The following is an excerpt from a work in progress, tentatively entitled They’re So Smart Cause We’re So Stupid: A Medievalist’s Guide to the 21st Century. Each chapter begins with a list of Astoundingly Stupid Statements of the 21st Century that appear in therein. The footnotes are not complete. In particular, Clemens Heni, Schadenfreude: Islamforschung und Antisemitismus in Deutschland nach 9/11. The chapter begins with a discussion of the UN Durban conference “against racism” at which Anti-Americanism and Anti-Zionism reached an hysterical peak. I have yet to write that, so I go straight to the discussion of two key responses to 9-11.
Part II, Chapter 4:
Fantasies of Peace, Gorging on Schadenfreude
Stupidities featured in this chapter:
“Islam is peace,” President George Bush Sept. 17, 2001
“They did it [9-11], we wanted it.” Jean Baudrillard Nov. 2, 2001
“If we can prevent human suffering and don’t, is that not terrorism?” (Derrida on 9-11)
“True courage is fighting the strongest, and America is the strongest.” French journalist, February 2003
‘As far as I am concerned, Islam and terrorists are two words that do not go together.’ (British Deputy Assistant Minister of Metropolitan Police, Brian Paddick, 7-7-2005)
“Hezbollah has never been a terrorist organization. I am here, I am here, to glorify the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, and I am here to glorify the resistance leader, Hassan Nasrallah.” George Galloway, London “anti-war Rally,” 2005
“Hezbullah and Hamas are members of the global progressive left… allies in the anti-imperialist struggle.” (Judith Butler, UCBerkeley, Fall 2006, 2010).
“We are Hamas!” London “anti-war” demonstration, 2009
“ISIS is neither a state, nor Islamic” (Obama,
“One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” (Boston Globe)
“Assailants… Attackers… Bombers… Captors… Commandos… Activists…” Various terms other than “terrorist” used to describe the Jihadi attack on a school in Beslan, September 1, 2004
Our editorial policy is that we don’t use emotive words when labeling someone.” (David Schlesinger, Reuters Global Managing Editor, September 2004)
“My goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity,” (David Schlesinger, Reuters Global Managing Editor, September 2004)
Response of POTUS George Bush to 9-11: Islamic Center Washington DC
Of all the extensive archive of responses to 9-11 that deserve inclusion on the list of astoundingly stupid statements of the 21st century, the first two above take pride of place. Let’s begin with the first, stated by the POTUS, George Bush, less than a week after the event, at the Islamic Center in DC. Here is the transcript of his remarks:
Like the good folks standing with me, the American people were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday’s attacks. And so were Muslims all across the world. Both Americans and Muslim friends and citizens, tax-paying citizens, and Muslims in nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens. These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that. The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself: ‘In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.’ The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.
It would be harder to fit more folly into so confined a body of text; indeed, when properly understood, it constitutes a combination of systematic disinformation for infidels and a summons to Jihad for Muslims, all delivered by the leader of the most powerful nation in Dar al Harb, just after a magnificent Jihadi assault on his nation. Given both the content and the wooden delivery, one suspects that this was not written by either George Bush or his regular speech writers, but by a Muslim triumphalist.