More Gratitude from the Anti-American Elites

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    May 27, 2005, 7:59 a.m.
    Our Spoiled and Unhappy Global Elites
    By Victor Davis Hanson for National Review

    Not long ago Pepsi Cola’s chief operating officer, Indra Nooyi, gave an address to the graduating class at Columbia Business School. In it, she metaphorically likened America to the middle finger on the global hand.

    Denunciations and anger arose from her use of the silly metaphor (e.g., “This analogy of the five fingers as the five major continents leaves the long, middle finger for North America, and, in particular, the United States.…However, if used inappropriately — just like the U.S. itself — the middle finger can convey a negative message and get us in trouble. You know what I'm talking about… So remember, when you extend your arm to colleagues and peoples from other countries, make sure that you're giving a hand, not the finger.”)

    Then came her employer’s obligatory explication that she really did not mean what she said. And soon her defenders claimed hypersensitive Americans could not take well-meaning admonishment.

    Pepsi is a $27 billion company. Those who run it, like Nooyi, make big money from its global sales and take-no-prisoners marketing approach. Pepsi is not known for worrying too much about putting indigenous soft-drink makers out of business. Here at home it does not often allow small businesses to offer both Coke and Pepsi in a spirit of consumer convenience and choice. Roughshod, no-holds-barred business gets such a company to the top — and allows multimillion-dollar salaries for its grandee hardball officers.

    Former cricket-star-turned-Pakistani-politician Imran Khan in some ways jumpstarted the Newsweek-induced frenzy when in a May 6 press conference he demanded an apology for the alleged slight to the Koran. “This is what the U.S. is doing,” Khan boomed, “desecrating the Koran.” His mischaracterization, based on a lie, was then beamed across the Middle East — and, presto, Mr. Khan got the anti-American outburst he apparently wanted.

    Khan may have made his fortune and name in the British tabloids as a cricket star and international playboy of the London salons, a lifestyle that had strong affinities with the West rather than the madrassas. But now he is back in Pakistan crafting a political career and catering to the Islamists, even though religious extremism is antithetical to what allowed him to succeed and prosper abroad.

    Yet this same demagogue earlier urged Hindu extremists to remain calm during a recent cricket match between India and Pakistan. After all, religious extremism is valuable to beat up the West and the United States — but not to the point that such fervor might endanger playing a Western sport amid frenzied Hindus. Left unsaid is that there is no place for an Imran Khan in the world of the Taliban, where soccer stadiums were used to lynch moderate Muslims, not enrich pampered athletes.

    Arundhati Roy, the Booker-prize-winning novelist, has developed a second career critiquing the United States, especially its promotion of the free markets and capitalism that she believes are the catalysts for righteous hatred against America. Roy doesn’t quite get that the reason that the UK recognizes an Indian novelist like her, writing halfway across the globe — and that she is able to jet over to the United States for lucrative speaking engagements, and that her books are mass-produced and hawked aggressively over global Internet book marts — is precisely the system that this child of capitalism so vehemently detests.

    Pakistan, well before 9/11, was the recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. aid, and, in response, its intelligence services created the Taliban that in turn helped al Qaeda pull off September 11. India is making billions from an American free-trade policy that encourages outsourcing business overseas, even if it means the loss of U.S. jobs. Neither country has much of a legitimate gripe against the United States, and surely has not objected that its elites are going to the West to be educated, to profit — and, in these above cases, apparently to master the easy anti-Western rhetoric.

    for full article:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200505270759.asp
     

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