Saturday, October 23, 2010

An Open Letter to Juan Williams

Dear Juan,

Sorry to hear you got fired by National Public Radio for saying on Fox that you get nervous when you see Muslims on a plane with you. It was dumb to say such a thing, but I don't think saying one dumb thing should be a firing offense. (I do think an NPR journalist wanting to take money from Fox News to be a regular commentator should be a firing offense, but that's another story).

But there's more to this -- and some important things that everyone is missing.

For instance, what you said about Faisal Shazad, the Pakistani immigrant who wanted to bomb Times Square. When he was being sentenced this month, he claimed, according to you, that his attempted attack was just "the first drop of blood." We can't let political correctness blind us to this, you explained.

I guess Shahzad made a big impression on you, because after being fired you went back on Fox and told them, "You can't ignore the fact what has recently been said in court with regard to 'this is the first drop of blood in a Muslim war against America.'"

Sadly for you (and this is also why you shouldn't be working for a real news organization like NPR), Shahzad never said that. If you were a real journalist, you would have quoted him accurately. What he actually said was that he was the "first droplet of the flood," not blood. But I know how easy it is to mishear things when scary Muslims are talking. And I guess it's not a huge difference anyway.

What really matters is that you're 100% right: We shouldn't let political correctness stop us from paying close attention to what people like Shahzad say. The problem is you just haven't taken it far enough.

So Juan, I'm asking you to join me on a crusade -- whoops! scratch that, let's call it a "mission" -- to publicize these statements by Faisal Shahzad as widely as possible. Because most of the media have not spent much time on what he had to say.

Here's what he said at his recent sentencing (after talking about being a droplet in a flood):

[Saladin] liberated Muslim lands... And that's what we Muslims are trying do, because you're occupying Iraq and Afghanistan... So, the past nine years the war with Muslims has achieved nothing for the U.S., except for it has waken up the Muslims for Islam. We are only Muslims trying to defend our people, honor, and land. But if you call us terrorists for doing that, then we are proud terrorists, and we will keep on terrorizing until you leave our land and people at peace.
And this is what Shahzad said when he plead guilty back in June:

I want to plead guilty, and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times over, because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims, and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.
Then there's email that Shahzad sent to a friend in 2006:

Everyone knows the current situation of Muslim World... Friends with peaceful protest! Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows? In Palestine, Afghan, Iraq, Chechnya and else where.
And then there's what Shahzad was telling friends and relatives even before that:

Mr. Shahzad had long been critical of American foreign policy. "He was always very upset about the fabrication of the W.M.D. stunt to attack Iraq and killing non-combatants such as the sons and grandson of Saddam Hussein," said a close relative. In 2003, Mr. Shahzad had been copied on a Google Groups e-mail message bearing photographs of Guantánamo Bay detainees, handcuffed and crouching, below the words "Shame on you, Bush. Shame on You."
So what do you say, Juan? Now that you have a new $2 million contract with Fox, let me come on with you for some in-depth discussions about the terrorists' real motivations. We can't let another day go by letting the PC brigade stop us from telling the truth: Terrorists aren't trying to kill us because they hate our freedom. They're killing us because we're in their countries killing them.

Michael Moore

P.S. If you want to understand suicide bombings, be sure to read the new book that studied every instance of it for the past 30 years. It's been used by many groups of many religions, not just Arabs and not just Muslims. And almost all such terrorism has one motivation in common: occupation by foreign militaries.

P.P.S. Here's something else that I'd sincerely love to talk about with you: what do you think when you see rich middle-aged white men talking on TV about how they get nervous around African Americans on the street? And then they explain that we can't let political correctness stop us from talking about black-on-white crime?

Does it drive you crazy that they say this without even being conscious of the history of far greater violence by white people toward blacks? And do you maybe understand now how those middle-aged white guys get it so wrong?

UPDATE: Juan, you probably remember in 1986 when the Washington Post Magazine ran a Richard Cohen column defending jewelry store owners who wouldn't buzz in young black men. It caused such a big controversy that the New Republic ran a bunch of responses to it, including one by you. You might find it interesting to go back and read what you wrote then -- for instance, "Racism is a lazy man's substitute for using good judgment... Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me."


