Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Eye of Mordor?

A friend who works at Bloomberg News in New York sent me an item yesterday in which Sen. Rick Santorum was quoted as saying that the United States has avoided a 2nd terrorist attack because the "Eye of Mordor" was drawn to Iraq.
I sent him a note back, telling him to stop kidding and not let something like that get out on the wire. These fantastical stories, done up as jokes, can get people into trouble.

Today, I get up and start doing by dawn web scan and what do I see? The following item from the Uniontown Herald-Standard:

LEVITTOWN - Embattled U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said America has avoided a second terrorist attack for five years because the "Eye of Mordor" has instead been drawn to Iraq.

Santorum used the analogy from one of his favorite books, J.R.R. Tolkien's 1950s fantasy classic, "Lord of the Rings," to put an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq into terms any school kid could easily understand.

"As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else," Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron (blogger's note: the pix above is of Lord Sauron in happier days.) used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.

"It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S.," he continued. "You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States."
The 12-year Republican senator from Pennsylvania said he's "a big Lord of the Rings fan." He's read the first of the series, "The Hobbit" to his children (he has six).
Santorum made his comments before the Bucks County Courier Times editorial board late last week. The Bucks County Courier Times is a sister paper of the Herald-Standard. Both are owned by Calkins Media.

I think it's interesting that Santorum related his tale in "terms any school kid could easily understand" in an appearance before an editorial board. I wonder if he used finger puppets as well?

Come to think of it, though, President Bush does resemble Frodo.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what Santorum's evangelical supporters think about this.

8:26 AM  
Blogger rasphila said...

Ouch. Suddenly I find myself embarrassed by my own love of The Lord of the Rings. I had hoped I had nothing in common with Rick Santorum.

Tolkien would be appalled as well by this misuse of his work. The Lord of the Rings is, among other things, about the courage of the Hobbits, the struggle between good and evil, and the temptations and dangers of power (symbolized by the Ring). It's not a treatise on counter-terrorism strategy.

Anyway, who are the Hobbits in Santorum's scenario? Who are the brave little people walking unaided into Mordor to do the seemingly impossible? Since when did George Bush become Aragorn? Or is he Frodo (perish the thought)? And who is the wise and wonderful Gandalf in this scenario? Dick Cheney? Santorum himself?

Spare me from politicians quoting literature unless they have 1) read it; 2) understood it; and 3) thought long and hard about what it means. Santorum has obviously done (1), but he flunks on (2) and (3).

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another weak Santorum bash session.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Ricky had to count the bodies of the 600,000 dead Iraqi civilians killed in this war, it might seem less like a fairy tale to him.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous rsm said...

I have to agree with rasphila: what, exactly, is being done to actually combat the underlying structure of terrorism while, supposedly, the terrorists attention is elsewhere? I mean, there was a point to the distraction while Frodo and Sam were sneaking into Mordor. What's the point here?

Actually, I think of the war in Iraq in more classical literary terms: the young people of Greece being sacrificed to the Minotaur to save the rest of the population.

Except there, of course, the young people were the children of the elite, which was why Theseus was allowed to go off and put an end to it once and for all. Here, the children sacrificed are mainly from the rural and urban poor and working classes, which may be why those like Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, who have never been at risk, and whose children aren't at risk, have so little interest in the human consequences of the war.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous whywhywicki said...

It's my Catholic anti-abort vs your Catholic anti-abort.

Per Big Game Plan, Casey has already won. "Polls" could say Ricky 70%, Bob-Bob 30%----------------Casey wins.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the outrage over Santorum's lastest ploy.... refusing to make his tax returns public UNTIL Casey releases his "public" schedule???? Very, very lame, Rick, you've shot yourself in the foot again!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Bernie O'Hare said...

He's my precious, my precious.

9:58 PM  

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