Big of them to admit it —
I know you’ve all heard or read this a million times, now. It’s been all over my office since yesterday afternoon. But just in case you’ve been away from a television, radio or newspaper for awhile, Bush finally – accidentally – acknowledged what we’ve all known:
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
There’s a reason Freud was so keen to parse slips of the tongue.
Paradise Misunderstood —
Earlier this week, Nicholas Kristof had an editorial, “Martyrs, Virgins and Grapes” that got a fair amount of circulation and rumination (e.g. at the Revealer), in which Kristof explained that the paradise promised to Islamic martyrs is based on a faulty translation of the Koran. I’ll leave it to my friend Sir Real to make more knowledgeable commentary, but I feel slightly ashamed at how uncritically I read Kristof, now that I’ve read Abhinav Aima:
The fault, Mr. Kristof, is not in their books, whether they be penned by Karl Marx or descended from the heavens. Men and women do not die by their thousands because of the promise of heavenly virgins, but because they believe they are on the right path. Because life is unbearable, and death is a release. Because suffering is unending and being on the other side of a gun barrel, even just for a moment, seems a blessing.
If your children would not embrace death for the promise of 72 virgins in heaven, then why assume the same of Muslim children? Because of their religion or your prejudices?
As many Muslims, radicals and otherwise, have told me: End their suffering and the violence shall also end. And the answer for that does not fit into a sound bite or a tidy Op-ed piece. Or an invasion disguised as a liberation.
The Evil Genius of it! —
The Today Show news this morning was reporting on the controversy surrounding the disgusting attack ad sponsored by a wealthy Bush supporter – the one featuring Vietnam vets who weren’t on Kerry’s swift boat and yet apparently have firsthand knowledge that Kerry didn’t earn his medals. Even John McCain blasted the ad, noting that it “was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me” during the 2000 primaries. Anyway, a Bushie apparently suggested that if Dems don’t like the ad, they should join Republicans in prohibiting all independently sponsored ads (especially those MoveOn.org pieces that are proving so effective?). Meanwhile, one of the guys in that shameful ad has now retracted his statements – which are still, nonetheless, running unchallenged on televisions in key states all over the country.
How far we’ve come —
A radical fundamentalist group called Christians for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (I will not hyperlink that; you can google it if you must) pressured the magazine Christianity Today into retracting – and apologizing for running – an advertisement for a conference of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus, because the EEWC is a “radical feminist group” with “unbiblical” theology. OK… I don’t really expect truly forward thinking from Christianity Today, either, but how pathetic.