Tuesday, August 10, 2004

One thing perfectly clear

Now, listen up, because (hopefully) I'm only going to say this once. And, in homage to our bescandaled 37th president, whose resignation was recalled in a previous post, your blogstress will borrow Nixonian syntax in order to make a rare lapse into the first person:

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not a terrorist.

Why, you may ask, would your cybertrix feel the need to make such a statement?

You see, dear reader, a blogstress will do many a shameful thing in order to support her writing habit, and yours, alas, worked at the World Bank for a year, beginning in 1998--not long after her return from Peshawar, Pakistan.

Talk these days in D.C. is all about how the F.B.I. intends to comb through the employment and contracting records of the World Bank, and cull those that jibe with "suspicious travel," according to Pierre Thomas of ABC NEWS. And having traveled to Pakistan's border with Afghanistan just months after bin Laden's fatwah against all things American--including Americans themselves--your Webwench fears her journey could qualify as suspicious. (Certainly the Pakistani police who interrogated her at the Lahore airport thought so.)

So, what was she doing over there? Oh, just what bleeding-heart, do-gooder, guilt-ridden Yanks do among the starving everywhere--attempt to asuage our consciences. One goes to do good and winds up doing little but raising the expectations of people who have already been bled of any reasonable hope. It's a terribly cruel game.

Your écrivaine had gone to talk with Afghan women in refugee camps, particularly devout Muslims engaged in a fight for women's rights. Yes, Muslim feminists do exist--even in Afghanistan, even in Pakistan. The women she met were fierce and generous and extraordinary. She wonders how many of them are still alive.

So, given this personal history, a vaguely exotic last name, and a three-year-old article about the current, civil rights-adverse attorney general circulating in the blogosphere and fast becoming a cult favorite of oppo types, your cyberscribe thought it wise to issue this disclaimer:

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not a terrorist.

Okay, it's been uttered twice.

Should this blog go suddenly silent, please send your cybertrix a postcard, c/o Gitmo.

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