It is almost two weeks since a team of Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden a mere 20 or so miles from the capital of Pakistan. Here are some thoughts in no particular order on the current state of affairs.
Oh That McCain is Such a RINO
Just when decent human beings are ready to totally give up on Senator John McCain, he goes and does something honorable. On the floor of the Senate on Thursday, McCain repeated information obtained from CIA Director Leon Panetta. Various Bush administration alumni have been beating their chest about the role “enhanced interrogation techniques”, i.e. torture, played in the capture of Osama bin Laden. Sadly, even folks from the White House have been ambiguous about this role, including statements from NSA Tom Donilon suggesting that any torture was part of a grand mosaic of techniques leading to Osama. McCain, long an opponent of torture, having been a victim of it while in Vietnam, set the record straight stating definitively that the trail to Osama did not begin with any enhanced interrogation by Americans. In fact, the interrogation that identified the courier who eventually led to bin Laden, was not even conducted by Americans.
Of course, we know that McCain couldn’t possibly have any credibility on this subject since he is and always has been just a RINO. Any true red-blooded American knows that if you want to get a Muslim terrorist to talk, you torture him.
Kill the Man, Then Embarrass Him
I don’t know about you but I find it a little odd after you kill a guy to then go on a campaign of humiliation. In the aftermath of bin Laden’s death, we’ve seen an old weathered bin Laden pathetically watching himself in his glory days on TV, drinking Viagra juice and loading up on Coca Cola and pornography. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for any sort of “respect for the dead” regarding bin Laden but it seems to me once you shoot a guy in the eye, subsequent attempts at humiliation are anticlimactic.
Pakistan Taliban Avenges bin Laden Murder by Killing … Muslims
This week over 80 people were killed when suicide bombers struck a paramilitary center in Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban took credit for the incident claiming it was revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden. As of this writing, there is no proof of any connection between the bombers and the Taliban but if we are to take their word for it, it just underscores what many of us have known for a while now. Far more Muslims have been killed by al Qaeda and its sympathizers than any other group of people. It makes you wonder why more decent Muslims do not decry the terrorist behavior of their radical brothers.
The Ultimate Insult: Treating Muslims like the Mentally Ill
I had an epiphany of sorts this week while watching my usual dose of MSNBC. Since his murder, a debate has raged about whether or not to release photos of the dead bin Laden. Proponents of releasing the photos say this will send a message to the world that you don’t mess with the United States of America. Opponents of the release say it will inflame the Muslim world and feed anti-American propaganda. As someone who vociferously condemned the behavior of Pastor Terry Jones when he burned a Koran recently, I have had a bit of an about-face.
There is only one good reason not to release the photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse and that is simple common decency. The man still has relatives in several countries who have never threatened the United States, many of whom have disowned him. They do not deserve to see their relative with a gaping head wound. It also lowers us to the level of ancient Roman attendees at the Coliseum to engage in such blood-lust.
One reason that should be dismissed however is that these photos will inflame the Muslim world. For some reason, listening to my favorite liberal pundits on MSNBC this week, I thought, wait a minute, if we substituted black for Muslim, how would I feel about blacks being portrayed as savages who cannot control their behavior and will be set off into crazed violence by a photograph? Indeed I have had a reader or two in an attempt to bait me, suggest that if Obama loses the 2012 election there will be riots in the streets, carrying the not so subtle suggestion that blacks cannot control themselves.
The time has come to stop treating Muslims like the mentally ill and make them accountable for their behavior. Is it impolite to burn a Koran? Damn straight it is. Is it proper provocation for the insulted to go on a killing spree? Not just no, but hell no! I am beginning to find it fascinating that decent Muslims seem to stand by and not be offended by a media that portrays them as hair-trigger lunatics. I think we have moved from respect and consideration to condescension. Do we think Muslims are somehow lesser than we? We can control our behavior and they can’t? When a mentally disturbed person or a mentally disabled person commits a violent crime we usually give him a pass of sorts. It is what the mental deficiency, insanity defense is all about. Are we now really saying that Muslims are mentally disturbed? Isn’t this a far greater insult than a disrespectful caricature of Mohammed?
I think in the name of ending Islamaphobia, it’s high time we stop referring to “radical Muslims” and start calling them what they are, common criminals. We should feel free to express ourselves, no matter how offensively, and expect lively debate and possibly condemnation to ensue. When the insulted party turns to violence, he loses his status as righteous victim and earns the title of thug.