Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Friedman - Well Said, and Nonsense

There is only one good thing about the fact that Osama bin Laden survived for nearly 10 years after the mass murder at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that he organized. And that is that he lived long enough to see so many young Arabs repudiate his ideology. He lived long enough to see Arabs from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen to Syria rise up peacefully to gain the dignity, justice and self-rule that Bin Laden claimed could be obtained only by murderous violence and a return to puritanical Islam.

To understand that challenge, we need to recall, again, where Bin Ladenism came from. It emerged from a devil’s bargain between oil-consuming countries and Arab dictators. We all — Europe, America, India, China — treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations, and all of us sent the same basic message to the petro-dictators: Keep the oil flowing, the prices low and don’t bother Israel too much and you can treat your people however you like, out back, where we won’t look. 
This is too much pretense to put up with - his suggestion is we know better and it was "our place" (meaning our government's place under the leadership of those we call politicians, in other words, those people who will do whatever it takes to win election and stay in office) to set a standard for the behavior of Arab tyrants.  I hear the pot calling the kettle black.  Just another version of the fatal conceit.

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