I keep hearing people say that Bush is going to do very poorly among American Muslims in November because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m sorry, this makes no sense to me. Bush treats Muslims like they are capable of self rule, that they’re not unready for Democracy, that they are entitled to certain rights by G-d. American Muslims disliking Bush would be like Russian immigrants hating Ronald Reagan for being too hard on the Soviets in the 80’s. I don’t get it.
Posted by Karol at
Subject: Why I Am Voting For Kerry
I am a senior citizen. During the Clinton Administration, I had an extremely good and well paying job. I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes. Since President Bush took office, I watched my entire life change for the worse. I lost my job. I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War. I lost my homes. I lost my health insurance. As the matter of fact, I have lost everything. Adding insult to injury, when the authorities found me living like an animal, instead of helping me, they arrested me. I will do anything that sSenator Kerry wants to insure that a Demacrat is back in the White House come next year. I just thought that all Americans would like to know how one senior citizen views the Bush Administration. Sincerely, Saddam Hussein.
What’s there not to get ? As you yourself have said countless number of times, Bush is the staunchest supporter of Zionism and the Israeli right we have ever had in the White House. I suspect the reason so many Muslims are against him is that they remain recent immigrants whose emotional ties are often still in the old world. I suspect that American Muslims have more ties to their former nations than American Jews have to Israel-which may explain why a clear majority of Jews and Muslims will vote against Bush come November.
LOL to the first comment!
To Karol’s post:
The reason many American Muslims dislike Bush is that they fundamentally support the goals of the Jihadis: humililating the Great Satan and imposing Islamic rule everywhere, including the United States, which bring sharia, the burka and death for most of us who would object to such nonsense.
Such people sense, correctly in my view, that Bush will do his damnedest to stop this from happening, and that Kerry will be an appeaser who will enable their shenannigans.
Von Bek, why do most Muslims care about Israel at all? It’s a strawman for their problems. Zero will change in their life if the Palestinians succeeded in getting rid of all the Jews. So, it’s illogical to hate Bush for his support of Israel. As for Rob’s points about them sharing the goals of the jihadis, surely that’s not a reason people would give as to why they’re not voting for Bush. In fact, we’re constantly told that the majority of Muslims in the US are moderate and love America.
I agree that it is illogical for Arabs (particularly Arab-Americans with better media access than their friends back in the Middle East) to blame Israel for their woes. Hard to deny that it happens, though.
For the same reason, while I don’t think that the Administration is to blame for the increased discrimination against arabs (and sikhs) I think they will bear the brunt of the blame in the community.
The question is not whether Palastenians taking over Israel would improve the life of Muslims. The question is why do Muslims want to eradicate Israel. It may not be logical but it is the way it is.
And that’s the problem since logic is often out of place here. Take the Wilson leftist (aka neocon) view of the universe that democracy is wonderful and every culture can embrace it. Sounds good on paper. But that’s ignoring traditions, the past and culture. Take Russia. Alexander Soltzinhtzyn mocked the idea that democracy could work for Russia and he has yet to be proven wrong as we can see through the efforts of Kerensky, Yelstin and Putin.
Is Islamic culture and faith compatible with modern democracy ? I sure as hell hope so since no two democracies have ever gone to war. But I’m not so sure. Sorry, Karol, despite the wonderful multicultural oh so happy neocon view here, the Western tradition-and yes, its primary Judeo-Christian base- is fairly unique. I’m not so sure that we can expect the Muslim world to embrace Western democracy overnight.
And furthermore, if the Muslim world were run by democracies, would that make them even more radical than they are now ? If the Weekly Standard folks had their way and the Saudi monarchy was overthrown who would take their place ?
The funny thing is Bush doesn’t get it either, but he should. Muslims don’t like it when American forces occupy Muslim countries. Muslims don’t believe that Iraq is better off with an American occupying army rather than their own dictator. Muslims are distrustful of American motives in Iraq because Americans have historically done so little to earn their trust. America supported and armed oppressive and non-democratic regimes, such as Saddam Hussein and the Shah, when it suited American interests. And America stood by when Saddam Hussein massacred the Kurds in 1988 and again in 1991. There are other examples but I trust you understand my point.
Maybe Muslims should trust this George Bush, maybe they should not; but to say it makes no sense to you can only mean that you refuse to consider the obvious reasons.
Ugarte, where is the proof of increased discrimination against Arabs?
