Al Qaida has many apologists!

Recently, I predicted that ideological extremists in this country would soon invoke Culture War rhetoric to blame their favorite villains for the Abu Ghraith prison scandal.

First came Robert Fisk, who blamed "towns and cities" like Tennessee. (?)

Well, it didn't take long for at least one anti-American "right-winger" to speak up in an equally inane fashion. (Not to get off-topic, why is theocratic bigotry always labeled "right-wing"? Sometimes I worry about the accuracy of the terminology I'm forced out of habit to use..... Any "spectrumologists" out there who might be able to help?)

Anyway, today, via Andrew Sullivan, I see that Robert Knight -- crusader for censorship and director of this outfit -- has launched a new blame-America attack, opening fire on American freedom by claiming that "we" are at fault as a nation not only for the Abu Ghraib affair, but for the beheading of Nick Berg! Islamists are mad, and Berg is dead, claims Knight, because of "cultural currents that have come to a deadly nexus in Iraq."

Which "cultural currents" are to be blamed for the hideous death of Mr. Berg?

Women in the military, homosexuality, pornography, and Howard Stern, says Knight! These and other things Knight hates all must be stopped before Americans can be safe.

Hmmmm..... Allowing for the sake of argument that the above "cultural climates" are why Berg was beheaded, since when do we defeat our enemies by conforming our society and culture to their demands? Shouldn't we be defending the things they attack about us? Had a group of Nazis brutally murdered an American civilian during World War II, would that be an argument for cracking down on whatever the Nazis didn't like about us?

I couldn't make this up if I tried. (Read the whole thing for yourself; it reminds me of Falwell's similar blame-America pontifications after 9-11.)

People like Knight are morally on the side of the terrorists every bit as much as the Hate-America left. These enemies of freedom hate independent women, decriminalized homosexuals, all pornography, and Howard Stern (who whether you like him or not will do as a symbol of freedom), at least as much as do the theocratic enemies we fight in Iraq. They give aid and comfort to the enemy by granting them the moral high ground and legitimacy at the worst possible time. It's classic blame-America thinking, except it's on the right.

No one should forget that this war is about freedom. Freedom can be very clarifying at times like this. You are either for it or against it.

I certainly hope that Robert Knight and his ilk are a tiny minority on the political fringe, and not worth worrying about. The problem is, lovers of tyranny can do a lot of damage when ordinary folks remain silent.

UPDATE: Via Andrew Sullivan, I see that Timothy Noah offers an exhaustive collection of Culture Warrior posts blaming Abu Ghraib on their favorite enemies -- just as Mr. Noah had also predicted. Why does this stuff have to be so damned predictable?

UPDATE: Meanwhile, certain crackpots on the left are blaming for Nick Berg's death. Is there no end to this insanity? Nick Berg was an American who supported the war effort in Iraq and wanted to help the Iraqi people. His father is a leftist. So what? Anyone can blame anyone for anything, whether it's the creation of a "climate" or creating suspicions which might have led to delays which might have set in motion.....

The bastards who killed Nick Berg are the ones on that video, OK? I defy anyone to show me how any feminists, gays, Howard Stern fans, people or any other Americans were involved, even remotely. But common sense will never stop the Culture War, nor will it stop ideologues from blaming each other.

AND MORE: As if that wasn't enough, a number of leftists are blaming Bush (who else?) for Nick Berg's death. They seem upset by the timing of the beheading. Certainly it was too convenient for Kos's liking:

The neocons WANTED it this way.

And they got it. Congratulations.

Well, at least Robert Knight isn't saying the homos and Howard Stern "WANTED it this way."

UPDATE: I am not sure what to make of the Moussaoui laptop password "coincidence." But according to what I read earlier, there was a father/son split over the war in Iraq. Nick Berg was described as a "staunch supporter of the government position in Iraq and he wanted to go over there and help."

posted by Eric on 05.13.04 at 03:59 PM


Well said, sir. You are right on target! Although I can see how our "culture" might offend people, I would never go so far as to advocate playing continous loops of Lavern and Shirley to soften up prisoners. That would be a clear violation of the geneva convention.

bryan   ·  May 13, 2004 10:56 PM

I loved that show "Laverne and Shirley". I always had Lesbian fantasies about those women. Once they had a big, beautiful female wrestler, too. Turns me on to think about it.

Anyway... Once again, you said everything.

What it all brings to my mind is the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. Even _after_ it was revealed that Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist, liberals were still blaming the Right-Wing "climate of hate" in Dallas for the murder. John Birch Society and Goldwater headquarters were physically attacked by some of the "advocates of love and tolerance" on the Left.

Today, it's the Holy Trinity of women, pornography, and men's men who are under attack from the new totalitarians. Howard Stern _is_ indeed a symbol of freedom. He is, as you have pointed out so well, the canary in the mine. I must also mention, he is a Jew. I have long observed: Wherever you find totalitarianism (Right or Left), you will always find anti-Semitism.

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