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Understanding the Middle East problem...

... in less than 6 minutes:

Pretty simple eh?

H/T Seraphic Secret.


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Comments (29)

The 'middle east' problem i... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The 'middle east' problem is really the gullibility of the so-called "Palestinians". The perpetual "victims". Arafat made millions off them.

"Pretty simple eh?"<p... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"Pretty simple eh?"

Ya, too simple. Ah, if only life were so simple that we could forgo the study of history and just watch five minute videos that tell us all the answers! Sorry, but Prager is more of a political pundit or politician than a historian or political scientist. And there is no "Prager University" per se--that's just a series of policy videos that Prager and his team have produced.

Prager presents his position about one key issue in the Middle East. And that's about it. Sounds good in a superficial sense, but this is more of a political perspective or editorial about the Arab-Israeli conflict than anything else. Nothing wrong with that--except for the fact that he is pretending to explain the entire middle east problem here--that's his claim. And he falls well short on that count. He ignores anything that does not fit the theme of his presentation, and so his claims are questionable from the start. The Arab-Israeli conflict surely a critical part of the puzzle, but to pretend that this explains all of the political and social conflicts in the ME is ridiculous.

Sorry, but there's just a lot more going on than Prager presents. And it only takes about 5 more minutes of basic research to figure that out. He ignores tensions and politics between Arab states (such as Jordan vs Syria or Iran vs Iraq), for starters. He ignores the conflicts within states such as Iraq, which has a long series of problems between Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. What about the conflicts between India and Pakistan? What about the Kurdish issue, which spans numerous states?

He also ignores histories--such as colonialism--that don't really fit the narrative he is trying to put forth. If you're going to try to understand some of the key issues in the ME today, then understanding these histories is fundamental.

Despite what Prager is trying to push here, there isn't just one issue that can explain everything that's going on in the Middle East. The idea that we can grasp everything that's going on there in a six minute YouTube video may be appealing and sound neato, but that doesn't mean that it's actually very useful or accurate.

"...that doesn't mean that ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...that doesn't mean that it's actually very useful or accurate."

Lets see ryan a. I'M GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU AND EVERYONE IN YOUR FAMILY!

Now try and "negotiate" with me.

GarandFan,"Now try... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

GarandFan,

"Now try and "negotiate" with me."

You missed the entire point of what I wrote. Did you even read it? Probably not. Where did I talk about "negotiating" anything?

Next time, try reading instead of just reacting. It helps.

palestinians should get the... (Below threshold)
G.:

palestinians should get the hell out, then no problem

Ryan a, I believe it's YOU ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Ryan a, I believe it's YOU that missed the point, watch the video again. Take notes if you have to.

GarandFan,"Ryan a,... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

GarandFan,

"Ryan a, I believe it's YOU that missed the point, watch the video again. Take notes if you have to."

Trust me, I understand the point that Prager is trying to make--it's not very complicated. If you want to debate about his assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict, WHICH IS ALL THAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT, well, that's another matter. However, when he claims to sum up the "middle east problem" by discussing ONE PARTICULAR issue, his argument falls apart. Prager is only talking about one issue--he is not addressing the middle east as a whole, historically or otherwise.

Now, if you take the time to read what I am writing and stop assuming that I am disagreeing with your political views of the Arab-Israeli issue, you might get the point that I am making here.

There is a lot more to "the middle east problem" than the Arab-Israeli conflict. Not a complicated point. Get it yet?

Just a quick question, Gara... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Just a quick question, GarandFan:

What are your favorite sources that you like to use to inform yourself about "the middle east issue"? Do you have some favorite publications or authors that you find particularly informative?

ryan a, there will always b... (Below threshold)
epador:

ryan a, there will always be complex issues in any region. I believe, however, that the Jew-hating hegemony that surpasses all the divisions in the Arab/Persian/Turk and other Islamic states CURRENTLY is the major ME problem. There ARE plenty of others that will rear their heads higher if the State of Israel is destroyed, and may rise temporarily loudly to the surface, but for right now, this is the Gordian Knot to be untied before/until a Persian or Pakistani atomic attack levels Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

epador,Well, at le... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

epador,

Well, at least you see the point that I am making, unlike some others on here. Thanks for taking the time to read my argument, even if you disagree with me.

"There ARE plenty of others that will rear their heads higher if the State of Israel is destroyed, and may rise temporarily loudly to the surface, but for right now, this is the Gordian Knot to be untied before/until a Persian or Pakistani atomic attack levels Tel Aviv and Jerusalem."

