We're Not Happy Campers
By Maureen 0aDowd
The New York Times
Thursday 11 September 2003
WASHINGTON The Saudi religious police are harassing Barbie.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice 0ais warning that the "Jewish" dolls banned in Saudi Arabia for a decade are a 0athreat to Islam.
The A.P. reported that a message posted on the mutawwa's Web site 0achided: "Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful 0apostures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. 0aLet us beware of her dangers and be careful."
This, from a hypocritical desert kingdom with more lingerie 0astores in its malls than Victoria has secrets.
It's probably useless to start correcting the inbred Saudis on 0afacts, but just for the record, Barbie was a knockoff of a German floozy 0adoll.
The place so eager to protect itself from "Jewish" toys and "the 0aperverted West," the breeding ground of the 9/11 hijackers, is still the Bush 0aadministration's close ally.
Osama bin Laden is urging the Muslim world to pursue a jihad 0aagainst America, even as America pursues a GWOT in the Muslim world. (GWOT is 0ahow some Pentagon documents refer to the Global War on Terror.) They're out to 0aget us, and we're out to get them.
Far from being the swift and gratifying lesson in U.S. dominance 0athat Cheney & Co. predicted, our incursion into Iraq is turning into a 0aspun-out, scary lesson in the dangers of hubris. Democrats are combing through 0athe $20 billion part of the White House request involving rebuilding Iraq, 0atrying to make sure there isn't any Halliburton hanky-panky.
I've actually gotten to the point where I hope Dick Cheney is 0aembroiled in a Clancyesque conspiracy to benefit Halliburton. Because if it's 0anot a conspiracy, it's na vet and ideology. And that means our leaders have 0aused goofball logic and lousy assumptions to trap the country in a cockeyed 0areplay of the Crusades that could drain our treasury and strain our military for 0agenerations, without making us any safer from terrorists and maybe putting us 0amore at risk.
On 9/11's second anniversary, seven in 10 Americans still believe 0aSaddam had a role in the attacks, even though there is no evidence of it, 0aaccording to a Washington Post poll. That is because the president has done his 0alevel best to conflate 9/11 and Saddam and did so again in his speech on Sunday 0anight.
Iraq never threatened U.S. security. Bush officials cynically 0aattacked a villainous country because they knew it was easier than finding the 0areal 9/11 villain, who had no country. And now they're hoist on their own 0acanard.
By pretending Iraq was crawling with Al Qaeda, they've created an 0aIraq crawling with Al Qaeda.
As Donald Rumsfeld finished up an upbeat talk at the National 0aPress Club here yesterday, brushing off hecklers and calling the global war on 0aterror "well begun," cable began airing fresh Flintstones video of Osama bin 0aLaden and Ayman al-Zawahiri encouraging the Iraqi and Islamic fighters to "bury" 0aAmerican troops and send them to their mothers in coffins.
The Bush team's logic before the war was infuriatingly 0aHelleresque, and it still is.
Mr. Rumsfeld, who was so alarmed about Saddam's W.M.D. before the 0awar, is now so nonchalant that he said he did not even bother to ask David Kay, 0awho runs the C.I.A.'s search for W.M.D. in Iraq, what progress he'd made when 0ameeting with him in Iraq last week.
"I have so many things to do at the Department of Defense," Rummy 0atold The Washington Post.
Asked at the press club why our intelligence analysts did not 0apredict the extent of Iraq's decayed infrastructure, Rummy said dismissively, "They were worrying about more important things." Yeah, like how to get Dick 0aCheney off their backs.
Testifying before the Senate on Tuesday on the $87 billion 0arequest, Paul Wolfowitz, the Pentagon official who pushed so hard to own Iraq 0aand control it, said, "We have no desire to own this problem or to control it." 0aThere may not be much choice, given Colin Powell's pessimistic warning to 0aCongress yesterday that no allies want to help us pick up the tab for rebuilding 0aa country full of people who revile us.
I never thought I'd say this, but watching Dan Quayle's marble 0abust, unveiled yesterday at the Capitol soon to join John Adams, Thomas 0aJefferson and Spiro Agnew I was nostalgic for the days when Murphy Brown's 0ababy amounted to a serious mess.
Jump to TO Features for Friday 12 September 2003