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March 31, 2006

Paraphrasing William F. Buckley

I thought this would be a fun excercise;

Given (1) an article written by William F. Buckley, posted recently to nationalreview.com, produce (2) a point-by-point paraphrase of (1) which (3) does not include any subjective judgmental statements on my part, such as "William F. Buckley is a fatuous turd."

Let's see how far we can get with this.

(1) Okay, here's the original article link; ici

Actually, this is already pointless as I realize there will be a new article there by next week, but you get the idea.

(2) Alrighty, here we go;

-I would like to discuss the case of Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert in Afghanistan who was nearly executed for his beliefs.

-The two options for the United States are; smuggle Rahman out of the country or convince the Afghani government that it is not necessary to kill a person for apostasy.

-However, the situation is tricky because the Afghani government is really just Hamid Karzai, our friend, so option two is pretty much out since the rest of Afghanistan follows the rule of The Shariah, not the rule of Hamid Karzai.

-Afghanis should think about all the American lives that were lost to secure their freedom, and be ashamed they can't even protect this guy from being killed for his belief in Christ.

-Rahman is free today on a technicality.

-The next time this happens, the U.S. should find a way to convince Afghanistan that its not okay to execute Christian converts.

(3) Success!

Well that was an interesting experiment. I have proved, I guess, that it is possible to let Buckley's turd-ness speak for itself, without interrupting to editorialize.

Reading just the paraphrase above, I feel less like I want to slap William F. Buckley, more like I do want to discuss a few questions that he raises, namely;

What options does Buckley think the United States has available to "convince" Afghanistan of anything? I mean, he does imply at the end that we should DO something. What, invade again? "I think these Afghanis are a rawther ungrateful bunch, we should do something about it!" Okay, well, what do we do about it, if not send in more troops to take forceful control? How well did that work last time, do you think? Are you throwing up your hands at the hopelessness of this approach yet, Mr. Buckley? Do any other tactics occur to you?

In my opinion, at worst we should pull completely out of Afghanistan and leave Afghanis to govern themselves. THAT'S AT WORST, meaning there will clearly be very negative implications of such action, including no doubt the deaths of many apostates, as well as the "congealing" of anti-American sentiment into highly motivated terrorist groups. AT SLIGHTLY LESS WORSE the United States is in a position to lead an international effort to improve conditions for the people living in Afghanistan, including providing enough food to eat and providing enough education and resources for people to begin to support themselves. If this is happening now, I don't see coverage of it in the press.