Paul From Minneapolis

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thank You Jim Geraghty

Jim Geraghty is a National Review guy currently posted in Ankara, Turkey. Before his move, during the election, he was the guy behind a blog at NRO called "The Kerry Spot” (archives if you're curious).

Since then the blog has continued. I am glad for that, because I like it, although the new name - "TKS" - may seem strange for the newcomer. For example, it bears no relationship to the name "Jim Geraghty." Of course this just shows some bashfulness on his part I suspect.

Today, he's responding to a moderate-seeming commentator in Turkey who takes the US to task for the widespread belief in the Muslim world that we are treating detainees, and by extension the religion, with disrespect. Here, in a passage that begins with a quote from the commentator, is why I say “thank you” to Mr. Geraghty:

"The U.S. has disappointed me greatly with their ineptitude and incomprehension of topics related to the Islamic world." That's funny, much of the Islamic world has disappointed me greatly with their ineptitude and incomprehension of topics related to the American world.

Yes. Thank you. Full moral equivalence like this is crucial. We here in the West, the capitalist West, deserve no more respect than the Muslim World We Have Long Oppressed, but we deserve no less respect as well.

Many remember the first point and not many remember the second, so the other side is held to no standards. It’s an incredibly easy kind of thinking to slip into, evidently. For its adherents in the U.S. it shares some characteristics with the attitude of an abused wife or child to the monster in their lives. “What have I done wrong!?” It’s sad, but it’s also very, very annoying after a while.

This subject crops up everywhere. It has to do, for example, with the commandment that only those "with power" are capable of acting in a racist manner.

I've spent a little time in Turkey, incidentally. I learned a lot. Like, when you're strolling over to pour some water on the coals, it's best to keep your towel on.