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CAIR responds to Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has issued a statement regarding the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” urging for tolerance on both sides.

In the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, God states: “Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance.” (16:125)

Another verse tells the prophet to “show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” (7:199)

This is the guidance Muslims should follow as they express concern about an insulting depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, or of any other prophet of God.

Instead of reacting negatively to the bigoted call to support “Draw Muhammad Day,” American Muslims — and Muslims worldwide — should use that and every other day as an opportunity to reach out to people of other faiths and beliefs to build bridges of understanding and respect.

The best and most productive response to bigoted campaigns like “Draw Muhammad Day” is more communication, not less communication — including not restricting the free flow of ideas with measures like banning Facebook.

Read the whole thing.

Community Comments

#1 Jeff Darcy
May/20/2010
@ 11:16 am

Good for CAIR . Isn’t draw Muhammed Day just another name for
Hate crime day or Bigot day?

#2 Jason Robinson
May/20/2010
@ 1:50 pm

Wasn’t aware drawing Mohammed was a “crime”. Unless, of course, you live in an Islamic state. Which most of us DON’T.

And simply drawing Mohammed isn’t a reflection of “hate,” or “bigotry” either, unless you consider any drawing, painting or sculpture of Jesus an act of “hate” and “bigotry,” as well, regardless of context.

Amazing that a ‘site called “The Daily Cartoonist” is so silent about this.

#3 Ted Rall
May/20/2010
@ 2:48 pm

@Jason: This was discussed at length when the idea came up originally.

#4 Jason Robinson
May/20/2010
@ 3:15 pm

Is there a link showing where this is, Ted, because I’d love to read it?

Just curious… Are ANY political cartoonists going to do any actual ? I don’t know ? CARTOONS regarding this subject?

Because it strikes at the very heart of what a cartoonist, or ANY analyst of world/political/social/religious issues, is supposed to do… to honestly comment on what’s happening, not stifle their opinions ? and the discussion at large ? out of fear of reprisal.

#5 Tom Wood
May/20/2010
@ 4:23 pm

I think Ted may be referring to this article: Draw Mohammed Day Cartoonist Pulls Support

In the left column of the Home page under each article is the Section it is filed in. Click on that and you get a listing. The articles with dozens of comments are the ones that got a lot of discussion.

I’m not as well known as a lot of the people here, but I did a cartoon for today:

graven images

#6 Art Dawson
May/20/2010
@ 6:28 pm

To many Christians, Muslems and Jews…Mohammad stands for something good and right with the world. Draw Mohammad Day was a really bad joke. I say, find another way to get artistic recognition!

#7 Peter Kay
May/20/2010
@ 10:20 pm

“To many Christians, Muslems and Jews?Mohammad stands for something good and right with the world”

really? really? sure fooled me I didn’t realize that Christians and Jews believe that Mohammad stands for something good and right

#8 Jeff Darcy
May/20/2010
@ 10:53 pm

Jason, I don’t know if that draw Mohammed web page is still up but if it is you might want to check it out. The cartoons I saw posted on it smacked of bigotry and hate crimes to my eyes. If I submitted something like that to a major daily paper not only would they not be published I would fully expect to be fired for violating papers standards on diversity and character.

#9 Ted Rall
May/21/2010
@ 7:21 am

What rubs me the wrong way about EDM Day+1 is the idea of pissing off Muslims simply for the fun of it. Don’t get me wrong–my inner Situationist/Malcolm MacLaren/teenager loves the idea of poking sticks into the eyes of any and all belief systems. But as an adult and supposed professional cartoonist, the standard is higher.

Like most of my colleagues, I am *willing* to risk anger and even death threats in the service of a satirical purpose. In my case, I frequently risk angering soldiers and their fans because I think it’s important to poke holes in the militarism that dominates our culture. But I wouldn’t just pick a target–the Amish! they don’t like computers!–just for the hell of it.

