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Old 04-01-2002, 10:34 AM   #61
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Just another Example of My Fighting Whitie Thread... Seriously 'Folks'.


EIB: Remember those Native American students out in Colorado who nicknamed their team "the Fighting Whities" to show how offended they were by team mascots such as the Redskins and Braves? Well, just as that Peter Harris poll found over 80% of Indians are not offended by mascots honoring their peoples, the vast majority of whites weren't offended by the Fighting Whities. In fact, orders for t-shirts literally flooded the school!

Along the same lines, how many of you are big fans of those classic, hilarious Looney Toons cartoons? Who isn't, right? Right. So you no doubt recall a little character named Speedy Gonzales, "the fastest mouse in all Mèxico," with his trademark oversized sombrero, cousin Slowpoke Rodriquez and accent.

Speedy routinely outruns "el gringo gato" Sylvester, Daffy Duck and others who invade his turf. He helps out the poor mice in town, who often starve because their leaders hog all the cheese for themselves - much like the old communist party big wigs. There is, in short, not a thing wrong with how this mouse portrays Mexicans. On the contrary, Cartoon Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg admitted to Fox that Speedy is "hugely popular" in Latin America!
Despite all this pro-Speedy buzz, the very people who scream for "more diverse" characters on TV have convinced the Cartoon Network to shelve these beloved, brilliantly conceived cartoons. Yes, the mouse that couldn't be stopped by any cat has been nailed by the P.C. police. Fox News reports: "The rapid rodent has been deemed an offensive ethnic stereotype of Mexicans, and has been off the air since the cable network became the sole U.S. broadcaster of old Warner Bros. cartoons in late 1999."

Virginia Cueto, an associate editor at HispanicOnline, tells Fox that fans (both Mexican and Whities) are fightin' mad, and have launched an e-mail campaign to get this, the most-popular Hispanic mouse ever conceived, back on the air. We agree. Everybody is getting way too uptight - and is wound too tight. These people at the Cartoon Network are just waiting to be offended, when the people they seek to protect as too delicate - the Mexicans themselves - enjoy the cartoon.

The Cartoon Network has the right to air whatever it wants, so this is not censorship in the true sense of the word. But this is exactly the kind of thing the left calls censorship whenever a museum decides not to air poop art or run a TV show featuring some deviant content. In short, "Viva Speedy!" Free the mouse, Cartoon Network, and give the people what they want.

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Old 04-01-2002, 11:34 AM   #62
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Originally posted by Lemonite:

I have taken to mind all your rips and shots at me, and how your various concerns and feelings about me and my status in the real world, however long it may take me to reach that point, And I will completely agree with you that people of my generation tend to live in this 'Bubble' and have no idea of what life is really like out there.. It's a rampant cloth over at my College..

...Feel free to comment or what not Zone, I just figured this would be a way to give a little specific realm to discuss what you so adamantly term as 'Hunting Me down' in various posts.. I haven't gone back and 'proofread' this, cuz I wanna get back to the game, but I figured It'd be a base to springboard into a little bit of a conversation.

God Bless America,
AWESOME post! Wow. You have left me speechless. I have always read your posts, knowing that there is inteligence behind them - and here it is. This is amazing. Thank you!

P.S. - I edited the "quote" because it was long - but everything was right on!

[This message has been edited by zonelistener (edited 04-01-2002).]

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Old 04-01-2002, 11:50 AM   #63
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Great Red and Len should post them in the Sports forum too (Put em under Pressure) - unless you have already and I haven't seen them. You would probably get more conversation.

I loved Len Bias as a college player. I remember that day he died. It was so sad to see someone make a decision like that. And it did hurt the Celtics organization. To this day, I am still a Maryland fan. I hung with the Maryland fans durning the Final Four last year, and consoled them as they watched Duke at the Championship game (I got to go!). I'll be cheering for them tonight - GO TERPS!

Now, would Len be better than Jordan - I'm not sure....

And, being a former employee of AOLTW - I am bummed about the Speedy Gonzalez thing. These big media companies are VERY protective of their identities. You should see the usage manuals on the Warner Bros. charachters - even if you work for the same company! And then there is the rat they call mickey.

Well, as you have posted - there is no such thing as to a free lunch - back to work for me!

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Old 04-01-2002, 11:59 AM   #64
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omc. are you boys getting along?!

*passes out
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Old 04-01-2002, 12:05 PM   #65
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Originally posted by zonelistener:
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Old 04-01-2002, 12:15 PM   #66
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Originally posted by zonelistener:

Now, would Len be better than Jordan - I'm not sure....

Yah.. My high school basketball coach was a roomate of Len Bias, and he'd always give us stories and what not about the kid.. Amazing Things...

I'll stick those articles out in the other forum... The Celtics just need to be good for the NBA.. Just like the Lakers and Sixers..


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Old 04-05-2002, 11:50 PM   #67
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Noooooooooooooooooooo WOLFIES is Closed...

No more Meatball Subs.

L. Unplugged
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Old 04-06-2002, 11:59 AM   #68
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Originally posted by Lemonite:
Noooooooooooooooooooo WOLFIES is Closed...

No more Meatball Subs.

L. Unplugged
Local sub shop? I love a good meatball sandmich - YUM!
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Old 04-06-2002, 01:22 PM   #69
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Originally posted by Lemonite:
Noooooooooooooooooooo WOLFIES is Closed...

No more Meatball Subs.

L. Unplugged

are you kidding me?! i LOVE wolfie's!! i always got the chicken breast sandwich and on the menu it was misspelled as "chicken beast" which always amused me.
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Old 04-08-2002, 11:54 PM   #70
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Hahah.. Nothing to stir the international Ire now that we've got Blair with us blasting Iraq...

Dave Barry
Posted on Sun, Feb. 17, 2002

Janitors and artists never see eye to eye

We Americans tend to assume that the British are more intelligent than we are, because they speak with British accents. That's why we need to know about the Turner Prize.

This is a much-publicized prize awarded annually to a British artist. The people who award it say it's ''one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe.'' Besides prestige, the winner gets 20,000 pounds, which, if you convert it to American dollars, is a large wad of American dollars.

To win that kind of money, you'd think the artist would have to produce an actual, physical piece of art -- a painting, a sculpture, a statue of the Queen carved out of cheese -- something.

Nope. The 2001 Turner Prize went to an artist named Martin Creed, whose entry was entitled: ''The Lights Going On and Off.'' It consists, as the title suggests, of lights going on and off in a vacant room. They go on for five seconds, then off for five seconds. That's it. In other words, this guy got 20,000 pounds for demonstrating the same artistic talent as a defective circuit breaker.

Here's the scary part: He deserved to win. I say this because, according to BBC News, his strongest competition was an artist whose entry consisted of a dusty room ''filled with an array of disparate objects, including a plastic cactus, mirrors, doors and old tabloid newspapers.'' Some gallery visitors mistook this for an actual storeroom, before realizing that it was art.

So Martin Creed's blinking lights probably looked pretty darned artistic to the Turner Prize jurors. The prize was formally presented by Madonna, who said: ''Art is always at its best when there is no money, because it is nothing to do with money and everything to do with love.'' That Madonna! Always joking!

You should know that the artistry of Martin Creed is not limited to blinking lights. Another of his works is entitled ''A sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball.'' It's a piece of paper crumpled into a ball. Perhaps you're thinking: ``How come when I crumple paper, it's trash, but when this guy does it, it's art?''

The answer is that Creed has an artistic asset that you don't have: the fervent admiration of professional art twits. For example, one critic wrote that Creed's ball of paper ''is not simply a sheet of A4 paper, it is a beautifully crumpled piece of A4 paper.'' Creed has also received critical acclaim for attaching a rubber doorstop to an art-gallery floor so that the door could be opened only partway. This annoyed the public, which, being the stupid old public, did not recognize that the doorstop was art. Naturally the critics thought it was brilliant.

Frankly, I admire Martin Creed. He can do whatever he wants, and the critics will declare that it's art, especially if it annoys normal people. If he suspended a bucket over an art-gallery door so it dumped water on whoever walked in, he'd be hailed as a genius. In fact, he may already have done this.

Another important British artist is Damien Hirst. In 1995 he also won the Turner Prize, for an entry that consisted of (I am not making any of this up) a cow and a calf cut in half and preserved in formaldehyde. Last October, a London gallery threw a party to launch an exhibition by Hirst. When it was over, there was a bunch of party trash -- beer bottles, ashtrays, coffee cups, etc. -- lying around. Hirst, artist that he is, arranged this trash into an ''installation,'' which is an artistic term meaning ``trash that the gallery can now price at 5,000 pounds and try to sell to a wealthy moron.''

