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Did Obama walk back his support of Cordoba House?

As you know, the Internets are alive with the claim that Obama has now walked back his support of Cordoba House, and I've gotten tons of emails telling me that my earlier praise of the speech is no longer operative.

But did he really walk back what he said last night? Here's Obama's quote from today that has created such a stir:

"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about. And I think it's very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."

People today are saying that last night he "endorsed" the center, but now he won't say whether he endorses it. But I'm not sure how serious a walkback this really is. Let's go back to the core message of Obama's speech:

As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.

Was yesterday's speech an "endorsement" of the project? In one sense it certainly was. He voiced strong support for the group's right to build it, and he went beyond that: He asserted that the group not only has the legal right to proceed, but that we should also welcome those with different faiths, not merely tolerate them because the law mandates it. And he declared that to do any less is un-American.

That last aspect of his speech, as I said below, is what made it powerful. Simply vouching for the group's legal rights is a no-brainer. The crux of Obama's message is that we should do more: We should welcome and respect people of all religious faiths.

Is that message diminished by what Obama has now said about the center? The "clarification" today would be a walkback if he had previously "endorsed" the project in the sense of declaring it a good idea. But he never "endorsed" it in that sense. Nor is it his place to do that.

Rather, Obama's "endorsement" of the project consisted entirely of a declaration that now that the group has decided to proceed, American ideals demand that we welcome and respect such people in situations like these. He hasn't backed off that core assertion. Nor is it contradicted by a refusal to comment directly on the "wisdom" of the project itself.

To be clear, I agree entirely with Ben Smith and others who say that today's quote was probably a political misstep. The media is mostly framing this story as: Did Obama "endorse" the project or didn't he? That's an overly simplistic framing, but you work with the media you have, not the one you want. Today's quote was bound to be interpreted as a walkback in the face of intense pressure. What Obama should have said was this: "I'm not commenting on the wisdom of the project. Nor is it my place to do that. But now that they have decided to proceed, we must respect their right to build the center and welcome them in accordance with American ideals."

That would have been more desirable, and in some ways more directly consistent with his brave stance yesterday. But even so, based on what he did say, I'm just not seeing a serious walkback or contradiction here.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 14, 2010; 8:12 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

So. When opponents of the Cordoba House at Ground Zero "say they don't question the group's legal right to build it under the Constitution," but say instead "they're merely criticizing the group's decision to do so," that's a "clever little dodge." Shame on them. When President Obama says, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding," that's something . . . different. Finer. Nobler. For a disillusioning minute there I thought the Plum Line was going to descend to special pleading and abandon the simple principle that everyone's rhetoric should be judged by the same standards. This exegesis of the word "endorse" and conclusion that most journalists, unlike Mr. Sargent, are too dim to appreciate all the relevant nuances, saves the day, however. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: dufffy98 | August 14, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Interesting that "one of the finest moments of Obama's Presidency" needed to be "clarified" less that 12 hours later.

Did Lincoln need to clarify the Gettysburg Address? Did you need to clarify your Starbucks order this morning? Are you under orders to protect Barry?

Boy, talk about pulling the rug from under the "Profesional Left".

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 14, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

As usual with a man with no moral compass, bHO says one thing to his heritage audience last night and then tries to placate (flim/flam) his elected audience today. This is why snakes have forked tongues. He is strictly an out-of-work professor pretending to be the leader of the greatest country in the world. It is the Peter Principle at its zenith. 2012 cannot come soon enough.

Posted by: sh221b | August 14, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama hugely stepped it back. This is eerily similar to his about face that lead to the now infamous "beer summit".

Yesterday he was saying "The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are." and implying it was fine to have a mosque in the planned location.

Today he is indirectly questioning the wisdom of the placement of that same mosque and hiding behind the letter of the law.

The issue with most people is not whether they have the right to build a mosque. Everybody agrees they have the right to do it.

But just because someone has the right to do something doesn't mean it won't be offensive to others.

Posted by: JoeCasepack | August 14, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

You know, Greg, I just guessed that you ere going to say that. LOL

Everything he says has an expiry date and a weasel phrase. Everything you say is a defense f him. you think he supports the mosque so you argue he showed exceptional backbone and didn't take the easy road. The next day he takes the "easy road" and you now say that's what he always said.

This isl ike reading Sally Quinn on religion and the sanctity of marriage.

Posted by: clarice2 | August 14, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Greg, he walked it back. Sad, but true. He's entering dangerous territory, that slippery slope, muddy waters, mumbo jumbo, nothingness. He may just lose his base in 2012?

Posted by: dozas | August 14, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Now that JournoList is dead, poor Greg had to come up with this spin-job all by himself. And it shows.

Posted by: Rob_ | August 14, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

After watching his remarks last night, I certainly didn't walk away feeling that he had directly endorsed or supported the Cordoba House. Rather, I thought he spoke to the much larger questions of religious tolerance and freedom and how important those things are to our society. Politico's just trying to gin up some controversy.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 14, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

he was stating that the specifics of this case, or any case, are subordinate to the overarching general principle of not discriminating against people because of their religion or any other factor.

the *point* of a fundamental principle is that it applies generally.

the frightwingers are trying to paint obama's decision not to comment on the specifics of the center as a walkback but i certainly don't see it as such. i'm sure this won't be the last we hear from him or the wh on this.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 14, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree with s-cat. The statement yesterday and the one today are consistent with each other.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 14, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

SCat, I felt the same way. He was defending both the Constitution and the freedom from religious persecution our country was founded on. He hasn't walked anything back.

Greg, there are an awful lot of people on the previous thread that don't like us very much, shocking right?

Apparently even a few "reporters" at FOX and Friends said he was doing his job by defending the Constitution. Palin has defined the issue as, "of course they have the right but should they"?

People are now trying to divine the motives behind the building of this community center, an impossible exercise. I always thought, as Americans, we accepted motives at face value until proven otherwise.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 14, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Greg, in all seriousness, do you think that zoning laws that prevent a big religious building from being built next to my house are unconstitutional? Yes or no?

If yes, then in order for you to be intellectually consistent on this issue it seems to me that you would have to call for all local zoning ordinances that prevent construction of a building for religious purposes to be struck down.

If not, then wouldn't simply rezoning the area at the proposed site of this mosque be a perfectly constitutional way to block it's construction?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 14, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

As someone named Rick Wilson says elsewhere, "It's a double walkback with a triple-Lutz spin."

Posted by: clarice2 | August 14, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

He's trying to have it both ways like he typically does. Afghanistan is another example. He's escalating and pulling out at the same time leaving people to believe either depending on their preference. Gay marriage is another. We could go on and on. Public option is another. He supports it unless you don't like it then he doesn't. It's the Dick Morris triangulation strategy over and over.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 14, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

You were right the other day that he finally showed some spine. It lasted 24 hours.

Posted by: StyleDoggie | August 14, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Finest hour? It lasted about that long.

I guess even Progressives must now accept the simple truth. All Mr. Obama's promises and beliefs have an expiration date.

Perhaps this is a teachable moment?

Posted by: NelsonMuntz | August 14, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to consider with his speech last night and reaffirming the Constitutional right to build the community center it clarifies the situation in the rest of the country. There are protests going on across the country regarding the building of mosques, and this throws the weight of the constitution behind their right to build them and practice their faith without fear of persecution.

This sets up the challenge of whether people are being truthful about the proximity being the only issue. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in other parts of the country.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 14, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Greg has twisted himself into a knot on this big time. He's now resorted to semantics and parsing the difference between the word "support" and "endorse". Not his finest moment. Gibbs on Monday should be funny.

Loven: Does the president support the mosque?

Gibbs: Well Jennifer, what the President has said is that he supports the freedom of religion and to build a house of worship.

Loven: But at the same time he's not specifically supporting the wisdom of the decision to do this.

Gibbs: Correct.

Loven: what about endorse? Is he endorsing?

Gibbs: Nope. But again, freedom of religion is good.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 14, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

OT, but Maureen Dowd actually has a very interesting column up: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/opinion/15dowd.html?hp

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 14, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

There will be a third, fourth and fifth iteration of what Obama really meant by this "brave speech" from Friday. Get a grip, he's not that smart and has no idea what he's doing. Its painful to have to point this out to so many people. By Monday he will sheepishly smirk he had been "inartful" and he will go on to the next train wreck.

Posted by: gavin2 | August 14, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

The constitution allows the building of religious structures, local zoning laws permitting. But this case involves more than just insensitivity.

The reason I say this is because nowhere in those "Islamic" countries would construction of a church, synogogue, bhuddist shrine, etc be allowed. We are required to be tolerant to those who completely lack tolerance in many countries. It is strangely funny how liberals support a religious community that would deport, imprison or execute them if they espoused their views in some of those countries. When the Muslim world becomes tolerant of other religions as a matter of practice, rather than a matter of being outnumbered, I will have a tolerant attitude about them. Until then I will consider them to be despicable. Since that will never happen, I will always despise them. It really is too bad they have all that oil.

