God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Friday, March 3, 2006

Our Two-Faced "Friends" In The Middle East

Victor Davis Hanson explains why, if America is so terrible, the Islamic world still feels both savagely critical and needy of the U.S. at the same time.
One answer to these paradoxes is that though scorn of the United States may be a public sport, most abroad privately value American financial support — thus acknowledging the often positive global role the United States plays.
Ah ha! The dollar. Always explains a lot doesn't it. Speak softly and carry a big wallet.
Likewise, Middle Eastern media outlets practice a particular behavior for themselves while insisting on quite another one for others - expecting, like troubled teenagers, to be offensive and touchy at the same time.
This is the most bothersome part of the Muslim personality in my opinion. Their do as I say not as I do mentality will not serve them well in the future, and will do much (is doing much) to alienate them from the world. That and the homicide bombings. Then again, the U.S. has it's personality flaws when it comes to dealing the Islamic world.
The Middle East has grasped that its oil warps our own morality and makes us put up with such psychological puerility. Autocratic regimes that often subsidize jihadists claim they fight them in an attempt to win American attention — in the manner that odious right-wing dictatorships used to assure us that they were our friends because they were at least staunchly anti-communist.

But there is another rarely discussed reason that a two-faced Middle East feels it can be both savagely critical and needy of the U.S. We idealistic American people are ourselves also hypersensitive, but in a different way: We want to be liked at all costs.

Perhaps decades of well-meant multiculturalism have made us forget that all cultures, sadly, are not equal - and how rare Western liberality and tolerance are, both in the past and present.

To remedy such anxiety, we need not advance American exceptionalism as chauvinism. Nor do we need to gratuitously remind theocracies, dictatorships, communist states and autocracies how cruel and corrupt they are to their own.

But still, Americans should develop a greater confidence to accept that we are not liked abroad in large part for good reasons - having had to so often fight those who wished to destroy our liberalism, from Hitler and Mussolini to Saddam and bin Laden.
Points well taken. We're past the point of making deals with a devil we dislike to beat one that we hate. That foreign policy mentality must change, whether it be dealing with China or the United Arab Emirates.


Shawmut 3/04/2006 03:45:00 PM  

AND THE TWO FACED FRIENDS IN EUROPE: It seems to me that we should not be too surprised at the double-faced experience of the Middle East. After all, for the most part they emerge from nomadic customs; the themes of which have been "if you can't dominate them, kill them and sell their survivors". Let's not forget that there prevails therefrom no ethic regarding humane concerns for the non-bleievers; neither for the West, nor as the Taliban proved, the East (recall the Buddhist statues that were blown to bits).
What we might look at more closely are the "friends" we have so long stood up for who not only have two faces, but speak out of both sides on their mouths of each one (making each entry a walking quartet). The problem is upon their two faces there are no smiles for us; one being for the EU 'Curia' (I think I'll keep that term) and the other for the immigrant populations that have reduced their ethnic, native-born into minorities.
As we must seriously see this as not only a cultural but political issue, we must, once again in history, show the European states - individually - not through the (EU Curia) that we know that they are scared shitless of their occupiers; the immigrant squatters.
Politically speaking, we must re-claim and secure, and restore guts to our base.
Need I remind anyone of Fortuyn, vanGogh, Madrid 250+, Beslan 331 (mostly children), and

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