The other problem for me is that good cartoons question the status quo. They oppose those in power. Well, these days in America, Muslims are a beleaguered minority. Tens of thousands of them were rounded and literally disappeared after 9/11, never to be heard from again. For all we know, we’ll find them in some pit in the Midwest someday. They’ve been tortured at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and Bagram by our government. They get beaten up and yelled at. No Muslim could be elected president (despite what the Tea Party says).

It just seems weird to pick on people who are already being picked on. Not to mention evil.

#10 Tom Wood
May/21/2010
@ 7:43 am

@Ted – The world is small enough on the interwebs that the EDM Day event has a global reach. It wasn’t for American Muslims anyway. It was for the extremists in other parts of the world more than anything.

And it worked! Pakistan shut down Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Wikipedia because:

The ruling demonstrated the power of hard-line Islamic groups in Pakistan. Although they rarely garner many votes in elections and represent a minority of this country?s population, the groups are often able to impose their will on the more peaceful majority by claiming a defense of Islam.

The more often they do that now the more often normal people will see fundamentalism for the idiocy that it is. There should be more events like EDM Day to keep up the pressure.

#11 babar rind
May/21/2010
@ 7:48 am

i being a muslim will totally disagree with you guys because this is really hurting muslim sentiments.
muslims wouldn’t draw any funny pictures of jesus .jesus was also a prophet in islam and we respect him equally.
the terrorists who claim to be muslims are not actually muslims because what they are doing is totally against the teachings of islam.
I understand that freedom of speech is important but there is a limit that is to be taken care of.If muslims are offended by drawings of the prophet you people shouldn’t do that for the purpose of comedy.
thats all i’d like to say please dont take it in any negative way.
peace out

#12 babar rind
May/21/2010
@ 7:53 am

i totally disagree with tom wood
there shouldn’t be any events like this in the future because it really affects the normal muslims .
i live in pakistan and it is modern state
and no extremists are ruling here .
most of the oposition to this group was from the normal muslims and btw there is no diffirence between american muslims and pakistani muslims
the americans and the west have totally different picture of the pakistanis.
peace out

#13 Dave Stephens
May/21/2010
@ 12:48 pm

Normal Muslims are against this. Normal American Muslims as well. I believe you. Even though only the extremist Muslims get ticked off, go crazy, and riot in the streets and kill people, the normal Muslims are ticked off, too… So it’s not a situation like Tom Wood said, where the extremists push their concepts on the majority, rather it is a situation where all Muslims are united in their disgust and some Muslims act out in barbaric, sometimes deadly ways. But you are also saying those knuckle dragging idiots who kill are NOT actually Muslims. I’ll buy that, that makes sense. But you do realize that these crazy people still call themselves Muslims, still preach their crazy version of the Koran, still shout, “Allah Akbar” every time one of their bombs goes off and slaughters people and still claim their murders are inspired and approved by Mohammed, right? So these extremists are a horrible example of your religion of peace, you gotta admit. And it doesn’t matter that they aren’t “really” Muslims – they say they are and I don’t seem to see a united front of “real” Muslims denouncing them OR, more importantly, SHUTTING DOWN where they preach this crap, which I’d think would be priority NUMBER ONE in countries that currently allow such hatred preached. Seriously, is there a movement in Pakistan to shut down Mosques that allow hatred against Jews to be preached? Hatred against America to be preached? Is there any hope of such a movement gaining strength? Until that day, it is my belief that the crazy knuckle-dragging extremists will continue to GAIN in numbers, GAIN in strength and kill more and more people all over the world. And believe me, the extremists gain strength ONLY at the cost of Muslim respect worldwide. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t allow scumbags to take over your religion.

Tell me some good news – tell me that there is a strong, government-supported movement in Pakistan to crush these monsters. Tell me it’s strong and growing stronger. I’d love to hear about it.

#14 Tom Wood
May/21/2010
@ 12:57 pm

So it?s not a situation like Tom Wood said, where the extremists push their concepts on the majority…

@Dave – I wasn’t making the assertion, I was quoting from here:

Pakistan expands ban to YouTube Wikipedia and Flickr

If that is wrong, then it’s the New York Times getting it wrong.

