Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hello, Mullah. Hello, Dadullah.

Our love of international affairs goes way back. Who could forget the scorecard of foreign terror hits on the dorm-room refrigerator? (The Party of God won every year.) So it’s no surprise when the Name of the Year ballots fill with Sitholes, Dongs, Wangs and Wongs, and other imports.

When we learned of the death of fundamentalist badass Mullah Dadullah, our first inclination, of course, was to nominate him. He had a little bit of Understanding Allah (14th place in the 2000 NOTY Tournament). And a lot of Abdul Abdullah (1994 nominee). And, covering the terror angle, he even had a little Dr. Jihad Slim (13th place in 1999). Plus, you had the amazing photo and unimpeachable verification on page fucking one of the New York fucking Times. And his beard rocks.

Most important, he was a spiritual heir to NOTY all-stars like Hall of Name inductee Honka Monka, Shula Hula, Chester Kamenester and the legendary Clinton Hinton. In 1985, Hinton triggered a great constitutional debate over the value of rhyming names. ``Normal first name. Normal last name,’’ NOTY Committee Member White Moses said at the time. ``If Clinton Hinton wins Name of the Week, I’m nominating Gary Hinton.’’ Whatever. Mulla Dadullah is no Gary Hinton.

Then, like the Middle East itself, things got more complicated. When we finally extended our attention past the photo—which looks like performance art to us—the Times reported that Dadullah, killed by Afghan and American security forces near Kandahar, wasn't just any terrorist. He was one of the world’s most prolific killers.

Mullah Dadullah [was] thought to be responsible for ordering numerous assassinations of clerics, government officials and health and education workers, as well as kidnappings and beheadings, including of foreigners. The intelligence officials said he was responsible for training and sending scores of suicide bombers to Afghanistan.

Hey, we don’t need no stinkin’ fatwa. And we don’t want to appear to be taking a position on ethnic strife halfway across the world. We’re only about the names.

So we crossed ourselves. Whispered a Kaddish. Recited the Omm’a Givens. And decided to abide by our principles and nominate Mullah.

Then we double-checked the name. Mullah, we learned, is just his title.

So Dadullah might be headed to Allah. But not to NOTY.