But Moooom, They Did It Fiiiiiirst

|

Jewish World Review columnist Cal Thomas has produced a deeply bizarre defense of Gen. William Boykin, who has recently taken heat for public claims that the true enemy in the war on terror is Satan, and that Muslims worship "an idol" rather than "a real God."

Thomas's rejoinder to critics appears to be that since radical Islamists perceive the conflict as an apocalyptic war between the Muslim world and the kufr, we may as well feed that perception until they're willing to give it up. If Mahathir Mohamad gets to make insane generalizations about Jews, he seems to be arguing, it's only fair that our generals get to make insane generalizations about Muslims.

Thomas also appears to subscribe to the "no marginal terrorist" theory, as he blasts critics for spreading "the fiction that our enemies can be made less threatening by what America says and does." That's right; nobody in the Muslim world is sitting on the fence, so loose Crusade-style talk about epochal battles between Christendom and the infidels couldn't possibly make things any worse.

NEXT: Underground Food

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “It makes sense for us to oppose, BOTH Bin Ladin AND the source of his complaints.”

    Even if the source of his complaint is a flimsy pretext? The rest of the Arabic world couldn’t give a rats butt about Palestine, except as a way to ensure that the Palestinians don’t come knocking on their doors.

  2. “It makes sense for us to oppose, BOTH Bin Ladin AND the source of his complaints.”

    Even if the source of his complaint is a flimsy pretext? The rest of the Arabic world couldn’t give a rats butt about Palestine, except as a way to ensure that the Palestinians don’t come knocking on their doors.

  3. merits

    Therein lay the rub. Who decides what is meritorious? You? Me? We do not set policy, so our decisions are without consequence.

    someone I dislike may be saying about it.

    Almost. The point is not the person who is dissenting. It is the nature of the dissent. Had I made the decision to bang my head with a rock (I’ll forgive and even play along with the bad metaphor) and Carville wanted that to change, he’d have to prove to my satisfaction that my decision to do so was erroneous. If he did that by quoting scripture, I’d laugh in his face. If he did it by showing me MRI scans of blunt head trauma patients, I might agree. One is vague invisible man philosophy, the other compelling phenomenological evidence. I may not understand either fully, but only the latter demonstrates consequence.

    That’s an easy decision on a personal scale (eschew the rock). In the realm of state-to-state relations, one is not so free to pull the banging-the-head-with-a-rock metaphor.

  4. Jason Ligon,

    How do you know Arabs don’t really give a rats butt about Palestine? Maybe Arab leaders secretly want to keep the issue alive, but seems it’s a genuine emotional issue for the Arab populace.

    Rick Barton,

    I too question US military aid to Israel, but the simplistic finger pointing at Israel as “the agressor” is, well, simplistic. There’s been various points in the past and present when either “side” could have bent to facilitate peace but didn’t. I see it as a tragic situation with bad guys on both sides.

  5. People will always find an excuse to control one another. One might as well make the excuse include one’s place in the cosmos.

  6. “We do not set policy, so our decisions are without consequence.”

    But my, that’s cynical! 🙂 I wouldn’t dare suggest the populace of the US always gets what it wants from its government, but I tend to think that if 90% of the populace wanted strongly to end military aid to Israel, there’s a decent chance the politicians would take notice!

  7. “How do you know Arabs don’t really give a rats butt about Palestine? Maybe Arab leaders secretly want to keep the issue alive, but seems it’s a genuine emotional issue for the Arab populace.”

    Hatred of the Jewish state is an emotional issue. Why don’t the Palestinians have anywhere else to go, again? What happens to the Palestinians EVERY TIME one of their loving neighbors decides to lob rockets at Jerusalem, or, more to the point, when their great pals get beaten back in multiple large scale attacks on Israel? Why didn’t the lines re-form with the Palestinians included as a part of Jordan? Wasn’t a good deal of the mandated palestinian land in Jordan?

