What Strange Terrorist Ads Will Air During Tonight's Debate?
Are you one of those humans who watches the Super Bowl "for the commercials," which are always uniformly terrible? This is why those of us who live in Washington watch presidential debates! Oh the interest groups, they love buying DC ad time during hilarious presidential debates. There's usually an Israel Project/AIPAC thing about how scaredwe'd feel if Maryland or Virginia wanted to nuke its neighbor, an energy trade group's spiel about how we need to blast water at underground rocks, a Pete Peterson Institute series in which smarmy elementary school children explain why we need to dismantle Social Security, and others. The best, though, is this cheap sketchy one from lobbyists who are trying to get the exiled-Iranian terrorist group MEK taken off the State Department's official list of terrorist groups, for the sole reason that MEK doesn't like the current Iranian government either. Why is this always on the TV?
MEK is a traditionally Marxist guerilla warfare group committed to overthrowing the Republic of Iran. Since the United States government would like to see the Republic of Iran overthrown as well, it's become a top goal for rich establishment hawks to have MEK taken off the list despite its love of terrorism. The backers of this have put together an unusual coalition of politicos to advocate for the cause -- all of the Bush administration people, for example, as well as fucking Howard Dean. They all go to big MEK rallies around the world, pledging their solidarity! This may be (absolutely 100% is) considered "providing material support to a terrorist group" -- on TV -- which is a rather serious criminal violation. No one gets prosecuted, of course. That would be crass!
Those of us who think it's funny that television ads featuring prominent American politicians pleading for an Iranian Marxist guerilla squad to be stricken from the official list of terrorist groups are such dumb whiners, though, according to an anger bear at the National Review. Haven't we heard of The Market? Freedom of speech? Why do we hate America? and so on. Here's the National Review addressing a column from FT's Edward Luce, who also thinks these Delist MEK ads are a bit odd:
Yet even more incomprehensibly, Luce then notes that at the upcoming Republican presidential debate, there likely will be televised commercials calling for the delisting of Iran’s armed opposition group from lists of terrorist groups. Not only does this have nothing to do with the issue at hand, does Mr. Luce think the commercials are being paid for by the GOP? If not, then what’s his beef with the free market — whoever can afford a commerical can buy it. Just ask SEIU, which kept up a constant barrage in favor of Obamacare last year.
The Free Market, SEIU: Exactly. Then again, what the fuck? We'd like to see how Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula or the TTP or Al Shabaab, or any other of the many official terrorist groups who don't happen to direct their terrorism at the Iranian regime, fare when their DC lobbyists try to buy friendly ad time during a presidential debate. We assume it would be no problem, because of the Free Market, right? Whoever can afford a commercial can buy it, as the angry man wrote.
Then again, since all it takes is one Muslim person halfway around the world writing a tweet supportive of the Taliban to get Joe Lieberman et al. on the phone with Twitter senior executives demanding the elimination and future censorship of all such tweets, it is unlikely that we'll ever see pro-Al Qaeda ads air on the free television advertisement market.
In related news, here's Tucker Carlson suggesting that the United States is "the only country with the moral authority" to carpet bomb the shit out of Iran for whatever reason. "Iran deserves to be annihilated," he just kind of says, casually, not really worried about it.