Monday, January 03, 2005

Believe It, Desmond

Former Noble Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu engages in a little Bush-bashing in Newsweek. Among the highlights (I fisk in italics):
What impact do you expect the Jan. 30 elections to have there [in Iraq]?
Any normal human being ought to be feeling considerable outrage and deep, deep, deep hurt for so-called ordinary [Iraqi] people. We hardly ever hear about what the casualties have been on that side. How I wish that politicians could have the courage and the humility to admit that they have made mistakes. President Bush and Prime Minister [Tony] Blair and whoever supported the invasion ought at least to have the decency to say [they] went into this war because [they] were given the wrong reasons for going to war.

Any normal human being would feel considerable outrage that the Iraqi insurgents are murdering people by the score. Any normal human being would feel considerable outrage over the mass graves we have uncovered. Any normal human being would feel considerable outrage over the beheading of hostages. And any normal person would celebrate the freedom the Iraqi people will exercise by going to the polls.

You said George Bush should admit that he made a mistake. Were you surprised at his re-election?
[Laughs] I still can't believe that it really could have happened. Just look at the facts on the table: He�d gone into a war having misled people�whether deliberately or not�about why he went to war. You would think that would have knocked him out [of the race.] It didn�t. Look at the number of American soldiers who have died since he claimed that the war had ended. And yet it seems this doesn't make most Americans worry too much.

Believe it, Desmond. Americans are VERY worried about the number of dead soldiers; yet once again, we are forced to carry a heavy burden for the sake of the future.

Talking about religion, much has been said about the role it played in the White House race. What do you say to those who believe that Bush was chosen by God?
[Laughs] I keep having to remind people that religion in and of itself is morally neutral. Religion is like a knife. When you use a knife for cutting up bread to prepare sandwiches, a knife is good. If you use the same knife to stick into somebody�s guts, a knife is bad. Religion in and of itself is not good or bad�it is what it makes you do� Frequently, fundamentalists will say this person is the anointed of God if the particular person is supporting their own positions on for instance, homosexuality, or abortion. [I] feel so deeply saddened [about it]. Do you really believe that the Jesus who was depicted in the Scriptures as being on the side of those who were vilified, those who were marginalized, that this Jesus would actually be supporting groups that clobber a group that is already persecuted? That�s a Christ I would not worship. I'm glad that I believe very fervently that Jesus would not be on the side of gay bashers.

Desmond here equates George Bush with gay bashers, despite his stated support of civil unions, said position also being John Kerry's. Does Tutu equate John Kerry with gay-bashers? Does Tutu think Jesus would take the side of those who behead humanitarian aid workers and spread the filthy video across the globe? That's a Christ I would not worship.

So have the attacks of September 11 and the so-called war on terror given America and its allies another focal point?
Yes. There's no question at all. It appears as if we need enemies for our self identification.

This is a particularly infuriating argument one frequently hears from the left. Tutu and his ilk would have us believe that we conjured up the enemy of organized terrorism in order to suppress civil rights and usher in a new Reich. How soon we forget the people who jumped from 100 stories in the air to certain death rather than die in flames, people whose only crime was showing up for work.
Tutu was a great spokesman against South Africa's reprehensible apartheid regime. How sad to see that he has now become just another 'progressive'.

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