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Double Vision

Two writers I respect greatly recently spent a bit of time explaining their vision of the Middle East -- how they see the state of the region, the culture, the people, and how we got to our present mess.

First up, Wretchard of The Belmont Club (a Very Big Thinker, if you didn't already know that, and you should) put his in a comment on one of his own pieces. It's a superb summary, taking one of his standard anti-Semitic commenters to task and, in the process, tying up a lot of seemingly-disparate facts into a fairly coherent whole. It really does explain a lot of things.

Key takeaway quote:

The Middle East is primarily a monster created by grafting Western banking legs to a body of oil with tribal arms and an Islamic head.

On the other hand, FrankJ of IMAO can reliably counted on to come down on the same side as Wretchard, but from an entirely different direction. He has done his own take on the Middle East, and it's -- as usual -- inspired brilliance.

Key takeaway quote:

Many of today's problems in the Middle East started when one guy -- I forget his name -- said, "You know what religion needs? More violence!"

Now, most people would read these two commentaries and wonder if these two were talking about the same region -- if not the same planet. But it's the Middle East. They both have a lot of truth in them, even where they conflict.

Hell, especially where they conflict.


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Comments (10)

I think that guy said somet... (Below threshold)
epador:

I think that guy said something more like:

You know what religion needs? More sexist repression, more male dominance and freedom to force his will on others, more excuses to lie, cheat and steal, and of course, more violence.

"More sexist repression, mo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"More sexist repression, more male dominance and freedom to force his will on others, more excuses to lie, cheat and steal"

I don't know. Sounds like the democratic platform to me once you leave the religion part out.

Simple is not always stupid... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Simple is not always stupid, but in this case I am.

Wrechard has it about right... (Below threshold)

Wrechard has it about right.

In a similar vein, I have long thought of the Arab Middle East as a textbook example of a welfare state out of control. When you look at our own modern ghettos, you see the results of a policy where people are given money they did not earn, with no consequences for making bad decisions. So they waste their money on "bling" that is not important, while demanding someone else provide all the essential things that they need because they are "disadvantaged" and can't provide those things for themselves. And if we could just eliminate "racism", the ghetto would magically disappear.

The Arab Middle East is pretty much the same thing, only on an international scale, with Israel as the scapegoat.

Michael -If Israel... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Michael -

If Israel didn't exist, they'd have to invent it.

Seriously, they're shamed by Israel. The UN gave them that patch because it was pretty much worthless. The Israelis have made it bloom, through hard work and planning. They show other countries what THEIR countries would be like, if they had the same sort of attitudes towards work and learning. It's an embarrassment.

And in a shame-based culture - the way to solve that is by destroying the source of the embarrassment. (It's not that the fathers who kill their daughters don't love them, for example, but the shame they bring onto the family overrides that love.)

Therefore, Israel must be destroyed so they're no longer embarrassing the Arab nations. Once that's done, everything will be fine.

#4 & #5 I agree 100%!!!!</... (Below threshold)
mag:

#4 & #5 I agree 100%!!!!

Dr Sanity had a good post o... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Dr Sanity had a good post on that, by the way...

http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2005/08/shame-arab-psyche-and-islam.html

Lays it out, bit by bit. I don't see it changing in the near future, sadly.

I think I wrongly chuckled ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I think I wrongly chuckled at this line:

Remember this is a place where “Kite Festival; Eleven Dead” is an actual headline.

Hey, if you want to have on... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Hey, if you want to have only one point of view, let me know.

But don't change my posts.

Stalinist.

Stop your whining, Chico. T... (Below threshold)

Stop your whining, Chico. There's no LAW against my editing your comments, and I have every right to edit them however I see fit. Editor's prerogative. No one compels you to comment here, and by doing so you consent to our terms -- including having your comments edited.

I do it on extremely rare occasions, but in honor of the Wisconsin unions and their "it's not illegal" shakedown attempts, I thought it would be fun.

As far as "only wanting one voice," I welcome the diverse voices here. Just some more than others. And yours... not so much. You very rarely offer anything of substance, like above, so my editing (a vast improvement, in my opinion) didn't mean much, either.

J.




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