The Washington Post today commends Middle Eastern newspapers for "bravely" republishing the offending Muhammad cartoons, yet chides European newspaper for doing the same in journalistic solidarity. (The Post still hasn't published the cartoons for its readers, as a letter writer points out -- fortunately, there's the Internet.) The Post's reasoning is a bit silly: the freedom of the press isn't threatened in Europe, so newspapers should restrict themselves. Further, the Danish prime minister should have met with Muslim ambassadors to defuse the controversy, when he has no control over these free newspapers. In other words, by the Post's understanding of freedom of the press, freedom isn't free.
The Spectacle Blog
Report from most trusted intelligence source re the sudden removal, exit, hatcheting of veteran CIA officer Robert Grenier, chief of Clandestine Services the last year.
This is evidence of profound turmoil at a wounded enterprise. Grenier is said to be an accomplished secret war fighter, working in Pakistan in the early part of the war after 9-11, later working in the Iraq Issues Group. There is mention of poor relationship with superiors; there is mention of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center now rudderless, demoted, dejected.
Langley now qualifies as the Anti-24.
DCI Porter Goss is either cleaning house of institutional memory or is recruiting from an unknown deep bench that is not obvious. Morale, never strong since 9-11, since Tennant's unexplained departure, since the WMD story got lost in an Agency drawer, has now matched the ratings for the put-on-hiatus Commander-in-Chief.
John: Thank you for the plug. Claiborne's book is better than you might be given to believe, though one's religious background will certainly come into play in forming conclusions. His commitment to service seems utterly genuine, whatever one thinks of his political conclusions, which do tend to be unswervingly left-wing. The world is a better place for having him.
And doesn't it tell us something about the times in which we live that "radical Christian" denotes a benevolent pacifist like Claiborne, and radical Islamist denotes.... well, something else.
The political unseemliness was not restricted to Bush-bashing. Clinton, as usual, delivered the best lines from the highest heights of dizzying hypocrisy. Unreported has been Carter's promotion of MLK above every American leader to have ever existed. On the left there couldn't be a more noble gesture -- but Carter piled subterfuge on subterfuge with a well-placed, chickening-out "perhaps"...
Drudge is reporting that some phony whacko liberal preacher identified as former prez Carter and a real lib preacher, one Joe Lowery, seized the occasion of Coretta Scott King's funeral to bash W, who was dutifully in attendance. Shades of Wellstone?
The 2002 funeral of Paul Wellstone was a politcal circus that marked what most people of taste and discretion thought would be the low-water mark for liberalism. But, instead, it marked the beginning of a fashion trend. The libs' performance at the CSK funeral today is just another development in the fashion line. Will the next lib funeral be a dinner/fundraiser? Could this be their secret plan to evade the lobbying reforms sure to grow out of the Abramoff scandal?
Political funerals, we must admit, didn't begin with Wellstone. And they won't end with King. But we are permitted a small wish that the oratory be more to the standard of Marc Antony at Caesar's than Jimmuh at Coretta's.
Speaking tonight with Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal, who published within the last hours a stunning account of how the cartoon intifada riots stem in part from a hoax authored by hothead Danish imams.
The original 12 cartoon drawings of Mohammed and Islamic topics were published last September in Denmark. Danish imams, lead by hottest head Ahmad Abu Ladan, boss of the Islamic Society of Denmark, demanded apologies and reparations of obedience from the newspaper, the media, the government, and various ugly ducklings flying by; when that didn't work, Team Danish Hothead took the show on the road. Faxing and distributing the cartoons around the ummah and outposts, the imams added three cartoons that had not been published. When challenged, Team Danish Hothead claimed the additions were Danish original cartoons that illustrated the sort of disrespect that jihad and its pals routinely suffer in Denmark and Europe. The road show turned into an intifada when Damascus and Tehran seized on the Danish teacup tempest and dramatized big in Damascus and Beirut, burning flags, buildings, Euro bridges, swans.
Michael Petrelis slams the New York Times for not publishing the cartoons at the center of the Inkifada story. Interestingly enough, he cross-posted this to a DailyKos diary -- and the Kos Kidz side overwhelmingly with the Times (except for the one guy who presumes that the Times must be bowing to Bush administration pressure).
The editors of Hamshari, the Iranian daily running a contest for the best Holocaust cartoon, seem to think that the Western free speech allows smearing Mohammed but would never stand for criticism of "Israel's Crimes." Jason Zengerle recalls a few cartoons in the Western media that the Iranians must have missed.
Over at OpinionJournal, our own Paul Beston reviews a book by "extremist for love" Shane Claiborne. Mr. Claiborne bears more than a passing resemblance to the sort of Marxist-pacifist you might see speaking to a gathering of old hippies in a college town somewhere. All that distinguishes him is his Christianity, and even that's not entirely unique; it echoes the Jim Wallis argument that a genuinely Christian politics amounts to almost unreconstructed leftism, tempered by a dash of abortion heterodoxy and animated by anti-war passions.