Middle East Box Scores, Annapolis
Will Mahmoud Ahmadenijad be the first world leader to bat 1000? A lot has to do with the team he plays on.
Let's look at Team Iran's box scores:
One 'World Without America/Zionism' Conference .
One 'scientific' Holocaust denial conference.
One rival 'peace conference' in Tehran to rival the talks in Annapolis.
All of the Arab Middle East nations in attendance at the Annapolis peace conference sent representatives to the 'World Without America/Zionism' Conference.
All the Arab nations in attendance at teach Holocaust denial as part of religious and educational curriculum. Those most vehement in their denial are the same people who believe a Holocaust perpetrated against Jews is a good idea and 'promise to finish what Hitler started.'
All the Arab nations in attendance at Annapolis have institutionalized racism, bigotry and hate found in state controlled school curriculum's, broadcast in state controlled media and preached from the pulpit by 'religious leaders' paid by the state.
Every Arab nation in attendance at the Annapolis peace conference consider the terror perpetrated against civilians by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and eight other like minded groups, a legitimate form of political expression. The only exception is when acts of terror are perpetrated on their own soil or against their own citizens.
Look for Iran to sponsor conferences on Human Rights, global warming, crime and punishment and religious freedom to finish out the season and look for the Arab world to warm the bench.
The Anchoress reflected in Re-assessing Iraq, Just Wars, etc:
… I got email from some people asking me why I’m such an idiot, how I can reconcile Christianity with war, how I could reconcile the present engagement with the “Just War” musings of Aquinas, etc.
The day after the speech, I had a friend urge me to perform an exercise of “reassessment” regarding my views…
No sane person likes war. But war sometimes comes. And the “Just War” theology is very clear that war may be Just when it is waged to ultimately spare more lives than it takes, to stop an inexorable advancement of evil…
Do you folks urging me to “reassess” things really think I haven’t thought about it… Of course I’ve rethought my take on the war - many times. I can see where the damn mistakes have been made…
…It is an unconventional enemy, and unconventional war, and we have absolutely nothing to offer within a diplomatic solution. This is an enemy that will take your diplomatic solution and use it against you, because it is not fighting out of loyalty to a king who may be appeased…they’re fighting and using terrorism as a means of movement, to advance an idea the bottom line of which is “Die. Or, you know, convert. But mostly die.”
...I remember the quote from the Dutch fellow who said, “I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”
Israelis aren't even offered the opportunity to convert. The Arab leaders, in their own words, prefer tyranny, call it 'liberation' and by all accounts prefer slaughter. Few words, much to reflect upon as the Annapolis charade unfolds.
Commenting on the absurdities of present day values, The Anchoress in another post addressed the new realities of our time. In Lamb And Dragon: Counter Terrorism With Love, she examines the motivations of some of the new post modernists.
Clearly, I have been thinking not just materially but spiritually.
...“love, love, love” is certainly the perfect solution to any problem, but it is never an expedient one; we’re living in a reality that involves nuclear weapons, so expediency (at least in clearing away the underbrush of incessant Jihad so we can get to that “love” part) has some value, here.
How can Annapolis succeed when we deliberately poke ourselves in the eye, so as to blind ourselves from reality? Since when is arriving at foreign policy achieved by clicking our heels three times and hoping that the most intractable players will miraculously feel the urge to resolve conflict the way we do?
The window dressing can be seen for what it is and for those willing to see for themselves.
What separates Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab world isn't about land or borders. It never was. The small strip of land that is Israel was 11 miles wide at it's narrowest point before the Six Day War. Israel posed no physical threat to the Arab world.
Hitler’s racialism (the Aryan ‘ubermensch‘ and the Jewish ‘untermensch‘) and subsequent communist ideologies were be the foundational blueprints for a new era. In the Arab world, this was the shortest distance between two points. As the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century unfolded, the Arab world was already on the defensive. The Industrial Revolution had passed them by and they had long acquiesced to lived under tyrannical rule. The Arab world was more than ready to believe that somehow, like the German volk, not only were they oppressed but in fact, were really superior to everyone else. The Arab world, like the volk, was ready and willing to blame their cousins for all that befell them. The Jews came to represent the success and achievement the Arab world so desperately wanted to claim as their own, as a sign of parity with the rest of the world.
The Jews weren't neighborhood problems. It was their existence that was unacceptable to the Arabs. The Jews and Israel were the mirror to their own cultural and societal failures. Dysfunctional leaders nurtured the idea of blaming the Jews and manipulated Islam to reinforce the notions. Religious leaders are bought and paid for by the state.The Arab was taught that success could be theirs if the Jews were eliminated.