The next morning, in came the janitor, who, tragically, was not an art professional. When he saw the trash, he assumed that it was trash, and threw it away.

''I didn't think for a second that it was a work of art,'' he later told the press.

When the gallery staff arrived, they went out and retrieved the artistic trash from the regular trash, then reassembled the original installation, guided by photographs taken the night before.

So to summarize the London art scene: A trash arrangement, created by an award-winning artist, is painstakingly recreated by art gallery professionals, who hope to sell it, for 5,000 pounds, to an art collector, assuming the collector can open the gallery door, which might be blocked by a doorstop placed there, to critical acclaim, by another award-winning artist.

The thing to bear in mind about all this is that everyone involved has a British accent. Including, more and more, Madonna.
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:53 AM   #71
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WHY THEY HATE US?!?!?!?!?... Ah.. This article sums up and articulates so exceedingly well so many thoughts we all have, or questions we may ask... I don't quite buy into the whole 'Poverty Causes Terrorism' Schtick.. It's less complex than that.

In the tradition of this Fantastic Thread, The best articles in all of interference will be continued to be posted in this locale.. I know it's long, but as accompanying knowledge to use for yourself, and even in all the debates about Arabs/Americans/Hatred/Evil/Terrorism.. This should definitely be on the reading list.. Hahah.. I sound like a teacher.. Well, at least a 'passer on' of Yabulous Information...

Among the Bourgeoisophobes
Why the Europeans and Arabs, each in their own way, hate America and Israel.
by David Brooks
04/15/2002, Volume 007, Issue 30

AROUND 1830, a group of French artists and intellectuals looked around and noticed that people who were their spiritual inferiors were running the world. Suddenly a large crowd of merchants, managers, and traders were making lots of money, living in the big houses, and holding the key posts. They had none of the high style of the aristocracy, or even the earthy integrity of the peasants. Instead, they were gross. They were vulgar materialists, shallow conformists, and self-absorbed philistines, who half the time failed even to acknowledge their moral and spiritual inferiority to the artists and intellectuals. What's more, it was their very mediocrity that accounted for their success. Through some screw-up in the great scheme of the universe, their narrow-minded greed had brought them vast wealth, unstoppable power, and growing social prestige.

Naturally, the artists and intellectuals were outraged. Hatred of the bourgeoisie became the official emotion of the French intelligentsia. Stendhal said traders and merchants made him want to "weep and vomit at the same time." Flaubert thought they were "plodding and avaricious." Hatred of the bourgeoisie, he wrote, "is the beginning of all virtue." He signed his letters "Bourgeoisophobus" to show how much he despised "stupid grocers and their ilk."

Of all the great creeds of the 19th century, pretty much the only one still thriving is this one, bourgeoisophobia. Marxism is dead. Freudianism is dead. Social Darwinism is dead, along with all those theories about racial purity that grew up around it. But the emotions and reactions that Flaubert, Stendhal, and all the others articulated in the 1830s are still with us, bigger than ever. In fact, bourgeoisophobia, which has flowered variously and spread to places as diverse as Baghdad, Ramallah, and Beijing, is the major reactionary creed of our age.

This is because today, in much of the world's eyes, two peoples--the Americans and the Jews--have emerged as the great exemplars of undeserved success. Americans and Israelis, in this view, are the money-mad molochs of the earth, the vulgarizers of morals, corrupters of culture, and proselytizers of idolatrous values. These two nations, it is said, practice conquest capitalism, overrunning poorer nations and exploiting weaker neighbors in their endless desire for more and more. These two peoples, the Americans and the Jews, in the view of the bourgeoisophobes, thrive precisely because they are spiritually stunted. It is their obliviousness to the holy things in life, their feverish energy, their injustice, their shallow pursuit of power and gain, that allow them to build fortunes, construct weapons, and play the role of hyperpower.

And so just as the French intellectuals of the 1830s rose up to despise the traders and bankers, certain people today rise up to shock, humiliate, and dream of destroying America and Israel. Today's bourgeoisophobes burn with the same sense of unjust inferiority. They experience the same humiliation because there is nothing they can do to thwart the growing might of their enemies. They rage and rage. Only today's bourgeoisophobes are not just artists and intellectuals. They are as likely to be terrorists and suicide bombers. They teach in madrassas, where they are careful not to instruct their students in the sort of practical knowledge that dominates bourgeois schools. They are Muslim clerics who incite hatred and violence. They are erudite Europeans who burn with humiliation because they know, deep down, that both America and Israel possess a vitality and heroism that their nations once had but no longer do.

Today the battle lines are forming. The dispute over Palestine, which was once a local conflict about land, has been transformed into a great cultural showdown. The vast array of bourgeoisophobes--Yasser Arafat's guerrilla socialists, Hamas's Islamic fundamentalists, Jose Bove's anti-globalist leftists, America's anti-colonial multiculturalists, and the BBC's Oxbridge mediacrats--focus their diverse rages and resentments on this one conflict.

The bourgeoisophobes have no politburo. There is no bourgeoisophobe central command. They have no plausible strategy for victory. They have only their nihilistic rage, their envy mixed with snobbery, their snide remarks, their newspaper distortions, their conspiracy theories, their suicide bombs and terror attacks--and above all, a burning sense that the rising, vibrant, and powerful peoples of America and Israel must be humiliated and brought low.

BOURGEOISOPHOBIA is really a hatred of success. It is a hatred held by people who feel they are spiritually superior but who find themselves economically, politically, and socially outranked. They conclude that the world is diseased, that it rewards the wrong values, the wrong people, and the wrong abilities. They become cynical if they are soft inside, violent if they are hard. In the bourgeoisophobe's mind, the people and nations that do succeed are not just slightly vulgar, not just over-compensated, not just undeservedly lucky. They are monsters, non-human beasts who, in extreme cases, can be blamelessly killed. This Manichaean divide between the successful, who are hideous, and the bourgeoisophobes, who are spiritually pristine, was established early in the emergence of the creed. The early 19th-century German poet Holderlin couldn't just ignore the merchant bourgeoisie; he had to declare the middle classes "deeply incapable of every divine emotion." In other words, scarcely human.

Holderlin's countryman Werner Sombart later wrote a quintessential bourgeoisophobe text called "Traders and Heroes," in which he argued that there are two basic human types: "The trader approaches life with the question, what can you give me? . . . The hero approaches life with the question what can I give you?" The trader, then, is the selfish capitalist who lives a meager, artificial life amidst "pocket-watches, newspapers, umbrellas, books, sewage disposal, politics." The hero is the total man, who is selfless, vital, spiritual, and free. An honest person might ascribe another's success to a superior work ethic, self-discipline, or luck--just being in the right place at the right time and possessing the right skills. A normal person might look at a rich and powerful country and try to locate the source of its vitality, to measure its human and natural resources, its freedom, its institutions and social norms. But for the bourgeoisophobe, other people's success is never legitimate or deserved. To him, success comes to those who worship the golden calf, the idol, the Satanic corrupter, gold.

When bourgeoisophobes describe their enemies, they almost always portray them as money-mad, as crazed commercialists. And this vulgar materialism, in their view, has not only corrupted the soul of the bourgeoisie, but through them threatens to debase civilization itself and the whole world. It threatens, in the words of the supreme bourgeoisophobe, Karl Marx, to take all that is holy and make it profane.

Some of the more pessimistic bourgeoisophobes come to believe that the worst is already at hand. "Our poor country lies in Roman decadence," the French conservative poet Arthur de Gobineau lamented in 1840. "We are without fiber or moral energy. I no longer believe in anything. . . . MONEY HAS KILLED EVERYTHING." (A great place to read bourgeoisophobe writing is Arthur Herman's "The Idea of Decline in Western History." Bourgeoisophobia is not Herman's theme, but his book does such a magnificent job of surveying two centuries of pessimistic thought that most of the key bourgeoisophobes are quoted.)

And once the bourgeoisophobes had experienced the basic spasm of reaction, they soon settled on the Americans and Jews as two of the chief objects of their ire. Because, as Henry Steele Commager once noted, no country in the world ever succeeded like America, and everybody knew it. And no people in the European experience ever achieved such sustained success as the Jews.

So the Jews were quickly established in the bourgeoisophobe imagination as the ultimate commercial people. They were the bankers, the traders, the soulless and sharp dealmakers who crawled through the cellars of honest and noble cultures and infected them with their habits and practices. The 19th-century Teutonic philosopher Houston Chamberlain said of the Jews that "their existence is a crime against the holy laws of life." The Jewish religion, he said, is "rigid," "scanty," and "sterile."