Von Bek, it isn’t fantasy to imagine that people should elect their leaders and rule themselves. At the very minimum, we could then hold the people responsible for the leaders they elect and treat them accordingly. It wasn’t the Iraqi peoples ‘fault’ they had Saddam, we can’t blame the Saudis for the House of Saud, the Iranians promise they would be a perfect country if not for the Mullahs. I mean, let them prove it. Let them be free and let’s see where they go with that.
Therblig, did you miss the part where I talk of AMERICAN muslims. So, which is it? Do they have an allegiance to their home countries over America or don’t they?
There you go again. Why should American Muslims not share many of the concerns that the Muslim world generally does? Because they are American? That’s simplistic. Many American Muslims, both immigrant and native born, harbor the same distrust of American foreign policy. Being, or becoming, an American does not mean that you have to blindly accept every American foreign policy choice and the official government reasons given for them. I offer you reasons that American Muslims distrust American motives and do not like Bush. They are rational, and make sense, whether you agree with them or not.
What’s your argument, that Bush should treat Muslims as if they are incapable of self-governance? Or, that treating them like they can vote and choose their leaders is an incorrect foreign policy?
I’m sorry, are we changing topics now? I thought you said it didn’t make sense that Muslims don’t like Bush. I was offering reasons that make sense. I said nothing about the correctness of the current administration’s foreign policy.
I would discuss the foreign policy issues you raise if you wanted to, but it seems that you would rather just try to bait me. Obviously we should promote democracy in the Middle East. It’s not a question of whether we should, it’s a question of whether the current administration’s policies are consistent with the rhetoric, and, even if the policies are consistent, whether the policy might succeed.
I’m sorry, Therblig, I’m honestly not following you then. What are you trying to say
are the reasons why Muslims don’t like Bush?
Really, my first comment wasn’t clear. I’ll try again, in summary.
Muslims don’t like Bush because they distrust his motive for invading Iraq and Afganistan. They distrust his motive because American history (to say nothing of current events) teaches them that America does not intervene in the Middle East to promote democracy, to liberate people, or to protect oppressed minorities. Historically, American middle-east policy promotes American interests — even if that means supporting a ruthless dictator or installing an oppressive monarch. I think it’s unfair to say it doesn’t make sense, your suggestion is that it’s irrational. It’s not irrational — agree or not, there are reasons to be suspect of American interventionism.
Ok, but my point is that these same people KNOW what kind of despots rule the Middle East. It’s like my Soviet example. Russians in the US could have suspicions about American foreign policy but they know for a fact how corrupt and evil the system they left behind was. Even if you don’t trust America, you’ve got to be cracked to trust Saddam. Am I making myself clear? I feel like this whole argument has gotten kind of muddled.
there is an irrational rationality at play here. if canada all the sudden adopted sharia and became a terrorist factory (hey, don’t laugh – for reasons i wont bore you with here, the idea isn’t totally implausible), i would still be upset to see the u.s. invade my place of birth. i would also be pissed (and vengeful?) at the u.s. as i watch my friends and family carpet-bombed. history would look back and see that an american invasion was the best thing for canada, but try convincing me of that in the present.
I guess that’s interesting to me because my parents wouldn’t have felt that loyalty to the Soviet Union. I have Iranian friends who would welcome an invasion of Iran (and other Iranian friends who want the US to bring down the Mullahs with other methods).
Do they have an allegiance to their home countries over America or don’t they?
Karol, I’m afraid many of them do, and channel their money accordingly. Except their allegiance is not to their home countries, it’s to their religion.
You present very good arguments against neo-cons, and I wish I knew history better to counter. I’ll do what I can, though.
There is no question that Russia was not ready for democracy in 1917. The Zar abdicated not because of Kerensky, or Lenin, but because the whole thing was rotten and falling apart.
I think you’d be interested in history of Christianity in Russia: it is somewhat similar to that of democracy. Paganism refuses to die there, just like totalitarianism. Baptism of Kievan Rus in 900s was the bloodiest mess, and Russian Orthodox holidays are still based on pagan rites.
We Russians have a hard time being civilized. We want raw emotions, we want bare truth, we want rapture – none of that Protestant restraint, none of that stiff upper lip, none of that goody-good stuff.
Does it mean we cannot have culture, civilization, and democracy? I think we can, and I despise Solzhenitsin for his condescention towards his people. Putin is not a democratic ruler, but he’s a hell of a lot more responsible than Yeltsin was, who was still better than the Politburo guys.
Government responsibility is what the US needs from other countries, and I think it has the right to demand it. If I want a country’s ruler to be responsible, I don’t leave him alone, hoping his subjects will figure it out. I interact. I engage him. I give and take. If the guy can’t control people in his country who want to kill me, I look for those who can.
There will be no real democracy soon in the ME, or even in Russia. But it doesn’t mean we can’t have more civility, and civility comes from interaction.
i’m hoping that its not loyalty to their former nations that influences american muslims, just as my aforementioned scenario omits any loyalty to canada. deaths of friends or family has a way of trumping political inclinations, rational or not.
First off, Jews learn the wrong lesson from the Holocaust. Its a question of servival, its kill or be kill. Time Isreal encourage more killing of Arab.
The arab can believe whatever they want, if don’t don’t remember that they are american, maybe one of these day we forget that they are and deal with them accordingly. That would be a find day idea. Muslim by the thousand dieing in the street, pray for that day.
The idea that bringing democracy to the Arab world is a good thing implies that democracy is a good thing. But democracy is simply an alternative way of governing with lots of pluses and minuses. The Muslims may think it has more minuses than pluses, and they may be right.
‘But democracy is simply an alternative way of governing with lots of pluses and minuses. The Muslims may think it has more minuses than pluses, and they may be right.’
no, they’re not, and neither are you. there is a reason why immigrants flood democratic nations (and not the other way around). there is a reason why people who live in democracies are freer, happier, richer, etc. than people who don’t live in democracies. i sincerly don’t mean this in a disrespectful way, but are you still in high school? i remember back then how provocative it was to fashion ideas like this. it made you sound smart to your chums and helped you bag the hippie chicks.
there cannot be any sensible person in the western world who truly believes democracy is not a good thing. dan is i think missing the fundamental problem with the current policy of demoicritisation in the middle east.
you cannot impose democracy. the very notion of doing so is undemocratic in itself.
to be honest most american muslims dislike bush because of his one sided support for israel and morons like sean hannity and bill o’reilly who rail against islam for no good reason.
btw here is a question.
If it is unacceptable to force women to wear certain garments in public, only go out in the company of a male chaperone etc even though the Koran codifies it, why is it ACCEPTABLE to force women to go through labour even if their health is at risk because the bible codifies it. Furthermore why is it acceptable to ban gay marriage because the old testament wrongly declares it a sin?
People flood rich countries, not democratic countries. People are not migrating en masse to India just because it is the world’s largest democracy. However, Hong Kong has been considered a desirable place to live despite the fact that it has not really been democratic.
Democracy is no panacea for the Muslim world. It may in fact allow the most radical elements to get elected to office. Iraq could soon be governed by Shiite radicals because of ‘democracy.’
Karol, you might find it easier to comprehend certain discussions if you learn to think of things in less binary terms. People can have contradictory feelings, beliefs, and views. Unless they are Republicans, in which case that apparently makes them spontaneously combust with rage and confusion.
Yeah, Rick, it’s the Republicans who produce foaming at the mouth Michael Moore.
No, Republicans have such voices of sanity as Little Ms. Treason and other independent “conservative” pundits who are lock step behind the party and whoever the party supports.
I was reading Andrew Sullivan this morning and I was happy at his shot at “patriotic conservative” David Frum (who I think is neither patrotic or conservative but anyways..) who expressed anger that a former joint chief of staff had endoresed Kerry. As Sullivan says:
“I thought Frum wanted the Democrats to become more serious about national defense and terrorism. If the candidate can persuade a bunch of former generals that he is the best choice in the war, and if the convention goes out of its way to restore the Democrats’ commitment to national security in a way not seen in decades, why is that a bad thing? Oh, I forgot. All that matters is Republican partisanship. Whatever their record. Whatever they stand for. Whoever their opponents are.”
Spot on, Andrew.
One thing that really is disturbing me is how the conservative movement has betrayed its own values for the GOP. Even the whole David Keene-Don Devine at ACU shows this.
Unlimited immigration? Out of control spending ? Big government ? Increasing funds for NEH ? Betraying free trade ?
None of this has anything to do with American conservatism and has everything to do with 4 more years.
Karol, I’d have to agree that it is illogical, and I’m an American Muslim.
However, Therblig is spot on, it’s all a matter of trust, and Bush just doesn’t command enough of it. Not here, not overseas.
I also think that it’s a judgement call as to how bad Sadaam was. No question that most everyone wanted him gone, but at what price? I, personally, think that in the end the US will be viewed much better than they are today. But for now, to some, it seems like the cost is/was too high.
