Canadian sanctimonius

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 09:09 am

Jules Crittenden takes aim at a critic of two gunpoint converts:

Centanni and Wiig are alive and back with their loved ones, out of the hands of an enemy who could have slaughtered them like sacrificial sheep. I don’t hold anything they’ve done or said against them. I don’t really care how cynical or desperate their actions were. They’ve been somewhere I never have been and hope to God I never will be. It would be nice to see the media and the Muslim world condemn of this kind of obscenity by Islamic terrorists, but apparently that is not going to happen.

Now, a sanctimonious Canadian, columnist David Warren of the Ottawa Citizen, has accused Centanni and Wiig of aiding the enemy through “conventional cowardice.”

Must be the season for stupid cowardice accusations.

Posted by Tim B. on 09/02/2006 at 10:23 AM
    1. What we need is cowardly leadership.  At the moment it’s all uncoordinated cowardliness.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 09 02 at 10:34 AM • permalink


    1. “sanctimonious Canadian”

      Mr. Crittenden is repeating himself.

      I get CBC on my cable system here in Washington state.  My gosh, based on what is shown on that television network, the Canadians have to be the most sanctimonious people on earth.

      Posted by David Crawford on 2006 09 02 at 10:41 AM • permalink


    1. “conventional cowardice.”  as in like, jumping from a building?

      Posted by Nic on 2006 09 02 at 10:42 AM • permalink


    1. What a maroon.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 09 02 at 10:45 AM • permalink


    1. Now, a sanctimonious Canadian, columnist David Warren of the Ottawa Citizen, has accused Centanni and Wiig of aiding the enemy through “conventional cowardice.”

      I have great respect for Jules Crittenden, but I’m not sure I agree with him here.  David Warren is a highly respected columnist who has written many pro-American columns.  A notable one was a column espousing the flypaper strategy a few years back.

      Warren’s position on this issue might be described as sanctimonious, possibly.  But I wouldn’t use the word to describe the man in general.

      Posted by wronwright on 2006 09 02 at 11:03 AM • permalink


    1. BTW have Centanni and Wiig recanted? I mean I might use the “conversion” tactic myself to get out of a sticky situation, but upon returning to civilized lands I’d certainly call a press conference to joke “Would you believe those assclowns BOUGHT it that I’d convert to their shitty litte false religion?”.

      The I would grab my crotch and say “Yo Mohammed, convert THIS.”

      Just sayin’—that’s what *I’d* do.

      Posted by Shaky Barnes on 2006 09 02 at 11:19 AM • permalink


    1. Calling David Warren a “sanctimonious Canadian” is just too much. The name rang a bell, and I looked through my quotes.txt file. Ah, yes, here it is:

      “In the rather shocking words of a British Afghan expert, a man I believe to be deeply humane: ‘Real progress requires that we address root causes, which means putting bullets through the right foreheads.’”

      I don’t know about his sanctimony, but he has a clear understanding of root causes.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2006 09 02 at 12:06 PM • permalink


    1. Well, the captives were from Fox News, so journalists have to find something bad to say about them!

      Posted by Patricia on 2006 09 02 at 12:06 PM • permalink


    1. David Warren’s column is called Chestlessness, and he has a point.

      He compares the case to the Fabrizio Quattrocchi case, (see a A Good Death, by Mark Steyn for another sanctimonious Canadian’s take on courage.)

      He also compares it to the “Montreal Massacre” where a number of presumably unsanctimonious Canadian men wouldn’t fight back against a man with with a rifle who wanted to slaughter some women.They let him.

      Kathy Shaidle is another Canadian who agrees with Warren. I suppose she’s “sanctimonious” too.

      Earlier sanctimonious types included Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer,or if you prefer, Edmund Campion and the rest of the English Martyrs.

      Probably the least sanctimonious example is The Private Of The Buffs

      Last night, among his fellow roughs,
      He jested, quaffed, and swore;
      A drunken private of the Buffs,

      who had his head cut off after being captured by the Chinese, who wanted him to kowtow, I.E. grovel, knock his forehead on the ground, and abase himself. According to the press at the time, he “declared he would not prostrate himself before any Chinaman alive”and so was killed.

