Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Boykin continued...

How ridiculous can it get? Rumsfield says there will be a formal investigation into Boykin's remarks / activities. John Warner (R-VA) has even asked that Boykin step aside because of his remarks. And now for a moment of IRONY: Alec Baldwin just participated in a conference, hosted by the "National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), which was co-founded in 1997 by Sami Al-Arian - the former University of South Florida professor charged earlier this year as a fund-raiser and organizer for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The money Al-Arian allegedly raised went to terrorist operations overseas that killed at least two Americans." (thanks to Michelle Malkin) The purpose of this conference was to bash the US Patriot Act, John Ashcroft, and the "oppressive" War on Terror. Among the continued Liberal droning was the supposed assault on the Bill of Rights by the Patriot Act. So, how is taking means to apprehend terrorists considered an assault on the Bill of Rights, but demanding that General Boykin keep quiet and be removed from his job not? From the Washington Post article, "Aside from legal questions, Boykin's comments have generated a political problem for the administration, which has tried to convince Muslims that the war on terrorism is not aimed at their religion. The Boykin case has received wide coverage in Muslim countries and has led to angry editorials in newspapers from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan. "Ali Ahmed, executive director of the Saudi Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit that seeks to foster democracy and human rights in Saudi Arabia, said many Arabic-language newspapers have accused the Bush administration of hypocrisy for condemning Mahathir's recent comments about Jews while excusing Boykin's statements on Islam. An editorial Tuesday in the Saudi daily Al Riyadh, entitled "Who projects the ideology of hatred?", argued that Boykin's remarks were far "more disgusting" than Mahathir's." I spent time in Saudi Arabia twenty years ago. Most Westerners, simply put, do not understand the line of reasoning that goes on in the Middle East. If, for instance, you are involved in an automobile accident in Saudi with an Arab, it makes no difference whose fault it really was; since you are a foreigner the fault is yours… because, so the reasoning goes, since you are a foreigner you don't belong here - since you don't belong here this accident wouldn't have happened if you weren't here - hence, you are at fault. I'm not saying whether this is right or wrong reasoning, I'm just illustrating how the reasoning goes. If you are skeptical of that then simply ask anyone who has worked in that region… you'll be surprised.

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