Sunday, June 17, 2007

Democratic Self-Rule Not Possible in Arab Middle East

Hamas has looted the home of the late PLO leader/pirate/murderer/terrorist Yasser Arafat, and thousands of Palestinians flee Gaza, and Israel plans to attack Gaza to destroy the threat from Hamas, ordinary Israelis can rightly tel the world, "We told you so. This is what happens when Palestinians rule themselves."

Our mistake was to think the Middle East wants democracy
Rod Liddle
The Sunday Times Online
June 17, 2007

So, the Palestinians have got their “two state solution”, even if it’s not quite the thing they, or the rest of the world, envisaged. The homicidal fundamentalists of Hamas now control the Gaza Strip, while the corrupt and incompetent Fatah controls the West Bank enclaves of Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah (although let’s see how long that lasts: I give it three months). That’s the choice the Palestinians have when they go to the polls: happy-go-lucky Hamas versus the good old PLO, Fatah - and the people, the voters, seem to like it.

If a third party came along that was simultaneously corrupt, incompetent, homicidal and fundamentalist it would probably clean up in Palestine. The old neocon fallacy, upon which we went to war in Iraq, was that the people of the Middle East desire nothing more than to be led by decent, secular, democratically minded politicians who wished ill upon nobody - Menzies Campbell in a headscarf. And then every time they are given a chance to vote they go for the likes of Hamas, or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran. In the case of Palestine, the election result so appalled Tony Blair that he generously invited them to have another poll and this time try to get the right result - a suggestion considered a little cheeky by most Palestinians. Which is another thing he and George Bush do not understand: the more closely identified they become with supposedly moderate forces in the Middle East (such as, laughably, Fatah), the more fervently the mass of people will side with those Bush and Blair consider extremists. This is part of what has happened in Gaza and may soon happen on the West Bank. By and large, the Arabs and the Iranians hate and mistrust us and have no great appetite for liberal democracy; rather, it seems the people of each benighted satrapy yearn only for a leader who will exert maximum violence and misery upon almost everybody else but themselves.

“We want peace, my frent,” ordinary Arabs plead with the western news crews in front of smashed homes and bombed buildings after each successive spurt of nihilistic carnage, from Basra to Beirut. And so they do, probably, just as soon as they’ve exterminated one or another local enemy - Fatah, Hamas, Sunni, Shi’ite, Kurd, bedouin, Druze and, of course, the Jews.

And the more western politicians treat democracy in each of these countries as a means to their own strategic ends and refuse to accept election results, the more democracy will be seen as just another western con trick, never to be trusted.

As the recriminations begin in Gaza, the Israelis - whom the world knows to be in the wrong in its occupation of the West Bank - will sit back and say, “See, told you, that’s what happens when these people are allowed to rule themselves”.

Both the Israeli deputy defence minister and a bunch of West Bank Jewish settlers repeatedly told me recently that the Palestinians would turn their country into “another Somalia”. Being a good western liberal I replied well, I doubt it, but that’s their right. And so it is.

But the Palestinians would seem to have exceeded even these hawkish expectations. The Gaza Strip right now makes Mogadishu look like Lucerne. The Katyusha rockets will soon be raining down on those Israeli citizens unfortunate enough to be within striking range of Gaza City - and who, then, will have the nerve to censure Israel for responding with what one imagines will be insuperable force? They knew it would happen; it did happen.
What we really must remember is that the entire situation is about power dressed up as religious differences, and righting imagined historical wrongs. It's always been about power. Arafat used the conflict to get rich. His uncle, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem used the Jews and nomad tribes to gain favor with Hitler, thereby gaining real estate to get rich. He then sold the land to early Jewish settlers at inflated prices.

The money provides power. Without strongmen leading them by the nose, the Muslim Arabs, and their pagan tribalists before them, are simply incapable of governing themselves either as a nation, or as individuals. They not only don't want democracy, their culture is unable to meld with democracy. It simply isn't possible.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


bernie said...

I would not throw stones about Palestinians not wanting a democracy. After all , here in the states over half the country voted for Democrats. Palestinians aren't the only idiot voters in the world.

Indigo Red said...

It seems, Bernie, that the farther we go in the life of representative governmet, the fewer people who prefer it to all other forms of government. It is so much easier to leave governing to the "ruling class" dispite the knowledge they do not have our best interest at heart.

The Founders celebrated the educated citizenry of America, and prayed that education would protect us from evil regimes. However, ignorance is the preferred lifestyle. Ignorance will lead us to despotism, tyranny, and our destruction. Too many in the West revel in their stupidity as though it were a virtue.

You and I and most of the visitors to our respective blogs are not among the great unwashed. I don't know anymore if that's a good thing or bad.

Some qoutes about ignorance:

A.E. Houseman:
Three minutes thought would suffice to find this out; but thought is irksome and three minutes is a long time.

Aggie Pate (at a non-denominational mayor's breakfast, Fort Worth, Texas):
I didn't know Onward Christian Soldiers was a Christian song.

Albert Einstein:
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

Alexander Pope:
A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.

Amos Bronson Alcott:
To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.

Blaise Pascal:
You always admire what you really don't understand.

Daniel Boorstin:
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge.

Daniel J Boorstin:
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge.

Dorothy Thompson:
Disillusion comes only to the illusioned. One cannot be disillusioned of what one never put faith in.

George Eliot:
Blessed is the man who, having nothing to stay, abstains from giving us worthy evidence of the fact.

Henry B. Adams:
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

Henry David Thoreau:
True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.

Henry David Thoreau:
A man is wise with the wisdom of his time only, and ignorant with its ignorance.

Herbert V. Prochnow:
A great many people mistake opinions for thoughts.

James Michener:
An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.

Jimmy Buffett :
Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care.

Joe Theisman (NFL football quarterback and sports analyst):
The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.

Ma Ferguson (Governor of Texas -circa 1920):
If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Matthew 15:14:
If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Molly Ivins:
I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.

Thomas Jefferson:
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.

Will Durant:
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

Democrats resemble all those rermaks.

don said...

Ignorance can be fixed. Stupidity is forever.

Indigo Red said...


And women thought it was diamonds. Gawd, aren't they stupid!

Now if we can only develope the bottomless beer mug.

dcat said...

get a keg.

Mike's America said...

I'm with Dcat!