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Draw Mohammed Day cartoonist pulls support

Molly Norris created a cartoon in support of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker depicting household items (tea cup, spool of thread, pasta box, etc.) as items stating that they were the real Prophet Mohammed – a spoof of the South Park episode that depicted Mohammed in a bear suit. The cartoon suggested a “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” The cartoon quickly went viral; May 20th has been set aside as “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!;” and a website real website cacah.org (pronouced ‘ca ca’) has been created.

Now Molly is distancing herself from the cause she unintentionally created. On her website Molly pulled the original cartoon and posted the following message:

I make cartoons about current, cultural events. I made a cartoon of a fictional ‘poster’ entitled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” with a nonexistent group’s name – Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor – drawn on the cartoon. It was in specific response to the recent censoring of a South Park episode, a desire to bring home the importance of the first amendment. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any ‘group’. This particular cartoon has struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for.

Personally I can feel afraid of Muslims because I really have no idea if in their hearts they hate non-Muslims. There are so many interpretations of the religion that I hear told – sometimes it is a very extreme translation (that’s the scary part, the radicals that believe that Westerners should die), then at other times it sounds more peaceful.

I hope for the sake of this country that moderate Muslims will speak out with everyone else against any violent members of that or any other religion. That way I would know that there is a difference. Maybe this cartoon I made, this fictional poster of “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” had such a wildfire effect because it is finally time for Muslims and non-Muslims to understand one another more.

According to Comics Riff, a Facebook page has been created to spread the word about the date. As of this writing it has over 2,400 “attendees.” A similar “Ban Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” now has over 1,600.

Community Comments

#1 Matt Bors
April/27/2010
@ 1:34 pm

“I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral.”

What – she wanted to be ignored? What a lame excuse for the same cowardice she accused the media of in the first place.

I drew a simple chair labeled “Muhammed” years ago. It’s not particularly original or brave to do these things. And you can see from the cacah blog, most postings are just that: pieces of crap. How juvenile and embarrassing – even more so now that Molly Norris has completely reversed herself and admitted fear and ignorance of an entire group of people, 1 billion in number.

#2 Stephanie McMillan
April/27/2010
@ 2:31 pm

“I hope for the sake of this country that moderate Muslims will speak out with everyone else against any violent members of that or any other religion.”

Doesn’t she read? What do moderate Muslims have to do to get her attention, stand on their heads and dance?

She should be embarrassed about everything about this whole episode.

#3 August J. Pollak
April/27/2010
@ 2:39 pm

?I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral.?

Yeah, joining Matt in laughing at this BS. Exactly what part of “let’s coordinate a time for everybody to do something” isn’t “viral?”

And as Stephanie (and for that matter anyone with a brain) noted, most Muslims aren’t actually angry terrorists.(gasp! Really?) The second graf of the quoted article pretty much shines a light on Norris’ own cultural ignorance amidst the simplicity of her attention stunt.

So, basically, comments #1 and #2 here point out that Molly Norris has apparently never picked up a dictionary or a newspaper, respectively.

#4 Ted Rall
April/27/2010
@ 3:12 pm

What goofy thinking.

*Any* cartoon can get you killed. Fearing all Muslims due to the actions of a few firebrands is no less bigoted than fearing all black people because you got mugged by one.

#5 Dave Stephens
April/27/2010
@ 4:05 pm

A few? As in, not too many? As in, um, I dunno, what? A couple hundred million that will STONE to DEATH a rape victim? Is that what you mean by “a few firebrands?” I don’t fear Muslims, but I do, rationally and logically, fear the ones that’ll stone to death a rape victim. Probably, you should too, but do you?

Do you fear Sharia Law? As a political cartoonist, under Sharia Law, you would essentially be tool of the State at best, in jail or dead at worst. Around 200 million Muslims on the planet are under Sharia Law, i.e., Islam is the state religion. I’d guess there might be another 200 million or so that have various aspects of Sharia Law enforced.

That’s a whole heckuva lot of firebrands, hm? Again, I’m not afraid of Muslims in general, just the hundreds of millions that would slit my throat for owning a Bible. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

#6 Charles Brubaker
April/27/2010
@ 4:23 pm

This is why I don’t believe in organized religion.

And I can’t help but be glad that I videotaped both episodes, seeing that Comedy Central pulled all the reruns immediately after the second part aired.

#7 Tom Wood
April/27/2010
@ 4:42 pm

The Jesus and Mo archives go back to 2005. Still alive. They use the strip to make informed comment rather than gross depictions. I was planning something similar, but I really don’t want to be lumped in with the ugly stuff people are putting on that Facebook page.

