Demoticratic hamartia

K. has already pointed out the hilarity of sections of the BBC talking point on the Iraq sovereignty handover, so I won’t steal her thunder except (if I may) by quoting one of the more wall-eyed e-mails:

A historic day. This proves the United States is not an imperialistic power out to grab territory, oil, or to impose it’s [sic] will on other people.

Instead I note tangentially that Haifa Zangana quotes a wise old Iraqi saw:

In Iraq, we have an expression: same donkey, different saddle.

Ooh. I never thought of it like that before. At least, I never involved such a literally asinine metaphor. “In Iraq” indeed. Come on. Every culture in the world has its equivalent. By quoting this, why, you’re practically giving us the same shit in a different package. It isn’t some piece of magical Iraqi folklore that’s apposite where everyone else’s misses the mark.

It’s as bad as everyone thinking their countrymen are heavy drinkers. I mean: the English have a booze culture; the French their wine and the Germans their beer; Welshmen are permanently wankered, of course; Japanese men drink until they fall over, typically two pints for biochemical reasons that I’m in no position to explain; and if the Scots have their whisky, then the Oirish—oh, begob, the Oirish! I can’t see a heavily Muslim country following suit, but you never know. If the native American peoples have taught us anything it’s that we excel at exporting alcoholism.

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