"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Monday, August 07, 2006

Nouri al-Maliki, meet John Dingell

"I wish to apologize for the ill-considered and careless remarks I recently made with respect to Israel and Hezbollah. As all who review my record will see, I have been a steadfast and consistent friend to the only democratic nation in the Middle East. Similarly, I have repeatedly called for the European Union and others to recognize Hezbollah for the murderous terrorist organization that it is. My remarks, during a television interview, were made in the context of consideration of the specific language of a draft United Nations resolution. My intention was to suggest that the immediate problem is the ongoing war between Israel and Hezbollah. My purpose was to suggest that it does no good to negotiate a cease-fire that the Government of Israel will accept, if it is at the same time unacceptable to Hezbollah. To think that there is some sort of moral equivalence between a democratic nation, on the one hand, and a gang of thugs, on the other, is at least foolish, and at worst dangerous. But one must sometimes negotiate with criminals -- local or international -- and this is one of those times. I regret that I spoke carelessly, and that my remarks were not an accurate reflection of my views."

This is not the apology issued by the Honorable John D. Dingell, Democrat of Michigan. But it could have been, and one must wonder why it was not given. Congressman Dingell, the most senior member of the House of Representatives, and in line for a powerful committee chairmanship should the Democrats capture the House in November (as they might well), instead released THIS letter to Rush Limbaugh (who had spoken of Mr. Dingell's remarks), in which Mr. Dingell insists instead:
For your own political agenda, you ignored the facts and relied on an edited soundbite which does not stand up to the scrutiny of unbiased reporters.
So let us take Mr. Dingell at his word. Here is the unedited interview with the Congressman:

As you can see, Mr. Dingell was given an explicit opportunity to retract, amend or explain his equation of Israel and the terrorists, and he stuck to his original statement: He doesn't take sides in a conflict between a free nation and international criminals who target civilians as a matter of policy, and place their weapons and other military materials in civilian neighborhoods and buildings, to maximize collateral civilian casualties.

It is thus clear that Mr. Dingell made no mistake. As the Washington Times pointed out:
Part of what's behind Mr. Dingell's appalling refusal to condemn Hezbollah are the tens of thousands of Muslims, mostly Shi'ites, living in his Michigan district. The city of Dearborn especially is one of the largest Arab communities outside the Middle East. One neighborhood of Dearborn, which is just to the west of Detroit, has a population that is over 90 percent Muslim. As the New York Times reported, "it seems nearly everyone [in Dearborn] has relatives trapped in Lebanon by the attacks or knows someone who does."

In other words, when Mr. Dingell refuses to denounce Hezbollah, he's simply catering to a large segment of his constituency. Only in his case, the constituents aren't farmers or steelworkers; some are open supporters of a group the State Department labels a terrorist organization. Indeed, since the hostilities began in southern Lebanon, protests thousands strong have been held at Dearborn's Islamic Center of America, which is the largest mosque in the United States, condemning Israel and criticizing the Bush administration for its support of Israel.
It is difficult to get one's mind entirely around Mr. Dingell's thinking. He is clearly consumed with the all-too-common politician's lust for election, and the power and privilege that it brings, to the exclusion of principle, justice, or reason. He believes (perhaps rightly) that a significant number of his constituents wish the destruction of Israel in particular, and the Jews in general. Thus, he expresses their views, and they support him with votes and contributions. Has he, perhaps, been studying the career of Vidkun Quisling?

But it is unclear why other leaders of the Democratic Party have failed to react to Mr. Dingell with the same moral energy that they turned upon Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. You will recall that the leadership of the Democratic party demanded that Maliki expressly support Israel and condemn Hezbollah as a condition to his invitation to address the Congress of the United States.

It seems odd that the oldest political party in the world refuses to require of one of its own that which it demands from a foreign head-of-government. This is, after all, a party that has no problem whatever with purging the politically incorrect. Just ask Joe Lieberman.

So there you have it: A senior Democrat says he won’t take sides in the war between Hezbollah and Israel, and the party's leadership is silent.

[Editor's Note: The photograph at the top of this post is of a movie actor who recently, while intoxicated, apparently relieved himself of some truly astonishing and repulsive opinions. We invite our readers to do a news search for reportage and commentary respecting this drunken fellow and compare the results to their own searches for coverage in the New York Times or the Washington Post of Congressman Dingell's sober statements. Apparently the ravings of a drunken actor are incomparably more important than the policy statements of senior elected Democrats. We are surprised right down to the bottoms of our red high-tops.]

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