LettersHow typical - the snarling, sarcastic attitude (and yes, I know I'm guilty on that also); the effective "change of argument" strategy in an attempt to belittle the person who originally wrote the letter, even stealing the quote from Dr. King to further his intolerant cause (Frank Luntz would be proud). I've been reading what this guy has written for years (even though, like J.D. Mullane in the Courier Times, I try to avoid him), and to be honest with you, I'm sick of him.
One Reader's View
How the Taliban differ from religious right in U.S.
Re: "The Taliban at home," letter, Nov. 2:
I fought in Afghanistan as a Special Forces team commander. I am also what the letter-writer would perceive as a "right-wing religious ideologue."
Though the writer sees no difference between the Taliban and me, there are many.
The Taliban allowed no freedom of expression, no rights for women and no freedom of religion and destroyed anything and everyone that did not abide by their version of Islam. They wiped out entire peoples and villages because they were not Islamic enough. They cut the ears, eyes, tongues and noses off people for "infractions against Islam." They planted bombs and mines in children's playfields. They stoned to death for "adultery" women who had been raped. They allowed the training of terrorist groups to export their version of Islam to the world. They would think nothing of raping your wife and children and making you a slave or corpse. They remind me of the Nazis and Communists.
What do the so-called religious conservatives in this country want? Here is the super secret list: economic opportunity and personal liberty, things such as taxes we can afford; a reverence for the Constitution as the Founding Fathers wrote it; an appreciation for the values and traditions that made this country the finest in the history of the world; an understanding that people should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character; and respect for life (no matter how vulnerable or powerless).
The differences are slight, but they are there. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings.
First of all, Mr. Westphal (I don't know your rank, though your comments are), you deserve our thanks, gratitude, and respect (to a point) for your military service.
However, as for the rest of your screed...please. Yes, I realize that the original writer engaged in a bit of hyperbole by comparing the "religious right" with the Taliban. That being said, though, I should point out that your own sickening bromides are no better.
Stop telling us how virtuous conservatives supposedly are and try explaining your hypocritical words and actions. Please explain to me in language a child can understand how "intelligent design" is science without any Clinton-esque legalese contortions, as you might say. Please explain to me how you can somehow oppose a woman's right to choose in the case of rape, incest, or life-threatening consequences but also support the death penalty. Please explain to me how you support "leaders" such as Bill Frist who turned the Terri Schiavo tragedy into a media circus while supporting efforts to deny medical coverage that would have allowed her to exist into her vegetative state. Please explain to me how you can continue to oppose stem cell research even though it does not encourage abortion in any way. Please explain to me how it is possible for people who supposedly speak for you such as Ann Coulter to say Timothy McVeigh should have blown up the New York Times building instead of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City (as well as Glenn Beck threatening to kill Michael Moore) without a word of repudiation from you or others who share your beliefs.
When you answer these questions to my satisfaction, I will take you seriously.
Oh, and one more thing. Remember that bin Laden guy that you and our allied forces are over there supossedly trying to capture? (not blaming the forces on the ground, but only our "leadership"). Tell Bushco to stop trying to scare us over the "bird flu" and ratchet up the pressure to get him, proving to us that this murdering coward actually isn't protected by our Saudi "friends."