The Battle Is Joined
Reader Comments (2)


Whoa, there, tiger. I'm on the left and I've internalized "that Islamism represents a brutal, bloody, implacable assault on every single value and accomplishment of liberalism: women's equality, rights of minorities, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, consensual representative government, equal justice under the law, nonviolence..."

But that doesn't mean I think Bush is 100% right. The rest of the world outside the US is scared of Bush and his team doing their will, acting seemingly alone (along with Blair, who's own people aren't universally thrilled with his actions). The US's treatment of suspected terrorists is the same kind of torture we've criticized Saddam for. Maybe it's not as extreme, but when it comes to torture does degree really matter? I worry that we're losing allies and the moral high ground.

Supporting an Iraqi transition to elected government is very, very important and I support it wholeheartedly. But I also have this sinking feeling that the same people who supported the war in the first place are now the ones who want us to pull out, leaving the job half done, making the situation worse than it was when we got there.

I get the most ridiculous anti-Islam (yes, anit-Islam, not just anti-Islamist) diatribes from my right wing father. Long, pseudo-intellectual rants about the "personality flaws" of Muslims, jokes about mothers whose sons are martyred, etc., and it drives me bananas. That shit is not helping. So let's not make it a right vs. left issue. I don't think that helps either.


All good points, Mandy - inevitably, coming from you.

[I owe you mail. It's in all-caps on my to-do list.]

1) You've got me for painting the left with a very large and dismissive brush. Not fair of me. Actually, my father kind of pisses me off when he does the same thing with "these guys on the far right." I mean, I kind of know who he's talking about, but one shouldn't attack vague labels. I was guilty of that here.

2) Good points also about Bush. You wouldn't know it from this post of mine, but I hardly support everything he does either. For instance, I knew I couldn't vote for him when he endorsed the no-marriage-for-gays amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The torture thing is also horrific, and utterly inexcuseable. (See my letter about it here.) But I do maintain that - on the most important issue of the age - he's got things mostly right. And quite a lot of people who fancy themselves a whole lot smarter than him have got them wrong. But there I am slandering unnamed people again . . . let's call them, oh, Katrina vanden Heuven.

3) You're right that making it "a right vs. left issue" is not helpful. I was off on a bit of a rant. Let's just say politics had gotten uncomfortably local. However, for well over a decade, I've been able to count on you to moderate my more excessive impulses . . . 8^) To a certain extent, "it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to" - but I'm very grateful to have your perspective alongside. Thanks for once again smoothing my edges.


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ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple by Michael Stephen Fuchs