Friday, February 24, 2006

Broad Strokes

Reading the views of those who defend the invasion of Iraq, it seems to me that many (but not all) subscribe to the view that every criticism of any aspect of the invasion or occupation can be attributed to some bizarre caricature of a "stopper". This caricature appears to have been arrived at by the concentrating of attention on the most outlandish anti-war opinions to be found.

I was thinking about this when I was reading the comments at Harry's Place yesterday. I fully agree with Marcus that Ahmadinejad's suggestion that Zionists and occupiers bombed the shrine in Samarra is ridiculous moonbattery. There are, of course, rational domestic political reasons for his claim, and I personally doubt whether he actually believes it himself (but that is, I admit, speculation) but his allegations are clearly a nonsense. I'd put good money on this being the work of Wahhabi extremists.

Anyway, reading the comments to the post, a Lynne said:
"So, while this may be A-Q's last desparate gasp at igniting a civil war, maybe this is the dirty work of Iranian agents looking to stir up trouble...
This, I found quite amusing, and left a comment to that effect. In short, the Iranian hardliners are very religious Shias and the al-Askari shrine is one of the most sacred in Shia Islam. The idea that they would desecrate this holy shrine is one which rivals Ahmadinejad's in the moonbattery stakes. I tried to point this out.

The thing is, I don't think Lynne is likely to be representative of the entire "monger" community. Most sensible people, from both sides of the debate, agree that this was the work of al Qaeda Salafis. As such, I'm unlikely to fire off a post like this:
Mongers are Fools (again)
The mongers, never rational at the best of times, have descended to a new idiotic low. Look at this comment on H'P. They now believe that Ahmedinejad, the deeply religious Shi'ite Iranian president, has desecrated one the Shia Islams most holy sites. Unbelievable.

This shrine honours Muhammad al-Mahdi, the "ultimate saviour of mankind" for Shias and Sunni Muslims. Shi'ite, unlike Sunnis, believe that the Shrine occupies the place of his birth, that he did not die but was hidden by God, and that his return to earth will "bring peace and justice on this Earth". Shias believe that the reappearance of the Madhi will occur at the shrine at Samarra.

Ahmadinejad is a fervent believer in this and he also believes that the day of reappearance of the Mahdi is imminent.

And yet the mongers would have us believe that he ordered the desecration and destruction of this most holy shrine? I should be immune to the stupidity of these people but they still retain the capacity to astonish on occasion. They really will say anything to justify their thirst for yet more blood. And after Iran, where next?
I wouldn't seriously write a post like this because, well, it would be dishonest*. I doubt any of the contributors at H's P agree with Lynne for a start. To pretend that they do, while having no evidence to support that, in order to build and sustain a bizarre caricature of all mongers which can then be held up to ridicule whenever the war is discussed, just isn't my thing. It would, I think, tickle my conscience in a rather irritating manner.

What others do, of course, is up to them. (And before anyone points it out, yes, I am aware that some stoppers do it too.)

Post two in this series, "Debunking the myth of the stopper", might get written at some point too.

* I do it to politicians of course. But then I do it based on the opinions that they themselves have publically expressed.

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