Recently the Pentagon’s Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin spoke out of turn and referenced the war on terrorism in religious terms. As in Us vs. Them. As in Christianity vs. Islam. Bad move.
It might be “jihad” to the other side, but we keep it secular. In fact, we pledge to do so. Defending America is a life-and-death challenge, but offending others is unconscionable.
A predictable firestorm of outrage resulted from Boykin’s bumbling. Calls for his ouster immediately ensued. Sure, a Saudi diplomat went apoplectic, but the domestic backlash included Democratic presidential candidates. When we’re on top of our self-criticism game, nobody bashes us like us.
Administration embarrassment was palpable, and there were the requisite apologies.
Now consider something that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad said the other day. He stated that “Jews rule the world by proxy” and recruit others “to fight and die for them.” In a historical take of alarmingly devious proportions, he declared that the Jews “invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong