Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bert May Be Evil, but Michael's a Moore-on

Way back in 1998, the website Bert is Evil sprung up, featuring Bert from Sesame Street PhotoShopped into various photos of evil people and events, like the one on your left. 

Bert, by the way, is a felt and foam rubber puppet and is not actually evil. But the man in the photo with him was. I'm sure there's no need to get into the details, we all know them. And we all know what happened two weeks ago, when US Navy SEALS raided bin Laden's compound in northern Pakistan.

When news of the 9/11 attacks reached the Middle East, radical Islamists took to the streets in celebration, hailing bin Laden and rejoicing in the deaths of 3000 of their fellow human beings. The attacks prompted two wars which have cost billions of dollars and over 4000 more American lives. 

Is it any wonder that not long after President Obama announced bin Laden's death, that Americans also took to the streets in celebration?

To be perfectly honest, I was conflicted. On one hand, I was very happy to hear that one of the world's most evil men no longer existed. On the other, I thought the celebration made us look just as bad as the Muslims who celebrated on that awful day in September of 2001. 

In 2004, documentarian Michael Moore released Fahrenheit 9/11, an expose on how George W. Bush supposedly used the events if 9/11/01 to mount unwarranted attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, wars that have been taking American lives for almost 10 years now. 

Moore pointed out the Bush family's oil-interests and relationships with Middle Eastern potentates; claimed that important Arabs were flown out of the US just before the attacks and that W knew well in advance but did nothing, hoping to start a war that would eventually drive up the price of oil and ensure profits for the Bush family and their cronies. I have no doubt that much of that is true. I also have no doubt that Bush used his brother to steal the election in 2000, but that's not what I'm talking about tonight.

Moore recently published his "final thoughts" on the death of bin Laden, and I have to take exception to some of what he has written, as much as it may pain this 'dyed in the wool' liberal Democrat to say so. 

Moore started his post by quoting himself:

"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in an interview last week

Really? First of all, Moore's hyperbolic numbers are just plain wrong. Tens of Millions? 6 million wasn't enough for him? He had to make it 20 Million plus? I'm not trying to diminish or dismiss the horrors of the Holocaust, here. 6 million dead is pretty damned awful. But does anyone really want to make Hitler's genocide worse than it was? Apparently, Moore does. 

He then goes on to talk about how he went to Ground Zero the night bin Laden was killed, and was appalled by the "frat-boy" atmosphere he found there. Really? After everything that's happened since 9/11, this is the thing that upsets him? The ridiculous rules imposed by TSA; the torture of Guantanamo Bay prisoners; the lack of WMDs in Iraq; the loss of 4000+ U.S. Military lives; the outrageous cost of waging 2 pointless wars; ginormous Big Oil profits; our loss of privacy and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and Moore is upset that people are celebrating the death of American Public Enemy #1? Get over yourself, already.

Here's the thing: Fueled by the hatred of Islamic extremists who burn our flags in the streets, burn our presidents in effigy and claim America is "the Great Satan," is it any wonder that Americans celebrated the way they did? Yes, times are different. But Germans didn't take to the streets of Berlin, burning the Union Jack during the blitzkrieg or declare Poland "the Great Satan" when they invaded, unlike the extremists who took to the streets on 9/11, burning the Stars and Stripes and chanting "Death to USA!"

So I must ask Mr. Moore who are the losers here? Americans rejoicing at the death of a monster who sought to destroy our country and ultimately deprive Moore of the freedom to make the kinds of documentaries the U.S. Constitution allows him to make? Or the fanatics who corrupt their own religion to justify the murder of thousands of innocents?

I'm not trying to take any sides here... I'll just quietly rejoice that an evil man has been eradicated and hope that cooler heads will prevail in the months to come. Would I have liked to see bin Laden tried? Sure. But I'm just as happy to know he's dead.

Even after all that's come to pass since 9/11/01, I will not and cannot deny the rights of Americans to celebrate as they seem fit to do. Honestly, how is this all that different from this?

More, anon.


Pax Romano said...

Very good points, all well taken. That said, I understand where M.M. was coming from.

I am guilty of some knee-jerk Facebook shenanigans right after OBL died, but the next day, I felt like an ass for what I posted. I don't have to bring myself down to the level of others to prove a point. That said, I can't help but understand why people did celebrate this man's death. He helped to change the face of day to day life in America (if not the world) all based on his mythological beliefs.

Be that as it may, I really did enjoy your article. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

All those issues you want MM to talk about instead of the frat boys he does - all the time.

As for American's taking to the street, it may appear as a celebration of OBL's death but I can see it as a loss of American ideals and principles.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

A lot of what I believe stems from the fact that I'm atheist. I don't have faith, I don't believe in fairies or in gods or leprechauns. I also don't believe in the devil. I look at humanity and human behavior in what I think is objectivity. That is, I'm not one of those spiritual people that believe that there is some shred of goodness in everyone, no matter how evil. I do think evil truly exists and that people can be rotten to the core. They do not get punished in the afterlife because there is no afterlife. If you are to seek justice on a person that has wronged someone, it needs to be done while they are alive. Bin Laden was a fucking bastard and deserved to die and I'm completely okay with that and yeah...even celebrate it. That's just how I feel about that. I also feel the same way regarding similar evil fucks that haven't been hauled to justice. Those people need to die and I hope someone puts a bullet in them.

Prospero said...

I knew this would generate some comments... People are rather passionate about the topic. And I'm sure Moore talks about those other issues. We all do. But we've after this very dangerous and very evil man for almost 10 years now. For a very public figure like Moore to try and shame people into feeling guilty for celebrating his death is ridiculous.