannot compare to American military these days, it is an act of war and needs to be treated as such”

    Where was this combative attitude when Iran sent troops to help us fight in Afghanistan? Where was it when they held candle light vigils to honor the 3,000 dead in NYC? Funny how all David Frum has to write are the words “axis of evil” to get you all riled up…

    “The UCMJ does, however, and it is being applied”

    Yeah, now! And it’s only for the best. What is the point in detaining people who haven’t done anything?

    “When someone is captured on the battlefield, gun in hand, actively trying to kill us, they know perfectly well what they’re being held for”

    Why don’t the rest of know then? And it’s not so cut and dry. All those people know is, their country is being invaded and occupied, what the fuck are they supposed to do, just bend over for us? You’ve got guns, what would you do if this country were invaded and occupied tomorrow, be okay with it? I always find it fascinating that the right is so indignant about foreigners defending themselves in their own country, yet fight tooth and nail for us to be able to enjoy the same right in this one…

    “They barely figured out what they were arresting her for, and there’s no evidence being put forth for any of the reasons they gave for throwing her in jail. There’s a big difference here.”

    No, there isn’t. It’s precisely the same thing, only the shoe is on the other foot, so now you have a problem with it. There was no reason put forth for scooping up brown people and holding them against their will, completely ignoring Habeas Corpus, and there’s obviously no evidence with which to file charges, hence the torture to try to get information that they know damn well doesn’t exist, and the inverse, letting them go free.

  8. Please, Robert, tell me you did not just suggest that I go to the Iraq Veterans Against the War website.

    “Where were they Mel? Why didn’t we find them where Rumsfeld said we would?”

    Because Syria has them. You’re not going to hear that from the MSM because that would sink their liberal boat. Plenty of evidence was found–the buildings where the chemical weapons were made, traces of evidence in the buildings and in the soil–it’s there. If you find traces of a murder victim’s blood in the trunk of someone’s car, you’re apt to believe that the person who owns that car likely killed the victim, right? So why not believe the evidence that exists to prove Saddam’s WMD programs? Or his own words, put out on recording by no less than CNN for the world to hear?

    Iran sent troops to HELP us in Afghanistan? You’re joking, right? The only troops sent by Iran were sent to help the Taliban. And a friend of mine was in Iran on 9/11 on a mission trip; he told me the only reason he knew was that people were firing their guns in the air and celebrating the event, not showing compassion for the dead.

    As I said, I know plenty of people who have been there. I’ve lost two friends to this war. Many have come home with life-altering injuries, and the rest are just trying to re-adjust to life back home. Every single one of them despise the IVAW nitwits.

  9. “Because Syria has them”

    Thanks, Mel, I needed that laugh. So you’re the one who believes that Syria has the missing WMDs. Any particular reason you didn’t contact the appropriate authorities? There isn’t one iota of evidence to suggest the crackpot theory you put forth is true. If you sincerely believe that Iraq possessed WMDs, as, presumably the Bush Administration did, why aren’t there any satellite photos of all these weapons crossing the border? You know damn well that if that was suspected of being the case, they’d have every inch of Iraq’s border being surveilled. Yet, nothing, not even so much as a peep out of the Administration who just loved scaring the American people senseless. I don’t know who you’re trying to convince with this drivel, you or me…

    “Iran sent troops to HELP us in Afghanistan? You’re joking, right? The only troops sent by Iran were sent to help the Taliban.”

    And I suppose you also find it humorous that within hours of the 9/11 attacks, Mohammad Khatami had condemned the action. It’s also worthy of a chuckle that Tehran offered to help rescue American pilots in the event of a shoot-down. Yeah, this all a giant prank on my part, Mel…

    “people were firing their guns in the air and celebrating the event, not showing compassion for the dead.”

    Right…

    I’m sure not every citizen of Iran loves America, but the country as a whole was very supportive until your fucking cowboy decided to call them evil for no apparent reason.

    “As I said, I know plenty of people who have been there. I’ve lost two friends to this war”

    And yet, you still support it for some reason…

    “Every single one of them despise the IVAW nitwits.”

    That’s funny, because every vet I’ve ever met coming back from Iraq is all of a sudden a liberal, complete with desires to run for Congress as democrats. Go figure!

  10. “why aren’t there any satellite photos of all these weapons crossing the border?”

    We have them. In fact, it was on the news. There was a massive movement of SOMETHING from Iraq into Syria on the eve of the invasion–which is why I and my family and friends have said all along that announcing a date for the invasion was a horrible idea. And by the way, my family is all intel and they’ve served both behind the lines and at the front. I know a couple of infantrymen who came back as liberals; they were not political before. Those two also didn’t graduate high school and didn’t care about the direction of their lives until they were forced to join the military to have a steady job. Both, however, still believed in their mission and believe in it to this day. They both know what I think of their views now but we still agree that something needed to be done about Saddam.