#8 August J. Pollak
April/27/2010
@ 5:00 pm

“Again, I?m not afraid of Muslims in general, just the hundreds of millions that would slit my throat for owning a Bible. Seems reasonable, doesn?t it?”

Umm, no. In fact, try actually saying that out loud and listening very astutely to how unreasonable that sounds. If you honestly believe that 400 million people actively want to kill you because they are obligated to do so by their religious beliefs, then you’re at worst a racist and at best mind-numbingly ignorant.

#9 Tom Wood
April/27/2010
@ 5:26 pm

Pollack – Your cartoon on this subject makes a valid point. But, as Trey and Matt said in their Boing Boing interview, we’ve ceded some ground here by backing down. I’m not sure how to regain it without putting people in jeopardy.

#10 Tom Wood
April/27/2010
@ 5:26 pm

Ack – Pollak, sorry!

#11 Dave Stephens
April/27/2010
@ 8:05 pm

Hey, August, I’ll say it again, only slowly this time – you can take notes (insert winky emoticon here). Muslims who support killing women who are victims of rape – I am rationally and logically fearful of these monstrous Muslims. They are scum. They are insane. Christians who believe this are scum, too. White folk who believe this are also scum, and so on, ad infinitum. You throw around the word, ‘racist’ like it’s a catch-all phrase. Think all cultural practices are equal? Think again.

#12 Rich Diesslin
April/27/2010
@ 9:16 pm

I think Molly came to the realization that she was in way over her head once the cartoon became so well known. The intent may have been a good one, but you know the reaction to it won’t be. I think that is quite natural and I understand her desire to back-peddle. Those calling her a coward … where is your cartoon(s)? Very few people want that kind of spotlight.

#13 August J. Pollak
April/27/2010
@ 10:25 pm

Hey Dave, I’ll say it exactly the same because nothing changed. If you honestly believe that 400 million people actively want to kill you because they are obligated to do so by their religious beliefs, then you?re at worst a racist and at best mind-numbingly ignorant.

You said you’re afraid of “hundreds of millions of Muslims.” You have serious problems. Frowny face emoticon.

#14 Dave Stephens
April/28/2010
@ 2:33 am

Did you read what I wrote? I said I’m afraid of Muslim scum. And Christian scum. And any flavor scum crazy enough to stone a person to death. I’m not afraid of good Muslims or good Christians or good folk of any persuasion.

So is it racist to hate scum? If so, gosh, that’s a lot of racists, isn’t it? -sarcasm off-

#15 Ted Rall
April/28/2010
@ 5:39 am

Watching Dave try to spar with August is like watching a mouse take on a tiger. Pathetic and sad, yet amusing.

Aside from racism and bigotry, Dave, you’re guilty of an intellectual fallacy: extrapolating explicit consent from tacit consent.

Yes, hundreds of millions of Muslims live under Sharia law. Just as hundreds of millions of Americans live under US law. But how many Americans approve of every law, every policy, every politician in the US? A fraction. Same thing in the Muslim world.

I hate to pull out the “I’ve been there” argument but, well, I’ve been to countries that have Sharia law. There you will find many, many people who lead more secular lives than the average American. Most of them, actually.

Perhaps Muslims should be condemned for not protesting against censorship. But then Americans should be condemned for the countless crimes of their government as well.

#16 August J. Pollak
April/28/2010
@ 5:55 am

“Did you read what I wrote? I said I?m afraid of Muslim scum. ”

No. You said you’re afraid of hundreds of millions of Muslims. In fact, I’ve re-pasted what you wrote three times now. You are desperately trying to avoid acknowledging this and I think everyone here knows why, yourself included.

#17 Tom Wood
April/28/2010
@ 8:15 am

I hate to pull out the ?I?ve been there? argument but, well, I?ve been to countries that have Sharia law. There you will find many, many people who lead more secular lives than the average American. Most of them, actually.

That’s interesting to know. Conventional wisdom is that Islam needs to have its Reformation, in part to separate church and state. Your observation is that that has already happened in actual practice in the places you have visited. In those places there won’t be any internal pressure for a Reformation, but do you think the Muslim world as a whole is still in need of such a radical change?

#18 Dan Bielinski
April/28/2010
@ 8:51 am

mercy…

#19 August J. Pollak
April/28/2010
@ 9:15 am

Conventional wisdom is that Islam needs to have its Reformation, in part to separate church and state.

I don’t understand this statement. “Conventional wisdom?” Whose?

There are about 40 or so other majority-Muslim countries that are not Iran or Saudi Arabia. Most of them do not enforce a state religion and many are fully secular. To say Islam as a singular entity needs “reformation” as if it’s flawed any more or less than any other religion is woefully dismissive.

Sorry, but “conventional wisdom” sounds like “some people say…” and is equally disingenuous.

