Is anyone on the Left listening to those on the battlefront?

Here’s the incredible, thoughtful response from Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s President, to a loaded question from AP operative Jennifer Loven, who is married to a Democratic macher and who wouldn’t know an unbiased story if it bit her in the face:

QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

Even after hearing that one of the major conclusions of the national intelligence estimate in April was that the Iraq war has fueled terror growth around the world, why have you continued to say that the Iraq war has made this country safer?

And to President Karzai, if I might: What do you think of President Musharraf’s comments, that you need to get to know your own country better when you’re talking about where terror threats and the Taliban threat is coming from?

***

KARZAI: Ma’am, before I go to the remarks by my brother, President Musharraf, terrorism was hurting us way before Iraq or September 11. The president mentioned some examples of it.These extremist forces were killing people in Afghanistan and around for years, closing schools, burning mosques, killing children, uprooting vineyards with vine trees, grapes hanging on them, forcing populations to poverty and misery.

They came to America on September 11, but they were attacking you before September 11 in other parts of the world.

We are a witness in Afghanistan as to what they are and how they can hurt. You are a witness in New York.Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high?

Who did that? And where are they now? And how do we fight them, how do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again?

That’s why we need more action around the world, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to get them defeated. Extremism, their allies, terrorists and the likes of them.

You can see the video here, at Hot Air.

I have a dream, and I hope someone wakes me up

Martin Luther King, 1963:

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

Egyptian Muslim representative Safwat Higaz, 2006:

When I said what I said, I was dreaming a beautiful dream, which I hope will come true, and that we all agree upon it. I dreamt that we are the Arab Islamic States, not just Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine. I was truly dreaming that we are the Arab Islamic States. Get a map of the Arab homeland, and erase the borders… Or maybe these can be borders between counties or states, like the USA, in which 49 states were united into one country. I had a dream that we were one country, called the Arab Islamic States. The capital of this country is Egypt, and the president of Egypt and its government head this country. This is the dream I dreamt. …

I said that these Israelis… I specified the Israeli Jew, not just any Jew. I said, word for word, that these are American Jews, Dutch Jews, and Jews from all other nationalities – and to them this does not apply. He must be a Jew and an Israeli, and not just any Israeli, because there are Israeli Arabs, there are Muslim Israelis from the 1948 Arabs, there are Christian Israelis… He must be an Israeli Jew, and, in parentheses – a Zionist. This was the first condition to my fatwa. The second condition is that he must be a combatant – in other words, a reserves soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces. …

The third condition was that this action must cause no damage. I even said that it was entirely forbidden for someone to wear an explosives belt and blow himself up, and destroy a car in the street, just in order to kill an Israeli. …

The fourth condition I mentioned was that no innocent person be killed. If we apply these four conditions of the fatwa in order to kill an Israeli, one must make sure that he is a Jew, an Israeli, and that he is between 21 and 54, the age of the reserves, and if she is a woman, she must be between 21 and 34, which is the age of the reserves [for women], and even then, he must make sure that she has no children, because a woman of this age with children is no longer a soldier in the IDF. …

Over to you defenders of the Muslim faith…. And please don’t bore me with the line Hiqazi merely represents the extremists and that real Muslims don’t agree with this type of rhetoric. The reality is that the real Muslims are spectacularly silent in the face of this blood-soaked, discriminatory, violent, hate-filled dream, so I’m beginning to think that the reality is that no real Muslims really exist. Unless these real Muslims start shouting loud enough to wake the uglies up, whether the real Muslims are a dream or a reality will be a purely academic question, because we’ll all be living the Caliphate nightmare.

[UPDATE:  I wrote that late at night, and made some pretty heinous typos, which I've corrected.  I've left the meaning unchanged.]

What passes for entertainment in the San Francisco Bay Area

I get a weekly email that lists shows in the Bay Area. It’s not a comprehensive list. If I had to analogize, I’d say it’s akin to a list of off-Broadway productions in New York. I found amusing these two shows:

World Premiere of The War at Home at NCTC
New Conservatory Theatre Center (San Francisco, CA)
Wednesday, Sep. 27 @ 8:00pm (Preview)
Thursday, Sep. 28 @ 8:00pm (Preview)
and 26 more dates.
Full Price: $22.00 – $34.00 Our Price: $11.00 – $17.00
Brad Erickson’s new play, The War at Home, is the story of a minister’s son who returns to Charleston from New York to mount a local production of his new play championing gay marriage and challenging the Southern Baptist Church. Learn More
3rd Annual George Bush Going Away Party, A Evening of Political Comedy
Herbst Theatre at the San Francisco War Memorial Building (San Francisco, CA)
Saturday, Oct. 14 @ 8:00pm
Full Price: $23.25 Our Price: $12.00
The 3rd Annual George Bush Going Away Party features a variety of political comedians from New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco: Greg Proops (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Bill Santiago (Comedy Central), Alana Devich (Comedy Central’s “Laugh Riots”) and hostess Lisa Geduldig. People who want to cry when they hear about W’s policies, will be tickled by this show. The show will benefit the “Military Out of Our Schools Campaign” Learn More

The first one, especially, struck me as incredibly funny. I can just see some earnest ultra liberal playwright searching for the ingredients that will result in a play that’s not just a play, but is a STATEMENT. The second, of course, merely represents wishful thinking amongst a frustrated community.

