I post this with the full knowledge that the court was not the place to win this battle, but let’s be honest about what the ACA actually accomplishes. For some people.
America’s past is full of laws that help “some”, but not all, of its citizens. Enough. We have to keep pushing for single-payer healthcare for everyone, even if it means at the state level. Vermont did it - with bipartisan support - through their state legislature. Wherever it can happen, we need to push. The ACA corporate give-away is not a “win”, but a really shitty step towards (maybe backwards) from a humane healthcare system.
Or tell me to be a “realist”.
In those cases where the preexisting and preferred narrative is crucial to a person’s sense of self-worth (and often, when it is critical to their livelihood), it is close to impossible that a fundamental reassessment of that narrative will be permitted or seriously considered. The only direction psychologically is steadily downward: the frame of reference constantly diminishes, and the person becomes less and less able to address any issue accurately and truthfully. Neither “side” has a monopoly on this fundamental failure — and even though both conservatives and liberals furiously deny that they act in this manner, their own commentary and behavior reveals the truth on a daily basis.
Egypt’s president-elect Mohammed Morsi swears symbolic oath of office in Tahrir Square, defying military rulers - AP, Reuters
Another excerpt from Bassam Haddad’s amazing piece at Jadaliyya, Ajamindustry:
“That dark prospect [all out killing] surely explains the reluctance of the Obama administration to try to stop Bashar’s killing machine, even as the Syrian rebels beg for our help. It’s too easy to envision an Iraqi-style blood bath after Bashar’s demise. Ajami is frustrated by Obama’s passivity, and indeed, as the killing goes on, it is getting harder for all of us to avert our eyes. Why is Syria different from Libya, where Obama and NATO, at very low cost, stopped an almost certain humanitarian disaster? Why is it different from Yugoslavia?” — Dexter Filkins
I probably would watch myself get older as I address the gamut of problematic assumptions and assertions here. Only in America can one write such words, and in the New York Times nonetheless.
To take the first part of the quote, we are to understand that the United States is not interfering on humanitarian grounds to avert a bigger humanitarian disaster. Because otherwise, the United States would have certainly been motivated to avert the killing machine. Since when did the United States make it a habit to intervene on such grounds? The record shows that the United States has supported killing machines for decades, from those of the Shah of Iran and Noriega, to Pinochet and Saddam. And when it had to, it cut the “middle man” and presided over the most structurally egregious killing machine of sanctions in Iraq after 1991, only to invade that country militarily and usher in, with its own killing, a devastatingly systematic killing spree there that lasted for years. The reviewer and the reviewed author speak of the United States like children asking why there are mean people in the world—except they can know better when they so desire. They jettison regional politics, national interests, balances of power, and all semblance of realism in favor of highlighting the humanity of a leadership that is seldom exercised in international affairs. The United States may well be reluctant, but it is no secret that this reluctance is rooted in a calculation based on the (in)ability to control outcomes and unintended consequences, and on a host of other factors dealing with regional and international impediments/considerations.
And now we arrive at the central part in the world of delusion, and, let us say unintended imperial cruelty: “Why is Syria different from Libya, where Obama and NATO, at very low cost, stopped an almost certain humanitarian disaster?”
Let us assume NATO’s intervention averted a humanitarian disaster for real. What kind of imperial pompousness would allow anyone to attach the phrase “at very low cost” to an intervention that produced anywhere between thirty thousand to fifty thousand deaths, compared to about two thousand before the NATO invasion? That “at very low cost” is very difficult to swallow or assign to analytical faux pas. It is very much part of the value assigned to Arab life. We have seen it in the discussions on Iraq and elsewhere in the region. The most significant aspect of such commentary is that it is firmly internalized, and many of its users and consumers take it for granted, or at least are not aware of its cruelty. In fact, the staggering numbers of those killed make it very difficult to speak of averting a humanitarian disaster. Finally, a similar intervention in Syria would make Libya look like a picnic for the same reasons that Mr. Obama is reluctant—except that the reluctance is about the uncertainty of the outcome, not about the humanitarian dimension. As for “Why is it different from Yugoslavia?” maybe it has to do with the presence of Hizballah, Iran, Israel, Islamists, and oil around Syria.
Let us leave it at that. Ajamindustry is alive and well, just in case one thought the uprisings would shake monolithic reductionism.
When Hafez died, in 2000, he bequeathed power to his son, the London-educated Bashar, age 34.
Where do I begin? This “western-educated” drug fascinates westerners. “He was educated in the West.” It is such an important and telling part of the puzzle. “But he was educated in the West, how could he commit this horror?” Had he been educated not in the West, it would have been more understandable. Nothing beats “he was educated in the West,” except that Hitler was also educated in the West. In fact, Most Western leaders, from colonial masters to former president George W. Bush, were educated in the West. It did not do them any good. The faith in the dichotomy continues to fascinate. To be fair, the reviewer is not the only one. I got this question in almost every interview about Syria at the outset of the uprising.
— Ajamindustry by Bassam Haddad