      And thus, with eyes that would not shrink,
      With knee to man unbent,
      Unfaltering on its dreadful brink,
      To his red grave he went.

      Vain mightiest fleets of iron framed,
      Vain those all-shattering guns,
      Unless proud England keep untamed
      The strong heart of her sons;
      So let his name through Europe ring,—
      A man of mean estate,
      Who died, as firm as Sparta’s king,
      Because his soul was great.


      England won that war.

      Posted by James Fulford on 2006 09 02 at 12:29 PM • permalink


    1. Yes, Jules is full of it on this. Reading through Warren’s columns, accessible through James’s link above [beat me to it, James] will show that he’s a Christian conservative who’s got his head screwed on right about the GWOT. (Although his full archive seems to be broken.) And David, #2, Warren’s views are the opposite of the liberal-leftists at our CBC (who sound just like American liberal-leftists). Read his other columns and judge for yourself.

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 02 at 12:50 PM • permalink


    1. Hmmm… There;s an idea in there somewhere. Maybe we should forcibly convert all the Gitmo detainees to Scientology. Film the little devils’ renunciations of Islam and release the tapes about 6 months before the guys themselves.

      Might make for some interesting homecoming parties, eh?….

      Posted by mojo on 2006 09 02 at 01:09 PM • permalink


    1. I think Warren-whose column I have read many times posted at Free Republic-makes a fair point about how “squeamish” the West in general is about prosecuting the war effort, but it is not a point I would have made.

      Crittenden is right: “none of us knows how we would behave under similar circumstances” and even a Marineapparently did not conduct himself appropriately while in captivity (yeah, yeah I know he was born in Jordan-but he had still earned the title).

      Warren’s point about how we could be doing a lot more to pursue the propaganda war is perfectly true, but the larger point that I didn’t see him state directly is that our primary assets in that effort-the MSM-regard themselves at best as nonaligned.  Let the head hackers make their videos, it’s not terribly difficult to manipulate Arab opinion against the West.  But at the end of the day if such propaganda convinces the jihadis to come out and fight they will probably be surprised to find themselves up against some very hard men.

      Posted by 68W40 on 2006 09 02 at 01:16 PM • permalink


    1. And by coincidence at LGF just now:

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 02 at 01:20 PM • permalink


    1. And more sanctimony from Kathleen Parker:

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 02 at 01:26 PM • permalink


    1. Another, different and new, Steyn from the NY Sun:

      But in today’s mosques and madrassahs there is almost as little contemplation of the divine as there is in the typical Anglican sermon. The great Canadian columnist David Warren argues that Islam is desperately weak, that it has been “idiotized” by these obsolescent imports of mid-20th century Fascism. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but, if Washington had half the psy-ops spooks the movies like to think we have, the spiritual neglect in latter-day Islam is a big Achilles’ heel just ripe for exploiting.

      [BTW, Warren converted from Anglicanism to the R.C. Church]
      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 02 at 01:44 PM • permalink


    1. I like Warren’s work, but he was way off base this time.  Everyone’s entitled to a clunker, I guess.  (Francis Ford Coppola, after all, directed Jack.)

      Posted by Damian P. on 2006 09 02 at 05:50 PM • permalink


    1. Power Line wants more info and has some more links to the conversion story (that I haven’t read yet):

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 02 at 06:19 PM • permalink


    1. I would agree Centanni and Wiig were aiding the enemy if they took their “conversion” seriously and remained converted, and went about preaching Islam.  As it is, most of us would probably choose “conventional cowardice” if someone were holding a gun to our heads and we thought we could get them not to shoot us.  Few people are as brave as Fabrizio Quattrocchi.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 09 02 at 06:22 PM • permalink


    1. I would like to think I would not fold… easy words from a seat at a desk… but I did read Warren’s column (as I usually do) and my first reaction was as the above comments… but (yes BUT)…I’m waiting for these guys to step away from this forced conversion and give the full story…..
      Perhaps his purpose was to provoke a little reflective thought? How important are your values, morals etc and would you die for them as Fabrizio Quattriochi so memorably did.
      I like to imagine I’d do the right thing at the point of a knife… but I can see both points of view on this one…I fear that this may become more common and that Warren’s point that Islamic conversion wasn’t the motive, it was to display for a home audience that westeners decadent and soft will say and do anything to save their lives.

