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Got Me!

It's true...I haven't mentioned the murder of Theo van Gogh because secretly I don't hate America at all -- I hate freedom itself and all Western values. So twisted is this hatred that it's led me, an atheist, to develop a profound sympathy for Islamic fundamentalism. That's the ticket

November 16, 2004 | Permalink

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» Too Little, Too Late from Bulldog Blue
Andrew Sullivan is really pushing it: From Roger Ebert. And a good piece on NPR. That's my summary so far of liberal outrage about the murder of Theo van Gogh. Do you think if a member of the religious right... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 17, 2004 12:33:05 AM

» Guilty as charged? from Wonk!
Andrew Sullivan writes: VAN GOGH BLEG: Can anyone point me to a single liberal American columnist who has written about the Theo van Gogh murder? Hitch doesn't count. I've been a bit stunned by the silence. But maybe I've [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 17, 2004 3:45:34 PM

Comments

But of course! The fact that he was an obscure Danish film maker that you (or I) had never heard of? That clearly had nothing to do with it!

Sullivan is a dolt.

Posted by: Jack Corp | Nov 16, 2004 11:51:08 AM

hate freedom itself and all Western values

Sullivan's obviously not saying that the left HATES freedom and Western values.

Rather, he's saying that the left simply doesn't care very much about protecting them. Which is pretty clear.

Posted by: Al | Nov 16, 2004 11:54:50 AM

I've got a Dutch exchange student right now who is equally baffled by the lack of interest from liberal US thinkers . . . Apparently it's a huge deal to the left in the Netherlands, and the country is consumed by the assasination.

Scratchy-Ass McSullivan is just throwing down a typical Repuke "gotcha." But the question itself is reasonable; what does an actually liberal society do in the context of terrorism? Surely, this is an important discussion, regardless of the fact that it doesn't include our society . . .

Posted by: hoofnmouth | Nov 16, 2004 11:59:06 AM

Sullivan's obviously not saying that the left HATES freedom and Western values.

Rather, he's saying that the left simply doesn't care very much about protecting them. Which is pretty clear.

To be fair, Al, neither does the Right.

Posted by: oodja | Nov 16, 2004 11:59:51 AM

It's sweet about how Al cares so deeply about Theo van Gogh. Clearly, the only good Dutch leftist is a dead Dutch leftist.

Posted by: Grumpy | Nov 16, 2004 12:04:45 PM

Grumpy, you're right: i've been struck over all this time about just how deeply Al cares about Theo van Gogh, how often he mentions him, how much familiarity with his work that Al has demonstrated.

It's always struck me as a little odd in the context of Al's overall politics, but his deep engagement with the Dutch left and the politics and culture of Holland has been a demonstration of just how well-rounded he is....

Posted by: howard | Nov 16, 2004 12:07:09 PM

Next time the terrorists appear on the ballot, you can be sure I'll vote the fuckers out. Maybe.

Posted by: Sven | Nov 16, 2004 12:13:39 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Another murder happened someplace in the world at some point:

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3765375

Rumor is there might have even been still other crimes somewhere in the past few weeks. It's crazy, I know. I guess lots of people must not care about whatever points those murders prove.

Or is it that the only murders worth talking about are the ones that allow you to imply broad caricaterizations about the entire race of the murderer.

Posted by: Big Picnic | Nov 16, 2004 12:15:43 PM

One thing that is happening now is that both Andrew Sullivan and the Oxblog guys, having bet on Kerry and lost, are retreating back to their familiar patterns of smug, anti-liberal, self-congratulation. For the Oxblog guys, this means jumping on any comment by anyone on any subject that forgets to mention that democracy promotion in the Middle East is both (1) going to solve every single problem in the world, and (2) a goal currently being pursued with vigor and seriousness by the Bush Administration. For Andrew Sullivan, it means returning to the old standby of accusing liberals of not being sufficiently vocal in their outrage about Islamic extremism. Dude, Andrew, three people were murdered last week in my home town. You haven't written anything about it. Are you in favor of homocide?

Posted by: pjs | Nov 16, 2004 12:19:04 PM

ha ha, hoo hoo, he he! Man, that howard is a regular laugh riot! Even more so when his cluelessness is made so obvious.

Perhaps howard is just unfamiliar with that Western concept of "freedom of speech" - you know, where a person shoud not get killed for making a film. But that's obviously not a value that howard cares the first thing about, other that making fun of people who assert that such values should be defended.

Posted by: Al | Nov 16, 2004 12:20:28 PM

It's sweet about how Al cares so deeply about Theo van Gogh. Clearly, the only good Dutch leftist is a dead Dutch leftist.

I don't think that Theo Van Gogh was a Dutch leftist.

Posted by: MattJ | Nov 16, 2004 12:23:29 PM

"freedom of speech"?? The Dutch government didn't kill Van Gogh, some terrorist did. Your argument is exactly the same as calling it censorship when Sinclair, a private actor, won't run a nightline episode. (not to be consfused with the affiliates that didn't run Saving Private Ryan, which is censorship).

Although, the Van Gogh killing certainly seems to be a type of "hate crime" in many respects, but, Al, I thought "every crime is a hate crime" so why should we get more worked up about this one?

Posted by: Goldberg | Nov 16, 2004 12:24:51 PM

Yo,
Some guy told me that some muslim just killed a guy for no reason. Killing a guy for no reason is not a liberal value. Matthew, why won't you condemn this awful incident? It is probably because you support muslim guys killing people for no reason. Same with you Al, you vile hypocrite, you are the worst of them all.
Love,
The Iron Maiden

PS
Get your filthy hands off of my desert!

Posted by: m thatcher | Nov 16, 2004 12:26:38 PM

Al, why do you hate Holland?

Posted by: jay boilswater | Nov 16, 2004 12:29:35 PM

Isn't the conservative stance on hate crimes that there should be no special legislation for hate crimes? How is the murder of Theo van Gogh not a hate crime? He's just another murder victim whose life has been tragically cut short by a depraved maniac. Terrible, yes, but a car bomb in Iraq takes out more bodies, and is a greater and more urgent example of the threat of radical Islamism. I'll note that many conservatives are still in the "let's focus on the schools" school regarding Iraqi car bombs.

At this point, I've become far too cynical to be able to divorce a "tragedy story" from the perspective of the blog on which it appears. The Theo van Gogh story supposedly illuminates how Europe has yet to awaken to the deadly dangers of creeping Islamism, just as Darfur is only ever raised on conservative blogs to show the tragic amorality of European inaction. What would the spin be if van Gogh were British? Why aren't conservative bloggers urging an American intervention in Darfur?

Yes, there's plenty of bias in the selection and coverage of tragedy stories on liberal blogs too, but in general the facts overwhelmingly support those biases (e.g., the Iraq war was a horrible and costly mistake), whereas much of the tragedy story coverage on conservative blogs seems to reduce to sour grapes over European opposition to the Iraq War, rather than any full and genuine concern over, say, the terrible loss of one man's life.

Posted by: C Mas | Nov 16, 2004 12:30:40 PM

"freedom of speech"?? The Dutch government didn't kill Van Gogh, some terrorist did.


Um, "freedom of speech", as a Western value, is certainly more than simply our First Amendment. It most certainly encompasses the idea that people should not be killed for expressing an idea.

Your argument is exactly the same as calling it censorship when Sinclair, a private actor, won't run a nightline episode. (not to be consfused with the affiliates that didn't run Saving Private Ryan, which is censorship).

No. Freedom of speech includes the right of private actors (like Sinclair) not to speak if that is their choice. Freedom of speech does NOT include the right to kill people whose speech you disagree with.

Really, I can't believe that the left has such a hard time with the idea that we shoud defend the right of people not to be killed for speaking! Is that not a value you people care about any more?

Posted by: Al | Nov 16, 2004 12:33:14 PM

i guess this is al's way of saying that actually, no, he didn't really know anything about theo van gogh until minutes ago, and my memory must just be hazy.

as for the substance: yes, al, i'm familiar with freedom of speech, although i appreciate that you are concerned that i might not be. the fact is, you have made no effort to defend freedom of speech in the slightest. You've made your typically sweeping denunciation of the "left"'s failure to "care very much" about "protecting" freedom and western values on the basis of...andrew sullivan, spotter of "fifth columnists," not seeing commentary about theo van gogh other than by christopher hitchens.

In short, just as pjs notes, you're defending typical sullivan game-playing, not actually defending "freedom of speech." if you'd care to begin such a defense, and if you'd care to deal with actual alternative viewpoints and not just your mindless attacks on the "left," we're all ears. For instance, what "defense" of freedom of speech would have saved Theo van Gogh's life? I'm sure you know.

Posted by: howard | Nov 16, 2004 12:33:35 PM

You could also have said that this racist and anti-semite, who made jokes like "It smells like caramel here, today they must be sending diabetic Jews to the ovens", is not the perfect martyr for Western civilization Andy is trying to make out of him.

Posted by: Motoko | Nov 16, 2004 12:34:58 PM

still babbling, al. care to show us where you find the "left," whatever you mean by that foolish generalization, having a hard time doing whatever it is that you think the words "we shoud defend the right of people not to be killed for speaking" means? c'mon, lay it on us: provide us your theory of defending free speech in holland and how it saved theo van gogh's life. we'd love to see it....

Posted by: howard | Nov 16, 2004 12:37:16 PM

Well, howard, I'd certainly start by making sure that immigrants from non-Western cultures more fully assimilate our values - such as the value of not killing people whose speech you disagree with.

And, frankly, I take no pride in defending Sullivan. I think he stabbed war supporters in the back, and certainly no longer consider him an ally.

Posted by: Al | Nov 16, 2004 12:43:29 PM

Tangent...

pjs: "For the Oxblog guys, this means jumping on any comment by anyone on any subject..."

Yeah. Like, WTF with the takedown of Wesley Clark?
http://oxblog.blogspot.com/2004_11_14_oxblog_archive.html#110041729431443625

Clark says troops in Iraq are earning their medals; Adesnik says, Like they didn't when you were in charge?? Give the bitching a rest.

Posted by: Grumpy | Nov 16, 2004 12:46:04 PM

Al, why do you hate Holland?

BTW - I LIKE Holland - especially their footie team. I was a huge fan of the Total Soccer concept of the '70s, and have been a Barca fan for quite a while (Barca usually plays a lot of the Dutch national team members).

Posted by: Al | Nov 16, 2004 12:46:07 PM

jeez, al, if only this were a sports blog, we could actually get along: i too was a fan of the cruyff-neeskens dutch team.

but your grand theory of freedom of speech and saving theo van gogh comes down to "making sure that immigrants from non-Western cultures more fully assimilate our values - such as the value of not killing people whose speech you disagree with." And how, pray tell, do you advise the Dutch government (or, for that matter, the American government) accomplish this? with full respect for freedom of speech, of course?

Posted by: howard | Nov 16, 2004 12:51:50 PM

How long has Andrew had that remarkably non-profound quote from Dick Cheney at the top there?

Posted by: praktike | Nov 16, 2004 12:53:29 PM

Just because a bunch of locals went silly, and aroused the local xenophobes into burning mosques and bombing muslim schools, doesn't mean that you have to repeat that feat in the US. You've got enough problems of your own.

As for van Gogh being left, he probably was, until he turned to being a follower of Pim "Muslims are the 5th column" Fortuijn.

Though I can't imagine Pimmie being popular in the US. He was openly homosexual and made remarks like "I know Moroccans, I tasted their sperm". Somehow that wouldn't resonate with the average US homophobe.

Posted by: another local | Nov 16, 2004 12:58:51 PM

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