Free Bobby

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In The American Spectator, Colby Cosh reviews the case of Bobby Fisher: a socially inept bigot who, in Cosh's words, has "no record" of "having harmed anyone but himself." The article isn't exactly a brief for the defense, but having read it I feel even more strongly that there's no good reason to put the kooky chess champion in jail.

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  1. Fisher’s 1992 match with Spassky was an attempt to influence world opinion in favor of the legitimacy of Slobodan Milosevic, his regime, and the then-ongoing genocide in Bosnia. It was not simply a chess match, either–it was a multimillion dollar enterprise.

    To say that Fisher has no record of having harmed anyone other than himself is naive.

  2. Should we also toss Sean Penn in jail for visiting Baghdad in his attempt to legitimize Hussein’s regime?

    Personally, I find both actions by both persons despicable, but enough to warrant tossing them in jail? No, not really.

  3. Bobby Fischer could go to work writing columns for antiwar.com!

  4. “Should we also toss Sean Penn in jail for visiting Baghdad in his attempt to legitimize Hussein’s regime?”

    Did Penn break any laws? Did Penn organize a multimillion dollar event in Baghdad, in violation of the sanctions regime? If so, lock him up!

  5. Bobby Fischer does not wish to return to the Jew-controlled USA where he faces a kangaroo court and 10 years in Federal prison and a likely early demise or worse on trumped political charges. Nor does he wish to remain in a hostile brutal and corrupt U.S.-controlled Japan

    Someone call the authorities — the Japanese have arrested Noam Chomsky by mistake!

  6. Go ahead, Dan, find me an instance of Chomsky referring to the “Jew-controlled United States”.

  7. There’s a thoughtful and sensitive article by Gary Kasparov in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding Bobby Fischer and his effect on chess.

  8. joe’s right. Chomsky’s never said that (I don’t think). That’s the Nader/Buchanan line.

  9. Ok; I’ll jump in. Not antiwar.com nor Nader nor Buchanan would ever countenance Bobby’s bigoted ravings. Criticizing the actions of the Israeli government and its supporters is, of course, not racist.

    Antiwar.com, does however, deal with the racism of those in power, such as Ariel Sharon, who actually supported “Jews Only” housing area laws on government land, in open discrimination against Israel’s own 15% to 20% Arab citizen population:

    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

  10. “Self hating Jew” is an ugly little epithet thrown by neocons and other knee jerk supporters of the Israeli government against Jews who dare to be in opposition. I always maintained that that meaningless smear conjured up visions of mental illness.

    Given speculation about poor Bobby’s ethnicity, one can argue that he is an actual self-hating Jew and he does seem to have definite mental problems.

  11. Go ahead, Dan, find me an instance of Chomsky referring to the “Jew-controlled United States

    Good point; Chomsky wouldn’t have complained about Jews. Of course, the rest of Fischer’s delusional ravings do read like a direct quote from a Chomsky tract.

    So maybe the Japanese arrested Rick Barton by mistake instead. Or Pat Buchanan, or any of countless folks at Democratic Underground, Antiwar.com, or Indymedia.

    After all, it isn’t like there’s a shortage of paranoid anti-Semites in the anti-war camp.

  12. What’s really terrible about this is that Bobby has been arrested for willfully violating United Nations sanctions.

    Besides not having harmed anyone but himself, violating the sanctions of the UN shouldn’t even be a crime. If UN edicts have force over each of us, then our liberty is surely compromised because the UN is not a government to which we may redress our grievances under our constitution.

  13. hmmm… So Bobby Fischer refers to “the Jew-controlled United States” and Nader, with Pat Buchanan egging him on, says … hold on, lemme look it up … ah, here… Nader says, “There are two sets: Congressional puppets and White House puppets. When the chief puppeteer comes to Washington, the puppets prance.”

    (http://www.amconmag.com/2004_06_21/cover.html)

    And only one of these is “bigoted raving”?

  14. Dan,

    Pathetic. First you get caught in a silly claim about Chomsky, so then you try to smear Pat Buchanan and myself with the same nonsense.