      Posted by Isumbras on 2006 09 02 at 06:26 PM • permalink


    1. JC is indeed full of it.  Davis Warren is one of the most honest, serious and informed of all the Canadian commentators on Middle Eastern and Jihadi issues.

      David Crawford – keep your smug anti-Canadian remarks to yourself until you know what the fuck you’re talking about.  I’m quite sure you’ve never heard DW on CBCPravda.

      Isumbras, at least, understands the point that DW is trying to make.

      “..that Warren’s point that Islamic conversion wasn’t the motive, it was to display for a home audience that westeners decadent and soft will say and do anything to save their lives.”

      Posted by jlc on 2006 09 02 at 06:47 PM • permalink


    1. The Al Qaeda deputy again goes on film from his grotty cave to command all Westerners to convert to Islam.  Indonesia’s Jihad Bakhar Bashir publicly says Bush must convert if he wants to be ‘safe’ [and to stop more Balis].

      The obvious law is, The likelihood of instantly ‘converting’ to Islam is inversely proportional to the proximity of the barrel of an Islamic gun..

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 09 02 at 07:13 PM • permalink


    1. The name of the article “Chestlesness”, and Warren being a Christian conservative, suggests he is referring to C.S.Lewis’ phrase Men Without Chests, from The Abolition of Man.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2006 09 02 at 07:19 PM • permalink


    1. Few people are as brave as Fabrizio Quattrocchi.

      Props to Quattrocchi for what he did, but I do think these are entirely different situations. In Quattrocchi’s case, he was about to be killed regardless—his terrorist captives just hoped to get him to grovel on camera before he lost his head.

      In this case with the reporters, the kidnappers calmly gave them 3 choices, two of which involved going free—it actually sounds like the kidnappers perhaps didn’t have the stomach to kill them at all.

      Reminds me of POW training in the military. You are NOT trained to just give name rank and social security number and say nothing else. It’s understood that there’s no virtue in being a stubborn John Wayne and getting killed for it. Better to work over your captors psychologically, prevaricate, trick them, act confused, stall for time—and find that line between getting killed unnecesarily and losing your honor by helping the enemy.

      Posted by Shaky Barnes on 2006 09 02 at 07:37 PM • permalink


    1. They had three choices; convert, pay the dhimmi tax, or war.

      I can understand them not opting for war but the fact that they chose conversion rather than lose some money really does speak volumes.

      Posted by Janice on 2006 09 02 at 08:28 PM • permalink


    1. #19 & 20

      Perhaps his purpose was to provoke a little reflective thought? How important are your values, morals etc and would you die for them as Fabrizio Quattriochi so memorably did.
      I like to imagine I’d do the right thing at the point of a knife… but I can see both points of view on this one…I fear that this may become more common and that Warren’s point that Islamic conversion wasn’t the motive, it was to display for a home audience that westeners decadent and soft will say and do anything to save their lives.

      My reflective thought, hmmm.
      I would not die for denouncing Christianity, I value life too much for that – perhaps it’s because I am not devout. I might die for my values, maybe to save another, but not for words.
      If valuing life is soft, well, better to be soft than be honor-killing, child-murdering, corpse-parading, head-hacking, death-loving hard.

      O/T Sunday is on. I stopped watching all but the cover story which caught my fancy ages ago – hated watching Jana. Now it seems to have become a(nother) sports programme. Euthenasia comes to mind.

      Posted by kae on 2006 09 02 at 08:31 PM • permalink


    1. #23 A prime example of that is in the Andy McNab book, Bravo Two Zero – the account of the famous SAS operation in Iraq that was compromised.  Although tortured terribly, he gave nothing away by playing up to the Iraqis idea of an army where only officers know anything about what is going on.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2006 09 02 at 08:45 PM • permalink


    1. OKay, this is where you are all waiting to hear from Wimpy Canadian.

      First, let me point out that I adopted this nom-de-guerre a couple of years ago during a particularly dispicable incident in Canada-US relations: I found myself privately e-mailing Americans to apologise for my government’s behaviour and telling them that we weren’t all like that.