#20 Tom Wood
April/28/2010
@ 9:49 am

Google ‘Islamic Reformation’ or any version of the term. Heck, just type in ‘islamic refor’ and Google will suggest lots of terms that are common searches. The discussion has been out there for a long time.

#21 Derf Backderf
April/28/2010
@ 12:44 pm

It’s more fun to draw cartoons about Catholics anyways.

#22 Ted Rall
April/28/2010
@ 2:26 pm

I think most Muslims, from radical to secular, would say that what Islam needs is a restoration of the caliphate. When it was abolished in (I think 1920?), Islam lost its equivalent of a Pope: a guiding centralized authority recognized by all Muslims as able to rule on doctrinal disputes.

#23 Dave Stephens
April/28/2010
@ 4:09 pm

So, in the past, the caliphate was able to say to the nutters, “Lay down your stones – that’s wrong!” It may not be a “Reformation,” but it’s obviously needed. And I’ve always thought most Muslims agreed. However, with Sharia law, there is not a lot of voting going on in that 200 million plus with Sharia law. Sharia Law and dictatorships have a lot in common.

#24 Tom Pappalardo
April/28/2010
@ 8:46 pm

Anyone know how old she is? I would cut her some slack if she was young and felt like she was in over her head.

#25 Ted Rall
April/29/2010
@ 7:20 am

Actually, Sharia law is kind of the opposite of dictatorship. There’s no Constitution. The Koran IS the Constitution. When a religious text needs to be interpreted into laws and rulings, there’s a lot of leeway…that’s one of the things local rulers like about Sharia. It lets them say Sharia is whatever they want it to be. For example, “honor killings” in Pakistan are deemed to be part of Sharia, whereas most religious scholars believe they violate the Koran. In fact, they are a local tribal tradition.

Anyway, dictatorship is bad and Sharia is bad but they are not the same.

#26 brent childerhose
April/29/2010
@ 8:49 am

i’m scared of religion across the board — and way more muslims were killed by george bush’s acts of faith than they ever killed of us. that said, i’m about to type what may or may not be a winking mohammed: ;)

#27 Bill Hinds
April/29/2010
@ 9:17 am

Ted Rall may know the answer to this.
Aren’t Muslims not allowed to depict Mohammed?
Christianity has a long history of depicting Jesus and God, so it’s no big deal.
I have no problem with respecting the Muslims belief about that, even without the threat of my head being lopped off.
I’m against stoning, of course.
Actually I’m against all capital punishment?unless someone harms my family. Then they’re dead.

#28 JP Trostle
April/29/2010
@ 11:19 am

> Islam needs to have its Reformation

Sure, why not — it worked SO well for Christianity. And smoothly to boot!

#29 Ted Rall
April/29/2010
@ 1:28 pm

@Bill: “Ted Rall may know the answer to this.
Aren?t Muslims not allowed to depict Mohammed?
Christianity has a long history of depicting Jesus and God, so it?s no big deal.”

Well, there was the small matter of the iconoclastic controversy in Eastern Orthodoxy. But anyway…

Generally, yes, Muslims disapprove of any drawn or painted image of the Prophet. It doesn’t matter if a non-Muslim artist does it. More precisely, it depends. Many secular Muslims don’t care, many others disapprove but wouldn’t go so far as to punish someone who violated this stricture. And of course fundamentalists feel differently. There are hundreds of stripe of Muslims, as there are of Christians.

#30 Abell Smith
April/29/2010
@ 3:43 pm

…aaand she’s in the WaPo today:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/27/AR2010042703813.html

Christ, if I’d known media outlets were handing out so much free publicity to mediocre cartoonists from Seattle that nobody’s ever heard of, I’d ‘a been on that train years ago…

#31 Carl Moore
April/29/2010
@ 5:46 pm

So how many brave political cartoonists out there are willing to participate in the “Draw Mohammed Cartoon Day”? Why isn’t this a good idea? If the Ku Klux Klan were threatening cartoonists with physical violence, would anyone hesitate to make fun of ’em? We probably wouldn’t because we know they’re not likely to actually do anything. But we fear the Muslim nutcases would, don’t we? So this is a bad idea, right? Hmmm… Are they winning with their campaign of fear?

#32 Ted Rall
April/29/2010
@ 6:04 pm

It isn’t a good idea because making fun of Muslims is *not* brave for a country that has jailed or murdered thousands of Muslims, murdered more than two million Muslims, and is currently occupying two Muslim nations that never did us harm.

Real bravery would be coming out against the US military. And the warmongers in Congress. And the warmonger Obama (from a left-wing perspective). Real bravery requires taking risks. Americans making fun of Mohammed risk nothing. Only Muslims mocking the Prophet risk something.