#15 Babar rind
May/21/2010
@ 1:56 pm

Dave stephens I like you Mann the way you talk!
Pakistan is democratic nation.There are no mosques in urban Pakistan where hatred to America Is taught.Being a practicing Muslim I go for my prayers to mosques and they preech nothing but peace.The extremists themselves have attacked on mosques and killed slot of innocent Muslim children and adults.Now you honestly tell me if a person attacks a church kills alot of Christians who were there just for the mere sake of praying an that same man goes to a church next day and prays .Would you believe he is a christian no matter whatever he says.
in mosques ,not actually mosques but some kind of places in far north west of pakistan terrorism is taught in places near the border to Afghanistan which has hatred for America because the CIA made taliban who destroyed their country and families.In urban Pakistan the people and the youth like me idolize americans an want to be like them.You might know that we pakistanis and Indians are pretty good at computers,in the medical fields or engineering.we couldn’t have been this if we here were dominated by extremists.if we were taught hatred towards USA we wouldn’t come to study to USA or seek jobs I’m America
peace out

#16 Babar rind
May/21/2010
@ 2:00 pm

In pakistan we also do comedy and make cartoons about politics and stuff but we never make fun of any religon and we would appreciate if you people don’t make fun of ours :)
peace out

#17 Dave Stephens
May/21/2010
@ 2:32 pm

Thank you Babr. I appreciate that Pakistan is modern, urban and Democratic and the majority is certainly not extremist. Of course it is a tiny minority that does these insane crimes. But what I am asking you is this: is it a priority of your modern, urban and Democratic country to EXTERMINATE these fake Mosques and the evil preached there? In the far north west corner of Pakistan? And you say in the urban areas there is no hatred preached against Jews or Americans. I believe you. I’m sure that is the case. But as far as I have heard, Pakistan is currently LOSING to the Taliban there in the north (Swat valley) and Sharia law (as interpreted by the Taliban) is now in place and, correct me if I’m wrong, but Sharia law holds little in common with Democracy. You live in the nice part of Pakistan which, of course, is most of Pakistan. But if your army continues to lose both battles and land, don’t you think you will be affected negatively?

Case in point: Pakistanis used to vacation in the Swat Valley. It used to be part of your good Pakistan. Now it is part of your bad Pakistan. And it looks like it’ll stay “bad” for the foreseeable future…

Anyway, I look forward to visiting your beautiful country some day – I wish you the best! But I must say, I’m not ever going to visit countries where the government’s foundation is Sharia Law or anywhere folks think that stoning rape victims is a good thing. Or where teaching girls is forbidden. America is not to blame for those evil practices.

#18 Dave Stephens
May/21/2010
@ 4:08 pm

However, I’m definitely to blame for misspelling your name, Babar – my apologies. LOL

#19 Tom Wood
May/21/2010
@ 7:15 pm

According to this article, people in Pakistan are more upset about the censorship than they are about the cartoons. Go figure.

Pakistan Quashing Net Freedoms, Citizens Speaking Out

Some of Pakistan’s Twitterati predict the bans will be lifted in the coming days, and I hope they’re right.

And it will get harder and harder for the censors to do this each time.

#20 babar rind
May/22/2010
@ 12:15 am

yes dave your right.Its the first priority of our government to exterminate these things,and it is doing that .Thousands of pakistani soldiers have lost their lives fighting them.It is just a small period of time in which our country is going through a bad phase ,and hopefully we’ll overcome this.And btw Shariah law is not bad and stoning a rape victim was not according to the shariah.Swat valley has almost been recovered and people ARE planning their summer vacations there.
peace out

#21 Rob Tracy
May/22/2010
@ 1:26 am

Ted…did you… did you just suggest… no I guess you didn’t suggest… did you just literally state that the government… the American government rounded up “tens of thousands” of Muslims who “literally disappeared, never to be heard from again.”?

Honestly, dude that’s some serious hyperbole there.

I think the only thing we may find in a pit in the midwest is the massive gonads it took for you to much such an unsubstantiated claim.

Watch X-Files much?

