Historically, effete Northeastern patricians, the movers and shakers of American society have looked down their refined WASP (White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant) noses at cultures other than their own. Originally descended from the robber barons, many of the privileged ivy-league children of wealth, privilege and position entered government service, notably the intelligence services and the State Department, where their jaundiced view of the world reflected their own prejudices. Add to that the periodic invasion of the government by Southerners, Baptists and evangelicals and one might be able to make a case for subtle, but institutional racism against Jews, Catholics, Blacks and Hispanics – in short, anyone that was markedly different in thought, culture or practice.
So why am I not surprised when Investor’s Business Daily puts forth an article asserting that for Arabs and the State of Israel, it is always 1947. Just reading the article smacks of Waspish self-interests.
“For Arabs And State Of Israel, It's Always 1947 by Richard Cohen”
“Say what you will about the Arab world, it's hard to earn its gratitude. President Obama went to Egypt and not Israel. He demanded Israel cease adding new settlements in the West Bank. He treated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a chilling disdain.”
“In Jordan, 84% disapproved of the way Obama was handling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Egypt, the figure was 88% and in Lebanon it was 90%.”
“For Obama, the figures must be disheartening. They strongly suggest that his attempt to woo the Arab world, to convince it that America can be an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians, has dismally failed.”
Can America, with its own self-interests mostly in the pursuit of commercial energy reserves, be honest in anything it promotes in the Middle East? I think not. Especially when the efforts are aimed at securing commercial advantages and worldwide recognition and acclaim.
“In fact, the extent of this failure is most stark in Lebanon. There, 100% of Shiite respondents — in other words, Hezbollah and others — have no faith in Obama and his good intentions.”
“This may be a setback for Obama, but it is paradoxically a success for American values.”
“What the Arab world seems to appreciate is that America will never agree to what the Arab world most wants — an Islamic state where a Jewish one now exists.”
“This entirely reasonable conclusion is based on what has long been American policy — not what the State Department wanted but what the American people supported. America has always liked the idea of Israel. The Arab world, for totally understandable reasons, has always hated it.”
“A fundamental document in this area — a once-secret CIA analysis from 1947 — was unearthed (to my knowledge) by Thomas W. Lippman and reported in the winter 2007 issue of the Middle East Journal. The CIA strongly argued that creation of Israel was not in America's interests and that therefore Washington ought to be opposed.”
“This was no different than what later diplomats and military men (most recently, David Petraeus) have argued and it is without a doubt correct. Supporting Israel hurts America in the Islamic — particularly the Arab — world and, given the crucial importance of Middle Eastern oil, makes no practical sense.”
In what appears to be a remarkable capacity for observing the obvious …
“The CIA further argued that the so-called Arab-Israeli conflict would soon widen to become an Israeli-Islamic conflict — another bull's-eye for what was then an infant intelligence service.”
“That process was already under way, which is why some non-Arabs (Bosnian Muslims, for instance) fought the creation of Israel, and has only intensified as radical Islam, laced with healthy doses of anti-Semitism, has gotten even stronger.”
Considering that the same views were held by the British elite diplomats and officer class – many of whom were openly anti-Semitic, it appears that the British believed much as the CIA; that the inherent conflict between the State of Israel and their Arab neighbors would be solved by the Arabs overrunning the newly-formed State of Israel and all would be right in the petrochemical world. Genocide and ethnic cleansing far from their anti-Semitic minds.
“But where the CIA went wrong — and not, alas, for the last time — was in predicting that the Arabs would defeat Israel and that the state would not survive. The CIA was pretty sure of the outcome, what a later CIA figure might have called a ‘slam dunk.’"
“What neither the CIA nor, for that matter, the anti-Israel State Department recognized in the late 1940s is that America's interests are not always measurably pragmatic — metrics, in the jargon of our day. Sometimes, our interests reflect our national ethic, an affinity for other democracies, sympathy for the underdog. These, too, are in America's interests and they may be modified, but not abandoned, for the sake of mere metrics.”
“This is why Obama's overture to the Arab world, clumsily executed, was never going to succeed. America can please some Arab governments — Egypt and Jordan, for instance — but not the Arab people. What they want, and what they have been told repeatedly they deserve, is a return of Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel and total control over all of Jerusalem.”