I doubt I’ll be seeing either, but please don’t accuse me of boycotting things. As DQ will confirm, I never go out. Besides fatigue, and my husband’s and my varied and overwhelming work schedules, getting a babysitter makes almost any outing more trouble and expense than it’s worth.

Delayed recognition re a Castro photo

In yesterday’s Best of the Web, there is a photoshopped picture of Osama Bin Laden.  It took me a minute to recognize that it was pasted over an August picture of Fidel Castro that the Cuban government released to prove that he’s still alive.  Am I only the who finds it ironic that the longest-lasting Communist leader in the world is wearing an Adidas shirt — a perfect capitalist symbol?

The motives behind the Benedict bashing

You have to read Dennis Prager’s whole article about the illogic driving the current round of Pope Benedict bashing.  It’s wonderful.  To whet your appetite, I’ll tease you with these two paragraphs:

Another example is Karen Armstrong, the widely read ex-nun scholar of religion. She has written of Pius XII that his “apparent failure to condemn the Nazis has become a notorious scandal.” Moral and logical consistency suggest that she would welcome a pope who did confront today’s greatest evil. But she has joined those condemning Pope Benedict. She wrote (putting these arguments in the mouths of affronted Muslims with whom she sympathizes): “the Catholic Church is ill-placed to condemn violent jihad when it has itself . . . under Pope Pius XII, tacitly condoned the Nazi Holocaust.”

The argument is so illogical that only those who attended graduate school or Catholicism-bashers could find it persuasive. First, how do you condemn the silence of one pope when confronted with the greatest evil of his time and condemn another pope when confronting the greatest evil of his time? Second, if indeed the Church is guilty of condoning evil in the past, why does that render it “hypocritical” (her term for Benedict’s condemnation of Islamic violence in God’s name) to confront evil in the present? If my grandfather was a murderer, am I a hypocrite for condemning murder?

You go, Girl!

I admire restraint, up to a point. When you reach that point, though, if you continue with restraint, you begin to look weak, foolish and doubtful about your own position. I was therefore delighted to see that the Bush Administration, through Condi Rice, is taking on Clinton’s hysterical attack last week.

I have to say that I don’t remember, in my lifetime, two ex-Presidents being so aggressive in attacking their successor. I always remember a sort of gentility that had ex-Presidents sitting quietly aside out of respect for the office. Carter and Clinton, though, have no boundaries and no manners.

Carter’s conduct is actually slightly more excusable. He’s a horrible, stupid, anti-Semitic, tyranny-pandering boob, but his outbursts at least arise in service to his warped principles. Clinton, however, is concerned only with preserving his own self-image, and appears to care nothing about the world at large. I think that fact makes his attacks even baser than Carter’s loony tunes riffs.

(By the way, for a funny take on Clinton’s rant, Kevin tipped me off to this WuzzaDem post.)

UPDATE:  Another “by the way”:  Thanks to Zhombre for tipping me off to this Dick Morris article which talks about the actual facts behind Clinton’s tantrum.  I especially appreciated the following, which sounded a personal note for me:

President Clinton assumes that criticism of his failure to kill bin Laden is a “nice little conservative hit job on me.”  But he has it backwards. It is not because people are right-wingers that they criticize him over the failure to prevent 9/11. It was his failure to catch bin Laden that drove them to the right wing.

Hollywood Dems don’t run for office

Drudge this morning greeted me with the announcement that George Clooney has decided not to run. I think that’s a smart choice. I’ve amused myself in the past by running through a mental list of Hollywood types who have switched from movies to political office. Unless I’m missing something, it’s always Hollywood Republicans who run for office and win. Off the top of my head, that list would include Ronald Reagan, George Murphy, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Fred Thompson and Fred Grandy. Indeed, as an old On The Media post helpfully points out, the only current Democratic politician out of Hollywood seems to be Shiela Kuehl, who serves on California’s Senate. Before that, the only other elected Hollywood Democrat I can think of is Helen Gahagan Douglas, who lives on in my mind mostly as a line in a Tom Lehrer song sarcastically lauding George Murphy.

I can’t even think of any Hollywood Dems who have run for office in my lifetime. Maybe the Gahagan Douglas debacle (Nixon successfully labeled her “Red” in 1950) scared the Hollywood types away from any effort at seeking office. That would be pretty lame, though, if a rough campaign in 1950 still had Hollywood Dems shaking in their boots. I suspect a more pragmatic reason keeps them off the ballot. The Hollywood Democrats have an incredibly effective pulpit for stating their political positions, whether its through movies, TV shows, or talk shows.  They’d lose that volume and message clarity if they were wheeling, dealing and compromising in Congress.  Hollywood Republicans, on the other hand, don’t send any message out from Hollywood at all, making politics a much more desirable option.

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