    I don’t know. I keep coming back to the idea that there is more than one wall keeping the Palestinians where they are.

  8. rst, the answer is, you should stop hitting yourself in the head with the rock, regardless of what Carville says. It is foolish on its own merits, and becomes no less foolish simply because those who wish you to stop don’t make their case very well.

  9. the answer is

    The metaphor fails.

  10. here’s a question along those lines – is the blind support for the jewish state from non-jews (the new york post, for example, and so on) who have no stake in what happens in palestine outside of emotional-territorial the western equivalent of the “arab street” attitude towards the palestinians?

    the carville/rock situation above with a larger audience.

  11. the carville/rock situation above with a larger audience.

    The rock situation was an inane metaphor entertained for a few short minutes. To consider it a useful anecdote for foreign policy is even worse. A person of sound mind would not begin to bang their head with a rock, and it wouldn’t take James Carville to convince them otherwise. The body has pain receptors meant to inform an organism of the danger of physical harm. There is an immediate, palpable consequence. With a rock you have the benefit of such direct response. That is not true with state-to-state relations. That metaphor is for those who don’t agree with the status quo, i.e., they liken it to banging one’s head with a rock.

  12. dhex,

    I don’t from rock metaphors and blind support, but I think Americans (by and large) have a certain tribal identification with Israel, the same way Arabs have with the Palestinians, which is perhaps odd since most Americans are not Jewish but perhaps not since Israel was settled primarily by European Jews and is an oasis of western institutions within the middle east.

  13. “But my, that’s cynical!”

    But true. We do not influence policy.

    if 90% of the populace wanted strongly to end military aid to Israel, there’s a decent chance the politicians would take notice!

    Don’t count on it. We’re a republic, not a democracy.

  14. “Don’t count on it.”

    Of course not, there’s no guarantees in life. But you don’t address my ascertainment of the likelihood of said cause and effect. If it’s likely, so what if it’s not guaranteed, and I stand by my assertion that it’s likely. Hell, otherwise we may as well quit talking about policy of any sort.

  15. This is a classic example of the logical fallacy known as “two wrongs make a right.”

  16. No it’s not. You have no objective basis to establish what is wrong with the system, only that you find yourself in disagreement with it. Save the kindergarten beatitudes for the kids.

  17. THE DAMNED BRITISH STARTED IT ALL BY PLACING AND PROMOTE OF J*WS MIGRATION INTO THE LAND OF THE PALESTINE SINCE 1948. THIS THE ROOT CAUSE TO TERRORISM !!.

    THE SOLUTION >>>> RELOCATE BACK THE J*WS INTO THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN.

    THE ANOLOGY IS SIMPLE ….WOULD YOU BE PLEASED IF A STRANGER WALKS INTO YOUR HOME AND DENIES ALL YOUR RIGHTS.

  18. rst,

    Sure it is. Cal Thomas states, in essence, that since these Muslim radicals can do X, we should be able to do the same X, even though Thomas impliedly admits that X is wrong. And it is not a kindergarten beatitude; pointing out logical fallacies is right and proper partly because such illustrates the rather poor reasoning of the author of the fallacy.

    What is also humorous about Thomas’ piece is that it contains a canard. The piece states the following:

    The Bush administration is making a fundamental mistake when it promotes the fiction that our enemies can be made less threatening by what America says and does. That should now be obvious to Democratic senator and presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, who spoke last Friday (Oct. 17) to an Arab American Institute meeting in Dearborn, Mich. Lieberman, who is Jewish, noted that Jews and Muslims are descendants of Abraham. “I am your brother,” he said, and added, “Whatever differences we may have on the issues of the day are differences of ideas, not of religion or nationality.” Members of the audience heckled him.

    Though Thomas is right when says that the members of the audience heckled Lieberman, they did so after Lierberman made remarks regarding Israel and the Palestinians, not after the remarks he qoutes. Though Thomas does not specifically state that the heckling came after the remarks mentioned above, it is not hard to see that he implies such, and that by his use of the qoutation along with his concluding remark, that he is attempting to obfuscate.

