Thursday, February 11, 2010

Incineration and Incarceration of Innocents

totally different from what the Nazis did. shut up, that's why.

Why is it that any time I read something by a wingnut, the first thing I have to do is consult a dictionary? It's not like they're using words I'm unfamiliar with, it's that they're using them in exceedingly peculiar ways.

tragedy: a disastrous event

just so we're clear,

disastrous: attended by or causing suffering

I didn't need that reminder of what "tragedy" and "disastrous" mean, but apparently, Alan Fraser at American Thinker does.

Here is a newspaper headline: "The
Economic Cost of the Mumbai Tragedy."
The article was referring to the
November 2008 massacre in Bombay by jihadists. Remember that one? To those who
write headlines and give speeches for a living, Mumbai was just another in a
growing list of sad "tragedies." In this particular "tragedy," Islamists
slaughtered 173 and wounded 300.

Here is a short and incomplete list of national figures who view September
11, 2001 as a "tragedy":

So, what part of either the Mumbai attack or September 11 wasn't tragic? What part of either of those events did not involve suffering? Can anyone think of anything? Bueller?

Mr. Fraser can: neither the Mumbai attack nor September 11 led to internment camps or nuclear reprisals. I. Am. Not. Making. This. Up.

Let's think back for a moment. Nearly seventy years ago, a distant Pacific
island, a U.S. territory, was attacked, and over 2,000 U.S. military personnel
were killed. Was that event ever called a "tragedy"? By anyone? In the words of
our president, the Japanese had orchestrated an "unprovoked and dastardly
attack." The choice of those precise words helped mobilize a nation and launch a
war to thoroughly defeat the enemy that had attacked us.

In fact, so angry, energized and, dedicated were we to defeating that
enemy that one of our nation's first acts was to round-up 200,000 loyal Japanese
Americans and throw them into internment camps for the duration of the war. And
what was our final response to that unprovoked and dastardly attack? It was to
drop atomic bombs on two of our enemy's cities, thereby incinerating over
200,000 civilians in order to make that enemy surrender. It worked. We were
committed to that cause because we never surrendered to the "tragedy" and
"trauma" of December 7th.

For those not versed in American history, Mr. Fraser is referring to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which ushered in American involvement in WWII. That event also ushered in one of the most shameful events in American history- placing Japanese Americans that had done absolutely nothing wrong in internment camps simply for being of Japanese descent.

This is not something to be proud of.

You know what else we shouldn't be terribly proud of? Incinerating hundreds of thousands of noncombatants by dropping nuclear bombs on civilian centers. Yes, I know, it ended the war and saved us all from . . . something, but I still don't think slaughtering civilians wholesale is something to be proud of.

The rest of Mr. Fraser's post is a complaint that using the word "tragedy" just doesn't inspire action in people. Yes, he spends paragraphs complaining that after September 11 we did not open internment camps or drop nuclear weapons. Apparently, starting two wars, spending billions and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis just isn't enough for some people, not when we could have children dying in internment camps and nuclear winter.

Ah, the good old days.


  1. Wow, just wow.

    Also he obviously doesn't understand what infamy means:

    1 : evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking, or brutal
    2 a : an extreme and publicly known criminal or evil act b : the state of being infamous

  2. "What does that mean, in-famous?" "Oh, Dusty. In-famous is when you're MORE than famous. This man El Guapo, he's not just famous, he's IN-famous." "100,000 pesos to perform with this El Guapo, who's probably the biggest actor to come out of Mexico!" "Wow, in-famous? IN-famous?"

    Sorry, there was really no way around that.

    When I was in D.C. in November I was walking to Union Station to catch my train home and passed the memorial to Japanese-Americans interned during WWII. It's off a busy avenue (Louisiana, maybe?) surrounded by chunky office buildings, but something about it creates this tranquil, sad, contemplative space. It's really very moving. And, again, very sad. It's amazing to think that we did that. Absolutely amazing and confounding.

  3. Also, hello, WE DO HAVE INTERNMENT CAMPS. Not on the same scale, and certainly the government and the military try to justify their existence, but...we have them.

  4. Wow, Nymph. I haven't seen the Three Amigos in a long time, let alone seen it quoted.

  5. This seems similar to how recently one of the National Review bloggers argued that conservatives shouldn't like Star Trek because it promoted ""peace, tolerance, due process, progress" which are apparently liberal ideas. See

    Sometimes one really doesn't need to know how to respond. I suspect that "not torturing people" is going to be considered a liberal ideal pretty soon too if it isn't already.


Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at