[SPORK] The Sum of all Fears: Reaction of the Muslim "Street"

Jeff Bone jbone@deepfile.com
Tue, 25 Mar 2003 09:11:38 -0600

We are, of course, continuing to lose ground in the war that actually=20
matters, the PR war for the hearts and minds of the Muslim street.  But=20=

then, we'd already surrendered that war before the bullets even started=20=

flying in the real world...


=91An Unjust and an Evil War=92

Mohammed Alkhereiji, Arab News War Correspondent  AMMAN, 25 March 2003=20=

=97 With the war on Iraq in its fifth day, Arab News spoke to Hamza=20
Mansour, the secretary general of the Islamic Action Front (IAF). The=20
IAF is the Muslim Brotherhood=92s political arm in Jordan. Sitting =
his desk at the IAF=92s headquarters in Amman, Mansour...   (full =



"War Debate Rages Via SMS"

Safinaz Zakariya Murshid, Special to Arab News  RIYADH, 25 March 2003 =97=20=

Since the war broke out in Iraq, dozens of e-mails and mobile text=20
messages have been circulating between friends in Saudi Arabia. Some of=20=

the messages urged an anti-American campaign or encouraged recipients=20
to remember their brothers in Iraq. Some messages also encouraged=20
Muslims to...   (full story).



"Scattered Scenes, Scattered Thoughts"

Abeer Mishkhas, abeermishkhas@arabnews.com  TV footage of war is a=20
primary source of information. We turn into big round pairs of eyes=20
which automatically follow whatever is happening on TV =97 from scenes =
the fire-lit sky in Baghdad, uniformed soldiers, ordinary Iraqis=20
running at the sound of sirens to analysts having their fifteen...  =20
(full story).



"Arabs Don=92t Take Kindly to Those Who Hurt Their Pride"

Saeed Haider, Arab News Staff  DAMMAM, 25 March 2003 =97 It is proving =
be a war of miscalculations for the United States and Britain. The=20
increasing lines on the faces of President Bush and Prime Minister Tony=20=

Blair clearly show a mounting uneasiness within themselves. Their=20
post-invasion statements, such as =93it will be...   (full story).



Remember the recipe for disaster:

(1) grotesque, outrageous pictures of "American barbarism" on Al=20
Jazeera (authenticity irrelevant)
(1a) --> we continue to lose the Muslim street, even e.g. educated=20
moderates in e.g. Jordan
(2) 1.2B Muslims worldwide (or anybody else that's pissed and=20
(3) stamps
(4) envelopes
(5) 1 tsp of flour each

.: billions of dollars of economic impact, total chaos and panic, gov't=20=

shutdowns, etc.

PRAY this doesn't happen.

BE ANGRY that our leadership didn't consider or doesn't care about=20
these kinds of possibilities.


Also consider:  are we the Germans?  Germany (and friends, e.g.=20
Austria) dominated science, technology, medicine, philosophy, and in=20
general global culture during the latter half of the 19th and first=20
half of the 20th century.  The clearest example of this was their=20
language dominance:  you couldn't *be* a man of letters, really, w/o at=20=

least reading some German --- most of the scholarly journals were in=20
that language.  After WWII, this changed.  Why?

I speculate that it's because the whole *idea* of German culture was=20
globally rejected in the aftermath of the War.  People worldwide were=20
ashamed to be associated with anything having to do w/ Germany. =20
(Indeed, the moral victory scored by America, in addition to any other=20=

number of factors, allowed us rather than some other nation to step=20
into that leadership role in these areas.)

I hope that Dubya's war isn't the trigger for a similar mass rejection=20=

of American global cultural and language dominance.