  1. This coming from a guy who made a killing misrepresenting and misquoting people while employing coy editing schemes.

    Fuck Michael Moore. Fuck him a thousand times over. I still can't believe people link or listen to him.

    He's the LAST guy I'd go to about Muslim extremism or Middle-East history.

  2. An original post taking a backseat to "parroted ignorance!", from Ginx? Say it ain't so!

    Moore is not always wrong, I might add.

  3. TC: How ad hominus of you. To be honest, I read the whole thing before I got to the end and found out he wrote it. I'm sorry the truth only tastes good when diluted with sweet lies and spoon fed to you from Fox News.

    Nikk: If I can't beat 'em, join 'em. He's definitely right on this particular issue.

  4. [And Nikk.. the last thing you wrote is buried several posts down, well below something I wrote from scratch. But why let facts get in the way of a clever retort... good show, sir.]

  5. Heh.

    I splurge from time to time.

    Enough with the Fox news already. I don't get it up here. But I did take history of Middle East class in university.

    Truth and Moore are mutually exclusive. Moreover, his asinine comments on Chile were something to behold. So again, fuck him.

  6. What did he say about the Middle East that you disagree with?

  7. His whole effen outlook is whacked and predictable. I'd rather save my energy for other people.

    By the way, I'm not sure saying "fuck him" is ad hominen per se. If I used it as a way to deflect from a person's point then yeah, it's an ADH. But I was making a personal statement independent of an argument.

    I went straight to an insult based on what I've observed about him in general.

  8. ... and yet you still can't be bothered to point out one thing you actually think he said is wrong. Good luck, because there's isn't a shred of inaccuracy in this, from what I can see. The history in particular is largely quoted by Moore from a terrorist in custody, and Faisal Shahzad is still accurate.

  9. What I will concede is how things get pulled out of context all the time. It appears to be the case here too.

    But my point is Moore is the puppet master of these deceptions. Hence. Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Fuck. Him.


  10. What makes me laugh hardest is that if I said what you're saying, there would be 4 people on here calling me a moron, but since you're conservative, it's all quiet on the retarded front.

  11. Ha. Funny.

    Me? Conservative? Yeah, I am a "conservative" kind of person but politically?

    News to me. To be honest, I don't know what I am. I'm more classical liberal if you want to get technical. I'm too socially liberal to be conservative.

  12. That's not to say you can't be socially liberal and conservative.

    If you ask me if we should take care of every person all the time for everything, then yeah, call me whatever you want since I don't think that's possible. To me it's just realistic and logical.

    I feel bad for people who get, say, in trouble with foreclosures but bailing them out is not a solution. It only adds to the social malaise. People just have to face their lot free of government intervention at every turn.

    Does that mean I deny the state has a role to play in society? Absolutely not. It does. And sometimes it can be helpful. My concern, as should be clear to you by now, is the parts where A) they're intrusive B) expanding where they shouldn't be and C) expropriating taxes for their own inefficiencies and mistakes.

    I feel we should keep pressure on the state by being diligent in having them accountable.

    I feel the same way with corporations - those de facto private feifdoms wreaking havoc on democracy. I think we've discussed this. But I'll stop here because it would enter the state v. corp. angle and how they've merged.

  13. TC

    Bret is more fun than a barrel of extra-chromazone monkeys isn't he...

    His narcissism makes him declare everyone but himself a "retard".

    I bet he has a pretty mouth, he is a young little college boy, I bet his skin is still smooth and soft too...

    And for the record I like M. More - but he is a bit of a fuck-tard so feel free to swipe at him..

  14. If I keep swiping I'm gonna get tired.

  15. A chromozone? Is that a colorful place?

    Oooooh, chromosome...

    I didn't like "Capitalism: A Love Story" and I never saw "Roger and Me," but I think most of his other stuff wasn't bad. I don't care if you make fun of him or even if you simply discount what he says out of hand. I have a feeling if I had written the same thing, it would have had a better reception.

