Coming To Your Emotional Rescue


New at Reason: He's ferocious in war, magnanimous in victory, and fearless in the face of death. He rides across the desert on an arab charger. His prices are widely believed to be insane. He's Antar, and as Charles Paul Freund explains, Saddam ain't him.

NEXT: Show Me the Cheney

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  1. “Why didn’t you fight?” one Governing Council member asked Hussein as their meeting ended. Hussein gestured toward the U.S. soldiers guarding him and asked his own question: “Would you fight them?”

    Maybe the US troops are the new Antars.

  2. “Antar” was celebrated best in the “West” by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who wrote a whole symphony (his second), which he titled “Antar.” It is in the “Sheherezade” vein, but with a bit more counterpoint, and is on the whole quite lovely, exotic, and even exciting. One of his best works.

    The idea of a leader coming out of the East and conquering the West, through sheer heroism and with awesome demonstrations of personal power, was interestingly handled by M.J. Engh, in her flawed novel “Arslan.” The most memorable scene in the novel is when conquering Arslan ceremonially rapes a boy and a girl in a high school gymnasium, televised for all the world to see.

    If an Arslan is indeed possible to arise from a culture that reveres Antar, perhaps it’s nice (for us) that the Antar culture is corrupt, and is better at producing mere suicide murderers and Antar-killers.

  3. Bravo, Mr. Freund! Easily the best piece I’ve ever seen you write. Displays a deep and nuances grasp of the culture, and ends with a profound insight.

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