Posted by: actuator | August 14, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Again, he was speaking to the larger issue of religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. Whatever you think of the proximity to ground zero, a deeper debate is going on across the country and he was IMO addressing that as well. I just found an article at alternet, prior to last nights speech, that highlights the fact that people are not just protesting the "ground zero" community center but mosques all across the country. We are very close to the mosque being build in Temecula, CA and I'm telling you it has gotten ugly.

I tried to give a few people here the benefit of the doubt regarding their feelings for the victims of 9/11 but the issue is far more widespread and appears to have nothing to do with proximity. Bravo to the President for taking a stand on religious freedom.

"The mosque controversy is not really about a mosque at all; it’s about the presence of Muslims in America, and the free-floating anxiety and fear that now dominate the nation’s psyche. The mere presence of Muslims at prayer is now enough to trigger angry protests, as Bridgeport, Connecticut, police discovered last week. Those opposing the construction of the center in New York City are drawing on what amounts to a decade of government-stoked xenophobia about Muslims, now gathering strength and visibility in a nation full of deep economic anxieties and increasingly aggressive far-right grassroots groups. Lower Manhattan and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Temecula, California, are all in this together. And it is not going to go away simply because the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission gave its unanimous blessing to the Islamic center plan."

http://www.alternet.org/rights/147817/the_far-right%27s_anti-mosque_mania_spreads_from_ground_zero_to_across_the_u.s.%2C_pointing_to_dark_politics_ahead_/

Posted by: lmsinca | August 14, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"do you think that zoning laws that prevent a big religious building from being built next to my house are unconstitutional? Yes or no?"

Zoning falls under local ordinance, not the constitution.


"then wouldn't simply rezoning the area at the proposed site of this mosque be a perfectly constitutional way to block it's construction?"

Have you looked at Google Earth for the address? If you did, you would see that the area is a densely built business district. There are existing commercial buildings on both sides of the proposed site, and a large parking ramp across the street. To change the zoning for this one address in an already developed location in order to block construction would most probably invite a lawsuit, but moreover, wouldn't make any sense. What would you change the zoning to that blends with the rest of the area of existing businesses and commerical operations?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 14, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in ambiguity - the United States of America was suddenly and perhaps due to our own fault attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan....Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive or defensive act, depending on how you look at things extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday are open to interpretation. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions but this is a local matter and I have no comment...As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that we should not jump to rash conclusion about the necessity of our defense...No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might must maintain the appearance of tolerance and shy away from righteous indignation... I ask that the Congress declare that since the understandable, depending on your point of view attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of need for increase discussion and engagement has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Posted by: StyleDoggie | August 14, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

"He MAY just lose his base in 2012?"
He has already lost it ...We have a feeling that he already knows it and is just going to party around the world at taxpayer's expense for the next two years!

Posted by: crowne2 | August 14, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

2actuator:he reason I say this is because nowhere in those "Islamic" countries would construction of a church, synogogue, bhuddist shrine, etc be allowed. We are required to be tolerant to those who completely lack tolerance in many countries.

What is your point? We don't make the laws in Saudi Arabia, we make them here. And here we have religious liberty. Are you suggesting we ape repressive regimes?


" It is strangely funny how liberals support a religious community that would deport, imprison or execute them if they espoused their views in some of those countries.

It's called having the courage of one's convictions and following our constitution. Like supporting the right of the Nazis to march in Skokie. I hate the Nazis, but they did get the permits they needed to march so it went forward.

It is our privilege to live in a country where one's religious beliefs don't disqualify one from building a house of worship. Talk about ignoring original intent...

Posted by: srw3 | August 14, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

People will see what they want to see. In reading both statements in context, President Obama didn't walk anything back. You people who look so hard for something to complain about completely missed the point: His point is the Muslims have the same inherent right all people in this country have to build a place of worship and celebrate their religion. That said, he wasn't going to comment on the wisdom of the location. How hard is that to understand?

Posted by: 2guvnur | August 15, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm not an expert on zoning but the Supreme Court has upheld zoning ordinances in the past that prevented an addition being made to a church. A different set of facts of course.

City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997)

My guess is that it could be done in a way that might hold muster in court. Of course you wouldn't be able to zone the one address. It might be possible to zone a several block area against the construction of any new religious buildings including churches as to make the ordinance facially neutral and non-discriminatory. Any challenge would likely fall under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000. It would certainly be an interesting case and encompass a whole host of complex issues.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 15, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

People will see what they want to see. In reading both statements in context, President Obama didn't walk anything back. You people who look so hard for something to complain about completely missed the point: His point is the Muslims have the same inherent right all people in this country have to build a place of worship and celebrate their religion. That said, he wasn't going to comment on the wisdom of the location. How hard is that to understand?

Posted by: 2guvnur |

AMEN. (And worth repeating.)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 15, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I love watching liberalism collapse under the weight of it's own idiocy. This is truly entertaining.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | August 15, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Since the application process for the Islamic center is already underway, it is probably too late to "rezone" this property, as the case could already be considered a "zoning in progress" -- you can't change the rules in mid-stream for the purpose of denying an applicant the ability to exercise his property rights.
Also, spot zoning is illegal. And at some point the attempts by local government officials to deny a property owner's property rights would constitute a taking, for which the property owner would have to be compensated.
Several years ago in South Florida, an Orthodox synagogue applied for a rezoning to permit their move into a shopping center. The city's staff recommended a denial based on an incompatible use, and also determined that since the synagoue members would not be driving to temple, they could not be anticipated to shop at the center before and after services and therefore further the goals of economic development for the shopping center. However, because of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of Florida the planning and zoning board and then the city commission had no choice but to approve the zoning application.

Posted by: rabraham | August 15, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Eleven score and fourteen years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that equality must be extended to all people, even when they are deliberately sticking a thumb in our eye.

Now we are engaged in an act of tolerance, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can appear touchy feely. We are met on a great battle-field of this war. We have come to pave over for a shopping mall a portion of that field, so as not to waste this real estate as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, women and children, living and dead, who struggled here, will have to be forgotten, and far above our desire not to add or detract, is our need to allow a mosque to be built. The world must take notice of only me, and long remember what I say here, It must be forgotten that they died here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to gloss over what they who died here have until now reminded us of. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task of forgetting them -- that from these honored dead we take an increased need to desecrate the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall surrender its freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not defend itself, even if it shall perish from the earth.

Posted by: StyleDoggie | August 15, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

rabraham, what about just using eminent domain for a taking and give them just compensation for it? Do you think that would hold up? Also the RFRA was struck down nationally in 1997 and I don't know if New York has a state version.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 15, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

A Muslim perspective:

"The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as 'Fitna,' meaning 'mischief-making' that is clearly forbidden in the Koran."

- Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, "Mischief In Manhattan", Ottawa Citizen, 08-09-2010

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html#ixzz0weGJVqGj

"Raheel Raza is author of 'Their Jihad ... Not my Jihad', and Tarek Fatah is author of 'The Jew is Not My Enemy' (McClelland & Stewart), to be launched in October. Both sit on the board of the Muslim Canadian Congress"

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Where is truth speaking Walter Cronkite when we truly need him? Dead, and with his death, truth in reporting also died.

Greg Sargent, you are simply not being truthful nor realistic, and most readers well know this. You dishonor your profession and dishonor yourself. You are not performing a valuable service for America rather you are performing a detrimental disservice for America.

Within my traditional culture, truth speaking is one of our most critical cultural values. We are known to be maddeningly pragmatic. Our survival depends upon truth and upon being realistic.

My native tongue is not English. Nonetheless, I am an English professor of over twenty years. I well know truth and well know deceit no matter how much either is concealed within slippery semantics. I am an American Indian truth speaker, I honor my culture and honor my peoples.

This is very clear on Friday the Thirteenth, Obama lent his presidential support to Islam to "thumb their noses" at America and all infidels. This is equally clear Obama displayed cold calculating calloused disregard for millions of Americans who suffer this pain of the World Trade Center attack and related attacks.

Mr. Sargent, you may spin, you may conceal, you may toss out slippery semantics, but you do not fool this red skinned girl. I know this game you are playing, I know you are acting out your blind obedience to the "Black Messiah" at the cost of your dignity.

Obama did offer support of Islam on Friday and today, Saturday, Obama is back tracking trying to escape this moral outrage of almost all Americans. This is clear. Equally clear, Obama committed another act of political suicide. Most annoyingly clear, Obama is not all this smart, he constantly sticks his foot in his mouth while exposing himself for the type of person he is truly; arrogant, impulsive and child like.

Then "writers" like you come along and spin all this mule manure into a fine gossamer cloak for the Black Messiah who, in reality, has no clothes.

My issue is not so much this mosque trickery by Islam rather my issue is a dire lack of you and of our mainstream news media adhering to ethical principles set by sorely missed and truth speaking Walter Cronkite.

Speaking truth is so passé in our modern times, yes?

