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Austin Cline

Adam Yoshida: Too Extreme for Free Republic

By May 15, 2004

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Free Republic is about as extreme as a right-wing conservative web site can get - but there are right-wingers who are too extreme even for Free Repulic. One is Adam Yoshida, a Canadian-born, wannabe-American who leans towards fascism in a remarkable way.

This appears to be what people at Free Republic found too extreme:

If we lose this war it will not be because we have lost it on the battlefield or have failed in a military sense: it will be because a well-organized cabal of traitors whose power extends throughout society have collaborated with our foreign enemies to stab America in the back and bring about her downfall. This war is another Vietnam in the sense that our real enemy is not that we are meeting upon the field of battle but rather the enemy within. Our enemies abroad can hurt us: our enemies at home can beat us.
Can any rational person deny that Michael Moore is a traitor? ... Michael Moore should be made an example of. During the Revolutionary War, loyalists were tarred and feathered and sometimes killed. ... In short, during virtually every major American war, subversion, sedition, and treason have been harshly dealt with and civil liberties have been curbed. This is the way things ought to be. This is the way that things must be.
Vietnam was lost both because seditionists were allowed to run free and because the government failed to take proper action to curb them. Today Kent State is memorialized as a great tragedy because a few traitors (or those stupid enough to stand near them) were killed when, in fact, one of the great tragedies of the war was that there were obviously too few Kent States. 55,000 Americans ultimately died for nothing because of those people. If a few of them would have had to die to curb their disloyal behavior, then so be it. We can win the war against the enemy abroad by taking the fight to the enemy at home. Destroy the opponents of this war and youíll convince our enemies that they have no chance of beating us either on the battlefield or at the ballot box.

Ballot box? I don't think that there can be any serious discussion about a "ballot box" when one is also talking about making examples of those who dissent from what the government is doing, when one refers to dissenter as "enemies,' and when one's language tends strongly towards the use of violence against those who disagree.

None of this is surprising - Adam Yoshida has been treating Vietnam like the Germans treated World War I for quite some time. I wrote before about how he seems to channel the spirit of Hindenburg in discussing the idea that America suffered a Dolchstoss in the back during the Vietnam war. In Germany, this myth animated conservative, reactionaries, and fascists, giving them an increased drive to root out the traitors and revive Germany's military traditions so that it could attain the victory snatched away years earlier.

Consider what Adam Yoshida has written when it comes to the abuse and torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib:

The ďtortureĒ of Iraqi prisoners is front page news in the international press, where any story which can be used to defame the United States is jumped upon with alacrity. This is also, when you really think about it, something which ought to be a complete non-story. ... In short, these supposed ďatrocitiesĒ ... are no worse than a particularly extreme hazing session by a high school football team. Itís all very unpleasant in the sense that itís a little gross and silly, but itís hardly anything for a calm or sensible person to get worked up over.

Just to remind everyone what went on in Abu Ghraib:

In one case, a detainee was severely injured during a dog attack. MPs broke chemical lights and poured the phosphoric liquid on detainees. One prisoner was sodomized with a chemical light, and perhaps a broom stick.

This, according to Adam Yoshida, is a little gross and silly, but no worse than a hazing session.

[L]etís get this straight: the actions of the soldiers in question are still deserving of punishment because the release of this information is capable of causing so much damage in the propaganda war. Whether or not their actions in and of themselves are a big deal (and I donít really think they are) they deserve to be punished because of the PR damage theyíve caused. However, the real criminals here arenít those soldiers: itís CBS (who first reported this and revealed the pictures) and whoever gave CBS access to this information. Censorship has traditionally existed in wartime for a reason and this is something that most definitely should have been censored and covered-up. ... Thereís only one word for the actions taken by CBS and 60 Minutes II in releasing and publicizing this information (which, I might add, hit the Arab and European press only after they were reported on the air): treasonous. If, as some suggest, the inflated Arab reports and pictures of these atrocities do inflame the terrorists, CBS will have as much blood on its hands as the soldiers in question.

So, no one should be punished because of what they did to the prisoners because that isn't deserving of punishment. Instead, people should be punished because of the damage to public relations. Curiously, Yoshida's ideas about censorship contradict those of George W. Bush:

"In no case shall information be classified in order to: (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency." Executive Order 13292 - March 25, 2003

I guess Bush should be considered a traitor, then.

It is self-evident to me that the life of a single American is worth that of a hundred million terrorists. Different standards apply in dealing with the lives of Islamists and Americans. The life of the Islamist is forfeit the moment they pledge allegiance to their awful cause. The only reason I can think of not to summarily execute any Moslem terrorist captured by our forces is public relations. If it were up to me each and every single Islamist who falls into our hands would be hanged the before sunset the next days, just as pirates once were. Americans in the Second World War were perfectly capable of killing Japanese prisoners one day and being outraged at the (admittedly horrible) treatment of American POWís by the Japanese the next. Cognitive dissonance is necessary in wartime. In war itís ok for us to kill as many of the enemy as is necessary, useful, or convenient. It is a mortal sin for the enemy to kill a single American. Thatís wartime morality: the lives of our enemies have less value than those of American insects.

Interesting comments coming from someone who isn't even an American. Because Adam Yoshida espouses ideas which are in direct contradiction to those upon which the nation was founded, isn't it arguable that he is as much of an enemy as any Islamist? Granted, he hasn't expressed an interest in terrorist plots - but he does encourage violence against some Americans ("there were obviously too few Kent States"). By his own "logic," then, his life has less value than that of American insects.

A tempting conclusion, to be sure.

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look, Adam Yoshida is a nobody. I don’t see the need to post about him! If he were a published author or someone who appears regularly on television, that would be something else. But, he’s just another loser enabled by the internet to share his depravity with the entire world.

January 8, 2008 at 12:56 am

I’ve read a few of Adam Yoshida’s articles at WesternStandard.ca, and basically agree with many of your conclusions.

Much as I support Mr. Yoshida’s right to express himself (and purely out of curious disgust, the Western Standard’s decision to publish his work), I think he is doing serious harm to the reputation of conservatism (even extreme conservatism). His blind support for endless war, aggression, and extension of government power is deeply offensive to anyone who holds a Constitutionalist, individualist, or limited government ideology.

For anyone reading this, please don’t judge the merits of conservatism on this idiot’s statist ranting.

November 8, 2008 at 7:04 am

For anyone reading this, please donít judge the merits of conservatism on this idiotís statist ranting.

No, but I can judge the merits of the Western Standard as a publication by what they publish, including this Joker and that also extends to all of their other authors. If you don’t distance yourself from the likes of Adam Yoshida then you end up being painted with the same brush.

Ironically enough I remember quire clearly reading an introduction on the Western Standard by one of their core writers who lauded Mr. Yoshida in the highest remarks (“He is one of the most promising young conservatives in Canada today.” or some such), yet, this suddenly has disappeared, maybe I need to dig through archive.org again.

Shows you either what’s really behind the Western Standards beliefs OR how good their research is.

November 25, 2008 at 10:39 pm

But…his comments about Michael Moore, in relation to those who behaved similarly during times of war in the past, stand as correct.

October 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm

But…his comments about Michael Moore, in relation to those who behaved similarly during times of war in the past, stand as correct.

Feel free to show how.

October 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm
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