Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So after the great Arab revolution comes the great Arab repression. The catalyst is the failure to support the Libyan uprising. If the USA can not only stand by and allow such an unambiguously evil act to take place, but also block others' frantic attempts to secure help, then dictators the world over can sleep soundly and let loose their security forces. We still don't know what the final outcome will be yet, though it seems clear that thousands of brave people who wished to live in dignity and freedom will die cruel deaths simply for wanting something that we take for granted.

This was a great historical opportunity, a chance for a momentous transformation of the Middle East. The failure to understand this, welcome it without reservation and then to take action to support it is a crime. Obama is not the first Nobel peace laureate to have blood on his hands.


Peter Risdon said...

I couldn't agree more.

Roger said...

My recollection from reading David Pryce-Jones interesting 1989 neocon book The Closed Circle is that as a society where (allegedly) 'honour' is held paramount and slights are allowed to fester for generations before being bloodily revenged the Arabs have many words for different gradations and kinds of 'shame'.

Of these the most appropriate would seem to be 'al-Aar' which is at least according to google 'a great shame which remains for ever on your family'.

I also recall from my own brief forays to Arab countries that guide books had several useful phrases for westerners and particularly western women unwise enough to travel without bodyguards in poorer countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco which were mostly variations on 'shame on you' and 'go away' (IIRC 'imshi') and these are now pretty much the only Arabic words I can remember.

Which I suppose is handy, as should I ever return there it will be those oh so annoying young men (or their sons) so desperate back then for a few dollars or the merest touch or glance from a foreign woman who can freely choose her own sexual partners who will be entitled to shout those phrases back at us.

And I for one won't forget that after Berlusconi (who is so utterly beyond shame that his name should live forever as a handy synonym for shamelessness) it has been the CDU-FDP government in Germany that has been most determined to deliver the Libyans helpless to Gaddafi's torture chambers and killing fields.

Shame indeed.

Will said...

when the criminal 'wibburtarian' crackpot Risdon agrees with you perhaps it is time to reconsider. Or call in the mental inspectoRs.

The Plump said...

I am far more worried about the amount of times we agree, Will.