Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Where Is Bush?

Michelle Malkin asks simply, "Hello, anyone, hello?" She is asking Bush. For good reason.

Abdul Rahman is a man of faith. "I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Christ. And I am a Christian," he declared this week.

Unfortunately for Rahman, he was originally born a Muslim in Afghanistan -- and he has been forced to defend his religious conversion in his home country's court, where he now faces the death penalty for turning to Jesus.

This is not a Taliban story. This is happening right now. And Bush is as silent as Amnesty Internaional and the ACLU.

This is a watershed moment in the post-Sept. 11 world. The Taliban are out of power. And yet today, an innocent man sits in the jail of a "moderate" Muslim nation praying for his life because he owned a Bible and refuses to renounce his Christian faith. Rahman, who converted many years ago while working for a Christian aid agency in Germany, "is standing by his words," fellow jail inmate Sayad Miakel told Canada's Globe and Mail. Another cellmate, Khalylullah Safi, reported: "He keeps looking up to the sky, to God."

As of Tuesday afternoon, left-wing Amnesty International had nothing to say about the case. But neither did President Bush, a man of faith and a Christian brother. During his extensive White House press conference on the War on Terror and the defense of freedom overseas, Bush spent plenty of time describing what life was like for Afghanis before Operation Enduring Freedom:
"There was no such thing as religious freedom. There was no such thing as being able to express yourself in the public square. There was no such thing as press conferences like this. They were totalitarian in their view. And that would be -- I'm referring to the Taliban, of course. And that's how they would like to run government. They rule by intimidation and fear, by death and destruction. And the United States of America must take this threat seriously and must not -- must never forget the natural rights that formed our country."

President Bush, who will defend Abdul Rahman's natural rights from being usurped and terminated by Afghanistan's Islamic executioners?

The Left will eat this up as an example of Bush hypocricy. Ater Mr. Rahman is dead of course. But the Left will be right for the wrong reason [sorry -- the word play was not intentional]. Bush should be doing something. He is letting us down if this is what we are fighting and dying for in Afghanistan.

Tee bee has some links and thoughts of her own.


At 2:19 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

KJ, first of all, you do not know what Bush is doing.

You - and Michelle Malkin - only know what he is doing publicly.

What do you imagine would happen if France interceded with us to "save" someone on death row for a capital crime in the US?

Yeah. I thought so. Kind of looks different when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn't it?

Malkin is right: the world is watcching. They are watching to see if America really means it when they say we mean to let the Arab nations rule themselves, or if it was all a sham.

What an awful test of that very vital question. And I have a feeling there are worse to come.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger KJ said...

I don't really care what Bush is doing "behind the scenes."

France and other coutries, particularly Mexico, call on us to not execute one of their nationals all the time. And the only people on our death row are convicted murderers. We politely tell them "no." But we don't have that problem here, b/c Bush isn't calling for his life to spared.

It matters too what his "capital crime" is. As I said, we ONLY kill convicted murderes. His capital crime is becoming a Christian.

This is a human rights issue. We put this government in place only to watch them publically and joyously execute Christians? We might as well destroy the whole country if this is our idea of building model moderate Muslim countries.

Being a Christian is not a "capital crime" in any civilized country. Having self rule, having a country with laws based on the Muslim faith, recognizing that gender equality and voting rights rules may differ a lot than our own, that is all fine. Being responsible for a "new" country that kills Christians makes me ashamed to be involved in this at all.

I am not saying we invade Afghanistan. I am saying Bush should publically call for sparing his life just as he would if the guy were in Iran. And if Bush isn't, then what the hell are we doing in Afghanistan other than paying warlords to burn their poppy crops.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

KJ, the problem is that France and most of the rest of the "civilized" world doesn't believe that the death penalty is justified in any "civilized" country either.

They view this as a "human rights" issue too.

I happen to agree with you that this is wrong. But it is also more complicated a situation than you or Michelle are making it out to be.

You are a lawyer and you of all people ought to understand this. Laws cannot be arbitrarily set aside at the whim of a President. Otherwise law is meaningless. They can be changed, but not disregarded.

What is Karzai to do? Say, "Yes, our laws say he must die." But, I am President and I say, "To hell with the law. Disregard it."

What is up with that? If he can break one law, what is to keep him from breaking others? His oath of office charges him with UPHOLDING the law, not breaking it arbitrarily.

This is a tragic situation. Perhaps he can find a way out. Perhaps (and this is what you don't know) they are working behind the scenes to see if there is a legal way out that does no violence to the rule of law and Karzai's oath of office. Or maybe not - I do not know.

