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September 28, 2006

Trent Lott: ‘Why Do Sunnis Kill Shiites? … They All Look The Same To Me’

Trent Lott is confused about the violence in Iraq:

“It’s hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what’s wrong with these people,” he said. “Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli’s and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.“[CNN]

Not that it matters, according to Lott, because real people don't care about Iraq, anyway. The war is just a media thing:

“No, none of that,” Lott told reporters after the session when asked if the Iraq war was discussed. “You’re [the media] the only ones who obsess on that. We don’t and the real people out in the real world don’t for the most part.“

No word on whether Lott thinks our troops, Iraqis, and the taxpayers are "real people."

[Hat tip to Think Progress.]

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Anyone want to lay bets on how long it will take for a Republican to show up and insist that Lott's comments were perfectly reasonable and appropriate?

“Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion?

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one!

I can't decide if he makes a reasonable point in the first paragraph or not. On the one hand, he's a senator and should know better. On the other hand, he could well be trying to say that to the average American, it's hard to tell the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite. That's not an entirely unreasonable thing to say because it's probably true that many (most?) don't know the difference. (This obviously says far more about us than about Muslims, but I digress.)

But the second paragraph ... I mean, is he serious? What "real world" is he living in? Which "real people" are telling him this? Erik Fleming ought to run a quickie ad in Mississippi that quotes him on this. Yeah, Lott's going to cruise anyway, but put this out there, and watch the local media pick it up and run. Lott will have to expend way more energy fighting the story than Fleming will have to spend to create it.

In fact, why make it a quickie ad? Fleming should devote every ounce of his remaining advertising budget to this. Mississippi is a very military-heavy state; what does he have to lose?

...what’s wrong with these people...

I ask myself this question every day. I mean, you'd think that it'd be simple enough to plan policy based on careful study, listening to experts, adapting to new circumstances, but apparently not. What's wrong with these people?

Oh. Wait. He wasn't referring to the Bush Admin. My bad.

But I thought Iraq was the central front of the war on terror?

What a card that Trent. Sunni/Shia, Catholic/Protestant, Hindu/Bhuddist, Muslim/Hindu, Christian/Jew, Christian/Animist, Muslim/Copt, Muslim/Bahai, Mormon/Christian, Baptist/Lutheran, Lilliput/Blefuscu.
I don't know why they hate each other Trent, you tell me.

Seriously...

The first point is really something that anyone from outside the area has thought at one time or the other. It doesn't seem to make sense for one group of Muslims to be killing another group of Muslims on religious grounds.

When you read a bit, you learn that some Sunnis hardly view Shia as Muslims at all. It's not a racial thing, but it may as well be. Its Catholics vs Protestants in Belfast in the bad old days, only a thousand times worse.

You know something? I re-read that first paragraph a few times, and I don't have any problem with anything there, other than perhaps the naivete.


I believe he actually said:

“You’re the only ones who obsess on that. We don’t and the real people out in the real world don’t for the most part, though I'd change my mind about this as fast as I'd take a bribe and compliment Strom Thurmond's racism, if only we were winning.“

Sloppy copy and paste edting at the MSM.

Oh man, Phantom totally did that to keep it just under one hour. Did he place a bet under an assumed name?

And afterwards, Trent had a nice daydream about the good old days when darkies knew their place in society...

The first point is really something that anyone from outside the area has thought at one time or the other. It doesn't seem to make sense for one group of Muslims to be killing another group of Muslims on religious grounds.

Bullshit. You have to ignore pretty much all of human history to not know why one sect of a religion might war with another sect. A lot of Americans might fit into this bucket -- we are a woefully willfully ignorant people, but it's hardly "everyone".

The Phantom is clearly this sort of person, but to generalize his ignorance to "everyone" is just wishful thinking on his part.

One thing this makes clear to me is that, despite undoubtably never having read any Said, Lott knows who the Other is; "these people."
As a weird aside, one of my favorite undergrad professors, in ancient greek history, was Lott's nephew. He was smart, funny, and leftist. He didn't like talking about his uncle, and this was back before the Empire. I have no point in bringing this up, but it remains quite odd to me.

On the other hand, he could well be trying to say that to the average American, it's hard to tell the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite.

He didn't say that "to the average American" it's hard to tell the difference. He, himself said that he (perhaps trying to show off that he's just an average American) found it hard to tell the difference. Really, if he's just average, maybe we should simply elect senators by drawing straws or by lot (heh)!

Alternately: he's the best Republican that Mississippi has to offer.

If Lott were a bus driver or a taxidermist, I would not care that he cannot tell the difference between Sunni and Shia.

But we have been at war for over three years in Iraq. American soldiers put there by Lott's ally President Bush are dying because of these differences. Trent Lott is a senior Senator, a former Majority Leader. You might think he'd have attended a briefing on what makes Iraq so violent and conflicted, and that while his own state's (and perhaps his own heart's) violent history may run along the lines of people who "don't look the same" he'd have the insight to realize that the world is not Mississippi.

The comment confirms every anti-American stereotype of us being ignorant assholes. But I guess only we "unreal people" worry about what is actually killing our service personnel.

They kill shiites, because their grandparents did the same thing back to 7th Century in Karbla. Shame on these so called Muslims those killed family of prophet Muhammad pbuh...............Even today Alqaida,Taliban,Lashkar e Jhangvi , Sipa e Sahaba and much more are doing same job.

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