  16. The Chromozone is an upcoming episode in the new SE series The Story of the Week. Look for it soon!

  17. Why do people automatically assume because you don't like someone you're "dismissing them out of hand?" Presumptuous bull shit.

    I watched all those movies and it took me a few years (because I wanted to give it a chance and to research and let time set in) before I concluded he's a jerk-off.

    I don't care if someone disagees with me or they like Moore. What I take issue with is arrogant, pompous responses assuming people who disagree with him are "ignorant" and my personal favorite "not open minded."

    Ok. Screw you Brett too for making me waste time away from the football game to talk about Moore. I feel dirty.

  18. Yep, Bret is good at making everyone feel dirty TC...

    He's very good at presumptuous also...

    Chroma zone - a place where old TVs go to die... or bad typists go to hell..

  19. I bet he has a pretty mouth, he is a young little college boy, I bet his skin is still smooth and soft too...

    You feel dirty? Seriously? I feel turned on by your description of me... I knew you were a total fag.

  20. TC: Sorry to drag you away from muscled, sweaty men going long on the tight end.

  21. It's ok. The Packers covered...barely.

  22. "not that there is anything wrong with that..."

    Bret, don't be such a homophobe... you are a liberal, if you are a little gay and in the closet no one will give you any grief. (at least that is the rules that are posted)

    Don't tell me... let me guess, you have secret racist fantasies also...

  23. I don't understand the logic here... if I defend gay people, I must be gay, but if I defend black people I must be racist? What if I hate gay people but I'm secretly black?

  24. The logic is - stop the offensive diatribes and you could make some friends.

    You just don't understand, ethnic background or sexual orientation has no effect on the value of content...

  25. Where did I make an offensive diatribe here?

    See, this is why I can't be gay. There'd be no room for a dick in my mouth with all the words you've put there.

  26. Offensive diatribe was general so in honor of BGA day... My favorite randomly selected recent Bret “Ginx” Alan quotes:

    "Southerners are always talking about how they will "rise again," like a turd in the toilet, I guess."

    "The fact that there are still idiots out there trying to deify those who fought at the Alamo…"

    "You can suck a fucking cock from head to the hairy base, you overbearing bully-wanna be."

    " fucktards have nothing to say that pertains to reality..."

    "Go back to your fucking klan rallies with Ron Paul and leave political thinking to those who don't think being smart is elitist."

    "You sound like a dyke who swore off men because your husband beat you."

    "...with all due respect: you are certifiably retarded."

    "Some faggot at Rutgers jumped off a bridge"

    "That sounds like a word a little faggot like you would use,"

    "You should seriously put on your reading glasses, you old faggot."

    "Here's a thought: since you old pieces of shit are going to be dying soon anyway, how about you just hang yourselves"

    Gotta love that search function...

  27. I stand by them all. At least I'm not factually incorrect.

    How does cock taste, by the way?

  28. Also, a diatribe is generally longer than one line. Those are remarks, or quotes, or evidence of how little respect I have for you and your lack of intelligence. It is interesting you resorted yet again to attacking me.

    Well, insult me, and I point out you want to mouth fuck me. Sorry, pal, I'm taken.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Bret, I have tried multiple times to come to some stable ground without this useless rhetoric in the end this is just boring.

    I would ask you to grow up, but I can only guess that you here at SE is simply the blog clown.

    I have a hard time thinking you are this dense, but I can only conclude that you actually are that irrational.

    Is narcissism painful?

  31. Really? Because you are routinely the first person to respond to many of my posts, and you usually kick things off with some defensive and angry comment about my lack of reason, logic, rationality, or maybe it's not a lack, but too much elitist, narcissistic, liberal, propaganda.

    Generally, when someone starts saying pre-packaged garbage like that to me, I want to smack them in the face and say, "Did your parents not teach you any fucking manners, because I'd be happy to." But since most people commenting here are on a breathing machine somewhere miles away, I settle for just throwing some insults back while patiently waiting for their finite existence to end.

    Do I ever fire the first shot? There are people I've blogged with for months, even years, without ever insulting. And not people who I agree with, because I don't even linger any place that seems to sync up perfectly with my view. What's more, I'm more than happy to provide a civil response to a civil post or comment, even to someone who has proven to be a near intolerable ass wipe and may be incapable of polite discourse.

