Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 2/11/2002 4:48:01 AM EDT
[b][size=4]Blunt Question, Blunt Answer[/size=4][/b] By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN LONDON — We were just finishing a lunch hosted by a U.S. diplomat for Arab editors in London when one of the editors turned to me and said: "I hope you will not be insulted, but I have to ask you this question because it's around: Are Jews in the media behind the campaign to smear Saudi Arabia and Islam?" Wow. It is not a question I often get over coffee, but it was asked sincerely, by a serious Arab journalist who wanted a serious answer. I said that I was not insulted and that I knew this question was everywhere — everywhere — in the Arab-Muslim world today, so let me take a stab at it. My first instinct was to ask a question back: When Jewish reporters in Beirut and Israel were at the forefront in covering such stories as the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinians, why did no one in the Arab world ask whether they were part of a Jewish conspiracy? When Jewish congressmen and commentators led the campaign for U.S. intervention to save the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo and to roll back the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf war, why did no one in the Muslim world complain about a Jewish conspiracy? The truth is that Jewish commentators and lawmakers have probably been more outspoken in support of using American force to rescue Muslims in the last 15 years than any other group — including American Muslims. So, to begin with, maybe — just maybe — there is no Jewish conspiracy against Muslims or Saudi Arabia at work here. Maybe, just maybe, many Americans are upset because 15 Saudis took part in the Sept. 11 attacks, private Saudi charities financed Osama bin Laden and hundreds of Saudis fought with Al Qaeda against America in Afghanistan. And these hard facts have hardened U.S. opinion against them... (continued)
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 4:48:39 AM EDT
(continued) ...It will be a tragedy if Arabs and Muslims adopt the position that there is no conceivable reason why Americans might be upset with them today and that any criticism they face in the U.S. media is entirely the result of some Jewish campaign of vilification. Why a tragedy? First, because it will reinforce all the reasons why the Arab-Muslim world has fallen behind in economic development, education, science and democratization. Because whenever a people reduces all its problems to a conspiracy by someone else, it absolves itself and its leaders of any responsibility for its predicament — and any need for self-examination. No civilization has ever prospered with that approach. (And several courageous Arab journalists have started to point that out.) Blaming someone else is not a substitute for analyzing or coping. (That also applies to Israelis who say Yasir Arafat, alone, is the source of all their problems.) Only in a society that embraces self-criticism can the political process produce real facts to cope with real problems. Look at the excruciating process of analysis, self-criticism and accountability that America went through after Vietnam. Few Arab-Muslim countries have ever done anything like that after a war, let alone after 9/11. Until they do, their conclusion that America or the Jews are behind all their problems is escapism, not analysis. Second, persisting in this will only widen the gulf between America and the Muslim world because such conspiracy theories are based on a total misunderstanding of America. The standard view of America in the Arab-Muslim world is that America is rich and powerful because it is crass and materialistic. And since America is just about material interests — not values — why can't it understand that its real material interests are with the Arabs, not with Israel? The Jews must be manipulating things. The truth is exactly the opposite. America is successful and wealthy because of its values, not despite them. It is prosperous because of the way it respects freedom, individualism and women's rights and the way it nurtures creativity and experimentation. Those values are our inexhaustible oil wells. Americans naturally gravitate toward societies that share those same values, and they recoil from those that don't. There are two kinds of blame: one that is a result of self-analysis and self-criticism, and one that is an attempt to avoid self-analysis and self- criticism. We have all known people who endlessly blame their mothers or fathers for all their shortcomings, never themselves. Some eventually grow out of it and thrive. Some never do — and they go through life angry, miserable and never achieving their full potential.
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 4:51:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/11/2002 7:36:23 AM EDT by Paul]
Damn those apples, whatever happened to a good shower, eh? [removed racial slur - Paul]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 4:54:06 AM EDT
Wow, Hielo. That was charming. Read the article, before jumping to a conclusion. (BTW, I just changed my user name.)
