Skip to comments.The most sensitive war in history
Posted on 11/28/2001 5:01:26 AM PST by jerod
LONG WINDED - BUT A MUST READ
Are you a Western leader of the Judeo-Christian or Agnostic-Atheist persuasion? Want to issue a public statement on how much you respect and value Islam as a peaceful religion of moderation and tolerance? Take a number, pal. The line's longer than the waiting list at a Quebec hospital. The Queen's spoken of her respect for "the Islamic community," so's the Pope and Tony Blair. President Bush does it at least a couple of times a day. A week ago, he hosted the White House's first ever Ramadan dinner -- not a banquet, that would have been insensitive, and the whole point of the Administration's "Ramadan public relations offensive" is, according to The Washington Post, to "highlight its sensitivity to Islamic tradition." In Canada, it can't be said that Jean Chrétien has made anything in the way of a coherent statement on the subject, but he has visited a mosque, as he never ceases to remind us. Ask him about border security or troop deployments or post-9/11 economic issues and he says, "I was proud to visit da mosques because dat to me is da Canadian value."
This is the most sensitive war in history. The President has urged Americans to be especially solicitous and protective of what he calls "women of cover." He has recommended that each American schoolchild get a Middle Eastern pen pal, though, with the current anthrax scare, I don't suppose the U.S. Postal Service is especially eager for a lot of envelopes with childlike handwriting from Mullah al-Mahrah's Fourth Grade at the Sword of the Jew-Slayer Elementary School in Kandahar. Last time round, FDR interned Japanese-Americans. Not only has Bush no plans to intern Muslim Americans, it wouldn't surprise me if he interned himself, just to "send the right message."
Do you find our language too insensitive? Fine. Let's make "Koran" "Quran," or better yet, "Qu'ran," or, if you prefer, "Qu'~*ran," whatever you want, the more the merrier, toss a couple of those wingdings from the new Mordecai Richler font in the middle. In the Thirties, when Churchill was attacking the Munich Agreement, the sensitivity-check didn't automatically amend it to "Munchen." But the other day, in the 24 hours between appearing in London's Daily Telegraph and the National Post, Janet Daley's column had every single "Afghan" surgically removed somewhere over the Atlantic and replaced with "Afghani," included the pull-out quote. Janet is a ferocious American of robust views and anyone less likely to say "Afghani" is hard to imagine. Hitherto, Anglicization of foreign place names has been an accepted custom, just as we accept that in Iraq America is spelt G-R-E-A-T-S-A-T-A-N. But, if appellatory sensitivity requires us to use the foreign version, let's do it right and rename Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry the Infidel Dog's Lackeys of Zionism.
Our enemy, of course, has no name, or at least, as with Harry Potter's arch-enemy Voldemort, no name one can safely mention. Bush gets much mocked by progressive opinion for persistently referring to our opponents as "the evildoers," but if he used anything more precise they'd be the first to complain. We're at war with ... Afghanistan? Heaven forfend! Militant Islam? Whoa, there's that word again. The Taliban? Well, hold on, Colin Powell wants "moderate Taliban elements" to be part of a "broad-based government." The Taliban rejects a broad-based government on the grounds that any government based on broads is repugnant to them. (All Taliban jokes 80% discounted in our grand warehouse clearance sale, this weekend only.) If Powell calls on "moderate evildoers" to be included in any new government, Bush's Enemy Nomenclature Team will really have its work cut out. As usual, our Tolerance Police are very intolerant of insufficient tolerance. As The Toronto Star's disapproving headline put it, "Harris Finally Listens To Muslims." "Forty-three days after the events of Sept. 11," began Ian Urquhart, "Premier Mike Harris finally sat down last week with leaders of the Muslim community to provide them with reassurance that the provincial government does not see them as the enemy." Ah, that's lovely, and such a useful formulation: "President Bush finally sat down with leaders of the feminist movement to provide them with reassurance that the Federal Government has no plans to rape and torture them."
Was I out of town that day? Did some errant clerk at Queen's Park accidentally issue a declaration of war on Muslims? Apparently not. But the 20 community leaders present were concerned the Premier had yet to visit a mosque to "show solidarity," as Bush, Blair, Joe Clark, the Prince of Wales and a gazillion others have done. Maybe Harris didn't go because he he didn't want to be sitting on the QEW backed up in mosque photo-op drivetime. Or maybe he was just busy with other stuff -- meeting with Governor Pataki in New York, dealing with trade and security issues, announcing his resignation. Either way, the Muslim spokespersons didn't care for it. Concerned about public ignorance of Islam, they insisted that a world religions course be made part of the core curriculum in Ontario schools. That's not a bad idea. An even better idea would be a world religions course in Saudi schools. I'll pay the airfare of any Ontario Muslim leader who manages to get an appointment with whichever prince heads up the Saudi education department.
British Muslim bigwigs went the Ontario guys one better, and came up with an ingenious wheeze. The Islamic Society of Britain drafted a "Pledge To British Muslims" and then demanded that prominent political, religious and media figures sign it. Tony Blair did, thereby giving everyone else the choice between opting for an easy life and signing or refusing and getting pilloried as a racist. After all, it's only a pledge to be "tolerant," and what could be more unobjectionable than that? The impeccably tolerant Islamic Society of Britain, just for the record, has denounced the Israeli government as "inhuman savages and murderers."