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I've said more or less the same thing, although in a different order, to wit:

It was perhaps not the best decision in the world to build here. But now that the decision has been announced, the worst thing would be to go back on it and accept the defamation of Muslims by the opposition.

And that is the critical difference.

Krauthammer wants them to change their mind, to give in to the lie that Islam in our enemy, that Islam it responsible for 9/11.

Obama is not asking them to change their mind. He is saying, resist the forces of bigotry.

(He must be right; he agrees with me!)

Posted by: j3hess | August 15, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

j3hess writes, "It was perhaps not the best decision in the world to build here."

Then why adamantly defend this "not the best" decision? You have effectively labeled the Islamic as either stupid or as effecting an agenda other than stated.

Why is this Islam refuses to correct this "not the best" decision? Why is this Obama supports this "not the best" decision? I expect you to answer truthfully and candidly.

j3hess adds, "the worst thing would be to go back on it"

In essence you are writing, "Never correct a bad decision." I have issues with your logic.

j3hess continues "give in to the lie that Islam in our enemy"

Islam is our sworn enemy and has been for several decades. This is proven by Islam slaughtering western peoples for decades, disregarding their slaughtering infidels for a thousand years.

j3hess concludes, "resist the forces of bigotry"

Those of us who disagree with Obama and his policies are racists! Yes, ma'am, if we disagree, we _must_ be racists.

Your left liberal little-boy-crying-wolf tactic is worn out and tiresome. I am insulted you label this red skinned girl a racist. Your labeling me a racist is an act of racism on your part.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Okpulot Taha, that the most disturbing thing about all this "mosque at ground zero" business is the attempt by certain portions and members of the media to portray the issue in a dishonest light.

Why pretend it's a great constitutional achievement to let supporters of terrorists erect monuments to that attack?

Frankly, it's just disingenuous and insulting to the average American to pretend that this monument to terror is anything but that.

Posted by: JoeCasepack | August 15, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

j3hess, you have bit on this left liberal lie not only hook, line and sinker but also the pole and reel. This is your lie of only a "small group" of Islamic extremists are responsible for slaughtering thousands.

Each time I read this "small group" lie I become infuriated, I go ballistic.

This attack on the World Trade Center and elsewhere was orchestrated by millions of Muslims, most likely, tens of millions of Muslims.

Effecting those attacks on 9/11 required funding of millions of dollars and required logistical support by tens of thousands of Muslims. Smuggling terrorists around the world, fake documents, training, housing, transportation, on and on, this was not a small operation by a "small group" of terrorists. This was world wide massive scale joint effort by literally millions of Muslims, such as those millions of Muslims who danced upon their streets in celebration of the 9/11 attack.

I am a racist, a very logical racist. Each Muslim who donates a penny to Islamic terrorism is, de facto, a terrorist.

Millions of dollars, tens of millions of dollars are required to continue funding Islamic terrorism on a world wide basis. I don't know of a country which has not been struck by Islamic terrorism. This is not a "small group" of extremists. This is millions of Muslims donating money, time and effort to support Islamic terrorism.

Islamic terrorism is a world wide large scale operation which absolutely requires support from millions of Muslims and I will add, support from many nations and governments; Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Venezuela, North Korea, Russia and many others, such as Burma now concealed behind some other national name.

People who buy into this left liberal lie only a "small group" of Islamic terrorists are responsible, deserve to choke on that hook, line, sinker, pole and reel.

Each Muslim who donates a single penny to terrorism, is a terrorist. This would be millions of Muslims if not tens of millions.

Quite gullible of you to fall for such obvious deceitful left liberal bait, and political correctness makes for a much better bait than plain truth.

Islam is a sworn enemy and a deadly enemy of all western peoples. This is plain truth.

I am quite sure when Islam detonates a nuclear weapon on Capitol Hill, you left liberals will change your song and dance, you might even consider becoming Americans.

I never want this to happen, but this is the ultimate goal of Islam. A massive tragedy like this is needed to open your blind eyes to plain truth.

A mosque makes a perfect hiding place for nuclear weapon sold to Islam by Russians, or by North Koreans, or by... who knows?

Islam will detonate one or more weapons of mass destruction in a western nation, this is inevitable, this will happen, and Islam will plunge our earth into world wide war and into misery and death, in the name of God.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Natio

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Seriously Greg, this is becoming tedious.

Posted by: CalD | August 15, 2010 3:34 AM | Report abuse

Aw sh*t. Either you mean it or you don't, O.

Jeebus. I thought my President had a spine about 12 hours ago.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 15, 2010 3:55 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Ben Smith. He *already* addressed the local zoning/laws/etc. in his *First Speech*.

What's sad is that he needs to clarify that to anyone.

Maybe it's more of a commentary on the lack of local civic engagement to think that the residents of the area where it will be built are somehow trumped by a speech by the President.

To me, he is simply reasserting A) our collective history regarding religious freedom and B) the importance (primacy?) of local law.

Perhaps, Obama is simply too subtle (in a good way-not in a Faux News way). He realizes that there are other forces at work on a local level.

What *disturbs* me is a hint, waff, suggestion, that the obfuscation of the Right is somehow getting to him.

I want to belive that he is immunne to this but...

Immutable truths in *America* are few and far between. They need not be re-asserted when the " Better Angels" know in their hearts what is right.

One these few is Religious Freedom.

As a Constitutional scholar/professor he ought to feel comfortable with this.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 15, 2010 4:08 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

How do you feel about this paragraph now?

"Ultimately, though, Obama's speech transcends the politics of the moment, and will go down as a defining and perhaps even a breakthrough performance. Obama recognized that this dispute is a seminal one that goes to the core of our running argument about pluralism and minority rights and to the core of who we are. He understood that the gravity of the moment required an equally large and momentous response. And he delivered."

You cheered that he championed not just the legality of it, but the morality of it. I could practically hear you hissing with glee as you wrote it. How now, sad cow. Your boy is a wimp - he has no spine and he's not about to find it while he's in the WH. You're a hypocrite and a liar and I regret having read anything you wrote.

Posted by: StyleDoggie | August 15, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

So lets see if I got this right: President Obama endorses the right to build the Islamic civic center, but questions its wisdom.

Doesn't anyone in American public life (aside from Bloomberg) have an ounce of wisdom or backbone anymore ?


Posted by: Nitina | August 15, 2010 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

Yes he did.

Posted by: StyleDoggie | August 15, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Nitina, Style Doggie - the point is the morality of it is that freedom of religion and expression and all that constitutional stuff trumps the personal feelings of anyone, regardless of what those feelings may be or whether they may be understandable.

Nitina, Obama never questioned anywhere the wisdom of doing anything - he just didn't comment on it because it's not relevant to the moral and constitutional issues.

Posted by: homeruk | August 15, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Nitina, Style Doggie - the point is the morality of it is that freedom of religion and expression and all that constitutional stuff trumps the personal feelings of anyone, regardless of what those feelings may be or whether they may be understandable.

Nitina, Obama never questioned anywhere the wisdom of doing anything - he just didn't comment on it because it's not relevant to the moral and constitutional issues.

Posted by: homeruk | August 15, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Obama did his job as president and defended the constitution. No republican with anything in his head can criticize Obama for clearly stating what is already in the constitition. In other words, he kept to the oath he took on Jan. 20, 2009.

I strongly disagree with Cordoba, and I sense he does too. But he did his job.

Kudos to him for it.

Posted by: bonncaruso | August 15, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

"But even so, based on what he did say, I'm just not seeing a serious walkback or contradiction here."

Of course you're not seeing it. To see it would be to see that your earlier post was the product of a complete fool. Your new attempt to reconcile reality with your pontifications is so tortured it ought to be outlawed by the Geneva convention.

In your telling, apparently to "support" and "endorse" and "welcome" the project, which you insist American ideals demand, is entirely different from declaring the project a "good idea", which you insist would be out of bounds ("not his place") for a politician to do. Huh? American ideals demand that people support, welcome, and endorse actions that they think are not good ideas, simply because the actor has a right to take the action? Really?

Let's put this thinking (and I use the term loosely) to the test.

Augusta National golf course does not allow women members, which as a private club it has every constitutional right to do. Do you support, welcome, and endorse this policy? Should Obama?

Glenn Beck offers political commentary every day on FNC, which both he and FNC have every constitutional right to do. Do you support, welcome, and endorse this commentary? Should Obama?

The Catholic church, in accord with constitutional rights, counsels young women that to use artificial birth control is morally wrong, as is terminating a resulting pregnancy. Do you support, welcome, and endorse this counseling? Should Obama?

Tolerance and a respect for rights does not, as you continue to imply, render any exercise of that right to be immune from criticism, objection, or condemnation. American ideals and the constitution may demand that the government allow the owners of the site to build this mosque/Islamic center/whatever if they want, but neither those ideals nor the constitution demands that anyone, whether a politician or private citizen, support, welcome, or endorse the building of it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Greg, even a dog knows the difference between being stepped and being kicked.

If liberals only had that much sense.

Posted by: NelsonMuntz | August 15, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

@Okpulot Taha, Choctaw Nation Truth Teller

You've written quite a few graphs above regarding your thoughts on the Muslim faith. Could you give us a half dozen truth-telling paragraphs on the consequences to the Choctaw and other First Nations' peoples on the arrival of white/Christian people in the New World?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Ha'aretz reports on the a Florida church's Koran book-burning ceremony...
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/muslims-outraged-as-u-s-church-plans-to-burn-koran-1.307575

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

ScottC does have a point. It is not a violation of the constitution to be a racist or a bigot or to voice commentary which reflects such racism and bigotry.

It is important to protect the right to, for example, argue that african americans are mentally inferior to whites and have a greater propensity to involve themselves in crime. Or to argue that the French all walk like homosexuals. Let freedom ring.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Sharron Angle's GOP PR makeover on Social Security... http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/08/sharron-angles-social-security-swerve/61434/

What else could they do? Being truthful wasn't an option.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

How nuts is the present conservative movement getting? Whatever the prior yardstick, we really need to get one considerably longer on the rightward side. Black helicopters and red bicycles (they would be red, wouldn't they)....
http://www.salon.com/life/this_week_in_crazy/index.html?story=/news/feature/2010/08/14/this_week_crazy_dan_maes

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama's second statement was as sensible as the first. Just because someone has the clear right to do something doesn't mean they should (or shouldn't). 9/11 is a sensitive issue and many people have strong emotions about Ground Zero. As usual, however, the mildest degree of complexity escapes the RightWing nutjobs. You're either with us (and against THEM) or you're against us (and with THEM). Imbeciles.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 15, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Kristol has penned a piece at the WS that's getting lots of echo already. The title is, "No Mr President, we're not traumatized" [by 9/11]. Here's the key propaganda thrust...

"But Americans aren't traumatized. 9/11 was an attack on America, to which Americans have responded firmly, maturely, and appropriately."

With any luck, some folks with good search skills will begin locating all the instances where Kristol, talking on FOX or elsewhere, described the event as 'traumatic' or "horrifying' or 'devastating' as Cheney did in his national security speech here... http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/05/cheneys-national-security-speech.php

And don't you just love the description of America's response given the attack on a country not involved at all in the 9/11 attack while creating a massive propaganda campaign to make American's fearful ("mushroom cloud"). There's 'maturity' and 'appropriate' for you. Does anyone other than Gingrich lie with such facility?

But aside from that, Kristol's game is perfectly typical of him. First, playing the big, brave nothing-gets-to-a-manly-guy-like-me role (he's never served, of course, just actively worked to get other kids killed and maimed as a classic arm-chair psychotic).

Second, he's just lying through his teeth as one of the nation's foremost fear and irrationality mongers. A non-traumatized citizenry is of no use to Kristol because they won't act in the manner he wishes, they'll just go about their business and daily lives.

He says: "Part of our sensible and healthy reaction is that there shouldn't be a 13-story mosque and Islamic community center next to Ground Zero"

Sensible? How so? No explanation. Healthy? Perhaps 13 stories would block out light that 8 stories wouldn't and thus deprive folks of vitamin D production.

Truly one of the most ugly humans kicking about in this odd and ugly time.

Third, he's trying to suggest that, for example, all the comments on this thread and the last one are really devoid of emotion and irrationality. Which we assume includes all the "what real American can ignore the suffering of the relatives of the victims of 9/11" comments, for example. Nothing of 'trauma' in any of that.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

Not sure what sort of research resources you have available there but it would be a very good thing for someone to do careful reporting on the timeline and dissemination of this ground zero mosque narrative. It would likely provide a very good schematic on how propaganda gets done presently.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham comments, "Could you give us a half dozen truth-telling paragraphs on the consequences to the Choctaw and other First Nations' peoples on the arrival of white/Christian people in the New World?"

You are attempting to have me allude to Christians being just as bad as the Islamic. You will then employ twisted left liberal logic, "Christians and Muslims are no different therefore Muslims are a good and decent peoples."

I am highly insulted you assume me to be an idiot just as you assume those who disagree with Obama to be idiots.

Irony here is Obama assumes you and all others to be idiots and he does seem to be proving his point, with his own idiocy.

Why don't you be truthful and simply write,

"Humanity is a vast collection of blithering idiots."

That is a plain truth to which none will admit.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Typically wonderful piece by Lithwick on what be up the road on Prop 8 and on what Kennedy may do... http://www.slate.com/id/2263792/

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@ ScottC

"Tolerance and a respect for rights does not, as you continue to imply, render any exercise of that right to be immune from criticism, objection, or condemnation. American ideals and the constitution may demand that the government allow the owners of the site to build this mosque/Islamic center/whatever if they want, but neither those ideals nor the constitution demands that anyone, whether a politician or private citizen, support, welcome, or endorse the building of it."

It sounds as if you're agreeing with the president here. And I don't recall anyone here saying that people are not allowed to either protest the building of the mosque or decide that it's just too close to ground zero for their comfort, although some of us may disagree. Unfortunately, a lot of the conversation on this subject also leads to the demonization of Muslim Americans which is a pretty intolerable situation. It does give a little insight into the biases of our fellow Americans though, for example read actuator at 11:14 pm. Also, I believe it's rather difficult to deny that this attitude/bias is spreading across the country. Are we allowed to speak our mind about this unfortunate by-product?

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@PurlGurl - No. Had no intention of getting you to say that Christianity is as bad as the Muslim faith. You don't come across, given your statements (eg Obama assumes you and all others to be idiots), as anything but a rightwing extremist but pretending to be something other or something more worthy of considering objective (native, truth-teller).

Your response doesn't help your reputation.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Lower Manhattan is not Auschwitz (difficult to imagine this needs saying)...
http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/scocca/

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie: "But Americans aren't traumatized. 9/11 was an attack on America, to which Americans have responded firmly, maturely, and appropriately."

Kristol is the quintessential rightwinger in that he has the most amazing capacity to apply magical thinking to anything that happened before 5 minutes ago. That's why they believe Palin was against the Bridge to Nowhere and Reagan never raised taxes and MLK was a Republican and Obama was responsible for TARP, etc. It would be fascinating if there wasn't some risk that these people might be running things again someday.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 15, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

For those interested, the inestimable Ronald Dworkin on Kagan and SC confirmations, and another memoir from Tony Judt (sadly deceased this week) and much else that's bound to be excellent... http://www.nybooks.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@Schrod - The "noble lie", from Plato via Strauss to Kristol... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_lie

It's not merely OK for Kristol to lie so constantly, it is an act of high nobility. And he would, I think, look almost as fine in a powdered wig as Conrad Black does/did.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham comments, "creating a massive propaganda campaign to make American's fearful ('mushroom cloud')."

Right there you confess to classic left liberal deceit.

This deceit is evidenced by the most left liberal socialist nations of our world scrambling to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of Muslims.

France is one of those socialist nations. All around our world nations are working at preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons being driven by a psychotic fear Muslims will get their hands on nuclear weapons then use those weapons.

Too late, the home of and base of operations of Islamic terrorists, Pakistan, is bristling with nuclear weapons. Too late, Russians are selling stolen suitcase nukes to Muslims. Too late, North Korea is providing technology to Muslims to build rocket launched nuclear weapons, and Iran is planning to provide the enriched plutonium.

None of this matters to left liberals like yourself who tug at your hair while jumping up and down and screaming,

"Conservatives are fear mongers! Mushroom clouds! Weapons of mass destruction! Conservatives are liars!"

Meanwhile just about every civilized nation is scared half to death Muslims will get their hands on nuclear weapons, and this fear is evidenced by so much world wide effort to prevent this. Sanctions against Iran come to mind.

Nonetheless, you shout, "Conservatives are fear mongering liars, Muslims will never use nuclear weapons against us!" You shout this while left liberals around our world are piddling their pants in fear of Muslims detonating nuclear weapons in their own backyards.

I think left liberals have been smoking too much pot in the back of used book stores.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Adam Schatz on Tony Judt... http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2010/08/12/adam-shatz/tony-judt/

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Sunday open thread:

http://bit.ly/ditLad

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 15, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie: Plato? Strauss? What's wrong with you - you some sort of elitist or something? :)

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 15, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Greg - Steve will possibly be surprised.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Schrod - Just a Canadian mennonite kid. My humility is of the Uriah Heep expansiveness.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Must run. Still unpacking boxes.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"Posted by: Truthteller12
" rabraham, what about just using eminent domain for a taking and give them just compensation for it? Do you think that would hold up? Also the RFRA was struck down nationally in 1997 and I don't know if New York has a state version.

In eminent domain proceedings, the government would have to define an overriding public purpose to acquiring the property. What would be that purpose? Does the city want to build a highway there? A school? Police station?

Also, the city of Plantation, Florida approved the synagogue's application in 2003, so I doubt the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of Florida was struck down before that.

Posted by: rabraham | August 15, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - link goes to Steve (if previous note unclear)

Just had a thought which, for me, was quite illuminating.

