7 thoughts on “Why Kos Has ‘Gone Stupid’ on the Lebanon Crisis – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Kos just plain is stupid about some issues, including the war that convulsed his birth country. Which I’d forgive easily, since he left El Salvador when he was eight or nine, if he didn’t pretend to a greater understanding of that situation than he has (or could possibly have had). Now he’s pretending to have learned deep lessons from it that, as you point out, are not so deep.

    He described the FMLN as “Maoists” in an interview in the SF Chronicle last year. I’ve frankly never heard a Salvadoran make such an ignorant statement, and it would cause me to dismiss anything else he says about the conflict there even if I hadn’t already had evidence of his willingness to talk through his hat about it. In April 2004, he claimed that guerrillas executed students as government informers/collaborators in his neighborhood in San Salvador. This is not impossible, but for a variety of reasons seems unlikely to me. One of those reasons is that he made this claim in April 2004 in his emotional, defensive response to right-wingers’ attack on him for calling the Blackwater mercenaries mercenaries. What a convenient incident, I thought then: it could gain sympathy from his readers, disarm rightists, and was so very difficult, and therefore unlikely, to be disproved.

    His politics just don’t allow him to deal with the issues raised by armed struggle. He’s a liberal, and a tactician, and very reluctant to say things that will allow him to be marginalized inside the Democratic party. In an effort to say the safe thing about situations of which he has no grasp but feels obliged to say something, he therefore says things that are stupid or wrong.

  2. Beautifully put.

    I had no idea he was from El Salvador. I’m guessing he was born into a wealthy family & so is suspicious of the FMLN for class & political reasons. This could also explain why he doesn’t want to wade into discussion of other guerilla struggles like those of the Palestinians or Lebanese.

  3. Kos is a classic liberal—
    When things get a bit more complicated than market based capitalism,
    and one has to face the condition of that perspective, he will hold on to
    whatever is needed and scream as the light brings reality into focus.
    I did some time in El Salvador, and found it a classic oligarchy, with more
    class distinction than almost anyplace I have been. El Salvador would
    of lasted two days without being a US client. I found working people on the
    edge of poverty with a deeper understanding of politics than 99% of the US

  4. Scott: I wonder whether you referenced El Salvador because you knew that was where Kos was raised as a child. BTW, fr. what an e mail correspondent tells me he severely distrusts the FMLN. In an interview w. a SF publication last yr. he called the group “Maoist.” Where in hell would he get that notion? He seems to despise the former guerillas. I don’t mind someone feeling that way as long as they get their facts straight which he doesn’t.

    No doubt, if he DID write about the I-P conflict he would also show his ignorance in that area as well.

  5. Kos doesn’t want blog dissent so he keeps mum…and he has his little troll hunters strike down anybody with differing views. Daily Kos has become a colony, not a community.

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