Ann Barnhardt, Culture Hero
Even if you don’t do anything else today, please take a moment to look at the two videos that Ann Barnhardt, an intrepid Colorado resident, made a couple of days ago responding to Senator Lindsey Graham’s spineless attack on Terry Jones, the Florida minister who presided over a “trial” and burning of a Koran late last month. I link to them at the end of this post.
A recap: When publicized and condemned by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and officials in Pakistan last week, Jones’s bonfire provided the occasion for the deadly riots in Afghanistan that (so far) have left a dozen people dead, including UN and NATO personnel. The instant response from the liberal establishment was condemnation — not of the rioters who were, as is their wont, murdering for Allah, but of Terry Jones. As I noted in this space Monday, Islamophiliacs from Time’s Joe Klein to Senators Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham blamed Jones for the rampage. Even General David Petraeus condemned the Koran burning as “hateful, intolerant, extremely disrespectful.” On Face the Nation, Lindsey Graham said:
I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war. During World War II you had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy. Any time we can push back here in American against actions like this that put our troops at risk, we ought to do it.
Sobering, isn't it, to realize how quickly folks entrusted with upholding the Constitution are willing to dispense with its protections? I was moderately tart about these latest exhibitions of what I called “preemptive capitulation.” But my response was a veritable valentine compared with Ms. Barnhardt’s eloquent demolition. There are some theatrics in her presentation. She repeatedly calls Graham a “jackass” — a “stupid, stupid jackass” on one occasion. In part two, she reads various passages from the Koran — those memorable bijoux that advocate the murder of Jews, infidels, and apostates, the rape of women prisoners, pedophilia, and beating of insufficiently submissive wives, etc. — and then rips out the offending pages and burns them in a glass fire-bowl. Crowning detail: she has bookmarked the passages with rashers of uncooked bacon. (“Raw bacon," she explains, "makes the best Koranic bookmark.”)
Ms. Barnhardt describes the reading and burning of the Koran as “the main event.” It is a riveting performance, her declamation and analysis of all those goads to violence and mayhem, followed by the incineration, one leaf after the next, of the dozen or so pages she chose: “Evil, evil garbage, in it goes and up in flames!”
But perhaps even more impressive is Ms. Barnhardt’s excoriation of Lindsey Graham and his contemptible suggestion that the free speech of American citizens should be curtailed in the face of Islamic intimidation.
Read it again: "I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable,” said this U.S. senator. “Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war. During World War II you had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy. Any time we can push back here in American against actions like this that put our troops at risk, we ought to do it.”
Ms. Barnhardt picks this apart phrase by disgraceful phrase. “Hold people accountable”? Accountable for what? she asks.
For exercising their Constitutionally protected and divinely ordained right to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion? Hey Jackass, have you not read the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States?
What Lindsey Graham wants to do, she continues, is to “elevate the totalitarian political system masquerading as a religion called Islam to a status which
supersedes and overrides the First Amendment to the Constitution and thus places it in a position of specially protected legal superiority wherein criticism of Islam or failure to show proper and sufficient deference and honor for Islamic texts is a crime. Hey Lindsey, you Jackass, you know what that’s called? It’s called Sharia. What the hell is wrong with you?”