Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Thursday, October 10, 2002
The Marine and the Terrorist
Max Sawicky has taken some heat for asserting that warbloggers 'hail [Ollie North] as an American hero.' Ted Barlow came to Max's defense, noting that if not specifically among conservative bloggers, North clearly has a large following in the US right. And it is important to remember that bloggers are a relatively small and insignificant group, on both left and right.
Along with the evidence Ted offers, another interesting example is a popular right wing myth, in which North is the hero. One thing which North was criticized for in Iran-Contra was accepting the gift of an expensive security system for his home. North did create such a system, and he seems to have financed it illegally from Iranian arms sale funds, forging some documents in the process. In his defense, it should be noted that there was a plausible basis for believing that North really was a target of terrorists, and the US took the threat seriously enough to move his family out of their home onto a military base. The terrorist North claimed was after him was the notorious and recently deceased Abu Nidal.
In the myth, North replied by saying that he was under attack by "the most evil person alive", Osama Bin Laden. North was laughed at by his audience for being so worried about a man they had never heard of, and mocked by the Senator questioning him, who in most versions is Al Gore.
Almost all of this is a fabrication. The questioning about the security system was actually conducted by John Nields, an attorney working for the committee. Gore never asked about that or anything else, because he wasn't a member of the committee. North never mentioned Bin Laden, who at that time was an American ally fighting against the USSR in Afghanistan and had never carried out or even threatened any attacks on Americans.
This tale of how Ollie North prophesied while Al Gore and America slept promptly spread all across the Internet. Its popularity shows that North is indeed a folk hero, if not specifically among bloggers, at least among some portion - you might even call it the 'idiotarian' portion - of the right. Of course pulling in Al Gore from left field shows that he, along with Bill and Hillary, is equally iconic as a villain. It's especially amusing since it's the right that loves to claim Gore makes up stories about his past.