Connecting Joe Walsh, CNN, Islam, and terrorists

Connecting Joe Walsh, CNN, Islam, and terrorists

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In the war against bad actors, fundamental extremists are just one of our many enemies

WASHINGTON, January 16, 2016 – Conservatives are wonderful and Christian conservatives are simply a blessing on this earth. Every time that I begin to think there might be a glimmer of common sense in the brains of today’s paleo-conservative politicians, one of them comes out with a statement like this:

Yes, folks, that was the tweet from former congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois about the coverage of this week’s Charlie Hebdo magazine cover.

You might remember Joe. He wanted the President to use “moats and alligators” if necessary to keep the borders closed. Happily, he got stomped by Tammy Duckworth in the last election and has been relegated to the last refuge of scoundrels—radio talk shows.

To be fair, he did walk his outrageous statement back a little later by tweeting that:

That makes me feel a lot better.

The attack on Charlie Hebdo, a magazine that poked fun at everyone, was an unforgivable, god-less (pick whichever god you like but, I assure you, he had nothing to do with it,) atrocity and any civilized human being should condemn the act as well as the medieval tribal mindset behind both the perpetrators and those who led and supported them.

Odd how that last description sort of fits people like Joe Walsh, isn’t it?

Here’s what’s been really bothering me since this latest attack over cartoons—statements from two conservative acquaintances to the effect that Islam is “garbage” and not a worthwhile religion, that Islam itself is the inevitable and inescapable driving motive behind terrorism, and that the world is not involved in a “clash of civilizations” but a clash between civilization and simple barbarism.

In the end, it certainly sounds like a call for the complete defeat of Islam and…well, I couldn’t really tell if they wanted to convert the 1.6 billion Moslems in the world or simply lock them up.

I’m not going to defend Islam today except to quickly mention the glorious civilization that spread across the globe between the Eighth through Fifteen Centuries of the Modern Era and gave the world little things like algebra, many of the basic concepts of antiseptic medicine, the idea of zero, an open culture that included both Jews and Christians, and (bless them for this alone) coffee.

Nor am I going to point out that terrorists in the United States are an extremely ecumenical bunch ranging from the anti-government Christians who killed 168 people in Oklahoma City, the anti-abortion nut balls who set off bombs at abortion clinics and the Olympic Games, the anti-colonialist Puerto Ricans who fired into the US Congress, and, yes, the Saudis who brought down the Trade Towers and killed 3,000 people to protest liberal Western values.

My point is that none can honestly pretend that only Moslems are terrorists: remember the Mormons at Mountain Meadows, the 19th Century Anarchists with their classic round bombs, the Symbionese Liberation Army featuring Patty Hearst, the Unabomber. You can’t even explain what most of these morons wanted, it seems that a combination of heavy weapons, weak minds, and fervor of some sort will sooner or later spontaneously combust into blood, carnage, and the weeping of the bereaved.

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Terry Irving
Terry Irving is an American four-time Emmy award-winning writer and producer. He has won three Peabody Awards, three DuPont Awards and has been a producer, editor or writer with ABC, CNN, Fox and MSNBC. He was in Washington DC in 1973 for a few weeks until deciding on career where he ended up riding a classic BMW R50/2 for ABC News during Watergate. Carrying that news film was the beginning of a 40-year long career that has included producing Emmy Award-winning television news, writing everything from magazine articles to standup comedy and developing many of the earliest forms of online media. Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryIrving; On Facebook or at his website