The American bourgeoisophobe family, the Adamses, contained more than its share of anti-Semites. Brooks Adams lamented that "England is as much governed by the Jews of Berlin, Paris and New York as the native growth." Adams compared the Jews to a vast syndicate and declared simply, "They control the world." Henry Adams protested against the interlocked power of "Wall Street, State Street and Jerusalem." Later, the English historian Arnold Toynbee argued that the Jews, with their "consummate virtuosity in commerce and finance," had infected Western civilization with a crass materialism. Through their arrogance and viciousness, they were responsible for capitalism, godless communism, and the Holocaust, and so had contributed to Europe's decline.

It's actually amazing how early America, too, was stereotyped as a money-grubbing commercial land and Americans a money-grubbing people. Francois La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, who traveled in the United States in the 1790s, declared, "The desire for riches is their ruling passion." In 1805, a British visitor observed, "All men there make [money] their pursuit." "Gain! Gain! Gain! Gain! Gain!" is how the English philosopher Morris Birbeck summarized the American spirit a few years later. In 1823 William Faux wrote that "two selfish gods, pleasure and gain, enslave the Americans." Fourteen years after that, the disillusioned Russian writer Mikhail Pogodin lamented, "America, on which our contemporaries have pinned their hopes for a time, has meanwhile clearly revealed the vices of her illegitimate birth. She is not a state, but rather a trading company."

Each wave of foreign observers reinforced the prejudice. Charles Dickens described a country of uncouth vulgarians frantically chasing, as he first put it, "the almighty dollar." Oswald Spengler worried that Germany would devolve into "soulless America," with its worship of "technical skill, money and an eye for facts." Matthew Arnold worried that global forces would Americanize England. "They will rule [Britain] by their energy but they will deteriorate it by their low ideas and want of culture." By 1904, people around the world were worrying about American cultural hegemony. In that year the German writer Paul Dehns wrote an influential essay called "The Americanization of the World." "What is Americanization?" Dehns asked. "Americanization in its widest sense, including the societal and political, means the uninterrupted, exclusive, and relentless striving after gain, riches and influence."

In the 20th century the Americans' aggressive commercialism was symbolized by the unstoppable spread of jeans, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Disney, and Microsoft. America, in the bourgeoisophobes' eyes, is the land of Bart Simpson, boy bands, boob jobs, and "Baywatch." The land of money and guns. Of insincere smiles and love handles. So by the time Osama bin Laden came along, hatred of America was well rehearsed, a finished product just waiting for him to pick it up. In 1998 bin Laden declared war on "the crusader-Jewish alliance, led by the United States and Israel." He added, "Since I was a boy I have been at war with and harboring hatred towards the Americans." He was only echoing Toynbee, who 30 years earlier said, "The United States and Israel must be today the two most dangerous of the 125 sovereign states among which the land surface of this planet is at present partitioned."

FOR THE bourgeoisophobe, then, the question becomes, how does one confront this menace? And on this, the bourgeoisophobes split into two schools. One, which might be called the brutalist school, seeks to reclaim the raw, masculine vitality that still lies buried at the virile heart of human nature. The other, which might be called the ethereal school, holds that a creative minority can rise above prosaic bourgeois life into a realm of contemplation, feeling, art, sensibility, and spiritual grace.

The brutalist school started in Germany, more or less with Nietzsche. In "Thus Spake Zarathustra," Nietzsche has a character declare that he is turning his back on the whole world of degenerate "flea-beetles," the ones who spend their lives "higgling and haggling for power with the rabble." Salvation instead is found in the will to power. The Ubermensch possesses force of will. He can thus be "a mighty . . . hammer" who will smash, "break and remove degenerate and decaying races to make way for a new order of life."

The brutalists urged sons--"the explosive ones"--to revolt against their fathers. They romanticized insanity as a rebellion against convention. They looked back nostalgically to the crude, savage, and proud men of Homeric legend, Germanic history, and Norse myth. They looked for another such hero to emerge today, a virile warrior who would demolish the stale encrustations of an overcivilized world and revive the raw energy of the species. "We do not need ideologues anymore," Oswald Spengler argued, "we need hardness, we need fearless skepticism, we need a class of socialist master men." This, of course, was the path that led to Mussolini, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and bin Laden.

Meanwhile, the ethereal bourgeoisophobes were emerging in Paris and later London and the United States. They argued that people in decaying cultures should not try to reclaim their former economic and military power. It was wiser to accept the decline of their worldly power and embrace the contemplative virtues. Toynbee acknowledged that Europe's virile, self-assertive days were over. Europeans would have to choose between spending their money on comfortable welfare states and spending it on militaristic "war-making states." They could not afford both. He predicted (in 1926) that they would choose welfare states--and be forced to accept being "dwarfed by the overseas world which [Europe] herself had called into existence."

The Europeans should therefore turn inward. As Arthur Herman notes, the human ideal Toynbee described looks a lot like Toynbee himself: "diffident, sensitive, religious in a contemplative and otherworldly sense, a man who shuns the world of violence and barbarism to pursue the 'etherealization' of himself and society." Toynbee denounced patriotism, commercial striving, and the martial spirit. Artists and intellectuals, the "creative minority," should lead until "the majority is drilled into following the minority's lead mechanically."

Though Toynbee despised the United States, his books sold well here. His lecture tours were lucrative, and his picture was on the cover of Time magazine. When Hitler came along, Toynbee was an enthusiastic appeaser. He met Hitler in 1936 and came away deeply impressed (the two men hated some of the same things). He told his countrymen that Hitler sincerely desired peace. For, just as the brutalist school of bourgeoisophobia led to Hitler and Saddam, the ethereal school led to Neville Chamberlain and some of the European reaction to George Bush's Axis of Evil.

SINCE SEPTEMBER 11, there has been a great deal of analysis of the roots of Muslim rage. But to anybody familiar with the history of bourgeoisophobia, it is striking how comfortably Muslim rage meshes with traditional rage against meritocratic capitalism. The Islamist fanatic and the bourgeoisophobe hate the same things. They use the same words, they utter the same protests. In an essay in the New York Review of Books called "Occidentalism," Avishai Margalit and Ian Buruma listed the traits that enrage al Qaeda and other Third World anti-Americans and anti-Westerners. First, they hate the city. Cities stand for commerce, mixed populations, artistic freedom, and sexual license. Second, they hate the mass media: advertising, television, pop music, and videos. Third, they hate science and technology--the progress of technical reason, mechanical efficiency, and material know-how. Fourth, they hate prudence, the desire to live safely rather than court death and heroically flirt with violence. Fifth, they hate liberty, the freedom extended even to mediocre people. Sixth, they despise the emancipation of women. As Margalit and Buruma note, "Female emancipation leads to bourgeois decadence." Women are supposed to stay home and breed heroic men. When women go out into the world, they deprive men of their manhood and weaken their virility.

If you put these six traits together, you have pretty much the pillars of meritocratic capitalist society, practiced most assertively in countries like America and Israel. Contemporary Muslim rage is further inflamed by two additional passions. One is a sense of sexual shame. A rite of passage for any bourgeoisophobe of this type is the youthful trip to America or to the West, where the writer is nearly seduced by the vulgar hedonism of capitalist life, but heroically spurns it. Sayyid Qutb, who is one of the intellectual heroes of the Islamic extremists, toured America between 1948 and 1950. He found a world of jazz, football, movies, cars, and people obsessed with lawn maintenance. It was a land, he wrote, "hollow and full of contradictions, defects and evils." At one point Qutb found himself at a church social. The disc jockey put on "Baby, It's Cold Outside." As Qutb wrote, "The dancing intensified. . . . The hall swarmed with legs. . . . Arms circled arms, lips met lips, chests met chests, and the atmosphere was full of love." This was at a church social. You can imagine how the September 11 al Qaeda hijackers must have felt during the visit they made to a Florida strip club shortly before going off to their purifying martyrdom.