I addressed PurlGurl above because of prior experiences during the run-up to the last election when the Puma/Clintos4McCain thing was going on and where almost all of the activists running those sites were found to be falsely claiming their support for Hillary and actually conservative rabble rousers trying to stir up trouble (Wired provided the initial reporting on that). In talking with those people, who claimed long-term Dem membership or profound support for Hilary (against Obama) one simply could NOT get them to even mouth the sort of programs and values Hillary had always supported - it was as if their tongues would burn up in their mouths if they voiced a 'liberalism'. It was all quite funny.

But thinking about that period a minute ago, I reflected on how a woman running against an African American (and pretty certain to win the WH) presented an inevitable win/lose for liberals - either we'd have the first woman or the first AA President. And for us, either was important for reasons of symbolism.

And that got me thinking about the 'symbolism' arguments we are hearing on this ground zero Muslim presence.

I don't buy the thesis that the building is a 'victory mosque' symbol. Sources and timeline make it not credible and the propaganda function is evident. But there's no question that it is symbolic to some anyway.

But the symbolism in these two cases is quite different and that's the illuminating notion. For those who see a symbolism in a Muslim presence there, what is symbolized is power. That's a central element in neoconservative perceptions and notions - the US must at all costs preserve and promote its position as the most powerful nation/entity on the planet (see PNAC where this is explicit). Never must it be allowed to be symbolized that America is weak or has been beaten or is, in any sense, second (eg 'best medical system in the world' which is belied by more statistics than one could fit in a standard emergency room).

But regarding the other example, a female president or an AA president, the important symbolism for we liberals was one of equality - a woman COULD be President or an African American COULD finally be President.

It's a telling difference between the two philosophies. And I must say I'm quite proud to sit on the side I sit.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

On December 8th, FDR declared December 7, 1941 "..."a date which will live in infamy..." On December 9, FDR clarified that and said, "...I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to drop bombs there there..."

On August 28, 1963, MLK declared, "...I have a dream..." On August 29, MLK clarified and said, "...I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of you having a dream..."

On February 5, 2008, Obama said "We are the ones we have been waiting for" In November, 2010, America clarifies and says, "No you aren't"

Posted by: JohnDD | August 15, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham confesses, "I addressed PurlGurl above because of prior experiences during the run-up to the last election when the Puma/Clintos4McCain thing was going on...actually conservative rabble rousers trying to stir up trouble...."

You are confessing to holding a personal grudge. You are confessing to remaining angry because of my getting to you more than a year back. Like Al Gore, you need to release your second chakra into the hands of a talented masseuse before you become one of those Al Gore poodles.

Debating your point of view to satiate your personal grudge is most illogical. This makes you easy prey for those of us who are politically savvy.

Next you know someone will strap a diamond studded leash upon you then parade you around like a pompous poodle sporting a John "not-my-baby" Edwards four-hundred dollar haircut.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

“ScottC does have a point. It is not a violation of the constitution to be a racist or a bigot or to voice commentary which reflects such racism and bigotry.”

Bernie is, as usual, engaging in deceptive propaganda here. He doesn’t come out and say it, presumably so he can later deny it, but he is content to insinuate that objections and criticisms of the building of the mosque/Islamic center/whatever are necessarily born of racism and/or bigotry. He almost certainly knows this is a falsehood, but this is a standard ploy of the left in general…avoid difficult debates by throwing out accusations of racism.

But anyways, applying Bernie-logic we can confirm that Bernie’s anti-Catholic bigotry is indeed constitutional.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

“It sounds as if you're agreeing with the president here.”

I don’t know whether or not the president agrees with me. He seems to keep changing his mind.

“And I don't recall anyone here saying that people are not allowed to either protest the building of the mosque or decide that it's just too close to ground zero for their comfort, although some of us may disagree. “

Greg has explicitly argued that American ideals and fidelity to the constitution demand that the project be “supported” and “welcomed”. Bernie (among others) has implicitly argued that any objection to the project is necessarily racist and bigoted.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the conversation on this subject also leads to the demonization of Muslim Americans which is a pretty intolerable situation.”

Some people may demonize Muslims, but there is nothing about objections to this project that necessarily lead to Muslims being demonized.

“Are we allowed to speak our mind about this unfortunate by-product?”

Who is stopping you? What I am pointing out is the idiocy of the position that American ideals demand that we “support” or “welcome” this project, or that those who don’t are necessarily bigots.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand how a "no comment" can be a walkback. Or how "no comment" equals "they shouldn't have built it there." Obama did just fine.

Posted by: callingalltoasters | August 15, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

callingalltoasters comments, "I don't understand how a 'no comment' can be a walkback."

Obama: "I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there."

His is left liberal sissy boy code talk for,

"Muslims made a stupid decision but I don't want to outright say this because if I take a clear stance Americans will be able to pin me down."

His is political correctness to a maximum ignorant sissy boy extreme, not to mention if he waffles, he will expose himself for being the duplicitous person he is.

Other words, Obama is deliberately obfuscating his words to leave himself plenty of room for political flip-flopping:

"Let me make this perfectly clear. I said this, not that, no, I said that not this, no, I said this and that not that and this and I didn't say this nor did I say that!"

Ronald Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Very clear message. That infamous wall is torn down. Ronny is not a sissy boy.

Ronald Reagan said in essence, "If you air traffic controllers do not get back to work, I will fire all of you!"

Very clear message there. Ronny fired all of them. Ronny is not a sissy boy.

Ronny is gone and Sarah has stepped to take his place. Sarah is not a sissy girl.

Obama is a sissy boy frightened of taking a stance on much of anything. Obama is indecisive, is weak, has no spirit and enemies of America know this.

Obama is not qualified to be our president, and a girl is kicking his rear every which way but loose. This girl is Sarah.

I love that girl.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 15, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama, as usual, tried to plant himself firmly on the fence with his first speech but fell off hard the next day when the inevitable sh*tstorm of outrage blew in. The only people who didn't see that coming were his clueless staff and his media sycophants.

Lefties are all about religious tolerance for Muslims but fall a bit short for everyone else. Oh, Bernie, you forgot your "Mormons = bigots" sign at the Prop 8 Must Fail rally.

Posted by: inmypajamas | August 15, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

What Obama said two years ago he is saying today pretty much same thing and what Obama says yesterday about mosque is pretty much same thing today. What republican Christians are trying to make out of it is something what is differenet from what they said yesterday and their responses today. To hell with them and their hatred towards anything that is not white and not Christian. This is America, this is diversity and this is how this country has grown and still growing and they ain't gonna stop that. No way! Spews them with shame and loss.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | August 15, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Why did liberals complain when a southern state wanted to fly the confederate flag over their statehouse; this broke no laws right? Just like building Cordoba House breaks no laws.

Oh, right, flying the confederate flag would be disrespectful to African Americans and would be provocative. So liberals were agianst it; even though flying it would be absolutely legal.

Sounds pretty much like the right wing thinking on Cordoba House doesn't it? That bulding it would be disrespectful and provocative to family members of 9/11 victims.

Interesting, don't you think?

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | August 15, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Why did liberals complain when a southern state wanted to fly the confederate flag over their statehouse; this broke no laws right? Just like building Cordoba House breaks no laws.

Oh, right, flying the confederate flag would be disrespectful to African Americans and would be provocative. So liberals were agianst it; even though flying it would be absolutely legal.

Sounds pretty much like the right wing thinking on Cordoba House doesn't it? That bulding it would be disrespectful and provocative to family members of 9/11 victims.

Interesting, don't you think?

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | August 15, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry! The posting stalled on me so I thought it did not post.

I am not so profound that I need to post it twice!

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | August 15, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

rabraham

"In eminent domain proceedings, the government would have to define an overriding public purpose to acquiring the property. What would be that purpose? Does the city want to build a highway there? A school? Police station?"

Any of those. How about a library? They could come up with something.

What I was saying about the RFRA is that there are state versions of the Federal law that was struck down. State versions are still in existence although I don't know if New York has a state version of the law as Florida does.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 15, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama has apparently been golfing (both before and after 9/11) since he appears to think 9/11 was the only incident of Muslims attacking non-Muslims. If he wasn't out golfing, there’s no excuse for such gross stupidity.

Muslims must take some responsibility for their global jihad when thousands of their co-religionists over the past two decades kill thousands of innocents of every religion around the world; and when they deprive non-Muslims of their human rights in 57 of 57 Muslim governed countries.

Look. American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for folks to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Muslims than disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia tradition, as practiced in Iran, Gaza, Kashmir, Malaysia, the Paris banlieue… and (pointedly) Cordoba House in NYC.

A genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found @ SecularIslam.org.

Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the vast majority of (allegedly) “peaceful” American Muslims supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists… but don’t hold your breath.

+15K deadly Islamo-supremacist attacks since 9/11 don’t lie.
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 15, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Quislings don’t confront real evil; and hate those who do. You can see this on almost any school playground. The kid who confronts the school bully is often resented more than the bully. Whether out of guilt over their own cowardice or out of fear that the one who confronted the bully will provoke the bully to lash out more, those who refuse to confront the bully often resent the one who does.

Today, Leftist-Quislings express that cowardly contempt for those of us who take a hard line with Islamo-supremacists. It’s ever our fault for provoking these bullies. Better to remain supine while the sharia law advocates satisfy themselves raising money for terrorists; tormenting American widows and orphans at Ground Zero; erecting their monument to Islamo-triumphalism.

The Quisling answer: Just attack patriotic Americans as xenophobes, neanderthals and bigots (the whole Star Wars cantina of Quisling boogeymen) conspiring to thwart "the writ of the Founders"... and hope the crocs eat them last.

There’s a word for that: Cowardice.

Own it, Barry.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 15, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

So, there Obama goes again. The only way to prove patriotic Americans aren’t conspiring against "the writ of the Founders" is to calmly support neo-pagan KKK demands to emolate Crann Tara monuments next to MLK memorials.

The only way to prove we’re not xenophobes is to remain coldly apathetic over Marxist demands to erect Stalin’s bust next to the D-Day memorial.
http://stalinstatue.com/

Apparently, the 1st amendment is now an invitation to shut up, bend over and grab your ankles? Not in my America, Barry!

When did Professor Barry– who thinks the US Constitution is "flawed"– suddenly become a strict Constitutionalist?

Submissiveness to Imam Rauf’s Islamo-supremacist demands sends the yet another message to the Muslim world--- that Obama is a Quisling and coward.

Are American Quislings (in both parties) prepared to let Cordoba House intellectually bully them into accepting Imam Rauf’s false assertion– that sharia law advocacy is (somehow) representative of moderate Muslims?

American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for secular Americans (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Cordoba House jihadists than insincere bromides and disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia law, as practiced by the Cordoba House cabal and their financial sponsors.

A genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found @ SecularIslam.org.

Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the sharia law vendors of Cordoba House supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists– but don’t hold your breath.

“Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!” [Matthew 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 15, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama did not walk anything back
He was on vacation and the media is bored.
And as usual, they have a double standard when it comes to democrats and especially democratic presidents.
However, unlike the press, the blogs and the pols of these days, Obama sees no need to make a big issue and delabor the point.
He was not going to get into a big brouhaha with Ed henry because Henry wanted to make a big deal of it and obama wanted to get on with his vacation.
afterall, these days it is precious time to spend with Michelle and his daughters and run the free world.
A day of vacation and swimming far exceeded getting into it with Ed Henry.
The excessive over analyzing by the media that takes every word and twists it to what they want to make it be, and the talking about it endlessly and driving the issue into the ground is what they do.
And in a pinch, make an issue of nothing and just make up a big deal and story when there is none.
Facts? We don't need no stinkiing facts or truth...

Posted by: vwcat | August 15, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Probably, he walked back. Or was he on a ski-doo? The builders of cordoba house have certainly been asked to step back. Have they, this "peace loving" group?

Posted by: deepthroat21 | August 16, 2010 2:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm afraid in the public perception the President did walk back. Given his largely Muslim audience on Friday and his comments on Saturday, instead of defending their constitutional rights he created the impression of simply pandering to whatever audience is at hand.

I think he should have pushed back on Saturday even more forcefully the vile demagoguing of the intentions of the initiators of Cordoba House, too. Only then he might have added his wisdom remarks.

While it is extremely important to expound the CONSTITUTIONAL aspects, the POLITICAL unacceptability of smearing moderate Muslims is of equal importance. The president should not only have talked as a constitutional lawyer, he should have made clear that while the Constitution allows for hate speech, he'll use his bully pulpit to rebut it.

Posted by: AugoKnoke | August 16, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Where is truth speaking when you need it? Certainly not from the wannabe spokeswoman for the Choctaw Nation, Purl of intolerance gurl.
Hyperbolic, arrogant, and a demogogue--and full of crap.
Obama lent his support to the 1st Amendment, which you don't think Muslims deserve, American or not. Since he spoke in plain English, a subject you claim you know well, there should be no misunderstanding. So you're either obtuse, or think that the Bill of Rights gets extended only to groups you approve of. Claiming that "almost all Americans" are morally outraged is yet another example of your spin to efface your idol, the narcissistic, reality-challenged Sarah Palin. Come to think of it, you two seem to have a lot in common. And if you were as smart as you say you are, you'd realize that's no compliment.

Posted by: bitterblogger | August 16, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't consider it a "walk back" at all. When discussing the topic of the community center - because that's what it actually is - there are two questions to be considered - whether the owners have a legal right to build there, and whether it's the right thing to do. The second question is actually moot. We are a nation of laws, not emotions. Follow the laws, and the owners have ever right to build their community center within blocks of the wtc site.

Thank god we're a nation of laws and not emotions, it makes things much clearer. The president is the president for ALL Americans, including Muslim Americans, and they have the same rights as christians.

Posted by: JilliB | August 16, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Of course its not a walkback, its more of the same old hyperventilating the republicans do to try to discredit President Obama.

Newt Gingrich has prostituted himself, and disgraced the Title he used to have before he disgraced it way back when with his labeling Muslims as worse than the Nazis.


Look - you do not have the right to stand up in a crowded theater and yell 'fire'.

You do have the right to stand up in a crowded theater and argue with someone sitting in your seat - though the wisdom of doing so rather than getting an usher is highly questionable.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 16, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Sargent is in too much of a knee-jerk mindless partisan response mode to see the true story.

The true story is that once again, nobody knows what Obama thinks about an issue, even after he has spoken about it. He refuses to take a stand on anything and as a result, partisan hacks like Sargent need to waste ink trying to interpret his vague and conflicting comments.

Posted by: bobmoses | August 16, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

As smart as Obama is, why couldn't he make a statement that everyone could clearly understand?

He was using the same old, tired "Obamisms"...vague sugary generalities that everyone could read into what they want.

He voted "present" again.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | August 16, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent, defend if you must, but I see the statement as a carefully crafted political declaration which artfully tries to satisfy both sides of the argument. Mr. Obama is extremely adept at politically correct statements, with no real substance.

Posted by: Bockscar | August 16, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

President Obama shouldn't try to clarify for America's simpletons and demagogues, because they will merely twist it into "weakness", "waffling" and the like.

Posted by: hitpoints | August 16, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

No he did not walk back his support of Cordoba House because he did not say in his original speech that he endorsed it. He said that as a citizen of this country and more importantly as President it was his duty to support a citizens constitutional right to religious freedom. It is just a shame that he has to keep clarifying his words for the ignorant of the world who want to find fault and intentionally misinterpret everything he says.
So if Tim McVey was a Baptist, would you prohibit a Baptist Church from being built near the Murrah(sp?) building? Think about it folks and stop using this as a political ploy. By the way, my cousin died in the WTC on 9/11. His family does not blame the entire muslim community for what happened to him. Building a mosque near ground zero may be insensitive but they have the right to do so.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | August 16, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Columns and MSM reporters are always trying to tell the public what someone what someone said or meant. We don't need MSM and columnist to tell us what someone meant - we hear and have brains and we use them.

Posted by: rlj1 | August 16, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Columns and MSM reporters are always trying to tell the public what someone said or meant - especially when they think they can cause a controversy. We don't need MSM and columnist to tell us what someone meant - we hear and have brains and we use them.

Posted by: rlj1 | August 16, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It really doesn't take much for the racist Obama haters to get all worked up, does it?

Posted by: FormerRepublicant | August 16, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The only folks who see that as a first amendment issue are the president's supporters who insist on making the biggest strawman they can make and attributing it to the mosque's opponents. In fact, the first amendment was NEVER at issue. The opponents question the "wisdom" of placing a mosque at Ground Zero, not Muslims right to do so, a distinction the president acknowledged on Sat. Instead, the president, in his initial remarks, clearly left the impression that he endorsed the "wisdom" of the mosque being built on ground zero. Had he not, he could have clarified his remarks then and there. And, in light of the president not taking a stand on the "wisdom" of placing a mosque at GZ, Greg's childish triumphalism in lauding the president's "courage" is a joke. The president articulated a legal truth, something the opponents of the mosque never contended.

Posted by: squid1 | August 16, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

What a lame apologia for a president who is fast becoming notorious for his inability to set or keep any kind of a moral stake in the ground.

Posted by: Itzajob | August 16, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Obama was protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. That's what he promised to do as President. Anyone who has a problem with that needs to read the Constitution again.

Posted by: benintn | August 16, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

benintn, you're missing the point. The opponents of the mosque never debated the constitution. This isn't a constitutional question. The president was defending something that didn't need to be defended because it was never attacked. As the president acknowledged on Saturday, it was the "wisdom" of building a mosque there that's at issue, not the right to do so.

Posted by: squid1 | August 16, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I find it a little weird that people are using the argument that, "They don't allow other religions in Muslim countries," in order to justify that we should do the same thing to Muslims here. That's not the Golden Rule - it's the opposite of it. That's not what the Constitution is about. It's the opposite.

