Jewish World Review Oct. 27, 2003 / 1 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Jack Kelly

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Blame Bush! | New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has yet to blame President Bush for the Chicago fire and the San Francisco earthquake. But there is still time.

In his column Oct. 21, Krugman defended anti-Semitic remarks by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad, and blamed Bush for anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.

Mahatir said: "The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them."

Krugman downplayed Mahatir's remark as "part of his domestic balancing act."

Mahatir must "insert hateful words into a speech mainly about Muslim reform," Krugman said, because "thanks to its war in Iraq and its unconditional support of Ariel Sharon, Washington has...brought relations with the Muslim world to a new low."

Krugman's day job is teaching economics at Princeton, where he apparently never took a history course. Anti-Semitism has been rife in the Muslim world ever since the Prophet Mohammed himself ordered the extermination of a Jewish tribe, the Banu Qurayza, in Medina in 627. "Kill any Jew who falls into your power," Mohammed told his followers. And it seems to have escaped Krugman's attention that violence between Arabs and Israelis - always initiated by the Arabs - predates the Bush administration.

If Krugman can muster no indignation for Mahatir, he is outraged by LtGen. William Boykin, who, speaking a church in Oklahoma City last year of a Muslim warlord he fought in Somalia in 1993, reportedly said: "I knew that my G-d is a real G-d, and his was an idol."

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"By making it clear he sees nothing wrong with giving an important post in the war on terror to someone who believes, and says openly, that Allah is a false idol...Donald Rumsfeld has gone a long way to confirming the Muslim world's worst fears," Krugman said.

Krugman has lots of company in howling for Boykin's head. The Boston Globe's James Carroll said the flap proves Christians ought not to be in positions of power: "The general's offense was to speak aloud the implication of a still broadly held theology," he wrote. "But that theology is dangerous now...In the 21st Century, exclusivist religion, no matter how mainstream and no matter how muted the anathemas that follow from its absolutes, is a sure way to religious war."

What Carroll means is that Christians, like Muslims, believe theirs is the one true faith, and all other religions are false. The difference, over which Carroll, Krugman, et. al. elide, is that Christians do not believe adherents of other faiths should be murdered or enslaved, as a distressingly large number of Muslims do.

Krugman's column and l'affaire Boykin highlight unlovely characteristics of contemporary liberals: pathological hatred of President Bush, and a craven desire to appease our enemies.

Krugman found something nice to say about a flaming anti-Semite because he wanted to say something nasty about George W. Bush.

Boykin's remarks were made public by the Los Angeles Times, which compared them to those of Mahatir. Boykin must go, the Times said, because Muslims might be offended by his views. But Muslims would be unaware of his views if the LA Times hadn't publicized (and apparently distorted) them.

Krugman, Carroll et. al. believe that if we abandon Iraq; prevent Israel from defending itself from Palestinian terror, and muzzle anybody who says anything Muslims might deem offensive, then radical Muslims will stop hijacking airliners and flying them into our buildings. If Islamists hate us, it has to be our fault.

But those who murder women and children are evil, and it is important to call them by their right name. They are less likely to be deterred by craven words of appeasement from the likes of Paul Krugman than by a bullet in the brain from the likes of William Boykin.

Liberals should ponder why it is Bush is hated so by hateful people like Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Yasir Arafat and Fidel Castro, and what it says about liberals that they have more good things to say about murderous dictators than they do about their own president.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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