Monday, June 13, 2005

Jumping on the Kos pile

By now everyone's read about the latest implosion by Kos. I stopped reading his site a little over a year ago, for a couple of reasons. First was a post he put up after the deaths of the four Blackwater consultants in Falluja:

Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly.

That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries (sic). They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

There was a justifiably huge shitstorm in blogland over this, and Kos's response was to delete the initial post and replace it with a rationalization. Not a retraction or an apology. Everyone has their moments when they pop off and perhaps say something they regret, and while this is a little less forgivable online, where the rule should always be "think twice, post once," it happens. What pissed me off was the deletion and the mealy mouthed attempt to justify the post. If you mean it, fucking own it. If it was a mistake, apologize and move on.

I don't bring this up just to stir up old shit, I just find it particularly ironic that Kos devalues the lives of security contractors by labeling them mercenaries when I'm certain there's a similar dynamic at work in the current situation.

The second incident which soured me on the Kos crowd was a post on the South Dakota Senate race, written by a guest poster. Tim Giago, the founder of Indian Country Today, declared he was going to run as an Independent because he did not feel that Indian issues were receiving the attention he felt they deserved.

Giago seems to be a decent guy who's been widely honored for his journalism and advocacy on issues important to Native Americans. But putting issues on the table to be discussed doesn't by itself do anything to address the crushing poverty and roughly 50%-plus unemployment found on many reservations; a Republican-led Senate presided over by Bill Frist may listen to issues, but it won't be as interested in actually doing something about Native-American issues as would a Democratic Senate presided over by Daschle.

There's a good bit wrong with that, primarily the assumption that Indians are even microscopically better off when Democrats are in power. The difference between 50% unemployment and 49% unemployment is significant for the 1%, but isn't really relevant when we're talking about what's wrong with Indian policy in this country. Democrats are a slightly less redass version of the Devil, but that's not particularly compelling in and of itself. The overall tone here is "shut the fuck up and vote Democrat, we'll let you know what issues are important."

Sound familiar to any of the feminists in the room?