And proof of ugarte’s statement? http://www.cair-net.org Though I sense that you won’t take their word for it…
Republican politicans and their apologists find real conservatives irritating. They are more interested in keeping their political jobs and influence than advancing a conservative agenda.
the convention goes out of its way to restore the Democrats’ commitment to national security in a way not seen in decades
Where was this commitment a few months ago, when America actually needed it? What happened at DNC is not “restoring the Democrats’ commitment”, it is “advancing the Democrats’ hypocricy,” and it is hypocritical of Sullivan (no surprise here) to ignore something that evident.
One thing that really is disturbing me is how the conservative movement has betrayed its own values for the GOP
Perhaps they worried about abortion and anal sex too much. Abortion has become the main issue (at least until 9/11) of political divide in America, so all other issues got ignored. In a lot of cases, you can get elected simply because you say “I’m against abortion, and my opponent is not,” and it doesn’t matter how you manage money, etc. For most of the problems of the conservative movement, I blame puritanism.
Interesting comment. I agree with you on world’s opinion about Saddam’s removal. Speaking of trust, I think reasons to distrust Muslim politicians by far outweigh reasons to distrust people like Bush. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard of a Muslim practice, originating in Koran, that allows Muslim rulers to break promises made to infidels. Regardless of this practice’s roots, we’ve seen a HUGE difference between what Muslim politicans tell their people (effectively calling for jihad), and what they say to the West, presenting themselves as innocent victims.
So, not surprisingly, CAIR is not a kind of organization that has even a remote chance of building trust between Muslims here and the rest of America. Terror-sponsoring liars don’t have a lot of credibility in the US.
You’re right that immediate consequences of democracy can be disasterous. However, Hong Kong would have never been desirable, if not for British democracy. Private enterprise is what builds wealth, and democracy has proven to be the best way of making private enterprise work. I don’t see democracy as panacea, but A.it is a tool the we can use to promote responsible governments, and B. it is not specific to Anglo-Saxon cultures. People of all cultures like to have choices.
Liberals have Michael Moore (among others); Conservatives have Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly (among others). Neither of us has a monopoly on single-mindedness.
As for increased discrimination, I could point you to Human Rights Watch reports (that a close friend worked on), but you would probably just dismiss the source.
Note, I didn’t say that the administration was the source of the increased discrimination, just that it has been occurring. There has been a rash of hate crimes against Sikhs in Richmond Hill, Queens, for example.
When something like this happens, the people in charge are going to take the blame regardless of fault. (Though the patriotic hyperventilation certainly doesn’t help matters.)
I agree that private enterprise is the best way to build wealth. However, democracy is a political system, not an economic system.
South Korea and Taiwan industrialized under military governments that promoted forms of capitalism. India languished for decades under a democratic socialism.
However, democracy is a political system, not an economic system.
Dan, please, it’s not like I’m unaware of the distinction, and it’s not like it isn’t obvious from my comment. Yes, in Taiwan and South Korea capitalism was protected by non-democratic governments. Ask yourself: would that ever happen without help from democratic governments such as the US?
Of course, capitalism and democracy are not the same thing, and examples of India and China prove that one does not necessarily lead to the other. You can use it as an excuse to ignore bad situations in other countries. However, those of us who try to accomplish things, see the connection between the way people are governed, and the way they do business or conduct war. It doesn’t work like a mathematical formula that you can disprove by providing simplistic counter-examples, but you can’t pretend the connection is not there. Well, maybe you can, but people will think you’re pretending.
Welcome to the United States of America, Ivan. Blame puritanism all you want but HEY one of the largest American cultural traditions was founded on it and other religious sets of values. This country is a lot bigger than that space between Stamford and Jeresy City as Karol can certainly attest.
As for the Democrats commitment to national security, you will have no argument with me on that issue. But the latest Gallup poll shows Americans are very uneasy about the current administration’s handling of Iraq. Last night Edwards said that the Democrats would fight Al-Queda. To a lot of Americans, the Bush adminstration had Al Queda and Osama on the ropes before invading Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that we have really yet to find in full force. Now some on the left (and yes some on the hard right alas) would argue this was a war for oil or a treacherous cabal of neocons with dual citizenship and divided loyalties.
The president did not help himself. Cake walk. Mission accomplished and play dress up and all that. Now over a year later and though Iraq is now free, the problems remain as the bombing of 68 more souls shows.
Based on the way he handled 9-11, W. deserves to be re-elected. But right now he has a huge bullseye on his forehead and is in for a dog fight that he may well lose.
It is not Bush’s commitment to security; it is his competence that is in question and why the Dems can run to his right on some issues.
Welcome to the United States of America, Ivan. Blame puritanism all you want but HEY one of the largest American cultural traditions was founded on it and other religious sets of values.