      #2 David Crawford, you are absolutely right. Sanctimony is the correct description of Canada’s repulsive moral preening. Neutrality is being pushed as a Canadian virtue. But, I ask you, how can one be neutral in the face of really, really, bad people. For example, the leader of the NDP in Canada has suggested we should withdraw our troops from Afghanistan and negotiate with the Taliban. Where is his concern for women? His party supports feminists?

      No, the hypocracy in this country is vomit-forming. This is not to be unpatriotic but the opposite. The poseurs preen before the UN but do not see the contempt they are held in, even, if not especially, by their enemies.

      What? Canada have enemies? Impossible say the poseurs.

      Now, as to Warren’s article. I was a bit ambivelant when I read this. I like the guy’s work in general but felt that he was perhaps a bit hard on the two. However, I also think his targets were the press corps interviewing the two, who didn’t ask the obvious question concerning the elephant. I feel he just created collateral damage.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2006 09 02 at 09:21 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve read JC’s work and he is an excellent writer.  Thus, I’m surprised that he’s made this chickenhawk argument.  His article says that anyone not willing to go be a prisoner of the Islamofacists must STFU.  Warren raised an excellent point that should be addressed.  JC and most of the MSM have glossed over the forced conversion.  I’m appalled at the MSM’s glib response that suggests if you are threatened you should immediately renounce your principles and core beliefs.  When the MSM capitulated to the Islamofacists and refused to print the Mohammad cartoons, they were called cowards. (Rightfully so IMHO).

      If someone holds a gun to your head to convert or die, some people do chose to die.  JC and others jump right over these people.  The excuse seems to be that these people are rare or heroic and so should not even be considered as part of the equation. Ordinary people shouldn’t be held to this standard (of course, these heros were ordinary people until they chose to take a stand).

      I do agree that most people would do whatever their captors told them to do.  I would too under most circumstances.  But the analysis doesn’t end there.  Here are 3 follow-up questions:

      1) if you yield your core values in the face of adversity, doesn’t that make you a paper tiger?  Bin Ladin said that the West won’t fight. People are falling over themselves to say it’s okay that reporters shouldn’t be expected to resist. Uphold your beliefs until someone threatens you, then se la vie.

      2)  If you yield your principles in the face of adversity, then what good are they?  The Islamofacists say Western values are worthless and the West confirms this when they captitulate.

      3) Once you are freed from your captors, shouldn’t you renounce your conversion?  Although I have lots of sympathy for the reporters, I am put off by the fact that now they are free, they are singing the praises of Islam and their captors.

      Posted by BlackRedneck on 2006 09 02 at 09:24 PM • permalink


    1. #21 What’s new. This is how it started. It is now time to end this 1400 year opld war. And end it in our favour.

      Death Life to suicide bombers and their death cult.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2006 09 02 at 09:27 PM • permalink


    1. Although I have lots of sympathy for the reporters, I am put off by the fact that now they are free, they are singing the praises of Islam and their captors.

      Jules Crittenden would be right in lumping Warren in with all the other “cowardice” idiots if it weren’t for this little fact. I can understand going through the whole charade of conversion if I had a gun pointed at me, but I’d made damn well and sure that once I was free I’d denounce my captors and disavow my so-called “new” religion. By all reports these journalists have done nothing of the sort.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 09 02 at 09:54 PM • permalink


    1. Strange how the images of these two reporters “converting” to Islam doesn’t generate a tenth of the rage that was expressed by so many in the west over the photo of the terrorist at the end of that diminutive woman-soldier’s leash. Yes, yes, we’re supposed to be “better” than they are, but shouldn’t a healthy portion of rage be reserved for those who perpetuate these crimes with the endorsement (explicit or otherwise) of such a vast number of their co-religionists?

      And I agree with Andrea’s final comment: just exactly where is the angry condemnation by the recently freed newsmen of their captors’ tactics? Centani’s comment – “I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it” – somehow just doesn’t strike the right note. Wiig’s statements of sympathy for the Palestinian cause are certainly jarring (thanks, andycanuck, for the links). Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seems to me that there is more than just a faint trace of misplaced, Mike Wallace-style super-neutrality in comments like these, and while nobody has the right to condemn these men for what they did with a knife to their throats, their failure, once released, to forcefully condemn the actions of their captors and engage in a little public reflection on the evil that motivates it could set the stage for further hostage-taking propaganda stunts.

