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« Tomorrow... | Main | I'll be damned: 42 pct. of Democrat Congressmen attending J-Street Gala support HAMAS and/or are supported by CAIR »

Thursday, 03 March 2011


Mannie Sherberg
Lee Smith is as tough-minded and hard-nosed a commentator on the Middle East as anyone writing today, but his notion that the "citizens" of Arab countries (are they citizens or are they subjects?) betrays the same unwarranted optimism that is becoming a hallmark of neo-conservative writing on this topic. These so-called citizens -- even if they had the desire to do as Smith suggests -- are largely illliterate and innumerate, without the slightest ability to emulate Israel's achievements in medicine, pharmacolgy, computerization, or any of the other fields in which Israel is now among the world's leaders. Nor do they have the necessary respect for the individual and for the rule of Western law. Arab culture -- despite the proven ability of some of its members to learn to fly airplanes and crash them into buildings -- is intractably stuck in the Middle Ages, and shows little desire to extricate itself. Pipe dreams are pipe dreams, even when they come from writers as respect-worthy as Lee Smith. Arab nations will model themselves on Israel when mermaids ride on unicorns. Don't hold your breath.
Tom Glennon
My math may be imperfect, but it seems to me that from the first faltering steps on the fields of Runnymede, to the American Constitution of 1787, it took the enlightened and educated West 572 years to finally develop a democratic Republic that actually worked. With a 5,000 year history of despotism, I fail to understand how anyone can believe that the Arab nations will achieve this in months. As Mannie noted, mermaids, unicorns and Arab democracy are all figments of our collective imagination.
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