#33 Tom Wood
April/29/2010
@ 6:49 pm

I feel like I should do one but there’s no bravery involved. I’m leaning toward a riff on Jesus and Mo with the theme being the fading of the relevance of religion (and its icons) in general. Which works right into my plans to dominate that huge market for atheist cartoons…

Now, if you want to see somebody *really* rip on a religious icon… (NSFW)

Tim Minchin Serenades the Pope

And the pope can’t come and behead him, which is part of the point of all this too.

#34 Dave Stephens
April/29/2010
@ 8:29 pm

Sooooo… We are invaders who murder Muslims so we can’t draw the prophet, correct? If we draw a certain person some Muslims say we shouldn’t, then the risk, according to you, is not much of a risk. No big deal.

So the non-American film-maker Theo van Gogh was decapitated because his film featured Mohammed – was HE taking a risk?

Seem to me that he risked his life and died. Sounds like a big deal to me…

#35 Mike Peterson
April/30/2010
@ 4:38 am

I think you have to decide (A) what’s worth risking your life over and (B) what’s worth offending innocent people over.

As noted earlier, it is a tradition in Islam not to depict the Prophet. Actually, there is a tradition not to depict any living being, but it’s not universal in Islam, which provides a clue as to the origin of some Oriental carpets and other Muslim art. But the tradition on the Prophet is widespread enough that even moderate Muslims find it unsettling and a bit offensive. Think of it as like making vulgar jokes about the Virgin birth in Christianity. You don’t have to be a Bible-thumper to consider it in poor taste. So you can make the joke to offend the conservative Christians, but know that you’ll also offend a large number of moderates.

At a time when moderate Muslims are being insulted and attacked by idiots who can’t differentiate them from the radicals, do they need to be attacked by idiots who presumably can?

And then there is the issue of whether it’s worth taking a whizz on the motorcycles lined up outside the bar, just to prove that you can. That ain’t what I want to die over. Your mileage may vary, of course.

#36 rick stromoski
April/30/2010
@ 4:55 am

>>>So the non-American film-maker Theo van Gogh was decapitated because his film featured Mohammed ? was HE taking a risk?

Just for the record…

Theo Van Gogh was Dutch.

He was stabbed in the heart with a note attached to the protruding knife. He was NOT decapitated.

His Film “Submission” did NOT feature Mohammed. It was a critique of how Islam subjugates women and featured a nude Islamic woman narrator.

#37 Shane Davis
April/30/2010
@ 7:26 am

I’m not trying to drag race the extreme fringes of any religion against each other, but frankly trying to equivicate extremist Islam with any other religion is nigh impossible and not credible.

When the twin towers fell, thousands and thousands of Middle Easterners flooded their streets and cheered. What kind of people would cheer the deaths of innocent folk? Who puts a bomb on their own 10 year old child and sends them onto a bus to kill innocent civilians? Who holds down a handcuffed, bound prisioner and saws their head off with a knife?

When “Hamlet 2” came out, no one stabbed Andrew Flemming through the heart, nor did “The Da Vinci Code” or “Dogma” result in motivated assassins making and attempting to follow through on death threats nor were any actors, directors or producers forced to live for years under protective care.

Maybe radical Islam is a very small fraction of Muslims world wide. I don’t know. But it is there, and it is a very serious, deadly serious issue – those animals are berserkers.

#38 Peter Allende
April/30/2010
@ 8:56 am

@Bill: ?Ted Rall may know the answer to this.
Aren?t Muslims not allowed to depict Mohammed?
Christianity has a long history of depicting Jesus and God, so it?s no big deal.?

Woe be unto him who seeks the religious counsel from an avowed atheist.

@Ted: “Real bravery would be coming out against the US military.”

“Humor is the most engaging cowardice”

#39 August J. Pollak
April/30/2010
@ 12:07 pm

Hey, I had Chinese for lunch too, Peter!

#40 Dave Stephens
April/30/2010
@ 3:48 pm

Thanks Rick – my apologies for my incorrect info.

Here is the info I found at Wikipedia and also here:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article543212.ece

1: He was shot 8 times. He died on the spot.
2: His murderer attempted to decapitate him and almost succeeded.
3: His murderer then stuck two knives in him, one with a 5 page note threatening western countries.
4: His film was 10 minutes of semi-transparently shrouded naked Islamic women kneeling as if to pray to Allah while telling their stories of abuse as Qur’anic Arabic text unfavorable to women (from the Koran I guess) was projected on their bodies.
5: The title of his film was SUBMISSION, which is a translation of the word, “Islam”.

Below is a quote from the article:
Mr Bouyeri, the son of Moroccan immigrants to the Netherlands, is accused of shooting and stabbing van Gogh to death in broad daylight in the streets of Amsterdam in November, before nearly decapitating him and impaling a five-page note declaring holy war into his corpse with a knife.

