Re: The terrorism meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun 17 Nov 2002 - 16:43:41 GMT

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    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >Subject: Re: The terrorism meme
    >Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 07:24:47 -0800
    >>----- Original Message -----
    >>From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >> > >The fact is that the real blame for the deaths is not the terrorist
    >> > >fault, the blame lies by the US government consequently staying
    >> > >in areas where they don 't belong.
    >Who decides who belongs where? The terrorists? If I remember right we
    >were protecting Muslims from the invasion of Kuait and the attempted
    >invasion of Saudi Arabia. We were invited there by those governments.
    >Some people don't like us there, but they don't run the governments of
    >those countries -- although they'd like to.
    >I can't see where they have any more right to than the people who are
    >actually running them.
    I can imagine that some Japanese are tired of US military presence in Japan, but I am not aware of any Japanese terrorists looking to oust us by force or issueing proclomations about killing Americans.

    Let's do a little cultural comparison shall we? Let's say an American G.I. stationed in Japan meets a nice Japanese girl and starts dating her. They walk around town hand in hand and make plans to marry and start a family. He meets her parents and all is well.

    Now let's look at an American G.I. stationed in Saudi Arabia. He somehow winds up meeting a nice Saudi girl. What are the prospects for their relationship? Would it get to the hand holding in public stage? Would her family care to meet him?

    Yet OTOH is it quite alright for a Saudi man to meet a nice American girl, date and take her as a wife?

    I think my little thought experiment points out some serious issues that must be taken into consideration. We hear of how ignorant Americans are of Arab culture and how intolerant and chauvinistic we are, yet, the irony meter explodes when we look at the Saudi microcosm where chauvinism and intolerance apparently abound.

    Liberalization and "Westernization" are met with resistance and American presence drives folks like bin Laden into a rabid frenzy of hatred. Americans are like a cancer that must be excised from the Arabian body, before we metastasize and spread throughout the peninsula.
    >No, that's not all. They want American culture out. They want our movies
    >and our business practices and our ideas of freedom out of their countries.
    > And they only way they can see to do that is to drive us out and make our
    >culture criminal in the lands they occupy.
    Speaking of movies, I think Saudi culture could be likened to the situation in that town portrayed in "Footloose". It's like "Footloose" on steroids, because I don't recall, in the movie, any *mutawwiin*: "Literally, those who volunteer or obey; sometimes known by popular name of Committees for Public Morality, or more formally, as the Committees for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" [from the Glossary of _Saudi Arabia: a Country Study_ 1993. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress]. What would John Lithgow's character have done with these mutawwiin at his disposal? How would Kevin Bacon have fared?

    That's the threat American GI's and others pose for Saudi culture. These Americans are like so many Keven Bacons ready to transmit their contagions of dancing and music. The Lithgows amongst the religious leaders see this as a threat. Unlike "Footloose" I don't see much chance for a happy ending or Kenny Loggins theme song.

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