Update: A Month Later, Still no Action on the Boykin Front

November 30, 2003

Source: Los Angeles Times


On November 30, 2003 the Los Angeles Times reported that despite the fact that over a month has passed since General William G. "Jerry" Boykin's comments on Islam, the Bush administration has done little to support or condemn him. According to the Times, "While the Pentagon investigates Boykin's remarks, the passage of time is turning the episode into a no-win dilemma for the Bush administration, pitting its need to reach out to the Arab world against the sentiments of fundamentalist Christians, who form a core constituency heading into an election year. Both camps are livid about the White House response to Boykin's remarks — President Bush has distanced himself but has not taken any steps to remove him — and profess amazement that the matter has not yet been resolved in their favor. The battle over Boykin shows a Bush administration torn between its policy imperatives and its political interests — a White House hoping the controversy will fade away, or maybe that Boykin will. In an administration where the president himself is a born-again Christian, punishing believers does not come naturally. 'There's a school of thought that says the whole thing may die down and you can ignore it, but that's just the domestic side. It doesn't take the impact in the Middle East into account,' said an official who recently left the Bush administration."