Culture, Israel, Mishegas, Politics, Religion

LGF Gets Back What It Dishes Out

Recently there has been a renewed round of criticism from all across the blogosphere directed towards the immensely popular war blog Little Green Footballs (LGF). Such popular sites as Metafilter, Daily Kos, and Winds of Change have led the charge that LGF is an abhorrently racist site, with some folks going so far as to suggest that “Basically, LGF is ‘jewwatch.com’ only it’s all about Palestinains and Arabs instead of Jews.” Along with this criticism, a quiz has surfaced which mixes quotes from Little Green Footballs among nearly indistinguishable quotes from famous Nazis (“Late German Fascists”) and asks its takers to figure out which “LGF” is responsible for each particular quote. Further yet, others are demanding that LGF be banned from using Amazon and Paypal’s fundraising systems because the site violates those companies’ policies towards “hate sites.” In fact, there’s now an entire blog dedicated to monitoring the activities of LGF itself, called LGFWatch.

LGF has been in an uproar over all of this allegedly spontaneous activity, crying censorship and persecution. However, the first shot in this round of cross-blog criticism was fired by LGF itself, when editor Charles Johnson and his readers went ballistic over a thread posted at prominent Democratic site Daily Kos regarding the brutal killing and desecration of four American mercenaries in Iraq. Following the April 1 post by Daily Kos’ Marcos Zuniga, in which he expressed his lack of sympathy for the deceased mercenaries, Johnson branded Kos anti-American and unimaginably callous for not having—ahem—proper respect for the deceased. This is, of course, exceptionally ironic, as LGF is well known for, among other things, mocking American peace activist Rachel Corrie who was killed protesting Israeli house demolitions last year.

The following day, Zuniga extrapolated on his sentiments, apologizing for his remarks and explaining that his anger originates from his own experience growing up in war-torn El Salvador. However, this fair-minded explaination did not deter Johnson, nor his readers, who had already taken it upon themselves to wish for Kos himself to be burned alive and who then went on to attack Kos’s funding by spamming the sites’s sponsors with aggravated complaints.

Daily Kos readers have responded in kind, and now the situation seems to have the potential to develop into an all-out blog war. Apparently LGFers don’t like it when they get a taste of their own medicine…

29 thoughts on “LGF Gets Back What It Dishes Out

  1. Do you propose that Kos was right for suggesting those 4 americans had it coming to them, and deserved to be burned alive.
    Or do you propose it is wrong to tell someone that they are wrong.
    You liberal-nazis are some kind of crew.

  2. if you are a hired mercenary who is getting paid to fight in an inherently unjust war (um, i still don’t see any wmds, nor any imminent threat posed by iraq against the united states) then yes, i would agree with kos, you certainly have it coming to you…
    does that make me a nazi? i think not.
    on the other hand, if you believe that it’s the duty of white judeo-christians to exterminate “the threat of islam” from the world, you might find yourself having more in common with nazis than you’d care to admit to.
    thanks for stopping by…

  3. First of all, gloating over anyone’s death is sick & wrong
    Secondly I don’t think Kos in any way gloated over their deaths. He said he didn’t care, or screw them – something to that effect.
    I think people like Kos who may have had first hand experience with mercenaries in El Salvador probably never like mercenaries again

  4. the diff between the right & the left: the right wants to exterminate people; the left wants to exterminate ideas.

  5. Zuniga’s use of the term mercenaries, and the accompanying text that did, indeed, say “screw ’em” was mindless, thoughtless, and did result in more than one politician removing ads from his site. The men who were burned and had their body parts hung from a bridge were civilians, contractors who were providing security for the company bringing food to the Iraqi people. Hardly mercenaries, by any stretch of the imagination.
    Following the debate that ensued b/w LGF and WoC and Kos, I must admit that while a lot of comments left on LGF’s site are blatantly racist and dehumanizing, must I remind the editor here that a member of his own family left some emotionally-charged comments? I have yet to visit a blog that has not been hit with hateful or racist comments.
    Frankly, I see lots of hate and racism coming from BOTH sides of the political spectrum-yet the main difference between LGFwatch and the Kos comment that started this whole thing is that Zuniga himself made the comment, while the attacks on LGF have been aimed at anonymous posters.
    For the editor of Jewwatch to ignore this difference, you are doing little to make an inflamed political situation any less polarized. People need to look beyond their own biases to see that a little truth goes a long way in making things progress instead of regress into namecalling, shouting matches, and hatred.

  6. The four “mercenaries” who were killed and had their bodies mutilated in Fallujah were guarding food shipments. They clearly had it coming.

