It makes a lot more sense to call U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur an Osama Bin Laden sympathizer than to call GOP nominee Rich Iott a Nazi sympathizer.
Did she really say, in her press release characterizing Iott’s war re-enactments as equivalent to an endorsement of WW II Nazis, “To perpetuate such a twisted and dangerous view of history is outrageous and indefensible?”
Well, let’s step back in time to March 1st, 2003. The Toledo Blade attributed quotes to Marcy Kaptur from an interview that smacks of revisionism to me. And, by the way, her take on Osama Bin Laden omits any sympathy toward Jews. Who is a more clear and present danger to Jews, Israel, and even America, today? Adolph Hitler or Osama Bin Laden?
“One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown”
And she said this, too:
“I think that one thing that people of faith understand about the world of Islam is that the kind of insurgency we see occurring in many of these countries is an act of hope that life will be better using Islam as the only reed that they have to lean on.
“I think that people of faith understand that for many of the terrorists, their actions are acts of sacred piety to the point of losing their lives. And I think that people of faith understand that there is a heavy religious overtone to the opposition.”
Do people of the Jewish faith understand and put into perspective the actions of the terrorists from such a sympathetic view? There are many within the Jewish community who exhibit religious tolerance and do not harbor personal enmity against their Muslim neighbors in America, but I don’t think there are many who would view the terrorists in the same light as Marcy Kaptur does.
From the myriad emails I get from those of the Christian faith, I’d say no, they don’t understand. Not in the way that Marcy Kaptur understands. Many don’t even understand my pleas for religious tolerance on this blog.
To be sure, I have, more than once, called for more religious tolerance, and my plea for religious tolerance extended to Muslims in America. Check it out for yourself by clicking this link and this link.
But we’re talking about terrorists, not about Muslims in America who obey all our laws.
And if the actions and propaganda of the Islamic terrorists in other parts of the world are couched in terms of “a heavy religious overtone,” what does the heavy religious overtone consist of, and to what end is it purveyed?
Annihilation of Israel? Annihilation of the largest population of Jews outside of Israel, namely New York City? Annihilation of America, which terrorists refer to as “the great Satan?” Aren’t these perversions of Islamic teachings aimed toward such ends?
But Marcy Kaptur made nary a mention of the terrorists’ rampage against the Jewish religion (nor of anti-Semitism, in general) in her interview, nor in her “clarification” a few days later (World Net Daily article from March 8,2003). She only referenced the religious convictions of the Americans engaged in the Revolutionary War against the British crown and her own Catholicism. Is this omission tantamount to whitewashing what the terrorists truly stand for and strive for? You decide. But read what follows before you do.
In her interview, she was pleading for peace, to take no military action against such an “insurgency we see occurring in many of these countries.” In the aftermath of the Holocaust, didn’t we solemnly resolve “Never again?” Don’t these terrorists wish to emulate the Holocaust?
Her remembrance of the history surrounding the American Revolution and the motives of the American colonies’ rebellion is on shaky ground. This is no benign revisionism. It is “a twisted and dangerous view of history” when applied to Osama Bin Laden and his ilk.
Massachusetts was a Puritan colony. Maryland was a Roman Catholic colony, settled by those who felt Great Britain under the Church of England was too religiously oppressive. Yet there were colonies that were settled in large numbers by the adherents of the Church of England.
The Puritans sought to escape persecution in England by relocating, first to the Low Countries off England’s shore, and, shortly thereafter, in Massachusetts. But that didn’t mean that the Puritans of Massachusetts championed religious liberty. Why did Roger Williams leave Massachusetts and take on an important role in the colony of Rhode Island? Roger Williams wanted more religious liberty than could be found in Massachusetts.
With all these competing religions in the 13 colonies, religious liberty in America had to be hammered out during the framing of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Religious liberty was not achieved by rebelling against Britain in the American Revolution, nor did it instigate the rebellion. Though Americans had a lengthy list of grievances against Great Britain, heavy taxation without any representation in Parliament was the actual spark that led to the Revolution.
