Sunday, August 17, 2003

Hi - to the Arab world

A few people (like CNN and the Washington Post)are talking about the new "Hi" magazine that is coming out. Mainly it is a vehicle for the US to introduce ourselves to the Arab world. It only costs the taxpayers about US 4 millon a year, so it is a worthwhile experiment, but it seems doomed to failure. There is little about Britany Spears that your average Arab does not know. Moreover there is little about Britany Spears that will make the average Arab like us more. I do agree with
Young's reasons for thinking that in the Arab world one can love Madonna hate everything about her and want to kill everyone else who listens to her. I also agree with his assesment that the ones who are shelling out the equivelant of US 2, are not the ones who need our propoganda - they are already on the net checking out Eminem for themselves. I do not agree with his last suggestion for the same reason he gives that the magazine will not work. There is little chance that some Dahe resident/Amal supporter will find himself taking advantage of that Arab scholarship to Penn State in the near future. There are plenty of Arabs who do make it to the US and there is no indication that they are getting anything out of it more then an education. They are generally the ones who come from families that are sufficiently western so as to send their children to the US or England. While here (or there) they are also the ones who participate in the anti-America bitchfests that are a staple of US college education. The education thing used to sound like a good idea until we realized that an Arab can love our education and still hate us, just liek they can do with our music. It was a very good idea when it came to communists, but no so with Arabs.

But what should be done is still a good question. I still stand by my "beer and porn" idea. Get as much US (or German or whatever) beer and porn in to Arab countries and see how long the clerics will be able to really stop it. Erode the antiquated morals of the Arab world and the rest will fall. Make them decadent, like us, and they will work hard to protect their freedom to stay that way.

There may be a more realistic and serious solution, but not an easy one. Ideas?