Monday, April 29, 2013

The Madonna Factor

         "Osama, that American singer, now she sings of being like a virgin. She is mocking The Messenger and Allah!"
       "You are right, Mohamed. We can not allow this. Go and call Khalid, Nawaf, and Ziad. Then get 15 more. Go to America. Take flight training. When you are ready, you must hijack several American airplanes. Fly them into tall buildings, the taller the better. Forget your family, your friends, the wonderful life you had planned. This will not stand."
       "Okay, Osama. But one thing..."      
       "Yes, Mohamed?" 
        "That 'stand' business. Please, no more George Bush impersonations."
       Does anyone really believe that the problem we're facing is people who hate us just because they don't like our way of life, our freedoms? That they hate us so much that they would come all the way over here and kill us, and themselves, just because they don't like the way we live, our music, our movies?  Whew! Talk about being 'killed' by a bad review in the Times.
       Does that really make any sense? Could there be more to it than just that?
       Hard to believe but there was a time when America was widely respected and admired in the Middle East. We had the same freedoms then that we have now, similar way of life, maybe slightly different music and culture but not really all that different. Of course, that was also before oil became such an issue. And before we were supporting the Shah, the Saudi royal family and all the rest. Just a coincidence?
       Think it might have made a difference if we weren't always the ones backing those guys? Who knows? There are fringe people everywhere and they're always looking for an excuse to do bad things to people. But still...
       Maybe The Founders really were onto something with that business about staying out of everyone else's affairs, i.e., "Peace, commerce and friendly relations with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Worth a try? For a change? Maybe. 

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