Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
He's a hack.

It's not even that I necessarily disagree with some of the positions he embraces. It's more that I find him utterly banal when he's correct and completely loopy and discredited otherwise. Racism in the US is a decoy issue to control the white lower class? Well, yeah, duh. Rich people like power and use it to consolidate their positions at the expense of everybody else? Wow, now that's a profound truth that needed to revealed for all to know! Thanks you, Michael! How courageous! And for the rest, barf: barely disguised apologetics of communist totalitarians, open support for conspiracy cranks, knee-jerk victim-sucking for any "struggle" out there, etc.

The last I paid attention to that idiot was "Against Empire". I found that book atrocious. He manages to be at the same time hectoring and whiny, zero useful information and an inordinate amount of BS and highly selective fact dropping. All in one Noam Chomsky without the brains and Ann Coulter without the legs.

On that article Sven quoted, there was something I found very amusing:

Whatever wrongs and new oppressions introduced by the Chinese in Tibet after 1959, they did abolish slavery and the serfdom system of unpaid labor. They eliminated the many crushing taxes, started work projects, and greatly reduced unemployment and beggary. They built the only hospitals that exist in the country, and established secular education, thereby breaking the educational monopoly of the monasteries. They constructed running water and electrical systems in Lhasa.

First, I wouldn't trust any of that at face value given the BS that precedes. He's pretty much spewing Chinese propaganda, the Maoist-Marxist correct version of our own western pro-colonial literature a century ago.

But more importantly: So what? Close to the same could be said of Israel when it took over the occupied territories from Egypt and Jordan who had grossly mismanaged Gaza and Cisjordan. Under Israeli occupation in the 70s and early 80s, Palestinians had one of the highest living standards in the Arab world. Not difficult given how disastrous the rest of the region was at that time. It didn't prevent Palestinians from really resenting the occupation :)

I just find Parenti profoundly useless and unremarkable at his least offensive and grossly hackish and dishonest otherwise.

by Francois in Paris on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 09:53:27 PM EST
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