  19. In fact, to be even more blunt, Thomas use of the story about the two dogs is by itself a blatant example of two wrongs make a right.

  20. tonee blair,

    Certain elements in the British government started promoting a Jewish state in the Levant before WWI, and this became the official policy of the British government during that war.

  21. I’d hit Carville with the rock.

  22. Oh and Jean,
    it went beyond heckling. One “activist” fuckwad was quoted as saying, under her breath when there was a reporter nearby, “He is such a Jew.”

  23. Anonymous,

    That may be so, but the heckling did not commence when Thomas implies that it did.

  24. Anonymous,

    And if your lone justification for Thomas’ remarks are that some people acted like jackasses, then I would say that you’ve got a very poor argument indeed!

  25. Let’s not kid ourselves folks. We have more danger from far-right extremist CHRISTIANS than we do from Islam. Terrorism is just being exaggerated so the right-wing can impose 10 commandments in our court-rooms, force public schools to teach creationism and let politicians hold prayer sessions.

    We have more to fear from these things than any sort of Islamic terrorists. With all luck we will toss out Chimpy and elect a Democrat in 2004 and start locking up these Xian fanatics instead of so-called Muslim “enemies.”

  26. “A person of sound mind would not begin to bang their head with a rock, and it wouldn’t take James Carville to convince them otherwise.”

    hmm…maybe i read the metaphor wrong but the point i took away from it was that some people will continue to do anything, even to the point of harming themselves, so long as it fucks with what’s seen as the opposing side.

    maybe i’m overly cynical, but hysterically partisan people don’t strike me as reasonable. they strike me as the type to keep beating their heads into rocks to spite someone else. orthodox jews and muslims in palestine strike me as those sorts of people – continuing policies only meant to aggrevate and prevent any stability. maybe to hasten a return to the arms of their loving god or perhaps because of some ingrained guilt and self-punishment routine they insist on inflicting on the rest of their respective populations. i gave up trying to figure out the devout a long time ago.

    (the above also remind me of most of the editorial staff of the ny post, but i only read that when the onion is unavailable.)

  27. Cal Thomas states, in essence, that since these Muslim radicals can do X, we should be able to do the same X, even though Thomas impliedly admits that X is wrong.

    Ah, I agree. I thought you were on something else. My bad.

  28. Core Reason Subscriber,

    I treat both threats equally seriously.

  29. BTW, I wonder if the group the aforementioned officer spoke to was part of the right-wing, anti-semetic, racist millinarian Christian group that lives in southern Oregon?

  30. dhex, on behalf of hysterically partisan people everywhere, I’d like to respond:

    Aaaaaa! AAAAAAAAA! What the hell is THAT?! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  31. The two are not “equivalent”, “functionally” or any other way.

    You claim they are not equal out of your own alliance with the Palestinian cause. There is no objective justification in supporting either side. Both are blind, ideological preferences of one side over the other for no greater reason than that you sympathize with their plight most. You’ll go through history and find all the points therein that support your claims that the Palestinians “own” that land, or that Israel broke all the rules in 1967 while the Palestinians just sat and innocently twiddled their thumbs, or that Sharon may have had some complicity in a camp slaughter is of any greater consequence than that Arafat is a Hamas terrorist. And so on. At the end of the day it boils down to how much weight you give your own understanding of history. How objective.

    The salient point here is that the Palestinians are the victims

    They’re victims according to you. Perhaps you do not count Israeli bodies as you count Palestinian bodies, but that is your own imbalance. The Palestinians are no more (or less) victims than the Israelis are. Both are aggressors, and neither side wants peace, they just want Jerusalem. And they’ll kill each other for it, because the invisible man in the sky told them to.

  32. Wow. I assume “Core Reason Subsriber” was being sarcastic — it was a dead-on parody of the modern left. Then Jean Bart replied as if “Core” was serious! Nice!

