Actually, that Austin Powers quote has little to do with the point of this post — although it was a weird thing to do, a la Random Task….
What I do mean to point out is the fact that across the Mideast, the "Arab Street" was out en masse demonstrating in favor of the guy who did his utmost (by Middle Eastern standards) to insult President W. in Iraq — less than 24 hours after the incident. From The New York Times:
Barely 24 hours after the journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, was tackled
and arrested for his actions at a Baghdad news conference, the
shoe-throwing incident was generating front-page headlines and
continuing television news coverage. A thinly veiled glee could be
discerned in much of the reporting, especially in the places where
anti-American sentiment runs deepest.
In Sadr City, the
sprawling Baghdad suburb that has seen some of the most intense
fighting between insurgents and American soldiers since the 2003
invasion, thousands of people marched in his defense. In Syria, he was
hailed as a hero. In Libya, he was given an award for courage….
What occurs to me is that this is an impressive display — or many impressive displays, I suppose — of organizational ability. Just think — if the energy and effort that goes into these spontaneous (and sometimes not so spontaneous) expressions of indignation were channeled into building viable industries or — dare we hope — self-government or respect for the rule of law — we’d never have another bit of trouble from that part of the world. Trouble is, a lot of these cultures and systems don’t do "constructive." But they certainly do resentment. You betcha.