Friday, October 17, 2003

Here's a little something from CNN. com:

Lt. Gen. William Boykin, a former head of U.S. Army Special Forces who is now involved in the search for Osama
bin Laden, said in a speech to a Christian prayer group in June that radical Muslims hate the United
States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and roots are Judeo-Christian and the
enemy is a guy named Satan."

Let's treat the last element in his list as a rhetorical flourish, shall we? (Please let it be a rhetorical flourish...) As for his first two reasons...well, they probably do account for a good bit of it--we ARE talking about the radicals, after all. They also hate our policies, some of which they are rational to hate, some of which not. But what really seems to get bin Laden's goat is our liberalism. On that count, OBL is, of course, in agreement with the likes of Alfred E. "Pat" Newbertson and his portly toady Falwell...

But there's more:

He also said that when dealing with a Somali warlord, "I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an

Oof. That's about the worst thing one of our officials has said since aWol's "crusade" comment... Then there's Boykin's explanatory backpeddling:

"My comments to Osman Otto in Mogadishu were not referencing his worship of Allah but his worship of money
and power; idolatry. He was a corrupt man, not a follower of Islam. My references to Judeo-Christian roots in
America or our nation as a Christian nation are historically undeniable,"

Now, does anybody out there believe that he was really talking about "money and power?" I mean, he might have been, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it, and neither should you. And nobody in the Middle East is gonna believe it, anyway. Damn, that was a stupid thing to say in public.

As for the alleged undeniability of our "Judeo-Christian roots"...well, those roots are certainly less extensive than folks like Boykin think. And it is, of course, simply false to say that his "references to...a Christian nation are historically undeniable." Well, alright, it's not simply false, because the sentence doesn't really make any sense. But he's pretty clearly trying to assert that the U.S. is a Christian nation. How many times do we need to point out that this is not a Christian nation, it's a secular democracy with a lot of Christians (God love 'em) in it? Sheesh. Was this guy asleep in seventh grade civics class?


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