  33. Where I grew up, every mother taught her children that “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

    Israel is a racist state that oppresses the Palestinian population in a manner that is truly disgusting. It doesn’t matter how many Jews are blown up sipping cappuccino, it doesn’t justify helicopter attacks on civilian populations. And the US should stop buying the rockets and helicopters. We should also stop funding the corrupt and oppressive governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. (Who funnel it to Islamic extremists, who focus their attacks on Israel and the US thus allowing the corrupt oppressors to remain in power)

    Even if you don’t believe closing the valve on the US taxpayers pipeline to these barbarians will reduce terrorist attacks on the US, we should stop funding these assholes because it is just fucking wrong to begin with!

  34. it is just fucking wrong to begin with!

    Says who?

  35. If it only were that simple Warren.

    🙁

  36. >>Israel is a racist state that oppresses the Palestinian population in a manner that is truly disgusting.

    Are you disgusted on how Syria and Egypt keeps Palistinians in cages like animals? Or how those nations expelled Jews and robbed them blind?

    >> It doesn’t matter how many Jews are blown up sipping cappuccino

    Oops. In poker they call this a “tell.”

    >> it doesn’t justify helicopter attacks on civilian populations

    Actually they target terrorists, not people at pizza parlors or sipping cappuccino.

    >> And the US should stop buying the rockets and helicopters.

    Should we also stop guarding the Koreans? Should we not have given the West Germans arms? You know damn well that the local Arab kleptocracies would destroy Isreal if it had a chance, creating a regional war.

    BUt I agree on Egypt and (especially) Saudi Arabia. But then again, my car runs on fossil fuel…so I am glad we are now getting oil from Iraq (which Warren was against) instead of funding our enemies.

  37. “Are you disgusted on how Syria and Egypt keeps Palistinians in cages like animals? Or how those nations expelled Jews and robbed them blind?”
    Syria and Egypt both disgust me yes, but forgive me if I don’t take your word for it that they “keep Palestinians in cages like animals”

    “Oops. In poker they call this a “tell.”
    I’d say it is your tell, as I am against allying with any of the regions nations whereas you think we should give money to the Jews and kill the Arabs.

    “Actually they target terrorists, not people at pizza parlors or sipping cappuccino.”
    Thinly veiled pretext, the Israelis never worry too much if a few innocents get killed in what is still an assignation. No presumption of innocence, no trial by jury, no right to face one’s accuser or call witnesses in ones own defense just “You are a threat to the current powers that be, therefore you (and anyone around you) must die”

    “You know damn well that the local Arab kleptocracies would destroy Isreal if it had a chance, creating a regional war.”
    The people of the Mid East are committed to killing each other. Nothing we say or do will change that. We should not participate in it. We are getting sucked into an eternal war of factional hatred.

    “But then again, my car runs on fossil fuel…so I am glad we are now getting oil from Iraq (which Warren was against)”
    I was never against getting oil from Iraq. We should buy oil on the open market. Unsavory regimes may profit from selling us oil, but that is entirely different than supporting them with US taxpayer cash.

  38. “…so I am glad we are now getting oil from Iraq (which Warren was against) instead of funding our enemies.”

    So GWII was really over gaining access to Iraq’s oil?

    BTW, you aren’t getting squat from Iraq at this point as far I can tell; as whatever Iraq exports right now doesn’t amount to more than a trickle (which is one of the reasons why gas and other oil-related product prices have not significantly dropped).

  39. but forgive me if I don’t take your word for it that they “keep Palestinians in cages like animals.”

    The idea here is that that if they truly believed in the Palastinian cause and were looking out for the best interests of the Palestinians, they would open their boarders and take refugees. But they don’t give a damn about Palestinians. They don’t want Palestinians in their country anymore than the Israelis do. They’re just using the Palestinian refugees as a tool against Israeli statehood.

  40. Jean,

    That site is a RIOT!!!

