Monday, June 30, 2008

Too Busy to Hate? But Not Too Busy for PR!

Too Busy To Hate?

No, you can't make this shit up. It really appeared under his byline. David Ignatius explains that "everyone wants" what the emperor-or-whatever-they-call-him of Dubai wants, which is that Obama and McCain take the imaginary debates to this imaginary city to show their imaginary grasp of world affairs.

Atrios puts it down to Ignatius's desire for an all expenses paid trip to Dubai, a place an ordinary person wouldn't go for graft, let alone just for a hotel room and some free toiletries. But I think its worse than that. Its so improbable that I don't see Ignatius wasting his ink on it. Lets face it, the entire thing is a boondoggle of absurd proportions and Ignatius has to have received a payoff up front. We'll know that when his next column proposes that "everyone is talking" about what "great idea" it would be if Obama and McCain would agree to debate on the St. Andrew's Golf Course, wearing Golfing pants, because everyone knows that "Golf is the sport that's too busy to hate" and we have all those golfing interests. And the next column? He'll propose that they sell the naming rights to the debate to Microsoft.

My personal favorite in this gagworthy essay is this remarkable line:

As much as any place in the Arab world, Dubai is a symbol of modernization and change. It's a bit over the top, to be sure, with an artificial ski resort, man-made islands in the shape of a palm tree and rococo hotels with make-believe canals and Arab castles. What's likable about Dubai is that, as a boomtown, it's a city that's "too busy to hate," as was said a generation ago of Atlanta.

What? See, when people are kept busy by capitalism and disney they are "too busy to hate" so presumably all those other countries where they have free time to hate, or to fire mortars at occupation forces, or attack the allies or whatever? Its because they are just plain lazy and under-occupied. If only they had good jobs and rococo hotels and stuff in Iraq, or an autocrat to make them show up at those jobs and clean those hotels, there'd be no insurgency at all. The Iraq war, the enmity of the Arab states towards Israel, is really just a failure of capitalism and the resulting discontent, not an expression of it.


Edited to add El Gato Negro's very interesting comment on this post:

My thoughts align closely to aimai's, especially after reading paragraphs like this:

The idea for this debate emerged in conversations and e-mails over the past week with officials in Dubai.
It appears to have the unofficial blessing of Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid, the emirate's ruler. Dubai's leaders "realize the importance of such an idea and are ready to receive the candidates and organize the event," one senior official told me.

The only new information in the column is that Ignatz has been having conversations with top officials from Dubai, the rest is all P.R.

It does appear as if Ignatius is working for someone who has Dubai as a client. Or he himself has Dubai as a client.


cross posted at Steve M's No More Mr. Nice Blog