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December 22, 2007

Some Fresh Smileys With Your Cluster Bombs, Sir?

Andrew Sullivan, Dec. 2007:

Consider this hypothetical. It's November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm.

Forgive Sullivan's ignorant use of the word logarithm. Who cares if a man gets his mathiness all mangled up so long as his grey cells churn out such rare insights?

Now, at last, I see it.

If unwashed hordes of Muslims hate America, it's because Bush's grandfather was named Prescott; it's because Clinton's white skin burns in the sun; it's because Paris Hilton can't find a hijab to match her complexion; it's because Americans pray too loudly to their Christian, Jewish, Mormon, or Scientological gods; it's because of that damn over-used, misused, abused softy-soft power: too much Britney, not enough Oprah. I get it.

So wheel in a new president who is black, blue, yellow, or polka dot. Elect a new commander-in-chief with an exotic name and, voilà, all over Terroristan, I proudly say, hearts will melt faster than polar caps.

I'll confess I didn't see it that way at first. I thought it was not so much the "face of America" that bugged them Muslims but, rather, the spiked boot of America on their necks. I thought they might be a wee bit peeved that, from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, we supported every one of their bloody dictators faster than they could produce them.

I wondered if all that talk of bombing three Muslim countries in six years got them agitated somehow. And what did they make of our willingness to flush our constitution down the toilet just so we could torture them in secret donjons? And did they mind our rush to slaughter, maim, and humiliate them? And did they perhaps notice that, since 1991, no one has caused the deaths of more Muslims than we have? Wasn't that our "Muslim problem," I wondered?

Apparently, I wondered wrong.

Consider this hypothetical. It's November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. Suddenly, CIA agents burst into his house, beat him to a pulp, and waterboard him till he drowns. "Damn, Charlie, wrong house!"

Chris Matthews is beaming: "How lucky can the world be to have this young, dark-skinned man moving into the White House! Senator Biden, will Muslims have any excuse not to love us now?"

— Bernard Chazelle

Posted at December 22, 2007 07:48 PM

Shove it in and break it off. Now THATS campaigning. You gotta hand it to Grand Old Party of TREASON, they go down swinging.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 22, 2007 09:55 PM

What those Muslims should understand is that the American Way is not just about being the BEST game in town, it's about being the ONLY game in town. NOBODY would have to suffer that much if everyone just got convinced that Britney Spears, Burger King and SUVs constituted a legitimate philosophical viewpoint for living. "Let them Eat Big Macs or blow the bejeezus outta them" is the line of 21st Century American Marie Antoinettes.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at December 22, 2007 10:23 PM

Andrew Sullivan hasn't imploded yet from his rank idiocy? WHY?

Posted by: Dan Coyle at December 23, 2007 12:55 AM

Andrew Sullivan is the kind of guy who deserves to be called totally whacked out asshole. I remember him after 911 ranting whether those who oppose bombing of Afghanistan or iraq should be considered traitors or something on those lines.
The only thing he is good at is smelling the mood of room and then adjusting his "opinions" accordingly. I hear now he opposes war in iraq.
I saw him once screaming at Bill Maher for interviewing Noam Chomsky. He lied so much about Chomsky. I am sure he is following the big lie tactic of Nazis.
The man is utterly unpleasant.But it is not at all surprising he is a big journalist. Corporate Class requires such know nothings to peddle their propaganda.

Posted by: Ajit at December 23, 2007 12:07 PM

he may be saying he wants everyone to wear barack masks during interviews

Posted by: hapa at December 23, 2007 12:21 PM

I agree about the notch. The question then becomes, what does Obama do with it?

Especially when every neo-con who detests soft power and every Republican who detests being out of power spend every drip of venom they have trying to undermine Obama?

Whether or not Obama represents real change is one issue to worry about. Whether, if he is, he has the intelligence to make change is a second. Whether, if he is that too, he'll be able to is a third.

Posted by: bdr at December 23, 2007 02:55 PM

If anything, Sullivan's hypothetical Pakistani Muslim is probably going to look negatively on President Obama if he learns that, although his father was a Muslim and he spent part of his childhood in a Muslim country, Obama is a Christian.

Posted by: Gag Halfrunt at December 23, 2007 03:57 PM

Gag: good point!

brd: I think Obama's election will mean nothing to the world. But it'll mean something to us. Many (like me) would feel great joy in seeing in the White House a guy who would have been sent to the back of the bus a few years ago. It's a big deal.

But why should non-Americans care? Muslims in general strike me as less racist than white Christians and I don't see why the skin color of the guy in the oval office should matter to them.
Policy wise, Obama seems epsilon better than the others but if I were Iraqi I wouldn't exactly be jumping for joy.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at December 23, 2007 04:34 PM

I never cease to be amazed at the inconceivable amount of energy and resources dedicated to keeping the boundaries of national discourse tighter than a frog's ass.

From a purely rubbernecking standpoint, I can't help but be curious as to whether and when those in the business of manufacturing public opinion actually believe their own nonsense. Not that it matters. Either way, the scum rises to the top. Once a twerp like Sullivan - or, for that matter, Bill Maher - secures a toehold in the national psyche, they never, ever go away.

Posted by: Arvin Hill at December 23, 2007 04:42 PM

Well, his father was apparently raised Muslim.

Posted by: hf at December 23, 2007 11:32 PM

This is an argument (actually, THE argument) made by my girlfriend (who is Muslim) for her Obama support. My counter-argument is exactly Bernard's, that the good will created (which I think WOULD actually manifest) will last exactly as long as it will take to dispel the illusion of sainthood surrounding Obama (my guess, about six months). And then it would be even worse - "My god, even the dark ones hate us." But it's nice to dream. The audacity of hope!

Posted by: saurabh at December 24, 2007 01:08 PM

Not too worry. Senator Compromise will not be elected President this time or any other time.

The Dem base is on to his scam.

Posted by: A.Citizen at December 25, 2007 01:09 AM

But he's so clean.

Posted by: blondie at December 28, 2007 12:51 PM