Patterico's Pontifications

2/27/2006

Worth a Thousand Words

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:15 am

Power Line has a picture that should give you the chills.

23 Responses to “Worth a Thousand Words”

  1. I think I know what you mean, but what is so surprising or shocking about two terrorists shaking hands?

    steve sturm (e37e4c)

  2. The fact that they are both in charge of governments.

    Patterico (4d4be8)

  3. Does that mean, dearest Asinistra, that you see President Bush and Vice President Cheney as greater threats than the President of Iran, the taker of hostages in 1979, and the oppressor of dissedents today, and the head of Hamas, who has sent scores of suicide bombers to kill hundreds of innocent civilians?

    I’m trying to figure this one out: if Asinistra were Iranian, and made the same comments about the President of Iran that she has made, here, about the President of the United States, would she still be free to continue to post such comments?

    Dana (3e4784)

  4. Maybe it’s just my advanced stage of jadedness, but I’m neither surprised nor shocked that some people who would choose the likes of these two as their ‘democratically elected’ leaders.

    Nor, for that matter, am I surprised that our government refuses to recognize these two for the threat that they are. I’m unhappy, but not surprised.

    steve sturm (e37e4c)

  5. The Iranian election was more or less fixed but the Palestinian one fairly expressed the will of the Palestininian people. So for all the bleeding hearts who feel sorry for “the poor, oppressed Palestinians” — THIS IS THEIR REAL FACE.

    nk (d5dd10)

  6. Isn’t that George Clooney?

    Dan in Michigan (79105d)

  7. nk,

    I just ran down and checked the mirror, and didn’t see George W. Bush smirking back at me.

    Phew.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  8. nk cont:

    Not to draw an equivalence, of course. the Palestinians’ choices were far less attractive than ours.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  9. Oh, come on, biwah. This is not something that we can even agree to disagree on. Let’s respect our host and talk rant at each other about American politics on some other thread.

    nk (d5dd10)

  10. huh?

    Apart from quipping that Bush was not the “REAL FACE” of me as an American, and apart from saying that anyone forced to choose between Fatah and Hamas was not to be envied, I don’t think I had a point re: American politics.

    Did you think I was talking about some other kind of attractiveness? (:shudder:)

    biwah (f5ca22)

  11. Its a real shame that the pic didn’t have an aiming reticle on it…sigh…someday.

    paul (8e5be1)

  12. Biwah,

    Many people have said that I look like George Bush. Which is not surprising — all good-looking people look alike. Flickr ate my password when it merged with Yahoo and I have not yet bothered to open a new account otherwise I would direct you to my picture so you could judge for yourself. (Smile) When I said that we could not even agree to disagree, I could just as easily have talking about my stubborness as well as yours. But I was right.

    Aside: Patterico, just yesterday you were asking for more comments and now see how we are wasting your bandwidth.

    nk (77d95e)

  13. Hey whats even more freightening is a picture of Bush as our President. Now that is something the entire world shudders to see..except of course the Bush bots

    Charlie (8ea405)

  14. Dear Dana,
    Re: your first question (“Does that mean, dearest Asinistra, that you see President Bush and Vice President Cheney as greater threats than the President of Iran…”)

    I’m not going to abuse Patterico’s hospitality by revisiting this question (if you missed or have forgotten my stance on this, it should be available in the archives, and I do hope you’ll refer to my 10-point answer and not Patterico’s sloppy surmise).

    As to your second question:
    “I’m trying to figure this one out: if Asinistra were Iranian, and made the same comments about the President of Iran that she has made, here, about the President of the United States, would she still be free to continue to post such comments?”

    Here’s something you people will never ever understand about us people. If I were Iranian I might or might not still be free to post my opinions, but you can damn well bet that I would state them anyway, and there’s no fucking authority figure in this country or that one who would stop me without a bullet.

    Asinitra (7c3699)

  15. It’s the fact that they would stop you with a bullet that you should be thinking about.

    sharon (fecb65)

  16. Ok, I can’t wait to hear the response to this entry.

    The cheery photo-op handshake between these democratically elected terrorsts-in-chief is nauseating. But not surprising.

    The West’s sense of the self, our idea of individual rights, our conception of a balance between religion and state, and basic ideas about democracy come from philosophical underpinnings that stretch back to the Greeks.

    It’s a philosophical and social foundation, and a sense of ‘the self,’ that Muslim cultures do not share. Have not participated in. Or in which they’ve only peripherally participated.

    In other words, there are fundamental differences between the cultures of the West and the Middle East. Differences that the neo-cons were blinded to, in driving the West into this latest war in the Middle East.