I would argue that the Arab-Israeli conflict is one critical issue among many. It is certainly THE primary issue for Israel and the Palestinians, and it certainly holds serious amount of political (and symbolic) importance for many neighboring countries. But I think that arguing that this issue subsumes all other across the entire region vastly oversimplifies the political realities there.

Look at Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Yes, the Arab-Israeli conflict is a relevant issue in many of these places, but to argue that this one issue encompasses and explains all of the conflict, poverty, violence, corruption, and problems in the region is completely myopic, IMO.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is hardly THE ISSUE in Iraq or Afghanistan, is it? In Iraq, the problem includes years of war, violence, corruption, poverty...AND the current weak government and power struggles by various factions. And Afghanistan? Again, YEARS of violence, power struggles between different factions, extreme poverty, a corrupt state system.

And Iran? What's the real problem there? Decades of authoritarian leadership before '79, then the radicalized takeover and even more extreme authoritarian leadership for the last three decades. THOSE are the problems with Iran...even if the dipsh*t in chief over there goes around making his stupid statements about Israel, the holocaust, etc. The problem is the fact that the Iranian people have lived under one repressive regime after another for decade after decade.

Overall, I am not a fan of anyone (like Prager) who claims to have all the answers, or who takes an entire geopolitical region and pretends that a neat little 5 minute YouTube video captures the situation. This video by Prager is nonsense--no matter what your position is about the Arab-Israeli conflict, it doesn't take much to realize that there is a lot left to be desired in this "explanation" of the middle east situation.

Ryan... funny that you woul... (Below threshold)
Rick:

Ryan... funny that you would suggest myopia... for in your vain rush to prove to the rest of us what an intellectual you are, your own brand of myopia is missing out on the fact, and it is a fact, that the biggest problem in the Middle East is the problem that Prager explains and does so effectively.

Are there other problems? Hell yes... but this one is The Problem.

Your attempt here is a little like being given a diagnosis of cancer while focusing on hangnails and bad breath.

Get over it man.

Prager has nailed this one. And elitists get up in arms about it.

Islam says in the Q'ran tha... (Below threshold)
Pedro:

Islam says in the Q'ran that was supposed to supplant all other beliefs. So when Israel/Palestine was reconstituted as a Jewish state it flew in the face of their so called immutable words of Allah which is anathema to them. So in order to prove the words of Allah they need to destroy Israel/Palestine.

Muslims have seen the enemy but it is themselves.

Islam says in the Q'ran tha... (Below threshold)
Pedro:

Islam says in the Q'ran that was supposed... : Should be "that it was supposed"...

"Ryan... funny that you wou... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"Ryan... funny that you would suggest myopia... for in your vain rush to prove to the rest of us what an intellectual you are, your own brand of myopia is missing out on the fact, and it is a fact, that the biggest problem in the Middle East is the problem that Prager explains and does so effectively."

First of all, I could care less about proving anything. I disagree with Prager's claim, and I am explaining why. Don't give me this bullsh*t about some "vain rush" to prove "what an intellectual" I am. I can understand if you disagree with me, but please do me a favor and drop the lame personal nonsense and just try to make your arguments. It's a lot more interesting and effective. If you want to play 4th grade name-calling wars go reply to someone else. If you can't back up your arguments without resorting to cheap tactics, don't bother.

Second, you aren't even expressing your own argument. You're just pointing to video, ignoring the points that I brought up, and pretending that Prager has all the answers. Feel free to tell me how the Arab-Israeli conflict explains ALL of the violence, political, and social problems in the entire ME. It may be a key factor, but it certainly does not explain the situation in Afghanistan, for starters.

Also, you should learn the difference between "fact" and opinion. You are basically expressing your opinion--as is Prager--that this is THE issue. And, from certain perspectives and for certain players, it certainly is the prime issue. But, once again, to argue that the details of the Arab-Israeli conflict explain the entire "middle east problem" is seriously inaccurate.

Again, all that I am arguing is that the Arab-Israeli conflict is one critical issue among many. Not really some big "intellectual" point being made here.

"Your attempt here is a little like being given a diagnosis of cancer while focusing on hangnails and bad breath."

Ya, right. Decades of war, corruption, violence, and authoritarian leadership in Iraq...just minor details. Repression and lack of political freedom for decades in Iran...ya, just minor details. While the authoritarian leadership in Iran tries to capitalize on the Arab-Israeli conflict all the time, the PRIMARY issue in Iran is actually the fact that there has been a repressive, radical government in charge of that country since 1979. That's THE PROBLEM in Iran, if you ask me. And then there's Afghanistan: Decades of violence, poverty, power struggles, the Taliban, and terrorist cells...more minor details?

