"A Chorus of Admiration"
Even Pope Benedict was asking Hamid Karzai to see to it that the Christian convert Abdul Rahman be exonerated:
"I am certain, Mr President, that the dropping of the case against Mr Rahman would bestow great honour upon the Afghan people and would raise a chorus of admiration in the international community[...]"
Can you imagine Sistani or some renowned Sunni cleric making that appeal on behalf of religious tolerance?
Secular Western liberals really must come around to reason and give their assent to the efforts of Christians who stand for the liberation of the individual in the face of the illiberalism and repression in Islam.
Thanks to Jeff Goldstein and his correspondent Bezuhov, from whom comes this quote of the indispensible Mark Steyn:
In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" - the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:
"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
I have no problem with us overtly pressuring Afghanistan to affirm the right of Muslims to become Christians without fear of capital punishment (for Christ's sake!) ---democracy or not. There are gradations of moral responsibility and democratic legitimacy ---and this is a case where we are going to damned well insist on the proper outcome until these people become more like us and arrive at that choice of their own volition.
Is that funny? I don't think so.
How many Japanese women had the vote before MacArthur showed up? How many Nazis were condemned to die in the city where German Jews were stripped of their rights as citizens little more than a decade before? And before Lincoln, the great majority of black Americans were chattel.
Things can change for the better when force is applied. Why don't hippies get that?
UPDATE: Jeff Goldstein, as is his wont, hips us to a really good post from neo-neocon, who also sees the moral right of insisting on the right thing:
It's not unheard of that gradual internal processes of change are accelerated by more forced external pressures. For example, when we took over countries through force in the past, we usually imposed certain rules on those countries from the outside (for example, in post-WWII American-occupied Japan, MacArthur and the Americans wrote the Japanese constitution to conform to our idea of what was needed). With great responsibility came a great ability to dictate things.
This Is Why I Don't Mind My Bracket Falling Apart Mood:
This is George Mason University's men's basketball team and they won a trip to the Final Four tonight.
It is a moment that these young men will remember til their dying day ---maybe 60 or 70 years from now. And not more than a day or two between now and then will pass without at least some momentary recollection of some image or thought from their triumph this evening.
Good people should sometimes experience the heaven of joy. Even the ones who weren't expected to.
(Thanks to Susan Walsh of the Associated Press for the picture.)
Very disappointed that the Longhorns lost. It may be that LSU has the better team or it may be that Texas was just too timid to match up down in the paint or it could be that our guys were getting fouled hard and it only sometimes got called.
Sticking It in and Breaking It Off Now Playing:what kind of a tree would you be?
The Oprahfication of the American journalist continues apace with stupid shit like this from yesterday's Pentagon press briefing:
Reporter: "Do you feel embattled at this point in your tenure? In a recent column, Maureen Dowd quoted an unidentified administration official who described you as an "eccentric old uncle who's ignored." She claims that you don't hold the same sway in meetings."
Rumsfeld: "Did you get all that? You want to be on camera, right? That's a sure way to get on the evening news. The answer to your question is no."
Reporter: "Well, I'm asking about the facts reported in the column. Do you feel you hold the same sway in meetings?"
Rumsfeld: "I'm not going to comment on that."
(Pause)- Rumsfeld looks away for a moment, then...
Rumsfeld: "If you believe everything you read in Maureen Dowd, you better get a life."
Everybody wants to be goddamned David Gregory anymore. Have you noticed that?
I can't imagine why supporters of this Administration think that the press are a bunch of chickenshits.
And, no, I don't know that reporter's name, but it sounds like a girl.
Lift, Oft Now Playing:ladies and gentlemen...Kognomenklatura!!!
By an overwhelming margin, the hottest topic in the blogosphere tonight is the accusation of plagiarism and subsequent resignation of some kid the Washington Post hired to be their new (and first, really) conservative blogger. Yet, I don't have an active memory of even hearing his name until earlier this week when the said blog was begun.
Now, I don't want to burst any bubbles here, but literary Wunderkinder are a dime-a-dozen. No 24 year-old punk is interesting ---or has lived--- long enough to tell me anything important about American history or politics or any other damned thing that I don't already know. Sorry, but it's an insult to the political junkie culture in America for the Washington Post to presume to put this boy in such a role.
On a related note, I think there has to be something wrong with not only your moral compass, but the grade of your intellect to believe that it is acceptable to steal others' writing and pass it off as your own. What must be missing from such a person's code? Can he sleep at night? How does he not live in constant fear of being discovered?
The world mind is opening, dumbass. It inhabits the whole globe ---physically, instantaneously, and omnisciently.
No genius can fail to understand this. And no charlatan deserves to profit from it.
Ingratitude Is a Cardinal Sin
Next time, let the stupid bastards free themselves.
In a late addendum gingerly attached to the statement issued by the Christian Peacemaker Teams upon the liberation of three of their members by Coalition soldiers, they write of the men who risked their own lives to save their coreligionists:
As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues.
Because if they had used force, you would have preferred that your friends remain in brutal captivity, never to be free again if it meant that the blood of even their evil captors would be shed?
