Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Headscarf Threat

This isn't worth more than a short post, but the "uproar" over Nancy Pelosi wearing a headscarf in Syria is really something, isn't it? If you don't know what I'm talking about, head over to Drudge, where a photo has been posted prominently for the past two days. Or you can check out any of the other usual suspects. At Little Green Footballs, this post with Pelosi's photo generated almost 800 comments. A representative sample:
"She just looks like a bag lady. Where's her shopping cart?"

"Could the west appear any more weak? I don't think so."

"It just boggles the mind that she's submitting her values and dignity to islam."

"It sends a clear signal to our enemies. The Democrats will submit to you."

"Where are the hostage takers when you need them?"
A prominent American showing respect for local customs? You mean like here, here, here, and here? Oh, and here?

Keep posting yourselves into permanent irrelevance and electoral minority, guys.

By the way, during Pelosi's trip, has anyone else felt vaguely proud of our image abroad for the first time in years? Let's not overstate it or get too excited yet. But I suspect her headscarf is a convenient outlet for the deeper anger and resentment caused by the realization that our foreign policy just got a bit more sane.


Anonymous Gus said...

Exactly. "submitting her values and dignity to Islam"=showing some modicum of respect to Islam.

4/04/2007 3:58 PM  
Blogger KS said...

And here:

4/04/2007 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Jackofalltirades said...

I think we'll see a nice bump in world approval once Bush is out of office and someone sane (think Obama or Hagel) who knows what 'soft power' is takes over.

I had to laugh - people at "Little Green Footballs" (what the hell is that anyway?) were talking about the need of someone with 'a sack' (read: male) to lead this country.

Hasn't the world had that type of leadership for the past 6 years? What do we end up with: a nuclear Korea, Iran w/the bulwark of Iraq removed, and an Iraqi society coming about at the seams (think Somalia).

4/04/2007 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush said that talking to Syria was unproductive. Reports state that Syria played a hand in Iran's release of Britain's soldiers. Cause/Effect.

My only regret is that now, as is custom, we have to send money to the Contras. That tradition started back in the 80's with Reagan.


4/04/2007 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preach it, brother.

You're one of the few "conservative" bloggers out there I respect, mainly because you call as it you see it, not how your ideology demands you see it.

4/05/2007 2:08 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

I was listening to NPR this morning...they were debating about if the release of the sailors were a victory or a humiliation for Tony Blair....this is an illustration of how the media and the power elite(which are virtually the same thing) really view the troops. They are makes no difference if they live or is how the rulers use them to project power that matters. Our leaders do not want any negotiating with Iran and Syria because they feel that it will legitimize their governments in the eyes of the world. They want them isolated and demonized so they can attack them without much debate.

All 15 pawns have been freed and are unharmed...but we have a debate if it was worth legitimize the Iranian government by calling them and asking for their release. After tough can we be if we "negotiate" with evil.

4/05/2007 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The posts you reference are one more example, in a long litany of examples, of the anti-intellectualism that flourishes in the right-wing, conservative base. This anti-intellectualism seeks to perpetuate myths that are perceived as politically expedient in the short term but will ultimately harm our nation's political discourse in the long term. Myths such as . . .

By loosening regulatory constraints on corporations, we indirectly help the American middle class.

The founding fathers of our nation were Christians.

The press was responsible for our defeat in Vietnam.

Global warming does not exist; it is an attempt to limit America's industrial power and might. (If global warming does exist, it is not caused my human activity.)

Now add the latest myth:

Seeking dialogue and diplomacy with rival nations makes us weaker, not stronger.

4/05/2007 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Did any of those commenters notice that these were pictures of Pelosi in a mosque? More likely than not, she wouldn't be allowed in the mosque unless her head was covered. I went on a tour of a Catholic church in Italy where a girl wasn't let in because she was wearing a tank top. Her shoulders had to be covered to enter. Respecting religious beliefs is just good diplomacy, not to mention good manners, especially in an area of the world where religious beliefs are at the core of national identity.

4/05/2007 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

goldhorder and the anonymous poster below him hit it right on the head...they're (wingnuts) pissed off that one more excuse they would've had to 'blow Iran and Syria back to the stone age' went out the window. You'd need those people to think with their heads and not what may or may not be in their pants (and carried out with someone else's body, of course), but I'm pretty sure they're incapable of any such thing.

4/05/2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

carol said: Respecting religious beliefs is just good diplomacy, not to mention good manners, especially in an area of the world where religious beliefs are at the core of national identity.

The nutcases don't want anything done that would "legitimize" Islam as anything other than a "mating call for terrorists".

(besides, "diplomacy is for p**sies")

4/05/2007 10:01 AM  
Blogger Grodge said...

I'm glad for this site, and I never miss a day.

I used to peruse LGF, Redstate and other sites for the wingnut perspective, but I was finding that it was becoming deleterious to my mental well-being. It was depressing to realize the magnitude of wingnuttery in our culture.

