Burke, Cole on Newsweek’s Flushed-Koran Story

So, it’s now going on five days since the big Newsweek-Koran story became big, and there has certainly been a great deal written about it, especially by poltiically conservative webloggers, if my smallish sample is any indication. But at least in that sample, I haven’t seen anything that sounds more intelligent to me than these two items, both of which appeared way back on Monday: From Tim Burke of Easily Distracted: “Demonstrably false”. And from Juan Cole of Informed Comment: Guantanamo Controversies: The Bible and the Koran.

5 Responses to “Burke, Cole on Newsweek’s Flushed-Koran Story”

  1. ethan-p Says:

    OK…because I’m taking my lunch early, I’ll rant on this one a little. Maybe someone’ll actually give a shit.

    Tim Burke makes a great point: If we weren’t so fucking secretive, we would be able to prove or disprove the allegations. However, since we’re secretly arresting and disappearing people, a detainee can send in reports of Americans ramming red hot pokers up peoples’ asses and it could neither be proven nor disproven.

    I am against the secret arrests and detentions without any due process. That being said, and putting those concerns aside for the moment, I have some other issues.

    First, I’ve tried flushing books down the toilet (don’t ask). It doesn’t work. Maybe they’ve got those crazy six million dollar toilets in Gitmo bay (this is the federal government that we’re talking about, and they know how to piss your dollars away). Maybe terrorist suspects have really big turds or something, but I have yet to see a single toilet that can suck down a book. A bunch of golf balls yes, but no books…not even those really small ones.

    Second, if we are detaining people for interrogation, shouldn’t we be allowed to put some level of pressure on people to get the necessary information? Perhaps torture needs to be better defined (and I think that the Bush administration actually tried to do this) — because in my eyes attempting to flush a sacred book down the toilet is a far cry from pulling people’s toenails out — or even stacking up a pile of naked guys and taking pictures of them.

    Isn’t a large part of why they hate us due to a vast cultural divide? I mean — fuck — in Pakistan, desicrating the Koran is punishable by death. Of all our silly laws, I don’t think that anything tops that. Perhaps we can chalk this one up to a cultural divide. They’re pissed because our culture is invading their’s with our movies, music, and TV. We’re not going to simply stop our culture to make them happy. We won’t even ban exportation of American cultural items — that would be dumb. Sure, the sacred-text-desecration thing is a blatant act of disrespect — but does it realy deserve this level of attention? In my opinion, the Constitution considers due process to be an unalienable right…and I believe that it should extend beyond our citizens, to people who were brought to American soil against their will. I don’t think that our country has a legal right to bring people to American soil and violate what we consider to be unalienable rights for all humans. So we’re already violating their human rights in the name of information retrieval. In my mind, disrespecting their religion is just another brick in the wall…and a really small brick, since I think that organized religion is bullshit.

    Maybe I’m missing something, because the only thing keeping me from pissing on a Holy Bible, Koran, or Torah is a respect for people (but not necessarily their beliefs, however). If we’re secretly incarcerating people without any sembalance of due process, it’s already said that we have no respect for them. Are the Islamic fundamentalists saying that it’s OK to violate peoples’ human rights, right up until the point where we fuck with their religion?

    I say ‘fuck that!’ Religion is really a huge part of what got us here. Our dumb religion and their dumb religion (yeah, we’re all assholes). If that’s the case, shouldn’t it be fair ground? Maybe, in order to make it even, they can detain Christian Americans and can bring in pregnant teenagers and stone monuments of the Ten Commandments. Then they can tell our boys that for each day we don’t tell talk, they will abort a fetus and remove a monument. That’ll show us!

    Maybe I’m missing something — I’m just talking out of my ass here. Let me know if you think I’m full of shit on this one.

    Oh yo — JBC — is there a way to preview posts before submitting? I can’t blame it for all of the dumb shit that I say, but some of it could be aleviated by a preview page.

  2. jbc Says:

    Oh, hm. Let me look into that. Probably.

  3. Steve Says:

    Displaying to the Muslim world that we disrespect Islam may not be a big deal to you, but it will lose us this war.

    If our government convinces the world that we’re at war with Islam we’ll have a lot more enemies than I’d like to deal with. There’s a huge difference between some moderate Muslim disliking our culture and believing that we’re at war with his religion.

  4. ethan-p Says:

    An excellent point, Steve. There are quite a few Muslims than there are extremists…I toldja that I was talking out of my ass.

    I wish that the majority in this country would tiptoe around me (without racially profiling me or tapping my phones).

  5. Robert Says:

    I say the Muslims are Bad news, kill ’em all let God sought ’em out

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