Patrick Swayze: Middle East Scholar
October 26, 2004
By Debbie Schlussel
Does consuming wontons at a Chinese restaurant make you an expert on Sino-American relations?
Patrick Swayze thinks so.
Just a week before the election, that’s the logic Swayze—the has-been “Dirty Dancing” actor—used in an absurd interview he gave to generate press for his wife’s latest failed film, “One Last Dance.”
Speaking with Agence France Presse (it figures he’d pick the French) while in Warsaw, Swayze criticized the United States for being “insensitive” and “disrespectful” in Iraq.
“I know a great deal about the Middle East because I’ve been raising Arabian horses,” he said.
I eat Italian ices, but, unlike Mr. Dirty Dancing, I’m not about to lecture Prime Minister Berlusconi about the economic situation in Florence.
“I’ve been trying to get to Iraq for a while just to support the guys,” Swayze said. “No publicity no nothing, just go and hang out with them.”
Right. Swayze isn’t interested in the publicity. Yet, he was trolling for an outlet to criticize our country while on foreign soil solely to promote a movie, and the only taker he could find was the French press outlet. I’m sure “the guys” – our brave soldiers – will just love hanging out with this Sean Penn lite.
He doesn’t really mean it, of course. “The hard part is probably now if I go I’ll die,” Swayze says, qualifying his “hanging with our guys” comment. They’d never behead the effeminate actor in tight pants. After all, he understands the Iraqis (because he raised Arabian horses). He can “reason” with them. “You understand their rules and their needs,” Swayze counsels. Like the need to behead and practice jihad?
Poor Patrick. What a position he must be in, that he must spew such idiocy to get attention. In his 50s, his career is long over – his biggest roles, as a dancer in tight pants at a Jewish summer resort and a ghost who makes pottery, are decades old. Unless you count Swayze’s real life role, in 2000, as a reportedly inebriated pilot who crashed a plane while allegedly drunk. Three men who helped Swayze at the crash scene were arrested for lying to police and covering up how they helped him dispose of half of a 30-pack of Miller Lite.
Come to think of it, maybe Swayze was a little wasted when he made those ludicrous comments about his “understanding” of the Middle East (because he raised Arabian horses).
Then there’s his failed role as a cross-dresser in the bomb, “To Wong Foo . . .” It prepared Swayze well for his current cross-dressing as a patriot while he’s criticizing America in Warsaw. Instead of make-up, a bra, and panties, he’s wearing the “I support the troops” – “I want to just go and hang out with them” façade.
Swayze’s just like every other annoying, liberal Hollywood airhead who thinks they understand the Middle East because, like Swayze, they raise Arabian horses, ate falafel once, or bought a Moroccan necklace at Kitson. They “understand” and sympathize with those who hate us because, after all, they once used an Arabic waterpipe instead of a bong to get high.
Swayze, a pan-Arabist, encompasses the “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV” ethos. In 1996, he was set to play “The White Sheik.” Fortunately, the movie was shelved, permanently.
Based on a book by Sheik Sultan Al Qassimi, ruler of Sharjah (one of the seven United Arab Emirates), the script was about Johannes Herman Poll, an American boy who is “adopted” by an Arab couple and rises to become a powerful sheik in the 19th Century. Actually, Poll was lost by his parents, and was taken by an Arabic Muslim family, which converted him to Islam.
It’s interesting that Swayze picked the United Arab Emirates. According to the book, “From the Desert to the Derby,” by Jason Levin, ten of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers carried documents from Dubai of the Emirates. Money that was funneled to Mohamed Atta, the hijacking leader, came directly from banks in Dubai, where there are no laws on the books dealing with money laundering. The Emirates’ current President, Sheikh Zayed, funds the Zayed Center, which funds lectures and books denying the Holocaust and claiming that 9/11 was a US/Israeli/Jewish conspiracy.
In Dubai, Swayze told Gulf Today newspaper he badly wanted to play a sheik.
If only Patrick Swayze badly wanted to be a loyal American