There's something inhuman about these people that exudes its own odor, like a belch on a sour stomach fed with patchouli, fish, and fear.
Slouching toward Cambridge to Be Reborn Now Playing:is jimmuh carter rotting yet?
So if neither strategic nor moral arguments can account for America’s support for Israel, how are we to explain it?
If you are looking for an exhaustive catalogue of all the reasons why Israel sucks and why America shouldn't permit itself to be manipulated by an international cabal of big-nosed diamond merchants, you can scarcely do better than this paper by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, published earlier this month in The London Review of Books.
Mearsheimer is a political science professor at the University of Chicago and Walt is an international affairs professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. But the prominence of their positions isn't what makes this anti-Jewish screed so offensive; rather, it's the moral equivalence of their argument in vacating the Arab and Muslim responsibility for the current infestation of Judenhass in the world.
"The Israel Lobby" ---as it's entitled at the LRB--- has gotten a lot of attention in the blogosphere, but I actually came across it via one of my very favorite websites, Arts & Letters Daily (a staple link here at Neognostikos). I recommend reading it in full.
I'm not going to get into it tonight because my Longhorns are playing in a while, but let me leave you with a small sample of their reasoning:
The first Gulf War revealed the extent to which Israel was becoming a strategic burden. The US could not use Israeli bases without rupturing the anti-Iraq coalition, and had to divert resources (e.g. Patriot missile batteries) to prevent Tel Aviv doing anything that might harm the alliance against Saddam Hussein. History repeated itself in 2003: although Israel was eager for the US to attack Iraq, Bush could not ask it to help without triggering Arab opposition. So Israel stayed on the sidelines once again.
Note that Israel is to be blamed for that pesky necessity of having to defend itself. Is there any more universal a right than that of self-defense? But Mearsheimer and Walt won't concede it with respect to Israel: it is their fault that they could not contribute to the efforts in the Gulf War because they are themselves the cause of Arab and Muslim anger.
No criticism of the infantile and retarded attitudes of the Arab nations? What mindlessness.
I would argue ---and will again, you may be sure--- for Jewish exceptionalism, but if that is any more irrational than the double standards and excuse-making that go into the Left's defense of the poor oppressed Palestinian people, I will be amazed to know it.
Helen Thomas Is Probably Down on the ZOG Now Playing: "We're Gonna Groove" by Led Zeppelin
So [the dean of the White House Press Corps] Helen Thomas is on with Wolf Blitzer yesterday and she says, apropos of her berating of the President earlier in the day:
"Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. It certainly had -- it was secular, it was not tied to al Qaeda. I think he wanted to go into Iraq with -- he had all the neo-conservatives advising. That's the top of their agenda for Project for a New American Century. First Iraq, then Iran -- then Syria, then Iran, and so forth."
First of all, whenever a Leftist like the notorious old Arab-American Helen Thomas starts in on the PNAC, you can be sure that you're just hearing the new code for Zionist Occupied Government. It's Bircher-grade horseshit.
Second, this ignorant nonsense about how Saddamite Iraq couldn't have had anything to do with al-Qaeda since the Saddamites were secular and al-Qaeda was hardcore fundamentalist is just embarrassing. Where did that line of logic come from? If Saddamite Iraq was so secular prior to our invasion, how did it become so quickly embroiled in sectarian violence? You don't think that a dispossessed Sunni minority would turn to fundamentalist Salafist murderers to help them fight back against American Crusaders?
It may be that this logic is an expression of the Left's ultimate reason for rejecting the War for Iraq: they didn't want to see the [secular] Saddam Hussein overthrown because that would represent the triumph of the truly democratic society ---where religious beliefs, however odious, are tolerated--- over the [secular] oppression of the totalitarian cult of the gangster.
And when, in the course of the democratization of Iraq, the process breaks down and intolerance rears its head, the American Left are heartened. They hope for failure and civil war in Iraq because they hate Bush more than they love their own country. Or more than they are willing to stand champions of human liberty.
Thomas then complains to Blitzer that the ZOG is going after Syria and Iran next because it's all part of some Jew plot to destroy these countries or whatever it is. She says she doesn't know why Bush invaded Iraq if it wasn't for the sake of Israel and/or oil. But Thomas should know why we are there and forcing the issue with the mullahs and the Ba'athists: because they are a menace to the region and, thereby, the world.
And no observer of the international scene right now who knows what he's talking about is in any doubt as to what must be done about Iran's nuclear ambitions. Is Thomas really that clueless? No one is in doubt about what must be done. Russ Fucking Feingold himself is not in any doubt about what must be done. He knows that we Westerners will not tolerate another descent into genocidal Judenhass. And if that means that the United States' war machine vaporizes Iran, then that's what will happen.
So, it isn't a perfidious Jew plot, Helen, for the United States to defend her allies and to leave open the world's access to petroleum. Curbing Iran and Syria is a necessity that your ignorant Leftist understanding of the world isn't going to vitiate.
A Stupid Name for a Blog Now Playing:where do you toss your hot dog?
Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake is a total loser for banning me ---after my very first post! What the fuck? She wants to refer to Joe Lieberman as "Holy Joe" ---an obvious swipe at his identity as an observant Orthodox Jew. Those fucking Democrats just can't stand a man of faith, can they? They'll run 'em out of their party faster than shit through the proverbial Christmas goose.
Tell me that this comment merits such summacious crushing of dissent:
"Holy" Joe, eh? Is that supposed to be a slam at Lieberman for being an observant Jew?
Seriously. You're making fun of him for his piety, which, unfortunately, he had to stow away when the Gorebot made him his running mate so as not to scare off the degenerate hippie voters your sell-out of a party depends on.
Stuff this "Holy" business. Makes you sound like Duncan Black.
A Tuber with Lipstick on It Now Playing: "Old Woman Blues" by Lightnin' Hopkins
Helen Thomas disgusts me. Learn your fucking place, you stupid old woman. Just because Jack Kennedy or General Eisenhower or whoever it was put you in the front row of the White House press room ---where you've crusted over, lo these many decades--- doesn't mean that you're entitled to bicker with the President of the United States. Got it? You want to ask the question, so ask it. That's your right. But don't sit there and fucking bicker when it's only Bush's graciousness that mitigates the accusatory and wholly rhetorical nature of your slung mud.
I Cannot Believe They're Going On and On About This Debra Lafave Thing Mood:
amorous Now Playing: "I Only Have Eyes for You" by the Flamingos
Oh, wait. I can.
Look. The woman is hot. Period. That's why this story about them dropping the charges against her for statutory rape of one of her 14 year-old male students is so [interesting].
No question about it: Lafave is a lot of fun to look at. It's fun to imagine myself as the 14 year-old boy I once was with the mad crush on my Latin teacher ---or, in this case, Debra Lafave--- and spending quality time on every square millimeter of her.
So this [concern] on the cable news networks is not with jurisprudence or morality or logic, but is about a hot-looking woman who elicits the erotic impulse in any normal man who gives it any thought at all. That's good television. That's money in the bank.
By the way, the reason why there is (and ought to be) a double standard between male and female high school teachers having sex with their students is because a young man isn't going to be impregnated by some naughty Mrs. Smith. That's a major difference and is really the most important one.
I know it's indefensible to some, but I just can't care.
Strictly for My Sluggo Now Playing: "Just a Lil Bit" by 50 Cent
Michelle Malkin went and checked out the anti-war protest in Washington, D.C. yesterday, but found it pretty boring.
Oh, and she took this picture.
Put that on your resume, Chimpy!
Not incidentally, what's happened to the turnout at these protests? It's really fallen off. What's the explanation? Don't our hippie brethren know that Iraq is in the grips of civil war and that now is the best time yet to dress up like goddamned Gitmo prisoners and denigrate the troops we all [support] so much?
Batting a 1.000 Now Playing:Nutroots?: now with fifty percent more squirrel shit
Via Mr. Maguire, have a look at Mark Coffey's very efficient evisceration of some of the top Leftist bloggers, most especially Markos Moulitsas. From his "Nutroots? Manifesto":
1. It’s All About the Winning
“They want to make me into the latest Jesse Jackson, but I’m not ideological at all,” Moulitsas told me, “I’m just all about winning.” - Washington Monthly, January/February ‘06
Combined record of political wins by Netroots candidates - 0 for 19
That's no lie. It's a documented fact that any candidate that Markos Moulitsas endorses is a shit magnet and a guaranteed loser.
But how can these even be moral victories? You know: considering their claimant.
Let's see how many days pass before this finally gets onto the evening news. Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard reports on some of the newly-declassified documents we captured in the aftermath of the overthrow of Saddamite Iraq:
SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME PROVIDED FINANCIAL support to Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law in the Philippines in the late 1990s, according to documents captured in postwar Iraq. An eight-page fax dated June 6, 2001, and sent from the Iraqi ambassador in Manila to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, provides an update on Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and indicates that the Iraqi regime was providing the group with money to purchase weapons. The Iraqi regime suspended its support--temporarily, it seems--after high-profile kidnappings, including of Americans, focused international attention on the terrorist group.
The fax comes from the vast collection of documents recovered in postwar Afghanistan and Iraq. Up to this point, those materials have been kept from the American public. Now the proverbial dam has broken. On March 16, the U.S. government posted on the web 9 documents captured in Iraq, as well as 28 al Qaeda documents that had been released in February. Earlier last week, Foreign Affairs magazine published a lengthy article based on a review of 700 Iraqi documents by analysts with the Institute for Defense Analysis and the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Plans for the release of many more documents have been announced. And if the contents of the recently released materials and other documents obtained by The Weekly Standard are any indication, the discussion of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq is about to get more interesting.
Things haven't really happened until the major networks and papers have signed off on them. For now, though, let us realize for ourselves that Saddam Hussein was, in fact, a terrorist sponsor. Many of us knew this already, but the evidence will have to sink in a little longer with the rest of the public. Maybe they can put two and two together and, in between their fixes of the latest Attractive White Couple Murder Mystery, acknowledge that the War for Iraq was a necessary endeavor.
Even if the poll numbers that they contribute to do not agree.