Amanda is a bigot and an extremist because she uses coarse language to criticize the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion, birth control and condom use — a stance which kills and injures hundreds of thousands of women every year.
Glenn Reynolds, the most popular conservative blogger on the internets, promotes assassinating scientists and religious leaders, and he’s backed up by other popular right-wingers. And there’s nary a peep from the religious right about the religious bigotry of assassinating religious leaders.
This has been obvious for a long time anyway, and I don’t understand why the Bush Administration has been so slow to respond. Nor do I think that high-profile diplomacy is an appropriate response. We should be responding quietly, killing radical mullahs and iranian atomic scientists, supporting the simmering insurgencies within Iran, putting the mullahs’ expat business interests out of business, etc.
Basically, stepping on the Iranians’ toes hard enough to make them reconsider their not-so-covert war against us in Iraq. And we should have been doing this since the summer 2003. But as far as I can tell, we’ve done nothing along these lines.
I know the word “mullah” is really scary and all, and there are certainly some mullahs — like some Christian leaders — who have thoroughly fucked up views. But I’m pretty sure that government-sponsored assassinations are not the answer.
Mullahs are, after all, simply Muslims who are seen by their communities as religious leaders. They are not on par with priests of rabbis or religious leaders from other Abrahamic traditions. There isn’t a formal institutional structure to Islam the way that there is in Catholicism or the Anglican church or just about any other comparable religion. A major tenet of Islam is that all people have equal access to religious knowledge, and that no practicing Muslim is holier than another. So assassinating mullahs just won’t have the same institutional effect as assassinating, say, a Cardinal. Except that it will really, really piss people off.
As for assassinating nuclear scientists, there’s another brilliant idea. Scientists and religious leaders are not politicians. Not that political assassinations are justified, but at least they’re targeting the people who are behind the policies that we dislike. Scientists and religious leaders are civilians — some of them may have radical views, or be working on projects that we don’t want their government to gain access to, but they are civilians nonetheless. While the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons is terrifying, those of us with halfway decent reasoning skills can understand why Iran wants nuclear weapons, and why it looks a wee bit hypocritical for us to block their efforts (not saying we shouldn’t block their efforts — just that, to an Iranian, we look like assholes). Killing scientists is probably not the best way to win hearts and minds, and will send the message that the U.S. is indeed a direct and active threat against the safety of the Iranian people — another reason, Iranian politicians will say, that Iran needs the bomb.
There’s also all the war crime/international treaties/executive order business that Glenn Greenwald covers. In other words, this is the worst idea ever.
What the hell is going on when people in the mainstream right are suggesting civilian assassinations in a country we aren’t even at war with, and their putrid arguments aren’t being challenged — and are even being backed up by other conservatives?
Now, the genius plan to murder anyone who ideologically opposes you isn’t exactly a new concept for the American right, so I shouldn’t be surprised. And yet even I can’t believe that conservatives — mainstream, well-connected, popular conservatives, not the cherry-picked fanatics — have become this depraved.
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