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  Inviato da: Dalgora Nulla  Mostra tutti i messaggi di Dalgora Nulla
Titolo: What Is the Tragedy of Arabia?
Newsgroup: free.it.scienza.antropologia, it-alt.scienze.sociali
Data: 02/10/2008
Ora: 12:25:39
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  <br /> <br /> What Is the Tragedy of Arabia?<br /> <br /> Mark Silverberg<br /> <br /> According to recent UN Arab Human Development Reports, written by an<br /> independent group of leading Arab scholars and intellectuals, oil has<br /> become a curse rather than a blessing for the Arab world. Unlike<br /> Japan, Taiwan, Israel, Singapore and many other countries who<br /> recognized early on that their scarce resources required them to turn<br /> their lack of material resources into technological strengths in order<br /> to become competitive in the world economy, the Arabs relied<br /> exclusively on the great sea of oil beneath their deserts as a<br /> substitute for intellect, creativity and entrepreneurship. It has now<br /> cost them their future and saddled the world with a parasitic and<br /> pathologically suicidal movement that has proven its capacity to<br /> destroy and its incapacity to create anything of substance to human<br /> civilization.<br /> <br /> While it can be argued that the borders of the Arab Middle East are<br /> man-made deformities that must be redrawn to take into account the<br /> tribal nature of Arab society rather than the strategic interests of<br /> the French and the British who created them in the early 20th century,<br /> border corrections alone cannot account for, nor will they resolve the<br /> sorry state of affairs in the Arab world. While a redefinition of<br /> borders would separate Shiites from Sunnis and Kurds from Baluchis,<br /> the problems plaguing Arab society in the 21st century cannot be so<br /> easily resolved.<br /> <br /> That is because Arab societies, for the most part, have immersed<br /> themselves in a culture of denial. They emphasize struggle, quash<br /> competition and reject alternate approaches or ways of thinking. With<br /> few exceptions, Arab governments live in a state of internal fear that<br /> avoids investigating their failures or acquainting themselves with or<br /> opening their societies to the cultures of others. As a result, their<br /> societies cannot hand down positive achievements to future generations<br /> unless they overcome their secretiveness, their isolation, and<br /> especially their compulsive need to blame others for their own<br /> failings.<br /> <br /> Several years ago, Abd Al-Munim Said, head of the Al-Ahram Research<br /> Center in Egypt, wrote: &quot;We thought that by the end of the 20th<br /> century, the Arab mind would be open enough not to explain everything<br /> with a 'conspiracy theory'...The biggest problem with conspiracy<br /> theories is that they keep us not only from the truth, but also from<br /> confronting our faults and problems. This way of thinking relates any<br /> given problem to external elements, and thus does not [lead] to a<br /> rational policy to confront the problem.&quot;<br /> <br /> Consequently, in Arab politics today, from Egypt to Riyadh, opponents<br /> are neither answered nor rebutted. They are discredited, imprisoned,<br /> exiled or murdered and with each disaster, defeat, or tragedy, it is<br /> always the Zionists, colonialists, or American imperialist<br /> conspiracies that are to blame.<br /> <br /> For all the oil revenues that have flowed into the wealthier Arab<br /> countries, the overall state of the Arab world is appalling. It does<br /> not produce one single manufactured product of sufficient quality to<br /> sell on world markets.<br /> <br /> Arab productivity is the lowest in the world. There is not a single<br /> Arab university of world-class. The once-great tradition of Arab<br /> scientific achievement that flowed from Andalusian Spain has<br /> degenerated into a few research programs in the fields of chemical and<br /> biological warfare. There is not one country in the Arab world that<br /> can truly call itself a democracy.<br /> <br /> No Arab state genuinely respects human rights. No Arab state hosts a<br /> responsible media. No Arab society fully respects the rights of women<br /> or minorities, and no Arab government has ever accepted public<br /> responsibility for its own shortcomings.<br /> <br /> Blame has become the opium of the Arabs, and the greatest blame for<br /> their failures is that directed at the United States and, of course,<br /> Israel.<br /> <br /> A central Bernard Lewis theme is that Muslims have felt downtrodden<br /> since 1683, when the Ottomans failed for the second time to sack<br /> Christian Vienna. For 300 years, Prof. Lewis says, Muslims have<br /> watched in horror and humiliation as the Christian civilizations of<br /> Europe and North America have eclipsed them militarily, economically<br /> and culturally. The Arab Muslim world prefers to blame others, to<br /> sleepwalk through history as it were, and to cheer when tyrants and<br /> terrorists avenge them. They knew that Saddam Hussein was a monster<br /> who had killed more Arabs than Israel ever could. They knew he was the<br /> worst thing to happen to the Arab world since the Mongols sacked<br /> Baghdad in 1258. But they were (and continue to be) so discouraged<br /> that they needed to inflate even &quot;the butcher of Baghdad&quot; into hero<br /> status.