I sometimes play Yahoo Chess with an interesting and smart woman. We instant message as we play. This weekend, she tossed out a line about the war in Iraq, and the conversation below ensued.
It's a classic example of a leftist denying reality to herself. She is smart. She knows what is going on with Islamic fundamentalists, yet she cannot admit it - especially to herself - because of the implications and the impact such an admission would have on her worldview. That's my speculation, but my gut tells me it is likely correct.
Meantime, she threw out one off-topic piece of bait after another - though she probably believed some of it was relevant. The effect was to try and draw me away from the one question I was asking. I was truly and genuinely interested in her opinion on the subject. I wanted to hear her out - nothing more. When she evaded answering - and evaded and evaded - I became determined to hang in for an answer. I appreciate Maria for being principled enough to hang in there. She really, really didn't want to answer the question. But she didn't bail. She hung in.
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:25:16 PM): what do you think is the threat against America, from the Middle East? I am very curious, b/c I think Americans cannot agree on what the threat is. We have big disagreements about what is threatening us. I am curious what you think?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:26:05 PM): i think the US has distressed the terrorist, but there are still threats, need to be alert at all times
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:26:52 PM): what are the threats which still threaten the U.S.? in your opinion?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:27:13 PM): home grown terrorist!!! this s a big headache, even in other countries, such as UK
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:28:58 PM): do you think the U.S. still faces a threat from the Middle East?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:29:14 PM): they find it difficult to meet raise money, organize etc, thx to satellite images.
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:29:44 PM): do you think anything in the Middle East continues to threaten the U.S.?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:29:44 PM): middle east is a theat to the world as a whole. take for instance Iran and its nuke
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:30:59 PM): I agree. What is the major threat from the Mid East? to the world? and to the U.S?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:31:28 PM): a gun in a crazy man's hand is something to worry about
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:31:56 PM): so, the major threat is Iran and it's nuke. fine. what is the next largest threat from the Mid East? do you think?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:32:51 PM): i really cant pinpoint a threat
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:33:06 PM): can you give a generalization?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:33:18 PM): as i told u, the military has been doing a great job.
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:34:18 PM): what about the Jihadis who wish to kill everyone who doesn't agree with their version of Sharia? do you think they are a threat? or, do you think they might easily grow into a threat? either to the world, or specifically to the U.S.?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:34:45 PM): i'm not an expert on Middle east affairs. i don't like sharia. i think it's better to leave that to the govt to do. they have been doing great
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:35:45 PM): the people are the government
Maria (5/5/2007 8:35:56 PM): sort of. veto power remember
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:36:15 PM): the people elect the man who has veto power. the people run the government
Maria (5/5/2007 8:36:29 PM): selected pple. not u and me
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:36:56 PM): that is propaganda. that my voice is not stronger is not an indictment of democracy, so much as a comment on my level of influence in the marketplace of ideas.
Maria (5/5/2007 8:37:13 PM): yeah
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:37:20 PM): I enjoy our conversation - do not think I am angry. just demonstrative! do you consider Sharia a threat?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:37:51 PM): but u need to yell b/4 washington can hear u talk less of listening to u. sharia is BS
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:38:09 PM): I can yell. is Sharia a threat to you and me?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:38:28 PM): doesnt respect human rights
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:38:41 PM): is it a threat to murder you and I?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:38:49 PM): an eye for an eye. u should be a politician
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:40:07 PM): so, you do not think Sharia is a threat to murder us? correct?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:40:38 PM): sharia is not the threat, but the pple behind it. sharia is just a law
gcotharn(5/5/2007 8:41:36 PM): Okay, so the people who believe a fundamentalist interpretation of the BS Sharia law - do they want to kill us?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:42:01 PM): look out the window, anyone after u???
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:42:13 PM): do they want to kill us?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:42:16 PM): the US is safe
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:42:18 PM): yes or no? would they kill us if they could?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:42:44 PM): not if we kill them first
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:43:10 PM): good. so you say those people do want to kill us. they would kill us if they could? correct?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:43:28 PM): dont put wds in my mouth. or better in my keyboard
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:43:54 PM): what does "not if we kill them first" mean?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:44:17 PM): what the US is doing in Iraq and Afghan. we aren't there for a picnic, are we?
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:45:36 PM): look, you are not being genuine here: I understand your opinion that the U.S. can protect itself. I am asking: do the people who believe in fundamentalist Sharia wish to kill us? that is a yes or no question... you are not being fair. you are evading a clear and simple question
Maria (5/5/2007 8:46:08 PM): that's a million dollar question
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:46:22 PM): okay, so you say you do not know the answer?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:46:32 PM): kind of
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:46:47 PM): wtf does "kind of" mean?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:46:53 PM): it's difficult to say, cause i really don't know. fanatics a re sick.
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:47:57 PM): okay, so you do not know if they want to kill us. Do you know if anyone in the Middle East wants to kill us? and if so, how many do you think would lend support to those who wish to kill us?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:48:50 PM): i'm being genuine with u
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:49:04 PM): Do you know if anyone in the Middle East wants to kill us? and if so, how many do you think would lend support to those who wish to kill us?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:49:12 PM): have u ever been to the middle east?
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:49:18 PM): irrelevant
Maria (5/5/2007 8:49:32 PM): do u have a muslim friend? do u respect islam?
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:49:41 PM): I will not be sidetracked. my questions are simple, yet you are evading them
Maria (5/5/2007 8:50:03 PM): Ok. easy. dont get worked up. send me ur questionaire for ur project and i'll answer ur questions truthfully
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:51:40 PM): NO! I am on my last, or my next to last question. you are evading my questions, and we really are still on THE FIRST QUESTION. my questions are completely simple and fair. your evasion is disgraceful
Maria (5/5/2007 8:52:03 PM): repeat ur question
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:52:18 PM): Do you know if anyone in the Middle East wants to kill us? and if so, how many do you think would lend support to those who wish to kill us?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:52:59 PM): i don't know anyone who might want to kill us, from the middle east
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:53:29 PM): I didn't ask that. I asked this: Do you know if anyone in the Middle East wants to kill us? and if so, how many do you think would lend support to those who wish to kill us?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:53:57 PM): No one in the middle east want to kill us
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:54:25 PM): okay. thank you for answering the question. my last question: why the #$%& did it take so long for you to answer?
Maria (5/5/2007 8:55:31 PM): cause it's a difficult question. next time ask simpler questions.
gcotharn (5/5/2007 8:56:42 PM): okay. I disagree with you. I think literally millions of people in the Mid East would support efforts to kill Americans. But, we now understand each other, and we can respectfully disagree with each other's opinions. Thank you for answering the difficult question.
Maria (5/5/2007 8:57:01 PM): fair enough. you are welcome.