Thursday, 2 April 2015

From Indiana To Iran: Only Connect

CNN - links to video interview.
Tom Cotton: Opponents Of Anti-gay Law Need 'Perspective'

I’m starting to long for the good old days, just weeks ago, when nobody had to think about Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas.

Mr. Cotton, you will remember, was the primary author of the constitutionally outrageous and substantively mindless letter from Republican senators telling the leaders of Iran that they shouldn’t negotiate on nuclear weapons with President Obama. Now, he is adding his voice to those who are telling gay Americans that they shouldn’t get too pushy about their civil rights.

Mr. Cotton was asked by Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday about a law passed by legislators in his home state that is clearly intended to permit businesses and individuals to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation.

“In Arkansas,” he began, “we believe in religious freedom.” Mr. Blitzer, to his credit, pointed out that “everybody believes in religious freedom.”

Mr. Cotton countered with the irrelevant fact that President Clinton signed a federal law on which the current assault on gay rights is based. (The comically named Religious Freedom Restoration Act). That’s true. He also signed the Defense of Marriage Act, an outrageous infringement on the constitutional rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans. And he signed the bill that turned military policy against gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces into the moronic law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

So Mr. Clinton was lousy on this civil rights issue. What’s Mr. Cotton’s point?

“It’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities,” he said. “In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay.”

So, let’s not worry about civil rights in this country, which Mr. Cotton and other lawmakers can actually protect, but rather in Iran. Why Iran?

I’m so glad you asked — because Mr. Cotton wanted to turn the conversation to his current propaganda campaign about Iran. “We should focus on the most important priorities facing our country, right now,” he said, adding that the prospect of a “nuclear-armed Iran” is one such priority.

So why is Mr. Cotton trying so hard to scuttle the talks in Switzerland that could actually lead to limits on Iran’s nuclear programs?

Andrew Rosenthal, New York Times.

But you don't get hanged in Iran 'just for being gay'.

Though this politically convenient fiction has been repeated so often it's become almost impossible to argue against.

But that's hegemony for you.

You might want to ponder why the US right - usually otherwise vehemently anti-gay - has kept pushing this myth.

And why a Neo-Con like Cotton is exhuming it now.

Gramsci would have wept.

PS And of course there was also the inevitable, Republican senator compares Iran deal to Nazi appeasement.

1 comment:

  1. Please stop linking to articles in the Sun. If just one person's clicks on the link to read Katie's "brilliant column", you will never feel clean again, no matter how many times you shower. Plus, I have it on good authority that you will roast in the fires of hell for all eternity...