September 09, 2003


Fouad Ajami on the superficialities of Islamic anti-Americanism:

In the burning grounds of the Muslim world and on its periphery, U.S. embassies and their fate in recent years bear witness to a duality of the United States as Satan and redeemer. The embassies targeted by the masters of terror and by the diehards are besieged by visa-seekers dreaming of the golden, seductive country. If only the crowd in Tehran offering itstired rhythmic chant "marg bar amrika" ("death to America") really meant it! It is of visas and green cards and houses with lawns and of the glamorous world of Los Angeles, far away from the mullahs and their cultural tyranny, that the crowd really dreams. The frenzy with which radical Islamists battle against deportation orders from U.S. soil— dreading the prospect of returning to Amman and Beirut and Cairo— reveals the lie of anti-Americanism that blows through Muslim lands.

Seems the emphasis in “Great Satan” should be on the “great”. And quote of the week from Major General James Mattis, on how to manage affairs in Iraq:

The Marine strategy was based on three principles. First, do no harm. That meant not alienating Iraqis by violating their religious or social customs. Women, for instance, should not be subject to intrusive searches. When talking to Iraqis, Marines were instructed to point their firearms away and take off their sunglasses. Above all, it meant using as little firepower as possible. As Mattis put it: "If someone needs shooting, shoot him. If someone doesn't need shooting, protect him."

Can’t argue with that. Wouldn’t want to argue with that.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 9, 2003 03:28 AM

[modesty]Well, I don't know about "great" but we do make a pretty darned good Satan.[/modesty]

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 9, 2003 at 09:57 AM

How come if I call one of them a Mohammmedan, everybody jumps all over me, but if one of them calls me a Satan it's a subject for mirth?

How about a little fairness here?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 9, 2003 at 11:46 AM

"If they run, they're VC"

"If they stand still, they're rave VC."

"What about the women and children?"

"You just don't lead 'em as much."

I think that was from Full Metal Jacket, but I am happy to be corrected.

Posted by: Razor at September 9, 2003 at 12:38 PM

"Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined VC."

Posted by: Harry at September 9, 2003 at 01:04 PM

Ajami on French anti-Americanism:

‘Colombani (publisher of Le Monde) described the U.S. republic as a fundamentalist Christian enterprise, its magistrates too deeply attached to the death penalty, its police cruel to its black population. A republic of this sort could not in good conscience undertake a campaign against Islamism. One can't, Colombani writes, battle the Taliban while trying to introduce prayers in one's own schools; one can't strive to reform Saudi Arabia while refusing to teach Darwinism in the schools of the Bible Belt; and one can't denounce the demands of the sharia (Islamic law) while refusing to outlaw the death penalty ...

... Anti-Americanism indulges France's fantasy of past greatness and splendor and gives France's unwanted Muslim children a claim on the political life of a country that knows not what to do with them.’

Life is so easy for the French. No moral distinctions need to be made.

Surrenderers. Collaborators. Aged-care experts.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 9, 2003 at 01:20 PM

Thanks Harry. Which Infidel stole my 'b'? - brave, not rave, unless the VC were really into that sort of thing.

Posted by: Razor at September 9, 2003 at 02:30 PM

When the Australian media, including the ABC, can produce journalists of the calibre of Ajami who can write reasoned, intelligent, logically-developed and coherent pieces like this one, they will be worthy of respect. The quality of this article shows how third-rate most of our columnists are.

Posted by: Rob (No.1) at September 9, 2003 at 04:20 PM

I'm with Rob on that one - If only some journos pulled their heads out of their arses and reported on what they saw rather than thought...

Posted by: Mike at September 9, 2003 at 05:55 PM

I am an avid reader of Tim's Bulletin articles and am very pleased that someone in The Media is ther to counterbalance all the left wing bias.
Thank you Tim, Bryan

Posted by: Bryan Mulholland at September 10, 2003 at 03:12 PM