In the poorest of neighborhoods in the Arab world, it is the trappings and symbols of wealth, achievement and western success that become objects of obsession- the cars, clothes, cell phones, electronics, etc. The values of work, study and dedication that are necessary to achieve real wealth, achievement and success are not given the status they deserve, because those attributes require a change in awareness and the perception of reality. By accepting those truths the Arab world would have to admit that success is arrived at when it is earned, and not by eliminating Jews.
In order to effect real change, the Arabs must acknowledge the deficiencies of the societies and culture in which they live. Of course, that is the easy part. Most Arabs know full well the failures that surround them. They also know they must change their reality. It is in how a person, community or culture goes about changing realities and dysfunctional beliefs that will determine how successful they will be.
There are no shortcuts. Despite decades of racism, bigotry and hate of Jews, democracy and western success, the Arabs still can barely produce a washing machine. Despite their 'awareness,' the Arab world has just about the lowest level of education in the world. For decades, they have done nothing to change that reality. All their 'awareness' and 'insight into reality' has not yielded any real positive change. They believe that Jews are obsessed with their existence. In fact, it is they who are obsessed with Jews. Israelis don't care about Arabs. Why should they? What does Arab culture offer Israel, other than world class hate and antisemitism, the only achievements of note in the Arab world. The Israelis just want to be left alone.
Israel didn't become the nation she is by obsessing about Arabs. Israel became the nation she is despite the Arab obsession with her. For a sharp look at the Israeli/Arab divide, see The Beast That Is Israel.
The Arab world want to change their own tragic reality by denying reality. They want to reshape reality by reshaping perceptions rather than by reshaping their behavior. They want us to believe that much of their dysfunctional behavior is acceptable behavior. They want us to accept racism, bigotry and hate as acceptable behavior. They want us to accept some kinds of violence as acceptable behavior. This idea is not speculative, nor does it only refer to terror. Arab world ambivalence to ‘honor killings’ violence toward women is common.
If we allow those expressions of intolerance and violence that have come to define much of the Arab world to become acceptable (in the hope of appeasing or placating them), they have no reason to change their behavior. The Annapolis peace conference cannot succeed as long as dysfunctional Arab world values and bigotry are given equal status to western values democratic values. The peace conference can be effective if the ground rules of negotiations based on democratic values are agreed to.
We cannot sit down at a table with the KKK or Aryan Nations ideologues and negotiate as equals. We cannot expect the Israelis to do just that, either.
Notwithstanding the fine table manners on display at Annapolis, can anyone seriously believe what is spoken there? Will flowery diplomatic words spoken in European languages by the Palestinians and Arabs, disguise their continued refusal to accept Israel’s existence? Does anyone really believe that the promises of destruction and slaughter made with the regularity of the muezzin’s call to prayer, are not relevant?
Real dysfunctionality is never hard to recognize- unless of course, that dysfunctionality is mirrored by others equally as dysfunctional. We cannot allow ourselves to deliberately choose blindness.
American foreign policy in the Middle East has been consistent.
What exactly is one sided and unfair? What possible reason could the Palestinians and Arab world have for not going along with the plan? In doing so, the floodgates of foreign aid, investment and all kinds of benefits would open. Why the hesitation and reluctance to advance and succeed?
- Cessation of hostilities and terror
- Secure borders.
- Diplomatic recognition of Israel.
The fact is that terrorists do not regard their political ideologies as primary considerations. For them, it is about power and nothing else. Often, the power grab by terrorists is draped in religious garb, but in fact, there is no pretense of political respectability.
Let's look at Iraq and the Arab world as an example of Arab world ideologies.
There are no ‘insurgent representatives’ at the UN claiming to represent the people of Iraq. There are no examples of the terrorists in Iraq that declare national unity as an ideal and there is no pretense of offers to help anyone via social services or programs.
The terrorists are not rallying people to their cause or orchestrating mass demonstrations to bring attention to their cause, as would a political ‘insurgent.’ There are no dramatic and sympathetic leaders paraded in front of willing cameras and their are no legions of ’spin doctors’ appearing on FNC or CNN. There are no discernible liberation movements- only movements that openly proclaim their love of Islam and their love for death (most often directed at other Muslims).
The terrorists are blowing up Iraqis by the hundreds. They are not, for the most part, targeting American, British or coalition troops. There is an orgy of death, as suicide bombers make no distinction between American or coalition forces, Iraq police or the elderly and children. Houses of worship are attacked regularly (with worshipers inside) and market places, filled with women and children, are favored by suicide bombers, plying their evil.