<br /> <br /> During the war the Palestinians cheered him on and celebrated his<br /> defiance of the American war machine, but, in the end, he failed them<br /> as well.<br /> <br /> While most Arabs understand America's current dilemma in Iraq and fear<br /> the expansion of Iranian Shiism and Ahmedinejad's religious<br /> imperialist ambitions, they are not eager to assist in stabilizing<br /> that country. They prefer to see America leave humiliated even if it<br /> is at the expense of the Iraqi people and the stability of the entire<br /> region. Above all, they do not want to see America, a non-Muslim<br /> superpower, as the cause for Iraq's good fortune, especially when the<br /> Arab countries did nothing to stop Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. And<br /> because Arab societies require a target for their anger and<br /> frustration, they are increasingly drawn to radical Islam.<br /> <br /> Since external conflict is the lifeblood of Arab dictatorships (be<br /> they secular or theocratic), conflict in the Arab world is not seen as<br /> a problem that requires a solution.<br /> <br /> The enemy of the Middle East is not the West so much as modernism and<br /> the humiliation that accrues when millions are nursed by fantasies,<br /> hypocrisies, and conspiracies to explain away their own failures.<br /> Quite simply, any society whose allegiance is to the tribe rather than<br /> to the nation, that does not believe in democracy enough to institute<br /> it, shuns female intellectual contributions, allows polygamy, insists<br /> on patriarchy, institutionalizes religious persecution, ignores family<br /> planning, expects endemic corruption, tolerates honor killings, sees<br /> no need to vote, and defines knowledge as mastery of the Quran.....is<br /> deeply pathological.<br /> <br /> Instead of responding to demands for democracy, human rights, higher<br /> living standards, less corruption and incompetence, reducing<br /> illiteracy or improving education and educational standards, Arab<br /> rulers blame America for their societies' ills and refocus popular<br /> anger against it. That enables them to demand national unity and<br /> silence reformers in the face of the supposed American &quot;threat,&quot; and<br /> by seizing on anti-Americanism as the excuse for Arab failure, they<br /> insure that their opponents cannot blame them.<br /> <br /> Hence Egypt and Saudi Arabia have willingly accepted American weaponry<br /> and protection, yet they continue to promote anti-Americanism through<br /> their governments' policies and their state-controlled media.<br /> <br /> In the end, casting the blame for their own misfortunes on the West<br /> will not save them from the rising tide of radical Islam in their<br /> midst. That is because the histories of these countries are so<br /> intertwined and their socio-economic problems so interrelated and<br /> severe that none of them will be able to escape the consequences of<br /> those failures.<br /> <br /> &quot;The painful truth,&quot; writes columnist Suleiman Al-Hatlan in the daily<br /> Al-Watan in Saudi Arabia, &quot;is that the acts of violence and barbarism<br /> occurring at present are nothing but the natural consequence of<br /> generations of Muslims having been misled and force-fed speeches<br /> (filled with) hostility and hatred for others over the course of<br /> decades, which deepened the backwardness and the ignorance in the<br /> Islamic world.&quot;<br /> <br /> Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in income from oil and massive<br /> amounts of Western humanitarian aid, the Arabs have yet to create one<br /> single monument to human achievement. Rather, at different times, the<br /> Arabs have pointed the finger of blame at colonialists,<br /> multinationals, missionaries, communists, liberals, religious and/or<br /> ethnic minorities, middle classes and even poor Orientalists. But the<br /> blame rests only in themselves. To the best of my recollection, the<br /> Arab League has never once convened an Arab summit to discuss the<br /> backward state of education in the Arab world and therein lies the<br /> problem.<br /> <br /> The sad truth is that the fantasies portrayed in Arabian Nights have<br /> long since become an Arabian nightmare in large measure because (as<br /> Victor Davis Hanson writes): &quot;The Arab world has no real consensual<br /> governments; statism and tribalism hamper market economics and ensure<br /> stagnation. Islamic fundamentalism, the absence of an independent<br /> judiciary, and a censored press all do their part to ensure endemic<br /> poverty, rampant corruption and rising resentment among an exploding<br /> population.<br /> <br /> For the Arab world, the status quo is no longer sustainable and time<br /> is not on its side. The Salafi Jihadists are gaining strength in<br /> Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories and<br /> warn that an apocalyptic Armageddon between the Muslim world and the<br /> West is approaching. Whether moderate Muslim intellectuals and<br /> Western-educated Muslim technocrats will be able to bring on an<br /> Islamic Renaissance before rising radical Islam draws us all into a<br /> nuclear confrontation remains to be seen. Their success in doing so is<br /> by no means assured.  

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