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Can You Spot the "Intolerant Extremist?"
by Mike Lasalle
20 October 2003Mike LaSalle

According to the news media, Lt. General Boykin is something deeply sinister and disturbing: he is an evangelical Christian.

The Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for the United States, Lt. General William Boykin, is a former Delta Force commander with an extensive background in Special Operations. He is an expert in the war on terror, and has been an active participant in U.S. military operations in Iran, Granada, Panama, Columbia and Somalia. By any estimation he is a man of character, determination and intelligence. But, according to both NBC News and the now infamous Los Angeles Times, Lt. General Boykin is also something deeply sinister and disturbing: he is an evangelical Christian.

NBC News correspondent Lisa Myers opened the two-pronged assault on Lt. General Boykin in her piece broadcast on Wednesday's Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. The second and more detailed attack appeared in Thursday's edition of the Los Angeles Times.

The main thrust of this coordinated assault on the character of a good man and loyal soldier can be boiled down to this: Boykin's outspoken religious views might offend the sensitivities of radical Islamists around the world.

"Gen. Boykin's appointment to a high position in the administration is a frightening blunder at a time when there is widespread acknowledgment that the position of the United States in the Islamic world has never been worse," wrote the tremulous William Arkin in his Los Angeles Times opinion piece.

Indeed. Just yesterday three Americans were murdered in the Gaza Strip when terrorists exploded a bomb beneath their armor-plated diplomatic vehicle. An hour after the explosion, US investigators at the scene were pummeled with rocks thrown by laughing young Palestinian men. Mr. Arkin should calm himself; General Boykin's words and faith have absolutely no connection with these or any other bloody events in the Middle East.

Instead of wringing his hands over the words of an evangelical Christian in the Defense Department, Mr. Arkin would be well advised to consider the words of Prime Minister Mathathir Mohammad of Malaysia. But perhaps he doesn't know about Mr. Mathathir's exhortation to Islamic nations around the world to develop a pan-Islamic military force that could defeat Israel?

We should forgive Mr. Arkin his ignorance, because while the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC were devoting their news and opinion space to the character assassination of General Boykin, they exercised a virtual news blackout on the Organization of Islamic Conference summit in Malayasia -- the largest convention of Islamic leaders since 9/11.

During the conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Mathathir told leaders of the 57 nations assembled that Muslims "need guns and rocks, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships for our defense.... 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews." He added, "The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy."

The respectful silence emanating today from both the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC on this event is deafening -- though understandable in light of their shifty commitment to the principles of tolerance, diversity and culutural variation.

Given their condemnation of General Boykin as an "intolerant extremist" for expressing otherwise innocuous religious views while providing public service, you might wonder if the Times or MSNBC will similarly condemn Prime Minister Mathathir for these genuinely outrageous remarks?

In the immortal words of George Bernard Shaw: Not bloody likely.

Mike LaSalle is the editor and publisher of MensNewsDaily.com

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