Thursday, May 02, 2002

Instapundit and I obviously inhabit different universes generally, but this comment by him demonstrates by just how much. He was apparently impressed with C.J.'s speech on the West Wing last night (reproduced below) blasting the Saudi treatment of women...and impressed that "even liberals" are starting to knock the Saudi government.

I'm sure that in Instapundit's universe, liberals are either of the E.J. Dionne kind or the Noam Chomsky kind, with not a bit of air inbetween. Human Rights Groups, Feminist Groups, all manner of "liberal groups" have spent years screaming about Saudi Arabia. But, because it didn't break through quite loudly enough into the punditverse, it must not have happened.

This is much like the sudden turnabout on the Taliban post-9/11. Until that time, it was Righties who were throwing around arguments of cultural relativism to justify the Taliban's treatment of women, and liberals who would have been more than happy to topple them. After 9/11, Righties accused wobbly liberals of supporting the Taliban (or, in Ann Coulter's case, being the Taliban), because some of us were slightly concerned about how many innocent civilians would be killed in the process.

As Charles Murtaugh points out, it isn't liberals who generally have the Realpolitik bent.

Here's CJ's speech [on the Saudi schoolgirls who burned alive]:

Outraged? I'm barely surprised. This is a country where women aren't allowed to drive a car. They're not allowed to be in the company of any man other than a close relative. They're required to adhere to a dress code that would make a Maryknoll nun look like Malibu Barbie. They beheaded 121 people last year for robbery, rape, and drug trafficking. They have no free press, no elected government, no political parties, and the royal family allows the religious police to travel in groups of six, carrying nightsticks, and they freely and publicly beat women. But Brutus is an honorable man. Seventeen schoolgirls were forced to burn alive because they weren't wearing the proper clothing. Am I outraged? No, Steve, no Chris, no Mark. That is Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace.