July 27, 2005


Mugged by reality? (Mark Steyn, July 25, 2005, The Australian)

WITH hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta's jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier.

Bryant is an official with the US Department of Agriculture in Florida, and the late Atta had gone to see her about getting a $US650,000 government loan to convert a plane into the world's largest crop-duster. A novel idea.

The meeting got off to a rocky start when Atta refused to deal with Bryant because she was but a woman. But, after this unpleasantness had been smoothed out, things went swimmingly. When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn't get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant's throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington - the White House, the Pentagon et al - and asked: "How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?"

Fortunately, Bryant's been on the training course and knows an opportunity for multicultural outreach when she sees one. "I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from," she recalled. "I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could."

So a few weeks later, when fellow 9/11 terrorist Marwan al-Shehhi arrived to request another half-million dollar farm subsidy and Atta showed up cunningly disguised with a pair of glasses and claiming to be another person entirely - to whit, al-Shehhi's accountant - Bryant sportingly pretended not to recognise him and went along with the wheeze. The fake specs, like the threat to slit her throat and blow up the Pentagon, were just another example of the multicultural diversity that so enriches our society.

For four years, much of the western world behaved like Bryant.

If you want many cultures you get them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 27, 2005 10:53 PM

Steyn's reading my mind. I was just thinking of what an idiot she was just a few days ago.

Posted by: Genecis at July 28, 2005 12:24 AM

The US Department of Agriculture.

If it's not tossing out million dollar subsidies to agribusiness not to do something, it's reaching out to terrorists trying to make the "cultural leap" from their lair to the good old USA as painless as possible.

DOA is a perfect acronym for that pathetic part of the federal government.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at July 28, 2005 1:07 AM

Mark Steyn is a true jewel.

Posted by: jd watson at July 28, 2005 5:43 AM