Monday, September 01, 2008

The makeup of the Arab world

A Middle East Strategy for the West -Barry Rubin

The great battle in the Middle East is between Arab nationalism and Islamism. Democracy isn't on the agenda. Roughly 60-70% of the Arabic-speaking world is still Arab nationalist, 20%-30% is Islamist and 10% pro-moderate democracy.

Any concession made to the Islamist side, sends a signal that the Islamists are winning and everyone better join or appease them.
(Jerusalem Post)


LHwrites said...

In a sense, they are winning. Or at the very least, democracy is losing. It does not seem wanted there. It is the way of extremists, just like right-wing conservatives here in America. We don't make a case for the rest pf the world to embrace democracy, and the weaknesses of our system can be traced to the meddling and interference of conservatives. The United States has never made a case on the world stage for democracy. We have homelessness, poverty ridden and starving people in our populace. We have tens of millions of people who are uninsured and cannot get adequate health care. Many nations with fewer resources have done a better job for their populace than we have. Unlike our right wing extremists, the extremists in other countries are honest and above board. They do not hide what they will do or how they will do it. It may prove that they are hypocrites at times, but that seems to be a failing of almost all men in power. But in our country, our conservatives explain how big government is bad and government must be reduced and not interfere in the public's lives. Sounds great, but that is not what they mean in practice. We see that what they mean is that they do not wish the rich to have to help support the poor and sick. They believe that everybody should be on their own and it's just too bad if things don't go well for you, and probably of your own making. It is clear that conservatives want to meddle in your life. They want to tell you when you have to have children, though certainly not how to afford them and pay for them once you have them. They want to tell you who you can have sex with, how to have sex and who you are allowed to marry. This is why we have failed to make an impression and moral case on the people of the Mideast. It was bad enough with the Republican-controlled Congress but we have reached new lows in the 21st century with our current presidential administration. We need to lead through example. Just like we need to lead our own children. When you tell people, children or adults, to do as I say and not as I do, you become a big joke. This is why internationally, George W. Bush has become the biggest joke of all and has taken America down with him in the eyes of the world.

Bruce said...

I find it hard to wrap myself around calling American conservatives "extremists."

The town square is where Americans do policial battle. No guns. Our worst battles are settled thru the ballot box.

LHwrites said...

I do have to say I disagree with this. America is a unique place. Founded and run on such high and wonderful principles that the people have come to expect certain things from their politicians. They expect that the politicians are out for their best interest and that the politicians are basically honest., regardless of what cynical giggles they may have when such topics are brought up. It is a certain kind of naïveté that has been so wonderfully exploited by the most extremely conservative Republicans to great advantage starting occasionally in the Reagan era and becoming an almost daily offense in the last eight years. You can look at all the people who have had their hands cut off, been stoned and been persecuted in many ways throughout the Mideast. You can also look at those homeless people in America that have starved to death or died from lack of healthcare. Those who have died or had their lives altered by a lack of healthcare even though they may have homes and even be middle class. You can tally up the number of soldiers who have died in Iraq because the administration is still able to convince many Americans that there was a link between Iraq and 9/11 even though bipartisan committees of our own government have shown there was no such link. We won't even go into wrongful imprisonment and torture because it has not been shown to have been directed at our own citizens despite many of the other rights of our citizens that have been broken by this administration. Because our government doesn't cut off hands, stone people or violate their human rights in some of those ways, do not for a moment believe that there is not some blood on the hands of many of our politicians. And those policies that I speak of here, that are most damaging and fatal to the poorest and sickest of our public are perpetrated almost universally by our most extreme conservatives

Bruce said...

You may be comparing apples and oranges. I'd choose to live in the US rather than any Muslim majority country.

Perfection we haven't achieved yet. But our woes are preferrable to their woes. The basic freedoms allow blogging, for instance...and none of us crazy bloggers fear retribution in the US. I would not recommend blogging in Egypt, Syria, Iran or the like.

LHwrites said...

True enough, and I would not choose another country over America. But I believe you are the one comparing apples to oranges. I do not for a moment say that America is a terrible country, or as bad on human rights as the MidEast. What I say is, it is wrong not to accept that extremist right wing conservatives, and they are extremists, have caused their share of carnage here in America. And while I would choose America, possibly some of the homeless, uninsured, and families of the soldiers I have commented upon here, might wish they had chosen Western Europe or Canada at this point. Through my charitable work when I led the health care plan for the uninsured, I met uninsured people, including 1 who died primarily because of a lack of health insurance.