We had a discussion on this topic over at Webcomics Community. http://tinyurl.com/36jdj66

I didn’t support it. I don’t see the need to offend an entire religion when my real goal is to offend that small portion of that religion that I find to be close minded, hostile, bigoted and decidedly evil. I’ll get to them in my own time and in my own way without the collateral damage.

Not drawing Mohammed is a tenet of a religion. Just like all religions have silly traditions, something like not drawing Mohammed is not to be taken as a rule that equals instant damnation. It is an allegory meant to show the hazards of deifying a man.

I can’t speak for the guy, but I’m betting if Jesus knew how much imagery of himself on the cross would be out there eventually he would have come up with the same rule on his own. If you want to believe in a monotheistic religion it’s not a bad lesson to adhere to.

Drawing Mohammed is akin to slipping shrimp into a Jew’s breakfast burrito or giving your Hindu buddy a Big Mac and telling him it’s a veggie burger. (or yes, making fun of the Amish for not using technology not that they would see that cartoon unless you printed it out and staple-gunned it to one of their barns badum-bump-crash). None of these acts are going to equal instant hell for them and since many of us eat that food its doubtful there will be any lasting health issues (although with the Big Mac you never know and there are always those pesky shellfish allergies). So why should they be so bothered by it?

Because who wants their belief system criticized by outsiders, that’s why.

But I don’t think turning them into the victims is the way to go either. As members of a religion they are all responsible for the way the religion is viewed. You don’t think the Catholics are embarrassed by the boytouchers in the Vatican? Don’t you think many of them are trying to do something about it?

The Muslims you seek to defend killed three thousand Americans on 9/11(including a bunch of Muslims), over four thousand more in Iraq (so far) and another thousand in Afghanistan. Not to mention the over ninety thousand casualties. Since then they have made how many more attempts to kill Americans in America? (the answer is quite a few).

And that’s just Americans. They’ve done as much or more damage to the rest of the world including their own people.

If you separate the Catholics from the rest of Christianity (and honestly how hard is that to do) they are the largest religion in the world. Put the Catholics and Protestants together and they are the second largest.

They are doing just fine on their own. They don’t need your help ; and they certainly don’t need your PR efforts. Not that they are going to see them the way they allow their more radical elements to control the flow of information anyway.

I expect to see The Daily Cartoonist on Pakistan’s blocked website list any moment now.

Personally what I would rather see than a “Lets Draw Mohammed Day” would be a slightly more convoluted “Hey let’s piss off all the radical, fundamentalist elements of Islam by doing cartoons about how they are shockingly close minded, sexist, book burning, women beating, freedom hating, power grabbing, blindly obeying, oppressive, corrupt, evil dickwads… day” That would be a project I would get behind.

#22 babar rind
May/22/2010
@ 2:15 am

yes rob tracy!
your right
instead of making fun of our prophet mohammad you should make fun of those terrorists which you are trying to offend.because the drawings of mohammad offends every muslim.

#23 babar rind
May/22/2010
@ 2:16 am

and all the muslims would surely join you in that project.i assure you that if not all, i will surely i am kind of a cartoonist my self.
peace out

#24 Ted Rall
May/22/2010
@ 7:51 am

@Rob: It’s not my fault that you don’t read newspapers. The New York Times reported extensively about the roundups during the months after 9/11. Many were at INS (now ICE) offices where Muslim men were asked to register, then arrested and disappeared. Have they been killed? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows. When the government acts secretly, it’s wise to assume the worst.

I love how ignorant people call the news “X-Files stuff.” Because the burden is on informed people now. Behold the idiocracy!

It’s also amazing how agitated you are about the Americans murdered by Muslims, who number as a fraction of one percent compared to the two million-plus Iraqis and Afghans murdered by US forces since 2001. All murder is reprehensible, but shouldn’t you be angrier about the murders–more numerous murders–committed by your own government?

#25 Alan Gardner
May/22/2010
@ 1:13 pm

@Rob Tracy:

I expect to see The Daily Cartoonist on Pakistan?s blocked website list any moment now.

