Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pre-emptive recrimination

Today's zombie racist is Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic.

Peretz on Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Poor Tom Friedman. He is looking for a Muslim Martin Luther King. There is none, Tom. If one were living on earth, they'd break his windows. Imprison him. Or kill him. Finished.

Matthew Yglesias's response is perfect:
Imagine that! A society where a figure like King could be imprisoned or even killed! Those Muslims sure are vicious and evil.

And Peretz on Arab outrage:
I actually believe that Arabs are feigning outrage when they protest what they call American (or Israeli) "atrocities." They are not shocked at all by what in truth must seem to them not atrocious at all. It is routine in their cultures. That comparison shouldn't comfort us as Americans. We have higher standards of civilization than they do. But the mutilation of bodies and beheadings of people picked up at random in Iraq does not scandalize the people of Iraq unless victims are believers in their own sect or members of their own clan. And the truth is that we are less and less shocked by the mass death-happenings in the world of Islam. Yes, that's the bitter truth. Frankly, even I--cynic that I am--was shocked in the beginning by the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq. But I am no longer surprised. And neither are you.

In other words, Arabs aren't shocked by the deaths of people who aren't part of their particular religious sect. Not like good old Americans, who aren't shocked by the deaths of Iraqis.

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