I thought that if anywhere there might be some tortuously fascinating rationale to explain away Hamid Karzai's "bags of cash" comments identifying Iran (and the US) as Big Daddy to the corruptocrats of the Karzai administration, it might appear at Contentions, possibly by Max Boot. I was not disappointed.
I was, however, stunned by the following quotation. Boot is arguing against the conclusions of a column by Fouad Ajami in which Ajami bemoans the lost "nobility" of our Afghan adventure. Boot writes:
As I suggested before, I respect Ajami’s views but in this case I do not agree with him. I believe there is just as much nobility to the war in Afghanistan as to the one in Iraq. We are, after all, fighting to make good on our post-9/11 promises to drive the Taliban out of power and establish a representative government in Afghanistan that will not sponsor terrorism or abuse its own people. The Taliban are as cruel as they come and sparing the people of Afghanistan from their misrule is a noble cause. So too is honoring the memory of America’s 9/11 shaheeds (martyrs) — the victims of al-Qaeda and their Taliban facilitators.
I had to read that last sentence over several times to make sure he was doing what I couldn't believe he was doing: tagging America's 9/11 dead as Islamic martyrs. This is not only grossly incorrect, it belies a shockingly cavalier attitude toward (if not ignorance of) the enemy threat doctrine of jihad -- both its precepts and their import for all those who have died and continue to suffer for it.
It's very simple. The authoritative book of sharia (Islamic law), Reliance of the Traveler, tells us on page 235 "A martyr (shahid) means someone who died in battle with non-Muslims...." That only describes, for Muslims, the jihadists on the airplanes.
Update: Andy McCarthy weighs in here.