Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Presented without comment

From Nelson Ascher, as approvingly quoted by Instapundit:

But I have finally discovered the ROOT CAUSE of Saddam's secularism. Islam, like Judaism, has a taboo against the depiction of anything, human images included. By now you may be getting my point. How can one reconcile this puritanical taboo with the narcisism of a guy who wanted his own image, in pictures, statues etc., to be constantly shown everywhere in his country? No way.

Thus between pictures of Saddam, statues of Saddam, Saddam and more Saddam everywhere on one side, and Islam on the other, it was Islam that had to go.

From a photo caption in U.S. News & World Report:

Life on the streets of Baghdad. Saddam's smiling image is everywhere, but there are few smiles on the faces of Iraqis.

From the National Review:

One of (Congressman Joe Wilson's) first visits (in Korea) was to a school for gifted children. "The classrooms had no electricity, except to power the computers," says Wilson. Despite all the scarcity, there was no shortage of pictures of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. They hung from a wall in each room.

From "Frontline/World":

It's exactly the same in Iraq, where you see these pictures of the leader everywhere and in every possible guise. You see pictures of Saddam as soldier, philosopher, farmer, photographer, writer, everything. In the north [of Iraq], you see Saddam mostly as an intellectual or a judge or a photographer. In the south, you see Saddam with the traditional peasant headdress on and as a farmer. Well, in North Korea, the Great Leader knows more about farming than all the farmers put together and more about football than all the football players put together. The difference is that in North Korea people seem to accept that idea without question.

From today's Washington Post:

State Department types were taken aback last week to find that a longtime diplomatic photo exhibit along a busy corridor to the cafeteria had been taken down. The two dozen mostly grainy black and white shots were a historic progression of great diplomatic moments, sources recalled.

There was an original political cartoon from the Jefferson era showing Britain and France pick-pocketing the Americans; there were pictures of negotiations with Indian tribes over land; President Woodrow Wilson at Versailles; former secretary of state Elihu Root somewhere; Roosevelt and Churchill signing the Atlantic Charter; former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze in cowboy boots at Jackson Hole; a splendid shot of the old State Department building; and a photo of President Ronald Reagan at a meeting with a very young Colin L. Powell seated behind him.

Then they were gone. And what was put up in their place? What else? A George W. Bush family album montage of 21 large photos of the president as diplomat. He's speaking at the United Nations and meeting with foreign leaders. There are several shots of Bush with first lady Laura Bush -- exiting a plane, touring the Forum in Rome and visiting Japan. (There's one of just Laura Bush and Jordan's Queen Noor at a U.N. conference.) There's one of Bush meeting in happier days with his very good friend Jacques Chirac, president of France, and another with his even better friend, Gerhard Schroeder, chancellor of Germany. There's a fine shot of him yucking it up in Beijing with former Chicom boss Jiang Zemin, aka the Robin Williams of the Middle Kingdom.

Again, I have nothing to add to this...


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