Sunday, June 05, 2016

More on The Rope, by Kanan Makiya

I can't speak enough about how terrible this book at every level.  Forgot to add a few remarks which I contained in my lengthy Arabic critique. The book can really be summarized by: the tyrant, the tyrant, the tyrant, blah blah blah.  The word tyrant appears on every other page, and several times. I was able to find 100 pages in which the word appears at least once.  The author thought by adding the word tyrant he is giving depth to the novel.  He also includes some silly saying which he thinks are comparable to Nietzsche's aphorisms: "Ideas by their very nature are general" (p. 298); he could tell that a man was a middle class professional because...he was wearing a white shirt (p. 153); and the most profound saying is: "betrayal is an ugly word" (p. 149).  And guess what: he managed to cite that dreadful proverb which is cited ad nauseam by Raphael Patai and Israeli orientalist and generals: Me and my brother against my cousin, and me and my cousin against the stranger.  I loved that Halim Baraka in his book on Contemporary Arab Society reminded readers of various other Arabic proverbs which go against this proverb, like "Relatives are scorpions".  The translation is literal and some non-Arabic expressions and words have no meaning as they appear in Arabic as "an elegant sedan".  There is no "sedan" in Arabic.  He mocks Arab conspiracy theories about Sep. 11 as if there are no American conspiracy theories about Sep. 11, or French (the FRENCH book by Thierry Meyssan which contains a kooky conspiracy theory about Sep. 11 was a best seller in France).  He claims that he was in favor of debathization but only before the war, when he wrote in its favor in New Republic after the war.  He compares his support for US invasion and war to the Arab youth of 2011, as if Arab youth protested in favor of American invasion and occupation of their countries.  He also asserts that to the American readers and journalist fans that the civil war and break down in Sunni-Shi`ite relations was NOT an inevitable results of the invasion and occupation (p. 316).  He blames Iraqis solely for what happened.

PS A Saudi regime newspaper approves of the book. Ha ha