The story regarding Pakistan was posted on Thursday. At the time of this comment post, it’s still on the homepage if you’d like to read it.

http://dailycartoonist.com/index.php/2010/05/20/pakistan-expands-ban-to-youtube-wikipedia-and-flickr/

#26 Ted Rall
May/22/2010
@ 1:42 pm

@Babar: I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I have traveled extensively in Pakistan and found anti-Americanism and Muslim fundamentalism to have widespread reach and popularity throughout the country.

To be sure, there is a modern and secular segment of society, which elected a woman premier while the US has yet to have a female president. But you can’t buy a beer anywhere in the country unless you’re a foreign tourist staying at a four-star hotel. Kids throw rocks at your car in the Northern Areas. Karachi has so many bombings it’s not even reported as news.

Pakistan is a country divided by cultural, religious and political chasms, with terrifying poverty.

There is a lot to admire there, but also much to fear, Which is also true, of course, of the United States.

#27 Rob Tracy
May/23/2010
@ 8:42 pm

@Alan – I had actually read that article before posting here. What I said about Pakistan blocking The Daily Cartoonist was a joke alluding to that story and the sad reality that pretty much anything related to Draw Mohammed Day is causing full force freakouts in even the “friendly” Muslim nations.

@Ted – Come on man. You know what they say about people who make assumptions right? You make an ass out of you and mumptions.

I may be mostly digital but I get around to the NYT and a few others via their electronic stuff.

Seriously though you’ve got your hands full on this one brother. I’d bow to your comic and newspaper knowledge as superior but on these issues I think I know what I’m talking about. I’m a Gulf War vet. I spent nine months in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and not at some port base by the water. I was infantry. I was out there in the sand with the camels and the people.

Back home immigration law was my day job (’till I got laid off thank you Republicans for killing McCain-Kennedy). I’m not a lawyer, just a paralegal/office manager with 2 pre-law degrees. But I’ve worked on thousands of cases and many of them were for Muslim clients (yes I know all about ICE, and USCIS and the NVC as well as a few other government agencies that have their fingers in the immigration pie).

And while I’m not a political wonk I did work for the McCain campaign here in CT in 2000 and we won him the only closed primary in the country. Before he went senile and reversed most of his stated positions in 2008. But whatever.

War, Ted, as someone who has been shot at on three continents, is not something I like to see anywhere. Of course I’m not happy about the deaths. On either side. I was appalled at what the Bush administration did in Iraq and I would gladly hand Bush and Cheney over to the Hague. They have it coming. And then some.

What you call roundups Ted was the government doing its job. It hadn’t been. All the 9/11 hijackers were in the country legally. They weren’t illegal aliens they hadn’t committed any crimes until they walked on those planes with weapons. Although for months they had been doing weird things beyond the scope of their visas and they should have been called on it. When the crap hit the fan the government quickly realized that many more sleeper agents like those on 9/11 could be in and around the country and they went after them to make sure they were here legally and deported all the ones they could. Basically getting the FBI to do ICE’s job (mainly because there is something like 400k illegals to every ICE investigator in this country due to our broken system… but that’s off topic).

You can call that racial profiling if you want. Or perhaps religious profiling I don’t know. But if their papers weren’t in order, they were doing something they shouldn’t have been or they weren’t supposed to be here the government didn’t do anything wrong in deporting them. Just to be sure.

I don’t think I’m ignorant Ted. I don’t think I’m part of the Idiocracy either although considering your reputation I’m just going to decide not to take that as an insult and move on. I DO however think that it is decidedly unwise to assume anything about any government. Governments, like corporations are machine beasts that use the blood of others to grease their wheels. They are without moral character by nature and therefore beyond accountability. I prefer dealing with people. And when it comes to people I like to think the best. But I assume nothing.

By assuming the government has disappeared a bunch of Muslims and then publicly stating it without any proof whatsoever you foolishly add another small voice to the chorus of people who believe that something like this IS happening. They in turn become the terrorists of tomorrow. Hoping to bring account for those assumed transgressions.

I’m not assuming you are wrong either, I’m asking you to prove it and if you can find an article for me with any actual cited proof of Muslims being rounded up, murdered by Uncle Sam and then buried in a hole in the Mid-West I’ll eat my words and maybe join you on the Jihad picket line. You go look. I’ll hold my breath.

