February 06, 2006

Let Me Get This Straight

In light of the growing carnage in relation to the Danish cartoons, I was interested in seeing New Mexico's "moderate" Democrat governor, Bill Richardson, on Today this morning.

He said (among other things) that the whole thing is related to Iraq. No invasion of Iraq? No pillaging of western embassies.


So let's see if I have this straight:

  1. The Danes published the offending cartoons last October. There was some anger expressed at the time - and then the storm blew over.
  2. The Hadj season came to the Moslem world.
  3. The Saudi government - corrupt, incompetent, and unable to control the theft, rapine and carnage among the mobs of hadji, suddenly (through their state-run media) start running story upon story upon story about the desecration of Islam four months ago
  4. Mobs - conveniently well-stocked with Danish flags - take to the streets. "Saudi Arabia has always been at war with Denmark, Achmed".
So let's get this straight, Governor Richardson; if we'd not liberated Iraq, Saudi Arabia would be a competent country, and the Hadj wouldn't be an annual bloodbath and graft orgy?

Posted by Mitch at February 6, 2006 12:06 PM | TrackBack

We Americans are also responsible for the fatal stampede which occurs annually during the Stoning the Devil ritual of the Hajj. Hundreds of pilgrims trampled to death because we occupy Iraq.

Posted by: Kermit at February 6, 2006 09:21 AM

Richardson actually thinks radical jihadist Muslims are MORE offended by the violence of war, than by an unflattering image of Muhammad? It's clearly the opposite. For them, war and violence is the normal state of things. Why would war offend them? It's only losing they don't like.

Posted by: RBMN at February 6, 2006 10:16 AM

A thought-provoking timeline, Mitch. Oops, "Thought" is exactly what they find provoking.

Posted by: Night Writer at February 6, 2006 10:26 AM


Christians were none too happy about "The Last Temptation of Christ", but not too many theatres were burned and no producers or directors were decapitated. Damn it.

But then, Christianity is a violent religion, while Islam is a religion of peace.

So, in the spirit of things, "Keel the Joooooos, Keeeeeel them alllllll".

I'm heading right out, to stone the nearest cinema.

Posted by: jackscrow at February 6, 2006 12:39 PM

Mitch, I just read a transcript of Governor Richardson's appearance on Today (click on my name for a link to the entire trascript) and this appears to be the relevant portion:

“MR. LAUER: Let me ask you about this. We're seeing these protests in many parts of the world right now. These cartoons first ran back in September. So the question is, why now for these protests? And do you think this is really about a cartoon?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, it just shows the enormous tension, the powder keg in the Muslim world, in the Middle East. I've never seen the situation so dire with the threats from Iran, the victory of Hamas, the escape of Badawi in Lebanon. This is -- in Yemen. This is a very, very dangerous situation, not just for America but for the entire world. It seems that the Muslim world, it's exploding. And I believe that our obsession with Iraq has caused us to neglect these huge other trouble spots.”

[TW sez] My reading of Governor Richardson’s comments are that he thinks that the rioting is NOT about the cartoons but rather a manifestation of the already-existing tension in the Middle East. His only point on Iraq is that he believes that we’ve neglected some of these other “troubled spots” by focusing on Iraq. I don’t see anything to suggest that he believes they’re rioting because we went into Iraq only that he seems to think that had we not concerned ourselves so much with Iraq, we would have somehow been able to do something different to prevent any of the aforementioned problems.

FTR: I think he’s wrong in suggesting that but for invading Iraq we would have been able to do something more effective to deal with these other troubled spots. Richardson’s comments strike me as wrong-headed in that he seems to operating under the assumption that (a) the American assets being used in Iraq would have used in these other places (somehow I doubt we were going to send troops in the West Bank to stop Hamas from being elected or into Lebanon to prevent a prison break) and (b) he fails to look at the current problems and ask “what would these problems be like if Saddam Hussein or his sons were still in control of Iraq” as the relevant point of comparison. Frankly I think dealing with Iran trying to build nuclear weapons now would not be as difficult as trying to deal with Iran while Iraq engages them in some sort of an arms race or we have to worry about Iraq using the situation to extort concessions for a promise not to take advantage of the situation.

Posted by: Thorley Winston at February 6, 2006 01:05 PM

"First, kill all the cartoonists...."

Posted by: jackscrow at February 6, 2006 02:22 PM

Thorley: Great comment -- very well said!

Posted by: chriss at February 6, 2006 03:45 PM

Matt Lauer really got Richardson good from the questions I heard later on several radio shows.

Left Richardson doing "butt monkey" mental hoola hoop explanations why Islamists ran airplanes into buildings and chop off heads.

No presidency for "big leaguer" Richardson.

Posted by: Greg at February 7, 2006 10:33 AM
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