Why Do Liberals Coddle the Radical Islamic Monster?

Many liberals and progressives in the United States and elsewhere support a radical Islamic fundamentalist movement which, if it came to power, would quickly wipe out their liberal progressive ideology. Why then, do so many liberals coddle the monster that would destroy them? The Answer lies in their long-stemmed hatred of Western liberty and free markets.

Dick Morris' new revelation of Hillary Clinton's ties to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism provides an excellent backdrop for me to ask the question that Greg Allen of The Right Balance has been asking for quite some time, to wit:
If many liberals stand for free sexuality, homosexuality, the use of drugs, binge drinking, and other mindless expressions of individuality, why do so many of them also look the other way when it comes to Islamic fundamentalism? Don't they know that Iran has put to death as many as 4,000 homosexuals? Don't they know that if Islamists come to power they will not only make sexual perversion, drinking, and drugs all crimes (some punishable by death) but they will also make liberalism itself a crime?
Not only that, but equal rights for women will be part of a bygone era as well if radical Muslims take control.

Melanie Phillips has an excellent historic answer as to

The left hopes it can pacify the Islamist shark into eating everyone else--without it eating them. The liberals have already left a gigantic trail of blood in radical Islamic waters.

why these strange bedfellows from her book Londonistan. It amounts to the fact that liberals and progressives have an extremely shortsighted view of history, and that they haven't noticed that they are almost in the grasp of an extremely unforgetful monster. Phillips says
There are three issues that bind the unholy alliance together: America, Israel, and the war in Iraq. ...

Much of the reason for this lies in the end of the Cold War. With the collapse of Communism, ...the left alighted upon the Palestinians as the new proletariat whose cause could be championed as a weapon against Western society. Since the left demonizes America and Western capitalism, and lionizes the third world and all liberation movements, the Palestinian Arabs were a natural cause to be championed--victims of American imperialist power through the actions of its proxy, Israel.

...the communist left had always embodied a profound hatred of the Jews and of America as the fount of capitalism, which it saw as a Jewish conspiracy against the masses. ...The Holocaust pushed this prejudice underground, but now it has resurfaced and regrouped around the issue of "Zionism". Far from being repelled by the Muslim view of America and Israel as the Great and the Little Satan, the left has enthusiastically embraced it.

This is all the more remarkable considering that the Islamists stand for precisely the kind of...socially repressive values that the secular left--with its obsessive promotion of sexual freedom and the rights of women and gays--most detests.

...Despite their obvious differences, therefore, the far left and the Islamists have become a marriage made in hell. They have swallowed their profound differences to use each other to fight the west.

Londonistan, pages 118-119
In this case it appears that liberals think they can, in the short term, champion a demonic cause without it, in the long run, coming back to haunt them. Phillips warns:
Yet [the left] says it can put aside its differences with the Islamists simply because they too are against the state.
But only for so long. The left hopes it can pacify the Islamist shark into eating everyone else--without it eating them. How stupid. They'll be the first to feel the crushing jaws and razor-sharp teeth of the monster. The liberals have already left a gigantic trail of blood in radical Islamic waters.




Comments

  1. As a liberal, I find your words intellectually dishonest. But you would expect me to say that, as I would expect you, as a conservative (although admittedly usually reasonable in expressing it) to defend saber-rattling and bullish tactics as opposed to diplomacy.

    So instead, let me just ask that you provide for me, and any other readers of this post, an example of the foundation premise you write of before we discuss the evils of Islam.

    Make it count. Without it, this post seems a bit "Bill O'Reilly."

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  2. Jason,

    Give me a quote to work with, because as it stands, I don't see anything intellectually dishonest about it. And don't just say "the whole article", because I think THAT would be intellectually dishonest.

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  3. LOL . . . is this satire Frank?

    Come on, this is ridiculous. Jason's request was for an example of your "foundational premise" which, presumably, is that liberals coddle radical islamists. Nothing in your post was an example of such. So, please, enough with the Coulteresque prose from Allen and Phillips or the unsourced drivel from Morris. Let's see it, a concrete example of "liberals" coddling radical islamists.

    Just for your pleasure, I learned today, on Hannity's show no less, that Hillary would "obliterate" Iran if they attacked Israel. He took her comment a bit out of context of course, but it certainly didn't seem like she was willing to "coddle" Iran if they attacked the supposedly "hated-by-liberals" Jewish state.

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  4. I have to wonder as I read this...

