I had to change the bumpersticker on the car yesterday. “Free Iraq” seemed so dated now, and besides could be misinterpreted as a call for the end of the so-called American “occupation” of Iraq (as if what the country needed was more non-occupation like Mogadishu…) And since people in my part of the country haven’t removed their “War is not the answer” and “No to war” stickers, I decided that I needed to counter their yuppie naiveté with some of my own yuppie neo-radicalism. So should you be driving around the streets of Portland and see a green Toyota Landcruiser with tinted windows and a sticker that says “Torture? Genocide? War IS the Answer sometimes…” be sure to honk. Don’t do anything else unless your windows are bullet resistant 😉
In three weeks America and its allies drained a nasty boil on the butt of civilization. In three weeks the rape rooms were permanently closed, Uday’s chipper shredders silenced forever, and the children freed from the “children’s prison”. Kuwait doesn’t have to worry about becoming the 19th province of Iraq again, and Israel doesn’t have to worry about chemical-tipped scud missiles landing on their soil. Families of homicide-bombers will no longer be paid with money that would be better spent feeding Iraqis; Iraqi exiles will no longer have to look over their shoulders. The marshes of southern Iraq will no longer be drained and most likely will be restored. Where there was fear for the present there is now hope for the future.
All this has been accomplished with no thanks to any of the following:
Susan-Tim-Sarandon-Robbins acting unit
College-dropout Michael Moore
The Dixie Chicks
Martin “Lookat Me! I’m Jesus!” Sheen
Pope “I’m not dead” John Paul II
“The (mythical) Arab Street”
International ANSWER (“I’ll take ‘Bored & Stupid Rich Kids for $100, Alex”)
BBC (Pravda on the Thames)
Take a look at those names and don’t forget them. I sure won’t – and neither will 23,000,000 Iraqis.
Before Newt Gingrich took a shot at Colin Powell at the American Enterprise Institute last week, he stated that he believed one problem with Americans is that we think of ourselves as “happy hamsters” when the rest of the world thinks of us as a large elephant in the living room whose every movement threatens to break the family heirlooms.
How Americans see themselves.
How the world sees Americans.
I thought that was a pretty astute observation, especially since it gives me the opportunity to put a picture of Hamtaro on this site.
Having spent the better part of my adulthood abroad, I have to agree. When an American travels, s/he suddenly becomes a representative of everything from the LA Race Riots to Slavery to Baseball. Americans tend to think that everyone in the world knows that we’re just a big nation full of “happy hamsters” – but the world recognizes that “happy hamsters” don’t take out a Middle Eastern country in 3 weeks of fighting. Hamsters don’t have the Marine Corps nor Special Ops units.
The world is starting to fear us – and that is a good thing. One of the reasons we endured the nightmare of September 11, 2001 is that our enemies didn’t fear us anymore. Osama Bin Laden and his supporters believed that we were hamsters, that we had grown soft, fat and furry. Since Bin Laden and his ilk live in the 12th Century, they failed to recognize the lesson the Japanese learned 60 years ago. They too had believed that Americans were hamsters incapable of defending themselves. As a result of that error we erased Japan and rebuilt it into the peaceful place that it is today. Bin Laden and his followers met the same fate as the Japanese military junta that engineered the attack on America.
What our supposed “allies” must understand is that while we may not be the hamsters that we think we are, being hamsters in a world of terror and failed Arab Culture isn’t feasible. While Hamtaro may not have to worry about becoming a cat-treat, he would if he turned up in my household.
It is in the world’s best interest that we continue to see ourselves in the USA as hamsters, but it isn’t in our own interest – nor the world’s. One fifth of the world’s population lives in a culture that cannot modernize, and so thrashes about looking for scapegoats and conspiracies. The only solution is for the USA to erase this culture and allow a new Arab culture to arise – one that is independent from the USA yet able to show Arabs that they can succeed without looking back or blowing up Americans and Jews.