The Limbo Rock
"Are you a worshipper of the Cross?" Probably not, even if you are a Christian, insofar as you are not supposed to worship things. But I doubt that matters to al Qaeda.
According to the Reuters article, al-Qaeda doesn't exactly like any "worshippers of the Cross" and say so in terms so howlingly blood-curdling they are almost comical.
"We tell the worshipper of the cross (the Pope) that you and the West will be defeated, as is the case in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya," said an Internet statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group led by Iraq's branch of al Qaeda. "We shall break the cross and spill the wine. ... God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome. ... God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahideen," said the statement.
Jonah Goldberg perceptively points out that these statements horrify us, not because of what they actually say -- we are almost impervious to the actual message -- but because they are an affront to our self-esteem. We don't want to love so much as need to be loved.
I don't think the Pope's original comments have elicited nearly as much authentic rage as the images on TV would suggest. But I do think those driving these protests and whipping up anger know what they're doing. The West wants to be loved. It can't stand the idea that somebody — anybody — doesn't like us. This is doubly so in Europe and perhaps triply so at the Vatican. So much of European — and American liberal — foreign policy is based on the idea that being disliked is an enormous indictment, a sign of serious moral failings on our part, rather than resentment, envy or scapegoating on the part of those fomenting anti-Americans. What have we done wrong to make you hate us so!? And so we apologize again and again. Anyone remember Bill Clinton's global apology tour?
Didn't work the first time? Repeat as often as necessary.