I don't like KFC either, but . . .

Now they're just getting silly. Protesters in Pakistan (yes, the darn cartoons again) decided that they are fed up and they're not gonna take it any more! So, they set fire to a KFC.

OK. What in the world does KFC have to do with some cartoons published in a Danish newspaper? I think that the press should just stop characterizing these protests as being about the cartoons. I think they should just call them what they are: generic protests against western culture and their own government

Seriously. The guys in Pakistan who torched the KFC have to know that there pretty much wasn't any chicken in any of those cartoons at all. (I'm not going to discuss whether there's actually any chicken in a KFC . . .)

So, what we have here is a bunch of people who are angry. They are angry because there aren't enough jobs or because they have limited opportunities or maybe someone they know is ill and they can't afford adequate health care or maybe they have friends or family who were killed or displaced by that big earthquake. They have good reasons, some of them, for being angry and frustrated. Those reasons just don't actually have anything to do with Danish cartoons.

Here's where the extremists come in. They manipulate and take advantage of the malaise that already exists and attempt to focus that anger in a direction that will benefit their cause. Thus, the attacks on Musharraf. Now, you KNOW Musharraf didn't have anything to do with those cartoons. Even in a second- or third- hand kind of way, you can't make that stick.

That's the trouble with blind faith. The manipulation factor is extraordinary. And you can make them hate whoever you want them to! You don't even have to have logical reasons to extend the blame. They're already angry. They don't mind being given new excuses to lash out.

Some of the businesses that were burned or damaged were locally owned. The two people who were killed were Pakistani. The 11 people who were injured were most likely all locals as well. There were no foreigners harmed. They just lashed out and slapped themselves in the face.

This essay was written in 1989. It's still very relevent.

Pakistan crackdown over cartoons

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