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 5:00:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/11/2002 5:01:04 AM EDT by raven]
Arabs are so inconsistent. They cheer the 9/11 attacks, then immediately turn around and say it must have been Mossad who carried it out. Well, Arabs were the ones dancing in the streets, saying we deserved it. Israelis were the ones who empathized with us. All the attackers were Arab muslims. Most of them hailed from Saudi Arabia. Yet you see the Saudi government doing next to nothing to curb this bullshit. In fact, terrorists derive lot of funding and a lot of volunteers from Saudi. The Saudis refuse to let us operate from our bases there to fight terrorists and their sposor states. And now the Saudis sit back and say it is a "Jewish media conspiracy" that is making Saudis look sympathetic to terrorists? No, it is the Saudi's own actions that are tarnishing their reputation. They come across as what they are: a bunch of treacherous and cowardly snakes.
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 5:03:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cincinnatus: Wow, Hielo. That was charming. Read the article, before jumping to a conclusion. (BTW, I just changed my user name.)
View Quote
What was your old user name??? Why the need to change it???
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 5:06:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/11/2002 5:07:00 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]
Major Murphy, my friend. [:)] Just keeping a lower profile. Regardless, I just thought this was an interesting Op-Ed.
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 6:06:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cincinnatus: Major Murphy, my friend. [:)] Just keeping a lower profile. .
View Quote
Hey - me too!!!! A "kinder, gentler" garandman, if you will. [BD]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 6:11:40 AM EDT
It`s quite interesting how this never ending conflict involves the major part of the rest of the world as well.........[devil]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 6:31:36 AM EDT
Major, I just asked raf what the heck happened to you. Wow. I thought you dissapeared. Why the low profile?
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 6:39:09 AM EDT
No reason in particular. I just realized that there was too much "Major Murphy" on the internet. My real name is Murphy, so I thought I'd back off, a bit. That's all.
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 6:53:22 AM EDT
I thought that my sardonic humor would come through .
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 7:02:59 AM EDT
Good cover name, never would have guessed it was you. [:D]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 7:04:29 AM EDT
You numbah one, GI [smash]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 7:11:57 AM EDT
He got demoted... [;)]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 7:38:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 7:46:50 AM EDT
[url]http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/625521/posts[/url] Undergrad Selection Process At Ivy Legue Schools Cincinnatus of Roman General Fame (the one who put down the middle class riots) Pebian Wars? or Cincnnatus of the Federalist Papers?
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 7:53:39 AM EDT
Does this mean we have to go to the trouble of changing all the stationerry, official seals, linen, and so forth for the People's Republic of Murphwanda?
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 8:04:01 AM EDT
Cincinnatus of Roman History. His name was later used to describe citizens who join the military(as officers/leaders) to defend their country, and then return to their previous lives/occupations. Many of us are familiar with the Sons/Daughters of The American Revolution. It is an organization whose members' ancestors had served in the War. There is also an organization called the Sons of Cincinnatus, whose members have an ancestor who had served as an OFFICER in the Revolutionary War.
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 8:06:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Golgo-13: Does this mean we have to go to the trouble of changing all the stationerry, official seals, linen, and so forth for the People's Republic of Murphwanda?
View Quote
Is there a problem with our "small bewildered African nation" adopting Imperial Rome as it's model? [:)]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 8:19:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/11/2002 8:29:09 AM EDT by roxyquail]
You know, the only reason Arabs don't make good political people..... They are terrible liers. I think that the stupidest thing that I have ever heard an arab say after sept 11 was that Osama can't lie because he is a muslim. On the evening news the other night, The local female anchor on channel 12 Cincinnati called them mooselums, It was very funny. As for the jewish conspiracy thing, hey it must be true bacause a mooselum said it.
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 9:19:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By roxyquail: You know, the only reason Arabs don't make good political people..... They are terrible liers. I think that the stupidest thing that I have ever heard an arab say after sept 11 was that Osama can't lie because he is a muslim. On the evening news the other night, The local female anchor on channel 12 Cincinnati called them mooselums, It was very funny. As for the jewish conspiracy thing, hey it must be true bacause a mooselum said it.
View Quote
I'm moving to Maine, you can hunt [uzi]Moose-lums[sniper] there. [:)>]
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 10:12:57 AM EDT
Good article. A good dose of introspection and honest self-examination is necessary for any individual, family or society to survive and thrive. Lack of this will eventually lead to delusion and failure.
Link Posted: 2/11/2002 2:46:22 PM EDT
*whew* it is not another antisemitic anti Israeli thread... Cincinnatus, I am from Rome and I am with you... 200%.
Top Top