      Posted by paco on 2006 09 02 at 11:01 PM • permalink


    1. However many brownie points Warren has earned for his previous work, and whatever larger point he was trying to make, sanctimonious is the perfect word to describe the way he cast aspersions on those journos from the safety of a desk in Canada.

      Posted by slammer on 2006 09 02 at 11:14 PM • permalink


    1. You know, I don’t agree with Warren’s judgement of the recent converts, but after reading some his stuff here for the first time, he strikes me as the kind of guy who might well take up the challenge made by Jules Crittenden in the last paragraph of his article.

      In any event I see no evidence to suggest that indeed he would not have behaved very differently had been in the shoes of the hostages. Quite the contrary. Whatever else you might think of him and his quick harsh angry judgements, that does not make him sanctimonious. That idiot making comments the other day about “cowardice” in regard to some of the murder victims at WTC, on the other hand? Now that’s sanctimonious.

      Posted by geoff on 2006 09 03 at 12:23 AM • permalink


    1. Are there any Christians on this thread? Because like it or not, Christ told his followers again and again to be prepeared to suffer for his sake. “He who saves his own life will lose it…”

      As a Christian, I can turn your arguments around and say “Well, its easy for you non-Christians to sit around bloviating from the safety of your desks…” “None of us knows what we would do.” Speak for yourself.

      I pray for the grace not to renounce Christ for any reason, under any circumstances. And the power of grace is the only thing that can give you that courage. Those who can only conceive of alternative “energy” sources as “will power” or “mental fortitude” can’t be expected to understand that.

      There are some things worth dying for. I don’t see how one can be a “hawk” yet demur when the possibility of losing your _own_ life looms in your imagination. Not in My Backyard, hmmm.

      Sanctimonious is an atheist’s word for someone prepared to act on his beliefs and who suggests that it would be helpful if others did likewise, or at least had some beliefs to act upon in the first place. Like “prude” or even “hypocrite” in some cases, it is only an insult in the mind of the person doing the insulting.

      Posted by RelapsedCatholic on 2006 09 03 at 07:05 AM • permalink


    1. In fact, this incident might be said to prove a contention made by other Christian conservative commentators: that, contra the Euston Manifesto, it is a renewed religiousity, not a heartier secularism, that stands the best chance of winning this war.

      I take it Cistani and Wiig are not more than nominal Christians. In fact, it is probably safe to assume about two media folks that they are not. So they “converted” to save their skins.

      So: would a devout secularist like Hirsi Ali “revert” at gun point? Would Christopher “Let’s crush the Islamofacists, just don’t tap my phone” Hitchens?  Who does Hitchens call upon in times of danger? The spirit of Trotsky?

      Cistani and Wiig innocently and inadvertantly demonstrate that a “resistance” based on nothing more than liberalism and secularism is doomed to fail. Ultimately, the best resistance will come from devout Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists who have an investment in an afterlife they don’t want to screw up.

      Posted by RelapsedCatholic on 2006 09 03 at 07:19 AM • permalink


    1. 1. The Christian God I learned about was loving and forgiving.
      2. I’ll worry about the afterlife when I get there… being here now I will try to be a good person… live a good, productive life, and oppose those who would prefer to see me submissive, or dead.
      3. Having mentioned the afterlife,I would prefer to find out about it ‘first hand’ later rather than sooner.

      Posted by kae on 2006 09 03 at 07:34 AM • permalink


    1. I meant Centanni.

      Kae, no where in scripture does Jesus say, “Do whatever it takes to survive.” Your threadbare notions of what constitutes “Christianity” are typical of our time and place. Unfortunately, they are also incorrect. “He who loves his life will lose it…” “He who values his family over me does not deserve me.” “He who denies me, I will deny to the Father saying, I do not know him.” etc.

