Over the weekend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D, AZ) and 20 others were shot by a left-wing political radical.
Last week, Pakistani governor Salman Taseer was gunned down by one of his own bodyguards.
What's most enlightening is not why these atrocities took place - in Giffords' case, that isn't even known - but the wildly different reactions of the general public in their respective countries. Unfortunately, what's revealed are some deeply unpleasant and politically incorrect truths that bode ill for all our futures.
Although Ms. Giffords was a Democrat, she is generally described as moderate and centrist. For once, there appears to be a smidgen of truth there; although she voted for far-left Obamacare, she's also condemned Federal fecklessness about border security and the illegal-immigration problem. Perhaps this is why both Sarah Palin and the Daily Kos targeted her for electoral defeat in rather blunt and militaristic terms.
Let us emphasize: targeted for electoral defeat - and not even successfully at that. This is not the same thing as literally targeting her with a gun as reportedly did Jared Loughner.
Without exception, every voice in the American political sphere is condemning this murderous assault as what it is: murder most foul. The new Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner condemned it as "an attack on all who serve." Giffords' fellow Democrats and the media, of course, feel likewise and say so loudly; hundreds of ordinary citizens have left flowers and candles at her offices.
Even individuals wrongly attacked in connection with this outrage nevertheless have not the slightest sympathy for Loughner or his methods. As Accuracy in Media reports, the Department of Homeland Security fed false information to Fox News journalists to further their narrative of smearing the Right:
Jennifer Griffin of Fox News recklessly and irresponsibly claimed on Sunday morning that the killer was a political conservative. Using Obama officials as her sources, she reported that “intelligence gathered by the Department of Homeland Security and shared with state officials across the United States” had revealed “a strong suspicion” that the shooter was influenced by a conservative publication called American Renaissance (AR)... Griffin claimed, “This is based on some of the videos he posted on YouTube. This group’s ideology is anti-government, anti-immigration, and anti-Semitic.”
But a review of Loughner’s YouTube videos finds nothing about American Renaissance.
That sentence [in the DHS report] is almost perfectly wrong, since American Renaissance is not anti-Semitic, disapproves of “race hate,” is not a hate group, and is not, in fact a “group,” like the Ku Klux Klan, La Raza, or the NAACP, but a newsletter and website that holds conferences every two years.
Being falsely accused as accessory to murder by the Federal government would make anyone angry; but AR editor Jared Taylor didn't let his righteous indignation override his sense of justice and humanity.
American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in its pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.
The lies of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and her hordes of willing minions could fill a book, much less an article; apparently sexually assaulting innocent airport-bound Americans is not enough for this pocket Goering. Fortunately, ordinary Americans are more moral than she: 99.9999% of everyone wants Jared Loughner locked up and the key thrown away, and Gabrielle Giffords returned to health and her duly elected office post haste, even under extreme provocation to say otherwise.
Contrast the humane, decent, appalled reactions of Americans far and wide, with what we see in Pakistan:
Shouting anti-government slogans, thousands of people on January 9 marched in Pakistan's financial capital - Karachi - to oppose any amendments in the controversial blasphemy laws and praised the man charged with killing Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer who dubbed it as "black law".
But surely religious leaders were more charitable? Hardly:
Religious party Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan says anyone who feels sorrow for Salman Taseer, 66, is guilty of blasphemy.
It said in a statement: “No Muslim should attend the funeral or even try to pray for Salman Taseer or even express any kind of regret or sympathy over the incident.” [emphasis added]
And what was the unpardonable sin of Gov. Taseer? He was attempting to arrange a pardon for a mentally-handicapped Christian woman who had been sentenced to death by stoning for inadvertently "insulting Islam", and to reform the rapacious blasphemy law under which she was tried and convicted.
If the leaders of Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan are "religious leaders," then their "religion" is out-and-out barbarism unworthy of respect or deference. If their followers in their thousands and millions are "religious", then their beliefs are nothing more than the depraved rantings of blood-crazed savages - but being clearly in the majority, "extremists" is not really the correct description.
Has Islam been hijacked by a handful of extremists? The masses screaming the praises of the cowardly turncoat guard who gunned down the man he was sworn to protect are broadcasting the awful truth:
Extremists are not hijacking Islam; Islam is "extremist" by its very nature, or from the Muslim point of view, civilized behavior is the "extremism" that must be destroyed by any means necessary. The handful of civilized, "moderate" Muslims the West so loves to cite are the attempted hijackers - and they are failing.
The murders on opposite sides of the world are opposites in every other way as well. Here, we see a madman's deranged acts being used by a corrupt and venal government as a political bludgeon, but the overwhelming majority of citizens respond in a civilized and decent way. There, we see a single civilized and humane government official paying with his life for his "blasphemy," to the full-throated applause of vast numbers of his savage countrymen.
It's often said that we get the government we deserve. In Governor Taseer, Pakistan had a leader far better than the majority deserved; in Giffords, at least a decent match; but in Napolitano, America has one far worse.
No surprise which one is still safely ensconced in a seat of power.