May 09, 2004

Aww, I Can't Stay Mad At You, Great Satan!

So I'm reading Richard Clarke's book, Against All Enemies. If you haven't read it, and have ever wondered about the history of the Middle East from 1980-2000, it'll help. If not, you may not particularly enjoy it. But one thing from it really grabbed me as being hysterical, and may help to convince those who hate us that it's all just a big misunderstanding.

Picture this: you're a Saudi named Hani el-Sayegh. You hate America. You work for Saudi Hezbollah. And one day you're ordered to attack a United States Air Force base in a place called "Khobar." So you do it. And of course, as you expected, the Americans find out you did it. If there's one thing America likes more than big business, it's getting it's man! But they can't prove who ordered you to do it. So they fly you to...Canada!

The director of an investigative agency called the "FBI" sits down with you and the Canadian officials. He asks you to agree to a lighter sentence in exchange for betraying your superiors. And despite their expectations, you do agree, probably because you're terrified. So they bring you to the United States to stand trial. But once you get there, it occurs to you that maybe you should be more terrified of the people you'd be betraying, so you decide you don't want to do this deal anymore. And so you refuse to cooperate. The country that's apprehended you gives you a lawyer to help you defend yourself against it. So you stand trial against America (with your American lawyer), and you refuse to betray your superiors. And you're let off, because they don't have any evidence against you! This vindicates your American lawyer, who wanted you to win your case, but it aggravates the American FBI, who wanted you to lose your case, and give up evidence while you did it.

The Saudi officials will kill you if you return, because you're a murderer. So you do the only thing you can do: seek asylum in the country whose soldiers you killed. Another American agency is assigned to consider whether you should be protected for killing its citizens. And by now you're thinking, "this is some really fucked up bureaucracy!" This is subsequently confirmed by the fact that your asylum review is taking so long. While that review is pending, the director of the FBI, who apprehended you and brought you to America in the first place, orders you detained because...wait for're in America illegally!

How can you hate a country like that? We're completely incompetent! We're not evil: we're stupid! So lighten up!

Posted by Chris at May 9, 2004 07:28 PM | TrackBack

*rofl* So true, so true!

"Don't hate me because I'm dumb!"

Posted by: Nabil at May 10, 2004 12:06 AM

That story reinforces some beliefs that I hold.
1. we're stupid
2. individuals are responsible for their actions
which reinforces yet another belief
3. just because someone orders you to do something doesn't mean that you should.

Posted by: Dana at May 10, 2004 07:41 AM

LOL, I couldn't have put it better myself! Check this out. I thought it was mildly amusing.

Posted by: Tim at May 10, 2004 02:52 PM
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