The only difference between the Iraqi terrorists and Hamas or Islamic Jihad is the level of media savvy. They know that kindergartens and dental clinics play well in western media and they know social services will supply a never ending supply of terrorists.Palestinian on Palestinian violence is at an all time high, the Intrafadah goes on unchecked and rule of law is nothing more than a facade.
The Bush administration policy of wanting to bring democracy to the Middle East is a good one. There is no rational argument against that policy, period. To base criticism of the President on his belief that peoples living under tyrannies would not be better off in the long run, under free governments, is absurd. Those who espouse such views are essentially irrelevant to any discussion. That said, unless and until we can be sure that all the players accept the basic ground rules of democratic values over the rules of bigotry and hate, we are wasting our time.
Democratic societies are not birthed fully formed. They are grown and nurtured slowly. Just as it is plainly clear that the vast majority of Palestinians want a real future for themselves and their children. It is just a plain to see that they have not yet learned the real value of democracy extends beyond a ballot box. Voting for Hamas might have been an expression of frustration against the corrupt Fatah, but in the end, Palestinians voted for Hamas knowing full well what they stood for. As we have noted many times, Hitler too, was elected. Civilized nations are under no obligation to respect or even recognize the voices of racism, bigotry and dysfunction.
The Palestinians and Arabs do not yet understand that democracy is an idea and not dependent on a particular political party or personality. Parties and leaders come and go. Building and maintaining the institutions of democracy are the pillars of democratic societies.
In the end however, all Annapolis has to offer the Palestinians and Arab world is the opportunity to author their own destiny.
The Palestinians and Arab world cannot and will not defeat Israel or America or the idea that is freedom. We and the Israel will remain free and democratic societies, irrespective of what happens in Annapolis. Our way of life and values are deeply rooted and will not be dislodged by threats made by the revolutionary du jour…
The Palestinians and Arabs have a chance to take control of their lives and destiny. If they choose to remain immobilized or only half committed, we can go home with a clear conscience. We offered them a Marshall Plan and long term commitment of partnership and opportunity.
We offered them a future.
By their actions- or lack thereof- the Palestinians and Arabs will in the end, clearly define themselves and the kind of nations they want for themselves. If they will not act in their own best interests, we cannot force freedom and opportunity where it is clearly not valued. If they are convinced that democracy is of little value we will need to walk away from Annapolis. That will result in continued tragedy and suffering for the Palestinians and Arab world, but that is a choice they have made. Every patient seeking help from a physician has a choices. They can even refuse the medical treatment that might save them. Refusing the treatment does mean the treatment is flawed.
The people of Eastern Europe did not need to be convinced of the merits of free societies over tyrannies. We must be prepared to face the reality that the Palestinians and much of the Arab world will remain backward for a very long time, incapable of understanding how free governments are always better than oppressive ones. While there is nothing we can do about that, we can hope that the next generation, or the one after that, will see more clearly. The tragedy is that yet another generation of Arabs will be lost to dysfunction and neglect. The greater tragedy is that most of them don’t even know it. Hundreds of millions of children born in the Middle East will grow up never knowing freedom.
That is not our fault.
As a species, we distinguish ourselves by how we treat others- and how we demand others be treated. We build hospitals, not only because we want our loved ones to be tended to, but because we want our society to be tended to. Freedom is no different. Our individual freedoms shape our collective and societal freedoms.
Reality cannot be reshaped in the image of those who desperately need that to be done, in Annapolis or anywhere else, so that their own false and dysfunctional agendas might be served and perpetuated. As Dr Sanity points out,
It is a most ingenious paradox of life that most civilized societies and cultures encourage and support the individual in the pursuit of his or her own life, happiness and psychological growth. These societies do not lay claim to an individual’s life for the glory of the state; and in turn all members of the society benefit as the culture’s productivity, wealth and benevolence all increase.
In other words, paradoxically, those political, economic, cultural and religious factors that encourage what is best for individual growth and maturity, are exactly what encourage the positive evolution and maturation of societies and cultures.
…Mature psychological defenses enable a creative solution to conflicts in ways that are positive for both the individual and his or her society. This is exactly what the immature defenses–such as denial, projection, paranoia do not do. On the contrary, such defenses almost always in the long run cause not only damage to the individual’s developing self, but they also eventually destroy the fundamentals of civilized behavior that can hold a society together and give it a future.
No amount of furious foot stomping and denial can change the fact that reality cannot be wished away. In what is perhaps the greatest irony, it is clear that for the Arab world, peace with Israel offers a partnership with the 21st century and beyond.
Freedom cannot and will not be stopped and continued hostilities with Israel or anti American sentiment cannot change that.
Those who don't believe that to be true have authored their legacy- they will be repudiated and forgotten.