Look Rick, I can understand the fact that you feel the Arab-Israeli conflict is THE issue. I get that. But just because this issue is the most important, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, doesn't mean that it actually explains the entire "middle east problem" factually. To argue that one situation sums up the social, political, governmental, and economic problems of an entire region is, yes, terribly myopic (which means narrow-minded). I definitely agree that the Arab-Israeli issue is incredibly critical...but there are lots of other equally important factors going on, depending on where you look.

Now, Prager would at least have some ground to stand on if he renamed this piece "Explaining the Arab-Israeli Conflict" or something like that.

"Prager has nailed this one. And elitists get up in arms about it."

Prager hasn't nailed anything--he has told you what you already agree with, and what you want to hear--and that's about it. Try to learn the difference. And what on earth does this have to do with the "elitists"?

The intellectual elite love... (Below threshold)
Rick:

The intellectual elite love to take a simple problem and lecture us on nuance... and Ryan, it's what you're doing here...

Give it up man...

Prager is explaining, as he puts it in the first minute of the video, the Middle Eastern conflict...

The rest of your... problem... with his assertions are academic... and nonsensical...

Give it up.

ryan a, I'm sorry ... (Below threshold)
Chip:

ryan a,

I'm sorry but I agree with all the others. Your disagreement with prager is purely academic. "THE" is the key word you're focusing on in the title or argument of prager. While there are many issues within the middle east, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is "THE" issue du jour. has been for since at least 1948. When "most" people say the middle east problem or course "most" will assume that what is meant is the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

Now if you care to try and go to the UN and ask them to start concentrating on the many other issues that are involved within the Middle East to try and solve the "WHOLE" problem, I'm almost sure you'd be met with an incredulous look of disbelief.

"The intellectual elite lov... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"The intellectual elite love to take a simple problem and lecture us on nuance... and Ryan, it's what you're doing here..."

Not at all. Sorry Rick, this isn't about nuance in the least. It's about the fact that Prager is claiming to explain "the middle east problem" when in fact he is ONLY talking about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It's an easy point. The Arab-Israeli conflict does not define the socio-political problems of the entire ME. You don't have to be Condoleeza Rice to figure that out.

"Prager is explaining, as he puts it in the first minute of the video, the Middle Eastern conflict..."

Look Rick, I already know what Prager SAYS he's doing--that's not very hard to figure out here. Prager claims to be explaining the "ME problem," but in fact he is only talking about one particular problem within a fairly large region. I can keep repeating this until you get the point if you want. And it's certainly not a merely academic point, especially considering the fact that we have been in two wars in the region for about a decade.

"The rest of your... problem... with his assertions are academic... and nonsensical..."

How is it academic OR nonsensical to point out the fact that "the middle east problem" is about more than just the Arab-Israeli conflict? There is more to the middle east than just the territories, conflicts, politics, and issues that pertain to the Arab-Israeli problem. A very minor point.

"I'm sorry but I agree with... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"I'm sorry but I agree with all the others. Your disagreement with prager is purely academic. "THE" is the key word you're focusing on in the title or argument of prager."

No, Chip. The entire "middle east" cannot simply be defined in terms of this one issue. It does not all boil down to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and to represent it in this way is highly flawed.

"While there are many issues within the middle east, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is "THE" issue du jour. has been for since at least 1948. When "most" people say the middle east problem or course "most" will assume that what is meant is the Palestinian/Israeli conflict."

Really? If the Arab-Israeli conflict is THE issue du jour, then why on earth has the US been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for about a decade? Were those wars really all about this issue?

And just because "most" people conflate the entire middle east with the Arab-Israeli conflict does not mean this is a valid argument. This may be THE issue that many people in the US or the "west" care most about (or know about), but by no means is this THE defining issue throughout the region.

By the way, Rick, what do y... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

By the way, Rick, what do you think of this list of "intellectual elites"?

Adam Smith
David Ricardo
Friedrich Hayek
Ludwig von Mises
Milton Friedman
Ayn Rand

Just wondering if you think they took "simple" problems and lectured on "nuance". Considering the fact that these people formulated the basis for one strand of modern economic thought, I'm interested to hear what you think about their "elitist" ideas.

