Friday, February 10, 2006

Smells Like Golgotha: Chapter 21

UPDATE: Commenter Sonagi, over at Oranckay's blog, is at it again here. My lengthy reply is here.



Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I see we are rapidly descending into groaner territory. :p

DogwoodTree05 said...

"Such a parent is afraid of the initial kicking and screaming, unable to think beyond the kid's squalling to the ultimate effects of consistent discipline: respect for the parent, better behavior, and, in the end, a more fulfilling parent-child relationship."

It is interesting that you should choose the analogy of a parent disciplining a child. The West is not mommy and daddy and Muslims are not our children. It is this kind of arrogant thinking that angers Muslims. You yourself acknowledged the hypocrisy of the West. Who is going to teach Uncle Sam not to invade other countries?

"But he is unable to see beyond this: firmness in our collective conviction as Westerners can teach such Muslims that they cannot erase a basic and treasured value simply by playing the bully."

The cartoons and the responses to them have not taught anyone anything. The demonstrations continue, despite expressions of regret and disapproval by some Western governments.

"If Muslim outrage is, to some degree, a tool being manipulated by Muslim governments, how does it help matters for us to strive for appeasement? Sonagi asks us to choose our battles carefully, but from what I've seen, we've been far too passive for too long, and the battles are being chosen for us. Extremist Muslims are relying on the gentler aspects of our culture to spare them from the potentially frightening and devastating consequences of their own barbarity.

It is true that some of the demonstrations are being staged by governments for political purposes. That does not change the fact that the cartoons are offensive to many good Muslims.

After 9/11 we invaded and continue to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq at a cost of $177 million a day for Iraq only. Our government detains foreign nationals without due process in Gitmo and renders others to face torture in the very Muslim countries you describe as "barbaric." If that is being "passive," I'm afraid to know what active responses you would advocate.

"If a pragmatist is sincere in his evaluaton of the consequences of his and others' actions, he'll do more than cede Lebensraum to the Muslim idiots currently making headlines (or to drug dealers in parking lots), and he'll stop insulting the rest of us by assuming the wrong things about human nature. You can't be pragmatic when your observations are fundamentally mistaken."

I've insulted no one with my ideas. Few things in life are clearly black and white. There is always room for disagreement and debate; it is one of our nation's strengths.

Kevin Kim said...

Sonagi, dammit, you attached your comment to the wrong damn post! Arrrrrrggghhh!

Good luck pretending to choose your battles, then. If you refuse to judge-- and I was right in my initial assessment of your stance, because you reject the parent/child analogy as "arrogant," implying you see this through the lens of cultural relativism, a stance supported by your other arguments-- then you'll refuse to fight, right up to the moment they do you in.

As for American barbarism: I've been at pains to restate my position on the war (and I'd agree with you that we should condemn evil acts by our own military), but only a fool would make what we're doing the moral equivalent of what they're doing.

You're afraid to follow the implications of your convictions, Sonagi. Simply declaring that violent protest is "wrong, wrong, wrong," as you as wrote, means nothing if not supported by a willingness to act.

"Act" in this case doesn't have to mean "make war." I'm not a pacifist, but I think war is the final alternative. "Act" can, however, mean "continue to enjoy the rights you have, and make no apologies." That would be in contrast to, "Ban newspapers from publishing cartoons out of fear of reprisals."

And you still refuse to see the truth of human nature. I hope the druggies go away after you hide long enough. An anonymous tip to the police isn't possible? You're determined to do absolutely nothing except meekly walk your extra three meters? If you've got a family, I pity them. The continued presence of such elements in your neighborhood puts more than you in danger. Consider people other than yourself, man.

Thinking like yours will strip Westerners of their rights and freedoms far faster than any shenanigans by the goofy Bush Administration.