    How much of our view of Islam as a nation is skewed by how the media reports it?

    I don't deny that there are radical extremists who use their own forms of propoganda to generate hatred for the west. But at the same time, I have met more muslims that are peaceful, hardworking people, who make a solid contribution to society.

    If we look at it from the other side though, do Muslims view the current administration with it's 1% doctrine and other faulty logic, much the same as we view the them?

    I think the problems in the middle east and global terror are confined to a very small part of the worlds muslim population, and I think they, the jews and western leaders are all equally responsible for the mess.

    Unfortunately "the mess" has become a great political tool to instill fear in the masses. Perhaps liberals lean too far to the side of ignoring the problem, but conservatives are definitely way too far on the side of wanting to annihilate the threat (Not unlike the islamic extremists, mind you).

    I think somewhere in between lies some middle ground where we could probably find a way to end this conflict, if we could just get the leaders on all sides to shut up for a while.

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  5. Don,

    Please take off your "Frank-loves-George-W-Bush" glasses and read the article again (because I don't--I despise the man).

    Okay, so coddle may not have been the right word. How about "Why Don't Liberals Speak Out Against the Radical Islamic Monster"? Is the a more palatable title?

    I'm not surprised about Hillary's statement, but that's not what I was talking about. Of course Bush didn't have good reason to attack Iraq, but from the liberal perspective Bush can do no right (which I pretty much agree with) but al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizb ut Tahrir, et al., can do no wrong (which I vehemently disagree with). This is why I say that they coddle (or "tolerate") radical Islam, because they don't call out the egregious actions of radical Muslims.

    UK,

    I completely agree with your statement

    Perhaps liberals lean too far to the side of ignoring the problem, but conservatives are definitely way too far on the side of wanting to annihilate the threat (Not unlike the islamic extremists, mind you).

    I think somewhere in between lies some middle ground where we could probably find a way to end this conflict...

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  6. Frank,
    Non sequitur much? Where did I mention Bush?

    " . . . from the liberal perspective Bush can do no right (which I pretty much agree with) but al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizb ut Tahrir, et al., can do no wrong . . . "

    Bullsh*t! This is an example of the intellectual dishonesty that Jason is talking about. How about instead of making some outrageous claim about "liberals" you provide us, as requested now for a third time, with some examples of this supposed "liberal perspective" which tolerates the egregious actions of radical Muslims.

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  7. Okay, first question: How do you feel (1) about Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" and (2) about his visit to Hamas recently?

    Second question: Regardless of how you feel about the US being in Iraq (I think you and I agree that they shouldn't be), how do you feel about suicide bombers killing innocent Iraqis?

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  8. You've made some pretty outrageous claims about "liberals" and the "liberal perspective" Frank. I'm not sure what game you're trying to play now, but asking questions about Jimmy Carter and suicide bombers isn't making your case. Regardless, I'll answer just to see how this plays out.

    I haven't read Carter's book so I can't comment. Maybe you have some relevant passages to share, with context please.

    His recent trip seemed to be in the interest of bringing the Israelis and Palestinians closer to peace. I don't have a problem with that.

    As for suicide bombers, I probably feel the same way about them killing innocent Iraqis as I do about the US military unnecessarily killing innocent Afghanis because we're messing around in Iraq rather than taking care of business in Afghanistan. It's deplorable.

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  9. Carter's book spends a great deal of time praising Hamas and belittling Israel, without giving proper context to the fact that the PLO, Hamas, and Hizballah's desire to destroy the Jews. In that context, his visit to Hamas could ONLY be expected to be a huge propaganda victory for the Palestinians. Carter's actions are--to me--coddling of terrorists.

    I agree with your point about US being in Iraq when we should be putting our resources into Afghanistan--it is deplorable, and I appreciate your calling the actions of suicide bombers against innocent civilians equally deplorable.

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  10. Frank, I would hope that you know better than to propagate the lies that Liberals hate “Western liberty,” or that I “stand for free sexuality, homosexuality, the use of drugs, binge drinking, and other mindless expressions of individuality,” or that I would join myself with liberalism if any serious liberal (Nader, Chomsky, Zinn, Dean, Boxer, Ehrenrich, Hightower, Korten, Carter, et al) stood for those things. Those sorts of caricatures are completely unproductive to any sort of rational discussion.

