Today's Blogs

Mosque Casualties

Bloggers yawn at the news that the Shiite mosque in Samarra was bombed a second time. They also interpret Justice Samuel Alito’s remark that free-speech restrictions are “dangerous” and are darkly amused by Iran’s war on porn stars.

Mosque casualties: Askariya, a partially destroyed Shiite mosque in the Iraqi city of Samarra, * was bombed yesterday by Iraqi insurgents, causing the destruction of two of the building’s minarets. Bloggers don’t find the news particularly surprising.

Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House shrugs: “It’s happened before. The same appeals for calm are coming from the same people. And the same kind of retaliation can be expected in the coming days that occurred in February of 2006.”

Bill Roggio at the Weekly Standard’s World Standard is wary of the news: “Early reports of sectarian violence and of the destruction of mosques should be treated with caution. … Al Qaeda, Muqtada al Sadr, and other elements looking to incite further violence will manufacture incidents as part of their sophisticated Information Operations.”

Liberal Stephen Leigh wonders if the United States is taking the right approach with Shiite insurgent Moqtada al-Sadr, who blamed America for the bombing: “[Are] we engaging in talks and negotiations with this man, who has ties to Iran, who has immense influence among the minority Shia population, and who might be able to help us curb the violence in this country if we can convince him that we’re not Sunni-sympathetic lackeys ourselves. But I doubt we’re doing that— we’re too busy calling him the ‘radical anti-American Muslim cleric.’ He may be all of those things, but aren’t we allowing him to remain so? Aren’t we making him a self-fulfilling prophecy?”

Left-wing street journalist David Goodner at the Des Moines Register’sStraight Out of the Cornfield rebuffs attempts to blame Iran for the rising tide of violence, then pleads for peace: “The cycle of bloodshed will only stop when we put down our weapons, and offer our open hands instead.”

In response to the news that U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces were behind the attack, Hubert Xapiens at Bad Thinking quips: “It’s nice to know you can always trust people to do a good job.”

Read more about the destruction of Samarra.

Speech, speech!: Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito may have hinted at the outcome of several impending Supreme Court cases, saying that he believes restrictions on free speech are “dangerous.”

The liberal Dot Common Sense is conflicted about the possible implications of Alito’s comment on two cases in particular: the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” student-speech suit and a challenge to the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance-reform legislation: “On the one hand his vote could pass the U.S. political system over to the highest bidders in a gutting of the intent of the McCain Feingold campaign finance reform law.  (I’ve never figured out why paid political advertisements which cost millions to produce and distribute qualify as ‘free speech’.) One the other it might protect the free speech of the young man who displayed the sign ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus.’”

Sophistic Miltonian Serbonian Blog, a “legally-tinged ode to arcania,” also speculates on the divergent results a pro-speech Alito vote might produce: “If he votes as he indicated he feels, the student who unfurled a ‘Bong Hits for Jesus’ banner along a school parade route might be vindicated and a current presidential candidate might be finished electorally.”

And Pejman Yousefzadeh at conservative RedState praises Bush for nominating a justice who might end up rejecting a bill that the president himself supported: “Whatever the depth of displeasure with President Bush from his natural constituency found in the right-of-center section of the political spectrum—and make no mistake, that displeasure is considerable—it should be noted that thanks to the President’s two Supreme Court nominees, free speech may very well get a significant boost. McCain-Feingold is bad legislation.”

Read more on what Justice Alito’s comments signal for free speech.

Make war, not porn: Iran’s parliament approved a bill that would lead to the execution of any Iranian caught producing or acting in porn films. It’s widely believed that the legislation was a reaction to a sex tape released last year by Iranian soap star Zahra Amir Ebrahimi.

“Paris Hilton is lucky she doesn’t live in Iran,” writes Jessica McBride of McBride’s Media Matters. “She thinks a couple of days in jail is bad?”

Chris at The Blog of Hilarity deadpans: “I think they’re completely correct with this. … You can’t have your women running around, shedding their burkas, showing off their filthy whorish necks, hair swinging around free and loose. It’s sick. What if my son Gilgamesh sees that? He’d be forever corrupted from the words of the Quran and slip into a life filled with Abercrombie t-shirts, libations, and protected sex.”

Read more about the impending doom of Iranian porn stars.

Correction, June 14, 2007: This article originally and incorrectly stated that the Shiite mosque whose minarets were damaged in a bombing was called the Samarra mosque and was located in Baghdad. The mosque is called Askariya and is located in the city of Samarra, Iraq. (Return  to the corrected sentence.)