Friday, March 18


Nothing complements the cozy glow of a Friday-morning NCAA-tournament victory celebration than a good Atrios annihilation of Charles "Captain Smug" Krauthammer.

All along I've been really tired of the notion, expressed most recently by Krauthammer, that "Those who claimed, with great certainty, that Arabs are an exception to the human tendency toward freedom, that they live in a stunted and distorted culture that makes them love their chains" are all sitting on the left side of the aisle. So far I don't think anyone on the right has actually deigned to dig up a quote in which someone on the left made this claim. With a minimum of Googling, however, you can locate any number of ultra-right-wing asshats who have no problem writing off entire Arab populations as "barbarous savages." (Hell, there are entire right-wing Web sites whose sole purpose is pretty much to do just that -- I'm looking at you, LGF.) And these folks are the worst kind of two-faced hypocrites, too, because while on the one hand they'll grandstand until the cows come home about what a wondrous hero Bush is for bringing democracy to the poor benighted Arab people, they'll turn right around and sneer "Ehhhh, so what, they had it comin' " whenever those democratic ideals are stomped on by an Arab being mistreated, whether accidentally or deliberately, at the hands of the West.

Really, all Krauthammer has done with his lofty morals and highfalutin prose is construct another typically irrelevant straw man. When American liberals and European newspaper posit the question "Was Bush Right After All?", we're wondering whether he was "right" about a pre-emptive war being the best way to bring American-style democracy to the Islamic world. What we're not wondering is whether he was "right" about Muslims being able to handle democracy, because that was never something we questioned to begin with; as I noted, the people who really seem to be having trouble grappling with that question are all hanging out at LGF and FreeRepublic.

So I'm with Atrios and Pandagon: It's time for people like Krauthammer to put up or shut up. Either start naming names and tell us who these condescending libs are who allegedly pooh-poohed the Arab capacity for democracy, or go find some other slander to propagate. Better yet, sit down and have a talk with your own people and lecture them about anti-Arab prejudice. 'Cause from what I can see, we're all doing just fine over here, thanks.

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