    Frankly, it's one of those things I love to be wrong about; I don't enjoy thinking people are angry fools. What would I get looking by looking down on anyone, the false hope that I'm somehow smarter and therefore better than someone else? We're all in this together, and if I'm the smartest person there is... we're all fucked.

  32. Radio has done us all a service by putting together the collected wisdom of Ginx. Now it's time for a book. It just needs a title, something catchy like Go Hang Yourself, You Old Southern Faggot, and other sayings.

  33. "Generally, when someone starts saying pre-packaged garbage like that to me, I want to smack them in the face and say, "Did your parents not teach you any fucking manners, because I'd be happy to.""

    Thanks Bret, I have not laughed that much in a long, long, time...

    You just don't see it...

    I would have thought it was impossible years ago, but I travel to the Atlantic coast too much, there is something in the water in the area.

    And long before you had the chance to land a punch on my "old wrinkled, faggot ass" the wife would have two or three rounds in you, she is much faster on the draw than I am and a hell of a lot meaner..

    We're all fucked and it has nothing to do with you at all, you, Nikk, and I and all of us are all small insignificant hairless apes, George Carlin had a skit about how there was a "club" and "you are not in it!"...

    Damnedest most accurate political skit ever created.

  34. I think it's kind of racist Radio didn't include any of the times I said "nigger."

    I'm kidding... sort of.

  35. That is the first time I have seen that from you Bret, at least that I recall.

    Nice, very childish, just what we all have come to expect I guess.

    What is next, the Arabs, Jews, crippled children?

  36. Sand niggers, kikes and... hmm... I thought crippled was the offensive term. I guess if I was talking to a crippled kid I wanted to insult, I would laugh at him for having a mother who drinks while pregnant or a dad who can't drive or whatever it is that caused him to be crippled, you know, so they focus on how sad it is that they had no control over their own fate. Making someone feel helpless is mighty insulting. I guess the best case scenario is they did it to themself and I can make fun of them for being a careless klutz.

    Wait, why was I trying to offend them again?

  37. Ugh... I tried...

    It is just what it is...

  38. There's no consistency. When I was a kid, I wasn't old enough to use "adult language." Next thing I know, saying those same things is being "childish."

    It's one or the other. I don't care which it is, but who is able to talk like that without criticism? Sailors? Republicans? Anyone but me? Fuck that shit. If someone can't get over the use of a particular word, that doesn't mean we shouldn't say it. If anything, we should say it over and over, until it loses all meaning and lacks the power it once had.

  39. Don't be so twisted, it is not the language, it is telling someone they are rude and deserve a punch in the mouth "Pennslyvania-Jersey wanna-be style" to teach them some "manners" and then spew out like that?

    It is not the language, it is the fact that you try so hard to be an asshole, on top of your natural/cultural talent.

    I will never understand Atlantic Coast yankees, Pennsl-tukians have to be the worst, like Jersey with less culture.

  40. For one thing, I've been smacked, so it's not like I see myself as above anyone. In fact, as far as I can remember, I have never hit someone first. The fun is getting someone to hit you first, because besides winning (since whoever strikes first loses), it also pretty neatly gives me the freedom to "defend myself." That's the best part.

    In retrospect, there's no point in goading you. Saying anything about physically engaging you is pretty much pointless, and I should know that from years of using the internet. I got lazy with my insults there.

    And finally, I don't expect you to know my personal history, but I only went to college and spent a few years waiting for my wife to finish her PhD in Philly. You can criticize that place and the people in it all you want. You can criticize the people from where I am actually from as well, since I too wanted to get the fuck away from them (born in Missouri, also lived in Michigan and spent the most time in central Indiana).

    But let's be honest, the worst is the south. Never has a more willfully ignorant bunch of inbred mouth-breathers ever dragged their knuckles across the Earth. I never understood the appeal of homeschooling before I interacted with some of these people. The only reason there can be this much uniform stupidity is that there is a culture of scientific denialism. I hope my kids are like me when they grow up, fleeing the south like I fled the cultural wasteland of the midwest.


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