    Regards,

    Steve

    🙂

    PS A non-grumpy, happy atheist.

  41. Why don’t the Palestinians have anywhere else to go, again?

    Why should they go somewhere else?

    . . . multiple large scale attacks on Israel . . .

    What attacks would those be?

    The 1948 war was begun by the Palestinian Arabs before Israeli independence was declared.

    The 1967 war began with an Israeli attack.

    In 1974, Egypt and Syria tried to regain the territory lost in 1968.

    Why didn’t the lines re-form with the Palestinians included as a part of Jordan?

    They did. After the 1948 war, the king of Jordan unilaterally annexed the West Bank, over the objections of some Palestinian leaders, and international criticism as well. Some years ago Jordan renounced its claim to the territory, in what was widely regarded as a positive move.

    Wasn’t a good deal of the mandated palestinian land in Jordan?

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. I’ve never seen the phrase “mandated palestinian land” before.

    When Jordan and Palestine were both under British mandate, Jordan was sometimes called “east Palestine” or “trans-Jordanian Palestine”. This is the source of the infamous “Jordan is Palestine” slogan. That makes as much sense as “Tennessee is North Carolina”, “North Dakota is Louisiana”, or “Texas is Mexico”.

    . . . there is more than one wall keeping the Palestinians where they are.

    Meaning what?

    The “security fence” isn’t keeping Palestinians where they are. It’s another step in driving them out.

  42. The charges of “anti-semitism” are really just Zionist propaganda.

    Nine times out of ten they are, in my experience. When someone is called an “anti-semite”, it generally means he has transgressed Zionist PC.

    See this article by Larry Elder. Just suggesting Americans should “re-think” our relationship with Israel is enough for Elder to haul out the big anti-semitism gun, with powder in reserve for anyone failing to show proper respect to Ariel Sharon.

  43. couldn’t we just put all these fuckheads on a planet somewhere and let them kill each other?

    oh, we already did that? and it’s called earth?

    fuck.

  44. I agree that this type of talk isn’t going to make anything better. That said, there is a point to be made that while such comments come off as extreme here, they are staples of Al-Jazeera nightly broadcasts. Interview after interview I have seen of ‘the man on the street’ in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and even Baghdad reveals an ridiculous level of anti semitic conspiracy theory and contains just as much fundamental zeal as the ‘real terrorists’ have. There is at the very end of the conversation the inevitable, “I would not blow myself up to kill the infidel, but I honor those who do.”

    I guess I’m saying that my perception from the news is that there are shockingly few people sitting on the fence, and I don’t know if I buy the notion that a populist desire for repressive theocracy is reconcilable with any political value I hold. At some point, if a fellow keeps saying that he would kill me if he could get away with it, I have to take him at his word, don’t I?

  45. Commentary like that is embarrassing. We are fighting a secular war against an anachronistic foe who deals with his Allah-based rage by suicide bombings and manic street preaching. There is no room for Invisible Man In The Sky garbage, it’s unprofessional…to say nothing for the blasphemy inherent in assuming that your God agrees with you.

  46. A majority of people in the Islamic world may hate the U.S. or its policies in an abstract sense, but most of them aren’t anywhere near hating us enough to put it into practice by blowing themselves up. Unfortunately, the former group is the main pool from which the latter are drawn, and the specific actions of the U.S. government have a lot to do with the process.

    Last year I heard a radio interview with a psychologist about a study of the family backgrounds of sucicide bombers in Palestine: they had, very disproportionately, seen their families terrorized as young children by Israeli security forces, and especially seen their fathers humiliated at the hands of Israelis. The desire for revenge was not the result of some generic ideological hatred for “Zionism” or “the Jews,” but driven by specific, concrete events.

  47. dhex – this is why we need to colonize Mars. Send all the religious nuts there, like they sent them all here (USA) back in the 1600s.

  48. Kevin,

    9/11 acts were committed by Saudis. What was the terrible personal tragedy at the hands of Americans they endured?

