Crusade of the Crazies (It Worked So Well the Last Time)

Pete Karman

Good sense is good sense, but stupidity is infinite in its variety. As soon as you think a thing could not be dumber, you discover something else more idiotic. My vote for inanity of the week goes to the yahoos using the Fort Hood shooting to dump on the Dems. Their demented diegesis is to declare holy war on Islam and then brand Obama and his like cowards and traitors for not joining their cuckoo crusade. How’s that for a plan? They’ve begun by massing on their talk show circuit armed with readings of Allah’s admonitions to slay all infidels but violate only their non-porcine livestock. These Koranic quotes prove, the righties say, that we must eradicate the minions of Mecca before they put us all to the scimitar and rebuild the caliphate on the mountain of our bones. The last time such trash talk got out of hand was in 1295, when Pope Urban II called upon wander- and loot-lusting Christians to quit their castles and cots and march off to Antioch and Jerusalem to “destroy that vile race [the Seljuk Turks] from the lands of our friends.” They say the blood from the battles rose as high as a horse’s flanks, while the rapine and pillage stood unequaled until the era of Goldman Sachs. The Crusades waxed and waned for two centuries before Saint Petering out. The outcome? Eight hundred years later, Muslims number a quarter of humanity, while in Christendom the great cathedrals see more tourists than worshipers. What’s both fascinating and frightening is not just that our conservative cohort is happy to provoke mischief far beyond its capacity to comprehend or control (such as calling for a war with one and half billion Muslims who have nuclear weapons at their disposal in Pakistan), but that our body politic nevertheless insists on indulging these idiots. As I’ve noted before, we live in a land where you can get as ridiculously right wing as your paranoia will permit and still be considered a solid citizen. But try to inch to the left of, say, Barney “the banker’s buddy” Frank and you will quickly be Howard Deaned into supplication. By the bye, I hear that Lou Dobbs has quit CNN to don Peter the Hermit’s rags and lead Rush’s rabble east to glory. This post originally appeared at The Karman Turn.

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Pete Karman began working in journalism in 1957 at the awful New York Daily Mirror, where he wrote the first review of Bob Dylan for a New York paper. He lost that job after illegally traveling to Cuba (the rag failed shortly after he got the boot). Karman has reported and edited for various trade and trade union blats and worked as a copywriter. He was happy being a flack for Air France, but not as happy as being an on-and-off In These Times editor and contributor since 1977.
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