      Have fun “opposing” those who would have you submit, armed only with the dubious “power” of your own meager humanism and secularity. Wouldn’t you prefer to fight them with something more substantial than “I try to be a good person”?

      Posted by RelapsedCatholic on 2006 09 03 at 09:43 AM • permalink


    1. Chestless women,hmm Magrok…

      Posted by crash on 2006 09 03 at 09:46 AM • permalink


    1. David Warrent replies:
      (And rather well IMHO. H/T Relapsed Catholic)

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 03 at 11:09 AM • permalink


    1. Warren. Preview is my friend.

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 03 at 11:09 AM • permalink


    1. Hm. Mark Steyn seems to be jumping on the sanctimony express. Right?

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 09 03 at 11:21 AM • permalink


    1. Beat me to it, Andrea, although I’d add that it also mentions Reuters, the Oz press’s self-censorship, and Tim as well as the conversions.

      BTW, at David Warren’s Ottawa Citizen page, contrasted to the above link, Warren has added an addendum:

      One last point: a direct answer to the people who asked me, plainly, “What would you do in the position of those Fox guys?”

      I would pray, ask God to guide me, & give me the strength to obey. And on my own account, I might think: “I’m getting off easy. I’ve lived this really reprobate life for half a century, & God is letting me off if I can just get the last twenty minutes right. It’s time to cheer up.”

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 03 at 11:53 AM • permalink


    1. It looks like the Pali terrorists aren’t very nuanced or they take this “religion” thing seriously:

      Palestinian militants who held two Fox News journalists hostage for nearly two weeks threatened in a statement posted online Saturday to abduct non-Muslims visiting the Palestinian territories and kill them unless their demands were met.

      The statement, posted in the name of the Holy Jihad Brigades on a website frequently used by militants, said the group would kill any hostages it takes unless they converted to Islam, paid a ransom or Muslim prisoners were exchanged for their release.

      “Any infidel blood will have no sanctity,” the group said in the statement.

      And alot more at Michelle Malkin’s:

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 03 at 12:15 PM • permalink


    1. Re #39 Warrent’s winge-ing dodge: Turns out he didn’t actually mean they’re really cowards, it was all a “hard” exercise to make the rest of us examine our souls. That guy needs to develop some convictions to go along with the courage he’s urging on everyone else.

      Thank you all for this lively discussion.  Regarding complaints that the Fox newsmen still haven’t issued loud proclamations or denunciations, here’s a thought.  These guys have been through a very public, traumatic, humiliating experience. It was an extreme experience beyond the scope of, I’m guessing, 99.9 of the people commenting. Now thousands of morons like us are dissecting the thing and holding forth on the Internet, demanding that their own agenda items be satisfied immediately, and postulating that we’re supposed to give a damn what people who cheer for terrorists are going to think of this. So much for our own Judeo-Christian compassion and forgiveness.

      The Fox guys stated it was at gunpoint and they feared for their lives. Otherwise they have played it low key. We don’t know what is going on in their heads, or what their own issues are.  They may well be trying to figure out what the heck just happened, and still is happening.  All of us morons can reassess if one of them turns up at the Hajj next year (that would be sad, but not exactly our business) or tries to detonate his shoe on an airliner (that would be criminal, and our business).

      Posted by crittenden on 2006 09 03 at 12:25 PM • permalink


    1. When you guys watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers, do you think to yourselves: hey, what’s the big deal? Being a pod person doesn’t seem _that_ bad? I get to keep my same house and stuff. Why doesn’t that guy just give up?

      Because that’s not, like, the message of the movie.

      Just asking.

      Posted by RelapsedCatholic on 2006 09 03 at 12:33 PM • permalink


    1. And while we’re on the subject of Warren’s snivelfest, anyone have any thoughts on exactly what measure of gall is required to whine about people speculating and commenting on your background in reaction to a column that speculates and comments on the backgrounds of others? Perhaps some of the Canadian readers can help here, as I assume its in meters or kilos or loonies or something like that.
      Another disappointment:  towering talent and advanced thinker Steyn’s new twist on the “why they hate us” theme: We don’t die well enough.
      We have no shortage of people who have died for what they believe in.  Hundreds of cops and firefighters.  Poeple like Rick Rescorla and Tood Beamer. Thousands of soldiers. Several dozen newsmen and aid workers in Iraq and Afghanistan.  People who died trying to do something they believed in, or sacrificed themselves for others.  Now we’re supposed to die just to impress people who hate us, and aren’t going to give a damn anyway.