#41 Ted Rall
April/30/2010
@ 6:48 pm

@Shane:

When the twin towers fell, thousands and thousands of Middle Easterners flooded their streets and cheered. What kind of people would cheer the deaths of innocent folk? Who puts a bomb on their own 10 year old child and sends them onto a bus to kill innocent civilians? Who holds down a handcuffed, bound prisioner and saws their head off with a knife?

Those are horrible acts. However, it is important to note that *we* started the Great Clash of Civilisations (hat tip, Robert Fisk) between the West and Islam. One could, and should, ask:

When the “shock and awe” campaign began against Iraq, millions of Americans sat on their butts and did nothing while dorky TV announcers marveled at the high-tech wizardry that was murdering thousands of Iraqis.

Who kidnaps 12-year-old children, sodomizes them with flashlights, and throws them into concentration camps for the rest of their lives? Who beats an innocent Afghan taxi driver to death in the “salt pit” at Bagram? Who waterboards someone 182 times? Who seizes one of their own citizens and reduces him to a mental vegetable by subjecting them to years of torture and solitary confinement?

Who encourages their ally to bulldoze houses occupied by the families of political dissidents? Who finances and arms dictators who boil political prisoners to death?

Maybe radical Islam is a very small fraction of Muslims world wide. I don?t know. But it is there, and it is a very serious, deadly serious issue ? those animals are berserkers.

They’re a relatively small number. But there is no moral equivalence. Our crimes far exceed theirs, as does our power. If they are animals, we are monsters.

#42 Dave Stephens
April/30/2010
@ 10:07 pm

Heh. So because the “animals” are poor and can’t afford munitions enough to massacre as many of us they desire, our crimes far exceed theirs, correct? I mean, if the terrorists could afford it, they would certainly kill more of us, but that’s OK, right? ‘Cause, duh, we started it…

So what you’re saying is that poor people waging guerrilla warfare will ALWAYS have less “crime” than those they fight against and ALWAYS be morally superior? And since the guerrillas are responding to inequity (oh noes!), they are ALWAYS in the right, ’cause they “didn’t start it…”

Ugh. Your rhetoric could use an emetic. Or maybe that’s redundant, I dunno. ;)

#43 Shane Davis
April/30/2010
@ 10:20 pm

“They?re a relatively small number. But there is no moral equivalence. Our crimes far exceed theirs, as does our power. If they are animals, we are monsters.”

The number of soldiers that brutalized or sodomized anyone is an even smaller number than the total number of men and women in our Armed Forces. You can’t say ‘don’t indict all Muslims on what a few do’ but then do that exact same thing to the American military.

“it is important to note that *we* started the Great Clash of Civilizations (hat tip, Robert Fisk) between the West and Islam.”

No, it goes back much, much farther than before America came around…you can argue that when the Spanish and Portuguese chased them off the Iberian peninsula in 1492 that was THE big clash of Islam versus Western Europeans – AFTER the Muslims invaded first in the 700’s. Picking this as a starting place of the ‘Clash’ you mention is as good as anywhere, I hardly think America started this.

And considering Islam’s violent past (Mohammed was a warrior, you know – that means he killed people regularly) you seem to be picking and choosing who is a victim and who is the aggressor.

And hat tip to a pacifist all you want but how is submitting to a violent aggressor that wants to slit our throats going to help? And would Mr. Fisk tip his hat to all the Muslim killings or is it only American killing that’s offensive? He is entitled to his opinions, but it takes one heck of a biased mind to take one bad country butt whooping by Muslims and blame America.

“Who encourages their ally to bulldoze houses occupied by the families of political dissidents? Who finances and arms dictators who boil political prisoners to death?”

If you are referring to Israel bulldozing Palestinian houses I’d say that’s a heck of lot more humane that flying jet airliners into buildings, blowing up discos and schools or decapitating folks to protect your interests. Sure, Israel used Caterpillar D-9 to destroy houses, but only radical Islam used 747’s to destroy two of the world’s largest skyscrapers AND nearly 3000 innocents.

As for supporting dictators, because I’m not an editorial cartoonist I don’t have all the details or the ability to judge without question why at certain times we support ugly regimes – except maybe sometimes it might be necessary.

Would you suggest we should have told Stalin to kiss off and left him to deal with Germany by himself? He ran a pretty ugly regime and we game him more weapons than any third world turd. In fact, Eisenhower called the Soviets our ‘great allies’ in announcing the D-Day invasion. Yeah, our ‘great allies’ led by the worst dictator and biggest mass murderer in human history – who we sadly needed to check Nazism at the time.

