Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

New Republic Calls for Death and Torture of Arundhati Roy and Stan Goff

by DAVE ZIRIN

The words “libelous” and ‘the New Republic” have a proud history of walking arm-in-arm. Now, in the esteemed tradition of [former TNR writer who peddled fiction as fact] Stephen Glass, The New Republic has stooped to a new low, publishing a piece that calls for violence, torture, and even death for leading leftists who dare oppose Bush’s war on terror and the slaughter in Iraq.

Author Tom Frank — clearly from the Glass School of Journalism the New Republic has made famous — described sitting in on an anti-war panel sponsored by the International Socialist Organization, the Washington Peace Center, the DC Anti-War Network and other groups.

After having heard the 100 plus attendees cheer sentiments like “Money for Jobs and Education Not For War and Occupation,” Frank became so riled up, he unloaded a deranged harangue about the suffering he would like to rain upon people daring to organize against this war. After Stan Goff, a former Delta Forces soldier and current organizer for Military Families Speak Out, expressed sentiments like “We ain’t never resolved nothing through an election,” Frank’s jag began. Clearly too doughy to do it himself, Frank started to fantasize about a Teutonic strongman who could shut Goff up.

Frank writes, “What I needed was a Republican like Arnold [Schwarzenegger] who would walk up to [Goff] and punch him in the face.”

As the panel continued, every cheer and standing ovation seemed to set Frank deeper down a path of psychosis. After International Socialist Review editorial board member Sherry Wolf asserted that Iraqis had a “right” to rebel against occupation, Frank upped the ante in his efforts to intimidate anyone considering entry into the anti-war movement.

He wrote, ‘these weren’t harmless lefties. I didn’t want Nancy Pelosi talking sense to them; I wanted John Ashcroft to come busting through the wall with a submachine gun to round everyone up for an immediate trip to Gitmo, with Charles Graner on hand for interrogation.”

Later, when Wolf quoted Booker Prize winning author Arundhati Roy’s defense of the right to resist, Frank was sent into such a state of panic, he once again dreamed of the mighty hand of state repression, writing, “Maybe sometimes you just want to be on the side of whoever is more likely to take a bunker buster to Arundhati Roy.”

Interestingly, Frank didn’t have the guts to slander another one of the panel speakers, exonerated death row inmate Shujaa Graham. Graham, who has been moved to speak out against the torture of Iraqi prisoners by intimately connecting their pain with his own experience of torture in California’s death row, escaped Frank’s pen. I guess it’s hard to pose fantasy threats of torture and death toward someone who has actually looked it in the face.

We can write this piece off as just another one of the smarmy New Republic 20-something writers getting his jollies slamming the left. We can say that Frank — his entire piece an exercise in poorly executed humor, ill-written grammar, and awkward phrasing — just forgot to break his Prozac in half that morning. But there is something far more insidious at work here.

This piece is yet another effort to intimidate and silence people who aren’t willing to toe the “party line” espoused by Democrats and Republicans alike that the death of 1,400 US troops and 100,000 Iraqi civilians is somehow justified. Frank’s piece is an exercise in hate and intimidation. To be quiet in its face is to give ground in a period when we have precious little to give.

Therefore, this is a call for people to e-mail The New Republic and let them know what you think about humorous musings on killing Arundhati Roy or torturing Stan Goff. Let them know that a disgraced magazine will not intimidate us, especially one with the credibility of The National Enquirer. Let them know that we will publicly debate Tom Frank or any of their 20 something post-graduate hacks on the merits of this war anytime and any place. This is the only way to deal with darkness: shine as bright a light as possible — right in it’s face.

E-mail letters@tnr.com to let them know what you think. We are also considering a picket of the New Republic Offices, for those interested.

DAVE ZIRIN’s new book “What’s My Name Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States will be in stores in June 2005. You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by e-mailing edgeofsports-subscribe@zirin.com. Contact him at editor@pgpost.com.

DAVE ZIRIN is the author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States (The New Press) Contact him at edgeofsports@gmail.com.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 29, 2016
Robert Fisk
The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker
James Rose
Politics in the Echo Chamber: How Trump Becomes President
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Vice Grip on the Presidential Debates
Daniel Kato
Rethinking the Race over Race: What Clinton Should do Now About ‘Super-Predators’
Peter Certo
Clinton’s Awkward Stumbles on Trade
Fran Shor
Demonizing the Green Party Vote
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Road Rage to the White House
Luke O'Brien
Because We Couldn’t Have Sanders, You’ll Get Trump
Michael J. Sainato
How the Payday Loan Industry is Obstructing Reform
Robert Fantina
You Can’t Have War Without Racism
Gregory Barrett
Bad Theater at the United Nations (Starring Kerry, Power, and Obama
James A Haught
The Long, Long Journey to Female Equality
Thomas Knapp
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture
Jack Smith
Must They be Enemies? Russia, Putin and the US
Gilbert Mercier
Clinton vs Trump: Lesser of Two Evils or the Devil You Know
Tom H. Hastings
Manifesting the Worst Old Norms
George Ella Lyons
This Just in From Rancho Politico
September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
Gareth Porter
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]