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Blowback and Daniel Pearl

by Dr. Susan Block

Apparently, sometime over the weekend, while I was playing Guant?namo S&M games with Kim and the Bonobo Gang and photographing our fun for the world, some Pakistani dudes calling themselves “The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty” were doing the same thing, only their games were real and involved kidnapping Wall Street Journal South Asian Bureau Chief Daniel Pearl.

Their e-mail to various US media outlets states that they believe that Mr. Pearl is a “CIA officer…posing as a journalist of the Wall Street Journal.” Spokespeople from both the CIA and the Wall Street Journal have denied that Mr. Pearl works for the agency. The English-language text of the e- mail states that Mr. Pearl is being held “in very inhuman circumstances quite similar infact to the way that Pakistanis and nationals of other sovereign countries are being kept in Cuba by the American Army.” The e-mail also threatened the kidnapping of other Americans, saying, “If the Americans keep our countrymen in better conditions we will better the conditions of Mr. Pearl and all other Americans that we capture.”

Actually, if you compare the photos, Mr. Pearl looks a lot more comfortable than his Guant?namo counterparts; though, of course, it can’t be all that comfortable having a gun pressed against your skull, even if it’s just for a photo-op.

Without a doubt, the people behind this kidnapping are dirty, low-down thugs and ought to be arrested by somebody, and Mr. Pearl should be freed to go home to his pregnant French wife and job at the Wall Street Journal (which may as well be the CIA in a few respects). The situation is, of course, quite dangerous. These S&M games can get out of hand. That gun could go off and kill Mr. Pearl, accidentally or on purpose. They–or thugs like them–could go out and pick up a few more unsuspecting Americans. Of course, this is something that could happen at any time, and we should never shape American policies to fit the demands of kidnappers, extremists, hijackers and thugs. Still, why should we bait them with insensitive, erotically-charged power plays like the Pentagon’s tasteless, internationally illegal Guant?namo S&M porn? Just compare: Is our photo so much more ethical and reasonable than the ones of poor Mr. Pearl?

The actions of Rummy, Ayatollah Asscraft and the Great Pretzel Swallower down there in breezy Guant?namo Bay have just put innocent individual American lives–especially Americans abroad–in more danger than ever.

Can’t we see that Thanatos leads to Thanatos? We are, without a doubt, still the world’s biggest, strongest, richest nation. We are also the World’s Fattest Target. If only to protect ourselves and our people, we should beware of throwing our weight around and giving the appearance of being Obnoxious Bullies (even though we know we’re the Good Guys)..

Come, my fellow Americans, let us show ourselves not only to be the strongest and richest, but also the wisest of nations. Let us respond to Thanatos with Eros! This is not the “sissy way” (no offensive to our transgendered friends); this is the smart way. And no, it is not an easy way. In the immortal words of the great seventeenth century French courtesan Ninon de l’Enclos: “Much more genius is needed to make love than to command armies.” Considering the terrifying situation that America finds itself in these days, a little genius is what we sorely need.

Please send comments, questions and contributions to

Dr. Susan Block is a sex educator, host of the Dr. Susan Block radio show, and author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure. Visit her website at:

Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is an internationally renowned LA sex therapist and author, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. Her newest book is The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure. Visit her at For speaking engagements, call 310-568-0066. Email your comments to her at and you will get a reply.

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