    Buchanan, like Chomsky criticizes the Israeli government and its lobby in this country. Neither one would ever agree with Bobby’s bigotry or maintain a “Jew-controlled United States”.

    Dan, you know nothing about me accept for what you read that I write on these threads, and you will never find any anti-Semitism that I’ve expressed because I loath it along with all racism. I’ve tangled with anti-Semites before on this blog and in doing held up the fine libertarian tradition of opposing racism, a human proclivity that Ayn Rand observed “is the most primitive form of collectivism” and one, btw, in the hands of the state that can turn deadly in huge proportions.

    Also, if you ever read antiwar.com, which you really need to do, you would know that Raimondo has no use for Indymedia…another smear of yours that doesn’t hold up.

    Dan, I’ve seen your pro-war positions get beaten up pretty badly on these threads but that gives you no call to resort to unfounded accusations of racism. I realize that sometimes folks type without giving adequate thought, but you had no justification to infer that I could have spoken the words of Bobby’s bigotry. And, if you have any honor, you should apologize.

  15. What Also not Rick Barton said at 07:46 PM

    (This has got to be getting kind of confusing)

  16. Maybe he should try France for asylum. They might be more receptive than most.

  17. For those who say that Fischer should be punished, by what right can the American government prohibit people from *leaving* the United States? Last time I checked, that was one of the key defining characteristics of a totalitarian state.

  18. Not Rick Barton,

    While some criticism of Israeli policy, and of the Israel lobby’s power in Washington, is just a cover for antisemitism, not all is. AIPAC is a very powerful lobby. As is AARP and NRA. Would referring to John Kyl as a “puppet” and Wayle LaPierre as a “puppet master” count as anti-gun-owner-ism? Of course not. But when a similar criticism of the Israel lobby is made, people like you throw out the racial-grievance charges like Al Sharpton at a DCV picnic.

  19. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch once made an error in one punctuation mark. This error changed the meaning of a police official’s statement, from, “some” to “all”, so it changed the cop’s meaning to imply that my political party was a criminal organization. I’ve seen too much one-sided reporting and too many quotes out of context to believe it was an accident.

    Fischer is obviously getting “the treatment” from the “Ministry of Truth”. Look at today’s Salon article. All of a sudden, his late mother is claimed to be an adulteress, he’s literally called a bastard, as if insane isn’t libel enough. It’s Orwellian. Clinton said Salon was his favorite online magazine. Clinton went ahead and bombed Serbia right after the U.S. Congress voted against it. Nobody prosecutes Clinton for illegally bombing Yugoslavia; Fischer is prosecuted and abused in a dozen ways for (legally) playing chess there.

    There’s a bit of an analogy with Leona Helmsley here. Her statement about “little people” paying taxes was quoted out of context so people wouldn’t know she was referring to herself as a “little person”. Anyone who has been within sniffing distance of the real plutocratic power in the U.S. knows that Leona WAS, relatively speaking, a “little person”. A recent book by a British feminist scholar, claims that legal scholars are confused by the so-called “case” that the government brought against Leona; the real “case” might have been that it was about time for an Orwellian two-minute hate against a rich gal.

  20. Just a note. Some people naively suggest that just because Bobby Fischer broke the law, he should be put in jail. In fact, some editors [who should know better than drawing conclusions so quickly] have done the same.

    What is wrong with the simple statement “…broke the law, he should be put in jail”?

    Well, for one thing, in the United States, it is unlawful to practice what is called “Selective prosecution.” For example, if two convenience stores sell liquor in a town where such sale is illegal, it would be unlawful to prosecute one and not the other.

    Similarly, Bobby is not the only person to have broken this law. There are others who transgressed the trade sanction in question AND NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM has been put on trial.

    The truth is that Bobby is anti-US in his ravings, and that has caused certain people to try to show their muscle. Since this is undoubtedly the reason why Bobby is under indictment, and such is not appropriate reason to selectively prosecute someone, it would be go against the basic tenets of American government to pursue his incarceration.

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