Mark Shea, whom FPM exposed March 8 in “A Catholic Writer’s Propaganda For Iran,” offered this defense on his blog:
“In point of fact, I affirm Israel’s existence and think Jews, like Palestinians, deserve a homeland. I’m big on people having a home. I merely reject the propositions that a) Israel is immaculately conceived and preserved from all sin, both original and actual b) it’s our job to defend Israel (or Germany, Japan, Korea and the scores of other countries our Empire extends to)and c) we need to pound the drums for war with Iran.”
Let’s examine these propositions.
Regarding Israel, nobody would regard it as “immaculately conceived and preserved from all sin, both original and actual.” This rhetorical straw man caricatures pro-Israel opinion, and allows Shea not only to disregard Israeli concerns about self-defense but also the likelihood of an independent Palestinian state dedicating itself to Israel’s destruction.
In addition, Shea uses his “immaculate conception” meme to browbeat Israel’s supporters. On March 30, Shea condemned Benjamin Kirstein’s assertion that criticizing Israel “is either subjectively anti-Semitic, in that it consciously and intentionally furthers the goals of the campaign (to destroy Israel); or it is objectively anti-Semitic, in that it unconsciously and unintentionally does the same thing.”
Shea labeled Kerstein’s assertion “a particularly idiotic act of idolatry” and accused Kerstein of calling Israel a “sinless utopia,” which Kerstein never even implied.
Besides, since when did opposing anti-Semitic genocide — even clumsily –become a particularly idiotic act of idolatry?
Also, since when did the United States become an “empire”? If the United States is an “empire,” why did it withdraw troops from Iraq? Why didn’t it turn Iraq into a colony when it had the chance? Why does Iraq have an independent government? Why is the United States contemplating withdrawing troops from Afghanistan?
Moreover, why did the United States close military bases once the Cold War ended?
“And if Russia doesn’t appreciate your chickenhawk class’ election year need to look tough and throw some crappy little country against the wall just to show you mean business, you might discover that China wasn’t just whistling dixie when she warned of WWIII as a result of your rash pre-emptive war.”
On the same day — in a post sarcastically entitled “Today’s Pro-Mullah Propaganda”– Shea linked to a story on the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers’ warnings to the United States about attacking Iran.
“Actually, it’s just the common sense proposition that pre-emptive war is unjust, not to mention stupid and dangerous. One need not support the goons in Iran to see this.”
Shea believes pre-emptive attacks violate Catholic ethics. Logically, he cites for support the military and diplomatic leaders of two nations that not only are tone-deaf to Catholicism but also are cavalier about human rights.
Shea reinforces the “empire” myth by exploiting the travails of American troops. On March 14, Shea posted about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians:
“The real criminals will never be charged in the mass murder in Afghanistan. These would be the members of our Ruling Classes who sent a brain-injured soldier back into battle for yet another tour of duty (his fourth!)…Sending this valiant and deeply self-sacrificial all-volunteer force back into battle again and again and again in order to maintain the empire–and in such a massive exercise in futility as our Afghan experiment in nation-building — is the real crime here….Leave Afghanistan. Now.”
Shea amplified that theme April 10:
“Not surprisingly, our armed forces, stretched to the breaking point by ten years of being used as lab rats in our ongoing experiments, are now massively medicated. You would be too if you and your family were shoveled around like concrete and your life was being thrown away on a colossal exercise in futility. Not one more drop of blood from our young men and women. Get us out of Afghanistan now.”
Shea ended with a hysterical, violent demand:
“Strip our legislative and executive branches of all wages and earnings except their pay for their office, and give it as a fund for wounded vets. If they complain, jail them until their experimental wars are over.”
Shea’s patronizing rhetoric demeans and insults American soldiers. It portrays them as slaves and dupes of an ostensibly evil political system. It is subtle, manipulative, cynical and beyond despicable.
It also ignores the reason for the invasion and occupation: to prevent Islamic terrorists from establishing a base for more attacks against civilians.
“Al-Qaeda is still present in Afghanistan,” U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker told London’s Daily Telegraph, which reported that about 100 al-Qaeda irregulars have returned, according to NATO estimates, with hundreds stationed in Pakistan.
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