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February 25, 2004



Your rebuttal to Nicholas Kristof's column, like the column itself, counters accusations of hypocrisy with accusations of hypocrisy that don't really address the points made. Kristof too narrowly focuses on the Arab world and the Middle East when there is a more salient point to be made about the Islamic world as a whole, namely, that the Islamic world's conduct toward the non-Muslim world should be judged by the same standard by which the Muslim public opinion judges the conduct of the West.

Perhaps a better example than Western Sahara or the Kurds would be East Timor. Did Muslim public opinion support the East Timorese as it does the Palestinians? Was Muslim public opinion outraged at lack of Western, especially American, pressure on Indonesia over its invasion of East Timor and subsequent abuses of human rights? No. In fact, when the international community finally decided to act on East Timor, Muslim public opinion viewed it as Yet Another Act Of Western Imperialism. Why? Could it be because the East Timorese are mostly not Muslim and Indonesians (especially the ruling Javanese) mostly are?

OT/There some advice from James Marsters himself about what can be done to save Angel at


The wee little puppet man deserves another shot/OT


Juan Cole has sagaciously identified this sort of argument, in the more extreme context of Zionist Revisionism, as the "189 case studies fallacy"---see his "Reply to Yglesias on Palestine."

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