    Liberals often do indeed express support the Palestinian cause because at root they have legitimate grievances, as Carter rightfully noted in his book. The land was taken from the indigenous people, they were made second-class citizens in their own homeland, and they were brutally repressed when they resisted. I wonder how U.S. citizens would react if the same thing happened to us? I abhore the use of terrorism by some Palestinians, but that does not change the root legitimacy of their claims, nor does it change the fact that they suffer much more violence than they dish out (I’ve posted on this before). And yes, there is very much indeed an element of imperialism in the U.S. support of Israel, and it is that imperialism to which we object. It has nothing to do with any “hatred” of Jews or capitalism (the Right and libertarians both really need to come to grips with the difference between support for restrained capitalism and utter communism).

    It is entirely appropriate that we focus on and are more critical of injustices perpetrated with the aid and support of our own nation (see my post on moral responsibility on my own blog). Bush represents us and commits his crimes in our name, so it is our duty to condemn his actions. The crimes of Radical Islam are not done in our name, or with our aid. In other words, Bush’s crimes are our beam. Radical Islam’s crimes are in someone else’s eye.

    I would note that while yes, in their rhetoric the radical Muslims do talk about destroying Jews, the Islamic world has a much better track record of tolerance and acceptance of Jews than does Christendom. Perhaps their anti-Jewish propaganda has more to do with the state of Israel and the unjust manner of its creation than it does any true desire for Jewish genocide.

    We also recognize what the Right refuses to comprehend; the continued saber rattling, name calling, and quick resort to violence which conservatives like to pursue only feeds radical Islam. We understand that if we pursue a more humble foreign policy, we will take the wind out of the sails of radical Islam. Once the U.S. begins treating the Middle East and its Islamic peoples with honor, respect, and sincerity, the populace will no longer be swayed by the hateful voices of the radicals, moderate Muslims will gain more sway, and the threat of radical Islam will recede. Given that you seem to understand the concepts of U.S. imperialism and “blowback,” that libertarian leaders like Harry Browne and Ron Paul have made the same points, I’m rather surprised you’d pass along this conservative tripe.

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  11. Derek,

    Thank you for excellent points, many of which I agree with. I'll get back to details when I get some time later today.

    For the record, I have modified the opening paragraphs of the article so that I'm not issuing a blanket condemnation of all liberals. I hope that assuages some of your, Don's and Jason's concerns.

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  12. Um, didn't Hillary just promise to "obliterate" Iran for the convenience of the Israel lobby?

    Your premise is utter nonsense.

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  13. A good friend of mine pointed out something a while back... The Jews are a very arrogant nation. How would you feel if you were living next to a nation who claimed to be God's chosen people and regarded you as the off spring of an illegitimate child. I don't condone suicide bombing or anything but they do bring part of it on themselves.

    Jimmy Carter may have been a useless president, but I have to think that sitting down with Hamas or other groups and getting dialogue going will do more to fix the root of the problem, than just annihilating the arabs.

    As for Hillary's comments... What?!

    It doesn't say much for her, when her opponent faces as much bad publicity as Obama has recently, and yet, they're still neck 'n neck!

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  14. Richard,

    Your castigation of my premise was almost as long winded as Don's. So I'll ask you the same two questions I asked him:

    first question: How do you feel (1) about Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" and (2) about his visit to Hamas recently?

    Second question: Regardless of how you feel about the US being in Iraq (I think you and I agree that they shouldn't be), how do you feel about suicide bombers killing innocent Iraqis?

    UK,

    I agree. The Jews are very arrogant. But some of that arrogance may come as a result of external threats from Arab (and Persian) neighbors since 1948 and continuing today.

    There are over 1 million Arab citizens in Israel today. That is 19.7% of the population. 12 Arabs of 120 are in the Knesset. 1 is on the supreme court. When polled in December 2007 whether they prefer a Palestinian state, 78% said no, and some of them said he$% no!

    Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" gives disingenuousness a new name. Hamas has no intention of peace with Israel, any more than they have intentions of peace with Fatah--unless it suits their purposes. Based on that, I think Jimmy Carter is a radical islamic monster coddler.

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  15. Derek,

    Here are the points I agree with:

    (1) ...that we focus on and are more critical of injustices perpetrated with the aid and support of our own nation

    (2) the continued saber rattling, name calling, and quick resort to violence which conservatives like to pursue only feeds radical Islam.

    Here are a couple of things I agree with you on, but with reservations:

    (1)if we pursue a more humble foreign policy, we will take the wind out of the sails of radical Islam. I agree to an extent. This is something Ron Paul agrees with, I think to an extent. But a better foreign policy does not make the monster magically vanish.

