Donnerstag, September 28, 2006
What It's All About
I think that this underscores what I tried to point out yesterday, but expands on the point further.
We're seeing the developments in the Middle East much too much through the eyes of what we would be thinking if we were there: we need to listen less to the rhetoric - if there was ever a culture where deception is a fine art, then it is the Arabic culture - and look more to the realities on the ground.
It's not about religion: it's everything about power.
It's not about democracy: it's everything about starting a civil society.
It's not about us: it's all about them.
That last point is critical: it's not about us. It's all about letting Iraqis start becoming a civil society after the trauma of the last 40 years. It's all about starting a peace process, one that doesn't cover up the problems and misery with a Potemkin Village facade, as most governments in the Middle East do, but rather a process that leads to a civil society where violence is not an instrument of politics, where government doesn't mean corruption and exploitation, where people can start the business of making themselves a society where the good predominates and where the bad is addressed instead of being used by political power seekers who believe that it's easier to emulate Hitler than it is to emulate Ghandi.
And they're right: it is easier.
Doesn't make it right, though.