The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Hey, What Doesn’t Motivate These Guys?


In a very short while, I’ll be on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America program. Even by the standards of getting up early to write the Jolt, this is early.

Speaking of the Jolt . . .

I Don’t Want to Get Into the Jihadis’ Heads; I Want Bullets In There Instead.

A few folks didn’t like the brusque tone of yesterday’s discussion of the mosque, in which I invited those who had declared Imam Rauf a moderate to shut the hell up. So if any of you were offended . . . %^&$^ off — no, no, just kidding! I should not be abrasive like that. I hope the stuff I write that you like makes putting up with my occasional off-color or excessively pugnacious moments worthwhile.

Anyway, the latest argument in the mosque-saga, a.k.a., the Ultimate August News-Hole-Filling Story, is that those of us who oppose the mosque’s construction at that site are . . . helping al-Qaeda. Yes, a short while ago I wrote that if we didn’t give Hamas what they wanted by building the mosque, then the terrorists would win.

What I intended as satire, NPR contended with a straight face: “Experts worry the controversy surrounding an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing right into the hands of radical extremists. The supercharged debate over the proposed center has attracted the attention of a quiet, underground audience — young Muslims who drift in and out of jihadi chat rooms and frequent radical Islamic sites on the Web. It has become the No. 1 topic of discussion in recent days and proof positive, according to some of the posted messages, that America is indeed at war with Islam.”

Their headline? “Rancor Over Mosque Could Fuel Islamic Extremists.” You know what else fuels Islamic extremists? Everything, it seems. We’ve been told extremists are motivated by the secular nature of our society; our notions of the rights of women; our belief in democracy and the idea that laws are written by elected representatives with the consent of the governed, not handed down on high from a religious authority; our foreign policy; our libertine pop culture; our 1980s support and assistance in Afghanistan; our late-80s abandonment of Afghanistan; our embrace of the Saudi rulers; our disrespect for Saudi customs; the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia; the departure of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia via Iraq; poverty; globalization; anti-Semitism; conspiracy theories; envy; sexual frustration; and Faisal Shahzad’s inability to make his mortgage payments. Apparently al-Qaeda is motivated by everything except the Koran’s more incendiary passages.

Hey, you know what? Maybe they’re just [bad word of your choice here]s. Abu Zarqawi always seemed like a guy who was just into it for the killing; having somebody tell him he was doing God’s work was just a nice bonus.

Tags: Ground Zero Mosque


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