I’m an American Ted. I love my country even if I don’t always love everything it does. I’m not happy about the deaths on either side of these wars but if I have to choose a side I choose my home. This shouldn’t be a big surprise. I don’t think more or less death is a basis for choosing what side you are on. If it’s all bad it’s all bad.

I agree that there is a great deal of Anti-American sentiment throughout the Muslim world (sorry Babar but as I’ve said previously… many Muslim clients… including Pakistanis and I know what they have told me). Don’t you agree that it is unwise to create more with hyperbole Ted?

At the very least if you do make it back to Afghanistan I would suggest you leave these types of sentiments in a locker at JFK. Foxholes and firebases are lonely, dangerous places and soldiers have long memories. Tell one of them who watched a brother get shot the day before that we should be angrier with the U.S. because more Muslims have died and I predict a very short visit for you. But I wouldn’t assume it. Maybe you will get lucky and end up with some philosophy majors.

#28 babar rind
May/24/2010
@ 4:43 am

@rob: i just wanted you to know that SOME muslims blame americans for their problems but I as mordern muslim dont.Being mordern does not mean that i dont follow my religon i do,and i would surely not support the idea of ‘EDM’day but i would for sure support a campaign like ‘every body draw funny taliban’ or something like that.we muslims do not make fun of any religon and we would greatly appreciate if you people didnt make fun of ours.
@ted:you are deffinetly right that is the same situation in pakistan as far as ive heard,i havent come accross these things alot but i would believe you ,and the news .pakistan is a muslim country and you wouldnt be allowed to share booze openely ,thats a different case but you can buy booze from wine shops which are not advertised openely ,because as a muslim society we can not stop any one from doing anything.You must have seen catholic churches and hindu temples all across pakistan and christians ,hindus and sikhs can practice their religon openely and there is no one who can stop them.That shows that pakistan is not under an extremist muslim rule,we are just a moderate muslim society .
peace out

#29 Ted Rall
May/24/2010
@ 9:40 am

@Babar: Certainly non-Muslims do practice their faiths in Pakistan. But there is serious tension for them, and occasional (and severe) violence. Religious minorities definitely feel scared. By the way, in the most of the Muslim world liquor is sold openly (Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc.). It’s kind of a mark of fundamentalism to embrace prohibition.

@Rob: Nice threats there. Thanks, can I have another? Just another reason American reporters are more scared of US forces than the Taliban. We have met the enemy, and he works for us.

Thanks, though, for admitting what I said was true: tens of thousands of Muslims were rounded up after 9/11 and disappeared, never to be heard from again. I never said they were dead. I just said “for all we know,” they might be dead. Not the same thing, not by a long shot, and you know it. I assume you’ll retract your “X-Files” wisecrack now?

A person of integrity is always more angry about his and his country’s sins than the offenses committed against him and his country. After all, we can control ourselves–and we should always strive to set the best possible example of behavior. Comparing ourselves to those whose behavior we deplore is a sign of moral depravity which has become all too common, particularly among right-wingers.

#30 Rob Tracy
May/24/2010
@ 5:50 pm

@Ted

All right. I give. You clearly can’t be taken seriously or spoken to rationally in any way. You are a master at twisting words though. I tip my hat to that. I think the only flaw in your performance is that anyone with an ounce of logic can see what you are doing. The fact that you can keep coming back over the top with more crazy claims and word twisting doesn’t change that. I’ll take one more stab but then I’m washing my hands of it.

I deny that I admitted anything you put forth. Frankly I think the only thing you’ve said so far that was true in fact was your name and after this little exchange even that is somewhat suspect. The rest of it is just hearsay, rumor and that old, oft wrong chestnut “common knowledge.”

I will not retract my X-Files comment. Suggesting a few thousand people who had their immigration status verified and in some cases were caught out of compliance and deported to their home nation is the same thing as saying tens of thousands of people were rounded up and literally disappeared is nuts. The two statements are miles apart and share little in common and even less in implication. Add to that your midwest hole comment and they bear no resemblance at all.

