Posts Tagged ‘al Qaeda’

Tripoli falls, Americans and free people everywhere rejoice

August 21, 2011

Government ethics 101:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

These words of Thomas Jefferson are the core principle of government. Perhaps nothing defines being American so much as a belief in these three sentences. So every American must be joyful at the fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

The bloodbath that the evil dictator promised hasn’t occurred. His troops defending his capital seem to have melted away as the rebel army drove, almost anti-climactically, into Tripoli.

What comes next no one can say. The people who united to oppose the dictator soon will have nothing so powerful to unite them. Qaddafi claimed—like Mubarak before him—that he (more…)

Flash: Ranking Republican Peter King praises Obama administration’s handling of bombing attempts

November 1, 2010

 

Hooray for Congressman Peter King (R-NY) for his praise of the Obama administration’s handling of the attempted bombings of FedEx and UPS cargo planes last week. In contrast to recent shameful attempts by many Republicans, most prominently Rudy Giuliani, to politicize the ongoing battle with Al Qaeda, King passed up the chance to make hay on election eve over the issue.

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, King, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, had this to say about the Administration’s actions:

“In the past…I’ve had differences with John Brennan [Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism], but let me make it clear: on this particular matter the Administration is handling it perfectly. They received actionable intelligence, they shared it with our allies, they did what had to be done, the FBI, the TSA—the TSA especially, under John Pistole. They did what they had to do. Everything was done right, they continue to do it right, I give them full credit.”

No equivocation, no hint that Republicans could have done it better, no nudge to vote Republican tomorrow. Just praise for federal workers doing their important jobs right. Reinhold Niebuhr would have applauded King’s contribution to “the temper and integrity of the political fight.

 

NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Muslim comments: intolerance, political correctness, or a stand against bigotry?

October 21, 2010

 

“Juan Williams, Martyr to Tolerance.” That’s the title of a provocative Ethics Alarms piece by Jack Marshall. Juan Williams was fired by NPR for saying this on to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News:

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Marshall excoriates NPR’s action as the intolerable “intolerance of the self-righteous heralds of toleration.”

I’m conflicted over this one. I don’t think Juan Williams should have been fired, but I find his statement very unfair, and somewhere between ignorant and bigoted.

Ignorant, because Muslims wear all kinds of garb, including the sporty American look that the 9/11 hijackers apparently tried to present. Bigoted, because it’s bigotry to assign stereotypical characteristics to individuals, whether to assume that Jews are money-grubbing, that Irish are drunks, that black men are sex-crazed, or that evangelical Christians are gay-bashers.

For Americans in 2010 it’s particularly hurtful to stereotype Muslims as terrorists, as many on the political right are now doing. A scary portion of the population is buying into the idea of Muslims as “other.” It’s horribly unfair to people who are (more…)

The mosque “at” Ground Zero: the Anti-Defamation League sides with the bigots

August 1, 2010

The Anti-Defamation League has in the past stood against, not only anti-Semitism, but against all kinds of racial and religious bigotry. Those days sadly are gone. In a shameful statement the ADL summed up its position this way:

“Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.”

So if you are a victim and you blame Islam—not al Qaeda—for 9/11, we should honor your bigotry by preventing American Muslims from building a community center/mosque 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. For a Jewish group to make such a statement is remarkable, and especially reprehensible. It wasn’t long ago that Jews too were told to be unobtrusive because their presence where they were unwanted would cause pain (more…)


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