A Tale of Two Assassinations

Unhappy lessons learnt all round.

Over the weekend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D, AZ) and 20 others were shot by a left-wing political radical.

Last week, Pakistani governor Salman Taseer was gunned down by one of his own bodyguards.

What's most enlightening is not why these atrocities took place - in Giffords' case, that isn't even known - but the wildly different reactions of the general public in their respective countries.  Unfortunately, what's revealed are some deeply unpleasant and politically incorrect truths that bode ill for all our futures.

Universal Condemnation

Although Ms. Giffords was a Democrat, she is generally described as moderate and centrist.  For once, there appears to be a smidgen of truth there; although she voted for far-left Obamacare, she's also condemned Federal fecklessness about border security and the illegal-immigration problem.  Perhaps this is why both Sarah Palin and the Daily Kos targeted her for electoral defeat in rather blunt and militaristic terms.

Let us emphasize: targeted for electoral defeat - and not even successfully at that.  This is not the same thing as literally targeting her with a gun as reportedly did Jared Loughner.

Without exception, every voice in the American political sphere is condemning this murderous assault as what it is: murder most foul.  The new Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner condemned it as "an attack on all who serve."  Giffords' fellow Democrats and the media, of course, feel likewise and say so loudly; hundreds of ordinary citizens have left flowers and candles at her offices.

Even individuals wrongly attacked in connection with this outrage nevertheless have not the slightest sympathy for Loughner or his methods.  As Accuracy in Media reports, the Department of Homeland Security fed false information to Fox News journalists to further their narrative of smearing the Right:

Jennifer Griffin of Fox News recklessly and irresponsibly claimed on Sunday morning that the killer was a political conservative. Using Obama officials as her sources, she reported that “intelligence gathered by the Department of Homeland Security and shared with state officials across the United States” had revealed “a strong suspicion” that the shooter was influenced by a conservative publication called American Renaissance (AR)... Griffin claimed, “This is based on some of the videos he posted on YouTube. This group’s ideology is anti-government, anti-immigration, and anti-Semitic.”

But a review of Loughner’s YouTube videos finds nothing about American Renaissance.

What's more,

That sentence [in the DHS report] is almost perfectly wrong, since American Renaissance is not anti-Semitic, disapproves of “race hate,” is not a hate group, and is not, in fact a “group,” like the Ku Klux Klan, La Raza, or the NAACP, but a newsletter and website that holds conferences every two years.

Being falsely accused as accessory to murder by the Federal government would make anyone angry; but AR editor Jared Taylor didn't let his righteous indignation override his sense of justice and humanity.

American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in its pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.

The lies of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and her hordes of willing minions could fill a book, much less an article; apparently sexually assaulting innocent airport-bound Americans is not enough for this pocket Goering.  Fortunately, ordinary Americans are more moral than she: 99.9999% of everyone wants Jared Loughner locked up and the key thrown away, and Gabrielle Giffords returned to health and her duly elected office post haste, even under extreme provocation to say otherwise.

Defending the Indefensible

Contrast the humane, decent, appalled reactions of Americans far and wide, with what we see in Pakistan:

Shouting anti-government slogans, thousands of people on January 9 marched in Pakistan's financial capital - Karachi - to oppose any amendments in the controversial blasphemy laws and praised the man charged with killing Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer who dubbed it as "black law".

But surely religious leaders were more charitable?  Hardly:

Religious party Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan says anyone who feels sorrow for Salman Taseer, 66, is guilty of blasphemy.

It said in a statement: “No Muslim should attend the funeral or even try to pray for Salman Taseer or even express any kind of regret or sympathy over the incident.”  [emphasis added]

And what was the unpardonable sin of Gov. Taseer?  He was attempting to arrange a pardon for a mentally-handicapped Christian woman who had been sentenced to death by stoning for inadvertently "insulting Islam", and to reform the rapacious blasphemy law under which she was tried and convicted.

If the leaders of Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan are "religious leaders," then their "religion" is out-and-out barbarism unworthy of respect or deference.  If their followers in their thousands and millions are "religious", then their beliefs are nothing more than the depraved rantings of blood-crazed savages - but being clearly in the majority, "extremists" is not really the correct description.

Has Islam been hijacked by a handful of extremists?  The masses screaming the praises of the cowardly turncoat guard who gunned down the man he was sworn to protect are broadcasting the awful truth:

Extremists are not hijacking Islam; Islam is "extremist" by its very nature, or from the Muslim point of view, civilized behavior is the "extremism" that must be destroyed by any means necessary.  The handful of civilized, "moderate" Muslims the West so loves to cite are the attempted hijackers - and they are failing.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The murders on opposite sides of the world are opposites in every other way as well.  Here, we see a madman's deranged acts being used by a corrupt and venal government as a political bludgeon, but the overwhelming majority of citizens respond in a civilized and decent way.  There, we see a single civilized and humane government official paying with his life for his "blasphemy," to the full-throated applause of vast numbers of his savage countrymen.

It's often said that we get the government we deserve.  In Governor Taseer, Pakistan had a leader far better than the majority deserved; in Giffords, at least a decent match; but in Napolitano, America has one far worse.

No surprise which one is still safely ensconced in a seat of power.

Read other Scragged.com articles by Hobbes or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments

Pakistani lawyers are supporting the assassin. So much for the rule of law!

Pakistan Faces a Divide of Age on Muslim Law
The same young lawyers once seen as a force for democracy are now rallying behind the confessed killer of a provincial governor.

January 11, 2011 7:58 PM

WSJ criticizes those who claim it's a rightist plot:


All the evidence currently available indicates that the gunman responsible for Saturday's tragedy in Tucson, Ariz., was driven solely by internal demons. That fact hasn't stopped commentators, overwhelmingly on the left, from suggesting that today's "heated political rhetoric" is at least partly to blame.

Pundits have frequently cited Sarah Palin's "crosshairs map," which uses the riflery image to mark the congressional districts of vulnerable Democrats, as inspiration for the killer. But there is a total lack of evidence that the shooter ever saw that map or that "being in the crosshairs," which has been a common political metaphor for decades, has suddenly taken on a sinister meaning. And yet the New York Times's Paul Krugman writes in his latest column (titled "Climate of Hate"): "It's true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn't mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate."

Really? Has the nation's political climate actually gotten worse in the last two years, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House? Of course not.

January 11, 2011 8:17 PM

This is a nicely-tuned and accurate account of 2 assassination targets and thankfully, Democrat or whatever, Governor Giffords appears to have survived. However, to be pedantic,when mentioning Napolitano and her minions, I think you must have meant the Nazi propagandist Josef Göbbels, rather than the unlamented Hermann Göring, former WWII flying ace, head of the Luftwaffe and junkie-in chief of the Third Reich.

January 12, 2011 6:17 PM

Thanks for the kind remarks, Mr. Ward! Yes, Gobbels was a far more frightening character, Goering was a bit of a pudgy evil clown. But that's why Goering is the more appropriate comparison - Janet Napolitano is, well, pudgy, clownish, and apparently evil as well at least in effect.

Also, unlike Napolitano, Gobbels was an **effective** propagandist. ;-)

January 12, 2011 8:38 PM

NY Times article says the guy was either apolitical or a liberal


“As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy,” the former classmate, Caitie Parker, wrote in a series of Twitter feeds Saturday. “I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.”

Obviously part of a vast right-wing conspiracy!

January 15, 2011 9:00 AM
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