Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I was giving some of the bookcases in the den their quinquennial dusting the other day and up on one of the very top shelves amongst the pennydreadfuls where the overflows from the detective case are stuffed, uh, I mean "carefully shelved", and in the midst of a whole row of Sax Rohmer's finest, it came to me: the key to the whole Al Qa'eda terrorism difficulty: Osama bin Laden is modeling himself on Fu Manchu. Al Qa'eda is his own version of the Si Fan. No, seriously*. Think about it. The parallels are astonishing. Eastern secret society wreaking havoc on the west. Wealthy eastern mastermind. Rohmer had it all. Well, his eastern mastermind was a bit too far east. But otherwise, spot on.

Now we know. If the security wonks want to get to the bottom of all this Al Q'aeda business they need to be reading more Sax Rohmer. Anyone know the National Security Agency's phone number?

I can hardly wait to dust the Lord Dunsany shelf tomorrow.