Britain has also provided my favourite newspaper headline, even better than The Toronto Star's. This was the story in The Sunday Times titled "Muslims In Britain Come Under Attack." If you read on, you discovered that, oddly enough, the only verifiable attacks mentioned were the attempted burning of an Anglican church by a masked Muslim gang in Bradford and a rampage through Leeds by Muslim youths. At the former, though the discreet reporters forbore to mention it, the Reverend Tony Tooby was pelted with stones by men who shouted, "Get the white bastard!", a Brownie troop of small girls was threatened and its leader, Lucy-Jane Marshall, stoned and jeered at as a "Christian bitch." At the latter incident, a mob vandalized cars, yelling "Get out of Afghanistan!" and forcing drivers to repeat, "Osama bin Laden rules!"
Nonetheless, we sensitive media types understand that the main significance of these events is that they could provoke a "backlash," no matter how theoretical. Hence, "Muslims In Britain Come Under Attack." To be fair, there was one reference to 12 pigs' heads being left in the parking lot of a mosque. Which mosque? Which town? Was it in Birmingham, where the Saddam Hussein Mosque is not to be confused with the Birmingham Central Mosque, which sells videos of bin Laden's calls to Jihad? But there was no room for details of the pigs' head incident. Sounds like the Jews to me.
Not all battle conditions are as favourable as Brownie night in an English churchyard. After September 11th, several British and American Muslims decided to sign up, with the Taliban. Some, alas, happened to be standing under the B-52 at the wrong time and will not be returning. But those who've survived and escaped the especial wrath the liberated Afghans reserve for foreign Taliban have announced that they're coming back and don't want any "hassle" from the authorities. By "hassle," they mean prosecutions for terrorism, treason and so forth. London's Mayor Ken Livingstone agrees. "These people went off because of a deep sense of injustice," he says. So we should understand their need to join a foreign army and wage war against their own (nominal) compatriots.
We madmen on the right dislike this identity-politics business. So I accept there are all kinds of Muslims. In Luton, whence came many of the Taliban's British volunteers, the mainstream, moderate Muslims claimed that a few extremists were getting the community as a whole a bum rap, and just to prove it they beat up the principal local jihad-inciter. As The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto commented, "Extremism in the pursuit of moderation is no vice." Doubtless the same differences of opinion exist among Muslims in Chicago, Boston and Saskatoon.
But the fact -- the fact -- is that, since September 11th, the remarks by the Queen, the Pope, the President and almost every other pasty face have earned no similarly warm, unqualified response from Muslim "community leaders." In the Ottawa Citizen's coast-to-coast survey of imams, all but two refused to accept that bin Laden was responsible for September 11th, even though he himself has said he did it. Every single imam was opposed to the U.S. bombing campaign against the Taliban. In that, they differ sharply from their happily liberated co-religionists in Afghanistan. In Washington, the best the Administration could turn up for the multi-faith service at the National Cathedral was Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, of the Islamic Society of North America, who told the President and the nation that "those that lay the plots of evil, for them is a terrible penalty." Does that mean Osama's gonna get it? Or that the Yanks were asking for it? Hey, let's not get hung up on specifics. In Bush's Islamic home guard, it's strictly don't ask, don't tell. At the UN, the President told the world that expressions of sympathy weren't enough; it was time for other countries to get on side. Yet, back home, he's happy to hold photo-ops with fellow Americans you can't squeeze anything but the vaguest expression of sympathy out of. He schedules visits with groups that are either covertly hostile, deeply ambivalent or deafeningly silent. This unreciprocated abasement is unworthy. Islam wouldn't be the fastest-growing religion in the United States, Britain and Canada if Muslims were thought to be "the enemy." Conversely, Christianity is the fastest-shrinking religion in the Sudan, where they really are thought to be the enemy. In Pakistan the other week, six children and nine adults were gunned down as they worshipped in a Christian church.
If the West's Muslim "community leaders," for whatever reason, are reluctant to speak truth to evil, that is a matter between them and God. Their opposition to the war is their right as free citizens. I don't even care particularly about prosecuting the Taliban's Anglo-American volunteers: To Hell with them. All I ask is an end to the deeply unedifying spectacle of Western politicians fawning on an anti-war constituency by jumping through increasingly obnoxious tolerance hoops. It suggests we have something to feel guilty about. We don't
The DemocRATs have been saying for 10 years that Sadham should have been killed by Bush Sr.. Now that there's talk of doing it, they're all running for the hills.
Don't forget, it was the democRATS who first said "embargo forever, but don't bomb". Then it was "bomb forever, but no ground war". Then it was "don't kill Saddam". After that, it was "you blew it by not killing Saddam".
The ragheads are merely taking democRAT tactics and applying them on a worldwide scale. They are all-powerful, but whine about how poor and defenseless they are. They seek death, but please don't kill them. Those western rags who escape Afghanistan by slinking out with their tails between their legs don't want to be prosecuted for treason when they return, because that would make them angry.
This is the first PC World War, but I'm hoping our military continues to kill the enemy even while our politicians make nice-nice sounds. We didn't stop bombing in Vietnam on Ho Chi Mihn's birthday, but that's because democRATS hadn't thought of that yet.
What we're seeing is jihad run by plays right out of the DNC playbook.
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