City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Myron Magnet
When a Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words « Back to Story

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Fire Bomb Their Cities May 21, 2011 at 11:49 PM
Respectful "Muslim Burial"..his body should have been feed to pigs so that he become "fertilizer"..in any case,according to the apologists for Islam he was not a Muslim since Muslims do not practice violent jihad therefore there was not need to give him a "Muslim" burial
A couple of observations on Mr Magnet's essay:

1. There is no such thing as "the white skullcap of a pilgrim to Mecca." Pilgrims to Mecca do not wear skullcaps (or any other head covering). Nor can one assume that anyone who wears a white skullcap has been anywhere near Mecca.

2. If you do not understand a language, you cannot (without making a fool of yourself in public) presume that the language is Arabic simply because its audience is presumed to be Muslim. Proportionately few Muslims read, speak, or understand Arabic.

3. If you do not understand a language (or even know what language it is), you cannot presume to know what is being said when people speak it--unless you absolutely insist on making a fool of yourself in public, no matter what.

4. Throwing someone over the side of ship at sea is not a "respectful Muslim burial." It is, incidentally, worth asking what point other than sheer childishness would be served by killing bin Laden and then disrespecting his corpse, since it was bin Laden and not his corpse who engaged in terrorism. But perhaps someone should send Mr Magnet one of Osama bin Laden's skullcaps, preferably a white one, so that he (Mr Magnet) can wreak bloody vengeance upon it to his heart's content.

5. A factually challenged and emotionally overwrought author is not in a position to be lecturing anyone about how to write "good propaganda" on this subject, or frankly, any other.
At stake here are not psychologically vulnerable people whom Bin Laden might inspire to suicide, but the vast majority of people struggling with the transition to modernity. I doubt that photographic evidence disseminated by the U.S. government would convince the fanatics, in any case; no more than the President's birth certificate issued in 2008 convinced the American "birthers." For rational people with conflicted hearts, leadership consists of standing beside them (like FDR) to contemplate hard issues, not declaring panaceas and pedaling terror from triumphant pulpits (like the monsters unleashed on Europeans facing similar issues some 80 years ago).
"the White House seems unable to get its story straight or even to make up its mind about what the storyline should be."
The President does what it takes to meet what he considers eperce "correct." He is, remember, a Chicago politician. What is his core and what he believes (does anyone know what that is?) is not really what dictates what he will do. Good Luck America.
What on earth is all this fuss about a photograph? Long gone are the days when a photograph was reliable evidence Today we can conjure images out of thin air and do; stills, movies, b & w, colour, with or without sound. If anyone wants to lie about the results of the bin Laden opeation they have had more than enough time to concoct an album full, even a DVD.
The sort of proof being demanded requires the body displayed on the steps of the Capitol or the head in a stake in the Mall. Is that what we want to come to?
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JasonC: Did Mr. Magnet just actually just report on the contents of a tape in a language he does not know and cannot identify? And report his subjective divination about what it "must" mean as a fact?

This is bad journalism from a decent publication. It should not have gotten past the editor.
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My thought exactly! This is a wholly ridiculous premise on which to base a serious argument. The speaker might have been railing against Assad or Mubarak; or maybe it was Farsi and he was complaining about the Sunni in Iraq; or maybe the price of cashews in the local souq, for that matter...
tma_sierrahills May 07, 2011 at 4:30 PM
"I remember riding up Madison Avenue in a taxi a few days before 9/11. The cabbie, a large, heavily bearded man wearing a white tunic and the white skullcap of a pilgrim to Mecca, was listening to a tape—in Arabic, I presumed. But you didn’t have to be a native speaker to understand the point of the lecturer or preacher: the tone of rage, of hatred, of bitterness meant murder"

Yet another reason to "Celebrate diversity!"
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Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job, Crime and Eco Sanity.
Did Mr. Magnet just actually just report on the contents of a tape in a language he does not know and cannot identify? And report his subjective divination about what it "must" mean as a fact?

This is bad journalism from a decent publication. It should not have gotten past the editor.
Norman Hanscombe May 06, 2011 at 11:21 PM
I acknowledge that those in charge of U.S. media releases on Osama's death didn't handle it well; but let's hope they're not so blinkered and/or emotively hung up as to even consider Myron Magnet's incredibly unsophisticated proposal.
Charlie Griffith May 06, 2011 at 9:34 PM
It's most definitely a triumph of our Military and Intelligence Agencies, but in my mind Obama's involvement was more centered on his absolute duty as Commander in Chief to back them up for their well performed actions.

After belittling the previous administration's aggressive and apparently effective anti Islamist terrorism efforts at every opportunity, it's unseemly now that Obama is lauded for this success as if he'd beeen the primary mover. "Never let a triumph go to waste"? Inviting the former President Bush to Ground Zero was too little, too late. Bush gained stature by declining.

It's past time for the Obama administration to end their investigation of the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency's Officers, and end that hypocritical, morale destroying accusatory finger pointing.

This is nauseous hypocrisy.
Good points. Although I agree that it was a 'brilliant triumph' Obama will go through the political currency gained like a $20 bill at an airport bar if more 'wallowing in the moment' along with the facile explanations of the 'picture' issue are what's forthcoming.

It could have, and should have, been so much better.
The man is dead. Justice has been served. I see no great purpose in sinking to the level of graphically violent propaganda in much the same way that our enemies do. To insult his corpse would only suggest, to those who already hate us, that we are no better than they are. The perception that America is barbaric or lacking in moral and ethical fiber as a nation is directly countered when we treat this event with as we have, with somber revelry, not gloating.
Great idea. Really, that's exactly what we should do. Obama won't do that however. He's slipped back into the cultural relativity thing....

We need a leader.