At least the Saudi king has some decency

December 17, 2007

He’s pardoned the rape victim whom a Saudi court had sentenced to 200 lashes for being alone with another man. Under a civilized legal system, she should never have needed one in the first place.

Meanwhile, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali wonders where all the moderate Muslims are, she mentions that the victim’s brother has already tried to kill her for dishonoring their family.

LINKS: More at Little Green Footballs.


Larry O’Donnell is a coward

December 17, 2007

The producer of The West Wing feels free to say bigoted things about Mormonism and Mitt Romney, while admitting he’s afraid for his life if he criticizes Islam. Roger L. Simon gives a raspberry to O’Donnell’s craven “convictions” and draws a larger picture of what this shows about modern American liberalism.

O’Donnell’s cowardice would not be interesting, however, were he not typical. O’Donnell’s kind of fear is all around us. We have it among artists who censor themselves and journalists who are afraid to speak out. These people have buried their traditional liberal values under a veneer of false tolerance and trendy cultural relativism and essentially turned liberalism on its head.

O’Donnell is no longer a liberal in the sense I understood it growing up. In fact, he runs away from defending the basic cannon of liberalism without which it cannot exist – free speech. A true liberal is a man like Flemming Rose who had the courage to defend that freedom against the onslaught of opposition to the publication of the Danish cartoons. Where was O’Donnell on that? Quivering in his corner, worrying whether he will be shot? Where was O’Donnell (a man of the entertainment industry, no less) when director Theo Van Gogh was stabbed to death by an Islamist on the streets of Amsterdam for making a film critical of Islam? Busy attacking George Bush, I imagine. The courage of Rose and Van Gogh (and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq and Wafa Sultan, etc.) is paying O’Donnell’s check from the McLaughlin Group in a very real sense. He owes them all a commission.


Excuse me, Senator Reid

December 17, 2007

But didn’t you recently say the US has lost the war in Iraq? Things must have been pretty bad for you to declare before the nation that all is lost. I mean, there you were in front of the microphones before the general you voted to unanimously confirm had even had a chance to implement his plan. I’m sure you’re a wise and thoughtful senator, not at all given to partisan grandstanding or acting like a cheap political hack — no matter how it looks. That’s why I’m a bit confused when I read the following:

General: Iraq at its quietest since ’04

Violence in Iraq is at its lowest levels since the first year of the American invasion, finally opening a window for reconciliation among rival sects, the second-ranking U.S. general said Sunday as Iraqi forces formally took control of security across half the country.

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the man responsible for the ground campaign in Iraq, said that the first six months of 2007 were probably the most violent period since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The past six months, however, had seen some of the lowest levels of violence since the conflict began, Odierno said, attributing the change to an increase in both American troops and better-trained Iraqi forces.

"I feel we are back in ’03 and early ’04. Frankly I was here then, and the environment is about the same in terms of security in my opinion," he said. "What is different from then is that the Iraqi security forces are significantly more mature."

(Emphasis added)

Does this mean that the Bush policy, expressed simply as "We’ll stand down as Iraqi forces stand up" was actually correct? That Mr. Bush, correcting a strategy that wasn’t working and sticking to his guns about continuing the fight, might have been right all along? That the growing defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the handover of another province to Iraqi control, and the slow but undeniable development of Iraqi democracy might mean we’re winning?

Nah. Couldn’t be. The leader of the Copperhead Democratic Party in the United States Senate has spoken.

(hat tip: PJM)


Don’t worry, be happy!

December 17, 2007

D07C23_1

(Courtesy: Dry Bones)