All I can say is that I do not see that he has any choice in the matter. You don't get to pick and choose which laws you will enforce, and in a country where the rule of law is as precarious as it is in Afghanistan, disrespect for law is not something I think Karzai needs to show.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

I do understand what you're trying to say, KJ :) I just think it's an extraordinarily difficult situation.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

what the hell are we doing in Afghanistan other than paying warlords to burn their poppy crops.

We are trying to establish a democracy where they have the right to determine their own law, as we did.

If you'll remember, we once had slavery in this country KJ. Men died. Lots of them. Violently.

That did not invalidate democracy as a form of government, did it?

Neither does it in Afghanistan. They will learn. Single, or even multiple injustices do not cancel the validity of an entire system of government.

You are falling into the same error liberals do - making the anecdotal case a metaphor for everything.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger KJ said...


I am not asking for an invasion. This is not nearly as nuanced and Kerryesque as you make this out to be. Our President does not have to stand by and be publicly silent on this travesty. I don't know what Afghansitan's President's role is (you seem to assume it is just like ours, and maybe you know), but I know this -- we were told our slavery laws were wrong by other leaders, and they (the leaders) were right. Bush should speak up as well.

If their President has powers and duties like ours, then you are damned right he should do something. He presumably has the power to pardon and commute sentences. He would also has the power of prosecutorial discretion. He is not forced to kill Christians. He chooses to do so.

We were supposed to establishment something that was better than the Taliban. Is this it?

And is Bush's silence complicity? I will assume so until he says otherwise.

At 11:43 PM, Blogger KJ said...

This anecdotal case is very public. It isn't a metaphor for everything. I am saying that the left will use it that way.

But as for this anecdotal case by itself, it has value. That man's life has value. Bush's silence makes me angry and I'm not going to say -- oh well, we shouldn't say anything. It would be rude to ask an ally not to kill Christians for being Christians. And oh shit, is it after Labor Day? What am I doing wearing these white pants?

At 4:56 AM, Blogger Cassandra said...


First of all, I never said he shouldn't say anything. It is just that he may be trying to allow Karzai manoevering room: so that this appears to be HIS decision and not at the behest of a Western power. Honestly, I wonder sometimes. It's called diplomacy.

What happens in the Muslim world each time it appears their religion is being disrespected? Have you been paying any attention to the news at all?

Of course you have. Riots. Killing. Loss of life. Perhaps everyone is understandably hestitant to give the nutjobs another excuse to go out and do this again if another way can be found. Maybe they have thought this out, and are not sure of the "value" of saving one man's life if scores more die in the process.

Or perhaps you are right and they have ringside seats at his hanging and are really, really looking forward to the festivities. I'll bet that's the right answer.

And again, you are indicting the entire government for a single failure. Women can go to school now. There are elections. People aren't being beheaded in the public square. Lots of things are possible that weren't before, but none of that signifies because of one unjust law?

I guess we should just hand the country back to the Taliban so lots and lots of people can die. What a miserable failure.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger KJ said...

While we are saying what we didn't say, I'm not suggesting disrespecting the man or the religion. But if we don't have the guts to say killing people over their religious belief alone is wrong, then we are lost and don't deserve to win this war. Bush can say publically at least that he has expressed his concern to Afghanistan without being disrespectful, though I really don't see the point in being polite over this type of thing. "Oh, you want to kill Christians? Well, OK, please clean up when you done."

Other Western countries have spoken up. The US silence is deafening.

Bush's ever so subtle diplomacy?

Are things better? Sure. Is this what we fought for though? I think reasonable people could differ.

People aren't being beheaded in the public square.

Unless they are Christian. Then they are, according to a Tali--, I mean new government authority, to be chopped up into little pieces.

Horray! We won.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

Instead of trying to paste it together here, I've posted at GMC. It makes my position pretty clear.

At 1:39 AM, Blogger camojack said...

You know it was just a matter of time:
Bush, Rice Express Concern for Afghan
(Oh ye of little faith!)

At 10:24 AM, Blogger KJ said...

Bush used to lead his own people politically. Now he follows.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Cassandra said...

Oh honestly.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Cassandra said...

/comment deleted before I say something I really regret.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

Say it, Cass, SAY IT!!!

Just remember why Dewey Oxberger's doctor told him to join the Army - he was swallowing a lot of aggression... along with a lot of pizzas.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger KJ said...

I'm ROTFL, myself.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

Nah. Spleen is better unvented :)

At 3:45 AM, Blogger camojack said...

Spleen is best with a nice, unpretentious chardonnay...


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