Focal Points

TODAY’S FOCAL POINTS begin with a correction: my frequent and always welcome e-mail correspondent Allegra tells me I got it wrong when I credited her with writing out the Lakota story of the original White Buffalo encounter (May 27). Allegra says the text was forwarded to her by a woman whose screen name is danu, lower-case letters intentional, and Allegra asks me to post according. Since I should have double-checked with Allegra on the source of the text (but didn’t because I was in a hurry), the fault is ultimately mine. The lesson – of course – is an old one: “never assume anything.” Sorry, folks.

But that’s not the only lesson here today. There is another, and I think it is far more important:

My first version of the above correction included the phrase, “describing the Lakota myth of the White Buffalo.” Then suddenly I was struck very hard by the nasty ethnocentric prejudice (and implicit belittlement) in almost any non-anthropological use of the term “myth.” Would we unthinkingly label a Bible-story a “myth”? Do we speak of the “myth” of Jesus? Then how dare we – myself very much included – label a story “myth” that is every bit as important and spiritually significant to the Lakota (and to the Plains People in general) as the Christmas story is to Christians or the Passover story is to Jews? And why in the name of all the gods that are did it take me until I was 64 years old to figure that out? Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Now on to today’s links:

THE PRESIDENT FINALLY GETS WITH IT: As regular readers of this site know, I am a Bush supporter who has nevertheless been relentless in my criticism of the President. But now there is reason for genuine praise that seems genuinely deserved. Because I did not see the event in question, I can provide no firsthand comment – save that if the following account is true (and I have every reason to believe it is), it offers the bright new possibility of a desperately hoped-for and clearly necessary tactical change in the President’s re-election strategies. The link to this uplifting report is here.

ANOTHER UN/TERRORIST OUTRAGE: Michelle Malkin scores another of her journalistic coups with an exclusive report on how United Nations officials knowingly allow Islamic terrorists to borrow U.N. ambulances to haul terrorists from one ambush site to another. The terrorists are also using the ambulances to transport suicide-bombing equipment, in one instance concealing a bomb under a sick Palestinian child. But Malkin’s most infuriating disclosures are that many of these ambulances were paid for by U.S. taxpapers – and that the U.S. mainstream media is deliberately suppressing the story, no doubt in service to the Big Lie that “Islam means Peace.” But Malkin clearly knows that what Islam truly means is “submission” – submission to slavery, submission to sharia, submission to the global caliphate – and her eye-opening report, a vital read, is available here.

UNDER THE RADAR, FAST: This is an important description of warfare in Iraq and a scathing analysis of its aftermath of howling critics and pontificating politicians. I won’t give away the story with more detail, but I emphatically urge you to link to it, here.

THE QUAGMIRE OF POST-WAR GERMANY: While I knew there had been substantial unrest in conquered Germany – how could there not have been after a dozen years of Adolf Hitler’s agitation and Josef Goebbels’ propaganda – I did not realize the extent of the troubles. But this report provides an interesting perspective on events in post-war Iraq. It suggests that restive populations may well be the norm in all such circumstances – a disclosure that makes the administration’s blunders of planning and intelligence all the more objectionable, but also gives what occurred an aura of inevitability. A thought-provoking read, the link is here.

posted by on June 2, 2004 02:32 PM