Armed conflict in the name of religion happened in Northern Ireland, in the Christian reconquest of Moorish Spain, during the Crusades in the Holy Land, and in many other places throughout time, but not here on American soil, not even during the American Revolution.
Yet Marcy Kaptur portrayed the terrorists as akin to Revolutionary Americans. Such revisionist statements, if believed, would evoke sympathy toward the terrorists point of view. Even in her clarification, though she spoke out against terrorists, she did not abandon this faulty view of history and defended her comparison between the terrorists and the Americans who fought the War of Independence. Make no mistake, the Islamic Jihads occurring in other regions of the world are not wars for achieving independence. Quite the opposite. And with this comparison as the rationale for “peace” with the terrorists, her “twisted and dangerous view of history is outrageous and indefensible.” If we exit the fight against terror in the name of peace, would peace really flourish under the rule of the terrorists? There is no peace, whether we fight or not, but the fight against terror serves to protect us. I think protecting ourselves is a worthwhile endeavor. I thank God for the courageous women and men in our nation’s military who provide the most important public services rendered by any persons on the government payroll.
Marcy Kaptur further revises history, during her interview, by asserting that the attacks against us were brought about by ourselves. We bear some blame in the attacks.
” . . . we have to learn to coexist in a world with religious states that we may not agree with and find ways to cooperate.”
Those “religious states” have even more need “to learn to coexist” than we do. We are at the vanguard of finding ways to cooperate and coexist in the world. We do better at it amongst ourselves within our own borders than any other country in the world does, and we endeavor, throughout the world, to follow that same ethic.
” . . . I think this is such an important moment in history is because the United States cannot become the target of the anguish of the dispossessed in the most undemocratic region of the world.”
Two things about that statement bother me.
The first is that we can make ourselves a target of the dispossessed. Last time I checked, there are more dispossessed in the world who would rather migrate here than who would attack us. We don’t target ourselves and we don’t make targets of ourselves. The terrorists who cannot abide democracy choose to target us of their own volition. We ought not to abandon democracy, not even to avoid being targeted.
The second is that, in “the most undemocratic region of the world,” the dispossessed would do far better to alleviate their anguish by contending against their own tyrants than to contend against us. They should be seeking to gain their independence from tyranny.
If Rich Iott is a Nazi sympathizer for playing the role in such re-enactments, then whenever anyone stages a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” we should disavow and repudiate the actors who appear as Nazis in that musical as being sympathetic to the perpetrators of the Holocaust. Hollywood ought to banish actors who play the roles of Nazis in their films for the very same reason. Kaptur’s reasoning in denouncing Iott on these grounds is a prime exhibit of the politics of personal destruction and character assassination. There’s no merit to what she alleges.
Kaptur’s posturing against Iott is mudslinging. Let’s call it what it is.
Apparently, there are Kaptur henchmen who are defacing Iott yard signs with swastikas . . . or are these Kaptur supporters who have gone rogue? In this Blade article, a Kaptur spokesperson, Mary Chris Skeldon isn’t so convincing in keeping Kaptur distanced from the vandals.
“For him to blame the actions of others on our campaign is ridiculous and a sign of desperation.”
The Kaptur campaign made a ridiculous charge in the first place that associated Iott with swastikas. Why wouldn’t the Kaptur campaign’s mudslinging be the impetus for such antics? And isn’t it the mudslinging, itself, a hallmark of desperation on Kaptur’s part?
Kaptur wants this story to be in the headlines rather than issues of domestic policy. As an incumbent representative to Congress, shouldn’t she want the headlines to be the causes she championed in Congress? Shouldn’t it be about the legislation she delivered on and the legislation she’d pursue if re-elected? Nope. Iott must be polling within single digits of Kaptur. She stooped this low against Iott, but not against prior contenders that she bested by double digits.
Iott, for his part, has remained focused on issues, with press release after press release talking about reforming Congressional earmarks and reversing downward economic trends. He’s the one taking the higher road.