  49. Jason,

    1) Barney
    2) they’re two seasons behind on ER
    3) Bacon McPork Burqualess B-B-Q nite on the base.

    Kevin,
    isn’t that a description of the oklahoma city /”militia” gang? this type of description is also used by those who were in those paramilitary thug groups (heimwehr, etc) in austria in the 20s. you seem to be working with a general, useful description for the thug/terrorist of any stripes.

    i guess now we know how they felt in vienna in 1453…

    drf

  50. Islam is a religion of peace. For example, the evil US government is fucking over people in Bolivia, hence all the Catholic suicide bombers.

    The charges of “anti-semitism” are really just zionist propaganda.

  51. Times like these makes me want to believe in some supernatural being who gets a chuckle out of all of this. Okay, maybe not.

    :-

  52. Jason –

    The tragedy is that the Americans have the unmitigated gall to be the leaders of the free world and not be a Muslim caliphate. This is unpardonable, because they cannot get their minds past the fact that most of us couldn’t care less about their impotent tribal deity.

  53. Islam is a religion of peace.

    Islam is not a religion of peace any more than Christianity or Judaism is. Peace is not found in espousing the exclusionary practices of organized religion. Peace is a human endeavor; religion is a book and a man willing to bang it.

  54. I couldn’t agree more rst!

    🙂

    PS I would love to ask Osama (via an interpreter) if Allah can make a rock so big the he himself could not lift it.

  55. Going to read Mr. Thomas’ article in a minute, but I can already tell that I am going to need to wash my hands afterward.

    I have read many of his articles, and the one thing he consistently accomplishes is blaming all our problems on weak-willed secularists who just can’t bring themselves to accept his way of thinking.

  56. Answer: let’s stone him for asking that question!

  57. Steve, glad ya feel me. Few things in the world drive me so crazy as watching rational human beings turn into rabid animals because they think God is on their side.

    For all you budding terrorists and street preachers, abortion clinic bombers and Zionists, in all your works, remember, God does not need you. You are not a unique and powerful individual, you are a hairy bag of salt water with a seven decade shelf life.

  58. Cal Thomas wrote:
    “The Bush administration is making a fundamental mistake when it promotes the fiction that our enemies can be made less threatening by what America says and does.”

    Idiot! Not only would many of our enemies be less threatening if it wasn’t for our government’s action; many wouldn’t even BE our enemies! Read Bin Ladin’s “Fatwa”. Our governments hyper-interventionism endangers us all.

    “That should now be obvious to Democratic senator and presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, who spoke last Friday (Oct. 17) to an Arab American Institute meeting in Dearborn, Mich. Lieberman…”

    And, where does Thomas find evidence of the intent of our “ENEMIES”? From AMERICANS of Arab ethnicity in an Arab American community! The proof Thomas offers here is that these folks had the temerity to actually heckle Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Hey Cal, don’t you suppose it might be because Lieberman is one of the leaders in the Senate for securing US taxpayer funding for a brutal and ongoing occupation of Palestinian land? Perhaps, these Arab Americans are also upset because this funding continues, despite the fact that Israeli Arab citizens face legal discrimination, championed and defended by no less then Prime Minister Sharon!

    BTW; the US funding of the occupation has active opposition in Israel as well, from those who consider that it serves to make them much less, not more secure. “Tikkun” Magazine has coverage on this front. http://www.tikkun.org/

  59. Not only would many of our enemies be less threatening if it wasn’t for our government’s action; many wouldn’t even BE our enemies! Read Bin Ladin’s “Fatwa”.

    bin Laden’s religiously motivated open letters imploring Muslims to kill American and Israeli citizens because of American and Israeli policy – which is not formed by its citizens – is asinine. And failng that, do you give as much weight to a papal bull? If the Catholics started blowing shit up, would you say, “hey maybe we shouldn’t let people be gay, because our allowing people to be gay makes enemies out of certain elements of the Catholic Church”?

