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August 22, 2005

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Under the criteria he gave (I clicked through to RedState), Christianity is easily a "terrorist organization." They had better start cranking out the hi-rise cell blocks at Gitmo ....

Mark Williams, the substitute host WMAL brought in (and like Graham a member of the "Truth Tour" of right-wing radio hosts who went to Iraq a while back), has been doing some minority bashing of his own, but I am surprised by the firing. Perhaps WMAL has decided that hatemongering isn't the best strategy in the DC market. Of course, they are staying on the right side of their listeners by signing on as a sponsor of the Pentagon's Freedom Walk propaganda event.

Something here is really, truly, deeply screwed up.

Leftish folk have been telling me for months now that it was never more than a looney neo-con pipe-dream to imagine that the Iraqi Arabs (and, in particular, the Shi'ites) were capable of responsible, democratic self-government that respected the rights of women and minorities.

On the other hand, when some radio comedian I've never heard of describes Islam as "a terrorist organization," they go absolutely ape---- and he gets fired.

Am I the only one who notices what a very fine line is being tread here?

apples ≠ oranges Steve

First, I've seen no leftists saying what you're spinning their statements into. Secondly, what the eff has that got to do with the price of rice?

Slightly OT, but the recent dustup has spurred some fairly vivid memories from my childhood. I grew up in northern VA, not far from DC, and whenever I've seen WMAL in the headlines recently, it's brought their old station identification ditty from the depths of early-80s memory.

Catsy--
Yeah, me too. WTOP, WMAL, but my favorite was WHFS. Memories....

I also remember WMAL from back before it became what it is today. I imagine a lot of news-talk stations have trod the same downward path since the rise of Limbaugh and those who followed him.

Post columnist Marc Fisher was asked about WMAL in a recent chat and said:

MAL has intentionally alienated its listeners from those gentler times. The idea is to appeal to a new, younger audience with sharp and partisan talk, and there's nothing wrong with that -- it's the most successful formula for talk radio. But they've misjudged this market, which is jampacked with moderates and libs. There's obviously a good market here for conservative talk -- Limbaugh has always done well here -- but the station went too hard right, even pulling longtime moderate Chris Core to the right. And listeners see right through that.

o/~ "WMAL, AM sixty-threeeee" o/~

Heh.

Actually, my most vivid childhood memories are from DC 101. From an early age until I moved out to Seattle at 15, I grew up on a diet of Greaseman in the morning, while getting ready for school and on the bus.

On contemplation, that explains so much.

For non-DC-area ObWi'ers--the Greaseman was a morning shock jock on the local rock station who did a variety of off-color skits every morning using an extensive library of sound effects and a talent for voices. Sort of like South Park Radio, except without most of the profanity.

....a group that has a few members who allegedly are sympathetic to terrorist organizations.

You know, it doesn't harm the case you're making to be honest about CAIR. Just sayin'.

You know, it doesn't harm the case you're making to be honest about CAIR. Just sayin'.

You know, I rewrote that sentence two dozen times trying to be as honest about CAIR as I could without opening the thread up to whether or not CAIR's members should be sent to G-Bay. Seriously. Some other thread, OK?

No doubt you were being as honest about CAIR as you could. I should have said "truthful," sorry.

I should have said "truthful," sorry.

Thanks for keeping it for some other thread.

OK, Edward - *do* you think that the Iraqis are ready for responsible, democratic self-government that respects the rights of women and minorities?

If so, can you point me to *any* prominent spokesman on the anti-war left who agrees with you? 'Cause absolutely every word I've heard from said anti-war left for many a month now says (indeed, screams): NO.

What does this have to do with the "price of rice?"

Simple. The anti-war left is always on the look-out for any manifestation, however trivial, of "Islamophobia." (I mean, that's what this post is all about, right?) Meanwhile, the central weight-bearing beam of anti-war thought is *at least* as damning to Islam and/or the Arabs as any mote in Michael Graham's eye.

Leftish folk have been telling me for months now that it was never more than a looney neo-con pipe-dream to imagine that the Iraqi Arabs (and, in particular, the Shi'ites) were capable of responsible, democratic self-government that respected the rights of women and minorities.

Presumably this is what Steven believes since it rolls so trippingly off his keyboard. Color me unsurprised. Personally, I don't believe anyone is incapable of self-government, merely that it's frequently ineffective to try to deliver such government at gunpoint. But Steven is obviously more informed than I am. How's the weather in Baghdad, Steven?

As for Graham--ah, Michael lives for these antics. This stunt--von to thread!--will feed his persecutory fantasies for years. Which is a wonderful thing, really, because without his fantasies Michael is just another street-corner shouter, running to fat, that nobody's ever heard of. Michael's only misfortune in his chosen career is to lack Limbaugh's willpower and Coulter's manliness.

