Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The religious war it is

A couple of years ago I made the point that The Long War (as I still call it Fox) is a religious war. Not because we see ourselves as Crusaders fighting as Christians with our Jewish and Pagan auxiliaries against the Saracens; no.

It is a religious war because the enemy gets a vote. The aggressor gets to define the reasons for war. That is why people are being slaughtered.
Restaurant workers there ushered guests closest to the kitchen inside. The assailants jumped in front of another group that tried to run out the door. "Stop," they shouted in Hindi. They corralled 16 diners and led them up to the 20th floor. One man in the group dialed his wife in London and told her he'd been taken hostage but was OK. "Everybody drop your phones," one of the assailants shouted, apparently overhearing. Phones clattered to the floor as the three women and 13 men dug through their purses and pockets and obeyed.

On the 20th floor, the gunmen shoved the group out of the stairwell. They lined up the 13 men and three women and lifted their weapons. "Why are you doing this to us?" a man called out. "We haven't done anything to you."

"Remember Babri Masjid?" one of the gunmen shouted, referring to a 16th-century mosque built by India's first Mughal Muslim emperor and destroyed by Hindu radicals in 1992.

"Remember Godhra?" the second attacker asked, a reference to the town in the Indian state of Gujarat where religious rioting that evolved into an anti-Muslim pogrom began in 2002.

"We are Turkish. We are Muslim," someone in the group screamed. One of the gunmen motioned for two Turks in the group to step aside.

Then they pointed their weapons at the rest and squeezed the triggers.
Some in our nation and in the West just do not want to believe what they are seeing. Those who claim to be able to teach our children are the worst. When clear, calm, thought on the very real threat in front of us is there - they retreat to their comfortable intellectual hidey-hole.

William Kristol
is all over it.
Consider first an op-ed article in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times by Martha Nussbaum, a well-known professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago. The article was headlined “Terrorism in India has many faces.” But one face that Nussbaum fails to mention specifically is that of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic terror group originating in Pakistan that seems to have been centrally involved in the attack on Mumbai.

This is because Nussbaum’s main concern is not explaining or curbing Islamic terror. Rather, she writes that “if, as now seems likely, last week’s terrible events in Mumbai were the work of Islamic terrorists, that’s more bad news for India’s minority Muslim population.” She deplores past acts of Hindu terror against India’s Muslims. She worries about Muslim youths being rounded up on suspicion of terrorism with little or no evidence. And she notes that this is “an analogue to the current ugly phenomenon of racial profiling in the United States.”

So jihadists kill innocents in Mumbai — and Nussbaum ends up decrying racial profiling here. Is it just that liberal academics are required to include some alleged ugly American phenomenon in everything they write?
Good googly-moogly Martha; maybe they will kill you last after all.

...and if you ever still questioned why the Republicans deserved to lose in '06 - check out one of the braintrusts that the voters threw out back then.
Jim Leach is also a professor, at Princeton, but he’s better known as a former moderate Republican congressman from Iowa who supported Barack Obama this year. His contribution over the weekend was to point out on Politico.com that “the Mumbai catastrophe underscores the importance of vocabulary.” This wouldn’t have been my first thought. But Leach believes it’s very important that we consider the Mumbai attack not as an act of “war” but as an act of “barbarism.”

Why? “The former implies a cause: a national or tribal or ethnic rationale that infuses a sacrificial action with some group’s view of heroism; the latter is an assault on civilized values, everyone’s. ... To the degree barbarism is a part of the human condition, Mumbai must be understood not just as an act related to a particular group but as an outbreak of pent-up irrationality that can occur anywhere, anytime. ... It may be true that the perpetrators viewed themselves as somehow justified in attacking Indians and visiting foreigners, particularly perhaps Americans, British and Israeli nationals. But a response that is the least nationalistic is likely to be the most effective.”
That is about as clear and professional as Indian Commando tactical proficiency.

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