Irony: Dowd, Robinson, Beinart Want Bush To Comment On “Ground Zero Mosque”
Byron York notes that three columnists who spent most of the bast decade criticizing the Bush Administration at every turn are practically begging former President Bush to speak out about the controversy that has erupted over the proposed Islamic community center that would be built in Lower Manhattan at the site of a former Burlington Coat Factory.
First, there’s Maureen Dowd:
Some critics have said the ultimate victory for Osama and the 9/11 hijackers would be to allow a mosque to be built near ground zero.
Actually, the ultimate victory for Osama and the 9/11 hijackers is the moral timidity that would ban a mosque from that neighborhood.
Our enemies struck at our heart, but did they also warp our identity?
The war against the terrorists is not a war against Islam. In fact, you can’t have an effective war against the terrorists if it is a war on Islam.
George W. Bush understood this. And it is odd to see Barack Obama less clear about this matter than his predecessor. It’s time for W. to weigh in.
This — along with immigration reform and AIDS in Africa — was one of his points of light. As the man who twice went to war in the Muslim world, he has something of an obligation to add his anti-Islamophobia to this mosque madness. W. needs to get his bullhorn back out.
Then, the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson said this during an online chat:
I, too, would love to hear from former president Bush on this issue. He held Ramadan iftar dinners in the White House as part of a much broader effort to show that our fight against the al-Qaeda murderers who attacked us on 9/11 was not a crusade against Islam. He was absolutely right on this point, and it would be helpful to hear his views
And, finally, former New Republic editor Peter Beinart chimed in at The Daily Beast:
Remember when George W. Bush and his neoconservative allies used to say that the “war on terror” was a struggle on behalf of Muslims, decent folks who wanted nothing more than to live free like you and me? Remember when Karen Hughes paid millions to produce glitzy videos of Muslim Americans testifying about how free they were to practice their religion in the USA? Remember Bush’s second inaugural, when he said “America’s ideal of freedom” is “sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran?”
Words I never thought I’d write: I pine for George W. Bush. Whatever his flaws, the man respected religion, all religion. Maybe it was because he had been an addict himself, and knew from hanging around prisons that Allah had saved as many broken souls as Jesus Christ.
Now, I’m not saying that MoDo, Robinson, and Beinart are wrong in pointing out the extent to which President Bush sought to distinguish Islamic radicalism from Islam. They’re right as a matter of fact. It’s just ironic to hear them essentially saying, even on this one small point, that George W. Bush should come back.