Monday, April 07, 2003

Mugsy Bogues Can Post Up the Arab Street-Den Beste wants to send Shaq and Bill Walton over to Iraq as news reporters.
We need Walton, with an angry red beard, and we need Shaq, black as the ace of spades with his head shaved and his thin moustache. And we need them both doing stand-up interviews in post-war Baghdad with Arabs there. Shaq stands 7'1" (2.16 m) and weighs 338 lbs (153 kg) and Walton ain't a lot smaller than that. No matter what was actually said by them or the Arabs they interviewed, the image of them as Americans standing beside and towering over the Arabs they interviewed would leave a lasting impression. And both men would put Arab moustaches to shame.
First of all, Walton has lost his beard since that old Blazer shot from a quarter-century ago. While Walton seems to have mellowed with age, but as a younger player in the 70s, he was a 7-foot-tall hippie, arguably Dead Head #1 and hung out with SLA members. I'm not sure I'd trust him with a politically-sensitive topic, unless his politics have done an 180. We don't need seven-footers to stand head and shoulders about Arabs. I'm 6'5" and can do that job, but we can send Jason Alexander to be a reporter and still tower above the Arab world. We're the home of Democracy Whiskey Sexy not to mention free markets, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. We run circles around the world in most areas and when we're hated it is often because of jealousy as much as for our loose morals. It ain't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. China's has more people and Russia has more natural resources, but it's the inventive, individualist spirit that makes the US great and helps countries that adopt our paradigm grow as well. We're also a empire that's not interested in having colonies; note the stress of not planting US flags, since we're there to free Iraq, not conquer it. That's what's going to impress the world, not some big jocks.

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