The second inflaming passion is humiliation--humiliation caused by the fact that in the 1960s and 1970s, many Arab and Muslim nations tried to join this bourgeois world. They tried to modernize, and they failed. Some Arab countries continue to pursue the low and dirty modernizing path, continue to ape the sordid commercialists and even to accept the presence of American troops on Arabian soil. And this drives the hard-core Islamic bourgeoisophobes to even higher states of rage. As bin Laden himself notably put it, protesting the presence of American troops on Saudi land: "By God, Muslim women refuse to be defended by these American and Jewish prostitutes." The Islamist response to humiliation has been worship of the Muslim man of force. Islamist extremists romanticize the brutal warrior, just as the German bourgeoisophobes did, only the Islamists wear robes and clutch Korans. Like European and Japanese brutalists before them, the Islamists celebrate violence and build a cult of suicide and death. "The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death," declared al Qaeda's Mualana Inyadullah after September11. Jews "love life more than any other people, and they prefer not to die," declared Hamas official Ismail Haniya on March 28 amidst a rash of suicide bombings.

Among the Bourgeoisophobes, Part 2
by David Brooks
04/06/2002 12:03:00 AM

THE BRUTALIST bourgeoisophobia of the Islamic extremists is pretty straightforward. The attitudes of European etherealists are quite a bit more complicated. Europeans, of course, are bourgeois themselves, even more so in some ways than Americans and Israelis. What they distrust about America and Israel is that these countries represent a particularly aggressive and, to them, unbalanced strain of bourgeois ambition. No European would ever acknowledge the category, but America and Israel are heroic bourgeois nations. The Israelis are driven by passionate Zionism to build their homeland and make it rich and powerful. Americans are driven by our Puritan sense of calling, the deeply held belief that we Americans have a special mission to spread our way of life around the globe. It is precisely this heroic element of ordinary life that Europeans lack and distrust.

So the Europeans are all ambivalence. The British historian J.H. Plumb once declared that he loved America (and he was indeed a great defender of the United States), but even his admiration for the country "was entangled with anger, anxiety and at times flashes of hate." In his infuriatingly condescending and ultimately appreciative portrait "America," the French modernist Jean Baudrillard wrote, "America is powerful and original; America is violent and abominable. We should not seek to deny either of these aspects, nor reconcile them."

But Europeans do seek to deny them--because they simply can't remember what it's like to be imperially confident, to feel the forces of history blowing at one's back, to have heroic and even eschatological aspirations. Their passions have been quieted. Their intellectual guides have taught them that business is ignoble and striving is vulgar. Their history has caused them to renounce military valor (good thing, too) and to regard their own relative decline as a sign of greater maturity and wisdom. The European Union has a larger population than the United States, and a larger GDP--and its political class has tried to construct an institutional architecture that will enable it to rival America. But the imperial confidence is gone, along with the youthful sense of limitless possibility and the unselfconscious embrace of ordinary striving.

So their internal engine is calibrated differently. They look with disdain upon our work ethic (the average American works 350 hours a year--nearly nine weeks--longer than the average European). They look with disdain upon what they see as our lack of social services, our relatively small welfare state, which rewards mobility and effort but less gracefully cushions misfortune. They look with distaste upon our commercial culture, which favors the consumer but does not ease the rigors of competition for producers. And they look with fear upon our popular culture, which like some relentless machine seems designed to crush the local cultures that stand in its way.

To European bourgeoisophobes, America is the radioactive core of what Ignacio Ramonet, editor and publisher of Le Monde Diplomatique, recently called "The Other Axis of Evil" in a front-page essay. It controls the IMF and the World Bank, the institutions that reward the rich and punish the poor, Ramonet claimed. American institutions such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute promulgate the ideology that justifies exploitation, he continued. The American military provides the muscle to force-feed economic liberalism to the world.

They look at us uncomprehendingly when our leaders declare a global assault on terror and evil. They see us as a mindless Rambo, a Mike Tyson with rippling muscles and no brain. Where the Islamists see us as a decadent slut, the European etherealists see us as a gun-slinging cowboy. The Islamists think we are too spoiled and comfortable, the Europeans think we are too violent and impulsive. Each side's view of us is a mix of Hollywood images (Marilyn Monroe for the Islamists, John Wayne for the Europeans), mass-media distortions, envy-driven stereotypes, and self-justifying delusions. But each side's vision springs from a deeper bourgeoisophobia--the prejudice that people who succeed in worldly affairs must be morally and intellectually backward. This article of faith governs the way even many sophisticated Europeans and Muslims react to us.

AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, there was a widespread fear in Europe and in certain American circles that the United States would lash out violently and pointlessly. In fact, the United States has never behaved this way. It was slow to respond to Pearl Harbor; it was too timid in its responses to the USS Cole and other attacks. But to many Europeans, who must believe in our mindless immaturity in order to look themselves in the mirror each morning, it was obvious that the United States would shoot first and think afterwards.

These Europeans have assigned themselves the self-flattering role of being Athens to our Rome. That's what all the talk about coalition-building is about; the mindless American car dealer with the big guns should allow himself to be guided by the thoughtful European statesman, who is better able to think through the unintended consequences of any action, and to understand the darker complexities. Much European commentary about America since September 11 has had a zoological tone. The American beast did not know that he was vulnerable to attack (we Europeans have long understood this). The American was traumatized by this discovery. The American was overcompensating with an arms build-up that was pointless since, with his gigantisme militaire, he already had more weapons than he could ever need.

Furthermore, the American doesn't see the deeper causes of terrorism, the poverty, the hopelessness. America should really be spending more money on foreign aid (it's interesting that Europeans, who are supposed to be less materialistic than we are, inevitably think more money can solve the world's problems, while Americans tend to point to religion or ideas).

"What America never takes a moment to consider is that, despite its mightiness, it is a young country with much to learn. It had no real direct experience of the First and Second World Wars," declared a writer in the New Statesman, echoing a sentiment that one heard across the Continent as well. America, many Europeans feel, has no experience with the Red Brigades, the IRA, the Basque terrorists. Americans have no experience with Afghanistan. The dim boobies have no idea what sort of instability they are about to cause. They will go marching off as they always do, naively confident of themselves, yet inevitably unaware of the harm they shall do. Much of the reaction, in short, has been straight out of Graham Greene's novel "The Quiet American." The hero of that book, Alden Pyle, is a well-intentioned, naive, earnest manchild who dreams of spreading democracy but only stirs up chaos. "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," one of the characters says about him. Much of the European intellectual response to the American war has less to do with actual evidence than with figures from literature and the mass media. Sometimes you get the impression that the only people who took the images of Rambo, the Lone Ranger, and Superman seriously were the European bourgeoisophobes who needed cliches to hate.

When the etherealized bourgeoisophobe goes to practice politics, he instinctively dons the pinstripes of the diplomat. Diplomacy fits his temperament. It demands subtlety instead of clarity, self-control instead of power, patience instead of energy, nuance instead of restlessness. Diplomacy is highly formal, highly elitist, highly civilized. Most of all, it is complex. Complexity is catnip to the etherealized bourgeoisophobe. It paralyzes brute action, and justifies subtle and basically immobile gestures, calibrations, and modalities. Bourgeoisophobes have a simple-minded faith that whatever the problem is, the solution requires complexity. Any decisive effort to change the status quo--to topple Saddam, to give up on Arafat, to foment democracy in the Arab world--will only make things worse.

We Americans have our own bourgeoisophobes, of course. If I pulled from my shelves all the books about the moral backwardness of the enterprising middle classes, I could stack them to the ceiling. I could start with the works of the Transcendentalists, then move through Dreiser, Mencken, Sherwood Anderson, and Sinclair Lewis. Then we could skim swiftly through all the books that bemoan the moral, cultural, and intellectual vapidity of suburbanites, students, middle managers, and middle Americans: "Babbitt," "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," "The Souls of Black Folk," "The Lonely Crowd," "The Organization Man," "The Catcher in the Rye," "The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism," "The Affluent Society," "Death of a Salesman," "Soul on Ice," "The Culture of Narcissism," "Habits of the Heart," "The Closing of the American Mind," "Earth in the Balance," "Slouching Towards Gomorrah," "Jihad vs. McWorld," just about every word ever written by Kevin Phillips and Michael Moore, and just about every novel of the last quarter century, from "Rabbit is Rich" through "The Corrections." It's a Mississippi flood of pessimism. As Catherine Jurca recently wrote in "White Diaspora: The Suburb and the Twentieth-Century American Novel," "As a body of work, the suburban novel asserts that one unhappy family is a lot like the next, and there is no such thing as a happy family."

The pessimism falls into several categories. There is straightforward, left-wing bourgeoisophobia from writers who think commercial culture has ravaged our souls. Then there is the right-wing variant that says it has made us spiritually flat, and so turned us into comfort-loving Last Men. Then there is the conservative pessimism that purports to be a defense of the heroic bourgeois culture America embodies while actually showing little faith in it. Writers of this school argue that the solid capitalist values America once possessed have been corrupted by intellectual currents coming out of the universities--as if the meritocratic capitalist virtues were such delicate flowers that they could be dissolved by the acid influence of Paul de Man.

