Sunday, October 05, 2008

OK, fine, one more on Sinkford and Ahmadinejad

I actually thought I was done with this topic. Completely disgusted, yet done. A very smart and sensitive minister of my acquaintance has advised me to put together a letter on this and try to convince people to sign it, but I know me and that's exactly the sort of project I start with enthusiasm and embarass myself by flaking on.

Anyway, what aqueezed one more post out of me was Ms. Kitty linking to this, an article on the Fellowship of Reconciliation website about reactions to the meeting. What gets me is that a Catholic peace worker who participated mentions in his letter that he understands why the questions had to be "filtered."

So basically, Ahmadinejad picked the questions he wanted to answer, knew in advance what they would be and had his glib little answers all prepared.

It wasn't even amateur diplomacy, kids, it was theatre, with Sinkford cheerfully playing the part that the man who stones people to death let him play.

And then saying he couldn't imagine President Bush doing the same thing.*

Actually, President Bush uses PR opportunities where only selected people are allowed to ask selected questions all the time.

It's just that liberals generally have the sense not to play along, and nobody calls Jeff Gannon "courageous."

I am so sick of hearing about Sinkford's "courage."

You people DO know that even if you are actually speaking out against Ahmadinejad as opposed to helping him, he can only have people who disagree with him killed back in his home country, right?

CC

*Again, I'm not a Bush fan, but that was INCREDIBLY inappropriate, though I'm sure it made Ahmadinejad's day. That bitter little statement more than anything else says to me that this was primarily an ego thing for Sinkford.

Ps. Would someone please mention this on the ministers' chat? The one non-blogging minister I talked to about this was pretty horrified, but hadn't heard about it since these days most people pretty much ignore Press Releases from the UUA about what a great guy Sinkford is for doing something political.

17 comments:

ms. kitty said...

CC, I have asked for a conversation about this situation on the ministers' chat and so far nobody has chimed in. I don't know why, for sure, as other controversial topics get their day in the sun.

Robin Edgar said...

I think I have a very credible explanation for the silence of the U*U ministers Rev. Ketchum and said so on your blog. . . Thanks once again for posting the following comment that is worth repeating here -

I would interpret the general lack of conversation about UUA President Bill Sinkford's meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the ministers' email list and elsewhere as most likely being embarrassed silence, particularly in light of what has already been posted on some minister's blogs. Let's face it. There are very few U*U ministers lavishing praise on President Sinkford for his alleged "incredibly courageous" and "historic" PR stunt. You know the old saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." It applies very well to U*U ministers who pretty well have such a code of silence written into the UUMA Guidelines and Code of Professional Practice (PDF file). N'est-ce pas?

I have to say that it is certainly quite refreshing to see some U*U ministers disregarding this Omerta-like code of silence that strongly discourages U*U ministers from publicly criticizing the actions of their colleagues. Would that more U*U ministers would openly criticize questionable behaviour of their colleagues, to say nothing of the unquestionably unprofessional and unbecoming conduct of some U*U ministers.

end quote

BTW CC in reference to your comment on Rev. Ketchum's blog in which you said.

LF said it best in my comments:

"One thing I retain from him is a conclusion that diplomacy of the sort to which Sinkford was pretending in this encounter is not for amateurs. Sinkford has now become one of the numerous Westerners who have been used by a master of such ploys as he experienced."

end quote

I would say that LF put it very well indeed, but I think that Rev. Scott Wells put it rather more succinctly and pithily and thus *best* in my view when he said -

"There’s a difference between a diplomat and a dilettante."

Then again there's a difference between a prophet and a patsy. . .

ogre said...

Oh, I don't know--I can imagine Bush participating in stoning someone pretty easily. He certainly found sending people to death easy and even entertaining as governor of Texas.

That said... from what I've read, it sounds like Sinkford got played.

Robin Edgar said...

Thanks for validating my variation on Rev. Scott Wells' theme Ogre. . . ;-)

Robin Edgar said...

OTOH your "imagining" regarding President George W. Bush actually participating in stoning someone to death has about as much credibility as President Bill Sinkford's "imagination" that President Bush would not take the time to honor questions about his actions the way Ahmadinejad did. Heck, the last time I checked, Ahmadinejad totally ignored all but one of President Sinkford's questions and responded to that one in a condescending and dismissive manner. N'est-ce pas Ogre?

Chalicechick said...

Both

""I would interpret the general lack of conversation about UUA President Bill Sinkford's meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the ministers' email list and elsewhere as most likely being embarrassed silence""

and

""I can imagine Bush participating in stoning someone pretty easily.""

are just speculation, and I don't think we have sufficient evidence for either.

CC

fausto said...

Actually, President Bush uses PR opportunities where only selected people are allowed to ask selected questions all the time.

It's just that liberals generally have the sense not to play along, and nobody calls Jeff Gannon "courageous."

I am so sick of hearing about Sinkford's "courage."


Snerk.

Robin Edgar said...

