Tragic Mistake, or vicious crime? The Arab News today has an editorial criticizing the events in Nigeria this week, where 200 people died in riots related to the Miss World contest. Except that the Arab News does not criticize the Muslims who started the orgy of violence and committed murder. The Arab News criticizes only the Miss World pageant organizers for provoking the riots by offending the sensibilities of the local Muslims, and in their words "Over 200 people have lost their lives because of it". Why does the Religion of Peace always seem to blame others for its own crimes?
Ditzy Conspiracy Theory Watch The San Francisco Chronicle reader opinion survey asks the question: Why is the United States promoting war against Iraq? 57% say "To remove weapons of mass destruction" (not bad) and a full 22% say "To assure President Bush's re-election in 2004". Yes, that unfoolable 22% of San Franciscans must be thinking of the way that victory in Iraq assured the elder Bush of a rousing re-election 10 years ago.
What motivates Al Qaeda? Some, like the superannuated yachtowning Marxist Robert Scheer, imagine that Al Qaeda is animated by sympathy for Palestinians. But The San Francisco Chronicle yesterday published this organizational chart of the top Al Qaeda operatives, their nationality and their status (dead, alive, or in custody). For some reason, most of the members are Saudi, Yemeni, Egyptian, with a few Pakistanis, Kuwaitis and Libyans. Only one of the 35 is identified as Palestinian. If Palestine were the driving issue, might there not be more Palestinians in the leadership? Perhaps the large number of oil-rich Saudis and Kuwaitis suggests a more mundane explanation: These are not desperate and oppressed liberation seekers, but disaffected sons of the upper-middle-class suffering from existential angst. Kind of like an Arabian version of the Manson Family or the Baader-Meinhof Gang. The good news is that the Al Qaeda "Public Relations" man, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is still at large. Hey, Sully, if you happen read this, drop me a line and let me know what you guys are actually hoping to accomplish.Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at November 23, 2002 03:28 PM