Von Beck, I feel welcome enough in the United States of America, thank you.
You are disturbed that conservatives abandoned their values, and I am telling you why I think they did it: because they were too lazy to think past what their pastor told them, and too arrogant to notice that their cultural tradition was one of many in America. When you get nitpicky about morals, it is just as bad as self-indulgence. It is an extreme that often breeds the opposite extreme. Take the hippies movement. What happened in 1967? People wanted to fuck. In 1967, they really-really did, and they could not accomplish that difficult task in a socially acceptable manner. Adlut people pretended that fucking didn’t exist, and so American culture of 50s and 60s revolved around fucking, and that’s the culture that defines America to millions – actually, billions of people. Pretend something doesn’t exist, and it will blow up in your face. Without that whole fucking problem, there would have been no Tim Leary, no Chomsky, etc.
I think tradition is a bad excuse for self-righteousness. I guess what I am gettin at, is that you might be repeating the mistake that in the past led to things that now frustrate you. The mistake being following your tradition in too formal a manner. Concentrate on the trees, and you won’t see the forest. Obsess with what’s in your neighbor’s belly, and she will come back at you, obsessing with what’s in your wallet.
Glad you feel welcome in the US and I hope you feel welcome in the people’s republic of New York.
Social conservatives do more than nitpick about morals; they defend lives by rejecting abortion.
Does America of the radical 1960s define us ? I am not so sure. We have different takes on the 50s. I think Ozzie and Harriet was a bigger part of American cultural life than Ginsberg, Pollock and the beats sodomizing each other and playing bongos in the Villiage. Yes there was Elvis; there were also Nat King Cole, the Platters, the doo wop artists. Even the 60, I think Goldwater, Reagan, Vince Lombardi and George Wallace had more influence than say Joe Namath, LBJ and Malcom X.
Do Muslims make good pets?
Do Muslims make good pets?
No, my dog knows where to shit and piss. And smells much better.
Glad you feel welcome in the US and I hope you feel welcome in the people’s republic of New York.
Aw come on Von Beck, New York is not that bad. I think New Yorkers have very strong family values, they work hard, and they are not easily duped by unions and such. I used to live in Chicago, and New Yorkers to me are at least as American as suburban Midwesterners. Also, a lot of Americans trace their lineage to New York.
I don’t want to demonize social conservatives. I might not know much about them (because I have only met so many), but I see social conservatism as vital to this country. They are the backbone of this culture, I agree with on on this, and certanly want to preserve it. I don’t agree with soc.cons on abortion, but I don’t see this disagreemet as something that makes me fundamentally different from them. Unfortunately, the reverse statement is not true.
I know I’m sounding like a total liberal, but I think it’s important for Americans to have more unity than we have now, and that’s why I think people should chill about the issue, on both sides.
PS. When I was talking about America of 50s and 60s, I was thinking about Chuck Berry, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Byrds, Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, CCR, Jimmi Hendrix…Kubrick, Marlon Brando, what else…These are the most well-known among people I know. Crazy times often produce great art. I’m still checking out the ones you named.
Fair enough on New York. There are some decent people there, and even hardworking American families.
Sorry. I thought my references were all part of the common culture.
Here are some cliff notes:
Ozzie and Harriet-the Nelsons, very clean cut family sitcom of the 50s.
Pollock-modern dripping “artist”
Nat King Cole-crooner of “Unforegtable” and many other sappy ballads.
the Platters-group version of Nat King Cole, crooning band best known for hits “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “My Prayer”
Goldwater-conservative senator from Arizona who ran for the presidency in 1964.
Reagan-yeah we all know him
Vince Lombardi-the greatest football coach ever who is still a model for “Amercian values” like hardwork and discipline.
George Wallace-southern conservative, one time segreagationist governor of Alabama, four time presidential candidate. AntiWashington populist conservative.
Joe Namath-long haired hipie “Broadway Joe” QB who played for the Jets. Does not belong in the Hall of Fame due to more INTs then TDs and not to mention the fact that PHIL SIMMS and KEN STABLER are not in the Hall. Sorry but that really bugs me.
LBJ and Malcom X-uh yeah, we all know them too.
I happen to agree with George Will that the “silent majority” is the big story of the 60s: suburbanites who worked hard and were able to send their kids to school and rooted for Joe Frazier over Ali; made the NFL what it is today; left the Democrats for Republicans; bought two cars and watched John Wayne flicks. Sure the radicals are more fun but I really think the squares built America into what it is today.