My assessment of the silence of the U*Us on the U*U ministers' list may be "speculation" CC but it is speculation aka guessing based on a fair bit of knowledge and experience about the behaviour of U*U ministers. It is what is known as an "educated guess". U*U ministers are actively discouraged from openly expressing criticism of their *fellowshipped* colleagues according to the terms of the UUMA Guidelines, and various forms of peer pressure and UUA coersion. The fact* that, so far. . . absolutely nothing has been said about President Sinkford's participation in the FOR meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the U*U ministers list speaks volumes. One would expect there to be very little criticism in light of the UUMA Guidelines and the even stronger and broader code of silence that exists amongst U*U ministers. The fact that there is no expression of praise there for President Sinkford's misguided and cynical PR stunt says plenty AFAIC.

Robin Edgar said...

Well as far as President Sinkford's alleged "courage" goes, I do believe that Rev. Kit Ketchum is the only person to have used that term in this instance. Who else has ever at any time spoken about the "courage" of President Sinkford? Or is CC just sick of hearing about Sinkford's courage even once?

Robin Edgar said...

For the record, I have reasonable grounds to accuse President Bill Sinkford of cowardice and indeed moral cowardice.

kim said...

""I can imagine Bush participating in stoning someone pretty easily.""

are just speculation, and I don't think we have sufficient evidence for either.


In all fairness, CC, saying "I can imagine" pretty much states it as speculation. It doesn't sound to me like he was trying to say anything else but "I speculate..."

Chalicechick said...

(((In all fairness, CC, saying "I can imagine" pretty much states it as speculation. It doesn't sound to me like he was trying to say anything else but "I speculate...")))

I know this, I just didn't want to point out that Robin's is speculation without pointing out that there was other speculation in the same thread.

To me, there's a huge gulf of a difference between executing murderers* in straightforward ways and torturing homosexuals to death and it is quite a leap to say that one capable of the first is automatically capable of the second.

Between these speculations, and Sinkford speculating about what Bush would do, and Bill Barr speculating that if Palin wanted to debate again and Biden did not that must automatically mean that Biden thinks Palin won, there are a lot of people assuming what other people think right now around here and I don't think it's particularly productive as everybody always assumes the worst of people they don't like.

((The fact* that, so far. . . absolutely nothing has been said about President Sinkford's participation in the FOR meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the U*U ministers list speaks volumes.))

Shrug. I talked to a minister about it Thursday and she didn't even know about it. My guess is that at this point, people are used to tuning out Rev. Sinkford's grandstanding.

CC


*Yes, it's always possible that one of them was innocent, but the courts didn't think so. And yes, the courts aren't always fair. I'm not saying Bush is humanitarian of the year by any means.

ms. kitty said...

I asked again on the ministers' chat and have gotten a few responses, none of them negative, at this point.

Bill Sinkford ran for president on a platform of public witness on social issues.

Chalicechick said...

(((Bill Sinkford ran for president on a platform of public witness on social issues.)))

Another reason he should have been protesting the meeting rather than helping Ahmadinejad.

CC

Bill Baar said...

We need the letter to Rev Sinkford.

It's not so much the meeting with Ahmadinejad (remember the Administration allowed Khatami to tour the US and Bush said he wanted to hear what he had to say) that's bad here. I think a Religious leader speaking to the world's only Theocracy is in a different position than the leader of a State.

But it's Sinkford's failure to speak by name those fellow religious sitting in Iran's prisons that needs to be called out. For not speaking out strongly against the worlds return to a death penalty for apostasy in Iran.

That's what Sinkford needs to be condemed for.

Sinkford could have used the opportunity to voice solidarity to fellow Religious Liberals in Iran and failed miserably for reasons I can't really fathom.

Bill Baar said...

A response and apolgy by Sinkford to this statement would be a great start.

At the end of my words ,I ask the clergymen of all religions to help me "as a person who is opposed to opinion inspection" and reflex my request to the related courts, also I ask the great Pope for serious and continuing advocate for my rightful demands and expect him to ask Christian governments and nations in the world to help me, also I ask authorities of Alazhar society, Mecca Darolfatva ( a place in Mecca for issuing religious statements ), and other issue centers of religious orders to remove the charges and ambiguity about real Islam with help this prisoner clergyman, and also I ask the presidents of Russia and china, that are supporters of Iran, to ask for my absolute and disputable release, by putting Tehran regime in pressure. I notify the members of uncommitted movement, of human duties in respect of oppressions of Iran government.

Seyed Hosein Kazemeini Boroujerdi

Tehran - Evin prison – Oct 2008
Paydar پایدار

Robin Edgar said...

"But it's Sinkford's failure to speak by name those fellow religious sitting in Iran's prisons that needs to be called out. For not speaking out strongly against the worlds return to a death penalty for apostasy in Iran.

That's what Sinkford needs to be condemed for."

I can think of several more issues that UUA President Bill Sinkford needs to be condemned for Bill. On the FOR meeting issues alone President Sinkford can be condemned for not speaking out strongly against Iran's enforcement of the death penalty for homosexuality and adultery in Iran. So I took the liberty of condemning him to this Photo-Op courtesy of The Emerson Avenger which provides rather blunt and graphic thousand word answers to his ever so "diplomatic" questions and concerns that Iranian President Ahmadinejad all but totally ignored.