    (2) Liberals often do indeed express support the Palestinian cause because at root they have legitimate grievances, as Carter rightfully noted in his book.

    Palestinians DO have grievances against Israel, no doubt. Jews are a very arrogant people. But Palestinians had at least as much grievance against Yasser Arafat, Hamas, Hizballah, etc. In this context, Carter's book is SO one-sided that it is pretty much a useless book for understanding the current situation in Israel.

    BTW, thank you for attempting to get to the heart of a serious discussion--which is more than a few others have tried to do on this subject.

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  16. Perhaps the Jews of Israel wouldn't face such dramatic external threats had they not established a state without the consent or cooperation of the original inhabitants, a state which was not truly secular but which explicitly and overtly favored a faith which was not that of the indigenous people, and had not driven off a huge number of that indigenous population.

    Nor will Israel ever be without those external threats until someone with authority has the courage and honor to acknowledge those injustices, address them with empathy and honesty, and disseminate the grounds for so much hatred in the Islamic world. Carter might just be a start, and he was right to go. I am skeptical about Carter's assertion that Hamas is right now ready to negotiate in good faith; I believe he is being naive. But efforts of sincere people like him may just start the ball rolling. It would certainly work better than Israel's perpetual use of force and violence to try to cow the Muslim Middle East.

    My Take on both sides can be found here.

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  17. And the typical conservative perspective is not incredibly one-sided regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Carter's book is one sided because the main-stream (largely conservative) perspective and dialog is so one-sided in the other direction.

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  18. The conservative side is one-sided to an extent, but not as much as Carter's, and that doesn't give him license to be one-sided in any case.

    I've started to read the articles behind the link in your previous comment. There is much that I can agree with. I'll comment in more detail (there and here) when I'm finished reading. Thanks!

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  19. I have a hard time seeing how you can say Carter is more one-sided than the conservatives. Most conservatives I've heard from, whether its the people I know or national conservative media pundits, never question anything Israel does or has done, while imputing the most vile evil with the Palestinians.

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  20. So maybe you're making the same blanket accusation against conservatives that I inadvertently (errantly) made against liberals. I'm a conservative, and I see at least some of the problem as coming from the Jewish side.

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  21. Richard,
    Hillary didn't promise to obliterate Iran if they attack Israel. She promised to attack them and said that we "would be able to totally obliterate them." (emphasis added) Promising to "attack" a country is not the same as promising to "obliterate" them. She talked about being able to obliterate them in a sense of deterrence. That's the context I was talking about that Hannity left out.

    The point does stand though that even talking about obliterating Iran doesn't exactly seem to be "coddling" them.

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  22. Frank,
    The changes you made in trying to coddle us liberals ;) don't really make a difference in your post. The problem with your post is that it is completely removed from any reality concerning the beliefs and actions of real liberals in this country. We don't hate "Western liberty and free markets." We don't "stand for free sexuality, homosexuality, the use of drugs, binge drinking and other mindless expressions of individuality." We don't "demonize() America and Western capitalism." And we most certainly aren't communist Jew haters.

    I'm sorry if you didn't like the blowback you received on this post and I'm glad that Derek has turned this into a somewhat reasonable discussion. But in the future, if you want things to start out reasonable, maybe you should start with a reasonable premise based on reasonable evidence. If you had written this post as a critique of Jimmy Carter's book and his recent trip to Syria rather than a Coulter-like bloviation against those evil, commie, Jew-hating "liberals," then you probably would have received the reasonable discussion you were apparently looking for.

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  23. I appreciate your more balanced perspective on the issue. Can you suggest a body of others, particularly among conservative leaders, who are likewise see things with more balance? The only one I can think of who may acknowledge the problematic issues of Israel is Buchanan. The concession of one conservative does not change my perception that bulk of conservatives who refuse to acknowledge any faults or problems with Israeli history or foreign policy (unless to suggest Israel is not harsh enough). There is no such majority on the Left embracing radical Islam, hating liberty, or standing for "free sexuality, homosexuality, the use of drugs, binge drinking, and other mindless expressions of individuality." Conservatives might make a case that the agenda of liberals leads to such vices, but that is very different from accusing them of consciously standing for those items. Thus the statement I made and the comments you (errantly) promoted are entirely different.

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  24. don--

    Of course, Hillary's threat was stupid because Iran has never attacked another nation, does not have nuclear weapons with which to attack Israel, and has no nuclear weapons program. IMHO even saying that we could obliterate Iran if we wanted to is hardly an approach likely to resolve anything.