It all adds up to a lot of dark foreboding, and after September 11, it doesn't look that impressive. The events of the past several months have cast doubt on a century of mostly bourgeoisophobe cultural pessimism. Somehow the firemen in New York and the passengers on Flight 93 behaved like heroes even though they no doubt lived in bourgeois homes, liked Oprah, shopped at Wal-Mart, watched MTV, enjoyed their Barcaloungers, and occasionally glanced through Playboy. Even more than that, it has become abundantly clear since September 11 that America has ascended to unprecedented economic and military heights, and it really is not easy to explain how a country so corrupt to the core can remain for so long so apparently successful on the surface. If we're so rotten, how can we be so great?

It could be, as the bourgeoisophobes say, that America thrives because it is spiritually stunted. It's hard to know, since most of us lack the soul-o-meter by which the cultural pessimists apparently measure the depth of other people's souls. But we do know that despite the alleged savagery, decadence, and materialism of American life, Americans still continue to react to events in ways that suggest there is more to this country than "Survivor," Self magazine, and T.G.I. Friday's.

Confronted with the events of September 11, Americans have not sought to retreat as soon as possible to the easy comfort of their great-rooms (on the contrary, it's been others around the world who have sought to close the parenthesis on these events). President Bush, a man derided as a typical philistine cowboy, has framed the challenge in the most ambitious possible terms: as a moral confrontation with an Axis of Evil. He has chosen the most arduous course. And the American people have supported him, embraced his vision every step of the way--even the people who fiercely opposed his election.

This is not the predictable reaction of a decadent, commercial people. This is not the reaction you would have predicted if you had based your knowledge of America on the extensive literature of cultural decline. Nor would you have been able to predict the American reaction to recent events in the Middle East, which also differs markedly from the European one. Just as the French anti-globalist activist Jose Bove, heretofore most famous for smashing up a McDonald's, senses that he has something in common with Yasser Arafat (whom he visited in Ramallah on March 31), most Americans sense that they have something in common with Israel in this fight. Most Americans can see the difference between nihilistic terrorism and a democracy trying fitfully to defend itself. And most Americans seem willing to defend the principles that are at stake here, even in the face of global criticism and obloquy. In this, as in so much else, George Bush reflects the meritocratic capitalist culture of which he is a product. While the rest of the world was lost in a moral fog, going on about the "cycle of violence" as if bombs set themselves off and the language of human agency and moral judgment didn't apply, the Bush administration, by and large, has been clear.

IN THIS and many other aspects of the war on terrorism, the American leaders and the American people have been stubborn and steadfast. Just as the American people patiently persevered through a century of fighting fascism and communism, there is every sign they will patiently persevere in the conflict against terrorism, which is really a struggle against people who despise our way of life.

Maybe the bourgeoisophobes were wrong from the first. Maybe they were wrong to think that 90 percent of humanity is mad to seek money. Maybe they were wrong to think that wealth inevitably corrupts. Maybe they were wrong to regard themselves as the spiritual superiors of middle-class bankers, lawyers, and traders. Maybe they were wrong to think that America is predominantly about gain and the bitch-goddess success. Maybe they were wrong to think that power and wealth are a sign of spiritual stuntedness. Maybe they were wrong to treasure the ecstatic gestures of rebellion, martyrdom, and liberation over the deeper satisfactions of ordinary life.

And if they weren't wrong, how does one explain the fact that almost all their predictions turned out to be false? For two centuries America has been on the verge of exhaustion or collapse, but it never has been exhausted or collapsed. For two centuries capitalism has been in crisis, but it never has succumbed. For two centuries the youth/the artists/the workers/the oppressed minorities were going to overthrow the staid conformism of the suburbs, but in the end they never did. Instead they moved to the suburbs and found happiness there.

For two centuries there has been this relentless pattern. Some new bourgeoisophobe movement or figure emerges--Lenin, Hitler, Sartre, Che Guevara, Woodstock, the Sandinistas, Arafat. The new movement is embraced. It is romanticized. It is heralded as the wave of the future. But then it collapses, and the never-finally-disillusioned bourgeoisophobes go off in search of the next anti-bourgeois movement that will inspire the next chapter in their ever-disappointed Perils of Pauline journey.

Perhaps, on the other hand, September 11 will cause more Americans to come to the stunning and revolutionary conclusion that we are right to live the way we do, to be the way we are. Maybe it is now time to put intellectual meat on the bones of our instinctive pride, to acknowledge that the American way of life is not only successful, but also character-building. It inculcates virtues that account for American success: a certain ability to see problems clearly, to react to setbacks energetically, to accomplish the essential tasks, to use force without succumbing to savagery. Perhaps ordinary American life mobilizes individual initiative, and the highest, not just the crassest aspirations. Maybe Baudrillard, that infuriatingly appreciative Frenchman, had it right when he wrote about America, "We [Europeans] philosophize about a whole host of things, but it is here that they take shape. . . . It is the American mode of life, that we judge naive or devoid of culture, that gives us the completed picture of the object of our values."

Because the striking thing is that, for all their contempt, the bourgeoisophobes cannot ignore us. They can't just dismiss us with a wave and get on with their lives. The entire Arab world, and much of the rest of the world, is obsessed with Israel. Many people in many lands define themselves in opposition to the United States. This is because deep down they know that we possess a vitality that is impressive. The Europeans regard us as simplistic cowboys, and in a backhanded way they are acknowledging the pioneering spirit that motivates America--the heroic spirit that they, in the comfort of their welfare states, lack. The Islamic extremists regard us as lascivious hedonists, and in a backhanded way they are acknowledging both our freedom and our happiness.

Maybe in their hatred we can better discern our strengths. Because if the tide of conflict is rising, then we had better be able to articulate, not least to ourselves, who we are, why we arouse such passions, and why we are absolutely right to defend ourselves.

David Brooks is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.

[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 04-08-2002).]
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Old 04-10-2002, 05:46 PM   #72
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Here's a Speech by Netanyahu before the US Senate about the situation at hand, and He knocks a lot of things right on target.. Read if you're interested..

Netanyahu speaks before the US SENATE

Washington, 10 April 2002

Distinguished Senators,

I have come here to voice what I believe is an urgently needed reminder: That the war on terror can be won with clarity and courage or lost with confusion and vacillation.

Seven months ago, on a clear day in the capital of freedom, I was given the opportunity to address you, the guardians of liberty

I will never forget that day - a day when words that will echo for ages pierced the conscience of the free world:

Words that lifted the spirits of an American nation that had been savagely attacked by evil. Words that looked that evil straight in the eye and boldly declared that it would be utterly destroyed. Most important, words that charted a bold course for victory.

Those words were not mine. They were the words of the President of the United States.

In an historic speech to the world last September and with determined action in the crucial months that followed, President Bush and his administration outlined a vision that had the moral and strategic clarity necessary to win the war on terror.

The moral clarity emanated from an ironclad definition of terror and an impregnable moral truth. Terrorism was understood to be the deliberate targeting of civilians in order to achieve political ends. And it was always unjustifiable. With a few powerful words, President Bush said all that needed to be said: ‘Terrorism is never justified.’

The strategic clarity emanated from the recognition that international terrorism depends on the support of sovereign states, and that fighting it demands that these regimes be either deterred or dismantled.

In one clear sentence, President Bush expressed this principle: ‘No distinction will be made between the terrorists and the regimes that harbor them.’

This moral and strategic clarity was applied with devastating effect to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that supported Al Qaeda terrorism.

No false moral equivalence was drawn between the thousands of Afghan civilians who were the unintentional casualties of America’s just war and the thousands of American civilians deliberately targeted on September 11.

No strategic confusion lead America to pursue Al Qaeda terrorists while leaving the Taliban regime in place.

Soon after the war began, the American victory over the forces of terror in Afghanistan brought to light the third principle in the war on terror - namely, that the best way to defeat terror is to defeat it.

At first, this seemingly trite observation was not fully understood. Contrary to popular belief, the motivating force behind terror is neither desperation nor destitution. It is hope - the hope of terrorists systematically brainwashed by the ideologues who manipulate them that their savagery will break the will of their enemies and help them achieve their objectives - political, religious, or otherwise.

Defeat this hope and you defeat terrorism. Convince terrorists, their sponsors, and potential new recruits that terrorism will be thoroughly uprooted and severely punished and you will stop it cold in its tracks.