Sure, we even used certain ratty Central American or South American banana republic wackos in the past to check Communism from taking root in our neighborhood – and I’m glad we did. It sucks, but its reality sometimes that we have to pick the lesser of two evils. Kind of like voting.

“When the ?shock and awe? campaign began against Iraq, millions of Americans sat on their butts and did nothing while dorky TV announcers marveled at the high-tech wizardry that was murdering thousands of Iraqis”
Not sure what you’re saying, except it seems you are equivocating…do you mean that American’s watching our military strike Saddam’s regime on TV is the same to you as hundreds of thousands of Arabs dancing in the street to American’s murdered by airliner?

I have to disagree. We already ran that dog down about whether the Iraq invasion was necessary and I don’t want to go over it again. But it is sufficient to say I disagree. No American I’ve ever seen cheers at mass death. Why do you think so many are STILL queasy over dropping atomic weapons on Japan? Because we traditionally honor all human life, its part of our culture and it’s horrific to see it wiped out, even if it is the enemy.

I think there is a massive difference in the cultures of the US and the Islamic world, and while I agree the most Muslims don’t want to particularly see all non-Muslims butchered, there are enough that do that is concerns me seriously. They are a grave danger (whether their numbers are huge or not) because they have access to large amounts of cash & weapons, are incredibly motivated and may eventually get a nuclear weapon. *shudder*

If one is used by them and a large city is gone, will we care if it was 50% of the Muslim world that urged it on, or 25%, 10% or even 5%? That was Bush’s point – you can’t use diplomacy on extreme radical folks whose only desire is to see you dead and they are highly motivated and willing to kill themselves to get it done.

We can no more debate, discuss or dialog with those extremists anymore than we could have with a Japanese Kamikaze – they’re minds are made up.

It’s funny. The left claims radical Muslims who have already killed thousands are simply acting out of anger, are misunderstood and we only need to dialog with them for peace to be achieved. But then they say conservative ‘tea party’ Americans are radicals that are irredeemable and must be silenced, minimized and ignored because they have no useful role in our politics and have shown *potential* for being harmful, which justifies a social quarantine of them. Terrorists trying to kill us can be reasoned with and won over but fellow Americans with whom there are political disagreements cannot be tolerated.

Interesting.

#44 August J. Pollak
May/1/2010
@ 8:27 am

“What kind of people would cheer the deaths of innocent folk? ”

The people who, clearly, don’t think Iraqis are “folk.”

“And considering Islam?s violent past (Mohammed was a warrior, you know ? that means he killed people regularly) ”

Yes, if only it was a more peaceful religion like Christianity, origin of such picnics like the Spanish Politely Asking of People To Consider Jesus and King Richard’s Girl Scout Cookie Drive.

I cannot believe you guys still make these talking points and don’t feel embarrassed.

#45 Dave Stephens
May/1/2010
@ 2:18 pm

No, all religions are not the same. Sorry. That’s a FAIL.

If a great many radical Muslim Imams are preaching KILL KILL KILL, that is a bad thing happening NOW. Their prophet was a professional killer, a holy warrior, so of course the radical Muslim Imams take advantage of that. They can preach, “KILL KILL KILL like our PROPHET MOHAMMED!!”

Christians cannot preach, “KILL KILL KILL!!” and use Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Instead they must awkwardly quote from the Old Testament, mostly, and frankly, worldwide, Christianity does not NOW have a movement like the Muslims have. Christianity has problems, but nothing of the magnitude of the radical divisions of Islam. Not even close.

Historically HUMANS made war for infinite reasons often in the name of religion. True. But the answer remains, which religion has, as their prophet, a warrior? That would be Islam.

#46 Ted Rall
May/1/2010
@ 3:06 pm

I’ll stick to Shane’s post since Dave’s falls apart of its own accord and needs no help from me:

The number of soldiers that brutalized or sodomized anyone is an even smaller number than the total number of men and women in our Armed Forces. You can?t say ?don?t indict all Muslims on what a few do? but then do that exact same thing to the American military.

I’m indicting American society, which repeatedly brags that it “supports the troops”–who are, after all, the ones committing these numerous heinous crimes. Under the doctrine of collective guilt that we, the US, initiated in 1945, all Americans are guilty of Bagram, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Diego Garcia, etc.

?it is important to note that *we* started the Great Clash of Civilizations (hat tip, Robert Fisk) between the West and Islam.?

And considering Islam?s violent past (Mohammed was a warrior, you know ? that means he killed people regularly) you seem to be picking and choosing who is a victim and who is the aggressor.

I’m actually more concerned about America’s violent present. First, because I am an American and one should clean up his own house before pointing fingers at others. Second, because the present can be stopped.

And hat tip to a pacifist all you want but how is submitting to a violent aggressor that wants to slit our throats going to help?

