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QUESTIONER: “What is more important though to American values–being friends with Israel still or knowing there are jailed dissidents and journalists [in Egypt]?” the woman asked.

ANN COULTER: “What do you mean knowing that there are jailed journalists?” Coulter said. “I think there should be more jailed journalists.” This prompted a huge round of applause from the crowd.

Ann Coulter answering a question at the CPAC conference held earlier this year.

Tyler’s hands were bound by a strip of a scarf. A soldier took off Lynsey’s gray Nike shoes, then bound her with the shoelaces. “God, I just don’t want to be raped,” she whispered to Steve.

“You’re the translator!” a slight soldier screamed at Anthony. “You’re the spy!”

A few seconds passed, and another soldier approached, demanding that we lie on our stomachs.

All of us had had close calls over the years. Lynsey was kidnapped in Falluja, Iraq, in 2004; Steve in Afghanistan in 2009. Tyler had more scrapes than he could count, from Chechnya to Sudan, and Anthony was shot in the back in 2002 by a man he believed to be an Israeli soldier. At that moment, though, none of us thought we were going to live. Steve tried to keep eye contact until they pulled the trigger. The rest of us felt the powerlessness of resignation. You feel empty when you know that it’s almost over.

“Shoot them,” a tall soldier said calmly in Arabic.

A colleague next to him shook his head. “You can’t,” he insisted. “They’re Americans.”

A new group seized us, and they were rougher. They blindfolded us, tied our arms and legs and beat us. They then stuffed us into an armored car, where Lynsey was groped. She never screamed but instead pleaded. A soldier covered her mouth, tracing his hands over her body. “Don’t speak,” he warned. Another soldier tried to shove a bayonet into Steve’s rear, laughing as he did it.

A half-hour later, we arrived on what we thought were the outskirts of the other side of Ajdabiya. A man whom soldiers called the sheik questioned us, then began taunting Tyler.

“You have a beautiful head,” he told Tyler in a mix of English and Arabic. “I’m going to remove it and put it on mine. I’m going to cut it off.” Tyler, feeling queasy, asked to sit down.

We were finally put in a pickup where a soldier taunted Lynsey.

“You might die tonight,” he told her, as he ran his hand over her face. “Maybe, maybe not.”


Excerpts from a recent New York Times piece detailing the treatment of four reporters who were recently abducted, beaten, sexually assaulted and subsequently released by forces loyal to Libyan dictator Mohamar Khaddaffi.


Another day, another reminder that this bit from Harper’s (in 1941) remains relevant:

Who Goes Nazi? (Harper’s Magazine, August 1941)

The next time you happen to watch Faux, figuring out who’s who from that article can be a beneficial distraction…

Until your last sentence I thought this was some more hilarious tomfoolery by our employees in Iraq or Afghanistan. Operating outside the law is always such a rush.

TJ/ RIP beautiful Elizabeth Taylor.

I know people who are Mr A, etc etc.

I was friends with a Mr C till about 5 years ago. It’s funny to read what almost everything that I’ve said about him written some 70 years ago. The only difference is that the Mr C I know is not an intellectual, he only thinks he’s one. Still… he fits.

I think the writer of the piece has it right. People who aren’t tragically afraid of themselves rarely end up Nazi if ever.

Unless Ann, mans up and grows a pair, she’s really in no position to talk shit about people who put their asses on the line but as we all know that’s never stopped him from saying anything.

@al2o3cr: That’s a fascinating piece, as much for the writer’s assumptions about class and elites as for who’d cross over. Of course, there has always been a large part of the US population only too willing to embrace fascism. The most alarming of our current fascist groups, to me, it seems to me is the Rushdooney Dominionists. I do like Harper’s and wish I didn’t find it quite as irritating as I do. The Index is one of the most original publishing traditions we have.

Also, if you haven’t already you might want to check out Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, a hair-raising novel of the collapse of french defenses and the flight from Paris as the Germans advance. It has much to say on this very topic.

You can play this game with Congress, too.

@al2o3cr: Dorothy Thompson was married to Sinclair Lewis, I think. I will be scurrying off to wikipedia to confirm. The only other thing I know about her (before this Harper’s piece you have now made me aware of) is a story that someone went to visit Thompson and Lewis when they had just moved into a new place and found Thompson distressing new furniture in various ways because she said, “We don’t want the furniture to look as if we’re afraid of it.” Clearly, a bold thinker and actor. I have never quite known what to make of the furniture bashing, just as I have some reservations about the Harper’s article. I think persons who “go Nazi” were unfortunate in the parents or childhood caregivers they chose. Manipulative “love” and/or neglect can be as soul-destroying as (more than?) outright abuse. Of course, Nazis one encounters in adult life must be curbed, early and often, but it’s damn difficult to be humane while doing it and it usually takes a while (too long) to get their measure. The fascist takeover here and now in the USA is proceeding apace. Authoritarian assholes are soulmates, shallow and deluded calling to shallow and deluded.

That topic is so painful that I want to veer off into asking if there are other Stinquers who love Alan Furst’s novels. They are all about the same thing as the Thompson article: what will the hero (some heroines, too) do when under enormous pressure to either knuckle under to Nazis or figure out how to outwit (evade, escape, live to fight another day, sabotage, eliminate, undermine, save others from the clutches of, cripple, kill) the Nazis. I find them very consoling (me reading, hoping I’m not just fiddling while Rome burns, but instead gathering strength to at least contribute to Planned Parenthood and write to my witless congressperson and senators [Lugar is not witless but alas powerless, the only R I have ever voted for, but only once mind you and that was nearly 30 years ago, in my salad days]).

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