No, Chip. The enti... (Below threshold)
Chip:
No, Chip. The entire "middle east" cannot simply be defined in terms of this one issue. It does not all boil down to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and to represent it in this way is highly flawed.

You're still parsing words here, I don't believe Prager is attempting to represent his argument in the video as an explanation for the problem in the "ENTIRE" middle east. So far, only you have made that assertion, the rest of us assumed he meant that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is part of the larger problem. Again, you're being a professor wanting his student to be precise in his wording. Sorry, much of life and conversation doesn't work that way. Many times you have to interpret for yourself what the speaker is meaning. To many here, the meaning was clear, You apparently want to make the author of the video conform to your idea of the problem.

Really? If the Arab-Israeli conflict is THE issue du jour, then why on earth has the US been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for about a decade? Were those wars really all about this issue?

Now see, here you bring in a different issue altogether. What you are referring to is the war against terror. When I think of the problem in the Middle East I think Palestinian/Israeli conflict. When someone mentions Afghanistan or Iraq, I immediately think the war on terrorism. The fanatical element of Islam brought that part of your supposed issue in the middle east on itself. To me it's a different issue.

There's no denying that sho... (Below threshold)
epador:

There's no denying that should the State of Israel suddenly disappear into a black hole there are myriad issues that would become more prominent in the ME. However, I reassert, that the relative unification of hate for the Jewish State that currently binds the ME-that-is-not-Israel together is indeed the most important problem there now, that it has metastasized and polarized the rest of the world (OK ryan a, tell me what other ME issues independent of this issue that you relate which have as powerful an effect RIGHT NOW) and the Prager explanation succinctly describes it.

Certainly there is a broad background that provides a foundation for this - which includes many of the issues you have noted. In some instances, this is being used by nations and organizations to leverage their power and interests that have little to do with the issue of Israel. That is part of the point - without this issue, their traction is poor. With this issue, and none of the others, WWIII and decimation of the civilized world hang in the balance.

Chip and Rick are trying to tell you that your intellectual shiny comments are distracting from this concept.

I seriously doubt that if mutant psychic giant squids were to materialize in Tehran, Damascus and Karachi and wipe out a third of their populations that much would change. But right now I think that has about much chance as being effective as current attempts at diplomacy and war in the region.

Chip,"You're still... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Chip,

"You're still parsing words here, I don't believe Prager is attempting to represent his argument in the video as an explanation for the problem in the "ENTIRE" middle east."

If he's not trying to explain away the entire middle east, then why is this the title of the video? Why does he explicitly say that he is going to explain "the middle east" problem/conflict? Basically, he IS treating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as if it IS the defining issue. Well, it may be the one that most Americans know and care about, but overall it's one critical factor among many. This is a fairly important point, IMO.

"So far, only you have made that assertion, the rest of us assumed he meant that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is part of the larger problem."

Ok. So where did you get that from? Because Prager sure as hell didn't say it. He argues here that "the middle east problem" can be understood in terms of this conflict. Period.

"Again, you're being a professor wanting his student to be precise in his wording."

God forbid people like Prager are actually precise in their arguments!!!

"To many here, the meaning was clear, You apparently want to make the author of the video conform to your idea of the problem."

Well, for me the meaning of what Prager was putting forth was definitely convoluted. And this isn't about wanting to make Prager conform to anything--it IS about me disagreeing with his argument. It amazes me that at least some of your aren't even trying to see my point and want to keep writing this off as mere semantics.

"Now see, here you bring in a different issue altogether. What you are referring to is the war against terror."

So you're telling me that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not a part of "the middle east"? Are you telling me that these are not critical aspects of the "problems" in the middle east? Feel free to explain.

"When I think of the problem in the Middle East I think Palestinian/Israeli conflict. When someone mentions Afghanistan or Iraq, I immediately think the war on terrorism."

Interesting. To me that means you have a very limited definition of "the problem in the Middle East," and you foreground the Arab-Israeli conflict for some reason or another. Which is exactly what Prager does. So the wars that we have been engaged in...just side issues?

Epador,"OK ryan a,... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Epador,

"OK ryan a, tell me what other ME issues independent of this issue that you relate which have as powerful an effect RIGHT NOW."

1. The after effects of three decades of repeated war, devastation, and violence since the 1980s (Iraq, Afghanistan).
2. Rampant poverty (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan).
3. Lack of political freedom (ie Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria).
4. Repressive, authoritarian regimes (Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc).
5. Massive wealth, health, and education disparities throughout the region.
6. International geopolitical struggles to control key resources and territories (a long-term, ongoing process).