      Posted by crittenden on 2006 09 03 at 02:32 PM • permalink


    1. “Tood Beamer”?

      You sound awful bitter, Jules. Why do Christians affect people that way, while Moslems get a “Oh, they’re just barbarians, ignore them!” We wonders, yes we does.

      By the way, the response to normal people to being “traumatized and humiliated” is to avoid further public exposure, such as televised press conferences. I know that if I had been forced at gunpoint to wear a ridiculous costume and say stupid things on tv the last thing I would have wanted was to appear on tv saying nice things about my captors’ friends, families, and beliefs. Or am I just behind the times? I just can’t get into this new “don’t believe in anything unless you want to be labelled a fanatic” mindset.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 09 03 at 03:07 PM • permalink


    1. That’s good Relapsed Catholic.
      Nowhere did I say in my post:
      Jesus said, “Do whatever it takes to survive.”

      My “…threadbare notions of what constitutes “Christianity” are typical of our time and place. Unfortunately, they are also incorrect.”
      My ‘threadbare notions of what constitutes Christianity’? I’m terribly sorry, but I didn’t have all night, or the space, to communicate my beliefs – they are mine, they are personal.

      Posted by kae on 2006 09 03 at 05:53 PM • permalink


    1. Alarmed would be the word, that otherwise reasonable and talented people have decided other people should die for propaganda purposes.  Put another way, that Party B should die for what Party A believes in.  Seems like we have way too much of that going on already.

      Posted by crittenden on 2006 09 03 at 06:01 PM • permalink


    1. Jules, I think you are misunderstanding what “otherwise reasonable and talented” people (who when they write things you disagree with are apparently “winge-ing” (sic) and presenting a “snivelfest”) are actually saying. Warren wasn’t saying that the two reporters should have died, or that anyone “should die.” He’s expressing dismay that they apparently don’t think anything of their “conversion,” and their subsequent statements on how nice the Palestinians are and how they learned lots of nice stuff about Islam, seem to bear him out. Maybe I just can’t think “outside the box” here, but all I know is that if I was compelled to make statements I didn’t believe in on tv, and as well tell everyone that I’d picked some new name in a foreign language, and was made to wear strange clothes, my reaction upon being rescued would certainly not be to mollify my former captors by saying nice things about them. And I say that from no particular religious point of view.

      Or maybe I do. The fact that makes so many educated, secular, “my religious beliefs are private” (not even God knows what they are?), fun-loving Westerners uncomfortable is the growing realization that the party may be over, and we may have to (ugh) actually stand up for what we believe in, and in doing so we may actually find that the things we thought we believed in were nothing but froth and fairy-dust. What do you think those will be?

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 09 03 at 06:14 PM • permalink


    1. Sanctimonious to the extent that both Waren and Steyn are writing about the need for bravery and courage from the safety of their study, in front of their computers.

      Steyn and Warren make no sacrifices and risk nothing and yet bleat about how courageous they are and how we should spill other people’s blood so they can feel safe.

      How much blood? Who knows…whatever it takes as long as it is not theirs and as long as they feel safe to continue to write about how others who are in danger and who have taken risks should behave.

      Here’s he-man, ‘chestful’ (his word) warrior Warren in his all his authoritarian glory.

      Oh, the hard-man also admits a fascination for “seeds, small shells, tiny fishes, & insects.” WTF?
      But assures us that he is heterosexual.

      A real tough nut who’d take a bullet for Jesus any day. Sanctimonious? Maybe. Simpering? Definitely.

      Posted by bongoman on 2006 09 03 at 06:14 PM • permalink


    1. Actually I read Warren’s essay, and he is being misquoted.

      What he said was the Fox reporters did not even consider that perhaps they needed to stand up for their inner integrity under duress….
      The reporters have an excuse: The Stockholm syndrome…the same psychological defense that occurs in hostage situations and in abused women.

