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In response to:

The President and 'Violent Extremism'

Doug Indeap* Wrote: Feb 25, 2015 11:26 AM
Tom, I endorse the call for relevance that underlies your comment. To that, we can add a call for civility as well. I think, though, that focusing comments only on the statements in one article may unduly confine discussion, since to the extent that an author’s other statements or actions reveal inconsistencies or insights, they may be relevant to discussion an article. Note, too, the common pattern of those who when confronted by a defense of this or that statement or action by President Obama, start railing about all the other stuff he has said or done that demonstrates he is a lying traitorous son of Satan or some such. We wouldn’t want to deprive them of the opportunity or us of the entertainment. I appreciate too your compliment that I at least came close to addressing the article by questioning the purpose and utility of a presidential pronouncement that Islam is the greatest evil of our day. With respect to your further assertion that such a pronouncement would merely acknowledge the truth, I question that. As an atheist, I have no interest in championing Islam (or Christianity for that matter). While I have studied Islam enough to recognize the Koran contains provisions readily lending themselves to supporting violence, I am hardly expert (or arrogant or ignorant) enough to tell the millions of Muslims who understand and practice their religion in an manner that does not support, and indeed opposes, the violence of terrorists that they are wrong about their own religion. And, as I said earlier, even if I somehow felt justified in telling them that, why would I do so? What useful purpose would be served?
Perhaps you didn't mean to be taken seriously, but the evidence supporting what I said is the absence of any statement by Praeger about what he expects would be accomplished if the President declared Islam to be the greatest evil of our day and what he thinks the next step would be. If you dispute that he failed to say anything about that, perhaps you can point to it and explain to us just what would be accomplished and what we do next. I'll take my answer off line.
In response to:

The President and 'Violent Extremism'

Doug Indeap* Wrote: Feb 24, 2015 11:52 AM
I'll look past the ad hominem attack and respond to what you said about what I said . . . oh, nothing, well never mind.
In response to:

The President and 'Violent Extremism'

Doug Indeap* Wrote: Feb 24, 2015 11:08 AM
Praeger presents his juvenile impulse to declare his religion better than Islam as some sort of a policy choice but fails to say what he expects it would accomplish or what the next step would be. After the President declares the world's second largest religion the greatest evil of our day, are we then to just get on with a clash of civilizations? Would he have us ready the nukes?
In response to:

The President and 'Violent Extremism'

Doug Indeap* Wrote: Feb 24, 2015 11:04 AM
Kirk, You miss my point. I understand that many Muslims favor some aspects of what the terrorists do and that of all the worlds religions, Islam, currently is more often invoked by those bent on violence. That does not detract from the fact that many Muslims understand and practice Islam in a manner that opposes the terrorists. Praeger would have the President unwisely and unnecessarily brand their religion evil, push them together with the terrorists, and then . . . what? Take them on in a clash of civilizations? Stupid unnecessary move. And for what? I suppose if one is playing some fantasy contest in which "our" religion outscores "their" religion, such a "win" is the goal. Juvenile.
President Obama rightfully condemns ISIL and other terrorists who invoke or, as he puts it, distorts and hijacks Islam. At the same time, he rightfully recognizes that the terrorists comprise but a tiny portion of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. He rightfully reasons that when fighting these terrorists, it would be the height of folly to also unnecessarily treat an entire religion and all its adherents as enemies just like the terrorists. That would serve, if anything, only to tighten any ties between Islam and terrorism and thereby aid the terrorists. To the extent that Islam is used by those intent on terrorism, we should seek to weaken and sever that connection. To the extent that Islam lends itself to those opposing terrorism, we should seek to strengthen that influence. Praeger, though, apparently would rather indulge in some sort of theological scoring contest in which Islam comes up short of Christianity and Judaism—so much so that he would have the President simply declare Islam the greatest evil of this day. Then what? Praeger doesn’t say. Are we to suppose that a chest thumping declaration that Islam is not as good as Christianity or Judaism will accomplish something and that will be the end of it? Or does Praeger wish for a clash of civilizations, and wants to just get on with it? We are fortunate to have a President with a bigger heart and cooler head. Obama shows true leadership by standing down and walking back those urging such unwise, unnecessary, and ultimately destructive impulses.
You raise a valid point. Even if some editor, rather than Thomas, wrote the headline for his article, simple values like journalistic integrity and plain old honesty ought to prompt a retraction or correction, if not an apology.
I'm not sure of your point. If your aim is to relitigate whether the Crusades were good or bad, I'm not interested. While you may be anxious to argue the virtues of Christianity through all history, I'm not. Obama's point was to observe that religions, including even Christianity, are susceptible to being distorted by some for their own evil ends. Do you seriously dispute that? Quibble with the examples he chose if you must, but let's at least recognize the main point.
bobbit, yes, I saw, heard, and read his remarks.
Pistol, that irrelevant, insignificant semantics you say I argue happen to be the facts. That "big stuff" you mention is but arm waving by those making up stuff, attributing it to others, and then happily howling in outrage at it.
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