Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Swimming against the tide

-- by Dave

I've got to give credit where it's due: Rick Moran at RightWing Nuthouse, with whom I've tangled in the past, is standing up to the tide of right-wing nonsense being spewed about Barack Obama, though of course in a qualified way:
Well, today conservative stupidity regarding Obama and his supposed ties to Islam hit paydirt – as in generating a ten on the laugh-o-meter. Evidently, the probable next president of the United States was caught in flagrante dilecto, dressed to the nines in what appears to be some kind of native garb (probably Kenyan) and with a (gasp!) turban on his head. To some of my unschooled, ignorant conservative friends, this is further proof that if we elect Obama president, there will be a department of Sharia Affairs.

The truth as Jim Hoft (via Sweetness and Light) shows, is a little less dramatic. The costume is that of a Kenyan tribal elder.

Now Obama already has some problematic connections to Kenya including his appearances for presidential candidate Raila Odinga, a distant cousin and someone whose recent actions in fomenting violence in Kenya following a crooked presidential election are extremely troublesome. (There have also been rumors of a deal between Odinga and the small Islamist party in Kenya that he would, if elected, establish Sharia law – a dubious proposition and almost certainly a lie that has been picked up by some conservatives in this country and passed off as the truth.)

But the idea that Obama in traditional Kenyan garb proves he’s some kind of closet Muslim or Islamic sympathizer is absurd. Kenya is 70% Christian and only 10% Muslim. To extrapolate that Obama’s dress denotes anything other than acknowledging his birthright not to mention playing the gracious guest by donning the clothing of his hosts is irrational, stupid, ignorant, and totally without foundation.

Most notably, Moran points out Pamela Oshry's nonsense:
Over at Islamica magazine, they are acknowledging what the few of us fighting the great fight have been saying all along. Hussein Obama is Islam’s candidate. They call it a wink and a nod but shhhhhh don’t let on to the fat, lazy infidels.

Expect the fantasy mongerers in the mainstream media to continue to scrub and whitewash (no pun) Hussein Obama’s Islamic bonafides. The rabid fervor by the leftarded lemmings is Hitleresque.

Boy, that one just about hits all the high notes: Obama is a secret Muslim who also is a Nazi. The only thing missing is the claim that he's a Commie who won't salute the flag.

Not only are all these claims provably false, they fall into a larger theme regarding "the war on terror" and just who The Enemy is. According to Oshry and other conservatives, like Diane West, the real enemy is not just radical terrorists but Islam itself.

Well, as I've explained many times (see the Orcinus Principium No. 2):
Osama bin Laden wants you to make this into an Islam-vs.-the-West conflict. That was the explicit purpose behind 9/11.

The more that conservatives make the rest of Islam culpable for 9/11, the more they make enemies of our allies in the Islamic world. These include such major strategic partners as Turkey, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Their own Republican president has been working hard not to allow this to turn into an anti-Islamic crusade. Yet their own ignorance about the nature of Islam is nonetheless increasing the chances that the "war on terror" could explode into an uncontrollable global cultural conflict.

People like Pam Oshry and Diane West provide recruitment fodder for radical Islamists who want nothing more than to portray Americans as engaged in a war against the whole of Islam. Because these Islamists know that by doing so, they can turn their tiny faction of radical terrorists into a massive army supported by a religion adhered to by many millions of people around the world.

Just as important, perhaps, is what this trend represents regarding the American right and its distant relationship with factual reality: more of the same. As we saw in the 1990s when they ardently adopted as truth falsehood after falsehood inveighed against Bill and Hillary Clinton, they're prepared to do the same no matter who the Democratic nominee is. If it takes lying remorselessly and relentlessly and with impunity to win, then so be it.

It's always a good thing to see conservatives actually stand up to this afactual nonsense. Much of the rest of Moran's assessment of Obama strikes me as ungenerous and overly cynical, but at least it's within the realm of a reasonable assessment of known facts.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the right, this is becoming rarer by the day.

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