Sunday, October 16, 2005

Get your program! Can't tell your insurgents from your rebels without your program!

Mark Steyn has the radical idea of naming names in the War on Terror, or as the MSM would have us believe, multiple unrelated insurgencies for which we are probably to blame in some way or another.

From Thursday's New York Times: ''Nalchik, Russia -- Insurgents launched a series of raids today in this southern Russian city, striking the area's main airport and several police and security buildings in large-scale, daytime attacks that left at least 85 people dead.''

"Insurgents," eh?

From Agence France Presse:

"Nalchik, Russia: More than 60 people were killed as scores of militants launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings . . ."

"Militants," you say?

From the Scotsman:

"Rebel forces battled Russian troops for control of a provincial capital in the Caucasus yesterday . . ."

"Rebel forces,'' huh?

From Toronto's Globe & Mail:

"Nalchik, Russia -- Scores of rebels launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings . . ."

"Rebels," by the score. But why were they rebelling? What were they insurging over? You had to pick up the Globe & Mail's rival, the Toronto Star, to read exactly the same Associated Press dispatch but with one subtle difference:

''Nalchik, Russia -- Scores of Islamic militants launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings . . ."

Ah, "Islamic militants." So that's what the rebels were insurging over. In the geopolitical Hogwart's, Islamic "militants" are the new Voldemort, the enemy whose name it's best never to utter. In fairness to the New York Times, they did use the I-word in paragraph seven. And Agence France Presse got around to mentioning Islam in paragraph 22. And NPR's "All Things Considered" had one of those bland interviews between one of its unperturbable anchorettes and some Russian geopolitical academic type in which they chitchatted through every conceivable aspect of the situation and finally got around to kinda sorta revealing the identity of the perpetrators in the very last word of the geopolitical expert's very last sentence.


Read the whole article, it is classic Steyn; simultaneously hilarious and gravely serious. I would add some commentary, but Steyn has said it all.

4 Comments:

Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Duck:

Steyn, like Dalrymple, Hitchens, and Lileks, always writes brilliantly.

Speaking of multiculturalism, how this: In the MSP terminal last week, Somalians made me, half English/half German, Mexican food with a Hawaiian twist in the Nordic stronghold of North America.

And no one gave it a second thought...

Well, ok, except me.

October 21, 2005 2:15 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Duck:

Steyn, like Dalrymple, Hitchens, and Lileks, always writes brilliantly.

Speaking of multiculturalism, how this: In the MSP terminal last week, Somalians made me, half English/half German, Mexican food with a Hawaiian twist in the Nordic stronghold of North America.

And no one gave it a second thought...

Well, ok, except me.

October 21, 2005 2:19 PM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Food does seem to be the most easily-transferred aspect, between cultures.

Food has even changed the world; Christopher Columbus was looking for spices and seasonings, and corn was the real treasure that the Spaniards brought back from the New World.

I often enjoy reading Lileks, and he has written some brilliant stuff, but I wouldn't say that he's always brilliant.

October 22, 2005 9:45 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

I believe it Skipper. The odder thing is that your average American takes pride in the notion that such mixing of cultures can happen here.

We are extremely tolerant of the tangible aspects of other cultures: food, music, dress, accents, religon, or the very fact that foreigners are here amongst us. Our main area of intolerance is behavioral - we expect the newbies to accept our American "religion" of individual freedom, self reliance, and live and let live tolerance of others so long as they do likewise.

Lileks writes something everyday, so he can't be brilliant with everything, but every once in awhile he encapsulates some absurdity so perfectly that you imagine that target of his satire cannot possibly recover, and should forever withdraw from society in shame. Unfortunately they never do.

October 23, 2005 8:09 AM  

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