      But on their release no one in the press thought that forced conversion was important. Nor does the press seem to think their sympathy for their captors might be pathologic rather than normal. Warren points out that the MSM doesn’t even recognize the concept of integrity. Warren, quoting CS Lewis’ essay, says they(i.e. the MSM) are men without chests.

      Contrast this to Jill Carroll’s much longer captivity…who immediatly on release renounced her earlier statements…apparantly Carroll had more inner psychological strength to resist changing her beliefs…in the vernacular, she had more balls…

      The worst part in all of this is that in the propaganda war, the “conversion” will be used to show the decadance of the west…

      Posted by tioedong on 2006 09 03 at 07:17 PM • permalink


    1. It’s not even a question of standing up for western civilization and Christianity.

      What I find most detestable about our present culture is
      that there scarcely is a person who has any dignity or self-respect.

      I would not even be able to watch the recording of their conversion
      I feel such shame on their behalf.

      Posted by Peter Allan on 2006 09 03 at 07:32 PM • permalink


    1. I believe Crittenden’s commments are just and humane. Perhaps after a decent interval, the two reporters will have something more enlightening to say about their experience – or maybe they won’t want to talk at all, just forget. That, too, would be quite understandable. In the meantime, however, I do believe they’d be well advised, in forgiving the sinners, to refrain from making quite so much allowance for the sin.

      Posted by paco on 2006 09 03 at 07:33 PM • permalink


    1. I’m all about just and humane, Paco old pal. You of all people know that.  Hey, the circumnavigational 30,000-foot Islamo-toss still on for next weekend?

      Posted by crittenden on 2006 09 03 at 07:56 PM • permalink


    1. #55: Oh, absolutely. No need to be a complete fanatic about this humanity business.

      Posted by paco on 2006 09 03 at 08:01 PM • permalink


    1. Figures that guy’s a shellfite and tiny fisherast.  Oh, excuse me … bitterness.

      Posted by crittenden on 2006 09 03 at 08:28 PM • permalink


    1. In the meantime, however, I do believe they’d be well advised, in forgiving the sinners, to refrain from making quite so much allowance for the sin.

      Oh, but that’s intolerant. Mustn’t be intolerant! Intolerance makes Baby Jesu… Buddh… Yahw… Gaia… somebody cry.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 09 04 at 12:56 AM • permalink


    1. I usually agree with Warren, but even when I do not, I have always profited from reading his work. He is a serious, hard thinker who does not take the first exit. He can speak for himself; read his latest column and especially the update.

      Posted by werner on 2006 09 04 at 07:37 AM • permalink


    1. I don’t know if you’re still reading here, Jules, but if you are, bongoman is a resident leftie troll at Tim’s. So having him agreeing with you isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 04 at 10:36 AM • permalink


    1. Making fun of Warren´s insufficiently heroic looks and hobbies is pretty low and no way to win an argument (if you have to make one).

      My opinion: I cannot really condemn the two journalists for doing what the kidnappers demanded. Why not use a little dissimulation to get out? However, having gone through that degrading spectactle, they should not think too long before coming out and rejecting their conversion to Islam and condemning their kidnappers and their sympathizers loudly and clearly. If they cannot do that, they are not really free. And Warren is right in that it is not just about them. It is about the signal their behaviour is sending. Tacitly accepting their treatment is not really different from paying ransom: more power to the terrorists. So they have a responsibility for getting right their next public statements. As professional journalists, surely they cannot be surprised by that, now?

      Posted by werner on 2006 09 04 at 01:29 PM • permalink


    1. “If they cannot do that, they are not really free.”

      That is perfect, werner. Wish I’d thought of it.

      Posted by RelapsedCatholic on 2006 09 04 at 05:23 PM • permalink


    1. #45 Relapsed Catholic

      When you guys watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers, do you think to yourselves: hey, what’s the big deal? Being a pod person doesn’t seem _that_ bad? I get to keep my same house and stuff. Why doesn’t that guy just give up?

      Because that’s not, like, the message of the movie.

      Just asking.

      LMBO! Did you see the remake with the ManDog?

      Posted by BlackRedneck on 2006 09 05 at 01:16 PM • permalink


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