    That is why I think our Iraqi adventure was, while well intentioned, tragically conceived. (The errors in followup to the invasion – not enough troups, war-profiteering, the question of abusing prisoners that may have valuable information, are all relatively insignificant and unimportant.) The conception of freedom isn’t universal, nor is the understanding of freedom.

    Hence, the intractable position in which we find ourselves in in Iraq.

    Ok, take your best shot. But be civil. (And, no, I’m not racist. Just realist.) This is the theory that I think rationally frames the problem, and I think it makes sense.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  17. jmaharry–

    Then please explain why Turkey has been a functioning democratic state for almost 100 years. Or why Lebanon was one before the PLO destroyed it.

    What is your solution? Ignore them until they get the bomb then genocide?

    The main problem in Iraq, as I said from the outset, was that Bush & Co weren’t ruthless enough. They should have shut down the insurgency before it began with a few harsh responses.

    It would also have helped if the French hadn’t forced Turkey to back out of the invasion plan (stab the Americans in the back or EU membership never) — the lack of a northern pincer allowed the Saddamites to reform, stash weapons, and start the guerilla war. Someday that will come back to haunt France, a dish best served cold.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  18. As I said, mine is a theory. I welcome your disagreement.
    But pointing to Turkey as an examplar of democracy and social and political harmony is a canard. Indeed, “functioning democratic state” is wildly inaccurate. As you know the Turkey republic wasn’t declared until ’23. Coup t’etat were staged in ’60, 71, ’80 and ’97. Claiming Turkey to be a functioning democracy for 100 years is factually wrong.

    If, as you say, the PLO destroyed a democratic republic in Lebanon, that only supports my thesis.

    As for the Iraqi solution lacking sufficient lethality, perhaps we agree there. US Generals “on the ground,” in the now-common cliche, were clamoring for hundreds of thousands more troops that our original force represented. Paul Bremer verifies that in his recent book. This is a fairly amazing claim that has not been covered by our liberal media, funnily enough.

    Of course, there is no guarantee that greater troop strength may have in itself been sufficient.

    Blaming the French for our effort, as massive as it has been, is a little too late and too less. Falls into that ‘errors’ bit I mentioned above. Would have been nice to have corrected. But, does not change the fact that the whole adventure was ill-conceived.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  19. jmaharry – if countries must have a record of democracy stretching back to before 1923 in order to be considered a “functioning democratic state”, then few European countries qualify.

    Turkey has a vibrant secular culture in which it is generally accepted that the mosque does not interfere in political matters. It is not a country in which western standards of human rights are followed, and it is a country in which the army has a history of removing governments which it considers to stray from the consensus position — but it is also a country with a broad and deep acceptance of the rule of law and of secular liberalism as a governing philosophy.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  20. Also, the conception of a balance between church and state is not historically a Greek legacy. The late Roman state had a close binding between church and state – something which was carried over into the Byzantine empire – as did most early medieval states. The disjunction between church and state in modern times is almost exclusively a result of two things: the power struggle between the Pope and various monarchs in the late medieval period, and the destruction of the concept of a universal Christian empire during the reformation.

    It’s perfectly fair to point to Islam as never having gone through either of these and therefore never having developed a culture in which the two are regarded as seperate spheres; the same could reasonably be said of pre-Soviet Russia. But in order to maintain that that is a defining feature of Islamic culture you need to adequately explain Turkey, in which an indigenous element forcibly secularized the country and established such a distinction, and in which a democratically elected body abolished the office of Caliph, one of the most important developments in the Islamic world of the last century.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  21. 20: Please read all of the words in the sentences I write. Seizing on little fragments of sentences is inaccurate and misleading.

    What I actually said:
    “Claiming Turkey to be a functioning democracy for 100 years is factually wrong.” And I proved why.

    I did not say it is not a functioning democracy now. It is.

    I also did not say that the Greeks developed the distinction between church and state. I was making the point that that distinction is part of our sense of what makes a good society, which in itself is part of a philosophical tradition that goes back a long, long way.

    Here is my short explanation for Turkey: It’s an anomaly.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  22. jmaharry, not to be unduly argumentative, but you also said “Indeed, “functioning democratic state” is wildly inaccurate.” It does not strike me as being unreasonable to interpret that as meaning that you do not believe that Turkey is a functioning democratic state.

    I agree that Turkey is an anomaly; I would submit that, at least in part, the difference arises from differences in Turkish and Arabic culture, and from the greater exposure of Turkey to Byzantine political norms.

    However, I don’t think it follows from that that liberal democracy is impossible elsewhere in the middle east. Political cultures are not static, and if Turkey could abandon centuries of Ottoman Islamic bureaucracy, the Arab states can reform as well.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)


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