  7. uh hi, that’s the cover story…read this or this or this or this for a glimmer of truth.
    uh, further, purplehazee you’re obviously very confused because #1. you keep jumbling the names of the websites in your post there and #2. you’re somehow under the impression that those LGFers are random anonymous people as opposed to charles’ core readership. you’re quite mistaken there.

  8. I encourage anyone to check littlegreenfootballs out for themselves and even join the fray. It’s a guaranteed eye-opening experience into the dynamics of groupthink. Hardly a threat, though. A patient examination will reveal a relatively small core of regulars who dictate the tenor of the discourse (such as it is).
    purplehazee,
    The namecalling, “shouting matches,” and hatred were all alive and well at the circle jerk otherwise known as LGF long before Kos made his comments regarding Fallujah. On their comments boards, any perceived break from the worship of all things Bush-Cheney is enough to earn a repetitious pigeonholing as “LLL” (Loony Liberal Left, or some such) and other insipid attempts at ridicule by a dozen or so proudly self-described “lizardoids.” Many of whom seem to have work stories relevant to almost any topic that comes up, yet all the time in working week to post hundreds of comments on a blog. Go figure….

  9. purplehazee and Jesse:
    “contractors who were providing security for the company bringing food to the Iraqi people”
    they were NOT bringing food to the Iraqi people, they were guarding US military convoys
    which sometimes might contain food for US military personel, other times might contain munitions or whatever
    In no way shape or form were they aid workers
    Every one admits they are mercenaries, from the NY Times, to the BBC
    They were heavily armed mercenaries, paid to carry guns and kill if required

  10. I think you’re badly mischaracterizing the commentary of the Winds of Change.NET team. First of all, lumping us in with Daily Kos borders on offensive. Furthermore, our position is most certainly NOT that LGF is any kind of counterpart or mirror-image of jewswatch. We are extremely critical of interfering with the Amazon or Paypal accounts of any weblog.
    I do appreciate that you linked the specific post so people can see for themselves, but what we said and what you’re saying here are very different things.

  11. My whole point about LGF is that it is commentors who make the comments, not the site operator. BIG difference. (What website names did I mess up????)
    From one of the links posted: Those jobs include the protection of personnel working for private companies and non-government organizations in Iraq.
    FYI: the definition of mercenary: one that serves merely for wages; especially : a soldier hired into foreign service.
    So you know, the contractors were Americans, and not foreigners, nor did they do what they did for the money. They were men with wives, children, friends, lives. To write them off as ‘mercenaries’ implying that their deaths were justified is just ONE of the reasons I am reconsidering my status as a Democrat.
    Not to mention that quoting the NYTimes and BBC as ‘proof’ of anything is at best laughable. These are the two most blatantly biased (mainstream) newspapers I know of! Take everything they say with a huge grain of salt.
    WoC, from what I’ve seen, is not in any way comparable to the level of Kos. I apologize if I insinuated that-however, wasn’t that the site that offered a name, phone number, and home address for the operator of LGF? (If not, I stand corrected).
    For anyone who has forgotten Zuniga’s exact comments:
    That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. 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.
    Screw them, indeed. Lgf is not the reason for politicians withdrawing their ads, Zunigas’ comments speak quite loud enough themselves.
    And I am sorry to say, that while I deplore the racist attitudes that some of the left hold vis-a-vis the Arab world, I also deplore increasingly anti-Jewish, intolerant, and ‘fringe’ thinking that has gripped the left. Meaning, what should be no more than the ideology of the extreme left has become mainstream, and quite frankly, that scares the sh-t out of me.

