What Can One Say About a Man Like Sayyed Fadlallah?


From Matt Duss, my favorite snide reaction (so far) to the war party protest ousting of Octavia Nasr from her CNN gig (mentioned in today's Daily Links here at Hit and Run) for saying she had respect for dead Iraqi cleric Sayyed Fadlallah:

The punchline here is that Sayyed Fadlallah was the religious guide, or marja' al-taqlid, to numerous members of Iraq's ruling Da'wa Party, including Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. This means that they looked to Fadlallah as a source of religious authority on matters relating to correct Islamic life and practice, and committed to following his edicts on those matters. It also meant that, in October 2008, when Fadlallah (along with several other ayatollahs) condemned the U.S.-Iraq security agreement in its then-current form and decreed that any agreement should call for an unconditional withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, the agreement had to be re-negotiated.

As I wrote at the time, the power of these ayatollahs to effectively scuttle an agreement of significant import to the security of the United States throws into stark relief what the Bush administration created in Iraq: a government dominated by Shia religious parties who take their guidance — and derive much of their legitimacy — from the opinions and edicts of a small handful of senior Shia clerics.

That aside, here's the neocon logic, as best I can explain: When a reporter acknowledges the passing of a revered, if controversial figure in a way that doesn't sufficiently convey what a completely evil terrorist neocons think that figure was — that's unacceptable. But when the United States spends nearly a trillion dollars, loses over four thousand of its own troops and over a hundred thousand Iraqis to establish a new government largely dominated by that same "terrorist's" avowed acolytes — that's victory.

Applying lessons from Das Weigelkrise to MSM thinking: one must express in one's off-spotlight communications neither lack of respect nor respect for those one is expected to cover objectively.