The Black Knight of the Arab World

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It seems there are some Arabs who have begun to see the light. I found this at site called Iraqpundit.

I've heard all I care to hear from Arab nationalists about "dignity," "honor," and especially about "victory." Iraqis have experienced precisely such victory. Saddam proclaimed himself the winner in the first Gulf War, remember? Western foreign-policy "realists" sought to "contain" him with sanctions, with the result that the West impoverished Iraqis even as Saddam massacred them. For years, we tried to try to tell Arab nationalists that the lives of Iraqis were a daily horror. What did they tell us in return, these people so profoundly dedicated to dignity and honor? They told us that Saddam Hussein was a great leader of the Arabs, and that we should stop whining.

Last month, three times as many civilians –- more than 3,500 of them -- were murdered in Iraq by the "resistance" as were killed during the fighting in Lebanon. Many of these Iraqis were killed by thugs who are on the very same payroll –- Tehran's -- as is Nasrallah. Is this random slaughter of Arabs by Arabs –- often at the behest of Iran -- consistent with vaunted honor and dignity?

Or perhaps, because each Iraqi death discomfits the U.S., these nationalists have been celebrating 3,500 more of their embarrassing "victories." After all, you can judge generations of these nationalists by their catastrophic heroes: Nasser, Arafat, Saddam, and now Nasrallah, whose victory is so complete that he may well spend his remaining years (months? weeks?) cowering in a series of basements.

The New York Times made a weak effort this weekend to address the Hezbollah phenomenon. The Times did mention the fact that Nasrallah is a Shiite, but the word "Iran" never appeared at all. Both "dignity" and "honor," however, made the cut. "The lesson learned by many Arabs from the war in Lebanon," the reporter wrote, "is that an Islamic movement, in this case Hezbollah, restored dignity and honor to a bruised and battered identity."

According to the piece, "Hezbollah’s perceived victory has highlighted, and to many people here validated, the rise of another unifying ideology, a kind of Arab-Islamic nationalism. On the street it has even seemed to erase divisions between Islamic sects, like Sunni and Shiite."

So sectarian divisions have been erased on the street, have they? Well, that street sure isn't in Iraq, is it? On Sunday, snipers (probably Sunnis) opened fire on Shiite pilgrims in Kadhum, killing 20 and injuring hundreds.

But hey, never mind Iraq! Never mind Iran! When the fighting in Lebanon stopped (or was interrupted; we'll see), Hezbollah was still tossing some of its wildly inaccurate missiles in Israel's general direction. Did some of those missiles keep landing on Arab neighborhoods in Haifa, and even in the West Bank? Never mind that, either! "Victory!"

Did you hear about the Shiite guy who stumbled out of his village in south Lebanon? As he made his way north, he had his right arm raised, with two fingers sticking up. A boy sitting on the rubble of what had once been his house watched him approach and asked, "Victory?" The man shook his head. "That's how many houses in my village are still standing."


Syl said...

The Iraqi people 'get it' more than any other Arab country. And I think it's precisely because of the terror they live with daily.

And that's the biggest reason of all to not give up on them.

Pastorius said...

Good news. Wow.