Thursday, December 12, 2002

Ve Have Vays Of Making You Angry

So I was reading the latest Molly Ivins column on Henry Kissinger yesterday and as usual was wadding through the mushy logic, muddled reasoning, and meandering thoughts when I came across this gem from Molly:

The only time I ever interviewed Kissinger, he told me three lies in the first sentence he spoke, each word. Dropping. From. His. Mouth. Like. A. Stone. He lies with more authority than anyone I have ever known.

With a great deal of help from our crack Fraters research staff (I owe you guys a round at our next happy hour event) I was able to uncover a transcript of the original interview and have learned that this was Kissinger's infamous opening sentence:

"Miss Ivins you are a very attractive, intelligent voman vith a vonderful sense of humor."

I really think Molly is being too hard on old Hank here by calling him a liar for his remark. Isn't one man's lying just another man's flattery after all? And is it really three individual lies or just one big lie when Kissinger describes Ivins in terms that clearly bear no resemblance to the truth?

Molly's column then goes on to call Kissinger a war criminal, blaming him for the 3 million Cambodians who perished in the Killing Fields, and labels him a liar several more times.

Kissinger's most notorious crime was the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War. William Shawcross argued persuasively in his book "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia" that the Cambodian bombing unleashed the Khmer Rouge on that country -- which, if true, certainly ups Kissinger's body count.

He is also a notorious liar. He has lied repeatedly to Congress, the press and the public; he is toady to power and a lackey of the Establishment, and for many years now the hireling of despotic regimes around the world. Old Cover-Up Kissinger, the man who double-crossed the Iraqi Kurds ... just the man to lead an independent inquiry into 9-11.

At one point she even taunts him with the children's refrain: Liar, liar pants on fire. Hanging from a telephone wire. Okay, I just made that part up, but it's clear that despite Hank's earlier attempts to woo Molly over she holds a Texas size grudge against him today.

By the way I haven't seen "the Establishment" charge brought out for many years. Molly's not a Boomer by any chance is she?

Compared to most Ivin's columns at this point her attacks on Kissinger didn't really get my blood boiling since I'm not a huge fan of the man myself (although his book Diplomacy is a masterpiece on the history of balance of power global politics). But Molly has to be Molly and so she suddenly veers off topic and criticizes administrative officials for attacking Islam:

Meanwhile, our neo-con hawks have moved from the bellicose to the bizarre. Ken Adelman, a member of Bush's Defense Policy Board, has joined several other hawks in direct attacks on Islam. Calling Islam a peaceful religion "is an increasingly hard argument to make," announced Adelman. "The more you examine the religion, the more militaristic it seems. After all, its founder, Mohammed, was a warrior, not a peace advocate like Jesus."

Another member of the Pentagon advisory board, Eliot Cohen, says, "Nobody would like to think that a major world religion has a deeply aggressive and dangerous strain in it -- a strain often excused or misrepresented in the name of good feelings. But uttering uncomfortable and unpleasant truths is one of the things that defines leadership."

Hardly what I consider vitriolic statements against Islam. In fact they seem to be quite reasonable given events of late. But Molly is outraged by these "attacks" and so responds in the manner she know best. By attacking what she considers the religion of the right:

The Christian right has gone completely batty on the subject: Rev. Jerry Falwell called Mohammed "a terrorist," Rev. Franklin Graham said Islam is "evil" and so forth.

Let's see, where does that leave Christianity, the religion of peace and love, founded by the Prince of Peace?

Among the more notable Christian crimes were the unbearably bloody Crusades, the Thirty Years War, the Inquisition, innumerable pogroms, regular slaughter of Protestants, counter-slaughter by Protestants, genocide against Native Americans (featuring biological warfare), slavery, the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing, Northern Ireland ... and the list goes on and on and on.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Especially when they are making bellicose statements and beating the war drums relentlessly for what may be an unnecessary war.

This is absolutely outrageous. Why should we give Islam a free pass for events happening TODAY because some Franks killed some Arabs when they took Jerusalem HUNDREDS of years ago? This is the sort of moral relativism that the Left perfected during the Cold War when we were told that we could not criticize the actions of the Soviet Union because of our less than perfect past.

By adding items like "innumerable pogroms" and "regular slaughter of Protestants, counter-slaughter by Protestants" Molly pads her list without providing any historical details (who, where, when). By "ethnic cleansing" I assume she means the Serbs although with such a vague reference she leaves it open to assume that Christianity is responsible for all examples of it.

But by far the most offensive piece is her claim that the Holocaust was a crime of Christianity. The Nazis simply were not Christians. While they might have embraced Christian symbols and tradition for propaganda purposes they were not a movement based on Christianity and came closer to a sort of pagan mythology as their "official" religion. To imply that Christianity was behind the Holocaust is intellectually dishonest and morally repugnant. But I guess I shouldn't expect much more from Miss Ivins who is one of the most hateful and despicable voices of the Left.

People like Molly who live in glass houses shouldn't look at their reflections. They might not like what they see.

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