By adhering to these three principles – moral clarity, strategic clarity and the imperative of victory - the forces of freedom, led by America, are well on their way to victory against terror from Afghanistan.

But that is only the first step in dismantling the global terrorist network. The other terrorist regimes must now be rapidly dealt with in similar fashion.

Yet today, just seven months into the war, it is far from certain that this will be done.

Faced with the quintessential terrorist regime of our time – a regime that both harbors and perpetrates terror on an unimaginable scale – the free world is muddling its principles, losing its nerve, and thereby endangering the successful prosecution of this war.

The question many in my country are now asking is this: Will America apply its principles consistently and win this war, or will it selectively abandon those principles and thereby ultimately lose the war?

My countrymen ask this question because they believe that terrorism is an indivisible evil and that the war against terror must be fought indivisibly. They believe that if moral clarity is obfuscated, or if you allow one part of the terror network to survive, much less be rewarded for its crimes, then the forces of terror will regroup and rise again.

Until last week, I was certain that the United States would adhere to its principles and lead the free world to a decisive victory. Today, I too have my concerns.

I am concerned that when it comes to terror directed against Israel, the moral and strategic clarity that is so crucial for victory is being twisted beyond recognition.

I am concerned that the imperative of defeating terror everywhere is being ignored when the main engine of Palestinian terror is allowed to remain intact.

I am concerned that the State of Israel, that has for decades bravely manned the front lines against terror, is being pressed to back down just when it is on the verge of uprooting Palestinian terror.

These concerns first surfaced with the appearance of a reprehensible moral symmetry that equates Israel, a democratic government that is defending itself against terror, with the Palestinian dictatorship that is perpetrating it.

The deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians is shamefully equated with the unintentional loss of Palestinian life that is the tragic but unavoidable consequence of legitimate warfare.

Worse, since Palestinian terrorists both deliberately target civilians and hide behind them, Israel is cast as the guilty party because more Palestinians have been killed in Arafat’s terrorist war than Israelis.

No one, of course, would dare suggest that the United States was the guilty party in World War II because German casualties, which included millions of civilians, were twenty times higher then American casualties.

So too, only a twisted and corrupt logic would paint America and Britain as the aggressors in the current war because Afghan casualties are reported to have well exceeded the death toll of September 11.

My concern deepened when, incredibly, Israel was asked to stop fighting terror and return to a negotiating table with a regime that is committed to the destruction of the Jewish State and openly embraces terror.

Yasser Arafat brazenly pursues an ideology of policide – the destruction of a state –and meticulously promotes a cult of suicide.

With total control of the media, the schools, and ghoulish kindergarten camps for children that glorifies suicide martyrdom, Arafat’s dictatorship has indoctrinated a generation of Palestinians in a culture of death, producing waves of human bombs that massacre Jews in buses, discos, supermarkets, pizza shops, cafés – everywhere and anywhere.

Israel has not experienced a terrorist attack like the one the world witnessed on that horrific day in September. That unprecedented act of barbarism will never be forgotten.

But in the last eighteen months, Israel’s six million citizens have buried over four hundred victims of terror – a per capita toll equivalent to half a dozen September 11ths. This daily, hourly carnage is also unprecedented in terrorism’s bloody history.

Yet at the very moment when support for Israel’s war against terror should be stronger than ever, my nation is being asked to stop fighting.

Though we are assured by friends that we have the right to defend ourselves, we are effectively asked not to exercise that right.

But our friends should have no illusions. With or without international support, the government of Israel must fight not only to defend its people, restore a dangerously eroded deterrence and secure the Jewish State, but also to ensure that the free world wins the war against terror in this pivotal arena in the heart of the Middle East.

Israel must now do three things. First, it must dismantle Arafat’s terrorist regime and expel Arafat from the region. As long as the engineer of Palestinian terror remains in the territories, terror will never stop and the promise of peace will never be realized.

Second, Israel must clean out terrorists, weapons, and explosives from all Palestinian controlled areas. No place, whether it is a refugee camp in Gaza or an office in Ramallah can be allowed to remain a haven for terror.

Third, Israel must establish physical barriers separating the main Palestinian population centers from Israeli towns and cities. This will prevent any residual terrorists from reaching Israel.

Done together, these three measures will dramatically reduce terrorism, bring security to the people of Israel and restore stability to the region.

Last week, the government of Israel began to take the second of these vital steps. Rather than bomb Palestinian populated cities and towns from the air – an operation that would have claimed thousands of civilian casualties – the Israeli army is taking on greater risk by using ground forces that painstakingly make their way through the hornet’s nests of Palestinian terror.

But instead of praising Israel for seeking to minimize civilian casualties through careful and deliberate action, most of the world’s governments shamelessly condemn it.

For seven months, many of these governments have rightly supported the war against Afghan terror. Yet after only seven days, their patience for the war against Palestinian terror ran out.

The explanations that are offered for this double standard are not convincing.

First it is said that war on Palestinian terror is different because a political process exists that can restore security and advance peace.

This is not so. There can never be a political solution for terror. The grievance of terrorists can never be redressed through diplomacy. That will only encourage more terror.

Yasser Arafat’s terrorist regime must be toppled, not courted. The Oslo agreements are dead. Yasser Arafat killed them.

He tore it to shreds and soaked it in Jewish blood by violating every one of its provisions, including the two core commitments he made at Oslo: to recognize the State of Israel and to permanently renounce terrorism

With such a regime and such failure of leadership, no political process is possible. In fact, a political process can only begin when this terrorist regime is dismantled.

Second, it is said that waging war on Palestinian terror today will destabilize the region and cripple the imminent war against Sadaam Hussein.

This concern is also misplaced.

Clearly, the urgent need to topple Sadaam is paramount. The commitment of America and Britain to dismantle this terrorist dictatorship before it obtains nuclear weapons deserves the unconditional support of all sane governments.

But contrary to conventional wisdom, what has destabilized the region is not Israeli action against Palestinian terror, but rather, the constant pressure exerted on Israel to show restraint.

It is precisely the exceptional restraint shown by Israel for over a year and a half that has unwittingly emboldened its enemies and inadvertently increased the threat of a wider conflict.

If Israeli restraint were to continue, the thousands that are now clamoring for war in Arab capitals will turn into millions, and an avoidable war will become inevitable.

Half-measures against terrorists will leave their grievances intact, fueled by the hope of future victory. Full- measures will not redress those grievances, but it will convince them that pursuing terror is a prescription for certain defeat.

America must show that it will not heed the international call to stop Israel from exercising its right to defend itself. If America compromises its principles and joins in the chorus of those who demand that Israel disengage, the war on terror will be undermined.

For if the world begins to believe that America may deviate from its principles, then terrorist regimes that might have otherwise been deterred will not be deterred. Those that might have crumbled under the weight of American resolve will not crumble. As a result, winning the war will prove far more difficult, perhaps impossible.

But my friends, I must also tell you that the charge that Israel, of all countries, is hindering the war against Sadaam is woefully unjust.

For my country has done more than any other to make victory over Sadaam possible.

Twenty-one years ago, Prime Minister Menachem Begin sent the Israeli air force on a predawn raid hundreds of miles away on one of the most dangerous military missions in our nation’s history.

When our pilots returned, we had successfully destroyed Sadaam’s atomic bomb factory and crippled his capacity to build nuclear weapons.

Israel was safer - and so was the world.

But rather than thanking us for safeguarding freedom, the entire world condemned us.

Ten years later, when American troops expelled Iraqi forces in the Gulf War, then secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, expressed a debt of gratitude to Israel for the bold and determined action a decade earlier that had made victory possible.

Indeed, I am confident that in time those who would condemn Israel now will understand that rooting out Palestinian terror today will also make both Israel and the world safer tomorrow.

For if we do not immediately shut down the terror factories where Arafat is producing human bombs, it is only a matter of time before suicide bombers will terrorize your cities.

If not destroyed, this madness will strike in your buses, in your supermarkets, in your pizza parlors, in your cafes. Eventually, these human bombs will supplement their murderous force with suitcases equipped with devices of mass death that could make the horrors of September 11 pale by comparison.

That is why there is no alternative to winning this war without delay. No part of the terrorist network can be left intact. For if not fully eradicated, like the most malignant cancer, it will regroup and attack again with even greater ferocity. Only by dismantling the entire network will we be assured of victory.

