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Why Some People Should Stay In Their Office

Why didn’t someone vet this: Muslim anger grows at Pope speech

In his speech at Regensburg University, the German-born Pope explored the historical and philosophical differences between Islam and Christianity, and the relationship between violence and faith.

Stressing that they were not his own words, he quoted Emperor Manual II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire, the Orthodox Christian empire which had its capital in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The emperor’s words were, he said: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Benedict said “I quote” twice to stress the words were not his and added that violence was “incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul”.

Only the Pope knows why he chose to quote a 14th Century Christian emperor who was engaged in a conflict with Muslims. He could have quoted the 13th Century Christian emperor, Alexios III Angelos, who lived under Muslim protection before becoming emperor and watched Crusaders attack Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade.

The real problem is that Muslims get very nervous about Papal statements concerning the Middle East and Islam. There is a lot of history between the Papacy and Islam to overcome, so any misstep is magnified.

September 14, 2006   4 Comments

One Little Mistake

The BBC tells us that the US Iran report branded dishonest:

The letter went on to brand “outrageous and dishonest” a suggestion in the report that he was removed for not adhering “to an unstated IAEA policy barring IAEA officials from telling the whole truth” about Iran.

The letter, sent to Peter Hoekstra, head of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Intelligence, was aimed at setting “the record straight on the facts”, the IAEA said.

“This is a matter of the integrity of the IAEA and its inspectors,” spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a statement.

A Western diplomat called it “deja vu of the pre-Iraq war period”.

The IAEA and the US clashed over intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the war in Iraq in March 2003.

You invade one little country by distorting all of the intelligence and they never let you forget. Nag, nag, nag.

September 14, 2006   Comments Off on One Little Mistake

RIP Ann Richards

The BBC item said she succumbed to cancer yesterday.

She has a pretty good Wikipedia entry, but the real fun was listening to her. She had the ability to produce memorable quotes on her feet in front of a crowd of any size.

The reason Natalie Maines exists as the outspoken person she is, is because of the example of Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, and Molly Ivins: the ladies of Texas.

September 14, 2006   4 Comments

There Will Be A Test

Our pencil box runneth over. You might think there was a factory in Iraq producing Number 2s.

September 14, 2006   1 Comment