As for the ‘clash of civilisations’, let us recall the letter form the seven-year-old American girl whose father was a pilot fighting in Afghanistan: she wrote that — although she loved her father very much, she was ready to let him die, to sacrifice him for her country. When President Bush quoted these lines, they were perceived as a ‘normal’ outburst of American patriotism; let us conduct a simple mental experiment and imagine an Arab Muslim girl pathetically reciting into the camera the same words about her father fighting for the Taliban — we do not have to think for long about what our reaction would have been: morbid Muslim fundamentalism which does not stop even at the cruel manipulation and exploitation of children . . . . Every feature attributed to the Other is already present at the very heart of the USA. Murderous fanaticism? There are in the USA today more than two million Rightist populist ‘fundamentalists’ who also practise a terror of their own, legitimised by (their understanding of) Christianity. Since America is, in a way, ‘harbouring’ them, should the US Army have punished Americans themselves after the Oklahoma bombing?
–Slavoj Žižek, Welcome to the Desert of the Real (London: Verso Press, 2002), 43-4.
(he also said: “What makes me depressed? Seeing stupid people happy.” )