Saturday Morning Musings, June 11, 2005
Tomorrow will be the one-year anniversary of this blog's existence. It seems like yesterday. My very first post is here, about the passing and funeral of Ronald Reagan. Looking back, that was a fitting beginning for this little effort.
Gitmo: The Center of Evil in The World
Or at least that's what you would think if you read only the MSM newspapers. This op-ed piece by Mark Steyn is right on target; read the whole thing. Among other things, Steyn comments on Tom Friedman's argument that Gitmo should be shut down because of the negative "perceptions" it is fostering in the rest of the world. I like Friedman, but sometimes, and on the Abu Ghraib-Gitmo issue in particular, he can be a little hysterical.
Steyn's response to Friedman:
And would caving in to those negative perceptions lead to any better press from the Guardian or Le Monde? Nobody got killed in Gitmo, so instead America is being flayed as the planet's number one torturer for being insufficiently respectful to the holy book of its prisoners, even though the Americans themselves supplied their prisoners with the holy book, even though the preferred holy book of most Americans is banned in the home country of many of the prisoners, even though Americans who fall into the hands of the other side get their heads hacked off, even though the prisoners' co-religionists themselves blow up more mosques and Korans than Americans ever do, and even though the alleged insufficient respect to the prisoners' holy book occurred at a rate of one verified incident of possibly intentional disrespect per year. But sure, go ahead, close Gitmo and wait for the torrent of rave reviews - right after the complaints that it is culturally insensitive to rebuild the World Trade Center when it's the burial site of ten devout Muslim flying enthusiasts.No one says it like Mark Steyn.
As Rule 18 of that Manchester manual makes plain, the Islamists understand the West's fetish for self-torture. After all, you wouldn't bother alleging torture if you were held captive in Saudi Arabia or Syria or the jails of Ahmed Aboul Gheit's government in Egypt. If you "complained to the court of mistreatment" in Cairo, Mr Gheit's judges would say, "And your point is?" But I wonder if the Islamists' ability to play the Western press like a fiddle is quite so smart in the long run. The majority of Americans have a higher regard for their military than their media, and for the jihad to retain its power in the popular imagination it has to be credible. When Newsweek, CBS et al fall over themselves to shill for Islamist spin-doctors, complaining that the infidels are not handling the Koran in appropriately submissive ways, they risk turning the jihad into one huge laughing stock. In that sense, the whiners are doing far more damage to Islam than the urinators are.
UPDATE: Power Line has more on this, not to be missed.
The Way of The Left
Ben Stein details a depressing but unsurprising example of how modern academia-- at least, the part of it that can't get out of the 60's-- thinks.