|Man Without Qualities|
Saturday, November 16, 2002
The fourth Maureen Dowd column since the November 5 elections has now emerged, and, still no acknowledgement that the elections happened or, a fortiori, the results. Instead, her effort today finds Big Mo again tooling around the unelected representatives of the highly unelected government of Saudi Arabia, after a brief flirtation with the foibles of the unelected but socially acceptable British Royal Family.
Once again Big Mo gives the Saudi despots a good pen lashing. But, ever aggressive and result-oriented if inelegant, Big Mo discovers at the back of her burka wardrobe her own secret doorway to American domestic politics! She exclaims:
Saudi Arabia is the Augusta National of Islam, a sand trap where men can hang out and be men. A suffocating, strict, monochromatic world of white-robed men and black-robed women.
Take THAT, running dogs of American phallocentrism! Big Mo's coming to get you where it hurts the most - GOLF!
The Augusta National of Islam? Is it an invitational or a open? For God's sake, Big Mo. Don't stop there! Let the metaphor move you and take you where it wants you to be!
She leads with: Riyadh may be the Bible Belt of the Arab world.
Get it, Georgia? Augusta? Bible Belt? Big Mo is talking - clear and elliptical - to you! You who kicked out your Democrat War Hero Senator - kicked out most Democrats who raised their heads too high. Think Atlanta is a cosmopolitan city? Think again, goober, and wait for her out in the woodshed. Big Mo is almost back and she's fixing to take her attenuated Bible Belt imagery to your impertinent hide.
And don't try any of the "Driving Miss Daisy" stuff on her this time. Atlantan Miss Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy) is a "fine, rich, Jewish lady," says her black chauffeur, Hoke Coburn (Morgan Freeman)? Fuggetaboutit! Big Mo knows driving. She has a "driving" story that will knock your socks off and she's not afraid to lay it between the lines:
The moment when America should have tried to use its influence to help Saudi women came on Nov. 6, 1990, as U.S. forces gathered in the kingdom to go to war in Iraq. Inspired by the American troops — including female soldiers — 47 women from the intelligentsia went for a joy ride to protest Saudi Arabia's being the only place where women can't drive. .... Using international licenses, the women took the wheels from their brothers and husbands and drove in a convoy until police stopped them. At first, the drivers were exhilarated. But then the clerics pounced, blaming "secular Americanist" ideas and branding the women "whores" and "harlots." They were publicly harassed, received death threats and lost their jobs. ... Driving by women, banned by custom, was made illegal as degrading to "the sanctity of women." America was silent: Whether they drove was less important than how much it cost us to drive.
AND JUST WHO WAS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AT THIS ULTRA-CRITICAL MOMENT WHEN AMERICA SHOULD HAVE TRIED TO HELP SAUDI WOMEN IN 1990?
WE NEED NOT ASK!!
And, as far as Big Mo is concerned, we'd better not ask about all the other moments from 1992 to 2000, either. IF WE DID, WE'D GET MOCKED! Saudi Arabia is a country that can decapitate women for a having a little nookie on the side, and Big Mo thinks the US should have blown a gasket when some of them lost their drivers licenses.
The world has not seen such a cri de Coeur for human rights since the irate, bitter letter from Fabrizio's: Criticism and Response that boldly accused the coat-check girl and other "so-called intellectuals" of the left-wing Italian restaurant "Fabrizio's Villa Nuovo" of standing silent while coat check girls throughout the Soviet Union were taken from their homes and forced to check coats of Soviet goons!
Yep. Big Mo is taking no prisoners. She's mad - and she doesn't care who knows what she thinks about Saudi "culture" - as long as they understand that she's really talking about US Republican "culture:" The royals tried to throw the fundamentalists sops — blocking little things like cultural freedom and women's rights. Nasty, nasty, nasty. Hey Saudi Royals, you overfed, underfamilied buffoons from Riyadh! Big Mo's got your number - and she knows you don't treat women right! BIG MO IS GOING TO BLOW THE LID OFF THIS TOWN!
And that means Washington, D.C., in case you're not paying attention:
Now they are more angry at the U.S. than their own rulers. They feel the American media are playing up the repression of Saudi women post-9/11 as a way to demonize Saudi Arabia, just as George and Laura Bush played up the repression of Afghan women post-9/11 as a way to demonize the Taliban. "Americans are always saying they're concerned with freedom and the democratic will of people," said one of the drivers, a professor. "But they didn't care about what was happening inside our country in 1990. And they still don't care. We are seen only as the ladies in black."
It's more OpinionJournalBait! James Taranto, you encouraged her. Now look where it's leading.
UPDATE: The MinuteMan also wonders at Big Mo's self imposed exile. Has some Saudi prince added her to his harem? Ready the Delta Force - this may be a case for Die Entführung aus dem Serail!
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