Sunday, October 26, 2003

Tom Friedman has noticed that NATO has a whole lot of security problems in Arabia, since the folks down there regard the West generally, and America in particular, as tools of "the Jews". His proposed solution: add Israel to the NATO alliance, making it explicitly a tool of "the Jews", or at least the ones running Israel. But that won't give NATO all the muscle it needs, so he also proposes adding Egypt, and making Egyptian troops, in the eyes of the Islamists, into tools of "the Jews" as well. Egypt, after all, has a "huge surplus of military manpower with little to do" -- besides fighting off Egypt's native Islamic extremists, who provided some of the key people to al-Qaeda and have been around for decades. And of course, we should also add the new government of Iraq, once it exists and has proved to the satisfaction of everyone concerned that it is not itself a neo-colonial project of "the Jews", or such Western tools of "the Jews" (in Islamist eyes) as Dick Cheney and, er... Paul Wolfowitz. Don't hold your breath waiting for that last bit.

How did he get this brilliant idea?

I am just sitting here at NATO headquarters, listening to NATO officials tell me that their future is to the south, but that they have no manpower to go there, then matching that up with the needs and resources of the countries to the south. Do that, and the answer becomes obvious: If you can't bring Muhammad to the mountain, bring the mountain to Muhammad -- and to Moses.

Gosh, why didn't they think of that themselves?

Perhaps because, in the words of another distinguished American journalist, every complex problem has a solution that is simple, neat and wrong...


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