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The Cheney-ization of the GOP, part II

Yesterday I noted here that the war over Cordoba House revealed something that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves: The degree to which the Cheney-ites are winning the battle over the future direction of GOP foreign policy.

It occurs to me I left out a major data point underscoring this dynamic: Former President Bush's complete silence on the "mosque" controversy, which only reinforces the sense that the Cheney-ites are setting the agenda for much of the GOP.

Now, via Ben Smith, Bush's silence has gotten so conspicuous that a former Bush administration official, Ken Adelman, a prominent Iraq War backer, is now calling on him to come out in support of Cordoba House.

"I really think that the United States should stick with its values of tolerance and understanding and support for moderate Islamic leaders," Adelman said. "And I'm a little disappointed in President Bush, while we're talking about him, that he hasn't come out."

Adelman added that "now would be a wonderful time" for Bush to reiterate his position "for acceptance of Islamic leadership" that is "moderate" and "responsible."

Such talk, though, sounds almost quaint in comparison to the rhetoric we're hearing from leading Republicans right now. On the "mosque," and even on other issues such as torture and Mirandizing terror suspects, many leading elected officials in Congress, and many of the 2012 GOP hopefuls, are all reading from a script that may as well have been written, and in a sense is being written, by Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol. The only Republicans you hear speaking out in favor of the "mosque" are former Bushies who don't have influence within the party, and aren't running for office any time soon.

So here's the question: If Bush did come out in support of the Islamic center (which he isn't going to do), or if he did call on Republicans to moderate their rhetoric, would any leading Republicans listen to him? I doubt it. No point in even bothering.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 25, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

"No point in even bothering."

Uh, there's one point for "bothering". Because it's the right thing to do.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I think it's more the Tancredoization of the GOP. It would be one thing if their attacks were limited to Muslims, but the GOP seems to be hell-bent on alienating every minority group.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

While of course speaking out is the right thing to do, I wonder if it would backfire politically. Supporting Park51 would give Republicans a rare opportunity: break with Bush while still tossing red meat to the base.

Posted by: bethd714 | August 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Look at the way Dick Armey ripped Bush for not understanding economics and being a big spender but not a big thinker. He made some very unkind statements abut the former Pres' brainpower.

I'd expect W to keep his silence. Who needs all the flak?

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 25, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Even if Bush did come out in support of the Islamic center, or at least if he called on Republicans to moderate their rhetoric, would any leading Republicans listen to him?"

I doubt it. The mosque non-troversy is about winning votes through injecting xenophobic/racial tension into the national debate. I highly doubt anything anyone says can stop them; this is what they do.

Look at the bright side: I'm sure no rightwing xenophobes will decide to take matters into their own hands and start trying to kill random Muslims on the streets of New York. Right?

Posted by: nisleib | August 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Is Bush even aware of the issue? He's been clearing brush...

Posted by: JkR- | August 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The New York City cab driver allegedly stabbed repeatedly by a 21-year-old man who first asked if the driver was Muslim has released a statement through the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, saying "I never feel this hopeless and insecure before."

"I have been here more than 25 years," Ahmed H. Sharif said in a statement. "I have been driving a taxi more than 15 years. All my four kids were born here. I never feel this hopeless and insecure before. Right now, the public sentiment is very serious (because of the Ground Zero Mosque debate.) All drivers should be more careful."

The release went on to describe the way the alleged incident turned violent, saying that the suspect, Michael Enright of Brewster, New York, "started out friendly, asking Mr. Sharif about where he was from, how long he had been in America, if he was Muslim and if he was observing fast during Ramadan."

He then first became silent for a few minutes and then suddenly started cursing and screaming. There, at about 6:15pm at Third Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets, he yelled, "Assalamu Alaikum. Consider this a checkpoint," and then slashed Mr. Sharif across the neck. As Mr. Sharif went to knock the knife out, the perpetrator, continuing to scream loudly, cut the taxi driver in the face (from nose to upper lip), arm and hand.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/cabbie_stabbed_for_being_muslim_i_feel_very_sad_1.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: nisleib | August 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nisleib | August 25, 2010 1:57 PM
==================

Good grief!

