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Right Intention: Steyn Again

Friday, March 04, 2005

Steyn Again

I love his stuff. A little early on the victory lap, I think, but I love it nonetheless.

By the way, when’s the next Not In Our Name rally? How about this Saturday? Millions of Nionists can flood into Trafalgar Square to proclaim to folks in Iraq and Lebanon and Egypt and Jordan and Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority that all the changes under way in the region are most certainly Not In Their Name. Among the celebrity Nionists, Harold Pinter should be available to denounce Blair as a ‘war criminal’ and a ‘hired Christian thug’ one mo’ time. For as the Guardian reported this week, the great man announced that ‘he has decided to abandon his career as a playwright in order to concentrate exclusively on politics’.

I would love to see another anti-war rally. If it was near me I'd even go and watch. Sort of like going to a zoo.

But I doubt their hearts would be in it. Wouldn't have the same verve, I expect.

A couple of years back, I went to hear Paul Wolfowitz. I knew him only by reputation — the most sinister of all the neocons, the big bad Wolfowitz, the man whose name started with a scary animal and ended Jewishly. In fact, he was a very soft-spoken chap, who compared the challenges of the Middle East with America’s experiments in democracy-spreading after the second world war. He said he thought it would take less time than Japan, and maybe something closer to the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe. I would have scoffed, but he knew so many Iraqis by name — not just Ahmed Chalabi, but a ton of others.

Around the same time, I bumped into Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister and man of letters. He was just back from Egypt, where he’d been profoundly moved when he’d been asked to convey the gratitude of the Arab people to President Chirac for working so tirelessly to prevent a tragic war between Christianity and Islam. You don’t say, I said. And, just as a matter of interest, who asked you to convey that? He hemmed and hawed and eventually said it was President Mubarak. Being a polite sort, I rolled my eyes only metaphorically, but decided as a long-term proposition I’d bet Wolfowitz’s address book of real people against Villepin’s hotline to over-the-hill dictators. The lesson of these last weeks is that it turns out Washington’s Zionists know the Arab people a lot better than Europe’s Arabists.

Man, he's good. And I'm not sure how one can argue the bolded point. Either the Arabists were completely wrong or, in my opinion, they were lying because they valued stability (read business connections) more than freedom for the masses. Neither alternative is attractive.

The other day I found myself, for the umpteenth time, driving in Vermont behind a Kerry/Edwards supporter whose vehicle also bore the slogan ‘FREE TIBET’. It must be great to be the guy with the printing contract for the ‘FREE TIBET’ stickers. Not so good to be the guy back in Tibet wondering when the freeing thereof will actually get under way. For a while, my otherwise not terribly political wife got extremely irritated by these stickers, demanding to know at a pancake breakfast at the local church what precisely some harmless hippy-dippy old neighbour of ours meant by the slogan he’d been proudly displaying decade in, decade out: ‘But what exactly are you doing to free Tibet?’ she demanded. ‘You’re not doing anything, are you?’ ‘Give the guy a break,’ I said back home. ‘He’s advertising his moral virtue, not calling for action. If Rumsfeld were to say, “Free Tibet? Jiminy, what a swell idea! The Third Infantry Division go in on Thursday”, the bumper-sticker crowd would be aghast.’

But for those of us on the arrogant unilateralist side of things, that’s not how it works. ‘FREE AFGHANISTAN’. Done. ‘FREE IRAQ’. Done. Given the paintwork I pull off every time I have to change the sticker, it might be easier for the remainder of the Bush presidency just to go around with ‘FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]’. Not in your name? Don’t worry, it’s not.

How true. And the vaunted Arab Street will know, too.

(Thanks, Chrenkoff)


Blogger Greenmiler said...

Steyn keeps getting better; gotta piss off the euros.. How'd you like to have a few pints with that guy!!

7:03 PM  
Blogger RD said...

No doubt. He'd be a great drinking buddy.

7:46 PM  

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