But to assure that this evil does not reemerge a decade or two from now, we must not merely uproot terror, but also plant the seeds of freedom

Because only under tyranny can a diseased totalitarian mindset be widely cultivated. This totalitarian mindset, which is essential for terrorists to suspend the normal rules that govern a man’s conscience and prevents him from committing these grisly acts, does not breed in a climate of democracy and freedom.

The open debate and plurality of ideas that buttress all genuine democracies and the respect for human rights and the sanctity of life that are the shared values of all free societies are a permanent antidote to the poison that the sponsors of terror seek to inject into the minds of their recruits.

That is why it is also imperative that once the terrorist regimes in the Middle East are swept away, the free world, led by America, must begin to build democracy in their place.

We simply can no longer afford to allow this region to remain cloistered by a fanatic militancy. We must let the winds of freedom and independence finally penetrate the one region in the world that clings to unreformed tyranny.

That in exercising our basic right to defend ourselves Israel is condemned by Arab dictatorships is predictable.

That today a Europe which sixty years ago refused to lift a finger to save millions of Jews has turned its collective back on the Jewish State is downright shameful.

But my friends, I must admit. I expected no better from them.

Yet the America I know has always been different.

History has entrusted this nation with carrying the torch of freedom. And time and time again, through both war and peace, America has carried that torch with courage and with honor, combining a might the world has never known with a sense of justice that no power in history has possessed.

I have come before you today to ask you to continue to courageously and honorably carry that torch by standing by an outpost of freedom that is resisting an unprecedented terrorist assault. I ask you to stand by Israel’s side in its fight against Arafat’s tyranny of terror, and thereby help defeat an evil that threatens all of mankind.

press here for speeces by Binyamin Netanyahu
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Old 04-11-2002, 09:31 AM   #73
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MAsters Fans... An Interview with Chairman Hootie Johnson...

BILLY PAYNE: Well, good morning, and welcome once again, ladies and gentlemen, for the 2002 Masters Golf Tournament. I'm delighted this morning to be joined by Mr. Will Nicholson, chairman of our competition committee, and by the Chairman of Augusta National, Mr. Hootie Johnson.


HOOTIE JOHNSON: Thank you, Billy. We are pleased to have you here this morning, and for what I hope will be an exciting tournament. I look forward to answering the questions that you may have, and Billy we'll take the first one.

BILLY PAYNE: Questions, please.

Q. Last year you surprised us all with the answer to this question, so let me ask it the same way. Is this course today exactly the way you want it to be?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, I think I'd answer that like Mr. Roberts responded to the lady that told him that he had a perfect tournament. He said, "Thank you very much, but we really never get it right." And that may be true with the golf course.

Q. When did these changes and this revision, whatever you wish to call it, become an absolute act to be done? When was the decision made?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, you know, we do -- it takes us a while to make a decision down here, but the rapid pace of change has kind of speeded up our decision-making process. Last year, before the tournament, we did have the intention of -- we recognized that we had to make some changes to some of the par 4s; we needed to strengthen them. And then during the tournament, we felt like what we were seeing that if we had other opportunities, that we needed to take advantage of those, also, to try to keep pace with the change that was going on in the game, like at 8 and 13.

Q. As I recall, sometime during the tournament last year, you had Tom Fazio, and you mentioned his name.

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, he and I were down on 11, and Phil Mickelson, we saw his drive come down there. We thought somebody had chipped out of the woods. (Laughter.)

After he made his shot, I went down and went under the rope, and he was 94 yards from the green. I told Tom, I said, "Heck, man, no question about what we are about, and we should be more aggressive with what we are doing."

Q. How many of those 285 yards do you figure you'll use this week? Are you going to play them all the way back or what?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, Will can make a final decision on that based on the wind.

I expect on every hole that we changed, we'll use all of it; maybe not all on the same day.

Q. With all of the rain we had last night, the course, obviously is playing much differently today. Do you anticipate that you will be able to get the course back to the sort of speed and firmness of the greens by the weekend? What's the outlook for that?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We hope so. We would like to have -- we had it like we wanted it Sunday and Monday. That would be what we would hope to achieve.

Q. Which is what?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Whatever it was on Sunday and Monday. (Laughter.)

Q. Were you more concerned with the scores these guys were shooting in relation to par, or more concerned with the fact that they kept reaching for a wedge every time?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We were not concerned with the scores. We never really gave that a lot of consideration. Of course, the short club, I guess leads to the score. We just hated that time after time, pulling out sand wedge or pitching wedge to par 4s.

Q. This is a question outside of competition. You have overseen more changes here than perhaps any other previous chairman. One of the things here is the exclusivity of the merchandise. Why is it that it is exclusively just sold on-course and do you ever foresee it being sold on the Internet, catalogs, things like that?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, we think a piece of clothing or souvenir here is kind of special to the people that have been here, and while our merchandise sales are important to us, we don't feel the need to go on the Internet and trivialize the merchandise.

Q. Along the same lines, can you talk about the whole aura, the lack of commercialism, no cell phones on the course, what are you trying to create down here and how hard is it to keep that going?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, we just work at it real hard. I don't know how to -- I really don't know how to answer that.

Q. What's the idea behind it all?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, I think that what we do, I think that Mr. Roberts and Bobby Jones set a pace for excellence and for courtesy and doing the right thing. We just try to continue that.

Q. How do you feel about the changes, particularly on the 18th hole, was there a feeling that that hole had become not as dynamic a finishing hole?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I feel real good about the 18th hole. (Laughter.) And that's no tongue-in-cheek. I feel good about the 18th hole.

Q. Was there a feeling that the hole was not as dynamic a finishing hole for this kind of course?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Yes. Yes. A 3-wood and a pitching wedge won't do for a finishing hole. I think most everyone agrees that the hole was weak for a finishing hole in a championship, of a major.

Some folks coming in there, if they are leading by 1, they are going to be damn glad to get a par, and that's okay. (Laughter.)

Q. There's all this emphasis on change this year, but what are some things about the Masters that you think are important that never change? What are some facets of the tournament that should be enduring?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, I think the spirit of Bobby Jones, decency, honesty, straightforwardness, courtesy. Those are the things that I think are important to us.

Q. Have the players who have spoken to you only been complimentary about the changes or have you had any adverse comments?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Are you asking about the response from the players?

Q. About the changes.

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Yes, ma'am. I think almost universally, the players have accepted the changes or received them with excitement and with pleasure. We hear a lot about the length, and it favors the long hitter.

Rocco Mediate and Paul Azinger were down here a few days ago, I guess last week. They were -- could not be more pleased. I think they are considered medium hitters, but they could not be more pleased with the changes. They thought that the changes gave them a better chance to win. They felt like -- they liked the idea of having their 8-iron or their 6-iron versus a long hitter's 8-iron, as opposed to their 8-iron versus the long player's pitching wedge.

I don't know how you all react to that, but they must know what they are talking about because they are professionals. Anyway, that's just two examples. A shorter hitter, Billy Andrade, has been very high on the changes.

I disagree with Jack. I think Jack Nicklaus, the headlines in the paper this morning said that Jack said the changes are going to eliminate half the field. Well, I don't believe that. I don't think there will be any more separation in the field, than there has been in the past.

Q. Some of the older past champions were asked not to play this week. Do you see such more of such requests next year and do you have any thoughts of establishing criteria for past champions eligibility?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: The decisions we made this year on the champions and those that we asked to step aside, we made those decisions based on what we thought was in the best interests of the tournament.

We do not have a formal policy on that, but we planned and we will have one by next year, a formal policy. There will be no misunderstanding. We felt that the actions that we took were in keeping with the philosophy of what Mr. Roberts had laid out.

There was some ambiguity there, and we intend to make it clear. We don't know what that will be right now, but we will do something about it.

Q. When you took over as chairman, did you realize just how much needed to be done over the first few years of your chairmanship, and is there something additionally that you think will be done in the future, changes to the course?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: To answer your first part, I probably would not have accepted if I thought we needed to do all this work. (Laughter.) I'm kidding.

We are going to always have changes here. We've had them since 1934 and we are going to keep on having them. I think, I mentioned to Cliffton Brown a month ago, as a for instance, and I'm not going into a lot of detail, but as a for instance, we have got to do something with No. 5, no question about it. It will probably involve moving the bunkers. We don't plan to move 4 green. It's been rumored that we are going to move 4 green so we could move 5 tee back. We are not going to do that. But we are going to address the weakness of the fifth hole.

Q. Do you have any regrets about the way the situation was handled with the past champions? Some have expressed they didn't like getting a letter in that format, and do you have a comment on Gay Brewer not attending the Champions Dinner last night?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Yeah, I have a comment. We regret that someone, anyone, is not comfortable here. And if they are not comfortable and they are not here, we regret that.

