A WORLD GONE M.A.D.
Scanning the headline ("MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD CALLS FOR ISRAEL TO BE WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH") I cannot help but think that the Iranian President obviously lacks even the 'finesse' exhibited by our President, who apparently opens his mouth only to change feet.
Ok .. so here is what I have been thinking about.
1. While it is unfortunate that the president of a country should state that he wishes to wipe another nation off the face of the earth ... I am not sure whether the outcries were due to the Iranian President having openly expressed the view (however asinine) that he holds for Israel in his heart; or if the noise level was high because of the poles-apart relationships that the two nations have with major world powers. Bush has never meant anything different regarding the fate he'd like to assign to the people of those who fall into his "axis of evil" ... he just hasn't stated it, so far, as clearly in words. But, then, what has he ever stated clearly in words? See my recent post on his pearls of wisdom.
2. When Ayatollah Khomeini put a price on Salman Rushdie's head - another terribly stupid act - it was denounced everywhere with a passion (or fervently supported by mullas everywhere with as much political motivation as the orginal fatvah). As a result of the controversy Salman, without any doubt a brilliant writer, began to sell more books than he had ever done (some even to illiterates: I recall seeing a copy in the house of a Pakistani MNA!). Was the Ayatollah's statement much worse than that issued by Ayatoilet Pat Robertson, preacher and wannabe President of the USA, who suggested 'taking out' President Chavez? Obviously his version of the commandment reads "Thou Shall Not Kill (except under subsection 'xiii' clause 'c')"
3. An unknown prayer-leader in a poor and uneducated part of Karachi launches a tirade against "the West" — which, for him, includes Australia and Japan, having been brought up on books published by the Sindh Textbook Board. He is quoted as saying (on the purported strength of holy texts he has been taught), "Christians, Jews, Hindus can never be our friends." Even some of the local media chastises him for hate-speech in this land of the moderately enlightened. After all, such a statement at a time of US-Pak friendship (Round 9), Indo-Pak Rapprochement (Round 7), and Pak-Israel Gathjo∂ (Round '?') is not politically correct. When David C. Atkins states
I propose that the U.S. immediately adopt and publish the following nuclear doctrine: In the event of a WMD attack by terrorists on the U.S. homeland or U.S. military facilities overseas, the U.S will immediately and without discussion use its immense nuclear weapons capabilities to destroy the 100 largest Islamic cities on earth, regardless of state, and destroy all of the military facilities of Islamic-dominated states. This will include all of the capitals and at least the 10 largest cities of all Islamic-dominated states and the "holy" cities of Mecca and Medina. In addition, North Korean cities and military installations will be destroyed.there is an occasional low-volume moan and a cold, legal discussion of whether certain constitutional rulings in the USA are being violated, or whether Freedom of Speech covers such diatribe.
4. Years ago Idi Amin's henchmen slaughtered 6 nuns and missionaries ... and the UK Press roared: "Muslims slaughter Christians" ... a factual statement, but one that incorrectly (but purposefully) ascribes the 'cause of the killing' to have a 'religious' undertone, when the perpetrators were really engaged in an unpardonable and brutal act against people they termed "white supporters" ... and not on grounds of religious differences. Hitler and his Nazi henchmen slaughter a million times as many Jews: No headline says "Christians slaughter Jews". We get this amazingly imbalanced "Germans killed the Jews". Huh? Were the Germans not Christians? Were the Jews not Germans?
I am merely trying to see if there is a pattern here, so I hope readers will pardon my having borrowed a couple of the above examples from my earlier posts. Like Wilde, I plagiarize from myself all the time. (Oscar's wild plagiarizing is legend. This anecdote serves as an example of what his contemporaries felt about him: When he complimented James Whistler on a great quip with the words, 'I wish I'd said that.', Whistler brought the house down by replying, 'You will, Oscar, you will.')
[M.A.D. stands for Mutually Assured Destruction, in case you didn't know.]