This evening I attended a coffee chat sponsored by a secular advocacy group in Utah. People in the group spoke about Osama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. With the death of Osama some on the left have expressed reservations about his killing. Sitting in a coffee shop tonight listening to related views being expressed first hand, it was an interesting & disconcerting experience. Here are some key points that were expressed:
1. That our actions in Pakistan re Osama were comparable to that of Israel’s Mossad.
2. That all politics is about money.
3. That Osama had no connection to Afghanistan.
Anyway, it’s worth making note that atheism doesn’t necessarily dictate a particular political view. But just listening to people talk about these things prompts me to realize that people on the left can be just as conspiratorially deluded as people on the right.
It’s worth noting that people like Hitchens think that our time spent in Iraq and Afghanistan is not a waste. And Sam Harris is a bit more hawkish on Islam. Regarding Afghanistan, helping to protect girls from having battery acid thrown in their face is something of value. And the Arab Spring may not have been possible were it not for Iraq.
Here’s a relevant article by Hitchens:
Not everything is equal. Comparing what our troops did to Osama to the actions of other governments is not only inappropriate, it’s offensive, with all due respect (to the people I heard tonight at the coffee shop). Bush may have tainted what it means to be patriotic. But on the other hand some of us still remember 9/11, the reasons for it, the people behind it, and why we went to Afghanistan in the first place. It was >not< for money. It was because we were woken up by some very angry warped men who were both victims and perpetrators of human spirit destroying gender apartheid.
It’s a cathartic experience to feel yourself pushed away from (de-moored) a camp you feel you’ve been a part of.
I’m all for women’s rights, for the right to choose, for the right of people to be free. I’m also a socialist. I’m not a tea bagger. I’m not a libertarian. I’m not politically correct. Islam is a threat. Appeasing people who kill over cartoons or Koran heating serves to lower us all to the level of crazed retrograde dark-ages-style theocrats (idiots like Chris Matthews are prime examples of such lowering).
So, where’s my political & ideological camp? I guess I’ll just float our here in the middle and call attention to the idiotic nuts on all sides. If there was a boat that would hold Hitchens, Harris, Pat Condell, and maybe Ayan Hirsi Ali I’d jump in, although Ali is a libertarian - but she’s a lot nicer than most tea baggers.