Uncle Sam Through Saudi Eyes
March 15, 2003 1:59 PM Subscribe
Colin Powell and the Marketing of Uncle Sam is an idiosyncratic rant by Afnan Fatani, professor of stylistics at King Abdul Aziz University, in the English-language Saudi journal Arab News, arguing the sinister implications of Colin Powell's employment of advertising experts to put the American message to the world. Starting with Nelson Mandela's recent comments, among them that the U.S. is disregarding the U.N. because its leader, Kofi Annan, is black, Prof. Fatani achieves some rhetorical fireworks from the observation that "Uncle Ben is not Uncle Sam."
During the days of slavery in America, white men discovered the powerful singing voices of their black slaves. Today, judging from the sleek performance of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, American leaders have apparently discovered and successfully utilized the articulate skills of their black citizens. Too bad the message these black politicians are promoting is Zionist war and destruction, and not Christian peace and goodwill. Too bad that Powell and the Bush administration have between them tainted the white wholesome goodness of Uncle Ben’s Rice.According to a December 2002 story in Salon, Powell had said, upon hiring ad mogul Charlotte Beers at State, "Hey, she got me to buy Uncle Ben's rice." Interestingly, Richard Lyons posted an op-ed based on a very similar conceit in February 2002 — though without the bizarre racial overtones. Didn't German soldiers taunt black GIs with the fact of their second-class citizenship during WWII? Stylistic it is, a mishmash of apocalyptic scriptural interpretation and Internet antiwar rhetoric. Fellow Netizens, I give you our Saudi allies on this, 12 Muharram 1424, the eve of war.
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