Friday, May 11, 2007

Condi's weapons of mass distraction

One of my new favoritist websites is Watching America which features translated articles from the foreign press.

The views the world press hold of the US can be eye-opening, alarming, refreshing, and, on occasion, amusing. From Al Anbat, Jordan:

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki fled before sitting down next to American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The reason given for his departure was the red see-through dress worn by a violinist who performed at dinner. The dress apparently offended the dignity of Mottaki, who is said to be a deeply religious politician. According to the media at Sharm al-Sheikh, this was the reason that there was no rapprochement or meeting between Mottaki and Rice.

We are not necessarily convinced by this explanation. We have followed carefully the mutually destructive war that has been raging between Washington and Tehran, and it must be said that if we were to accept this theory, one would have to conclude that mutual understanding between the United States and Iran will be impossible so long as there is an American Secretary of State who wears miniskirts … and who shows her legs and her bust to those sitting near her. Naturally, this would result in unequal negotiations between Rice and Mottaki because the Minister would be at a loss as his eyes wandered from her mind to her legs!!

The tone of the article is firmly tongue in cheek, but it does illustrate one of the problems facing the west in its contacts with fundamentalist Islam, its rather peculiar, some would say barbaric (to western minds anyway) view of a woman's place in society.

What I find most heartening though is that this article appeared in a newspaper based in Jordan which, though gingerly allied with the US, is none-the-less still a state with a dominantly Islamic population. I feel a strange bit of the kinship with an author mocking the most extreme of his coreligionists.

It somehow gives me hope.

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