Democratic Underground

Gettin' Down with the Great Satan
October 17, 2001
By birdman

Printer-friendly version of this article Tell a friend about this article Discuss this article

About 20 years ago I worked with an Egyptian man who had come to the U.S. on a foreign worker exchange program. In the seven or eight months that I worked with him three things became clear about him.

First, he was obsessed with Middle Eastern politics and liked to talk about it all the time. He was a fierce opponent of the late Anwar Sadat and felt that Sadat, whom he referred to as the "black donkey" was selling out the Arab cause by negotiating with Israel.

Secondly he had nothing but contempt for America, calling us a people without any history (his country of course had 5000 years of it) and angrily denouncing U.S. support of Israel.

Thirdly, he was spending every spare moment looking for an American born wife so he wouldn't have to ever go back to the glorious land of the pyramids.

Why Middle Eastern politics Well I have a feeling it's because there is little else to do there. There's no Super Bowl, no NCAA 64 team bracket pool. You can't paint your face and go to the game so you invest your rooting interest in driving the infidel from land you think is yours even if it means chopping him into little pieces.

And while this former associate of mine never discussed with me why he came to feel that his 5000 years of Egyptian history could be better experienced from an American museum as opposed to up close I think I know the reason and therein lies the key to combating radical Islam.

Consumer goods. Cars, blue jeans, high definition TV, houses that don't fall over when the wind hits them, Big Macs (okay I know they're terrible but imagine yourself on a diet where all you can eat is chickpeas and even two cardboardy all beef patties are gonna sound pretty good). The American consumer society, the freedom to choose and make your own rules is the dire enemy of orthodox religion.

To the radical mullahs American television is the most subversive element that could ever emerge in the Islamic world. They don't want their people to see a society where religion is a marginal factor in peoples lives. They don't want them to see women with education and jobs and without 20 layers of covering. And most importantly they don't want them to see the Playboy channel.

I mean how are you ever going to get somebody to blow themselves up in a pizza shop in exchange for a vague promise of a few dozen virgins when they can live in a society where you can pretty much get all the sex you want (although virgins, if that's what you're into, are admittedly in short supply). The average Islamic country has sexual mores that make the America of the 1950's look like a weekend at Hugh Hefners mansion. The mullahs know full well that if the sex genie gets out of the bottle it will never go back in.

Rationalization. It's one of life's most powerful and least talked about forces. The mullahs know that if the choice boils down to praying in the direction of Mecca and meeting your girlfriend for a nooner the nooner is going to win almost all the time and eventually rationalization will lead even loyal Muslims to ask whether mullahs really know all that much after all. We did much the same thing here in America when the pill and increased prosperity made the sexual revolution possible. Religious austerity only sells when there's no good alternative.

Well, there apparently is no justice because in fact the Egyptian man who couldn't stand America did manage to find a U.S. bride just as the INS was ready to hand him his walking papers and to the best of my knowledge he's still here. He'd visited the worlds biggest candy store and decided that if you've seen one pyramid you've seen 'em all. And that's why the Hefners and Gucciones and Flynts represent a more powerful force in the world than all the mullahs and the ayatollahs and the evangelical Bible thumpers that the world has ever known.

They may scream at us and burn our flag and yell "death to America" but if given the chance every last one of them would get down with the Great Satan.