Watched the 6:30 NBC news last night for the first time in forever, as the Sainted Wife has decided now that Brokaw is leaving we should grace his last few broadcasts with our presence. I mostly ignored it, as I’ve been gobbling down–or re-gobbling down, as the case may be–Terry Pratchett books since Thanksgiving.
In case you’ve been wondering where the hell I’ve been, now you know.* Just as an aside, bloggers in particular should read The Truth. It has lots of little nuggets concerning the production and marketing of “news.”
So there, I was, happily ensconced on the sofa, newscast almost over, and Tommy closes with this particular inanity–or something close to it. I’m paraphrasing from memory
“We’re going to have to be more imaginative when dealing with those out there who love our culture and hate our government.”
“What, Democrats?” was my first reaction–an incorrect one, as it turned out. Thanks to the magic of the DVR, I was able to rewind enough of the broadcast to find out that Tom was not talking about Democrats, but the events of 9/11 and afterwards.
As if Osama and the Wahabists are actually really big fans of Will and Grace–or Britney Spears, for that matter. It’s just our position on farm subsidies that they object to. Never mind the lack of massive protests regarding the death sentence given to Salman Rushdie for daring to write a book, and the murder of Theo Van Gogh for his deadly sin in making a movie about the abuse of Muslim women. Why, those are the exceptions that prove the rule!
Turns out Tom has been peddling a similar bit of foolishness for a while now.
Later in the same “blunt instrument” speech, Brokaw hinted not so bluntly that he wanted his young audience to be understanding of people who clearly hate the First Amendment:
We have to work harder at understanding an enemy who is eager to sacrifice their bodies to do great harm to what we hold dear, hundreds of millions of young Muslims who love our culture and hate our government, who envy our successes, disdain our pluralism and, most of all, who are enraged by our sense of entitlement.
It should come as no surprise that the enemy hates our government, for there is a war, and it is axiomatic that in war, governments officially wage war with “the enemy.”
But “love our culture?” How can envying our successes and disdaining our pluralism constitute “love”?
It doesn’t constitute love. It’s the exact opposite. Disdain for our pluralism is disdain for everything about our culture, and that, more than anything else, is why so many elements in the Islamic world oppose so fiercely. It’s not about democracy, it’s about not being able to crush homosexuals with stones whenever one feels like it. It’s about the fear that one day, there will be Islamic equivalents of Will and Grace and Britney Spears, and the imams then will as powerless when it comes to sanctioning them as Jerry Falwell is today. It’s about Mardi Gras in Mecca, and the Saudi girls getting all the beads.
Scratch a muslim who “loves our culture and hates our government,” and what you’ll find is that when it comes right down to it, they don’t care that much for our culture, either.
*In case you’re a family member agonizing over what to get me for Christmas, The Art of Discworld would do nicely, as would The Complete Peanuts, though it has nothing to do with the rest of the post.