"That is part of the point - without this issue, their traction is poor. With this issue, and none of the others, WWIII and decimation of the civilized world hang in the balance."

Right. Because there is no danger of a major conflict between Pakistan and India. And it's not like the ME has any valuable resources that make the place a high priority region, right? And Iraq and Iran have historically wonderful relations. And no outside nations have engaged in violence and warfare in the region. So it all really comes down to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That's the only conflict that could create a major international conflict (I mean, aside from the large scale conflicts that have taken place in Iraq and Afghanistan, of course).

"Chip and Rick are trying to tell you that your intellectual shiny comments are distracting from this concept."

Good, because that's part of the point in arguing against what Prager is doing, namely trying to say that a complex regional geopolitical issue can be summed up accurately in under six minutes by a fake university pundit. Simple answers are neato, except for when they're wrong.

The funniest thing to me is that some of you are giving me sh*t about being some "elite intellectual," while you're defending Prager, who has created his own YouTube-based "university." Prager is little more than a policy pundit who is cloaking himself in the garb of the academy--but that's ok because, apparently, you guys like his argument. I mean, hey, he's just one of "the people", right?

"Basically, he IS treating ... (Below threshold)
Chip:

"Basically, he IS treating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as if it IS the defining issue."

No, basically you are treating his "summarization" of the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" as being a disingenuous attempt to explain a larger issue in YOUR mind the "Middle East Conflict" in THE larger sense.

You stated it yourself,"Now, Prager would at least have some ground to stand on if he renamed this piece "Explaining the Arab-Israeli Conflict" or something like that. "

You're doing exactly as Rick said, you're attempting to lecture us on the nuances of the issue. So your comment that, "And this isn't about wanting to make Prager conform to anything--it IS about me disagreeing with his argument." is false because you've stated that you'd at least in part agree if he had renamed his video to suit YOUR idea of what he was talking about.

"Ok. So where did you get that from? Because Prager sure as hell didn't say it. He argues here that "the middle east problem" can be understood in terms of this conflict. Period."

Again because he didn't say precisely, "Arab/Israeli Problem" is your basic problem with his argument, see above. The rest of us here understand that there are larger issues involved with the middle east, you're under the assumption that we don't. We further understand the exact issue that Prager is discussing here.

Lets say we were all eating packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Rick says they taste good, you want to discuss all the ingredients that go into the candy to explain why it tastes good. See, I just made an attempt to summarize the issue of the good tasting candy.

"God forbid people like Prager are actually precise in their arguments!!! " Again, it doesn't seem to be the argument, per se, you have a problem with, it's that he didn't title the piece what he meant it to be.

"So you're telling me that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not a part of "the middle east"? Are you telling me that these are not critical aspects of the "problems" in the middle east? Feel free to explain"

Are you calling me stupid, that I don't understand that Iraq and Afghanistan are a part of the middle east.? Of course Iraq and Afghanistan are IN the middle East. Are they a part of the larger issues with the middle east? Are the wars, we are currently fighting, part of that larger issue? Yes, in the "larger sense" they are, but the understanding in the CURRENT state of affairs is that when they are discussed, they are a theaters in the war on terror, that was brought to our shores by fanatical elements of Islam. I don't see too many discussions currently on the "entire history of the middle east", being brought forth as arguments as why we are fighting these wars.

"So the wars that we have been engaged in...just side issues? " Larger issues in a much, much larger problem than can be discussed among people in a short span of time. Now, if you wish, why don't you produce a video that explains the "problems in the middle east" where you can spend as much time and energy as you care to spend, so that your "disagreements" with Prager are satisfied and can be understood by the masses. I'm sure that you would have to breakdown some issues so that they can be absorbed and understood.

Prager made a 5 minute video that was attempt to summarize the conflict, you, wanted Prager to be "historically accurate" by presenting the issue in a multi-part, possibly week-long miniseries, to satisfy your "problem" with the title of his video.

No, basically you ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
No, basically you are treating his "summarization" of the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" as being a disingenuous attempt to explain a larger issue in YOUR mind the "Middle East Conflict" in THE larger sense.

Well, Chip, that IS what he titles his lecture. It's not like I made up the title. Prager clearly states that he is going to explain "the middle east problem." How do you think this is somehow a product of my imagination? Where does he say that all he is doing is summing up the P-I conflict? Nowhere.

You're doing exactly as Rick said, you're attempting to lecture us on the nuances of the issue.

If accuracy is "nuance," then you're absolutely right.

