Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Taliban at Yale

Chip Brown writes the cover article for the Sunday New York Times Magazine on Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, and now a Freshman at Yale University. Do you think this is a little odd?
John Fund does. He thinks it would be something akin to Yale letting Josef Goebbels come in. I wonder if Yale alumns (which includes Bush) will be happy with this. I hope not.

Discussions - 14 Comments

He’s unlikely to hear anything at Yale that will alter his basic world-view regarding the corruption of the West--particularly if he’s there for "Sex Week."

This speaks volumes about the other America. You, know the one that isn’t ... well ... evil.

So it’s still there under just below the grime. Heartening to see.

Besides, at least you know where he is:-)

Could Hashemi take correspondence courses at GITMO? Why not? He’ll have a Koran (provided he does not flush it down the commode in order to give TIME a phony story), dietary correct meals(ought to mix a little pork in his hummus). Yes most of the comforts of home. Why for relaxation he can be provided a TV/VCR and watch continuously his "enlightened" brethren dynamiting the 1500 year old Buddha’s of Bamyan.

I reacted viscerally on seeing the NYT Magazine headline in somewhat the same way as John Fund. Reading the article, however gives a different perspective. He was young, arguably 16, gained a place with the Taliban because he spoke English, and apparently found a mentor who put him in an impossible position: traveling as a spokesperson with little, or no, contact with the decision makers for a closed and medieval regime at the age of 20-21. Assuming the NYT article was accurate, his education at Yale and his return to Afghanistan is EXACTLY what we need as part of the "hearts and minds" iniative.

To TheElephant and Brian Coughlin (Why not?)The ignorance of youth in regards to Hashemi should not apply here. I mean with beheadings in soccer stadia, the destruction of ancient art, banning of women from schools, etc, etc, Hashemi should get a pass? I refer you to this item and article....

"The problem with Islam, however, is not a lack of self-esteem but too damned much." from...

A little more...."Meanwhile, all our attempts to bolster Muslim self-esteem, our desperate protestations of respect for their wonderful religion, our groveling apologies for exercising our own rights and values, our donning of the hair-shirt of racist, colonialist, or imperialist guilt, do nothing more than convince the jihadist that his spiritual superiority is justified. He looks at our appeasement, our fear, our rationalizations, our self-doubt, our unwillingness to defend the values we preach to the world, and sees the craven inferiority of the dhimmi, the conquered infidel who must acknowledge by his public actions the superiority of Islam, and who must pay the jizya, the “poll tax” that purchases his trembling security. Only we call the poll tax “foreign aid” or “welfare payments,” and the gestures of submission “respect for diversity.” We think our submission buys us affection and gratitude and respect for our interests, but in fact it purchases nothing except more contempt for our spiritual bankruptcy, more scorn for our belief that money and material comfort trump spiritual truth."

Yes Coughlin you are right in one respect. The grime seems to more in your own Eire (if that is where you are from) and Europe as a whole. Little appeasers and


Oh boo, hoo, YAWN, Jesse. Not the same tired, trite and hopelessly inapplicable comparison to that bogey man of the American conciousness, Hitler?

Get a grip man (slap!), neither Afghanistan or Iraq were EVER in a position to (in the immortal words of the Brain) "take over the world" (slap!). Your paranoia, trumps even your staggeringly poor grasp of history. SNAP OUT OF IT (WACK!).

If you consider the current US actions respectful, and submissive, I’d hate to see what "jolly put out" looks like. Sheese ..

As for your comment about "Eire" (snigger), just the use of that quaint word speaks volumes. On a side note, try that "invading" crap in Ireland, and we’d kick your ass so many colours, people would salute when you pulled down your pants. I say that respectfully as a pacifist:-)

I don’t know much about this guy, and neither do you. I see his being at a US university as a glimmer of hope. A throwback to the days when the rest of the "free world" respected the US, and looked to the US for leadership. Remember those times? Heady days. I used to be one of those people. Really, I thought america was great! Those days sadly are over for me, and millions like me. White middle class english speakers all ... Also, they are unlikely to ever return. I suspect I will view everything the US does with suspicion and jaundice, for a very long time to come.

Plus everyone I know in Sweden and Ireland feels much the same way. What a wasted opportunity the last 6 years has been. My 10 year old daughter asked me yesterday when Bush’s term would be up, and was noticeably relieved to hear he couldn’t be re-elected. She’s 10!

