Thursday, January 10, 2008

The American primary elections are getting tons of coverage in the Spanish press. Today La Vanguardia gives Hillary Clinton a front-page photo, and the New Hampshire story gets pages 3, 4, and 5. Then the story gets the second editorial on page 16, a Quim Monzó column on the same page, a Francesc de Carreras column on page 17, a Lluís Foix column on page 20, and a Jaime Arias column on page 5 in the Vivir section. They've pretty much got all a Spaniard might want to know about the primaries, and most of the coverage is pretty reasonable.

De Carreras, who is generally a good writer, makes an error when he says that "neocons" are people in favor of extremist Christian fundamentalist policies. No, people who have been labeled "neo-conservatives" are frequently Jewish and rather liberally-minded on social and religious questions; anyway, they see issues like, say, abortion or gay marriage, as unimportant compared with a tough foreign policy. The Project for the New American Century, called by some the "neocon bible," says absolutely nothing about religion or morality.

Arias is the only one who's full of crap. He says, just to wind things up at the beginning:

Rightly, for many years many Europeans have suggested that we should have the right to participate in the election of the president on whose policies our future, to a certain degree, depends on, and which we have seen with the influence of the American recession, petroleum at $100 a barrel, and the inflationary spiral..

Yeah, you'll get the right to vote in our elections when 1) you pay taxes to our government 2) agree to live according to our Constitution and laws and 3) give us the right to vote in your elections, too. What a dumb idea, and I've heard it repeated over and over by the usual suspects over here. You think that because the actions of China's government are important to the future of American citizens, that we should be allowed to vote there? Also, by the way, the US economy is not in recession, nor is it in an inflationary spiral. United States real GDP in the third quarter of 2007 increased at a 4.9% annual rate, and inflation over the first eleven months of 2007 was 3.9%.

Arias continues:

These price increases prove wrong those who believed in alleged profits from the intervention in Iraq.

Absolutely nobody (except ignorant moonbats) said that profits would be made from invading Iraq. Everybody with half a brain knows that war is very bad for business--trade is cut off, resources are used unproductively, people's talents and efforts are misdirected toward military purposes, taxes go up, expensive stuff gets destroyed, it costs a lot to clean up the mess, fit, trained, and educated young people get maimed and killed, and business and consumer confidence declines when the future is uncertain--and that is one reason why war is resorted to so rarely.

And he concludes:

Of course, in all this electoral hoopla, the great newspapers and TV networks of Yankeeland and some manipulated surveys are dominant. In large part, their interest lies in inflating the doubtlessly attractive personality of Obama, a swelling that is reminiscent of tactics used by other ultraconservative strategists in Europe itself. They are trying to support radical candidates with a double objective: to torpedo the moderates and denounce radical social programs, frightening the wealthy classes and provoking a healthy reaction.

A classic maneuver in order to later present themselves before public opinion, warning them that they must choose: "Either them or me." Now they seem to be saying, ""Either the Afro-American Obama, or us the neocons." When what they really fear is the return of the Clintons to the Casablanca (sic). That of Bill, above all.

Jesus Christ. What Arias should have written is something along the lines of:

I'm a paranoid conspiracy theorist who thinks that the American mass media is secretly in the hands of all-powerful racist neo-cons. I really don't know shit about anything, and I couldn't tell a primary election from my left testicle. But anyway, I have to make up a bunch of crap to fill up my space today. So here goes.

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