Failure and surrender is not an option …
“These are both out of the question as far as Israel is concerned. It is not willing to give up its capital and, in relatively short time, its Jewish majority.”
Considering that Israel has openly extended friendship, technology and other resources to their Arab neighbors only to see it be rebuffed is a clear demonstration that the Arabs do not want peaceful coexistence. In fact they are often more afraid of their neighbors than they are of Israel. One need only consider the beautiful, thriving Lebanon to see what has been done in the name of inter-Arab conflict. One might even make the case that the Lebanese civil war was precipitated by an influx of Palestinians which fundamentally changed the nature of the population, thus bringing internal conflict to this peaceful, productive country. Egypt and Jordan both ejected the Palestinians in fear that their worlds would be toppled by internal revolt. So it is of little wonderment that we find Palestinians – sometimes at the direction of Iran – continuing to foment trouble in the Middle East.
The uncertain future …
“This week, Palestinians and Israelis will once again talk peace in Washington.”
“But until both sides, particularly the Arab peoples, give up on what they really want, the clock will remain where it has been. Those Pew polls show that's around 1947.”
How can antone rely on the Palestinians, who historically were the bearers of intrigue and conflict, to not pursue their own advantages in their adopted host countries? How many times have the Palestinians ignored significant Israeli concessions – in favor on continued turmoil? Unless the world recognizes terror as a Palestinian negotiating ploy, then we will continue to fight an amorphous asymmetrical war against an enemy hiding in plain sight.
The problem as I see it …
Richard Cohen has done a great job of pointing out two salient facts: one, that there are and probably always will be those who regard Israel as an annoyance on the world stage and two, the conflict between the Israelis and Arabs is simply intractable as the problem has not been defined in solvable terms.
The problem that refuses to be discussed in this politically correct world is the clash of divergent cultures; one modern based on tolerance, liberty and freedom and one ancient, based on autocratic despots ruling a people kept subjugated by religion, ignorance and brute force. All exacerbated by a people who use terror as a negotiating ploy: worldwide blackmail if you will.
One need only observe the freedoms in Israel where every subject has at least one more opinion than the number of participants discussing the issue. And then to look away, at rulers made wealthy with petrodollars and whose prime objective is to preserve their Kingdom by strength of arms rather than the strength of ideas. A debate over cultures which has gone on for decades and is likely to last until the old regimes are overthrown and a religious reformation brings tolerance to those who process to pursue the “Religion of Peace” with a bloody vengeance.
Where the United States has gone wrong …
The United States, for all of the robber barons and their inbred offspring, the problem is similar to that of the Arab nations – the want to preserve the status quo: their power, prestige and a never-ending supply of funding which sets them apart from ordinary Americans. These are the very same people who employ lobbyists, lawyers and others to subvert the political process to maintain what they already have and to expand their influence as time passes.
To my way of thinking, these are the people who have failed to support a national policy of energy independence. Consider that a rational energy policy, featuring green, sustainable, high-availability and cost effective nuclear energy would have eliminated much of the hidden turmoil roiling the modern world today. And until we elect “honest brokers” to represent “we the people,” it is unlikely that we will do much more than point fingers, fight useless and non-productive wars and try to stage-manage a world to secure commercial advantage.
With abundant cost-effective energy, we can do more of the things we profess are important: reducing pollution, providing clean, safe drinking water, improving sanitation, enlarging the food supply – things which desperately need to be exported to third-world nations.
But there is that little sticking point: special interests and the corrupt politicians who do their bidding.
Consider that when voting in the upcoming election cycles. Obama, the Congressional democrats and their fellow travelers (not to forget the complacent and equally corrupt republicans) are symptoms of the problem, not the solution.
VOTE as if your life and your children’s future depended on your actions – because now, more than ever, it really does.
As a footnote: I do not blame the ordinary Arab citizens who were born into the conflict and whose education and environment has conditioned their thinking. They are entitled to their beliefs, their comforts and their culture – as long as it does not adversely affect others and deny them similar freedoms. It is their leadership that should be held accountable for modernizing both their religion and their existence. In a sense, they are also wandering in the desert looking for the leadership which will take them to the promised land.
Quotes of the Day:
“Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” -- unknown
“If the Arabs put down their arms, there will be peace. If Israel puts down its arms, there will be no more Israel.” – Benjamin Netanyahu
Reference Links …
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS