Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 18, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

SPECIAL APOLOGY ISSUE....Speaking of apologies, our Islam-baiting general has issued one too:

Boykin spent much of Friday with Pentagon lawyers and public relations officials fashioning his statement. One official said he had seen five versions of the statement, which was released in Washington at 6:45 p.m.

Five versions! (And late on Friday, natch.) So what did he come up with?

Boykin said Friday that he had been misunderstood. When he spoke of the Somali warlord, he did not mean that the Somali's god was Islam, but rather "his worship of money and power idolatry." Boykin said he did believe that "radical extremists have sought to use Islam as a cause of attacks on America."

As for his statement that God had installed Bush in the White House, Boykin said he meant that God had done the same for "Bill Clinton and other presidents."

Everyone who believes this, please raise your hand. On the other hand, at least the Pentagon media honchos managed to figure out something no matter how unlikely that allowed everyone to save some face, and Boykin has agreed to stop speaking in front of religious groups. Good thinking.

And while we're on the subject, how about another round of discussion about Gregg Easterbrook? Not his apology, really, but instead an effort to figure out what his original point was supposed to be. Aside from the "worship money above all else" stuff, which he addressed directly in his apology, here's my paraphrase:

Since Jews have been the victims of so much violence over the ages, including the Holocaust, you'd think they might be a little more sensitive to concerns over glorifying the killing of the helpless.

Does everyone agree that this was more or less his point? Or was it something more subtle?

Easterbrook says "I'm ready to defend all the thoughts in that paragraph." I wonder when he's going to do that?

UPDATE: Roger Simon reports that Easterbrook has been fired from ESPN because of his remarks.

Kevin Drum 9:47 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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