[ExI] israelis defeat physics

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Mar 14 22:10:12 UTC 2009

On 3/14/09, Jeff Davis wrote:
>  So, summary re the Piro 60 Minutes piece: The FBI, desperate for some
>  good PR, puts up "the Saddam interrogation" as some kind of masterful
>  accomplishment (in contrast to all those ridiculous terror plot
>  arrests; shhhhh!), when in fact it's just old news which NEVER had any
>  "actionable" value at all.  And the Iran bit?, a gratuitous crumb, a
>  bit of Saddam paranoia turned into a limp Iran smear.
>  To be frank, Spike, I hadn't seen the Piro piece before popping off at
>  you earlier, and I was prepared for something substantial that would
>  inflict severe embarrassment on me and force an elaborate apology and
>  a supersized feast on McCrow burgers.  Not!

I agree with Jeff's review of the CBS / Bush rewrite of history.

But it seems to me that they are trying to apply Western standards and
modes of thinking to Saddam and it doesn't work.
Saddam knew very little about the US, except for Hollywood films.

This writer gets more to the point

There is a third possibility, however: Arab pride and shame. That is,
after all, why Saddam's old Sunni supporters have kept fighting and
dying for the last four years. There was a kind of suicidal
willingness in Saddam to risk everything for his Arab warrior's honor.
Maybe he really believed all those chintzy wall posters of Saddam as
Saladin on his white horse. Whatever it was, in his own mind he needed
to be  a big hero. After the 1992 war, he required revenge, and in the
Arab mindset, it was a family vendetta against the Bush dynasty.

Being a dead hero rather than a living sultan may not be rational by
Western standards, but it fits the "heroic" narrative of Saddam's
imagination. Remember that when thousands of Baath honchos fled the
country in 2003, Saddam stayed behind, hiding in holes to evade
American troops. He didn't have to do that: It was just asking for
suicide by cop.

That's how an honor-and-shame culture acts. It might be admirable if
it were not in the cause of a bloody-minded bully.

Saddam's honor code was like the Sicilian code of the Mafia -- they
think omerta is honorable, but it's only done in the cause of
extortion, prostitution, beatings, murders, drug running and bullying
the weak.  It's an honor code on behalf of small-time tyranny.

All this is relevant today, because the mullahs next door have an even
more medieval ideology than Saddam did. We may not understand why they
believe it, but that doesn't change their bizarre beliefs. There are
lessons to learn from Saddam Hussein.

Arabs think differently. The West has to understand this difference.


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