April 10, 2003

THE 'ARAB STREET' IS ACTUALLY THE ARAB FACULTY LOUNGE:

Don't listen to the Arab elites (Amir Taheri, Times of London, 4/10/2003)
A regime regarded by every sane person as the worst the Arabs have seen in contemporary history has collapsed....

Logically, the Arabs should be jubilant. But some of the Western media tell us that they are not. Are the Arabs masochists? The answer is: no.

The Arabs can be divided into three groups with regard to the war to liberate Iraq. The first consists of Arab regimes, most of them despotic, who secretly wished to see the end of Saddam while praying that they would escape a similar fate. The second consists of the Arab masses who, as yesterday’s scenes of jubilation showed in Baghdad, are happy to see at least one of their oppressors kicked into the dustbin of history....

Then we have the “long-distance heroes”, corrupt and confused elites who, tortured by what is left of their numbed consciences, still hope that someone else’s sacrifices will somehow redeem them. These are not Iraqis. They are people far from the scene of the conflict who urged the Iraqis to die in large numbers so that they could compose poems in their praise or pen incendiary columns inciting them to “martyrdom”. They dreamed of a second Vietnam or, failing that, at least a “Stalingrad in Baghdad”....

The Iraqis did not wish to suffer the fate of the Palestinians, that is to say to die in large numbers for decades so that other Arabs, safe in their homes, would feel good about themselves. The Iraqis know that had the Palestinians not listened to their Arab brethren, they would have had a state in 1947, as decided by the United Nations Security Council. The Iraqis know that each time the Palestinians became heroic to please other Arabs they lost even more.

These days the Arab media are full of articles about how the Arabs feel humiliated by what has happened in Iraq, how they are frustrated, how they hate America for having liberated the people of Iraq from their oppressor, and how they hope that the Europeans, presumably led by Jacques Chirac, will ride to the rescue to preserve a little bit of Saddam’s legacy with the help of the United Nations....

Are the “long-distance heroes” humiliated? If they are, so what? They should jump in a river. Today, Iraq is free and, despite its legitimate concerns about the future, cautiously happy.


Amir Taheri, whose every column is a can't-miss, hits another one out of the park.
Posted by Paul Jaminet at April 10, 2003 11:24 AM
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