Late Wednesday night, GotNews‘ Charles C. Johnson emailed me an open letter he sent to Commentary‘s editor John Podhoretz. He had to good sense to cc Slate‘s Dave Weigel on the email (since Dave and I are so close and all).
Open letter to Establishment hack John Podhoretz.
I suggested the other day on Twitter that it was cowardly to condemn your country and your family when you are going to be executed anyways by ISIS. Journalist James Foley failed that test when he said he blamed the U.S. government for being his “real killers” and when he condemned his own flesh and blood, his Air Force pilot brother, for killing people.
You can agree or disagree about my statement about that statement but I believe it and whatever happened to “give me liberty or give me death” anyways? Or “let’s roll”?
As a culture we used to prize death before dishonor and so we got less death. Now when we seek to avoid death in all places we get more of it. All in all, our past formulation was a good formulation and it’s important to spit in the face of evil every time you get the chance. We may well fall short of that goal but we should keep it in mind. People who are upset with me are missing the point: it is to praise those men (and not a few women) who spit in the faces of their captors. We once lionized men like Churchill who said “you do your worst and we shall do our very best.”
“I’ll show you how an Italian dies” was one of the most courageous acts of the War on Terror.http://nypost.com/2004/04/16/hero-hostages-last-moments-ill-show-you-how-an-italian-dies-he-tells-thugs/ So too was Daniel Pearl’s final moments where he told the world he was a Jew.
Anyways, these statements of mine offended some people, including the editor of Commentary and writer for the New York Post John Podhoretz. This is what he said on Twitter: “Charles Johnson is a disgusting monster and no one should ever give him a nickel again. You unimaginable filth.”
Pretty bold stuff. “A monster”? His statement is presumably shared by a number of his friends as it got a lot of retweets. Oh well. We aren’t going to agree on this but did you really have to make it so personal so quickly? Of course you did. Because you don’t believe in anything.
I replied in kind calling him a typewriter fraud who lied us into a war (I was referring to Syria, not Iraq as has been surmised) and telling him that the feeling of disgust is mutual.
He then told me to seek psychiatric help. (“Get help, you sick fuck” were his exact words.) I told him to stay classy and that I was sure his donors appreciated all of the tweeting he does (he has something like 70,000 tweets and has gotten in trouble for his racist views in the past, so much so that he quit Twitter at one point). He then blocked me on Twitter.
I should have included that he is a fraud whose career comes from being the son of someone famous and whose constant, incessant tweeting on every issue is the hallmark of a second rate (or frankly third rate) mind.
Where do these establishment losers come from? And what makes them think that they are our betters? Writing back in November 1955, William F. Buckley had something to say on this topic:
“Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by the Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.”
It’s a shame that you, Mr. John Podhoretz, fit that description so well–ignorance and amorality–but it’s not altogether uncommon for the establishment right which seems to know nothing about honor or for that matter, much of anything. You’ve been in favor of six of the last three military interventions, after all. For all of your tough talk on ISIS, you favored bombing the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and arming the very people that have now allied with ISIS. You were wrong but asking you to admit it is rather a moot point at this stage. You don’t apologize for getting it massively wrong, do you?
We took your advice on immigration reform–you favored open borders, after all–and got dead children on our border and protests in our streets and slums where the American dream — upward mobility!– is a cruel joke. And you called those of us who disagreed with you “anti-immigrant,” ignorant of us having married immigrants and taught citizenship classes. In other words, while we were busy working on the hard task of making Americans out of the “cheap labor” you sought to bring to our country.
I’m more interested in principles than people or party, more interested in seeking the truth than cheerleading for war and power, more interested in being right than in being part of the allegedly respectable right which,, for all its talk never seems to win elections, does it?
It’s one thing to be wrong so often–immigration and Iraq and the threat of Islam– but to be so hypocritical?
You yourself got into a contretemps for offering your opinion on the subject of captors mistreated by Islam. You wrote this in 2006 less than three hours after Carroll was rescued.
“It’s wonderful that she’s free, but after watching someone who was a hostage for three months say on television she was well-treated because she wasn’t beaten or killed — while being dressed in the garb of a modest Muslim woman rather than the non-Muslim woman she actually is — I expect there will be some Stockholm Syndrome talk in the coming days.”
Don’t you think you could have waited until she was freed and home with her family before you attacked her for attacking America?
Carroll was freed, by the way, because brave men valued death before dishonor and went to rescue her, something you seem not to get in your comfort. One of them — a two-tour Fallujah Marine– happens to have been a classmate of mine.
Like all frauds, you’re getting exposed. It’s a wonderful thing to see. May it happen to all of your Establishment friends who believe in nothing but power and having your moment in the sun. I’ll be praying for you.
Charles C. Johnson