    Since YouTube is doing some kind of maintenance I’m unable to watch the clips you posted. But I know the political bent of the user who posted them. Try using someone a little less biased.

    “And yet, you still support it for some reason…”

    THAT was a low blow, and for that you can shove it. Both Tyler and Johnny believed in what they were doing to the day they died, and their families are proud of their sacrifice. Many of the Gold Star Families I know get very angry when their sons’ names are used in anti-war protests.

    I don’t make my choices in belief lightly, Robert. I never have. Were it not for the fact that all of my family and friends who have served are still in, I’d ask them to join me in a video to prove that all soldiers/marines/airmen/sailors DON’T come home jaded and depressed. You’re not going to hear directly from those guys as long as they’re serving, and many of them are career folks. So you’re not likely to hear the opinions of any of them any time soon. And even if you did, most of the MSM wouldn’t give it airtime–it might prove them wrong, and God knows we can’t have that.

  11. Am I not allowed to post links anymore?

    Don’t know if you can view these, but here’s Iran’s “supposed” candle light vigils

    And here’s where they helped us in Afghanistan

  12. “We have them. In fact, it was on the news”

    And, so the war president neglected to mention this because?…

    I’ve found no credible news reports that link WMD movement into Syria, unless you trust a disgruntles Israeli. Even your own people say it simply isn’t true:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,107946,00.html

    “which is why I and my family and friends have said all along that announcing a date for the invasion was a horrible idea”

    48 hours is announcing a date? Bush knew before he issued his chicken shit ultimatum that he was going to invade, and as such, I don’t think 48 hours is adequate time to move stockpiles of weapons into another country at all, even discounting the fact that we had eyes on every inch of all of Iraq’s borders.

    “Since YouTube is doing some kind of maintenance I’m unable to watch the clips you posted. But I know the political bent of the user who posted them. Try using someone a little less biased.”

    The first was a series of still photos showing Iranian’s support of America and of the candle light vigils. The second was a CNN News report, and if you think they’re biased, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    “THAT was a low blow, and for that you can shove it.”

    I don’t understand what the low blow was. You must have misconstrued what my point was. The war impacted your life on a personal level, and as such, I just think it would influence your opinion in the opposite way. I see no reason for one boot to have been on the ground in Iraq. In my view, 4,201 brave men and women gave their lives in vain. Please don’t take what I said as disrespect towards your fallen friends, because whatever my view on the war, I have nothing but respect for those willing to serve this country. Just last weekend, I met my buddy Hector in Las Vegas for a Rockabilly show, and I met a soldier on leave from Iraq, and I told him the same thing I just told you, and that is, I completely disagree with the mission, but I respect the hell out of you for basically forking your life over to the government in service to this country. And guess what, he didn’t agree with his mission either, but it’s not their job to let politics influence whether or not they follow orders. Just because I believe that that service was misguided, doesn’t mean I’m one of those fictitious people that spat on returning service members from Vietnam (which, by the way, was made up out of whole cloth). The reason I can appreciate the dichotomy between soldier and mission is because I recognize that soldiers don’t set policy, their job is to blow things up and to kill people, and they do a damn good job at it. So you can tell me to shove it, that’s cool. I’m not even mad…

    “I don’t make my choices in belief lightly, Robert”

    Neither do most of us, I’m no exception

    “You’re not going to hear directly from those guys as long as they’re serving, and many of them are career folks. So you’re not likely to hear the opinions of any of them any time soon.”

    Look, the military is just like the rest of the country: divided. It’s naive to think that all military members are rabid right wingers, and it’s equally naive to assume they ALL come back as cheerleaders for Code Pink. I know opinions run the gamut, and I know that they aren’t supposed to speak their minds on the subject. One the one hand you have people like Pat Tillman, who was vocal about the illegitimacy of the Iraq war, and you’ve got dummies like the guy who refused to take any order that came from Obama, but those are just the guys who make the news. I’m sure the reality of it is, may soldiers share your view, and just as many share mine.

    “And even if you did, most of the MSM wouldn’t give it airtime–it might prove them wrong, and God knows we can’t have that.”

    Uh, is this the same media that beat the war drums for the Administration (including the “liberal” New York Times), and fired people like Phil Donahue for pointing out the insanity behind the rush to war? That media?

  13. “And I think you need to be more clear on why it is you think that people that advocate for diplomacy in favor of dropping bombs are self haters, …”

    When a person tells you and shows you which way the river runs you can either believe that or deny that. Iran is seeking appeasement and history shows that never works.

    As for that American journalist, she should have stayed in the U.S. I am sick of tired of Americans who go overseas, get in trouble, and then go begging for mercy. Iran is not a nice place, she knew that, so she should have stayed in the U.S. She chose to go to Iran so now she has to pay the freight on it.

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