I didn’t threaten you. I gave you some advice that, a smart person concerned with their safety would be wise to heed. It was no more threatening than suggesting you wear high, thick boots if you were going to go into snake country. A precautionary measure. Go over there to find a story and tell it truthfully free of agenda and I doubt you will have anything to worry about. Start bandying about your politics and trying to convince guys getting shot at every day that they should feel guilty because of the evil empire they serve and that’s like going into rattler country barefoot with little cat toy mice taped to your ankles.

I’m sure any time you want to hang out with the Taliban instead of the US Forces they will be happy to let you go.

When I was on the DMZ in Korea I had a KATUSA in my squad who used to complain that America was evil and we were keeping him apart from his North Korean brothers. So one night on patrol we were twenty feet from the three foot high chicken wire fence that represented the middle of the DMZ and I said to him “there’s North Korea Nam. You wanted to be with your North Korean brothers this is your chance. I won’t stop you. Go ahead. Join them. Just don’t blame me or the US if it isn’t all you hoped it was going to be.”

Needless to say he didn’t have the stones to go through with it. Perhaps knowing the last guy who defected was found floating down the Imjim River after the North had milked him for every ounce of propaganda value might have colored his decision. I don’t know.

Something you might want to keep in mind Ted is that a soldier is not a free man. He is the legal property of the government and must follow all legal orders. Morality only comes into account when the orders are illegal and most 19 year olds don’t have a very firm grasp of the UCMJ. They do what they are told to do and they need to believe they are doing the right thing. If they aren’t it’s up to the intrepid 4th estate (such as it is these days) to inform (with facts Ted not nonsense and hyperbole) those of us who are free so we can change the civilian leadership. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

That last paragraph of yours is all opinion and nonsense. There’s plenty of blame for the way the world works to spread around. The US isn’t even 250 years old yet. Many of the political and religious divisiveness around the planet goes back centuries or more. Christians were murdering Muslims and vice versa back before the vikings had a boat big enough to row to England let alone Canada.

I don’t even recall comparing us to Al Qaeda but if you want to we can. Last time I checked we don’t use guerrilla war tactics. We don’t target civilian populations, in fact, we do more to avoid collateral damage than any military that has ever existed in the history of mankind. Even if I were to concede that we have tortured some prisoners (which it seems we may have done) we haven’t released any videos to the internet of us beheading any and the vast majority of prisoners are treated humanely even if unfairly (I won’t stipulate to what I don’t know for sure but I’ll concede it for the sake of argument).

We may have slipped down the slippery slope a bit Ted but we’re still firmly on the high ground. If you want to feel bad about that slip that’s ok. I kinda do too. But that doesn’t change my belief that regardless of how we went about it there are some evil people in the world who need to be hunted to the ground or they will do as much damage as they can and hurt anyone they need to in the process for no other reason than they believe their God tells them to.

And if that smacks of the end justifying the means to you then so be it. I can live with that. It isn’t ideal but I can live with it. And my integrity can live with it too.

And as for my politics I really don’t think the right wingers would like me too much. I test fiscally conservative, socially liberal with a heavy on the Libertarian but even more so for states rights. I believe in the necessity of judicial activism to serve as a national conscience that is beyond the political influence (hopefully), I’m very anti-abortion but I don’t believe the government can tell anyone what they can or have to do with their bodies so I’m basically for education and free condoms like a madman. I believe we should have secured our borders better a long time ago but I also think we need to show compassion and a path to legality for the millions already among us. And I don’t see any reason why gay people can’t get married. Legal unions at least. Frankly why can’t they be as miserable as everyone else?

I could go on but I think you can see where I would run into trouble with the elephants in the room. Also I can’t stand Palin, Beck, Limbaugh or any of the other prominent wingers right now. They are just as bad in distorting things as you are. Only they go the other direction. And never the ‘tween shall meet.

#31 Dave Stephens
May/24/2010
@ 9:26 pm

Actually, I heard the twain met, shared an STD, and are now in counseling…

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