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Monday, September 08, 2003


Al Franken, we hardly knew ye

I've just finished reading Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Franken's expose of the lies and the lying ways of right-wing stalwarts including Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and George Bush has lots of good material (it also has lots I could have done without, including gratuitous pornography, an abundance of foul language, and a ridiculous chapter in which he imagines various right-wing draft-evaders on patrol in the Mekong).

But imagine my surprise when I got to the end of the book and discovered the chapter entitled "My Personal Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction," in which I learn that Franken not only supported the invasion of Iraq, but even spoke at one of the Clear Channel pro-war rallies, making jokes at the expense of the French and Hans Blix. Franken says he was "terrified by the imminent threat to me and my family posed by Iraq's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction."

Now this is truly incredible. Here is a man capable of writing an entire book about the lies of the Bush administration and their friends on the right, and he claims to have been taken in by the most transparent lies this side of Jon Lovitz's pathological liar Tommy Flanagan? He even claims to be "not a believer in the Bush Doctrine of preemption," and he still supported the war? How can this be explained?

Personally, I can only think of a single explanation - Al Franken, like most Jews in the United States, is a supporter of Israel ("Neo-cons support the Jewish state for the same reasons I do: because it is the only democracy in the region, and because they're Jewish"), and anything that is perceived as being good for Israel, or bad for Arabs, any Arabs, is something that such people will support, no matter no irrational or evil it may be. Those who criticize Israel are invariably accused of being anti-Semitic. Shall we accuse Franken of being an anti-Arab racist because of his otherwise totally inexplicable support for the war against Iraq? No, I won't, but it's certainly a distinct possibility.

If Franken has a better explanation for his support for the invasion of Iraq, I'll be glad to publish it here. Email me, Al, the address is at the upper right.

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