Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Hidden Columnists
12 October Edition

Time to cross the NYTimes Times Select firewall border to see what their intrepid columnists are putting out today. I'm actually going to skip the Maureen Dowd column, as it's a snark-fest about all the overly congratulatory/laudatory notes that Harriet Miers has sent to President Bush over the years... and not a particularly funny snark-fest either (but hey, I'm under the weather with a fever in bed, so my sensse of humor is a bit off key). But if you haven't seen the story on these 2,000 or so pieces of official "official correspondence and personal notes" made public by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. check out this NYTimes story (which makes the snarky fake Harriet Miers's Blog!!! look downright real.

And so we'll focus on the intrepid Tom Friedman

If I were editor of this newspaper, I would have led last Thursday's issue with the news report, under a big headline, saying that a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber attacked the Shiite mosque in Hilla, Iraq, on Wednesday - the Shiites' first day of Ramadan - and blew himself up, killing at least 25 worshipers and wounding more than 87. The worshipers had come to the mosque not only to mark the start of the Muslim holy month, but also to mourn a Shiite restaurant owner who had been killed by insurgents a few days earlier. According to The A.P., "The explosion hit the Husseiniyat Ibn al-Nama mosque, ripping through strings of light bulbs and green and red flags hung around the entrance to celebrate the start of the holy month."

This attack, which got scant attention, deserved much, much more because it's the essence of the terrorism problem we now face. When a Sunni Muslim jihadist blows up a Shiite mosque - a mosque - during Ramadan - Ramadan - and virtually no one in the Sunni world utters a word of condemnation, it means there is no controlling moral authority in the Sunni Muslim community anymore.

When Sunni Muslim insurgents have no respect for the sanctity of Muslim lives, Muslim houses of worship or Muslim holy days - and no one from their own wider Sunni community really moves to restrain or censure them - then there are no boundaries anymore. No one is safe. Anything goes, against anyone, anywhere. If the Sunni Muslim world does not act to halt this genocidal ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Shiites of Iraq, which this week included a teacher's being dragged from a classroom and shot in front of his students, the Sunni world will eventually be consumed by this very violence. A civilization that tolerates suicide bombing is itself committing suicide.
Western leaders keep saying after every terrorist attack, "This is not about Islam." Sorry, but this is all about Islam. It is about a war within Islam between a jihadist-fascist minority engaged in crimes against humanity in the name of Islam, and a passive Sunni silent majority. Many of those Sunnis, I'm sure, are appalled by the violence against Iraqi civilians, but are too afraid, too morally leaderless or too quietly anti-Shiite to act.

As I said, a civilization that tolerates suicide-genocide will eventually be devoured by its extremists from within - and quarantined by its friends from abroad.


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