    Hillary should also be advised that Iran is a very close friend of Iraq's shaky Maliki Green Zone regime, which supports the U.S. occupation. Thanks to Bush's screwed up policies, the Iranians are in effect our allies!

    If I knew her phone number, I'd call her at 3 am and explain foreign policy to her, she apparently has missed a lot.

    Frank--

    I would love to join you in fulminating about the Radical Islamic Monster, if there was such a thing. Maybe you saw him in "Cloverfield," but that was fictional.

    Jimmy Carter is trying diplomacy, something that right-wing Bushies and right-wing Israelis know nothing about.

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  25. Frank,
    I don't care if you think Jimmy Carter "is a radical islamic monster coddler." There's a case to be made for that opinion and you have done so. No matter that I probably agree more with Derek on the issue and believe that Carter's diplomatic efforts might just help to "start the ball rolling" toward a real effort for peace in the Middle East. The point is at least a reasonable argument can be made for both sides and a reasonable discussion can then ensue.

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  26. Richard,
    I'm not saying Hillary's threat wasn't stupid, just that it wasn't actually a promise to obliterate Iran. I agree that her comments aren't likely to do any good, other than to win her a few votes from Lieberman-Dems and other liberal "hawks" who think military might is the answer to everything.

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  27. Don--

    Hillary's statement was amazing, even coming from a senator who voted for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that laid the groundwork for a war of choice against Iran.

    As a would-be Commander in Chief, Hillary ought to know exactly what she has proposed to do to millions of innocent people.

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  28. Don,

    I really didn't intend the article to come across as a Coulter-like diatribe (it was more of "if the shoe fits, wear it") but I can see how it could have come across that way.

    I really do hope that Carter's efforts help get the ball rolling. I agree that a reasonable discussion here is what we need, and I appreciate that we are on the same sheet of music as far as that goes.

    Richard,

    I agree that what Hillary said was stupid, and I also think Bush is at least equally stupid holding Iran up as an axis of evil based on weapons that it may acquire and attacks that it may make in the future.

    Derek,

    I guess what I'm saying is not that many liberals embrace Islam, but more along the lines that conservatives are quick to point out the fact that radical Muslims are killing innocent people around the world, while it doesn't seem that liberals generally are. And yes Richard--take away Iraq and Israel and there is STILL a radical Islamist monster. From the conservative perspective, Derek, you are correct that the Limbaughs, Hannitys, and Coulters do not provide a very balanced view of Jews vs. Arabs. Ron Paul is a prime example of fairness in this area--that's why I think he would be a great president. I think Glenn Beck does probably the best of any of the well-known people, and Greg Allen, whose radio show I refer to in this post does a good job trying to see both sides of the issue. I agree with you that Buchanan is probably another. I'd have to do more research to see how other Republicans think about the issue, but I disagree with your statement (or your perception) that the "bulk of conservatives [] refuse to acknowledge any faults or problems with Israeli history or foreign policy"

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  29. I agree that Ron Paul has a much more balanced view--but then, he is more libertarian than conservative. I disagree about Glenn Beck, who I find as ignorant and offensive as the Limbaughs and Hannitys. I've never heard Greg, but the slanderous quotation with which you opened is representative, I'm skeptical.

    Richard, you are absolutely right that Clinton's bluster over Iran shows that either liberals aren't unilaterally embracing militant Muslims, or Clinton isn't a liberal. You've gotta take your pick.

    Gentlemen, much as I enjoy (or am compulsively drawn to, depending on who you ask) online debate, I've got to get on with other projects. Adieu for today.

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  30. It's a paraphrase of Greg Allen, and it's probably not a very good one.

    Glen Beck is getting better lately.

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  31. I only brought up Hillary because Frank mentioned her in the post above. Maybe he thinks of her as a liberal, I don't know.

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  32. As a matter of fact I do think she is a liberal.

    ;-)

    I brought Hillary up in context of her ties to Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism. Doesn't matter whether she said she would obliterate Iran in this context--she has historical ties to the PLO and Hamas, according to the linked article.

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  33. I'm trying to understand the basic premise of your post. You seem to be saying that liberals give a free pass for fundamentalist islam that they wouldn't to any other group.

    As a self-proclaimed liberal, I have never claimed to support radical islam. I don't support any radical authoritarian paradigm, whether it is Islam, Christianity, Mormonism, etc.

