Monday, May 16, 2005

No credible allegations of willful Koran desecration


Women in Kuwait will finally be allowed to vote, calloo callay, and even stand for office, although the law also requires them to abide by Islamic law, whatever that means (some Islamicists say it means not voting or standing for office).

Eli at Left I notes the differences between what Newsweek actually said in its clarification of its story about Koran-flushing in Gitmo, and how what it said is being mischaracterized (see also The Light of Reason). Scotty McClellan started bitching about Newsweek not meeting a “certain journalistic standard” by failing to retract the story completely; “I just find it puzzling,” he said. Little Scotty has not only never met any standards of truth-telling himself, but runs across the street or ducks into a doorway whenever he sees them coming down the block towards him. And as for the number of things Scotty finds puzzling...

Speaking of standards, when a Pentagon spokesmodel says that the story is “demonstrably false” and that there are “no credible allegations of willful Koran desecration,” one really has to wonder about his standards. If there are no credible allegations, have there been incredible allegations? And who evaluated their credibility? And have there been instances of non-willful Koran desecration? Answers on a separate piece of paper, and show all your work.

My assumption is that Newsweek, horrified that all these people have died because of what it reported, deliberately wrote a correction that could be mischaracterized in the way it has been.

Henry Kissinger, that arch-proponent of realpolitik, has an op-ed piece in the WaPo calling for a middle way with Bush’s unrealpolitik (shorter Kissigner: don’t get too hung up on that promoting-democracy thing). Actually, Kissinger hasn’t changed much. “Elections are not an inevitable guarantee of a democratic outcome,” he writes today. When he decided to overthrow Chile’s democratically elected government, he said, “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.”

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[More of my LRB favorites here.]

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