(Michael should drop into comment threads now and again if he aspires to lasting significance.)

"As much as it pains me to say it, Catholicism is nothing but a gigantic racketeering organization devoted to molesting children."

"You're fired."

"Oh, you're just listening to those nuts in the Catholic League; I mean, those anti-Semitic nuts actually ran the ol' 'Jews control Hollywood' canard up the flagpole last year!"

"You're still fired."

"OK, check out this apology. Although I am an atheist, I am calling on moderate, non-child-molesting Catholics everywhere to reclaim their religion, a religion I think is a load of weird, institutionally money-grubbing, superstitious nonsense."

"OK, you're hired, only so I can fire you again."

steve burton--

I'm not part of the anti-war left. Nor do I spend much time looking out for islamophobia. I have never heard of this Graham guy, and I don't know whether I am for or against his firing.

But.

you are *clearly* conflating two different issues.

1) Are all followers of Islam, just in virtue of their religious faith and no other facts about them, guilty of being terrorists?

2) Are the various factions in Iraq, given the political conditions as they exist today (the existence of Shia, Sunni, & Kurd regions, the history of Saddam's regime, the US invasion, the occupation, and so on), are those specific, individual groups demonstrating an eager willingness to embrace a form of government that protects the rights of women and minorities?

You'd have to have a pretty dim-witted and simpistic view of Islam to answer "yes" to the first question.

You'd have to be ignoring the evidence of the Iraqi elections and constitutional convention to answer "yes" to the second one.

I mean, "ready for" could cover several different issues. Of course those people are "ready for" democracy in the sense that there is no *genetic* impediment to their embracing pluralistic democracy--you'd have to be a racist to say otherwise. And roughly the same would go for religion--if you thought that the very fact of following Islam constituted an impediment to embracing pluralistic democracy, you'd be a religious bigot (and pretty ignorant about the possibilities for Islam).

But "ready for" in the sense that they are just right on the verge of going for it, just itching to set up safe-guards to protect women and minorities? Well, the evidence just isn't there.

If you can quote me any anti-war leftists saying things like "of course democracy is impossible for them--they are racially unfit for it", then I will agree with you that "the central weight-bearing beam of anti-war thought is *at least* as damning to Islam and/or the Arabs as any mote in Michael Graham's eye."

At least, I'll agree with you about *that* moron.

But, I mean, come on. You're just confusing two issues.

Btw, besides a source for snark, I don't know why anyone reads RedState. They're successful, yes, but they've successfully produced a community that's nerdier than Slashdot, more bilious than Free Republic, and nuttier than DU. That's an achievement more honored in the breach, if you ask me.

I want to marry norbizness.

I read Redstate. I even comment on occasion for a variety of reasons, although at the moment I'm having difficulty remembering why--inevitably, as whenever else they get a lefty making (politely) an uncomfortable point that they're unable to refute, one of the so-called moderators eventually jumps in and barrages me with a fairly relentless stream of snideness and violations of his own site's posting rules. I'm quite amazed that I haven't been banned yet.

Oh yeah, that's right. I read it because it's useful to know what the opposition is saying and thinking, and because of the chance I might run into good information I don't get on lefty blogs, or a good argument that might change my mind on some issue. Occasionally, it's to remind myself that there are still some conservatives with principles and human decency left in the Republican party. Sometimes, though, it's for the same reason I used to read LJ-drama or Snark: the entertainment value of reading the subliterate textual diarrhea that only a truly unhinged loon can produce.

</Way-OT>

"one of the so-called moderators eventually jumps in and barrages me with a fairly relentless stream of snideness and violations of his own site's posting rules. "

yeah, ya know I don't go to RedState myself, but I have certainly noticed when they send their goons over here to do the same thing on this site. Sometimes several at once.

I don't know why anyone reads RedState

Really? It's an even bigger mystery to me why anyone reads Atrios, yet his posts get hundreds of comments. Bad taste abounds, I guess.

Unlike the good sirs of Redstate, Atrios has the benefit of not being constantly contradicted by, you know, reality.

Atrios and reality don't so much disagree as rarely cross swords.

I read Redstate.

Yeah, I'm sorry. I'm not dumping on anyone. I'm just not very enthusiastic over blogs that don't either entertain me or inform me. I don't believe that blogs are political "war by another means." I like ObWi because it's usually one or the other. And there are, of course, other liberal and conservative bloggers who are one or both. But too many political bloggers take themselves too seriously and too many blog communities--left or right--merely reinforce the fears of their own participants. RedState is one of those. If I really wanted to track talking points, I guess I'd follow these places more closely, but usually it's just not that interesting to me.