    Now that being said, I still have to live with Muslims, Christians and Mormons and I can be "linked" to people who are members of all religions.

    Though I don't endorse any authoritarian religious thinking, I would just assume not make unnecessary enemies of people who think that way. If I were President, I would recognize that I would have to work with some rather unsavory characters, some with whom I disagree with vehemently. My interaction with them doesn't legitimize them.

    Any President will have to have some interactions with the Palestinians. Right now, the only real organized voices for them have engaged in some terrorist tactics over the years. However, shutting them out of any attempt at reconciliation will have an obvious result. Unless genocide of Palestinians is your goal, any President will have to deal with Hamas.

    But saying this doesn't mean I'm coddling terrorists or giving islamic fundamentalists a free pass.

    Do you have a litmus test on kinds of people a President can talk to? If so, can it be applied uniformly?

    Honestly Frank, I really didn't understand very well where you were going with that post.

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  34. Obi Wan,

    I guess, in roundabout way, I'm glad I confused the lot of you. Because it's engendered a very interesting conversation.

    But in reality, I apologize for the confusion. However, that is the way I think. In a previous comment, I suspected that "Coddle" should really have been "look the other way".

    It seems to me from this conversation that Richard Warnick does not believe that radical islam exists. Jason thought I was just calling him names and went away, and Don almost did, but I'm glad he kept with the conversation. Derek and UK seemed to have tried the hardest to see my point of view, and I think you have, too.

    According to my (inept) definition of coddle, here's what I think:

    1. If someone thinks George Bush is a worse person than Abu Mousab al Zarqawi or Osama Bin Laden, they are a coddler. (I think they are about the same.)

    2. If someone thinks Israel can do no right and Hamas can do no wrong, they are a coddler. (I think Israel is arrogant, but I think Hamas is a farce in nearly every way.)

    3. If someone thinks the 9/11 bombers, the London tube bombers, or any suicide bomber in Iraq or Afghanistan who kills innocent people has any sort of justification at all is a coddler. (There are thousands of Muslims who are frustrated with their situation, but understand that suicide bombing is selfish and makes the problem worse.)

    By the way, if the Palestinians really have truly democratic elections, they will throw the Hamas thugs out on their keysters and realize that the best way to deal with Israel is straight up honest instead of provoking them all the time and using and abusing the Palestinian people as bait. They're no better that Arafat. Hamas' propaganda sickens me.

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  35. What about George Bush, who has done more than anyone else in history to make Iran the most powerful country in the Middle East? Coddler?

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  36. Richard,

    Yes. As a matter of fact.

    ...

    By the way, I looked through Derek's articles from a while back that he linked to in a previous comment here. They are very insightful, and I recommend them to you all.

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  37. Frank,
    The problem is that you really think liberals believe those things you listed as your definition for "coddlers of radical Islamists." The short answer is, "We don't."

    If you think liberals actually believe all that crap than you've been reading too much Coulter and listening to too much Beck (and apparently Allen, although I have no idea who he is.) Their definitions of liberals are caricatures meant to whip the conservative base into a frenzy. Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed that you bought into their idiotic rantings. You're generally a much more logical thinker.

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  38. Don,

    I'd maybe believe you if I'd heard you say that radical Islamists suck as often as I've heard you say George Bush sucks.

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  39. That's a good one Frank. I can't tell if you're trying to be funny or you're just reflexively defensive. When do I ever talk about Bush unless you bring him up first? That's the second time in this thread that you've brought up Bush in response to me when I haven't said one word about him.

    Regardless, the simple fact is that there are many more problems in our country that are directly attributable to Bush's actions than there are that are attributable to radical Islamists.

    Now, here's where you've fallen into a logic trap. My saying that about Bush doesn't mean I coddle, tolerate or "look the other way" when it comes to radical Islamists. In other words, Bush bashing does not equal terrorist coddling.

    You started this post assuming you'd know how I and other liberals feel about suicide bombers. Well, you were wrong. But you didn't find that out until you actually asked, did you? Is it really necessary for liberals to constantly state how much we despise radical Islamists simply because of the way you think based on the caricature driven portrait of us that you've painted for yourself?

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  40. I'm home from work and I have a little time to give Frank a little more than one-liners. In reference to the "Radical Islamic Monster," let me offer up what used to be the foundation of American foreign policy.

    "Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America's] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

    But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

    She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

    She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

    President John Quincy Adams, 1821.

