Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hypocrisy? Or just business as usual?

Snoopythegoon calls it: "A case of stunning hypocrisy ":

Kuwaiti analyst: Best if Israel, not U.S., destroys Iranian nukes

Still here is a quote:

The destruction of Iran's nuclear capabilities would be in the interest of the Arab nations in the Gulf, and it would be less embarrassing if it was done by Israel rather than the U.S., a top Kuwaiti strategist said in remarks published Sunday.

It could be educational to trace the devious logic of the learned analyst.

We are afraid of Iran, that is a given


We don't want ever to be seen as Iran's enemies

We'll be glad to see Iranian power in the region waning


The only ones who could or would give Iran a beating are Americans or these damn Israelis

But we don't like Americans, our friends and protectors, to be linked to it, cause it will embarrass us by reference

So let the Zionists do it - then we can always say that it's another dastardly atrocity by the usual dastardly Zionists

And kill two birds with one stone, then relax on our fat arses and count the petrodollars pouring in..

I don't think it is a case of hypocrisy. It is just another illustration of the way Arab logic works: in filigreed, serpentine ways, with the goal being not solving a problem, but saving face, keeping up appearances, preserving a semblance of what they call "honour". It is a staple of a culture whose overriding ethical principle is the honour/shame binary.

________

Another classic example of Arab logic can be glimpsed here:

The astonishing views from one of the Arab-Muslim world pillars of intellectual progressiveness, Al-Jazeera editor-in-chief :

At whom are you angry?

It's not only the lack of democracy in the region that makes me worried. I don't understand why we don't develop as quickly and dynamically as the rest of the world. We have to face the challenge and say: enough is enough! When a President can stay in power for 25 years, like in Egypt, and he is not in a position to implement reforms, we have a problem. Either the man has to change or he has to be replaced. But the society is not dynamic enough to bring about such a change in a peaceful and constructive fashion.

Why not?

In many Arab states, the middle class is disappearing. The rich get richer and the poor get still poorer. Look at the schools in Jordan, Egypt or Morocco: You have up to 70 youngsters crammed together in a single classroom. How can a teacher do his job in such circumstances? The public hospitals are also in a hopeless condition.These are just examples. They show how hopeless the situation is for us in theMiddle East.

Who is responsible for the situation?

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most important reasons why thesecrises and problems continue to simmer. The day when Israel was founded created the basis for our problems. The West should finally come to understand this. Everything would be much calmer if the Palestinians were given their rights.

Do you mean to say that if Israel did not exist, there would suddenly be democracy in Egypt, that the schools in Morocco would be better, that the public clinics in Jordan would function better?

I think so.

Can you please explain to me what the Israeli-Palestinian conflicthas to do with these problems?

The Palestinian cause is central for Arab thinking.In the end, is it a matter of feelings of self-esteem?Exactly. It's because we always lose to Israel. It gnaws at the people in the MiddleEast that such a small country as Israel, with only about 7 million inhabitants, can defeat the Arab nation with its 350 million. That hurts our collective ego. The Palestinian problem is in the genes of every Arab. The West's problem is that it does not understand this.

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