Roger’s Rules

“Controversial”: Weasel-Word of the Week (the case of Frances Guy)

Have you noticed how often left-wingers, when they want to exonerate some piece of special nastiness, resort to the adjective “controversial”?

It is bad enough in cultural matters, when perversity masquerading as art is absolved of any moral responsibility because it is “controversial.”  In political matters, when human life itself is at stake, the euphemism is downright obscene.

My friend David-Pryce Jones called my attention to a text-book example of this slimy behavior. It involves Frances Guy, her Majesty’s Ambassador to Lebanon since 2006. At his NRO blog, David reports on “The passing of decent men,” Ambassador Guy’s obituary of Sheikh Muhammad Fadlallah.

Who was Sheikh Fadlallah? According to to Ambassador Guy, he was one of the politicians she “admired most.” When she was named Ambassador to Lebanon, Frances Guy told readers on the Foreign Office web site, one of the things she most looked forward to was meeting Sheikh Fadlallah: “the world needs more men like him.”

“When you visited him you could be sure of a real debate, a respectful argument and you knew you would leave his presence feeling a better person.  That for me is the real effect of a true man of religion; leaving an impact on everyone he meets, no matter what their faith.”

“Impact,” eh? This Shia Muslim Sheikh certainly may be said to have  specialized in impact, as in the force released when two truck bombs are detonated in a Marine barracks in Lebanon. As David points out,

“This decent man, this man to be respected, was a mass-murderer. In 1983, Fadlallah was responsible for sending Hezbollah members in trucks loaded with explosives into the barracks in Beirut of American and French troops come to keep the peace there. Almost 300 of these soldiers were killed. Fadlallah has always praised suicide bombing and hostage-taking. As for his willingness to reach out across faiths, this decent man worthy of Mrs. Guy’s respect consistently preached the extermination of Jews, praised suicide bombing, and denied the Holocaust.”

If you click on the link to Frances Guy’s repulsive exercise in radical chic Islamolatry you will find that it takes you to a  page cached by Google. That is because the Foreign office rightly saw fit  to remove her valentine to a terrorist. In its place is this pathetic  “explanation” from the Ambassador:

“My comments on the late Sayid Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah have now been removed because they were leading to confusion about British policy. I would like to be clear. I have no truck with terrorism wherever it is committed in whoever’s name. . . . The blog was my personal attempt to offer some reflections of a figure who while controversial was also highly influential in Lebanon’s history and who offered spiritual guidance to many Muslims in need.”

“Confusion,” eh? There was no confusion, Madam Ambassador.  You were perfectly “clear” in your original comments. Sheikh Muhammad Fadlallah, the man who engineered the cold-blooded murder of 300 U.S. Marines, was among the politicians you “admired most.” What could be clearer? He was for you an outstanding specimen of a “decent man,” a rightly revered “spiritual guide.” And as for you having “no truck” with terrorism, I’m not sure you want to bring “trucks” into the discussion.  Sheikh Fadlallah already did that, with disastrous results. This despicable  person was not “controversial.” He was a criminal, an anti-Semitic  terrorist who blighted the lives of hundreds if not thousands.  You, Madam Ambassador,  are her Majesty the Queen’s representative in Lebanon. Your remarks were therefore not merely a “personal” reflection — disgusting though that would have been — they carried the prestige of Britain. Removing your toxic comments was a start.  Since you apparently lack the decency to resign, the Prime Minister should now remove you.