Sunday, May 16, 2004

This and that from the weekend

  • Rev. Donald Sensing slams the United Methodist Council of Bishops resolution condemning the US and the Coalition's "cycle of violence" it is creating in Iraq. Sensing notes there seems to be no condemnation for the actions of Al Qaeda or Baathists, and the Council's attitude seems to indicate they don't understand the consequences of US inaction in the War on Terror.

  • Les Jones is back from his vacation, and has some interesting stories about his trip to Florida. He also mentions the closing of another restaurant I've been to a couple of times in Alcoa, the Elkmont Grill.

    Maybe Hatamaran will tell you of the time we had lunch there and a light fixture almost fell on her head...

  • And on a sad note, South Knox Bubba has now officially Lost It. Bubba "interprets" a hypothetical scenario posited by James Lileks as a wish for an American city to be destroyed by a nuclear bomb. Read Lilek's post, then Bubba's (and his commenters) and you'll be amazed at the disconnect from reality. It's unfortunate, because what used to be a fine blog written by someone with rare insight into life (whom I considered a friend and now ignores my emails) has fallen so far to catering to the far left audience it's now incoherent. Either that, or he actually believes what he writes. I don't know what's worse.

UPDATE: A little bit of clarification regarding Lilek's post, for those who need it (you know who you are).

He's commenting on the lack of condemnation (or meaningful condemnation) of the Berg murder, by mainstream, non-fundamentalist Islam. It's a pattern that's continued since Al Qaeda were first identified as being behind the 9/11 attacks. Perfunctory words of sympathy, but..

"But where are the rallies and marches outside the Saudi embassies demanding an end to funding extremism?"
It seems more and more apparent that mainstream Islam refuses to take sides in the War on Terror. Since Al Qaeda and those of their ilk preach a perversion of modern Islam you'd think there'd be more protests, more calls for these "infidels" of Islam to be shunned. But that hasn't happened. Maybe Muslims are hedging their bets, waiting to see which way the tide turns.

Lileks acknowledges that the US has the power to cripple Islam in a few swift strokes. It could (meaning, it has the ability) to destroy Mecca, to destroy Syria, to destroy Saudi Arabia, to destroy Iran. But it won't, obviously, as a first strike and the enemy knows that.

"But it would be a crime greater than the crime that provoked such an act, and in the end that would stay our hand. They know we won’t do it.
Then he poses (are you listening?) a situation that would force a lot of fence-sitters to choose sides: the loss of an American city to a terrorist nuclear device:

There is another path, of course. Simply put: if a US city is nuked, the US will have to nuke someone, or let it stand that the United States can lose a city without cost to the other side. Defining “the other side” would be difficult, of course – do you erase Tehran to punish the mullahs? Make a crater out of Riyahd? These are exactly the sort of decisions we never want to make. But let’s say it happens. Baltimore: fire and wind. Gone. That horrible day would clarify things once and for all. It’s one thing for someone in a distant city to cheer the fall of two skyscrapers: from a distance, it looks like a bloody nose. But erasing a city is a different matter.
Everyone will have to choose sides. That would be one possible beginning of the end of this war."
This hypothetical scenario is but one of several others he supposes could happen to polarize the world Islamic opinion, but hopefully the changes are just happening where we can't see them:

" A minimal-casualty defeat of the Islamists will require the help of Islam. I'd like to think that will happen on its own, without some exterior catastrophe to force the issue."
So there it is. Understand?

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