Waleed Aly was pretty good in The Age this morning too, with a very similar line.
But not good enough for Andrew Bolt:
That’s the usual Aly stuff. Unrepresentative minority. Understand the anger. See what you’ve done to provoke it. Let’s not question the faith itself. Yada yada yada.I think this is a completely unfair reading of the Aly piece, but Andrew has to throw some meat to his readers.
The wingnutty side of the Right is upset that this particular provocateur is questioned with much publicity about a technical way in which he may have broken the law. Big deal. As I noted before, the guy has possibly put the lives of a bunch of naive actors at risk too, and it would seem the LA sheriffs let him hide his own identity, which was kind of them. I find it extremely hard to be upset with this.
As to the other Right wing commentary that is blaming all of this on Obama for being too soft on Islam, it was vaguely encouraging to read that George Will rejected such simplistic claims over the weekend, in response to a Romney adviser's claim that a President Romney would have prevented this:
Referring to the unrest over the last week, Williamson said, "[t]here's a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you'd be in a different situation."Sounds about right to me. Just as anyone who thought Obama could magically resolve all of Muslim World's problem by simply being nicer than George W was surely deluded, the idea of a President Romney equally being able to settle everything down in the Middle East by talking, um, tougher, is equally stupid.
"Is there?" Tapper asked Will.
“No,” Will told Tapper. “The great superstition of American politics concerns presidential power, and during a presidential year that reaches an apogee and it becomes national narcissism. Everything that happens anywhere in the world, we caused or we could cure with a tweak of presidential rhetoric.”
But Will was also critical of the White House, noting that Jay Carney, Obama's press secretary, also misunderstood the situation in the Middle East when he said the riots weren't about U.S. policy, but an anti-Islam video.
"Actually, they're about neither," Will said. "If the video hadn't been the pretext, another one would have been found."
He added: “There are sectarian tribal civil wars raging across the region that we neither understand nor can measurably mitigate."