the talking dog

August 20, 2004, They Don't Like Us... They Really Don't Like Us...

It seems that the lip service we have been giving to efforts to improve our standing among residents of the Arab and Moslem world has... not won the hearts and minds of Arabs and Moslems.

Lots of reasons, of course, from the gulags we are running not just in Guantanimo Bay, Cuba, but at Bargram Airbase, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and all over Iraq and the CIA ghost prisons world wide, our sheer brutality in general in the handling of the Iraq Adventure, and of course, our people's total non-concern for the worst public relations move by the West in the Arab world since the Crusades (maybe some good news there, btw, as it appears that Baby Sadr and his militia, the "Mahdi Army", have ceded control of the Mosque to Iraqi police.) That would be good news indeed. The siege, however, has further hardened Moslem opinion against the United States (whose puppet Iraqi PM Allawi is-- and is seen as such by the entire world, other than the American media, apparently). Was destruction-of-the-planet-brinksmanship really necessary to oust a relatively minor thug who was interested primarily in collecting tolls from visiting Shia pilgrims?

Well, this is the problem with having arrogant, ideological and not very bright when you get right down to it people running our country. They just have no understanding for the senstivities of the locals-- anywhere, really-- nor do they give a bleep about it. The fact is, they simply assume Najaf is another unimportant desert locale that doesn't have oil under it, so how important is it? I heard Juan Cole on National Palestine Radio (NPR) this morning, who advised that Americans are just so out of it: we have no idea how grave the Najaf situation is (or hopefully, was). Besides the Imam Ali shrine being the most holy site to Shia Moslems (who reside in large numbers in, besides Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon, i.e., the world's most potent exporters of terrorism), because it is the last resting place of Mohammed's cousin and son-in-law (same guy), it is also one of the holiest sites in Sunni Islam. Professor Cole's blog, Informed Consent, a long-time dog run member, has much on this subject, including how he feels this could well be yet another electoral disaster for Bush-- as the Arab-American community, largely based in Dearborn, Michigan, but present in other places, may abandon Bush in droves over this, and take others with them.

Well, I'm just going to thank Allah on this Islamic-Holy-Day-Friday for ending the Najaf shrine stand-off (or pray to whatever deity or deities are listening to this frequency that if it's not over now it will be soon) without irreparable damage.
Having heavy-handedly taken such a grave a risk for very little strategic gain, however, this is not likely to improve our... awful... public relations standing with the hearts and minds of the Arab and Islamic world.

Like we care.

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