The fate of the Arabs

A friend emailed me an interesting article from a Middle East Web site warning that this war will have far greater-reaching consequences than most Arabs realize, and ends with a plea to all Arab citizens:

We must focus on the first step in an ill person��s march toward recovery, health and growth: honest and dispassionate diagnosis of the underlying problem. Why are we so passive in the face of repeated external reshaping of our world? We must answer that question in order to have a chance of devising strategies to cure the problem, and take control of our lives

I scribbled the following reply to my friend, that helped clarify (for myself) why for at least a short time I saw justification for this invasion, despite my despair at Bush’s clumsiness along the way:

“The point, to me, is that as long as the Arabs wrap themselves in the cloth of fundamentalist Islam, as have the Iranians and the Saudis and al Qaeda and the Yemenis and the Pakistanis and so many others, they will be stuck in the quicksand of endless cycles of violence, endless calls to die for Allah while at the same time treating women like cattle, rejecting anything that indicates “progress” (which to the fundamentalist is threatening and evil), and even, at times, committing acts of unspeakable barbarism. That is at the heart of the reporter’s questions and pleas, at least from my perspective. Only after they shake off the shackles of Dark Ages-style closed-mindedness and intolerance, only then will there be hope of the Arabs even beginning to catch up with the civilized world. That is why I have favored this invasion, even if its cause was atrociously presented to the world. This really could be the beginning of a flicker of hope for the world’s darkest region — even though Iraq may not fall into the same category as Saudi Arabia and Iran in terms of Islamic fundamentalism. The hope is that the story of how much better life can be when the oppressions of a brutal regime are lifted will be transmitted to its neighbors. The Arabs this reporter is talking to must see what can happen, what they can achieve, once they have liberty restored. As I read those words, they do sound kind of dreamy, but already I am hearing of Iraqis tearing down the posters of Saddam and dancing in the streets.”

Let’s hope there’s some grounds for optimism.

The Discussion: No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.