If mental health were riches, America would be even deeper in debt

I think we've fallen all the way head and shoulders into rabbit hole of the 'Death to all Fanatics' era.

I received an email today from people I regard as generally fairly intelligent and perceptive. I've edited it a bit for length:

"I'm sure the Muslims see little difference between the terrorists cutting off Berg's head, and the way our soldiers blow the heads off Iraqi civilians with gunfire....

"It looks to me like the terrorists really played to the Muslim audience.

"The Koran recommends three acceptable ways to kill an infidel - with fire, burning oil, or the sword...I suspect this means a lot to a Muslim..."

"The naivete of our leaders is staggering - every speech by Bush or Rumsfeld shows that they still have no idea what the Muslim culture is all about. Yet they seem to know that the fundamentalists cut off the right hand of those who steal, that they kill their own daughters who dishonor the family by getting raped, surely that should give our policy-makers a clue... Surely that would make the administration consider the possibility that Bush and Rumfeld's spin will not cover torture, rape, humiliation and murder, not like paper covers rock, not like the spin of words work here with simple minded Americans. The Iraqis are even more simple, they judge men solely on their actions.

My response:

"The Iraqis are even more simple?" Even more than you are?

Try redacting that first sentence like so:

"I'm sure the CHRISTIANS see little difference between American soldiers and Mercenaries torturing living people who are being held without charges* and Iraqis dragging the dead bodies of American mercenaries thru the streets..."

*(Rummy went there to Abu Ghraib yesterday and had 300 prisoners released immediately, so I guess they weren't REALLY murderers and terrorists after all)

Ok, so I'm being a nitpicking pain in the ass, but ALL Muslims, ALL Jews, ALL Christians? They ALL what? They ALL breathe? They ALL eat? After that, what?

I agree with much of the rest, that the personnel of our coup d'fou in Washington have no idea what things mean to people from cultures which are foreign to them, whether French or Arabic or literate American, but the fact is, there are a lot of different and overlapping cultural groups out there, even in that one country -- Arabs, Iraqis, Kurds, Muslims -- and many many people, regardless of what label they wear, were really disturbed by that beheading. I also agree that spin about the Abu Ghraib pix is not going to do anything.

All this blather about what the Koran sez is nothing but pure crap, and you don't know it for a fact at all, just what someone said about it. Unless you've read it yourself, you're hanging from someone's version of what he or she thinks it might say. And according to those who read it, study it, ponder it -- unless you read it in the original Arabic, as millions of people have, you still can't understand what it says.

Go back to the Bible, and if you actually read it, oh Christians of virtue, you'll learn that ALL Christians believe it is God's will that you should stone your child to death if he or she is disobedient ...

Iraqis who have watched the US forces blow their children and families away with a BLAM and an "Ooops, sorry" don't need some psychotic asshole dispassionately beheading some poor bastard on TV in order to know what's going on. And if you read something like al-Jazeera's website (instead of taking Hannity and Colmes' word for it), you may find those Muslims do not approve of it. Many many many of them consider the saying that "Allah is Great" at that instant to be the rankest of vile blasphemy.

The only people who really seem approve of the beheading video are the people in this administration, who see it saving the plummeting election poll numbers by stimulating a resurgence of the "Death to the Traitors!" hysteria in the lunatic fringe which is their base.

By the way, there are precious few Muslims who actually do cut off hands and such -- perhaps not even as many as there are Christians who will not suffer witches or gays to live ... and we have more than a few of those running around in this part of the enlightened Christian world...

A German philosopher, one who got to see their 20th century wars close up, said:

"The first casualty of war is not truth, but perspective.
Once that's gone, truth, like compassion, reason, and
all the other virtues, wanders around like wounded orphans."
Ente Grillenhaft

There's always the risk that the rabid temper of the times can turn you into just one more common flag waving psycho. Don't let that happen.


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