    A philosophy confronted by other ideologically incompatable philosophies is not a precedent, Rick. One man’s hero is another man’s butcher. Pardon me if I say boo hoo to bin Laden’s numerous complaints about America’s blind support for Israel, which is functionally equivalent to a blind support for the Palestinians, or their presence in SA, for which he has only SA’s own rulers to blame, or for our not being a Muslim caliphate, which is just too damned bad. We do not answer to Allah.

    “The female infant buried alive will be asked for what crime she was killed.” Maybe OBL will have some answers for that god of his.

  60. First of all, rst, virtually all Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scholars recognize that “that god of his” is one and the same as that of Christianity and Judaism.

    Secondly, “letting people be gay” is pretty far removed from the government sending money, weapons, and troops into conflicts on the other side of the world. One involves the government doing nothing and letting people be, the other involves spending large amounts of money to have government agents carry out violent or at least threatening acts. Frankly, I’m surprised to find myself having to explain this here.

  61. First of all, rst, virtually all Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scholars recognize that “that god of his” is one and the same as that of Christianity and Judaism.

    Most take their religion’s god and make him/her/it “their own”. They give him human desires and ambitions, and further assume that he’s on their side. Maybe the god in the book is the same, but it ends there.

    And the point was not letting people be gay or not, the point was taking policy cues from a religious leader just because in anger over policy he issues a fatwa calling for the death of people who don’t even set policy. We don’t take our own seriously when they invoke God and Jesus and whoever else. Why should we take OBL any more seriously? Are you scared?

  62. No, not scared. I just believe in judging a position on its merits, regardless of what someone I dislike may be saying about it. If you were hitting yourself in the head with a rock, and James Carville told you to stop, would you continue just to spite him?

  63. Joe and anon,

    Both of you claim to want to make our foreign policy decisions based on their own merits and are accusing the other of being overly concerned with the opinions of others.

    I agree that we should do what’s right. But there sometimes comes a time when doing what’s right includes taking into consideration the opinions of others.

    When to be influenced enough by others such that it effects your actions and when not to is an art. But there has always been a strain of thought that says fuck the world we’ll do what we want, and I don’t think that’s either very ethical nor practical.

  64. loose Crusade-style talk about epochal battles between Christendom and the infidels couldn’t possibly make things any worse.

    The Muslims get plenty of that from other Muslims. The Wahhabis are constantly pushing “talk about epochal battles between Islam and the infidels.” I can’t imagine that Cal Thomas agreeing with the Wahhabis makes much difference to those whose worldview is already informed by Wahhabism.

    The issue is whether radical Muslim is better dealt with by ignoring/negotiating with it, or by confronting it directly. There are arguments, and unintended consequences, on both sides. I tend to believe that you get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish, so I come down on the side of confronting the radicals. If we ever find any moderates, I would be all in favor of helping them.

  65. “Pardon me if I say boo hoo to bin Laden’s numerous complaints about America’s blind support for Israel, which is functionally equivalent to a blind support for the Palestinians, or their presence in SA,…”

    The two are not “equivalent”, “functionally” or any other way . The salient point here is that the Palestinians are the victims, the Israeli government is the aggressor and our government is funding the aggressor’s occupation. It makes sense for us to oppose, BOTH Bin Ladin AND the source of his complaints.

  66. OTOH, sometimes when you push, the other side pushes back. Just ask the folks on the H&R animal rights thread who claimed that when someone gets their fur trashed, they just go out and buy two more furs. And ask all the Palestinias who haven’t been cowed by Sharon’s hard line.

  67. Sorry about the non-functional Larry Elder link. The article can be found at

    http://wnd.com/news/article/.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27378

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=121

    http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1606

    http://www.frum.org/israel/BlacksJews.asp

    The same article appears under two different titles.

  68. . . . U.S. government is fucking over people in Bolivia, hence all the Catholic suicide bombers.

    This Cato briefing lists terrorist acts in several Catholic countries.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.