    It's especially poignant in light of the recent HBO miniseries about John Quincy's father, President John Adams. His greatest achievement was keeping our new nation out of a potentially ruinous war.

    So, what about those horrible Islamic extremists who hate us for our values? There is a new poll taken in six Arab countries that may shed some light here.

    Would you say your attitudes toward the US are based more on American values or American policy in the Middle East?

    POLICY - 80%
    VALUES - 12%

    What TWO steps by the US would improve your views of the US most?

    Top four answers in order of popularity:

    1. Brokering a comprehensive Middle East peace with Israel.

    2. Withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

    3. Withdrawal of US forces from the Arabian Peninsula.

    4. Stopping economic and military aid to Israel.

    Are you getting the picture, Frank?

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  41. Don,

    Maybe I read a bit too much into your response about my "Jack Bauer" article, when you said:

    I'm appalled at the cavalier attitude this administration has taken toward the treatment of fellow human beings.

    If so, I apologize. To maybe more generally answer your (and Derek's previous) question. I read a lot of the "Bush sucks" stuff on OneUtah, but seldom to I read "radical islam sucks" on that site. Another site that I read semi-regularly is OpEdNews.com, which is probably as one-sided in its criticism as OneUtah. (I know you at least used to frequent OneUtah, and I would be curious as to whether you agree with my assessment of that site.)

    Richard,

    I completely "get" and agree with that side of the argument. I am a Ron Paul supporter, for heck sakes! I believe that the US is as much to blame for Benazir Bhutto's death as is radical Islam.

    I agree that policy is more important than values as you described in your comment. I support ALL 4 of the items that you list. But I also support no longer giving any aid to ANY Middle Eastern countries. Regardless of this, I still see that there is a radical Islamic monster that must be confronted. I'm not sure why you don't.

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  42. Frank, I believe we've gone over this before. Ayman al-Zawahiri based al Qaeda's strategy on what he called an American "cowboy mentality."

    He wanted to goad the USA into attacking Muslim countries (specifically Afghanistan, Iraq was an unexpected bonus) in order to trigger a defensive jihad, that would obligate every Muslim to oppose America.

    Given that almost 20 percent of the world's population is Muslim, including nuclear-armed Pakistan, I don't think it's a good idea to fall into Zawahiri's trap.

    The neocons want a "Long War," like the Cold War (except longer-- McCain wants to fight for 100 years). If we keep killing people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other places they will get what they want. But the "Long War is unnecessary, even if defense contractors may like it's not worth the cost to the rest of us.

    I swear, sometimes I think Bush and al Qaeda are in some kind of sick symbiotic relationship.

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  43. Richard,

    You may be surprised, but I completely agree with you.

    Take away Zawahiri and al Qaeda, though, and you still have a radical Islamist monster problem.

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  44. Ahhh, yes, good old OneUtah. I still frequent the site, although it does seem a bit stale at times. I like Glenden's posts and I can always count on Richard to keep me up to speed on the latest goings-on in Iraq. How about that Glenn in the comment threads? He used to be pretty entertaining but his shtick has become tiresome. If anyone could be considered a Bush basher over there I guess it would be Cliff and maybe Larry Bergan. My opinion of Cliff, although I frequently agree with him, is that he is stubborn, often unwilling to listen and even condescending at times. I like Larry. He seems like a great guy. But he's probably the one most likely to mention Bush no matter what the topic at hand may be.

    It's interesting that because of my association with OneUtah you would put me into the category of Bush basher. I don't think I've ever been one to "bash" for no good reason, even when OneUtah might get whipped into a frenzy. Take my comment in your "Jack Bauer" post. I know you share my abhorrence for the Bush administration's approval of torture. Why would one comment from me put visions of a Bush basher in your head, especially when it's a valid grievance we share?

    I don't know if you care about my opinion Frank, but I really think you have a lot of ill-conceived notions about liberals. I don't know where they come from, but I think I have a pretty good idea. I would ask that rather than basing your opinion of what I say on what you think "liberals" believe, you start listening to my actual words. I know it's hard to leave preconceived biases out of it. Sometimes I'll read your posts several times just to make sure you're saying what I think you're saying. If I'm not sure, I'll ask.

