Tuesday, October 21, 2003

A good critique by Andrew Sullivan of Paul Krugman's column today in the New York Times on Mahathir's anti-semitism. I was very puzzled by the same passage from Krugman.

Not long ago Washington was talking about Malaysia as an important partner in the war on terror. Now Mr. Mahathir thinks that to cover his domestic flank, he must insert hateful words into a speech mainly about Muslim reform. That tells you, more accurately than any poll, just how strong the rising tide of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism among Muslims in Southeast Asia has become. Thanks to its war in Iraq and its unconditional support for Ariel Sharon, Washington has squandered post-9/11 sympathy and brought relations with the Muslim world to a new low.

I don't think that Mahathir needs George Bush or Ariel Sharon as an excuse for his anti-semitism (since he's been making anti-semitic statements and doing anti-semitic things for decades, including banning the showing of Schindler's List in Malaysia). I find it peculiar that Krugman seems to be claiming that Mahathir needed an external provocation to "insert" anti-semitism into a speech.

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