Sunday, September 03, 2006
Zawahiri's wish and the March of Ignorance
Looney Tunes indeed.
Just recently Ayman al Zawahiri came out with a video calling for Americans to convert to Islam.
My initial take: What a profound misunderstanding of what America is all about, and then, what an arrogant disregard of anyone elses religious beliefs. And then I thought, Mr. no. 2 of Al- Queda really needs to watch some of the Bugs Bunny cartoons of the 1940s. They exemplify something about the American character, that these characters just don't get.Seriously.
There appears to be a lot of ignorance going around these days. And I mean in the sense of choosing to ignore information which is readily available, but not paying any attention to it, because it does not fit into your preconceived and hardened world view.
Zawahiri likely developed his ideas about America, from his study of the works of Sayyid Qutb, his mentor. Qutb was a hard core Egyptian fundamentalist who spent some time in American in the late 1940's. He was at what is now the Univ. of Northern Colo., in Greeley.
He apparantly saw some couples dancing and kissing back then, and from then on pronounced American society as decadent. If one reads about the origins of Al-Queda, a lot of roads lead back to Qutb. All these guys are as humorless as hell, have a fear of women's sexuality, and are totally devoted to their own obstruse versions of Islam.
Well, this leads into a very complex area. For those wanting to know more about Qutb, I suggest the Wikipedia article as a starting point.
Meanwhile GWB in a recent speech tossed out this bon mot:
"The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq.
In other words the Bush/Rumsfeld clash of the Titans of all time rhetoric machine is escalating big time.
In this regard I found Fred Kaplan's article over at the Slate helpful:
Bush Goes a Bridge Too Far:
The president's latest dumb speech.
"But one passage in particular reveals that the campaign is getting desperate:
The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq.
Here's the question: Does anybody believe this? If you do, then you must ask the president why he hasn't reactivated the draft, printed war bonds, doubled the military budget, and strenuously rallied allies to the cause.
If, as he said in this speech, the war in Iraq really is the front line in "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century"; if our foes there are the "successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists"; if victory is "as important" as it was in Omaha Beach and Guadalcanal—then those are just some of the steps that a committed president would feel justified in demanding.
Yet the president hasn't done any of those things, nor has anyone in his entourage encouraged him to do so. And that's because, while the war on terror is important and keeping Iraq from disintegrating is important, they're not that important. Osama Bin Laden is not Hitler or Stalin. Baghdad is not Berlin. Al-Qaida and its imitators don't have the economic resources, the military power, or the vast nationalist base that Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union had.
So, the speech sends the head buzzing with cognitive dissonances. There's the massively exaggerated historical analogy (which should have been obvious, if not insulting, to the World War II veterans in the audience). And there's the glaring mismatch between the president's gargantuan depiction of the threat and the relatively paltry resources he's mustered to fight it."
I would just add that Hitler, at one time had over 130 divisions on the Eastern Front alone. Neither Bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri command that many divisions or anything like that manpower in all their operations throughout the world.
And it would seem Al-Zawahiri has been living in a cave so long, he seems to think getting an American Muslim to make a video , will somehow get 290 million Americans to suddenly convert to Islam.
Inflated bombastic rhetoric, and vast misunderstandings over different cultures.
Makes it hard to lighten up. Even with Bugs Bunny cartoons from the 1940s. But, I think Bugs would know how to handle an Al- Zawahiri.