  12. My whole point about LGF is that it is commentors who make the comments, not the site operator. BIG difference. (What website names did I mess up????)
    charles proudly stokes the flames. don’t kid yourself.
    also, you said “the main difference between LGFwatch and the Kos comment” — you clearly meant, between LGF and Kos. then you said, “For the editor of Jewwatch to ignore this difference,” when clearly you mean jewschool.
    From one of the links posted: Those jobs include the protection of personnel working for private companies and non-government organizations in Iraq.
    i’m sorry, considering the fradulent behavior and war profiteering status of such companies, i have no sympathy for their security personnel.
    FYI: the definition of mercenary: one that serves merely for wages; especially : a soldier hired into foreign service.
    that definition applies only in a time of conscription. such soldiers of fortune qualify as mercs, plain and simple.
    So you know, the contractors were Americans, and not foreigners, nor did they do what they did for the money.
    “oh no, i took a job as an ‘armed professional’ for the sheer joy of the experience of killing ragheads!” wtf?
    They were men with wives, children, friends, lives. To write them off as ‘mercenaries’ implying that their deaths were justified is just ONE of the reasons I am reconsidering my status as a Democrat.
    welp, that you can sit there and write off the deaths of thousands of iraqis who met their demise in an unjustified war waged by an unelected american despot and likewise disregard the right of iraqis to resist american imperialism goes to show why i am quickly tiring of you centrist weenies too afraid to take a stand for something.
    Not to mention that quoting the NYTimes and BBC as ‘proof’ of anything is at best laughable. These are the two most blatantly biased (mainstream) newspapers I know of! Take everything they say with a huge grain of salt.
    oh please…name one print publication in the world that isn’t biased in one way or another. every newspaper has an underlying agenda. that doesn’t necessarily invalidate the truth in their reportage, it simply speaks to the motivation behind it.
    WoC, from what I’ve seen, is not in any way comparable to the level of Kos. I apologize if I insinuated that-however, wasn’t that the site that offered a name, phone number, and home address for the operator of LGF? (If not, I stand corrected).
    that message was for john brown, not for you.
    Screw them, indeed. Lgf is not the reason for politicians withdrawing their ads, Zunigas’ comments speak quite loud enough themselves.
    be that as it may, LGF’s readers employ these tactics against sites like Kos and whine like bitches when they’re used in return against them. they live in a bubble and are blind to the consequences of their actions. clearly, they need to snap out of it.
    And I am sorry to say, that while I deplore the racist attitudes that some of the left hold vis-a-vis the Arab world, I also deplore increasingly anti-Jewish, intolerant, and ‘fringe’ thinking that has gripped the left. Meaning, what should be no more than the ideology of the extreme left has become mainstream, and quite frankly, that scares the sh-t out of me.
    see, you’re jumbling your words again. “while I deplore the racist attitudes that some of the left hold vis-a-vis the Arab world” — you mean the right, nachon? this so-called “fringe thinking” hasn’t gripped the left. its simply a minority of the left which the right focuses its attention on in order to paint the greater left as patsy to that ideology. don’t get it twisted son. don’t believe the hype.

  13. Sigh. First of all, you do not know if I am young enough to be called ‘son’ by you, nor do you know if I am, in fact, male (nope!).
    Secondly, I do not wish to get involved in right vs. left debates with you (BTW, I stand correcting on my mistakes that you pointed out). I personally think both the right and the left have lost all respectability, thanks to fringe thinking on BOTH sides which have become part of the mainstream thought.
    Lastly, I refuse to debate with some one who has the gall to call me ‘son’ and then use phrases like ‘whine like bitches’. Were you implying you are older than I am with the ‘son’ comment? I hope so, because the level of maturity you have employed would not qualify the tone you employ.
    I have NEVER ‘written’ off the deaths of the Iraqis. Can I not mourn the loss of 4 civilian contractors in a brutal manner AND the death of Iraqi civilians (the latter not having been desecrated and mutilated in death)?
    Ironic that as you tell me to not “believe the hype”, it is the mentality of your own comments that lead me to believe polarization has made the mainstream left too angry and polarized to be considered a legitimate choice to lead this country.

  14. purplehazee,
    I believe what mo’s prose displayed was a figure of speech, kind of like “I’m tired of swatting flies….”
    I don’t believe Charles Foster Johnson is a racist. What he is, is a shameless opportustic conservative demagogue, a poor man’s Daniel Pipes-wannabe. These guys like to demonize the left, mainly to whine about their demonization to the rest of the right.
    But mo,
    “American imperialism”? That stuff is a little played here in the era of globalization. What was it after all when French and Russian UN delegations waged diplomatic opposition to military pressure on Saddam Hussein on behalf of Total Fina Elf and Lukoil?
    From where I sit I appreciate little difference between the antiglobalization Left and the isolationist Right. Neither of whom are very often above playing the Zionist boogeyman card. Meanwhile, it would be nice if traditional liberal opposition to fascism made a comeback somewhere on the political spectrum.

  15. Let me show off a little history…. Lenny Bruce and Jack Kerouac both served in the merchant marine. That would make them mercenaries in our definition here. Authentically communist Woody Guthrie wrote “This machine kills fascists” on his guitar, and while on leave from the merchant marine in 1940 he recorded a song called “What Are We Waiting On,” with a line that went something like “Tell the battlin’ British thanks, you can have ten thousand Yanks if it’ll help to bring the fascists down down down….” What do you think it was about the merchant marines?
    And sorry about the earlier typos.

  16. ” That would make them mercenaries in our definition here.”
    but Woodie Guthrie was not
    1) heavily armed
    2) special forces trained
    3) a combatant
    like these mercenaries in Iraq were
    right?

  17. Babylonian,
    Right. But so what? And there are many other differences, beside the historical context alone, as well. There’s a point where it’s all just splitting hairs.

  18. so what? so it’s a huge huge stretch to compare ex-special forces mercenaries heavily armed and wearing body armor to Woodie Guthrie serving in the Merchant Marine

  19. Babs,
    It’s “Woody.” The merchant marine was still a paid quasi military outfit. And they guarded military shipments, just as you define the term above. Further, not all these guys are ex-special forces. The hostage Tom from Mississippi (I forgot his last name) was a truck driver. The only real difference is that Woody, Lenny and Kerouac did their job on the water.

  20. Your entire comment is premised on the idea that the mercenaries in Fallujah were just there guarding food shipments
    Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker about America having a clandestine assassination program going on similar to the Phoenix Project during the Vietnam war. Maybe they were in Fallujah to do a hit. I’m not saying I have any proof, but it’s just as possible.
    In any case these mercenaries are combatants, involved in daily firefights with Iraqis.. not merchant marines.
    “But who is a civilian? The Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War defines non-combatants as those “[p]ersons taking no active part in the hostilities”. This category obviously includes civilians living in a war zone, such Iraqi citizens who live in Fallujah or Baghdad. It also includes foreign aid workers, such as those from the Red Cross and United Nations.
    Non-combatant status, as the Geneva Convention suggests, is determined by a person’s actions in support of hostilities: has this person carried a weapon, or directly aided in the war effort? Have they “tak[en] active part” in the war, or not?
    ….
    For these reasons, even though it’s clear the four men were not U.S. military personnel, they may have been combatants for the purposes of international law.”
    What the law says about the recent killings in Iraq – CNN/Findlaw.com
    “An attack by hundreds of Iraqi militia members on the U.S. government’s headquarters in Najaf on Sunday was repulsed not by the U.S. military, but by eight commandos from a private security firm, according to sources familiar with the incident.
    Before U.S. reinforcements could arrive, the firm, Blackwater Security Consulting, sent in its own helicopters amid an intense firefight to resupply its commandos with ammunition and to ferry out a wounded Marine, the sources said.
    ….
    Thousands of armed private security contractors are operating in Iraq in a wide variety of missions and exchanging fire with Iraqis every day…”
    Private Guards Repel Attack on U.S. Headquarters
    on a side note:
    Angry and ex-military seek jobs with Blackwater

  21. seriously–you guys/gals (babylonian, excluded) are being wholly negligent of u.s. psyops. these guys could, as he suggests, have been assassins, and the government is just spinning it to help the propaganda effort.

  22. Look, Babylonian, you don’t need to spend the energy trying to convince me that Bush & Co. are not handling the reconstruction of post-Baathist Iraq well at all (to put it mildly). All I’m doing is trying to put some of this in perspective, and submit that not all these guys coldly characterized as mercenaries fit the characterization of Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.
    And on Iraq in general, it’s not such a bad thing when genuinely murderous fascist regimes are kicked over. That the Bush administration oversold the reasons for invasion, damaging US credibility in the process, and underestimated the complexity of reconstruction are all the reason I need to commit to working toward the defeat of Bush-Cheney’s bid for reelection. And install a leadership with the will and the talent to approach a real nation-building project.

  23. “Furthermore, a war with Iraq threatens to enflame the militant Muslims around the world and unify them against the United States. Those of us who live and work in the District of Columbia (and in New York City) would be more threatened by terrorism as a consequence of a U.S. war with Iraq.”
    hence, was deposing saddam really such a good thing?

  24. Zionista wrote: “And on Iraq in general, it’s not such a bad thing when genuinely murderous fascist regimes are kicked over.
    I think it’s way early to say that
    Iraq was scary and horrible but it never messed with us because Saddam wouldn’t bite the hand that fed him during the cold war. And truth be told, Saddam’s worst abuses were far behind him, back when he had U.S. support.
    How do we know that in the future Iraq won’t develop into something much worse? Such as – a really scary fundamentalist place that’s dedicated to attacking America forever?

  25. Babylonian,
    We don’t. Now, however, we better get it right. Bush can’t do it. And I like the way Kerry is approaching it, not only as a reconstruction of post-Baath Iraq but as a reconstruction of the traditional alliances between liberal civil societies that Bush-Cheney & Co. has screwed up so badly.
    Today, ideological conservatives such as the Bush people are free to apply their incurable tendency to reshape the world in their “every man for himself” image. Tomorrow we desperately need a dose of the traditionally liberal “we’re all in this together” perspective.

  26. “Tomorrow we desperately need a dose of the traditionally liberal “we’re all in this together” perspective.”
    Yeah, “we’re all in this together” until reality jumps up and bites the pinkos on the ass.
    Excuse me while I make a smoothie for my fast.

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