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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It's America's Fault!

Danish and other European countries embassies and missions in muslim countries are being torched, ticked off Iranian mullah's are reminding us of the plight of Salman Rushdie, folks are marching and holding signs asking for beheadings of cartoonists.

So who's at fault for this, the cartoonists, who submitted their work to the Dutch paper? The Dutch newspaper? The other European papers, who in a show of solidarity published them also? Nope, ask Eugene Robinson at the Post, he'll tell you, it's America's fault, or more specifically, George Bush's fault.

He gives Europe a little blame in his opinion piece today, but not much.

The focus this time is on Europe, which has awakened to the fact that it is home to millions of Muslim immigrants who do not necessarily care to assimilate. I think the solution for Europe is to embrace multiculturalism, and I would hope that even those who disagree would at least consider the possibility that crude caricatures of Muhammad might not be the best starting point for constructive dialogue.

No, it probably isn't the best starting point, but it also shouldn't be a flash point. Any half sane person should have been able to look at those cartoons and seen the real message, "Islam is destroying itself, and any credibility it has as a religion". Multiculturalism won't solve the problem, either, because for that to work all the cultures involved need to be willing to say theirs isn't the most important one. That's something the Islamic culture doesn't seem capable of.

Until people in the major islamic countries stand up and fight the actual problem, which isn't a cartoon but those who are co-opting their religion, Islam isn't going to be seen by "The West" as serious about stopping groups like Hamas, al Qaeda and others.

But eventually the focus of this conflict will shift back to the United States, the undisputed leader of "the West." With all his talk of freedom as a universal right, President Bush pretends to understand that U.S. support of corrupt dictatorships in places such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan contributes to the feeling that Muslims are under attack and helps give strength to fundamentalism and jihad. Yet the Bush administration continues to prop up these same autocrats, some of whom happen to sit on huge reserves of oil, while giving little more than lip service to those in the crowds that took to the streets over some indistinguished Danish cartoons.
The truth is, if those crowds put as much energy into getting rid of their own autocratic regimes, they could. We proved here in 1776 that angry people can get rid of a government they don't think is representing them. Most of Eastern Europe did in the early 90's. The Iranians proved it in 1978, by getting rid of their autocrat that was propped up by Washington.

Maybe I'm reading Eugene wrong, maybe what he's saying is Bush should start toppling regimes that don't allow freedom, start a full fledged "democracy crusade" in the Middle east. The problem with that of course is that those autocrats are the only thing providing anything close to stability in the region. The choice in many of the countries he mentions is either the current regime, or a more militant one, run by fundamentalists such as those who took over Iran.

Those Danish cartoonists and their editor set out to teach Muslims a lesson about free speech. They ended up giving the rest of us a startling illustration that while Bush and his allies speak of a post-Sept. 11 global war against terrorism, terrorism is nothing but a tactic. This is really a war of ideas, a battle for hearts and minds, and it's a war in which "the West" will lose ground until its deeds are more consonant with its high-minded words.
Actually, the west isnt' the loser in this war that Eugene mentions. the real losers are the followers of Islam. What they've proven with this battle is that they aren't ready to be assimilated into other societies through multiculturalism. They've shown their own inferiority complex to be so deep that any mention of their religion not being perfect causes rioting.

They've shown they aren't ready for free speech, since that requires one to be offended at times. (There are groups in America with the same problem).

Blacks in America didn't take the KKK's road and start killing, burning churches and destroying propery to show they should be included in society. They took the high road, worked harder, showed they were anyone's equal in the country. While there are still problems, their tactic was much more successful than that of the KKK.

When the people of Islam decide to follow the same path, instead of the path that the Klan did here, maybe they'll be taken seriously. When the people of Islam decide to prove that they are anyone in the worlds equal, instead of playing the poor step child, they will start to be taken seriously.

Until they decide to take some responsibility for their own plight, they are doomed to continue suffering it, and it will probably get worse instead of better.

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Blogger SinisterBaby said...

Really, what sort of loons would set fire to buildings, threaten to take hostages and so on, because of a newspaper cartoon?

Europe does not go without a tad of empathy: they imported numerous members of a hate sect, and now find a dagger at their throat. Their contortions are transparent. Their agony oh so visible. If the Europeans deliver a slap on the wrist the whole place will go up. Europe saw off the Nazis and Russian communism; I'd like to see them get out of this one. :-(


5:06 AM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

Again, excellent points CP. They are in denial and will stop at nothing to defend their religion which is itself built on the "visions" of a crazy man.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Uber said...

So many use Christianity's somewhat violent past as an excuse for this. Whatever can be said of Christian's behavior in the past(and I'm sure there's plenty), it all comes down to the difference of the teachings. Poor behavior cannot be ignored forever when it does not mesh with the actual teachings. There's hope for change in that situation but the teachings of Islam is the problem here, an example can be seen by visiting My Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy who has a telling post on this subject up.

Great post yourself, CP. Nice addition to what's already flowting about in my fish bowl. ;)

9:20 AM  
Blogger Uber said...

Gah, floating too. lol

9:20 AM  
Blogger SinisterBaby said...

Ya'know, what's really infuriating is that the Islamists, while doctrinally eschewing images, particularly of the cave hallucinatin' grand poobah, expect others to follow their precepts. Who the hell do these people think they are? They have their crypto-theocracies in the Middle east so why don't they piss off out of Europe and go back to where they can lead the holy life unmolested by the 21st century? They won't cuz their standard of living is much higher in the "decadent" countries whose culture they despise while they line their pockets with Euros.
They've done their dash this time; Islam will be an object of ridicule and loathing for a long time - and considering their beloved leaders openly call for a second holocaust to eliminate the nefarious blood-drinking Jew, may they rot in hell.
From me: *BELLY-LAUGH*


11:24 AM  
Blogger Corie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Corie said...

Sorry, the deleted comment was mine.

Just wanted to say I absolutely agree! Great post!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Islam hasn't been "co-opted" by anyone.

It is obvious that 1400 years' worth of this type of crap represents the very essence of Islam, not some "radical fundamentalist extremist" branch.

Islam is an ideology of hatred, oppression and violence. If some small minority wishes to live their lives by some of the non-violent dictates of the Qu'ran, eschewing the admonishments to conquer the infidels, subjugate them to sharia law, and use every foul tactic (including lying outright to gain advantage), then more power to them. But they represent an infinitesimal minority among Muslims.

3:15 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Is there anything wrong on this planet that is not America's or George Bush's fault.?

5:57 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Shoprat - evidently not :)

Jeff, Lone Pony - Let's say we agree to disagree on whether the whole religion is fucked up like a football bat, or just a very vocal smaller portion of it.

Rob, I think I agree with part of what you said, mostly on "who are they to tell everyone else what to think". Though to be fair christianity has it's fair share of those folks around too.

Corie - thanks

PJ - I'm not sure that folks are using christianities past as so much an excuse as a rationalization. 'We used to be like that, so it's no surprise'.

Thanks everyone for all the comments. They are inspiring tomorrow nights post.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

It is obvious that 1400 years' worth of this type of crap represents the very essence of Islam, not some "radical fundamentalist extremist" branch.

Yeah - what he said! I've been saying that all along. I bet a lot of people have. We've been tip-toeing around trying to be politically correct and not saying what is obvious.

It's not 'radical islam'. It's Islam. They have been declaring Holy War against us for years. And we say, 'this isn't a religious war'.

You can't fix a problem till you diagnos it properly. We need to take the blinders off and figure out what's going on and who our enemy is.

If they keep saying they want to wipe us off the face of the earth - they probably mean it.

11:28 PM  

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