So your comment that, "And this isn't about wanting to make Prager conform to anything--it IS about me disagreeing with his argument." is false because you've stated that you'd at least in part agree if he had renamed his video to suit YOUR idea of what he was talking about.

I said that if he changes the title then he would at least have some ground to stand on--because the title of the presentation would then match the argument he puts forth. As it stands, and considering Prager's title, the argument he lays out is horribly lacking.

Of course Iraq and Afghanistan are IN the middle East. Are they a part of the larger issues with the middle east? Are the wars, we are currently fighting, part of that larger issue? Yes, in the "larger sense" they are, but the understanding in the CURRENT state of affairs is that when they are discussed, they are a theaters in the war on terror, that was brought to our shores by fanatical elements of Islam.

Ok, so for you the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the larger issues in the middle east. So it seems to me that you should find Prager's argument lacking as well, since he didn't mention this two in his brilliant five minute semester.

"I don't see too many discussions currently on the "entire history of the middle east", being brought forth as arguments as why we are fighting these wars."

Well, IMO there should probably be more of these discussions.

Now, if you wish, why don't you produce a video that explains the "problems in the middle east" where you can spend as much time and energy as you care to spend, so that your "disagreements" with Prager are satisfied and can be understood by the masses.

No need. There are plenty of books, documentaries, journals, magazines, films, and other sources out there that "the masses" can use if they take the time. A quick perusal of some of the sources out there makes Prager's argument look pretty silly.

I'm sure that you would have to breakdown some issues so that they can be absorbed and understood.

Well, you always have to make editorial choices. But, ultimately, it looks like Prager's "breakdown" went a little too far.

Prager made a 5 minute video that was attempt to summarize the conflict, you, wanted Prager to be "historically accurate" by presenting the issue in a multi-part, possibly week-long miniseries, to satisfy your "problem" with the title of his video.

Or, Prager could avoid making claims that aren't accurate or realistic. Like the idea that he can give you an entire semester in five minutes. Sounds witty and appealing, but it's just PR nonsense. If you're satisfied with his explanation, well, good for you. I don't. Overall, I'm actually pretty surprised that you feel the need to defend Prager on this. It's oversimplified, sensationalist nonsense that basically tells people they don't need to spend more than five minutes to understand one of the key geopolitical issues of our time. Pure BS, if you ask me.

Almost forgot,"Are... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Almost forgot,

"Are you calling me stupid, that I don't understand that Iraq and Afghanistan are a part of the middle east?"

Absolutely not. I am disagreeing with you. Big difference.

Epador,Thanks, by ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Epador,

Thanks, by the way, for keeping things respectful. I appreciate your points, even if I do disagree on some aspects.

ryan a, on the poi... (Below threshold)
Chip:

ryan a,

on the point that the middle east cannot be summed up with just a five minute video about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict we can agree, but I'm not seeing that that is your main concern.

You have continually pointed out that Prager chose to tile his piece, "The middle East Problem" and for that you have denigrated the man and belittled him and dismissed his argument as wrong. In my opinion you are simply trying to assert your superiority in intelligence about a complex issue and assumed that many are just too dense to understand the difference between the issues of Palestinian/Israeli conflicts and The Entire Middle East as a whole issue.

You and I, it appears, just disagree on one point, his choosing of the title of the piece and to me that's just semantics.

"on the point that the midd... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"on the point that the middle east cannot be summed up with just a five minute video about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict we can agree, but I'm not seeing that that is your main concern."

Well, that's my basic argument here. Again, as I said from the beginning, not a major point.

"In my opinion you are simply trying to assert your superiority in intelligence about a complex issue and assumed that many are just too dense to understand the difference between the issues of Palestinian/Israeli conflicts and The Entire Middle East as a whole issue."

Look, I am disagreeing with you. Don't read too much into this. This doesn't mean that I think I'm smarter or anything of the sort. I have a different take about this, and I am arguing my point. I am not making assumptions about what you or anyone else knows--I am arguing against what Prager claims to be doing and that's about it. I have no idea what you guys think--but I do know that Prager's basic proposition with this video is kind of silly.

"You and I, it appears, just disagree on one point, his choosing of the title of the piece and to me that's just semantics."

Well, semantics (ie the study of meaning) matters, IMO. If I buy a book that claims to be about explaining The Middle East Problem on the cover, but is actually a focused policy piece specifically about the Arab-Israeli conflict, is this mere semantics? To me it's either intentionally deceptive or just inaccurate.




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