Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Analyzing the Middle East.

There is a category of American analysts of the Middle East, like Thomas Friedman, who only speak about the Middle East in recycled generic cliches. Ask them about the economy of a particular country, and they say: the economy is in shambles, and more than half of the population is under 20. Ask them about the Arab-Israeli issues in that country: and they would say, that people are sick and tired of war, and if only we can have another Sadat in that country. Ask them about Islamic fundamentalism, and they say: they need to rein in the clerics. Moderate Muslims need to assert themselves. Ask them about the leader, and they say (if he is pro-US), that he has been making reforms and he is fighting the radicals in his camp, and that we need to help him; and if he is anti-US, they say: we need to pressure him. He is a two bit dictator who we is not serious about peace with Israel. Ask them about women or culture in the region, and they would say: wwwhatttttttttttttt???