Monday, July 17, 2006

The Jihadis of Penzance

For all you Gilbert & Sullivan fans

I came across this in the Asia Times whilst trawling for views on the Middle-East crisis. It was linked from its authors current column piece , in which he compares Dubya to Forest Gump. Some serious insights here, and the G&S spoof is a hoot.
"US policy has turned to dust and ashes. Watching Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on television, it occurred to me that she had borrowed a makeup artist from Night of the Living Dead. On reflection, it is more likely that she has not slept in a week.

Rather than a stable and democratic Iraq, Bush will leave Iraq a killing field. Oil-supply disruption will derail the world economic recovery......

Gumpishness in Washington arose from a fallacy of composition: the belief that if US democracy could be constructed from immigrants of every culture and creed, then it could be exported to countries of every culture and creed. But Americans abandoned their cultures to join a new one. They are self-selected to be Americans. By adverse selection, those who clung to their cultures remained behind.

Only a delusion of surpassing consolation could prompt the extremes of denial that Washington has evinced over the past year. If a stupider idea possessed statesmen than the proposition that democracy could thrive in Lebanon in the presence of an Iranian-controlled military organization more powerful than the Lebanese army, I do not know what it was. Bush believed that drawing Hezbollah into democracy would persuade them to abandon terrorism. In a March 16 press conference he said:

Our policy is this: We want there to be a thriving democracy in Lebanon. We believe that there will be a thriving democracy, but only if - but only if - Syria withdraws ... her troops completely out of Lebanon ... I like the idea of people running for office. There's a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America. I don't know, I don't know if that will be their platform or not. But it's - I don't think so. I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I'm looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table.

The whole matter was so preposterous that I framed it as a Gilbert and Sullivan spoof."
Here is one of the Choruses from that spoof - sung to the tune of "When the Felon's Not Engaged in His Employment"

(The President with White House chorus:)

When the suicidal bomber's not a-bombing,
(Not a-bombing)
When the sniper isn't looking down his sight,
(Down his sight)
There is nothing in their actions that's alarming,
(That's alarming)
And surely not a pretext for a fight.
(For a fight)
I had promised them a bully war on terror,
(War on terror)
But of terrorists made not a mention one,
(Mention one)
Let's assume the other fellow was in error,
(Was in error)
And if asked to, will make plowshares of his gun.
(Oh! But of terrorists he made not mention one, mention one,
And we hope they will make plowshares of their gun, of their gun.)

Forest Gump piece here
The Jihadis of Penzance piece here

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