    I'll admit, I took great offense to this article of yours. Reading it again and again didn't help. Why? Becuase I am a liberal (a proud one at that) and I'm not anything like what you described in this post. Furthermore, neither are any liberals that I know or read. As I said before I don't have a problem with your critique of Jimmy Carter. Even though I disagree, I think your opinion is valid. But to take that opinion and with one broad stroke morph it into "liberals hate America and they're commie Jew-haters too" is simply grotesque. It's the same tool that Coulter, Hannity, Rush, Savage, Beck and many others use to keep their "base" frothing with hate. You're too good for that Frank (at least I think you are.)

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  45. Don,

    It really helps to get your perspective about OneUtah. Now I know that I was waaaay out in left field in my characterization of you. Especially knowing how you feel about Cliff. BTW, I agree--I really like Larry's thoughts over there.

    At any rate, my mis-characterization of you from OneUtah provided the background for what I thought you were implying with your "Jack Bauer" comment. That you for setting the record straight.

    I apologize. I do care about your opinion.

    I still think there are liberals out there who fit my original premise. Cliff is likely one, and several of the people at OpEdNews.com fit that category.

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  46. Cliff might be arrogant and condescending, but I'm pretty sure he's not an anti-American, commie, Jew-hating "liberal". I wouldn't know about your "friends" at "OpEdNews" . . .

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  47. What I meant by that is that he's pretty high on the "Bush sucks" scale, but not very high on the "radical Muslims suck" scale.

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  48. Okay, but that's my point Frank. That "scale" wasn't your original premise. Your original premise had a lot to do with liberals hating America and Israel while "looking the other way" when it comes to radical Islam. Just because someone is a "Bush basher" it doesn't logically follow, or necessarily mean that they're also a terrorist coddler.

    Sigh . . . I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

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  49. Groundhog Day is one of my family's favorite shows.

    Sorry to put you through such hell.

    ;-)

    But I think we all (commenters to this post) understand each other much better!

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  50. I confess that Bush bashing is starting to seem pointless. Politically, our President has been reduced to a puddle of goo.

    He has the highest disapproval rating in the history of the Gallup Poll.

    When he appeared on "Deal or No Deal," it was "no deal"-- their ratings plummeted.

    That said, both Bush and Cheney plus key members of their administration belong behind bars. I hope Barack Obama follows through on his promised investigations of the Bush administration.

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  51. Thank-you for your kind words about (and comments on) my series on radical Islam and Israel, Frank. Not to hijack the thread, but since you mentioned in one comment your post on torture, I’ll note that I’ve made several posts about torture, as well as a page. The fact that neither Israel nor the explicitly Muslim states allow proselytizing in their nations bothers me only to the extent that our nation preaches the spread of western-style democracy (which includes freedom of religion), and yet gives billions in military and financial aid to prop up states (Israel in particular, but others as well) which rejects those values.

    I agree that anyone who considers Bush worse than explicitly terrorist leaders (or worse) are ridiculous. However, it might be unwise to assume that because people criticize Bush and not radical Islam they have no problem with radical Islam. Many may subscribe to the concept of moral responsibility I’ve discussed on my blog (it is our responsibility as U.S. citizens to hold our government accountable more than it is to criticize other actors with whom we have no connection). Granted, if Clinton has the connections you’ve claimed, she very much had a responsibility to criticize them; this is just one more of the many reasons to believe she does not have the integrity I want in a president.


    Richard, thanks very much for sharing that quote of Q’s. Very appropriate for the U.S. to hear.

    I think there is absolutely a symbiotic relationship between the neo-cons and the radical Islam (albeit an unplanned and subconscious one). This is a common phenomena. I think you can find examples throughout history where cycles of friction between communities have been exacerbated by and served the interests of the militarists and powerful elites in both communities (the Soviets and the U.S. militarists/military-industrial complex, radical Palestinians and the militarists in Israel, the IRA and the militarists in England, just to name a few examples off the top of my head). I suspect that the actions of these parties in respect to each other (condemning, labeling, adopting a defensive posture, and attacking) often has more to do with maintaining power in their own communities than any real concerns about the other.

    And yes, this administration should be held to account criminally, as should have several other previous administrations which drew the U.S. into unnecessary foreign wars.

    In answer to Frank’s point, you’re right: get rid of Zawahiri and al Qaeda, and someone else will step into the void and maintain the “monster.” However, if we (the U.S.) admit our prior wrongdoings, eliminate the injustices often perpetrated by the West/U.S, treat the Islamic world with respect and dignity, and not allow our own radical/militant elements from dominating our response to the radical Muslims (see the cycle above), then the radical Muslims will lose power in their own communities, and the “Radical Islamist Monster” will dwindle to a Radical Islamist Pest.

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