Q. Do you have any regrets about the way that you decided to handle that situation in hindsight?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I don't look back.

Q. This is Ken Venturi's last year as an analyst for the tournament. Can you talk about what he's meant as a player and an analyst?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Ken's been part of our family for a long, long time. I think we, well, there's a lot of young folks in here, but we remember back when he had that tough time leading by, I believe, eight strokes and lost the tournament to Jackie Burke. That was a very sad time for him, but he's always had a love for this place. He's always been a very important part as a player, and as an announcer, and we'll certainly miss him, but we hope he will always keep coming back.

Q. The first nine is going to be televised extensively for the first time this year, for the viewing public, are there any holes that you think are going to be interesting, exciting, for them to watch, many for the first time?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I think they will all be exciting, I hope. Well, I think everybody agrees that No. 1 is the, the butterflies are fluttering, the wind is blowing, and it's always a challenge. I think it will be exciting to see the champions, the leaders tee off on the first hole.

Q. Is there any discussion about expanding the club beyond its current borders, and if so, what affect would that have on some of the adjacent neighborhoods here?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, we are always thinking about the growth of the club, and we have acquired some lands beyond the boundaries of Washington Road and Berckman Road that would be available to us for tournament support.

Q. Have you had discussions with the homeowners in that area or is it vacant land?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I have not had discussions with any homeowners.

Q. I have a question concerning equipment. Greg Norman was here yesterday, and as I recall, he thought it would be a good idea to have a golf ball for your tournament or tournament played, period. I wonder if you have any more thoughts on equipment and what might be a change here at some time.

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, I guess first, we hope that the R&A and the USGA can get together on equipment. We are concerned about how far the golf ball goes today, as far as the Masters tournament is concerned.

I think that a general statement would be that we are concerned about the golf game, as well, not just the Masters Tournament.

Do you have a follow-up on that? That's my response to what I think your question was.

Q. I think right now that that's a good answer for me.

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Thank you. (Laughter.)

Q. What was the feeling as far as expanding the TV coverage through the years, and the annual question, will there be more expansion down in the next year or so, especially on Thursday and Friday when people are always clamoring to see more of the coverage?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Can you capsule that for me?

Q. What was the thought behind expanding the TV coverage this year, after so many years of people asking for it, and is there any plans for further expansion?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: That just shows you that persistence pays off. (Laughter.)

We knew that there was a great demand for it, and we just decided that we ought to satisfy that demand.

Q. Are you looking at any further expansion or is this going to be it for a while?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: That's going to be it for a while.

Q. Has there been any consideration for a woman member at Augusta National?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We have no exclusionary policies as far as our membership is concerned.

Q. What does that mean?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: That means we have no exclusionary policies. (Laughter.)

Q. You all have always had the opportunity to give a special exemption to a foreign-born player. Is there any consideration to maybe giving that to a domestic player in the future?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Had not thought about that. I don't know what Mr. Roberts would think about that. I would have to give that some research.

Q. Did you watch THE PLAYERS Championship either in person or on TV, and if you did, were you thinking in part, "Boy, if this guy, Craig Perks can hold on and win this thing, he's going to play his way into our Invitational"?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Did that cross my mind? Yeah, that was exciting.

Q. Where were you watching, sir?


Q. And were you thinking that that this would be a nice addition to the field?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Sure. I thought anybody that could make those shots he made on the last few holes, he ought to be here. (Laughter.)

Q. What do you predict he will do this week?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, I don't know. He might win. If he could win that great championship, he could win here.

Q. I think the invitation for Greg (Norman) was the first foreign since we went to the World Ranking. Do you think this might be the only invitation he receives unless he qualifies by other means?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I could not speculate on that, the future. We are sure glad he's here this year, though.

Q. Are there any specific changes that are already on the drawing board for future years, changes for the golf course?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: No specific changes. A lot of things under consideration, but nothing in concrete.

Q. Has there been any talk about having another honorary starter to join Sam Snead?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, no. We may have thought about some things but we have had no discussions. But Sam seems to be holding up pretty well.

Q. You made a decision a few years ago not to automatically invite every winner of a PGA TOUR event, and players thought it would be a nice carrot for them to get in; is there any consideration to revisiting that?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We have no plans to revisit that. We are very pleased with our present qualifications. We think the World Golf Ranking is a great way for someone to earn their way into the Masters tournament, and the other Top-40 money winners and other qualifications. We are very comfortable with our qualifications. But we do look at them every year. I would have to say that we have -- and I would say that we are not giving any consideration to going back to an invitation to somebody who wins a PGA TOUR tournament.

Q. You're talking about formulating a policy for past champions who do not shoot the scores they used to; is part of the philosophy of that creating more space in the field for more deserving players?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: That's not a consideration.

Q. Will your policy next year on the older former champions be based on their recent performances as far as whether you're going to invite them into the field?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We'll have to see what that is next year, what our policy is. I don't have an answer for that right now.

Q. Jack said yesterday that there's a brass plate saying "Downtown" on the 18th tee. Will that be there during the tournament and is there one there?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: No. I had one made for him, though.

Q. But it's not there now?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: No. He said we'd be teeing off downtown next year, some time in the future, so I took him over there and I said, "Jack, downtown is here." (Laughter.)

Q. It was just a gag that day, that was it?


Q. I know that you had a lot of people monitoring play last year in terms of how long drives were, things of that nature. Will you continue to do that this year and in the future to assess the situation?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We sure are going to do it this year.

Q. Just curious if you've played the championship tees?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: No. I haven't played the championship tees in 25 years. (Laughter.)

Q. Wait a minute, you told me 21.

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, you caught me. (Laughter.)

Q. Clifford Roberts was always worried about getting patrons to the tournament to the club to make some money. What would you think of getting some past champions together on Wednesday morning for a competition?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I would not think of it at all.

Q. And why would that be?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I don't have to give you a reason. (Laughter.) Mr. Roberts wouldn't give you a reason.

Q. But don't you think it might be fun to find some way to include them in some sort of competition?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We'll take that under consideration. Thank you.

Q. When Jack Nicklaus repeated as champion, I think he present the green jacket to himself, and when Nick Faldo did it, Hord Hardin presented it to him. Should Tiger end up repeating this week, what contingency do you all have to give him the green jacket?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: It's not a contingency. I'm going to put it on him.

Q. Regarding the idea of a tournament golf ball, what kind of feedback did you get on that notion, and has there been a lot of it?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Well, I think that we've had considerable reaction that people were glad that we were heightening the debate on the concern for the game and the way it was going.

Q. During all of this silence, Will, I'll ask you a question. How are the new changes going to affect your pin setting?

WILL NICHOLSON: We are going to basically use the traditional positions we have. The one change we have is we are going to go back right on 18 on the new position on the back right of 18. The rest of them, you're not going to see anything dramatically different than what we have had before.

Q. Will these changes potentially create any room considerations that you might not have had?

WILL NICHOLSON: There are a couple places we are watching closely this year. There are some magnolia trees and pine trees on the left of 18, and the most unforgiving tree in the world is a magnolia tree. If you try to hit a golf ball through it there might be something down there. But other than that, I don't think anything out of the ordinary.

Q. In your list of prohibited items here, you have periscopes. Why are we not allowed periscopes?

HOOTIE JOHNSON: Mr. Roberts outlawed periscopes a long time ago. I guess that's the only reason. I guess they just take away from the beauty of the place.

Q. Well, if you had nice green ones with a discrete Masters logo -- (Laughter.)

HOOTIE JOHNSON: We'll give that some thought. (Laughter.)

Q. How tall are you?


Q. And when was the last time you walked around without your green jacket outside the ropes or sent one of your shorter members incognito, because there's a lot of places where it's difficult for your patrons to see and a periscope would be very useful.

HOOTIE JOHNSON: I'll give that to the Tournament Improvements Committee. (Laughs).

Q. That pin placement on 18 you mentioned, will that be for Sunday?

WILL NICHOLSON: We have not made that decision. It depends on the weather.

BILLY PAYNE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

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Old 04-11-2002, 11:21 AM   #74
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Did you post this in the Sports forum? Some big golf fans over there....
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Old 04-11-2002, 11:27 AM   #75
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Has this thread become your forum for your random postings of miscellanaeous topic cut-and-paste articles? Or did they ban you from starting new topic threads, so you are posting everything in here?

And what in the hell is "Douche-Tastic Poetry" anyway?


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