This is the disgraceful but inevitable result of GOP bigot-baiting.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 25, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Meh.....Bush isn't going to say a word. He's got a book coming out in November. Why would he want to alienate the only people who might possibly want to buy it?

@nisleib: the story is just disgusting. I hope those who have been fanning the flames are proud of themselves.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 25, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"would any leading Republicans listen to him? I doubt it. No point in even bothering."

Well, I concur with BBQ that there is one point in bothering--because it's the right thing to do. However, some in the pundit class are pretty confident that Bush, in addition to enjoying keeping politics at a distance, is concerned about how what he might say might hurt the party, or be seen as sabotaging the GOP. So he's almost certainly not going to do it.

Although, I think he should. There is something going on beyond protesting Park51 because there are suspicions that Rauf is not as moderate as he says he is; it's getting to be actually just anti-Islamic, and conflating American Muslims with anti-American Muslims and Al Qaeda, and leaders in the Republican party and the tea party movement have a duty to point that out.

And I say that as someone who understands (and agrees) that even moderate Islam can be far more intolerant than we sometimes want to admit. Conflating the backers of Park 51 with Al Qaeda is going to prove to be a distraction, at best, and an ugly mess that enables future terrorist attacks at worst.

So, I'd like W. to speak up, but I don't think he's going to.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I would not be surprised if Karen Hughes did not already discuss the Muslim Center topic with President Bush, before she posted her piece, calling for the Muslim Center to be moved?

I think that Bush has already commented, through Karen Hughes.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"There are plenty of critics in the arena [Obama] deserves my silence."

Former President George W. Bush -- March 17, 2009

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't Bush just say the same as Obama? "They have a constitutional right - I won't comment on the wisdom of the location."

Posted by: sbj3 | August 25, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Shocking Report Out Of Afghanistan From McClatchy Papers:


Washington state Stryker soldiers allegedly plotted to kill Afghan civilians

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/08/25/v-print/99637/washington-state-stryker-soldiers.html

"Seattle Times

last updated: August 25, 2010 01:24:54 PM

Last December, Army Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs began joking with other soldiers about how easy it would be to "toss a grenade" at Afghan civilians and kill them, according to statements made by fellow platoon members to military investigators.

One soldier said it was a stupid idea. Another believed that Gibbs was "feeling out the platoon."

Others told investigators Gibbs eventually turned the talk into action, forming what one called a "kill team" to carry out random executions of Afghans.

In one of the most serious war-crimes cases to emerge from the Afghanistan war, five soldiers from a Stryker infantry brigade based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are now charged with murder for their alleged roles in killing three Afghan civilians.

In two of the incidents, grenades were thrown at the victims and they were shot, according to charging documents. The third victim also was shot.

The soldiers allegedly killed the three Afghans while out on patrol, and anyone who dared to report the events was threatened with violence, according to statements made to investigators.

The Seattle Times has reviewed court documents - filed by a defense attorney with a U.S. Army magistrate - that summarize some of the evidence in the case. The Times also has interviewed attorneys for three of the defendants. The documents give new insight into how the murder plot may have evolved, but they give few clues about motives.

All five soldiers are awaiting court-martial proceedings. If convicted, they face the possibility of life imprisonment or death.

The joint base on Tuesday also disclosed that charges have been filed against seven other soldiers that include impeding an investigation, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawfully striking another soldier and conspiracy to commit assault and battery."

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

No, sbj3, as a FORMER President, Bush is doing the right thing and remaining silent -- not that he won't get attacked for that now too -- I guess some folks are too young to remember "The buck stops here."

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD Hard to figure how your mind works with that post...""There are plenty of critics in the arena [Obama] deserves my silence."

What exactly are you talking about? Nobody has suggested our former President say a single word about the current President. Nobody has suggested that he ADD his support to Obama.

Just in case you're part of the 1/3 of R's who think otherwise...Obama is not a Muslim! Obama has nothing to do with this debate other than to state the obvious..it's the Muslim's CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to build the Park 51 Community Center.

What is being debated is whether Geo Bush doing the right thing would even have an impact on the lunatics who are now in charge of the Republican asylum.

In fairness to the former President he is ALREADY on the record as saying the right thing when he very explicitly pointed out we are not at war with Islam but rather Al Qaeda. Unless you conflate Al Qaeda and Islam there is absolutely no reason to be against this community center.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 25, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If President Bush decided to state that he fully supports upholding the First Amendment for all residents of the USA, that would not be intruding in politics, any more that him getting involved with the Hatian relief efforts has been.

Former Presidents are free to defend the Constitution.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

I am talking about Greg Sargant urging George Bush to break his silence. One reason to be against this community center is to have some shred of sensitivity to the friends and families of those killed on 9/11 (keep in mind that I spoke out against Ann Coulter when she verbally attacked the 9/11 widows too).

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The "Sensitivity" feelings of others, ends when it encroaches on the First Amendment rights of others.

It is just a code word for: No Muslims Allowed.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya:

Did you know that Michael Enright of Brewster, New York, is a REGISTERED DEMOCRAT? He is (was) an employee of the New York City-based Intersections International, a New York-based "global initiative dedicated to promoting justice, reconciliation and peace across lines of faith, culture, ideology, race, class, national borders and other boundaries that divide humanity."

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/the_ground_zero/

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still:

Muslims are welcome to build their mosque somewhere other than 2 blocks from where (extremist?) muslims took 2,875 innocent lives. Would you be fine with a Japanese temple being built the same distance from the USS Arizona Memorial?

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@Liam....My hibernian brother why don't you jump on all of my hot buttons today. :-)

Again as a Vietnam Vet who knows what it feels like to walk in a strange country with a significant number of residents who don't want you there I feel for our soldiers in Afghanistan. This is Obama's largest mistake IMHO. So while I certainly abhor the behavior you have reported, while I am totally saddened by murder and mayhem, I must confess I also completely understand.

Everyone please try and use your imaginations. Who is one of your closest friends in life? Imagine them getting a leg an arm or worse perhaps their head ripped off by a high powered round. That's right you watch your friends head explode right in front of you. Maybe bits of their brain and skull land on you. Yes I'm being graphic...but consider it PLEASE.
How do you think you'd react. Would you become vengeful? Hateful? Ready to take out revenge? This is the quandary into which we've placed our troops.

And Liam keeps trying to make what is an excellent point that deserves non stop media coverage but has never even drawn a peep...even from progressive sources like MSNBC or the Daily Show. How many Muslim Armies are currently occupying us? How many times have we been attacked on OUR shores by Muslim armies or navys? How fearful are you that a predator drone will fly quietly over YOUR neighborhood before dropping death and destruction...perhaps...unfortunately often if you believe intelligence reports..killing your innocent neighbors and their children? We sanitize it be calling it collateral damage!!!
THINK PEOPLE. Have we lost all of our morality?

If you are a Christian can you please explain how our foreign policy reflects His teachings? How the statements of Gingrich and Palin can possibly be Christian? I know judge not etc...on the other hand...judge the vine by the fruit it produces...what kind of fruit are Newt, Sister Sarah and the neocons producing?

I close with a couple of lessons' directly from the mouth of Jesus..if you believe the Sermon on the Mount took place for real.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Can anyone identify any behavior coming from the right currently that mirrors either of those statements from Jesus Himself?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 25, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I recall reading about how New York Firemen were assigned to attend to the needs of wives of firemen who died on 9/11.

Several of those firemen, ended up leaving their own wifes, and marrying the widows of their fallen comrades. Of course their new wifes had also received very large amounts of 9/11 compensation funds.

I do not recall any protest being organized, to protest against the firemen who took advantage of the widows of fallen fellow firemen.

Was there every any public outrage demonstrated at such a lack of "Sensitivity" by those philandering firemen?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still:

Did you ever watch Sorkin's "The West Wing"? President Bartlet asks "Why is a Kuhndunese life worth less to me than an American life?" Someone replies "I don't know why, sir, but it is."

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

It's almost sad to watch Leftists pining for Bush to save Obama's bacon on the mosque issue... when they can't even get Bubbah to step up to the plate.

For all that talk about Obama being like Bill Clinton, he's been ominously like Carter-- waffling while the economy and the country decline. On the mosque issue alone, Obama took four (4!) separate positions in the space of a week – first he wouldn't comment, then he was for it, then he backed off and finally he backed off backing off.

That's not leadership, it's clown college.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Jake - Where did you get that he is a registered Democrat? That link doesn't say that...

Posted by: nisleib | August 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"Muslims are welcome to build their mosque somewhere other than 2 blocks from where (extremist?) muslims took 2,875 innocent lives. "

How very gracious of you to allow that.

I'm just trying to remember at what point the US Constitution, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and all of the local zoning ordinances were repealed and those sorts of decisions were left in your hands to decide.....

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

American Lives

There’s a news flash on the video, live footage from the scene
You can see the fires burning, you can hear the people scream
It’s a natural disaster, many thousands there have died
But the network says it’s alright, there’s no loss of American lives

In a new house in the suburbs with a pool and neat trimmed lawn
A kid sits in his father’s car and turns the engine on
He’s already sealed up all the doors to trap the fumes inside
Now he’s one more sad statistic in the loss of American lives

American lives, American lives
Now he’s one more sad statistic in the loss of American lives

At last the war is over, all the headlines make it clear
The troops will soon be coming home to ticker tape and cheers
They killed thousands of the enemy, every woman man and child
Now there’s cause for celebration, there’s no loss of American lives

Down by the burned out buildings in a city neighbourhood
An old soldier with a placard saying, “I will work for food”
Women sleeping on the sidewalk with the garbage and the flies
And you ask yourself the question “what’s become of American lives?”

American lives, American lives
And you ask yourself the question “what’s become of American lives?”

American lives, American lives
And you ask yourself the question “what’s become of American lives?”

Never Learned to Dance – Green Linnet, GLCD 1124
Words and Music, Robbie O’Connell © 1991
Slievenamon Music (BMI)

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@Jaked Thanks for responding in civil fashion. We disagree but have done so agreeably. Kudos to you for stating you opinion without hate, vitriol and name calling.

Perhaps I can answer your question.
"Would you be fine with a Japanese temple being built the same distance from the USS Arizona Memorial?"

Actually there is a Shinto shrine not far from Pearl. If you've visited the USS Arizona Memorial you would see many Japanese on the boat ride out with you. They come to pay their respect.

And so Jake you have selected the perfect comparison. Japan as a NATION...not 19 wacked out extremists..not only made a dastardly sneak attack on us...they were responsible for the Pacific portion of WWII. How many lives were lost? How much money was spent. How many widows were created. Immediately after the war we certainly needed a period of time to get over our hatred of them and their culture.

But that's just it Jake...we did get over it. We're nine years past 9/11...by 9 years after the horror of WWII...again started by the Japanese nation not just 19 wack jobs...we were already beginning to buy Japanese products. They had already began playing OUR pastime..baseball..Leo Durocher toured Japan with the New York Giants in a famous cultural exchange.

Now a Sufi Muslim wishes to build a community center which was to include a 9/11 memorial...remember Muslims were killed in those buildings too...and nine years after the event we have politicians comparing Muslims to Nazis...we have cab drivers getting stabbed...all over the nation we have a huge backlash against Muslims. It just saddens me to see our country dump our values because of cowardice, fear, prejudice and some loud mouth demagoging politicians.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 25, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

[rukidding7: "Can anyone identify any behavior coming from the right currently that mirrors either of those statements from Jesus Himself?"]

What would Jesus do?

"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"
[Matthew 18:6-7]

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

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 25, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Yes or no, was Ronald Reagan a "peacemaker"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@Liam....Thanks for the lyrics to that song.

All I can say is INDEED!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 25, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse


"Muslims are welcome to build their mosque somewhere other than 2 blocks from where (extremist?) muslims took 2,875 innocent lives. "

How very gracious of you to allow that.

I'm just trying to remember at what point the US Constitution, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and all of the local zoning ordinances were repealed and those sorts of decisions were left in your hands to decide.....

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 25, 2010 3:04 PM

................

What the protestors are really saying;

You American Muslims are perfectly free to exercise your First Amendment Rights, and we have no objection to you doing so, just as long as we do not have to see you doing it.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Jake....Hardly...you do remember Iran/Contra don't you. I look at the behavior of nations just as I look at the behavior of individuals. If a man is set to invade my house I'm going to protect my wife and blow him away...no guilt...self defense...beyond that I believe I need to be cautious about claiming self defense. For example if you Jake or anybody threatened me with violence and then pranced around your yard down the street from me with an Ak47 do I have the right to premptively kill you...and if a stray bullet kills your innocent wife and kids can I simply say...well Jake was a threat...and yes it's sad his family also got killed in the crossfire...it was just collateral damage.

But then Jake you and I obviously think very differently and answer to a different Maker. Unless I am misinterpreting one of your posts...

"Did you ever watch Sorkin's "The West Wing"? President Bartlet asks "Why is a Kuhndunese life worth less to me than an American life?" Someone replies "I don't know why, sir, but it is."

You do understand the implication of your post. That you also believe lives are not equal...that perhaps Muslims lives really don't matter as much as ours. If I'm mistaken or have misinterpreted you can clear up the confusion...but honestly Jake it's really hard to take anything differently from that post.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 25, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, more moderate Dems coming out and bashing Obama/Pelosi:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/more_house_dems_running_from_o.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 25, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Have to run some errants. Have a good afternoon all.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

With Lizzy and her sister on the case, how on earth do you expect the cesspool keeper to get a word in edge wise..?? When you get those two wound up and running their lips at light speed, NO ONE gets to speak... especially the chimpster..!!!

Too much BBQ to eat and having an air conditioned tour bus drive you around the remaining 3-mile circle of navigable streets in Port-a-Prince, he hasn't got time to spend actually THINKING about anything...as we have proof from the past to show - NOT his strong suit...

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | August 25, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

These misguided calls for "tolerance" of Islamo-supremacists of Cordoba House has a parallel in Scotland's false "compassion" in releasing the Lockerbie bomber.

As we read in Deuteronomy, "Those who show mercy to the wicked will bring cruelty to the world."

Terrorists around the world see weakness and corruption in Bloomberg's defense of Islamo-supremacists at Ground Zero-- just as they see it in Scotland's false "compassion." We embolden terrorists when we are too cowardly to uphold our own judgments.

How is it right that al-Megrahi served only 11 days for murdering a little child four days before Christmas in Lockerbie?

For years, I have prayed over the issue of vengeance v. justice. I struggled with whether it would be easier simply to "forgive and forget"-- and that is what many people want.

However, I think justice (in and of itself) is worthy of relentless pursuit. We never asked for al-Megrahi to be put to death. We simply begged that Scotland not sell his release for political expediency. In fact, we strongly advocated that Megrahi should receive the best palliative care possible in Scotland.

I resent and condemn Cardinal O'Brien's characterisation of a supposed US "culture of vengeance" – purely because we have the courage to hold people responsible in this instance. Unfortunately, it is not the first time the leaders of the Catholic church have landed on the wrong side of history and righteousness.

I now only hope my fellow Christians in Scotland will see through Cardinal Quisling's hypocrisy-- as the majority of Americans see through Mayor Bloomberg.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 25, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat:

I never said that I (or the government for that matter) can legally stop Cordova House from being built.

rukidding7:

We will have to agree to disagree then.

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Shame on Mayor Bloomberg (and his Obamedia toadies) for slandering 9/11 widows and orphans who oppose Cordoba House as "un-American."

"Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless."
[Psalm 10:14]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 25, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"I never said that I (or the government for that matter) can legally stop Cordova House from being built."

Well, based on how arrogantly you pronounced where they were "welcome to build their mosque", I wasn't sure you were aware of that.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 25, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I am well aware of Con Law and zoning requirments (the above is not "arrogantly pronounced" either, as I was a practicing attorney for 35 years).

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I was responding to the following allegation:

The "Sensitivity" feelings of others, ends when it encroaches on the First Amendment rights of others.

It is just a code word for: No Muslims Allowed.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 25, 2010 2:46 PM

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"the above is not "arrogantly pronounced" either, as I was a practicing attorney for 35 years"

Right.....because we all know attorneys are never known to be arrogant.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 25, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Stating the facts, even by an attorney, does not necessarily require it being done "arrogantly". I believe that you are reading too much into my postings.

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Perhaps you can help me convince him/her that I am not posting arrogantly, with hate, vitriol and name calling?

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

@ all of those who say two blocks is too close

How many blocks is far enough?

Can "Muslim companies" (however you would define that) lease space on 7 World Trade Center which is already open?

Can those same companies lease space in whatever structure is eventually built on Ground Zero?

Would you force the mosque that is closer to the actual site where the Twin Towers stood to close and move?

Should the "Ground Zero strip club" close because it offends the sacred site?

Should KaddafiDelendaEst and his "fellow Christians" protest the expansion or building of any Synagogue in Los Angeles because the JDL set off pipe bombs in that city?

Should we continue to allow Puerto Rican Day parades throughout the country after the FALN set off a series of pipe bombs in New York in the 1970's and other Puerto Rican nationalists actually attached the United States House of Representatives?

That there can be any question about the right of these people to worship where they chose to is that start of a journey down a very long slippery slope.

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 25, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I always love it when Jake starts talking about being a lawyer.

It reminds me of Tracy Morgan portraying Star what's-her-name on The View, where Tracy/Star would preface every comment she made with "Well, I am a LAWYER, and..."

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 25, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

MarcfromdowntownNYC:

Q: How many blocks is far enough?

A: Anywhere north of 14th Street, that's 30 blocks away (until the Empire State Building is destroyed, and then no where in Manhattan).

Q: Can "Muslim companies" (however you would define that) lease space on 7 World Trade Center which is already open?

A: Yes (as long as said companies are not using the space for worship / prayer services).

Q: Can those same companies lease space in whatever structure is eventually built on Ground Zero?

A: Yes (see above).

Q: Would you force the mosque that is closer to the actual site where the Twin Towers stood to close and move?

A. If you are referring to the Masjid Manhattan‎ at 20 Warren Street, no.

Q. Should the "Ground Zero strip club" close because it offends the sacred site?

A. No.

Q. Should KaddafiDelendaEst and his "fellow Christians" protest the expansion or building of any Synagogue in Los Angeles because the JDL set off pipe bombs in that city?

A. That is their First Amendment right.

Q. Should we continue to allow Puerto Rican Day parades throughout the country after the FALN set off a series of pipe bombs in New York in the 1970's and other Puerto Rican nationalists actually attached the United States House of Representatives?

A. Yes.

"Slippery slope" arguments are, by definition, logical fallacies. Nice try though (as un-arrogantly as I can type ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk:

I don't preface every comment and only brought it up to rebut the post by: schrodingerscat at 4:29 PM suggesting that I am unaware of Con Law and zoning requirments.

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2

Since you are a lawyer who is well versed in Con Law, please elucidate the First Amendment difference between KaddafiDelendaEst's right to protest and the Park 51 Community Center members right to worship.

As to the questions of who is allowed to rent space at the former World Trade Center site, what do you do if one of the "Muslim" tenant that you would deign to allow to rent space there decides to prey in the privacy of his or her office?

The notion that Counsel who claims to be so familiar with constitutional law would so arrogantly dismiss the concept of a "slippery slope" on First Amendment issues suggests that while this familiarity may be broad, it certainly is not deep.

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 25, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Marc:

It's the same First Amendment right and, as I said before, there's nothing that I (or the government for that matter) can do to legally stop Cordova House from being built or if one of the "Muslim" tenants in your hypothetical decides to pray -- hopefully not "prey" as the WTC terrorists did -- in the privacy of his or her office. So, I personally wouldn't do anything more than I already am doing.

Next question?

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Another reason to move this community center -- which would not conflate Al Qaeda / moderate Muslims, in fact, would highlight the differences -- is the enourmous and positive PR coup he could get from all over America if Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf simply announced that he was (a) moving to a different site, (b) requesting donations for this added expense, and (c) truly committed to improving relations between the Muslim world and the West (that last part he says he is actually).

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I could keep going ...

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

JakeD....

I'm happy to vouch for your sensible non vitriolic approach. If you read the posts here I think you'll agree that the vast majority are actually based on issues and not simply partisan ranting. The righties we have on a regular basis are for the most part very civil...Kevin W certainly comes to mind...SBJ is always civil..Scott C tries to be civil...and now you Jake. It's fun to have a little civility on the blog even if we do disagree.

I must confess I'm a bit surprise that an attorney (retired or otherwise) would have such a callous approach to the First Amendment. I see that you have honored in terms of "legality", I'm not sure why you have such difficulty accepting the "spirit" of the law.

Again unless you conflate Al Qaeda or even Wahhibbi Muslims (who I readily concede are the ones mainly responsible for the jihadists) with Sufi Muslims there is really no reason to be upset with this community center.

I am not a Christian Jake. It gauls me to have people like Mike Huckabee...a Presidential candidate talk about the Constitution being subservient to the Bible...that's just absurd balderdash.
Personally I wish all organized religion would simply vanish and let everyone practice their spiritual beliefs without injecting them into politics..whether they are Christian, Jews, Muslims or whatever...although I must confess I don't recall many wars being start by Buddhists and I don't recall Buddhists spreading their beliefs through violent conquest...something the first three religions have done repeatedly over the years.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 25, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

For instance, NONE of this matters to you?

A group of victims' relatives, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, called it "a gross insult to the memory of those who were killed on that terrible day". Debra Burlingame, a co-founder of the group whose brother died in the attacks, said:

"This is a place which is 600 feet from where almost 3,000 people were torn to pieces by Islamic extremists.... it is incredibly insensitive and audacious ... for them to build a mosque ... so that they could be in proximity to where that atrocity happened... The idea that you would establish a religious institution that embraces the very shariah law that terrorists point to as their justification for what they did ... to build that where almost 3,000 people died, that is an obscenity to me."

Sally Regenhard, whose son died and who has testified before Congress on 9/11, said that the center would be "sacrilege on sacred ground", and that "People are being accused of being anti-Muslim and racist, but this is simply a matter of sensitivity." Former NY Fire Department Deputy Chief Jim Riches, whose son Jim was killed, said: "I don't want to have to go down to a memorial where my son died on 9/11, and look at a mosque," adding "this is all about location, location, location. It's not about religious freedom ... be sensitive to the families."

Michael Burke, whose brother died on 9/11, wrote: "Freedom of religion or expression and private property rights are not the issues.... Decency is; right and wrong is... [M]any believe that their 'rights' supersede all other considerations, like what is respectful, considerate, and decent. A mosque ... steps from Ground Zero in a building damaged in the attacks is ... astoundingly insensitive".

C. Lee Hanson, whose son, daughter-in-law, and baby granddaughter were all killed, felt that building so close to the World Trade Center site would be insensitive: "The pain never goes away. When I look over there and I see a mosque, it's going to hurt. Build it someplace else." Hanson and his wife wrote, further:

"It has the trappings of a victory mosque, given its location.... The refusal of ... Rauf to be specific about who the donors were for the $5 million to buy the building, and will be for the $100 million for construction, is worrisome.... The imam argues that America bears much of the responsibility for 9/11."

Evelyn Pettigano, who lost a sister, said: "I don't like it. I'm not prejudiced.... It's too close to the area where our family members were murdered." Dov Shefi, whose son Haggai was killed, said: "the establishment of a mosque in this place ... is like bringing a pig into the Holy Temple. It is inconceivable that in all the city of New York, this site was specifically chosen." Cindy McGinty, whose husband was killed, said she hoped that officials would keep an eye on the funding source for the mosque, adding: "Why did they pick this spot? Why aren't they being more sensitive. I don't trust it

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

We were typing over each other (thanks for vouching for me ; )

Speaking of violent conquest, though, you surely can appreciate that a reference to Cordoba, Spain -– the capital of Muslim conquerors, who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by taking over a church there into the world's third-largest mosque complex -- every Islamist in the world recognizes "Cordoba" as a symbol of Islamic conquest. You are aware, at least, that the Cordoba mosque perpetuated a cultural Muslim practice of building mosques on the sites of historic conquests thereafter, right?

One Muslim also against this mosque is Suleiman Schwartz, Executive Director of a Washington, DC non-profit organization, the Center for Islamic Pluralism. He said that building the mosque barely two blocks from Ground Zero is inconsistent with the Sufi philosophy of simplicity of faith and sensitivity towards others, disregards the security of American Muslims and the radical associations maintained by Imam Rauf.

Another founding member of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Zuhdi Jasser, who is also the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a group of Muslim professionals in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona, strongly opposed the mosque, saying:

"For us, a mosque was always a place to pray ... not a way to make an ostentatious architectural statement. Ground Zero shouldn't be about promoting Islam. It's the place where war was declared on us as Americans."

Neda Bolourchi, a Muslim whose mother died in 9/11, said: "I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world."

Authors Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, board members of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said:

"We Muslims know the ... mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation, to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith, ... as 'Fitna,' meaning 'mischief-making' that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.... As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens, and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain."

Hossein Kamaly, Term Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University, observed:

"After all, it was 19 Egyptian and Saudi Arabian thugs calling themselves Muslims who perpetrated this heinous crime on September 11th. They want to send a message of friendship, but building a mosque where there wasn't one before, is not the most nuanced way of doing that."

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 25, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2

If only your grasp of the First Amendment concepts was as good your spelling.

Since it's OK by you to have one Muslim pray in the privacy of his or her office on "sacred ground", but you object to the use of the same space for "worship/prayer services" can you define where the dividing line exists. Is it more than one person, more than 5 more than 10? Also, explain the Constitution difference.

As to the nuances demonstrating to the world that America offers a philosophy of freedom and liberty, I would question the value of doing so by attacking another American's right to worship.

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 25, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2 (3:02 p.m.)

You are drawing a completely false distinction between Muslims and Americans. They are NOT mutually exclusive and have never been; that you are treating them as such completely undermines your point.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | August 25, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

You mean that SORKIN is drawing a completely false distinction?

Posted by: clawrence12 | August 26, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Only democrat ex-presidents feel the need to blather on endlessly once they leave office. Carter/Clinton coming to mind.

Ex-presidents should shut up and get off the political stage..the country is better served that way.

But you have to not want your ego stroked constantly to do it. Barry was a knucklehead for voting present on this one.

Posted by: dude1394 | August 26, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

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