Monday 1 June 2009

What’s the difference between Operation Rescue and the Taleban?

Once again I am struck by how the efforts of the anti-abortion zealots to use violence and threats to intimidate doctors into giving up on abortion services, are perfectly analogous to the Taleban’s effort to intimidate Afghan teachers from teaching girls. Bombing schools, throwing acid in girls’ faces – these tactics would fit in perfectly with America’s religious right.

And as we know, the difference between rightwing extremists in America, and in the Muslim world – Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia -- is merely a matter of detail. The similarities abound: the rigidity, the condemnation of anyone who dares to question or veer away from the most extreme end of the philosophical spectrum, the gangs of thugs they send out to intimidate “slackers”, the non-stop spewing of hate, the bashing of modern culture, the antediluvian views on women’s rights, the fear of modern education, the exploitation of religious ignorance and poverty, even the oil money that props them up. You could put a turban on an Operation Rescue guy and drop him into Riyadh or Tehran or the Taleban and he’d be right at home within six months; put a beard on Billo and he’s Ayatollah O’Reilly (whose fatwa led to Tiller’s death). And in fact the rightwing nuts here and over on the Muslim side feed off each other and exploit each other for political purposes, just like the American cold warriors and the Soviets, just like Bibi Netanyahu and Hamas. They want the holy war that the rest of us don’t want to fight. The real world war isn’t between the Christian West and the Muslims –it’s the modern secularists on both sides, versus the knuckledragging God-freaks on both sides, the real axis of evil.

The scary thing is that our ayatollahs now control one of our two major political parties.

No great insight here, just ruminating....

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