Who mentioned submitting to anyone? This is a fully invented talking point the Right always trots out but is baseless. Actually, it’s the Republicans who submit to radical Islam: they fund the House of Saud and thus Wahhabiism. Also, the Right doesn’t believe in defending America. That’s why, when attacked by Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia on 9/11, it attacked Afghanistan and Iraq instead.

If you are referring to Israel bulldozing Palestinian houses I?d say that?s a heck of lot more humane that flying jet airliners into buildings, blowing up discos and schools or decapitating folks to protect your interests. Sure, Israel used Caterpillar D-9 to destroy houses, but only radical Islam used 747?s to destroy two of the world?s largest skyscrapers AND nearly 3000 innocents.

Shane, if you’re arguing that we’re better than “them,” talking about how similar we are to them isn’t really a good talking point.

As for supporting dictators, because I?m not an editorial cartoonist I don?t have all the details or the ability to judge without question why at certain times we support ugly regimes ? except maybe sometimes it might be necessary.

Necessary, my ass.

Sure, we even used certain ratty Central American or South American banana republic wackos in the past to check Communism from taking root in our neighborhood ? and I?m glad we did. It sucks, but its reality sometimes that we have to pick the lesser of two evils. Kind of like voting.

Um, the problem is, laissez faire capitalism wasn’t the lesser of two evils when compared to communism. Which, by the way, wasn’t going to take over the US anyway. The Cold War was one of the greatest wastes of lives and treasure in human history.

Not sure what you?re saying, except it seems you are equivocating?do you mean that American?s watching our military strike Saddam?s regime on TV is the same to you as hundreds of thousands of Arabs dancing in the street to American?s murdered by airliner?

No. It’s worse.

Those Palestinians had plenty of reason to hate Americans. When Israeli helicopter gunships shoot their children willy-nilly, the bullets that kill them are made in the US and paid for by US taxpayers.

Saddam Hussein never attacked, or even threatened to attack, or could have attacked, the US. Americans should have taken to the streets and overthrown the US government for committing the worst possible war crime: unprovoked aggressive war against a defenseless nation.

I have to disagree. We already ran that dog down about whether the Iraq invasion was necessary and I don?t want to go over it again. But it is sufficient to say I disagree. No American I?ve ever seen cheers at mass death. Why do you think so many are STILL queasy over dropping atomic weapons on Japan? Because we traditionally honor all human life, its part of our culture and it?s horrific to see it wiped out, even if it is the enemy.

Where do *you* live? In the US where I live, not even liberals care about the deaths of Afghans or Iraqis, and rarely if ever even write a letter to the editor about them, much less protest. We don’t give a rat’s ass about the lives of foreigners.

That was Bush?s point ? you can?t use diplomacy on extreme radical folks whose only desire is to see you dead and they are highly motivated and willing to kill themselves to get it done.

You can’t launch preemptive attacks based on theoretical suppositions. By that logic, the next time you go to a bar you should shoot everyone there as you walk in. That way you can really be sure that none of them attack you. Neither Bush nor anyone else can know what foreign leaders intend to do or not do, and they shouldn’t pretend to be clairvoyant.

It?s funny. The left claims radical Muslims who have already killed thousands are simply acting out of anger, are misunderstood and we only need to dialog with them for peace to be achieved. But then they say conservative ?tea party? Americans are radicals that are irredeemable and must be silenced, minimized and ignored because they have no useful role in our politics and have shown *potential* for being harmful, which justifies a social quarantine of them. Terrorists trying to kill us can be reasoned with and won over but fellow Americans with whom there are political disagreements cannot be tolerated.

No one on the Left thinks that Tea Partiers should be quarantined. Mostly, we think Tea Partiers are inarticulate, politically unsophisticated, naive, and easy prey for baseless rants by right-wing demagogues. We don’t think they should be silenced. We are merely pointing out the rather obvious fact that a great many of them appear to be very stupid.

#47 Dave Stephens
May/1/2010
@ 3:24 pm

Speaking of Demagogues, Ted, ever looked in a mirror?
Here, I re-wrote the last bit for you. Enjoy!

No one on the Right thinks that Ted Rall should be quarantined.

Mostly, we think Ted Rall is inarticulate, politically unsophisticated, naive, and easy prey for baseless rants by left-wing demagogues.

We don?t think he should be silenced. We are merely pointing out the rather obvious fact that Ted Rall appears to be very stupid.

#48 Shane Davis
May/1/2010
@ 6:04 pm

Ted,
On a side note, I just learned that this paragraph by paragraph thrust and parry we’re having so much fun with is actually called ‘Fisking’ in honor of the author you mentioned.

It would sound to crass to do, but it would save time to just type “FISK YOU!!” and “NO! FISK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON!!”

It would save the lives of countless alpha characters, a few keyboards and would probably have as much of a chance changing someone’s mind as what we’re doing now.

So, consdier yourself ‘fisked’ again.

#49 Ted Rall
May/1/2010
@ 7:02 pm

Yes, I knew that about Fisking.

People will differ about his politics, but for my money Fisk’s “The Great War of Civilisations” is a magnificent tour de force, a magnus opus of historical and political analysis the likes of which comes along perhaps once a decade. It stands alongside Alan Bullock’s “Hitler and Stalin” and Shirer’s “Rise and Fall,” even with Paxton’s “Anatomy of Fascism” as epic and majesterial. If you’re into history, check it out.

I can’t speak for you, Shane, but I am always open to changing my mind. When it happens, when I abandon some long-held belief because it’s proven wrong, I find it thrilling. Aside from that, these back-and-forths help one test out one’s arguments.

Most of the time, when I disagree with someone politically, they don’t know jack about politics and history. So those arguments don’t rise to the level of real debate, and are boring.

What I find interesting about debating you, Shane, is that you are clearly knowledgeable about history and politics, yet have arrived at very different conclusions about how things are and how they should be than I have. I’m like, how can that be? And yet, there it is. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

#50 Shane Davis
May/1/2010
@ 10:57 pm

Ted,
Being the hot headed, know it all Irishman that I am, I know I can get a bit…uh…throttled up on occasion, shall we say?

But even when I get on a marathon rant, mercilessly beating all those poor little letters on the keyboard, it’s only because I enjoy the give and take between sharp minds.

I have to admit you keep me on my toes…I figure popping off with some off hand remark is a sure fire way to get hockey checked around here.

It’s almost like turning in a research paper in high school on a book you really didn’t read…you think you?ve bullsnarked your way through, but in the back of your mind your thinking “Ah, man I shouldn?t have done that! I’m gonna get burned down!”

So props for keeping us trolls on the right on our toes ? I know if I show up with a dull sword I?m going to get the ?Dread Pirate Roberts? treatment.

And IMHO, there is no better subject on Earth than history, which is why I follow politics (and the inseparable cause and effect relationship it shares with history).

I think I was in 5th grade when I first read (or tried to read) William Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” – I sure didn’t get it all and had to read it again several times over the years, but every time I read it I felt “this is an amazing story, why isn’t everyone jazzed about stuff like this?”

I guess it’s just preference, but golems and rings and talking trees seemed rather silly to me back then when stories of Earth moving events were there and were REAL.

I never read the Bullock or Paxton books, but I will in fact check them out. Two amazing books that I recommend highly (both WWII) if you?re into the nuts & bolts of big historical turning points are:

‘Downfall: The End of the Japanese Empire’ by Richard B. Frank

‘On Borrowed Time: How World War II Began’ by Leonard Mosley

The first details (rather disturbingly and graphically) the effects of the March fire bombings over Tokyo and how they played into the dropping of the nuclear warheads on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It outlines the rationale behind why these courses were chosen in a fairly non-biased manner (or at least I thought so). Not an easy book to read in places (it can sound a bit ‘military manual’ here and there) and the author in the end does support the atomic decision based on his interpretation of historical information available, but even if you disagree with him the book makes the horror and fear for both sides come alive while handling each interest with respect.

The latter work is a great blow by blow of international politics on how Hitler cajoled, manipulated, bullied and bluffed the allies up until Sept. 2, 1939. It’s portrayal of politicians and bureaucrats fiddling around worrying narcissistically about trifling issues while the world lurches towards war is incredibly maddening and almost makes the reader as mad at Chamberlain, Petain, Benes, et al., as they are likely to be at Hitler. And in light of today’s world, it confirms that humans, politics and governments seldom change.

I?d hope you find both books worthwhile.

And keep your sword sharp! ;)

#51 Ted Rall
May/2/2010
@ 12:15 pm

Thanks, Shane, for the recommendations! I’d read a review of “Downfall” (the movie about Hitler by the same name is riveting) and meant to get it and then forgot, so thanks for the reminder. The Mosley tome sounds awesome too.

Like Tony Soprano, I’m a sucker for anything that begins: “And then, on September 1st, 1939…”

#52 Shane Davis
May/2/2010
@ 12:49 pm

I saw that film and was blown away…bought the DVD the first day I knew it was available – probably the best film ever made that centers on Hitler, amazing piece.

#53 Ted Rall
May/3/2010
@ 7:49 am

It’s nothing short of amazing. Cinema Verité at its apex.

And I assume you know this, but Downfall became the basis of endless YouTube “Hitler finds out…” parodies. My fave is “Hitler Finds Out Michael Jackson is Dead.”

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