Today's post is a case in point. 800 comments on Pelosi's headscarf. To be honest, TCR, I have great respect that you have the wherewithal to trudge thru the dreck and pull out these items of concern. We need to know what we're up against.

One caution, however: be careful. Engaging in such activity is soul-sapping. I'm deadly serious. Gazing into the hellish abyss of our cultural ravine can be dangerous. Seriously.

I think this is what killed off the venerable Billmon-- and we can't afford to lose you, too.

4/05/2007 10:26 AM  
Blogger Jay C said...

Although I myself am somewhat ambivalent about the value of Speaker Pelosi's recent trip to Syria (on the one hand, freelance diplomacy by Congressional officials is rarely productive: on the other, the Bush Administration has made such a hideous botch of this country's foreign policy that virtually any sensible alternative is welcome), the "headscarf" issue merely shows up the rightwing warfloggers for the bigoted idiots they are. Mrs. Pelosi was visiting a mosque
: (y'know, Syria being an Arab country and all) how did they expect her to dress?
Doesn't matter to these clowns, though: any thing they can seize on to vent their prejudices will serve: relation to reality optional.

4/05/2007 10:57 AM  
Anonymous NeilS said...

What would the reaction in the Muslim world be to Pelosi if she had not worn a head scarf? This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know.

Is it offensive? Disrespectful? Would it be 'dirty'?

Isn't it true that many Muslim wonen to not wear a scarf?

4/05/2007 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Witness the conformist manipulations of a corporate feudal society: a system that perpetuates the belief that the United States as global power is entitled to impose our cultural norms on civilizations much older, more established and culturally distinct from our own. It's the vision of a world of suburbs and exurbs, three car garages, fast food and strip malls. Those who buy into it are unlikely to have traveled outside of their own state or region, much less to another country. Even a country like Canada, so much like our own, has distinct cultures that recoil at many of the misconceptions we hold as 'Americans'.

Even more ironic: most of these critics would identify themselves as 'Christians' while eschewing the teaching that 'we love our enemy as ourselves.' Bush has had every opportunity to seek common ground with Syria, Iran and Venezuela and countless others yet chose to give them all the cold shoulder rather than engage in even introductory dialogue. In the last days leading up to the Iraq War, emissaries from Baghdad were conceding every available option in order to avert war. In this light, the President's desires and drives take on a definitively ugly tone.

While I don't believe that Christian beliefs are best expressed in statecraft, I'd feel better if those who espouse their hallowed beliefs at every turn would give a little effort to putting words to deeds.

Speaker Pelosi has shown more leadership in 3 months of power than Bush has in his entire life. She'll make a great President.

4/05/2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next thing you know, Pelosi will be photographed holding hands with a Saudi minister of the same sex!

Oh, wait....
-- sglover

4/05/2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it true that many Muslim wonen to not wear a scarf?

Not inside the mosque. Elsewhere, I assume many Syrian women (like Pelosi) do not.

4/05/2007 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4/05/2007 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I with Charles Barley, 'I was a republican until they lost their minds.'

Mediocrity always attacks.

4/06/2007 12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to laugh - people at "Little Green Footballs" (what the hell is that anyway?) were talking about the need of someone with 'a sack' (read: male) to lead this country.

Heck, whenever I see a photo of Our Feerless Leader these days, I know I think of the word 'sack'... as in the venerable expression concerning ten pounds of manure in a five-pound you-know... Anne Laurie

4/06/2007 7:09 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

The Bush photo is classic. I don't know why Kerry didn't use it after the swiftboating. He could have killed Bush if he didn't let Rove bully him around. I'm still totally baffled by that election. I don't have any love for Kerry I'm just perplexed that if he wanted to be president why did he roll over and die rather than fight fire with fire. The revolving door of Cheney as Defense Secretary/ to CEO of Halliburton after setting them up for huge government contracts...Bush and his personal ties with the Royal family and the fact that Saudi Arabia is the home country of the terrorists that attacked us. He didn't touch any of that and let himself be smeared. Maybe those NSA wiretaps dug something up on Kerry so he was being blackmailed into being a weak candidate to make sure Bush won. Baffling.

4/07/2007 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, being Alwites the folks running Syria don't care in the least about headscarves. The scary part is, Pelosi likely doesn't even realize that.

4/08/2007 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Adriane said...

The wearing of the hijab is not a Muslim custom of any great duration. Traditionally a niqab was worn, or a burkah. Turkish women did not veil at all.

I might as well show solidarity with American democracy by wearing a mini-skirt and white disco shoes.

One thing the hijab is a symbol of is the acceptance of the ethnic cleansing of Christians in Lebanon and Syria.

Hijab'd women would not be raped; Christian women who did not wear the hijab, were.

Thanks, Nancy!!!!

4/09/2007 1:56 AM  
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