And Republicans, who want to claim that we should persecute American Muslims who want to worship in peace, need to check the Constitution to see where that's acceptable.

Posted by: benintn | August 16, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The one and only purpose of this Muslim shrine is to honor the Islamic terrorists who murdered more than 3,000 people on 9/11.

And once again Obama and liberal apologists bow before these Islamic fascists.


Posted by: Jerzy | August 16, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

benintn, look up the meaning of "strawman." It's a logical fallacy.

Posted by: squid1 | August 16, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

What would you expect?
This is politics. Obama has put his foot in the mouth by taking his foot around his neck. And now it is hurting. So the best thing to do is change some words and sentences and provide some lame response.
Although, it is good for the GOP.
All these comments by Obama and others lack the meaningful logic to move forward with the idea.

Posted by: swavde | August 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

bitterblogger comments, "Where is truth...not from...Choctaw Nation...intolerance...Hyperbolic, arrogant...demogogue...full of crap...narcissistic...reality-challenged...that's no compliment."

Oh, gosh, you are again angry with me, angry enough to slice off my nose and slice off my ears! Make a phone call to imam Obama over there in the Oval Mosque; he will help you by holding down this red skinned girl while you slice and dice with your righteous scimitar.

I declare, you and imam Obama are truly good and faithful Muslims of peace and goodwill! Praise Allah, may peace be upon him.

By-the-by, you misspelled "demagogue".

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 16, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Greg, nice try... Obama's finest moment became a vote of "present".

Will Obama answer any of the questions Sarah Palin has now asked ?

"Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque steps away from where radical Islamists killed 3000 people?

"Please tell us your position. We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they?

"And, no, this is not above your pay grade. If those who wish to build this Ground Zero mosque are sincerely interested in encouraging positive “cross-cultural engagement” and dialogue to show a moderate and tolerant face of Islam, then why haven’t they recognized that the decision to build a mosque at this particular location is doing just the opposite?

"Mr. President, why aren’t you encouraging the mosque developers to accept Governor Paterson’s generous offer of assistance in finding a new location for the mosque on state land if they move it away from Ground Zero?

"Why haven’t they jumped at this offer?

"Why are they apparently so set on building a mosque steps from what you have described, in agreement with me, as “hallowed ground”?

Posted by: Petras123 | August 16, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

This is America not a shari state and no one is required to "respect" or "welcome" any group or any mosque.The right to free speech which is also a part of the first amendment and a "right" enjoyed by all Americans not just muslims guarantees that. As for Obama's remarks they were "off the cuff" rather then read from a teleprompter. They were a reaction to the political storm his ill advised support of the ground zero mosque has created.

Posted by: LilannB | August 16, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Today, Mahmoud al-Zahar, co-founder of the terrorist organization Hamas, lent his full support to Obama and building of a victory mosque atop of Ground Zero. Obama must be right evidenced by support from a leader of one of the most violent and murderous Islamic terrorist organizations known.

"Do what imam Obama tells you lest we saw your heads off, on television!"

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 16, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, I really don't see what the issue is. POTUS says the Constitution demands that Americans respect the concept of freedom of religion, which includes Muslims' right to erect a mosque in downtown Manhattan in accordance with local laws, etc. A day later he says he's not commenting on the wisdom of building it there (which, to my mind - and to any intelligent mind - means, "Muslims, have you thought through what building the centre in downtown Manhattan means given the political climate and the rawness of emotions???"), but that he still stands by his statement of the right of Muslims to build the thing there. Where is the contradiction or controversy? Please enlighten me.

This is less than a tempest in a teapot. This is seriously grasping for straws. It's idiotic.

Posted by: chert | August 16, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I think Obama walked it back.

I think it is glaringly obvious.

Because since when is "wisdom" an aspect of a civil right?

That being said, I personally think this world would be a much better, more peaceful place without ANY religion.

Posted by: solsticebelle | August 16, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

chert implores, "Please enlighten me."

Go over to Iran, find yourself a nice hotel for a night in downtown Tehran, then enjoy your last supper.

Morning comes, slip on a T-shirt with a bold and large American flag front and back. Within minutes you will be enlightened but will never know this.

You will be enlightened, for a briefest of a moment, by a fatal Islamic moral lesson delivered by a bullet to your head.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 16, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

When there is this much argument over "what the president meant," you know that nobody knows what the president meant. An old adage in forensics is that if you have to explain, you've lost. Our president - our national leader - has not only lost, he IS lost.

Posted by: RossOdom | August 16, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

As I started to read comments I thought it was a shame so many people either are selective in what part of the Constitution they support or only support the Constitution when it supports their own personal beliefs. Those people certainly never attended any history or civic class I did in a tiny class of 30 in a small midwest (extremely conservative) town in the 60's.

I remember how the end of the world was sure to come if JFK was elected. The Pope would be calling the shots, religious freedom as granted in the Constitution was gone. In history class I learned how the Germans killed Jews simply because they could, how further back in history Christians were part of Roman "games" and on it goes.

I take offense when people demean our President. His remarks on Friday were demanded by his position to defend the Constitution. Unfortunately the frightened Republicans, the automatic anti-anything Obama says, thinks or does crowd immediately took it one level further and therefore the President had to clarify remarks for those too hatefilled to understand.

I live now in California, some areas of my state have protested building by Muslims - not near me but still I wonder why this protest everywhere seems right in any way? I don't live in NY, I didn't lose anyone close to me on 9/11 but how far is far enough? I wish it were further away, I don't want families hurt by 9/11 hurt additionally but if their city grants a permit then their protest should be directed toward the mayor and city officials.

Freedom of religion is for everyone who lives here - that's what our President said. He did not comment about the actual decision of where - until those too full of hate decided they knew what he was thinking and it wasn't. Sad that our nation has become full of frightened people who betray the promise of America each time they open their mouth.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | August 16, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Uhh, read this:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Obamas-Clintonian-speech-pulls-rug-from-under-mosque-supporters-100716539.html

Note Sargent's earlier reaction. Obama could defecate in the middle of a crowded city sidewalk, and Sargent would go into high gear in defense.

Posted by: pyellman | August 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

PurlGurl wrote: "Islam is a sworn enemy and a deadly enemy of all western peoples. This is plain truth...."
______________________________

Very scary that an alleged university "professor" can spout the most irrational nonsense. Universities, at least I always thought, are supposed to teach students to weigh different sides of an issue...and to study issues before going off on a baseless tirade. Guess his was a "little" deficient in that area (assuming he actually went to a university).

According to PurlGurl, all Catholics are "terrorists" too...heh, they have been contributing to the Irish Republican Army for almost 100 years. Protestants too...they've been contributing for decades to Protestant groups in Northern Ireland that have carried out terrorist acts.

And Jews too...they supported Jewish groups that carried out terrorist acts against the British in the 1940s. Google: King David Hotel July 1946. A total of 91 people were killed when that hotel in Jerusalem was bombed by a Jewish terrorist group...a group headed, in fact, by a man who became Israel's prime minister from 1977 to 1983.

To make a blanket condemnation of Islam...is pretty pathetic. There is absolutely no evidence that "millions" of Muslims support acts of terror. In fact, the fanatics/radicals advocating, and carrying out, acts of terror number in the low thousands...by any rational estimate.

"Terrorism" is NOT a religion, ideology, sect, or anything else...but simply a "weapon" used by those who feel powerless to express their perceived grievances any other way. There have been those using acts of terror for at least 2,000 years, if not longer...well before Islam was even established.

Not much use mentioning it for PurlGurl, of course. Completely closed and irrational minds rarely care what the truth is. Much easier just to spout irrational nonsense.

Posted by: Rigged | August 16, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Lemon7221 comments, "His remarks on Friday were demanded by his position to defend the Constitution."

No, absolutely not. None twisted his arm, his presidential position did not "demand" he address this issue.

Obama made a freewill choice to speak to this topic for purely misguided political expediency, and I am sure he is now regretting his freewill choice.

Another freedom we enjoy, the most critical of all freedoms, is our right to free speech. We are free to choose to speak or to not speak. Obama made his choice, his speaking out was not "demanded" of him, and now Obama must accept both responsibility for and consequences of his deeply offending our peoples and our America.

So far, Obama is refusing to accept neither responsibility for his words nor accept consequences of his words. This is very telling of his personal character.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 16, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Rigged engages in deceit, "According to PurlGurl, all Catholics are "terrorists" too...And Jews too...."

I did not write those words nor did I hint at such notions.

This time, you are simply lying to readers. Your lying to readers so openly and so brazenly does not lend well to your credibility.

You are a left liberal, yes?

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 16, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

We should not feel guilty, or racist, if we voice concern about ideologies that openly and vociferously seek to destroy our civilization and constitutional freedoms. Our forefathers would be ashamed that those who speak out today are so summarily vilified in the name of political correctness. Islam cannot be compared to Judaism or Christianity; when we do so we gag ourselves from discussing its ideology of hate and conquest because we fear that we are attacking religious freedom.

We need to answer the real question: Does Islam (not just fringe elements) sanction the violence perpetrated in the name of Allah around the world? The honest answer is yes. The Koran, Hadiths, Sharia and centuries of Islamic history all show that Islam has a developed doctrine of theology and law that mandates violence against unbelievers. Except for Mulsims fighting non-Muslims the world is mostly at peace. Nearly every violent conflict in the world today (Somalia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Sudan, Kashmir, Indonesia, Kosovo, Nigeria, Thailand, etc.) is as a result of Muslims fighting to force Islam and Sharia law on others; beheading, amputating and torturing Christians and unbelievers in their march toward a global hegemony of Sharia law.

We shouldn’t be shocked by the beheadings of Jews and Christians by modern day Muslims; Muhammad, who is considered the perfect representation of human behavior in Islam, personally beheaded between 600-900 members of the Coriza tribe in Arabia. If the perfect prophet did it then it is the proper way for Muslims to behave for all time.

The peaceful revelations of the Koran – those most often quoted by Westerners – are limited to the time when the prophet was relatively powerless in his native city of Mecca. These revelations were abrogated and made null in later verses once Muhammad had become a powerful and wealthy warlord in Medina. In the last revealed (valid verses) the message is clear: Sura 9:5 “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them… and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush.” Sura 5:33 “Those that wage war against Allah and his messenger… shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on opposite sides.” Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 8, Book 82, Hadith 795 “The prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the tribe of Uraina.” Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 4, Book 53, Hadith 392 “You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and his apostle, and I want to expel you from this land.” Sura 8:67 “It is not for a prophet that he should have prisoners of war and free them with ransom until he had made a great slaughter among his enemies in the land.” Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 4, Book 53, Hadith 386 “Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you until you worship Allah alone...” And on and on...

Posted by: Freedom314 | August 16, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!!! The sky is falling! There's already a mosque near ground zero, it's been there for years, so why all the vexation?

Posted by: RickDrake | August 16, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sargent - welcome to the club! :-)
Nobody understands what the great one says! It's not that he isn't "clear" ( as in "let me be very clear") He just has no firm principles - on ANYTHING. He says whatever is the best thing for the audience in front of him - and he will alter it to fit any audience that challenges him!
On the mosque: all the American People are saying is - it is legal for it to be built there, but it is not sensitive to the pain the people have endured, to put it there!
On a very trivial level, it is legal for me to paint my house electric purple, but I wouldn't do that unless I had gone crazy or just wanted to stick it to my neighbors!
If the muslims want to do this to "build a bridge" surely they would understand this is "burning a bridge"!
I asked you before sargent - where does the money for this mosque come from??
And why is the US State Dept funding the imam's trip through the middle east??

Posted by: thornegp2626 | August 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

RickDrake sticks a foot in his mouth, "There's already a mosque near ground zero"

Then why build a mega mosque?

My best guesstimate is there are 30 to 50 mosques scattered around New York, many close to Ground Zero.

Again, why build a mega mosque? There are plenty of mosques to serve faith needs of Muslims and, thanks to our left liberal Great Depression II, there are thousands of empty store fronts and buildings available for rent or purchase, at bargain basement prices.

Again, why build a mega mosque?

Would you like some salt and pepper with your crow?

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

PurlGirl: Well, you seem to think all Muslims are "terrorists" out to destroy the Western world because a minuscule number out of the 1.5 billion in the world have carried out terrorist acts, so it just seemed to follow that you must think any religion in which a very small group of fanatics resorts to acts of terrorism is also a "terrorist" religion...as illogical as that is for Islam as well as for other religions.

I have to say your comments are good for a laugh. You wrote: "This attack on the World Trade Center and elsewhere was orchestrated by millions of Muslims, most likely, tens of millions of Muslims." That's pretty rational: tens of millions "orchestrating" 11 Sept? Their meetings must have gotten pretty crowded...wonder how they hid that.

You wrote: "Obama must accept both responsibility for and consequences of his deeply offending our peoples and our America." He did no such thing; he expressed his opinion. Guess you only believe in freedom of expression for yourself and like-minded nuts.

You may be offended, but remember this, dumbo: Obama was elected by a "majority" of the American voters...in a democratic election. But under "any" circumstances, your view counts for exactly one thing: your own perverted view...which you're freely entitled to have, but you don't speak for "our peoples and our America" (whatever that means).

You claim that "just about every civilized nation is scared half to death Muslims will get their hands on nuclear weapons." Think again...or once. I live in Europe and I haven't found a single European "scared half to death" of Iran developing a nuclear weapon and using it against Europe.

Obama as a "sissy boy": more laughable stuff. Let's see: Bush talked tough; dragged us into a disastrous invasion of Iraq through deceipt and deception, costing us a trillion dollars or more and the lives of thousands of our troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis; antagonized most of the rest of the world to the point where our closest allies (Brits - in several polls - I was there) felt Bush was far more of a threat to world peace and stability than Ahmedinejad or Kim Chong-il; and completely mishandled the situation in Afghanistan. Obama might not have had a lot of "success" with Iran or North Korea...but you'd be hard pressed to point to any for Bush either.

I'll take an intelligent, diplomatic, reasoned president...such as we have now...any day.

It's clear from your postings that you're not a native English speaker...as you said. It's also clear you're not a native English thinker either. Hard to imagine which educational system you represent.

Posted by: Rigged | August 16, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting commentary from Religious Freedom Coalition chairman William J. Murray:

"President Obama's statement in favor of a mosque at Ground Zero is in deep contrast to ignoring the plight of St. Nicholas, the only church destroyed on 9-11. It has still not been rebuilt because of government red tape."

http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7476714703.html

Nine years have passed and a Christian church is still not allowed to be built near Ground Zero.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 16, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

PurlGurl wrote: "Nine years have passed and a Christian church is still not allowed to be built near Ground Zero."
__________________________

And your point is? If you could count, you'd realize that means 7 and a half years under Bush...since Obama has only been in office a bit less than 19 months.

And Obama had/has no say in approving the Muslim Center...the local authorities in New York City did that under their responsibilities. If there was any point at all in your post...well, probably not.

Posted by: Rigged | August 16, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

To Okpulot Taha:
I find your understanding of the Islamic jihadist goals not only insightful but also enlightening. I am reminded of Obama's telling us to not 'rush to judgement' when 14 US soldiers were murdered by an islamic jihadist masquerading as an Army officer. He is obviously very sympathetic to Muslim agendas to the detriment of the security of the nation. His stance on the Az. border law, sending in lawyers to sue the state rather than addressing the ongoing border crisis is merely another of his anti-American actions. As president he is sworn to defend soverign American territory and borders. When drug cartels sieze American parks and citizens are warned from entering american soil with signs posted by the federal government rather than by protection from American troops then something is seriously wrong. Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Quaeda and other terrorist organizations are sworn enemies of the US and will stop at nothing to destroy the US(both from without and from within). I find it naive for people to suggest that the issue with the NY Mosque is one of religious tolerance and constitutionality. Sharia law harbors little tolerance and recognises no laws outside of those established by the Koran. I sympathise with those who wish to manifest tolerance and understanding. I also love dogs but when confronted with a rabid dog who's very existence threatens my life, well, ... Perhaps if I were a man I could tolerate Sharia law since most of its pernicious and draconian rules and punishments are directed at women...
mygirl1

Posted by: mygirl1 | August 17, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

mygirl1 wrote: "Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Quaeda and other terrorist organizations are sworn enemies of the US and will stop at nothing to destroy the US (both from without and from within)."
__________________

You should do a little research...any objective research. Hezbollah and Hamas are NOT "sworn enemies of the US" who will "stop at nothing to destroy" us. Sworn enemies of Israel, yes definitely. The US...definitely not. Read anything objective about their goals and philosophy.

Posted by: Rigged | August 17, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent is twisting himself into a pretzel on this one. Obama is trying to have it both ways and merely looks weak and vacillating. Defending him is not an easy task.

Posted by: dicklobb | August 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

To My Girl 1

mygirl1 comments, "I also love dogs but when confronted with a rabid dog who's very existence threatens my life, well, ..."

There are a lot of rabid dogs running loose on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

mygirl1 adds, "Perhaps if I were a man I could tolerate Sharia law since most of its pernicious and draconian rules and punishments are directed at women."

This is highly problematic. My perception is Obama is a closet Muslim. Being such, Obama also accepts women are of less value than a rabid dog. Democrats are fiercely defending Islam. Their defense of Islam also defends brutalizing women.

An integral part of Islam is stripping women of all rights and stripping women of human rights, along with stripping women for violent rape typically followed by death to protect "family honor".

Obama and Democrats accepting Islam as a religion is to also accept inhumane and brutal treatment of women.

I have issues with this murderous misogynist thinking of left liberals.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 17, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Does WP have an adult section?

Posted by: jpalm32 | August 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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