Thursday, May 06, 2004

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

Wherein I Have My Say

Jokers to the right

I'm not sure that the kind of mood that the President is expressing is going to be the mood of all of Americans 'cause there are a lot of Americans who are going to say, Look, our troops are in a terrible situation there. The Iraqis are not behaving as many Americans would have hoped they would have and there is, I think, a little bit of residual anger in the United States. I mean, is this the sort of thing that defeats Presidents? Um, no. Is it the kind of thing that causes reverberations up and down the hierarchy and forces action and a better policy? Yes, it is that kind of thing.
- David Frum, former advisor and speechwriter to the administration of Bush fils
Is this the sort of thing that does irreperable damage to one's reputation in the Arab world, at least in the short-term? Yes, it is that kind of thing, you dumb-ass bitch! Given a choice between practicing accountability (for once) and evading it, the former will do the US more long-term good in the Arab world, even though it might hurt President Bush's bid for re-election. But we all know that our President would never put his own interests above those of the country, would he?

While we're at it, Frum, where the f*ck do you get off expressing Americans' "residual anger" at Iraqis who "have not behaved as many Americans would have hoped they would have"? If they had invited us in and therefore owed us some small degree of indulgence, then a "little bit of residual anger" might be justifiable. But we did this over the objections of, oh, I don't know, damn near everybody! My anger that this was done by people wearing my flag, acting effectively as a representative of me as a citizen of the United States on my tax dollar is a hell of a lot more than "residual".
They must also understand that what took place in that prison does not represent America.
- President Bush
Those who mistreated Iraqis may not be representative of most Americans but they are Americans nonetheless, which means that what they did reflects poorly on the rest of us, especially given that we invaded Iraq over the objections of so many. So whine all you want about how unfair it is for all Americans to be tainted by the actions of a few. As my primary school teacher was so fond of reminding me, Life's not fair.

Clowns to the left of me
So President Bush disappointed the Arabs in fact because he didn't apologize and he denied that this is part of [unintelligible] or of a culture that is entrenched in America. These people came to a different environment and they don't respect the culture and traditions of the Iraqi people and it seems that the propaganda which preceded the war that allowed them to deal with the Iraqis as enemies and this is going on 'til now.
- Ali Hamid, Arab League Ambassador in London
So for all the parroting of "Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam," Abu Ghraib is "part of a culture that is entrenched in America". F*ck you, you f*cking hypocrite.
What he's trying to do is trying to minimize the impact of what has happened and confine the story into a few soldiers' abuse.
- Navin Hamdar, who works for an American-funded charity in Cairo on President Bush's appearance on Arabic television
Right you are, Ms. Hamdar, just like Muslims tried to minimize the impact of September 11th and Madrid, confining the story into the extremism of a few.
They claim to be the protectors of democracy and look at what they're doing to the people. I don't think anybody's going to buy it in the Arab world maybe in the States they would but here I don't think they would.
- "woman on the street" in Cairo
Well, Muslims claim to follow "a religion of peace" but look at what they did to people on September 11th, in Madrid, in Bali, what they're doing right now in southern Thailand (thirteen-year-old Buddhist monk hacked to death, for f*ck's sake!) I don't think anybody's going to buy it outside the Arab world and segments of the extreme Left, but everywhere else I don't think they would.
How would the Americans feel if this happened to them by Iraqis in America?
- "man on the street" in Baghdad
I'm going to answer your question with a question. How would Muslims feel if, say, Parsees still bitter about extermination and expulsion from their ancestral homeland hijacked a plane and flew it into the Ka'aba? Better still, they would celebrate this act in the streets on live television, talk about how much Muslims deserved it for their imperialist past and, as a topper, utterly insult Muslims' intelligence by blaming it, ludicrously, on Israel.

You know what, many Muslims probably would buy that. [irony]In fact, considering America's loyal support, Israel probably owes it the US to take a few hits. From now on, Mr. President, whatever goes wrong, blame it on Israel and rest assured that the Muslims of the world will believe you![/irony]