It's an even bigger mystery to me why anyone reads Atrios

I look at his links now and then. He's definitely a link farm (which is to say, the Instapundit of the reality-based community). A drink (or several) with Duncan Black might be fun. (But then, a trip to the shooting range with Glen might be fun, too.) Can't imagine how bored (or drunk) I'd have to be to comment on his blog now (though I did a few times, a few years ago).

(Did I mention how fabulous the Rene Barbier Mediterranean White is? Really. And only 4.99 a bottle at your local World Market. YMMV.)

When did Atrios become solely a link-farm? It seems to me that it's only been in the last year, but maybe I'm remembering the earlier stuff wrong.

(I also read RedState regularly--I'm even registered!--although I have never yet made a comment. Their self-policing is rather, um, strict. It's interesting to see what kinds of stories pop up there, and what kinds don't: the debate currently swirling among left and moderate right blogs about Iraq has barely touched RedState, for example.)

It's an even bigger mystery to me why anyone reads Atrios, yet his posts get hundreds of comments.

To the extent that smashing keys on the keyboard or stringing together profanities and slurs counts as "comments," sure.

To the extent that smashing keys on the keyboard or stringing together profanities and slurs counts as "comments," sure.

In the spirit of Paul Krugman, I've loosened my standards as to what constitutes a comment considerably.

Although I never posted there, I've stopped reading Redstate due to their policy of banning people for expressing liberal views. It's like they decided the Soviets had so much fun purging people that they wanted in on the action.

Steve Burton: If so, can you point me to *any* prominent spokesman on the anti-war left who agrees with you? 'Cause absolutely every word I've heard from said anti-war left for many a month now says (indeed, screams): NO.

Yet, you seem to be unable to provide any links to any actual examples. Unsurprising, since from everything I've seen, most of us in the reality-based community (which includes, but is significantly larger than, the "anti-war left") would say that the Iraqis are ready for responsible, democratic self-government that respects the rights of women and minorities - but they won't get it, because the US government, currently the only real authority in Iraq, has decided to side with the factions that are fundamentally against the rights of women and minorities.

I'll give Jes that the reality-based cmty. and the anti-war left are intersecting sets, but not that the latter is 100% included in the former.

Where did I see that story about Alabama war protesters complaining that we invaded Afghanistan, even though it was al-Qaeda that attacked us, not the Taliban?

Anderson: Where did I see that story about Alabama war protesters complaining that we invaded Afghanistan, even though it was al-Qaeda that attacked us, not the Taliban?

And would you care to justify the invasion of Afghanistan in reality-based terms? I'd agree that it was possible for the US to do some good there, but since all the invasion accomplished was to return it into its former lawless state (all but Kabul) without actually (a) capturing Osama bin Laden (b) significantly damaging al-Qaeda (c) or even permanently overthrowing the Taliban... remind me again how the fantasy-based community justify attacking Afghanistan?

OK, Edward - *do* you think that the Iraqis are ready for responsible, democratic self-government that respects the rights of women and minorities?

If so, can you point me to *any* prominent spokesman on the anti-war left who agrees with you? 'Cause absolutely every word I've heard from said anti-war left for many a month now says (indeed, screams): NO.

I'm kinda late getting back to this (others have made most of the points I would have), but to summarize my position here:

First, please provide some cites to support "every word I've heard from said anti-war left for many a month now"...just a few, so I have a sense of who you're referring to and whether they're taken seriously by anyone.

Secondly, what you're doing here is suggesting Graham didn't insult Muslims anywhere near as much as these phantom leftists did. This argument has so little weight it's perhaps better to just let it drift up into the stratosphere and vanish, but...debate is what we do here, so...

The overarching factor your argument ignores here (besides the fact that to most people being a terrorist is much worse than being content with some form of government other than democracy and to equate someone's faith with terrorism is to insult their very soul) is that Bush (supposedly) decided the people of another nation must be forced to rebuild as a democracy NOT because they were "ready for it", but because he hoped it would help secure the region and undermine the terrorists' strength. In other words, the insult you assert is beyond irrelevant, even if it exists.

And would you care to justify the invasion of Afghanistan in reality-based terms? I'd agree that it was possible for the US to do some good there, but since all the invasion accomplished was to return it into its former lawless state (all but Kabul) without actually (a) capturing Osama bin Laden (b) significantly damaging al-Qaeda (c) or even permanently overthrowing the Taliban... remind me again how the fantasy-based community justify attacking Afghanistan?

I'm sorry that we screwed up our invasion (too little too late), but that has nothing to do with whether the invasion was justified or necessary. I may be justified in shooting at an armed attacker, even if I miss and take out my neighbor's dog.

The Taliban had made it abundantly clear that it would continue to shelter Osama and al-Qaeda indefinitely, and that provided all the reason in the world to oust them. Sadly, our childish gov't quickly got bored and decided that invading Iraq would be more fun.

"fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them". "slay them wherever you catch them". And in general"execution or crucifixion,or the cutting off of hands and feet". Also,"smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them". Could we just settle for the fingertips? And in the interest of ecumenism should our interrorgaters borrow from the Koran? Now it's true we only have a 1500 year record of Islam and we wouldn't want to rush to judgement,which in itself can be a bad thing,but you might have reason to let your thoughts wander,much as Cindy sheehan has,in the direction of the causes of militancy. Lacking any centralized or specific governing body islam is a kind of do it yourself religion and waving the scimitar does seem to have at least an equal attraction to chasing the flies out of your mudhut. Graham does recognize the split among Islamic followers but no credit there having committed the mortal sin of"lack of understanding" as well as cowardice. Would that he had the moral stature of liberals.

I may be justified in shooting at an armed attacker, even if I miss and take out my neighbor's dog.

Interesting to know that you rate Afghans as equivalent to dogs.

However, if you decide to massacre your neighbor's family, even if they're harboring your armed attacker, you are not justified.

You are still less justified if your neighbor's family are arguing that they will turn over the man you accuse of being an armed attacker if you do so lawfully, but will not turn him over in response to an unlawful "Turn him over or I kill all over you" threat.

{deleted}

thought more about it

e

Interesting to know that you rate Afghans as equivalent to dogs.

Pooh.

However, if you decide to massacre your neighbor's family, even if they're harboring your armed attacker, you are not justified.

Well, that's why it's only an analogy. If the police have a house surrounded and are demanding that the family therein hand over the fugitive mass-murderer therein, and the family not only says "no" but threatens to use force against the police, then the police are indeed justified in shooting any family members who oppose them, and would probably not be blamed much for accidental killings of unarmed members.

Of course, American armed forces didn't have the same kind of jurisdiction that police would have, but I do not think we're obliged to await a world government.

You are still less justified if your neighbor's family are arguing that they will turn over the man you accuse of being an armed attacker if you do so lawfully, but will not turn him over in response to an unlawful "Turn him over or I kill all over you" threat.

Are we still talking about the Taliban and bin Laden? Because this is simply not believable as an account of what happened. The last offer that I recall was that the Taliban might possible turn OBL over to some body of Islamic judges and let them decide what to do with him.

Is this really a bone you want to pick, Jes?

Norbizness, that was brilliant.

Catsy: I read Redstate. I even comment on occasion for a variety of reasons, although at the moment I'm having difficulty remembering why--inevitably, as whenever else they get a lefty making (politely) an uncomfortable point that they're unable to refute, one of the so-called moderators eventually jumps in and barrages me with a fairly relentless stream of snideness and violations of his own site's posting rules. I'm quite amazed that I haven't been banned yet.

I get the feeling RedState is suffering from the blog equivalent of an autoimmune disorder. The polite thing to do would be to look away, but they are just so unrelentingly nasty (though they do, in an amusingly bipolar fashion, wax magnanimous when they think they've cast out all but the properly deferential lefties and moderates) that it is kind of fascinating to watch them cripple what was once a fairly vibrant site in their zeal to be rid of "Kossacks".

Jesurgislac: Interesting to know that you rate Afghans as equivalent to dogs.

Jeez, Jes. Lighten up, it's just a metaphor.

Gromit: Jeez, Jes. Lighten up, it's just a metaphor.

Indeed - but it would still have been "just a metaphor" had he tried to excuse the thousands killed in Afghanistan by the US attack by saying "I may be justified in shooting at an armed attacker, even if I miss and take out my neighbor's child."

It would have been a more accurate metaphor, too.

It's war, Jes. Innocent people get killed in wars, which is one big reason why wars suck and why they're not to be fought where unnecessary (as, for ex, in Iraq).

And I'm always happy to beat the drum that America's denial that it committed war crimes in WW2 by bombing cities, has left us unwilling to draw a line against performing similar acts today.

But the bottom line is that OBL was sheltered by the Taliban, and if they, the stewards of the country which they had mostly captured and controlled, had agreed to hand him over or let us come nab him, then they would probably still be running Afghanistan today, FBOW.

Jesurgislac: It would have been a more accurate metaphor, too.

And it would have left Anderson open to the equally obtuse accusation that he thinks the people of Afghanistan are children.

Gromit: And it would have left Anderson open to the equally obtuse accusation that he thinks the people of Afghanistan are children.

I would rather Anderson thought of the people whom the US killed in Afghanistan as children - many of them were children, literally, after all - than that he thought of them as dogs.

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