Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm way behind on my latest column, and precious little time to finish it, but I do have some unconnected thoughts.

Just watched the much-hyped premiere of The Closer, which held true to the strictest rule of modern television murder mysteries, which is that The Avowed Christian Always Did It.

Brilliant article in today's Asia Times about the cultural diseases in Iraq that are producing suicide bombers. Basically--says the piece--Iraqis understand tolerance as a zero-sum game; that is, if the Shiites are no longer getting brutalized in Iraq, it can only mean that it's time for the Sunnis to get brutalized. No other possibility occurs to them. (This reminds me of the old Russian phrase that Lenin was fond of bringing up: Kto-Kogo, literally "Who-Whom?"--that is, the only relevant question is, who is imposing his will on whom?

This reminds me--if I can drift even a little further--of a famous selection from Tocqueville about the sources of American prosperity:

“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”

The point was that it wasn't simply a political/economic structure that created the enormous wealth machine that is America: The deeper Christian context informed a society, says Tocqueville, where people could trust each other. Which contrasts sharply with the zero-sum world of Iraq, and, more broadly, Islam.

There's a telling Hillary Clinton quote in John Harris's book The Survivor:

Hillary taunted her husband's aides as being wimps by not fighting hard enough on Whitewater - "JFK had real men in his White House!" (pg. 108)

I cannot express in words how overwhelmingly despicable women like this are: women whose entire career foundation, whose entire political appeal is that they aren't one of those mean, insensitive Men. Women are nurturing, women are compassionate, if only women ruled the world, we'd have no war and violence, etc, etc. But when it suits them they demand that men act in exactly the manner that they would otherwise find, publicly and loudly, intolerable. Despicable in not nearly strong enough a word.

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