All of that blather aside, back to the topic. Maybe he should be tried for whatever crimes he may be guilty of. I’m up for that, if there is evidence and proof, witnesses and all that akward stuff.

In the meantime however, YANKEE GO HOME. Come back when you are ready to treat the rest of us as equals.

My, my, a little touchy so late in the day?

"On a side note, try that "invading" crap in Ireland, and we’d kick your ass so many colours, people would salute when you pulled down your pants. I say that respectfully as a pacifist:-)"- Coughlin

Uh, why on earth should we invade the "Old Sod"? It seems that I recall a little history where Ireland had a "little" problem with sectarian violence tween Catholics and Protestants. From across the great pond my view was a pox on both their houses. I have no fear of "militant" Catholicism or Protestantism. But I do have concerns about militant Islam.

Now it seems that the Irish are still doing their work at all levels. You have not become "lazy" and outsourced your jobs to Muslim immigrants, at least not yet, as much of western Europe has done. If you do, better lock up your daughter and take a course in firearms training.

Uh, Coughlin, do the Irish still have faith in their church or do they have more faith in Jacques Chirac and the EU bureaucrats in Brussels? The Islamist have a strong faith in their "god". The Euros? Faith in a briefcase totter in gay Paree. Boy, you are dead and don’t even know it.

For your enlightenment here is Dr. Hanson’s website address ....

But I do not think you will be enlightened much at all. So I will close with these observations.......

"An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything in to an empty head."
- Eric Hoffer

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity"
- Martin Luther King

A pox on both their houses? What a pithy analysis of the problem. You do your president and party proud:-)

I’m not disputing that the EU doesn’t have it’s problems, or engaging in a "my whanger is bigger than your whanger argument" as regards the US vs the EU. I think we are largely on the same side here as regards the whole clash of civilisations thing.

I’m just trying to help you guys find your way back to respect for human rights, the rule of law and some semblance of critical honesty in your political discourse.

The US tortures people, imprisons them without trial, arrests people in countries around the globe and holds them without charge indefinetly. Dear God man? Is this the country you grew up in? Get a sense of perspective.

Many tens of thousands more than the 3000 killed on 9/11 have died as a result of your governments actions. This is indisputable stuff.

You, and americans like you must be borderline insane to continue to support this lunacy. Now that I’ve been "radicalised" by the Bush presidency, once he’s gone, and assuming you guys stop trying to be masters of the universe, I’ll start having a go at EU hypocrisy. Goodness knows there is plenty of THAT.

I the meantime though, you shove daily, such spectacular injustice and horror in the collective face of the world, we have no choice but to protest.

Hello? Anyone home? There are millions of middle class, white worker types here who feel that way. I mean it’s obvious surely, if we do, how must the Arabs feel?

"My 10 year old daughter asked me yesterday when Bush’s term would be up, and was noticeably relieved to hear he couldn’t be re-elected. She’s 10!"

I agree with the elephant... As a kid Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi was probably just a puppet. How many of the grown people in Al Queda are themselves puppets is also unkown, unknowable. The level of propaganda in Arab nations is incredible... the way it is blended in with religion...

Hopefully when he attends sex week... he will feel liberated and ditch the trumped up world view as seen through the lens of Islam. In so doing maybe he will contact the Aids virus...then he could write a powerfull book on how although an intelligent person... he was led around by the nose his whole life.

that was lowww blow, but a keeper:-) Now I’ll have to do some navel gazing.

Mr. Coughlan consider this........

If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism. - Thomas Sowell or........

There is only one step from fanaticism to barbarism. - Denis Diderot

It may be off subject but what would secularist Europeans think of this observation by an early American

The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. - John Adams

Now what have the "Paleotinians" done to civilize man except to kill him?

Jesse, I’ve never said that I wasn’t prepared to use force to defend civilisation.

I’ve posted here a number of times, and often affirmed the need for robust intervention.

However, you are looking for simple solutions, like your idiot president, and those solutions rarely exist.

For example, the issue with "Eire" took over 30 years to get close to a resolution. Over 3000 people were killed in that time. On the plus side, both Ireland and the UK emerged largely unscathed out the other side. Chalk one up for rationality.

Jesse, you and people like you exhibit a subliminal racism, that generally you are not even aware of. Let me elucidate it for you.

You would not consider it reasonable to raze the city of Chicago to the ground, or starve the citizens of Chicago to remove the mafia. Yet, you think this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do when removing a client gone bad in some obscure hole overseas. Why is this?

This is simply because you absolutely, honestly in your heart of hearts think that "american lives" are more important. Worth more, of greater value.

Thus if ACTUAL people are to be killed to eliminate a POTENTIAL threat, as long as those people aren’t americans, well thats kind of ok. That attitude is at the root of your national pathology, and it has the genes to blossom into full blown facism. On the plus side you have the constitution.

So let me repeat, I’m all for intervention that is sanctioned by some agreed authority (even though the UN does suck, it’s all we have for the moment), I have a preference for that authority being democratic in nature.

I think there is massive global vacuum as regards leadership on the important issues like : binding international law, climate change, alternate energy, poverty and injustice.

I think that if the US took a lead on these issues many would follow. Not as many as would have done 6 years ago alas, but thats life. Once it has a head of steam people would get on board.

Instead of leading, Bush has choosen to dictate, and that is just weak minded. Nobody likes to be told "do this or get kicked in the balls.", both those who obey you, and those who oppose you, despise you in equal measure. The system most be regularly sustained by violence, which breeds push back, and is inherently unstable.

Besides Bush really is an idiot or an incredible cynic. How can someone not be one or the other when coming out with this gem in the SOTU address : What people don’t realize is we’re addicted to foreign oil .... I laughed till I cried when he said that, and then, I just cried. Never have I agreed more with a sentiment expressed by an american president, that president? Jimmy Carter.

All of that said. I still think the future is (mostly) an american one, and I’m ok with that, as long as its the real america and not this cheap chinese knock off that is currently on offer.

To make it happen YOU need to get over this war. YOU need, urgently to get out of denial about what has been done, is being done, in your name. The sooner you do it, the sooner we can get on with building a democratic planetary confederacy based on law.

Brian, I wouldn’t call it racism so much as a natural but possibly misguided selfishness.

After all it is one thing to wax eloquently about the equal value of all human life everywhere, and quite another to see from your own perspective that your life is of equal importance to that of the "other". In fact I believe this is impossible. On the other hand I am somewhat receptive to the argument that lots of people are subcontiously racist, I think that implicitly people look at Western power and sucess and say: If all people are equal, why do we have all the cargo? A sort of Guns Steel and Germs question that Dr. Diamond does a decent but somewhat impartial job answering.

The answer I believe resides largely in our political organizations. Unfortunately president Bush has focused too much on the "democracy" side of the question while ignoring the liberal aspect of "liberal democracy." Thus in Iraq we probably won’t succeed. What they really needed was an understanding of individual and property rights. Instead the closest thing the Iraqi’s have when it comes to a liberal democracy is a quota that ensures that women will be represented at some level. But to equate ideas with sex is rather flawed...and to equate quotas with liberalism, let alone liberal democracy is quite wrong altogether.

In any case all of this is a digression, but I would argue with you till we both drop that Iraq is not an example of killing others (non-americans) for the sake of aleviating the fear(potential threat) that republicans have purposefully agitated.

That is a way of seeing it but I don’t think it is correct.

Conversely (which I also don’t think is fully correct) One could argue that this war is a result of morally viewing American lives as equal in value to Iraqi lives...and thus the attending emphasis on improving the lives of Iraqi through providing jobs, rebuilding hospitals, capturing Saddam, turning him over to the Iraqi’s...allowing them to design a constitution...ext....

In fact I would argue that we probably went too far in this direction when it came to allowing them free reign in designing a constitution

In other words at some point we should have been able to look past the charge of racial superiority (in so far as this charge would have been leveled if we had told Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds that they wouldn’t have imput on the constitution, concerning the character of individual rights, seperation of mosque and state...ext...)In order to actually assure that the constitution was one that would ensure Liberty...and lay a ground work for economic progress and development...

This is totally insane but it doesn’t surprise me. Yale, Harvard and the rest of the elite educational institutions in the United States are filled with people who either (a) do not view the Islamists as a threat (b) view the United States as the greatest threat to global security. Plus there is a certain level of radical chic as well. Yale can "proudly" proclaim they have a jihadi for a student. How diverse!

What really surprises me is how this guy got in in the first place. What’s up the w/ immigration authorities? Who gave this scumbag his VISA to get in the U.S.?

Lastly, it’s interesting how people sympathize with this terrorist. "He was only 16", they write. I doubt they would feel the same way about someone affiliated with a gang of fascist thugs. But that’s exactly what the Taliban are. They are some of the vost vile, reactionary people on the planet.

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